Starfinder Society characters use the process outlined on page 12 of the Starfinder Core Rulebook with a few additional campaign-specific rules and benefits. Characters start at first level unless they have Boons to modify their starting level. The Character Creation appendix contains step-by-step instructions to help you create your own Roleplaying Guild character and outlines the campaign’s additional character creation steps. Follow the instructions carefully to ensure your character is suitable for the organized play campaign.
Character Options: All of the playable species, themes, and classes from the Core Rulebook are available to you when creating a character. You might need special boons to access some species and options from other books before you can use them in organized play. More information on approved resources can be found on the Character Options page.
Pawns: During combat, each PC is represented by a pawn. Each other creature controlled by a PC whose location outside their PC’s square affects combat is also represented by a pawn. No PC can place more than 2 pawns per adventure including their own. Temporary creatures who last no more than an encounter or two do not count toward this limit. Creatures who stay in their controller’s square during combat do not require pawns.
After playing a new character, you might find aspects of your character you would like to change. Don’t worry! Until you play a game in which your character starts with 3 or more XP, you can freely rebuild your character completely. The character retains their Reputation earned and character number.
Once you begin a session as a second level character, you still have options for changing your character’s choices through the mnemonic editor hybrid item Starfinder Core Rulebook (page 226). Characters can use this item to reverse the last 2 levels worth of decisions on a character. Different versions of the device allow you to retrain up to three additional times, effectively allowing a character to wipe and retrain up to 8 levels worth of decisions throughout their career.
You cannot use Rebuilding or Retraining to build a character that could not be built without using either of those two tools.
For more information on purchasing a mnemonic editor, see the corresponding boon.
You can purchase the following items so long as you’re in a settlement and the price is not higher than the settlement's listed Maximum Item Value. (Scenarios might sometimes provide additional allowances or limitations):
- All equipment listed in sanctioned Starfinder content with an item level less than or equal to your character level.
- All equipment listed in the Starfinder Core Rulebook with an item level less than or equal to your character level + 1.
- All equipment listed on your character’s Chronicle Sheets with an item level less than or equal to your character level + 2.
- All items and services purchased with Achievement Points (AcP).
Items that are not available for Starfinder Society play according to the Character Options page can be listed on chronicle sheets. Such items can be purchased by a character who has a chronicle sheet that lists the item.
Infamy can reduce a character’s effective level when purchasing items.
Magic, hybrid, and technological items that can be used less often than once per day (such as once per week or once per month and so on) are considered to be usable once per adventure.
Provided you are in a settlement, you may purchase spellcasting services with a level up to half the settlement’s Maximum Item Level.
Page 234 of the Starfinder Core Rulebook covers the rules for purchasing spellcasting services, and the associated costs are listed in Table 7–38: Professional Services on page 235. You can also use AcP to purchase spellcasting services, which are listed individually by spell.
Purchased spellcasting is assumed to be cast using the minimum caster level. Spells without a level, such as miracle and wish, cannot be purchased as a spellcasting service.
PCs can never purchase the traveling service of a spellcaster.
In Starfinder Society play, you can never buy, sell, or trade items with another player, but you may allow another player to borrow an item for the duration of an adventure. Players are permitted to pool their money to purchase items or spellcasting services for use in the current adventure. If the PCs buy an item using pooled money that they do not use during the adventure, one PC may purchase the item at the end of the adventure, paying the item’s full cost. If no PC wants to purchase the item, the PCs must sell the item back for 10% value, reimbursing each PC 10% of what they paid into the pool.
The party can sell a dead character’s belongings for this purpose if, and only if, the player of the dead character consents.
The following spells found in the Starfinder Core Rulebook are not legal for play and may never be used, found, purchased, or learned in any form by characters of the Starfinder Society: animate dead and reincarnate. All spells and effects end at the end of an adventure with the following exceptions, which must be noted on the Chronicle Sheet.
- Spells and effects with permanent or instantaneous duration that heal damage, repair damage, or remove harmful conditions remain in effect at the end of the adventure.
- Afflictions and harmful conditions obtained during an adventure remain until healed and carry over from adventure to adventure (except as noted under Negative Effects below).
The Society has specialists at the Lorespire Complex trained in Mysticism who can apply or swap out fusions for agents of the Starfinder Society in good standing. This service is free but is only available before the briefing or once the adventure is complete unless stated in the adventure. Only the service is free; characters must still pay the normal cost for transferring the fusion.
