Starfinder (Character Operations Manual Playtest)

If you are an RPG player, unless you’ve been rolling really high stealth checks to hide in a cave somewhere, you know that Paizo just finished running a massive playtest for Pathfinder 2E. All indications are that it went well, because they are at it again. This time Paizo is testing out three new character classes for Starfinder that are going to be included in the Character Operations Manual sourcebook that is scheduled for late 2019.

I’m not going to give my opinions on these classes here. It’s a playtest, go make your own opinions on them. But I am going to give you the official (current) descriptions of the characters, and after that, I’ll have some information on how you can get involved in the playtest for yourself.

BIOHACKER:
The pursuit of scientific knowledge and expertise is like a pebble sinking into an infinite ocean—each new depth brings a new outlook, new understanding, and new wisdom about the interlocking nature of the wide universe and all matter in it. You are fascinated with science and all its many facets. You understand that the fundamentals of biology, chemistry, physics, and myriad other disciplines can help you bolster your allies and exploit your enemies’ weaknesses, and that they can reveal new insights and epiphanies over time. You might be studious and methodical about your field research, pushing your mind and scientific discoveries to ever- growing heights. Or, you might be more unorthodox or reckless, improvising unstable concoctions while hitting upon otherwise unknowable brilliance and effectiveness. Either way, you offer skilled support to your allies in the thick of battle, and you are incredibly erudite about several fields of scientific study and their relations to biological life.

VANGUARD:
You are a nigh-unstoppable force of nature; a juggernaut brimming with fundamental energies that allow you to hold the front line of any conflict. The entropy within the universe—the level of chaos within any system—is at your disposal, and you channel it into potent combat abilities and steely resolve. In your hands, the cosmic forces that control how suns form and galaxies die allow you to bolster yourself and your allies against damaging effects, manipulate basic aspects of nature to turn the tide of battle, and infuse your very fist with the destructive power of the cosmos.
To you, the inevitable decay of the galaxy is anything but terrifying. It is instead a force to shape, control, and even temporarily reverse. The ability to choose when and how things change is at the forefront of all your philosophy and power, allowing you to turn blows that would fell lesser beings into ticking time bombs of destruction you simply have not yet released.

WITCHWARPER:
Most believe that reality is limited to one’s physical surroundings—a megacity’s metal spires and neon- lighted screens, or an alien world’s steaming jungles and acidic oceans— but you are far wiser. You know that everything around you is merely a single veil draped upon existence’s infinite tapestry. Your reality is a palimpsest of all possible worlds, and all alternate existences are at your disposal.
You can peer into these realities and use your magic and force of personality to pull from them as you see fit, affecting the world around you to benefit you and your allies. You can manipulate the earth below and the sky above, impose impossible-to- foresee adversity upon your enemies, and generally bend the nature of reality to conform to your whims and desires.

Players are encouraged to use these characters in their games at home, and are also playable in Starfinder Society organized play. There is a survey on each of the classes, as well as a section on Paizo’s forums where you can interact with the designers and other playtesters. If you head over to starfinderplaytest.com you’ll find links for all of that, and well as a free PDF download of the complete details of the new classes.

REMEMBER: THE CHARACTER OPERATIONS MANUAL PLAYTEST ENDS JANUARY 16, 2019.

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