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Digital Subscriptions > Tabletop Gaming > Issue Eleven > A PATH TO THE STARS


Fantasy RPG Pathfinder is headed to a new world – actually, dozens of them – with sci-fi sequel Starfinder. Creative director James Sutter shows us around the far reaches of the roleplaying universe
Starfinder takes place in the same universe as Pathfinder, but is set a long time in the future. (Artist: Setiawan Lie)

In 2008, Paizo changed the roleplaying scene forever with the announcement of Pathfinder, its fantasy RPG created from the DNA of Dungeons & Dragons 3.5, which initially divided the opinion of fans then awaiting D&D‘s controversial fourth edition that the ambitious newcomer purposefully rebelled against. Pathfinder went on to become a roleplaying giant of its own, becoming the first RPG to outsell D&D in more than 30 years and inspiring further adventures, tabletop spin-offs, video games, tie-in novels and countless other additions that expanded the universe.

Close to a decade on, Pathfinder‘s universe is about to grow like never before as Paizo prepares to launch Starfinder, the first full sequel to the RPG that ditches its fantasy trappings for the advanced technology and interstellar travel of science fiction.

“The idea had been percolating for a long time, honestly,” reveals creative director James Sutter. “I had written a book called Distant Worlds that outlined a solar system for Pathfinder – basically a bunch of little mini-settings that neighbour Pathfinder‘s core planet of Golarion – and that did surprisingly well with the fans, showing us there was an audience for mixing science- fiction peanut butter with our fantasy chocolate.

“In a galaxy of billions of stars, there’s always a new corner you can carve out for whatever crazy idea you have.”

“At the same time, publisher Erik Mona is a huge classic sword-and-planet buff and had wanted to do something like this for a while, coining the name ‘Starfinder‘ years before it was seriously considered. And Pathfinder creative director James Jacobs had done a really popular science-fantasy adventure path called Iron Gods for Pathfinder. So when you took everything together, we knew the interest was there.

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About Tabletop Gaming

Cover feature: Starfinder: We have an exclusive chat with creative director James Sutter about the huge sci-fi sequel to massively popular fantasy RPG Pathfinder. Featuring exclusive artwork from the upcoming game. Awe of the Ring: As Middle-earth prepares to turn 80, we speak to influential and renowned creators of board games based on The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. UK Games Expo 2017: Picture Special: The unmissable sights and games from the UK’s biggest gaming show. Swords, Sex & Sci-fi: Legendary RPG designer and R. Talsorian founder Mike Pondsmith and his son Cody speak exclusively to us about the legacy of revolutionary game Cyberpunk and their upcoming tabletop adaptation of lauded fantasy video game The Witcher. What War Is Good For: Fans and publishers of miniature wargaming titles tell us how battling on the tabletop has fostered a strong sense of community. Playing With Yourself: Creators of single-player-only games tell us why gaming alone can be just as rewarding. How Analogue Gaming Went Digital: We take a close look at the rise of digital apps in the tabletop world. Rediscovering the Disc: In celebration of next year’s 20th anniversary of Discworld, the creators look back on one of the more unique entries in the genre. The Making of: Hunt a Killer, which uses a subscription box-like format to deliver a mystery game to players over the course of several months. Painting guide: We tackle the eighth edition of Warhammer 40,000. Ten of the Best: Word Games (That aren’t Scrabble). Introduction to: Forbidden Island and its sequel, Forbidden Desert – the kid-friendly Pandemic follow-up. Columns: With Bruno Faidutti, Jeff Tidball, Holly Gramazio and Doctors Paul Wake and Sam Illingworth Played: The latest reviews and exclusive interviews including: Starfinder, Sub Terra and Warhammer 40,000.