There are two types of adventures written for the Starfinder Society campaign.
Starfinder Quests: Written specifically for the Starfinder Society, quests are 1-hour adventures often used as introductions to the game.
Starfinder Society Scenarios: Written specifically for the Starfinder Society, scenarios each present a single episode in a continuing story and typically take 4–5 hours to complete.
Rules for additional types of adventures can be found in Additional Adventures.
Starfinder Society adventures utilize a series of short titles, or tags, to denote information pertinent for GMs running scenarios and the players participating in them. The following tags appear in Starfinder Society scenarios:
- Exclusive: Scenarios with this tag have running requirements outside the standard one table environment. Scenarios with this tag include specific rules on who is eligible to run it and where and how it can be run.
- Faction: Scenarios with this tag address the listed faction's goals and may grant additional reputation with a Faction.
- Metaplot: Scenarios with this tag are directly connected to a larger plot arc, typically the major plot throughline of a particular Season of Starfinder Society adventures.
- Nova: Scenarios with this tag contribute to the 5 Nova requirement.
- Quest: This tag indicates the associated product is a single quest or a quest pack.
- Repeatable: Players and GMs may receive credit for scenarios with this tag an unlimited number of times, though characters can still only receive credit once for a given scenario.
- Starship: This tag indicates the associated scenario includes some form of the starship combat rules in Chapter 9 of the Starfinder Core Rulebook.
- Survival: This tag indicates the players will benefit from skills and abilities relating to survival while cut off from outside resources.
- Vehicle: Scenarios with this tag indicate that the associated scenario includes some form of vehicle combat or vehicle chase.
Starfinder Society adventurers are designed for characters of various levels playing together. The range of levels supported by an adventure appears on the cover. The difficulty of the adventure scales based on the character levels and is calculated using APL .
Starfinder Society adventures are written for four to six PCs. However, a GM can run a table with two or three players in some situations. In those cases, all four-player adjustments written into the adventure still apply. Make the following adjustments:
- Adventures with a minimum level of 8 or lower: the GM can run a table of two or three players, and can add additional appropriately leveled pregenerated iconic characters in order to meet the minimum table size of four PCs.
The GM can either play these characters themselves or deputize one or more players to run them, provided the player agrees to do so and feels capable of running an additional character.
Pregenerated iconic characters are available for 1st, 4th, and 8th level.
- Adventures with a minimum level of 9 or higher: can be run with only 3 players, but only if all players at the table agree. While we expect this “hard mode” playthrough experience to be satisfying, we want to caution you that, as the adventures are designed for a minimum of four players, they will be more difficult than normal.
- All levels: If there are still not enough players even with these adjustments, and there is a player available who has already played the adventure, they can join the table, playing for no credit.
Replaying for No Credit: This is only allowed if the alternative is for the table not to play. Players must record any items or resources expended and may be given a blank Chronicle for this purpose. This is an exception to the rule that you cannot assign more than one copy of a single adventure's chronicle to a given character.
GMs do not record or report organized play numbers for players replaying for no credit.
Table Maximum: Tables cannot have seven or more players.
Before the game starts, you will need to choose a character to play. This can be one of your existing characters, or a pregenerated character, but it must fall within the allowed levels for the adventure. If you choose a pregenerated character, you must also choose an existing character of a lower level, a first level character, or a brand new character to assign credit to. See Applying Credit for more information. You also choose a Faction to represent. Any Reputation earned for Primary and Secondary success conditions that adventure is applied to that Faction. The default faction is Wayfinders.
The GM will provide you with a sign-in sheet to record your character’s name, Organized Play ID, Character Number, level and faction, as well as any contact information the GM needs to be able to get chronicles to you. If you are playing a pregenerated character, then the character number is the number of the character who will receive credit for the adventure.
You can have as many active characters as you want in Starfinder Society. However, you can play only one of your characters during a specific adventure.
A character can only take part in one adventure at a time. From the time the character begins an adventure, to the time Chronicles are issued, that character cannot be involved in any other adventure. Characters engaged in play-by-post are considered busy and may not be used in another game while the play-by-post is running.
