What is Starjammer?
Starjammer is exploration and adventure in space – from technological marvels that break past the clouds and careen between planets to strange magics developed to explore new worlds.
The core concept is to provide a unique experience for players and GMs by facilitating games that span stars rather than just continents and that visit any world they can imagine. While Starjammer is intended to be a complete set of tools to run Pathfinder adventures in the darkness of the void, it is also intended to be compatible with material from third-party publishers. “Additional Resources” sidebars at the end of each chapter provide suggestions for other titles that players and GMs may find useful for expanding their options.
There are many types of adventures to be found in the void: thrilling big-screen one-on-one dogfights between rebel and imperial vessels; episodic prime-time adventures that center on specific missions and explore humanitarian themes; campaigns that allow players to infiltrate enemy vessels as if they were spacefaring dungeons, fighting off pirates, and clearing decks in search of the treasures of the stars; exploring new worlds, races, and civilizations. There is no practical limit to the kinds of adventures or combinations of elements that can be found in your games.
Likewise, there is no set definition of what a spacefaring adventure will or should look like – they may contain as much or as little magic or technology as players and GMs desire. An adventure may be almost entirely surface-bound with space vessels existing merely to move from one world to another while other campaigns might play out entirely in the void between the stars. The universal constant is that element of the unknown from distant places that few within the setting ever visit.
What becomes known can never be unlearned, and this poses a very real risk to those who better or worse, even the homeworld of the adventurers.
Planetary invasion is a very real possibility in the world of Starjammer, as is colonization. The difference is largely one of perspective, but that does not change the reality that it’s the player’s choice in how to approach their adventures in space.
Navigating this Book
The chapters of this book examine the necessary elements of adventuring out in the void, such as new species, class options, feats, spells, spacefaring vessels, space hazards, void gods, and new worlds for players to explore. Most of the options presented are intended for use by players and GMs alike, but there are a few elements that GMs may wish to keep close to the chest and surprise their players with.
Chapter 1—Character Races
Who are the heroes that brave the journey into space to find adventure? This chapter includes four new races for the Starjammer setting, as well as new options for existing core races. Each race is presented with a mix of racial feats, spells, and unique adventuring gear appropriate for each race.
- Abiarazi – The abiarazi are shape-changing oozes who possess latent psychic abilities and a voracious appetite.
- Manu – Manu are rough, black-skinned humanoids with brightly colored eyes and thick, blunt teeth. They are sculpted stone made flesh and crafters extraordinaire.
- Pasimachi – Pasimachi are beetle-like humanoids with a bulky build, and a tough exoskeleton. They are the greatest builders in the known universe.
- Transgenics – Myths and legends of aliens visiting new worlds and mating with the natives? 100% true and the source of the transgenic people who roam the galaxy in search of their genetic origins.
- Core Races – Humans, dwarves, elves, gnomes, halflings, half-orcs, and about a thousand other races; give or take. The galaxy is a crowded place, and these races and more are out there, waiting for adventure.
Chapter 2—Class Options
This chapter presents options to use existing classes in new and exciting ways, from the heliacal healer to the shock trooper. These options can be incorporated into existing characters or used for new heroes that adventure both planetside and across the universe. It also details five new factions for your characters to join or encounter in your adventures across the stars.
Chapter 3—Skills & Feats of the Void
This chapter contains new feats that can be taken by any character, including new feats that expand character customization.
Chapter 4—Equipment for the Void
Sometimes, you need tools instead of spells to accomplish your goals, and this chapter details technological wonders both common and rare. You can even find specialized hardsuits— mechanized suits of armor designed to protect characters as they explore hostile environments on foreign worlds.
Chapter 5—Magic in the Void
Magics developed for travel, survival, or combat out in the depths of space for every adventurer who takes to the stars. If you’re going to survive out in the darkness, you’re going to need powerful magics at your command.
Chapter 6—Environmental Hazards
This chapter contains a comprehensive guide to different environments that can be encountered on the distant worlds across the universe. Also, included in this chapter are several worlds for characters to visit and explore. You will also find information on some of the major gods of the Starjammer setting.
Chapter 7—Traveling in the Void
This chapter takes an in-depth look at five different classifications of spacecraft and gives both players and GMs the tools to customize their own vessels.
