[RPG] Which books do I need in order to run a Starfinder game


I recently got me the core rule book of Starfinder and I really love the setting and the rules.

I want to run a Starfinder game but I don't exactly know which books I need or where to start exactly. I've looked at the books in Paizo's web shop but I couldn't really find out which books are needed.

E.g. there are numerous Alien Archive books. I couldn't really find out if I only find some setting specific aliens in them or if I find more generic enemies like rabid dogs, thugs or the like. What I really like is the idea of traveling around in a starship and as far as I've seen I need several of the Alien Archive books in order to play in differing settings.

The Armory book seems to be a bit superfluous as most basic gear is described in the core rules.

I know there are the published adventures that hopefully provide everything that's needed but I think they are a bit pricey. Maybe I'll buy them later but for now I just want to play around a bit.

Primarily I lack enemy stats and descriptions but something like the D&D 5e Starter Box would be nice too. With some maps, miniatures and enemy descriptions. Maybe some loose guidelines.

Can someone with experience in Starfinder help me please 🙂

Best Answer

You only need the core rulebook

While there are two Alien Archives now, you only need a single one of them to have a bunch of alien statblocks to work as antagonists. Yes, they also work as NPCs if you want thugs, but most will work best as monster encounters for the players to defeat. There are some new technological items in the books as well, usually related to the alien presented there.

But all the content from both Alien Archives should be available for free on online resources, such as the unofficial SRD, or the official Archives of Nethys. Note that their description is also available (Example: Mi-Go).

On the other hand, using online resources, you could build your own aliens, using the provided guidelines for Creating New Creatures and NPCs, which provide you with everything you need to create your own encounters. Everything else is up to your creativity and how you want those mechanics to work. You want an alien that can petrify with their gaze, or have a fetid aura, or paralyze those bitten. It's all possible, just check the Universal Monster Rules or take inspiration from existing aliens.

It is also possible to convert all monsters from Pathfinder 1e to Starfinder, using the Conversion Guidelines, giving you six full bestiaries and a few additional monster books to work with. This is the route I went with, and converting them is an easy task (for me, at least), granting me far more content than what has been published so far.

I don't have a copy of the Armory book, so I can't help there. I know it expanded the equipment list, such as adding far more Weapons, Armors, Augmentations, Fusions, Upgrades and rules for different Manufacturers, and I also know it does not fix one of the biggest complaints about the core rulebook, being able to build/modify a starship using credits. But other than that, I can't say much about it.

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