By default, each player can receive up to two chronicles for a given adventure: one for playing the adventure and one for running the adventure as the GM. Players can play each adventure once and GM it as many times as they like. GMing an adventure contributes to GM nova rewards even when it does not award a chronicle.
It is possible to replay adventures; for example, adventures with the Replayable tag are always replayable and there are also boons that grant replays. Even when a player replays an adventure, each of their characters can only earn one copy of a chronicle for any single adventure.
When replaying an adventure or playing an adventure you have already GMed please follow these additional guidelines:
Notify the GM: Inform the GM that you have already played the adventure or run it as a GM. Although GMs are asked to be flexible, the GM maintains the right to deny running the adventure for you if they feel uncomfortable running the event for players who have foreknowledge of the story.
No Spoilers: When you are replaying an adventure, avoid spoiling the adventure’s plot or using insider information to affect gameplay. Doing so can be grounds for the GM to remove you from the table. In general, be mindful in separating player knowledge from character knowledge, and if you are uncertain how to proceed, speak privately with the GM to determine the best course of action.
Each adventure typically begins with a briefing, either in the form of a letter, a meeting with a venture-captain, or an offer of a job by an employer.
Slotting Boons: This is the time when your character will slot any boons you wish to take.
Purchasing Equipment: This will also often be the last opportunity your character has to purchase any needed equipment for the adventure.
Remember, your character is a member of the Starfinder Society, working with colleagues and friends, under the motto “Explore, Report, Cooperate.”
As characters work their way through the adventure, they will discover or earn items of value.
Characters may also find named items of treasure or consumable items. These items are available for use during the adventure and often appear as purchasable items on Chronicles.
Characters may not craft items during an adventure. The only allowed crafting is a single item per Downtime period (details below).
Infamy represents a character’s reputation for performing evil or criminal actions. Some scenarios will call out specific actions that will cause characters one or more PCs to gain infamy. Additionally the GM may assign infamy for other evil or criminal acts not called out by the scenario.
Warnings: The GM must warn the Player that their act will incur Infamy. This warning can be in character or out of character but must be clear to the player. If the PC goes through with the action, they earn the point of infamy.
Effects of Infamy: Each point of infamy reduces the PCs effective level by one for purposes of purchasing gear.
If a PC ends a game with 3 Infamy, they are ejected from the Starfinder Society and are no longer allowed to play in the campaign. The character must be marked dead when the table is reported.
Infamy is not for player actions. Players who commit or describe character actions in violation of the community standards are subject to disciplinary sanctions outlined in the community policy.
During an adventure, a character might gain afflictions such as blindness, curses, diseases, poison, or death. Any permanent afflictions must be cleared from the character before the end of the adventure or the character ceases to be available for organized play.
Exceptions include permanent negative levels, ability drain that does not reduce an ability score to 0, and conditions that impose no mechanical effect.
GMs must report characters with uncleared permanent afflictions as dead.
Affliction removal applies to pregenerated characters and any unresolved afflictions carry over to the Starfinder Society character receiving credit for the adventure. If that would mean the character would be marked dead, they are marked dead immediately.
Other PCs can use their spells, feats or class abilities to assist characters in recovering from negative effects. They can also contribute consumables or credits, but are not required to. Characters can always use credits earned during the adventure to clear conditions. Condition removal purchased using AcP or credits automatically succeeds providing it is possible for it to succeed.
In order, players apply party funds, then Starfinder Society character funds (including credits earned from the adventure), then sale of pregenerated character gear (if applicable and they meet the requirement below):
|To sell a pregenerated character’s gear at:||The character or party must have paid at least:||The pregen’s gear is worth:|
|Level 1||0 credits||100 credits|
|Level 4||600 credits||600 credits|
|Level 8||3,300 credits||3,300 credits|
Reputation is a measure of how influential your character is in the Starfinder Society. See Factions and Reputation for more about how Reputation works.
Once completed, some adventures may grant access to boons. These chronicle boons will be noted on the chronicle sheet and can be accessed on the Boons tab of the My Organized Play page on paizo.com. (Year 1 and 2 scenarios included such boons on each chronicle sheet.)
Unlike a traditional game in which the PCs would divide recovered magic items and other treasure among themselves, Starfinder Society awards each participating PC a share of credits based on their respective levels. Rather than divide up the valuable items unequally, PCs have equal access to any special treasure found, represented by the items listed on the Chronicle. Rules for purchasing these items can be found under Purchasing Guidelines.