Select your hull, engine, weapons, templates, and more to customize your own craft to perfectly suit the needs of your crew or campaign. There are also several sample vessels to help you get started playing on your own spacecraft. Finally, you will find out how speed works in the void and what type of engines you need to get to your destination. Before you begin building your vessel, you will need a crew and positions for those crew members. That is the first thing discussed in this chapter.
Chapter 8—Fighting in the Void
You need more than just luck to get through a dogfight. You need nerves of steel, an amazing crew, and the techniques and tactics to get you through in one piece. This chapter is the first step toward getting the training you need to survive.
Chapter 9—Beasts of the Void
With all the magic and technology at a character’s disposal to get them out among the stars, they need monsters that will challenge them and drive them to show their merits. This chapter includes a host of new monsters, including the reclusive void travelers, the adaptable tardigrades, and the mythic ribbon dragon.
Bringing Starjammer to Your Table
You have decided to take the plunge and throw your players and their characters out into the void.
There are many ways you can go about doing it.
Here we will talk about some of the many ways you can start your Starjammer adventures. There are some universal caveats to consider of course: << The starting solar system in your campaign.
Since Starjammer is a universal system, there are no pre-made solar systems or settings for you to use. You must create the solar system that your players will be interacting with.
Remember that while your planets exist in a vacuum, your game should not. Tailor planets as you need them and flesh out your campaign to challenge your players.
What technology level are you going to want your campaign to be at? Starjammer assumes a certain level of technology versus magic.
However, you can tweak it in whichever direction you want. Are you looking for High Science Fiction like Star Trek? Operatic Science Fiction like Star Wars? What about Nitty Gritty Science Fiction like Battlestar Galactica or Firefly?
Or do you prefer just a sprinkle of science, as you would see in Thundarr the Barbarian? These are the kinds of decisions you must make about your campaign before you take it to the stars.
Standard Races or Alien Races? How are you going to start off your campaign? There are several examples below, and only one of them starts your campaign with races out of this book.
That is not to say that they could not be used, but you must decide how they will be used. Or, will they be used at all?
Starjammer, the Campaign
You have decided that you are going to start right out in a Starjammer campaign. Your players will be playing characters using the races in this book, or other fantastic races that you have created for them. They might have a vessel and they may have a crew. What else will you need to consider?
Do you have custom races that you wish to introduce?
Have you designed a solar system, or series of solar systems that will keep the players entertained? Is your system clear, or are there hazards to be encountered?
Are you using adversaries from this book (check out the Zurkhan in Chapter 9: Bestiary for an example) or are you making it up yourself? Are those adversaries monsters, pirates, space cults, military organizations, or battle-hardened traders?
Starjammer, Strange New Worlds
In this version of Starjammer, your standard campaign world has been visited, or perhaps attacked, by a race from the void. Your campaign world now must adapt to knowing that there are things beyond the stars that are dangerous.
Governments, organizations, and/or player characters get their hands on a starcraft and can now leave their homeworld. Why would they want to do that and what is going to be involved?
How do the player characters get off-world? Are they given a spacecraft or do they take it? If they are given a spacecraft are they trained in its use or did they steal the vessel and literally must learn spaceflight from scratch?
Will players take to the stars in a pre-designed craft of the GM’s making, or will you allow them to design their own?
Interactions with the race that brought their fantasy world spaceflight: are they benevolent, or were they invaders?
Starjammer, Alone in a Galaxy Far, Far Away
Your player characters were minding their own business, or perhaps getting too close to an extraterrestrial threat and were abducted. Taken to who knows where in the galaxy now they have been thrown straight out of their comfortable fantasy existence with magic and dragons and now must face the technological threats of a science fiction universe.
This is your typical survival campaign but with a major twist; The Void. Perhaps your player characters have been abandoned on an odd world and must find their way off. Maybe they are in an interplanetary prison and must escape. Regardless the alien environment will be disturbing, and hopefully completely different from anything they have ever seen before.
Do they even get a spacecraft and get to escape or are you relocating your campaign to the distant world you stranded them on?
Did they even get to a world? After their abduction, did they manage to escape while still traveling? If so, did they take over the vessel and are now learning how to pilot this technomagical beast?
One of the most interesting aspects of playing Starjammer is the almost infinite possibilities that can be brought to the table, the fantasy world, or in this case, the fantasy galaxy.