It’s Been A While – Character Creation in Starfinder

It’s Been A While – Character Creation in Starfinder

Posted by on Sep 6, 2017 in Starfinder, Tabletop and Board

Funny thing is, I didn’t even use the dice.

I love tabletop RPGs, so I keep buying them. The problem is that I never get to play them. Starfinder is no exception and despite my initial post, I have come to terms with the decisions made by Paizo regarding the interplay between Star- and Pathfinder. After all, the Universe is a big place, and there’s room for everyone (and room enough to get away from undesirable elements).

Last night I sat down and decided to try my hand at making a character. It has been…oh…several decades since I actually made a non-NPC character for any kind of role-playing system, which is why I was saddened to find that the way sourcebooks explain the character creation process hasn’t changed for the better. At least the Starfinder CRB outright states that the instructions aren’t designed to follow the flow of the character sheet; the sheet is designed to facilitate gameplay and is organized so as to make things easy for the player to reference during the game. I think this has been my issue all along: trying to “work” the character sheet alongside the instructions, but still finding myself all over the geography of the sheet such that by the end of the process I’m starting over at a higher level to ensure that any field left blank wasn’t accidentally overlooked in the process of jumping from one section to another to another to another.

In an odd turn of relatively unrelated events, this character fell into the same mold as the character I recently made for a potential upcoming Pathfinder game. He’s chaotic neutral, meaning that while he’s not actively trying to screw people over, he’s more or less out for himself and won’t hesitate to take his share and leave everyone to squabble over the remainder. His alignment allowed him to naturally fall into the “Outlaw” theme. In some cases we might hear “outlaw” and think of someone wanted by the highest levels of law enforcement, with multi-million credit bounties on their heads, but to me this “outlaw” was merely someone who sliped through the hands of Justice and is trying to make a life for himself with a low profile.

Now, being sci-fi, the one thought that kept going through my mind was “don’t make Han Solo…don’t make Han Solo!” — you know, chaotic neutral*, outlaw, etc. When it came to class, though, I didn’t want to make him a soldier because that would be too obvious. I didn’t want to make an envoy because while I can think of all kinds of scenarios where an “outlaw envoy” would be cool, I didn’t want to play a high-profile criminal. Forget technomancer. I settled on mechanic because it seemed like an innocuous profession where someone could find excuses to keep his head down while also having access to transport to almost anywhere in the universe.

Crap.

Anyway, I believe that the character was completed to specification. The only one thing that worries me is those little last minute applications from feats and racial/class selections that can’t be applied until everything else is done (for example, the weapon focus feat I chose in “small arms” gives me a +1 to attack with said weapons, which I didn’t record until I got the “equipment” phase of creation, which is something like step 8 in the process).

Even though I don’t have a reason to have created a character, it’s bringing back the excitement of the process. Now I’m thinking about a history for this character: why is he an outlaw? What is he doing to stay below the radar? How did he get to be a mechanic, and what is he doing with that profession now? Ultimately, his past is going to position him for whatever future he might experience, should I ever get to use him in an actual game, but regardless I’m enjoying the fun of character creation.

 

* Yeah, some might say that Solo is more Lawful Neutral, but that’s as we know the character from the movies. Before he ever got screen time, though, and outside of whatever media is considered canon these days, Solo was probably way more self-serving than he ended up being in the movies, on account of his reputation.

    5 Comments

  1. Here is a background blurb I wrote for an outlaw mechanic I played in a Star Wars: Edge of the Empire mini-campaign. You are welcome to mine it for ideas:

    Race Rendell spent much of his mechanic career in the speeeder bike and pod racer pits, maintaining rides for some of the more reckless and daring riders on the circuit such as AJ Foytrissian, Tweedo Andretti, and many others…now mostly all deceased.

    As the old saying goes, “if you aren’t cheatin’, you aren’t tryin’!”, and enticed by the glory and piles of credits that a win can bring, a lot of racers at the time were trying, or cheating, their hardest to win. Race soon developed contacts with some of the less savory tech dealers of Tatooine, and the Outer Rim, and utilizing his technical expertise, he became adept at integrating alien technology into the engines and controls of his employer’s vehicles. These teams that Race worked for were very successful, and his reputation as a skilled pit mechanic and crew chief became known even beyond Tatooine.

    Three seasons ago, Race had finally gotten his hands on an ultralight, powerful (and illegal) portable reactor that he was intending to retrofit into a speeder bike. Just as the smuggler who delivered it was about to leave Race’s workshop, Imperial Customs officers burst in and arrested them both.

    After a week in an Imperial holding cell, an officer came and announced that his fines and bail had been paid, and he was free to go, although placed on planetary probation. Confused, but anxious to leave the cell, Race didn’t ask any questions. As he walked out of the detention center, he was met by a Twi’lek and escorted into a black land speeder.

    From that day forward, Race worked in the racing pits of his heretofore unknown benefactor, Teemo, rigging and repairing the Hutt’s team of racers, while fruitlessly trying to work off his bail debt. Working for Teemo could have been worse. Although not free to leave the system, he did have comfortable quarters, decent food and drink, a top notch repair shop and tools, and Teemo had even paid to have a cybernetic prosthetic leg installed after a pit mishap. Teemo considered these small prices to pay for a profitable winning team.

    During the off-season, Race stayed busy keeping Teemo’s hanger of ships and speeders in top running condition, as well as installing smuggling compartments, defensive systems, commlink jammers, and training the younger pilots like Guido and Bok how to use them.

    Race was relatively content, until the day he saw Teemo having drinks with the very same Customs officers that had arrested him…

    • *Guido and Bok were other characters in the campaign.
      Teemo was who we had our “Obligation” with (an Edge of the Empire concept)

      • Nice! I’ve got a stub of a bio in mind right now, tho it’s a bit difficult to nail down specifics because the source book I REALLY want (background on the worlds and locations) won’t be available until next year. So I’ll have to wing locations and histories and retcon things when that becomes available.

  2. I think Solo is more NG or CG. I consider him good, but definitely not Lawful

    • Possibly, at least in the movies, but who knows in his life BEFORE he has a cause to fight for (barring any books or official materials predating Ep IV)

What do you think?