Not every Starfinder works for the Society full time. Some are trained artisans, professionals, or performers and earn extra credits between missions. After each adventure that grants XP, except for Bounties, you gain a period of Downtime before your next mission, which you can use in one of three ways per adventure: crafting, a day job, or other pursuits. Bounties do not grant downtime.
Crafting: You can spend your Downtime to craft a single item following the rules on page 235 of the Starfinder Core Rulebook. A character must use the skills listed in this section of the book and cannot use the Profession skill to craft equipment. It is assumed that between adventures, you have access to the tools and workshop necessary to craft equipment.
To craft an item, you must acquire the requisite number of UPBs. You can purchase UPBs at a rate of 1 UPB for every 1 credit spent. You cannot scavenge parts from equipment you own or collect during a scenario. Equipment crafted between sessions is marked on the Chronicle Sheet.
If you have the Master Crafter feat, you receive a 5% discount on crafting if the crafted item is crafted using the Master Crafter feat’s associated skill. You may still craft only a single item during a single Downtime period.
Day Job: During Downtime, you can attempt one trained Profession check to earn extra money; this is called a Day Job check. Permanent bonuses from class, equipment, feats, species, and theme apply to your Day Job check as they would any check for the relevant skill. Temporary bonuses do not apply to Day Job checks, no matter the source. You can take 10 on a Day Job check, but you can’t take 20 or use the aid another action.
You gain a number of credits equal to twice your Profession skill check result, as per the “Earn a Living” entry under the Profession skill (Starfinder Core Rulebook page 146). You cannot use other skills to make a Day Job check. Add this amount to the Day Job box on your Chronicle Sheet.
Other Pursuits: Some boons allow you to use Downtime in other ways. These boons will provide exact rules on their use, but often require a character to sacrifice the opportunity to attempt a Day Job check or perform any crafting.
Pregenerated characters: A player using a pregenerated character may use their Downtime as normal, using the skills of the character who is receiving credit for the adventure.
Each time you play an adventure, your character will receive experience points (XP). Typically, you gain 1 XP for completing a Starfinder Society scenario or 3 XP for completing an Adventure Path. Characters advance 1 level for every 3 XP they earn.
Organized play characters rely on good recordkeeping to ensure accurate information while playing. Several methods of tracking exist, but the most prevalent is the Chronicle. Every organized play published or sanctioned adventure contains a Chronicle, though players can choose alternative tracking methods and keep the Chronicles as backup.
Upon completing an adventure, players each receive a Chronicle Sheet from the GM. This sheet includes a summary of the adventure; indications of any choices made along the way which may impact the future of the campaign, and a log of rewards earned while exploring. It also provides areas for notes, purchases, and the acquisition/removal of conditions. Players using other tracking methods must ensure all the data on the Chronicle is reflected in their records.
Players may choose to keep their records digitally or in paper files. If stored digitally, players must be comfortable with GMs handling their device while reviewing records. If in paper files, all pages must be carried to games.
Chronicles and their associated information are assigned to the character identified on the sign in sheet when the adventure ends. Any information on the chronicle does not affect the character until the chronicle is applied to the character. Normally, chronicles are applied immediately; however, Pregen Chronicles have the following additional rules:
- Pregen Chronicles assigned to a brand new or 1st level character can be applied immediately to the character at 1st level, or held until the level of the pregen. Chronicles assigned to characters of a level higher than 1st level must be held for the level of the Pregen.
Pregen chronicles applied to 1st level characters gain the following limitations:
- Reduce the credits awarded to 720 credits if the adventure grants 1 XP or 2,160 credits if it grants 3 XP.
- Characters do not benefit from any boons until the character reaches the minimum Chronicle level
- Characters receiving credit for pregen chronicles can earn the rewards or benefits associated with any of their current boons, as long as those boons could have been slotted during the course of the adventure. This can also apply to “out of table” boons like Digital Presence or Worldwide Explorer.
Chronicles are applied in the order in which they were played. Add all earned rewards and make Downtime checks before applying the next Chronicle. Applying credit in batches may advance a character multiple levels. The character’s level cannot exceed the level of any Chronicle applied to them, so any out-of-level Chronicles applied are lost.