Special Cases

The following rules are unlikely to come up at most tables. Many of them ideally never come up. They are included here for when they are needed.

Campaign Leadership

The people with the authority to issue rulings for the Starfinder Society campaign are:

  • Alex Speidel (Organized Play Coordinator),
  • Jessica Catalan (Starfinder Society Developer), and
  • Thurston Hillman (Managing Creative Director (Starfinder)).

Clarifications from other campaigns and their campaign managers do not apply to the Starfinder Society Organized Play campaign unless confirmed by one of the above individuals.

Rules Variations

From time to time, players might encounter different rules sources with minor variations in the rules. In general, the most current English-language printing of the rulebook in question is the definitive source. For this Guide, the most current printing is the English version on this webpage.

Errata Rebuilds

The following guidelines allow players to update or convert existing characters to use the most current rules. Campaign Leadership may allow additional changes in the case of specific errata.

Class Features and Archetype Abilities: If an errata or FAQ changes an ability score-dependent feature of a class or archetype, you can rebuild your character to its current XP. You can keep the same equipment or choose to resell any equipment that augments the altered ability score at full price.

If an errata or FAQ changes one of your character's class features for which there are multiple options (such as a biohacker's field of study), you can switch that class feature to a different one that your character would have qualified for at the same level when they first received the class feature. Any abilities that have the removed feature as a prerequisite may also be altered in the same manner.

If an errata or FAQ changes a class or archetype so that you no longer have proficiency with a given weapon or armor type, you can sell back any affected equipment at full price. You can also swap out any feats directly associated with the affected equipment.

Feats: If a feat changes or is removed from the Character Options page, you have two options: you can switch the old feat for an updated feat of the same name in another legal source (if available), ignoring any prerequisites of the new feat you do not meet, or you can replace the feat (and any of the old feat’s prerequisite feats) entirely with another feat for which you meet all the prerequisites. If any of the feat’s changes directly reference one or more pieces of equipment you own (such as the weapon selected for the Weapon Focus feat), you can sell back that equipment at full price.

Items: If the price of an item increases, you must sell back the affected equipment at its original full price. So long as you have enough credits, you can repurchase the same item at its updated cost.

Spells: If the level of a spell changes, you must retrain the altered spell, replacing it with another spell of its original spell level. You can also retrain one spell of the altered spell’s new level, but only in order to learn the altered spell. You must sell back any items that use that spell at their current full price based on the spell’s old level.

Community Standards and Expectations

All participants in Paizo Organized Play must adhere to the Paizo Organized Play Code of Conduct and the Organized Play Community Standards—read through them and uphold them at all Organized Play events and sessions.

Community Code of Conduct

The version of the Paizo Organized Play Code of Conduct posted on paizo.com is the official version and takes precedence in the case of any conflict with the version below, which is reproduced here for convenience.

Paizo Organized Play, encompassing Pathfinder Society (PFS), Starfinder Society (SFS) and Pathfinder Adventure Card Society (PACS), is an inclusive social event open to everyone, where we intend that all participants may enjoy gaming in a fun and safe environment. Participants are expected to respect their fellow players and work together to create positive and memorable experiences. While conflict between characters may arise, at no time should a player or Game Master (GM) feel excluded or threatened at the table. The Paizo Organized Play organization reserves the right to refuse participation to any person for inappropriate or illegal conduct. All refusals of participation from Organized Play must be accompanied by a reason, duration of refusal, and criteria for rejoining organized play activities.

Inappropriate conduct includes, but is not limited to: the excessive use of foul language, physical or verbal aggression/intimidation, lewd conduct, inappropriate physical contact, unwelcome sexual attention, slander, stalking, or harassment/discrimination based on age, disability, ethnicity, gender or gender expression/identity, race, religion, sexuality, or any other reason.

Complaints under this policy should be brought to the Event Organizer or a Venture-Officer, who will work to resolve the issue or escalate the issue to the next level within the PFS organization. As an alternative, issues may be reported to the Organized Play Coordinator (OPC) via email at organizedplay@paizo.com . Issues will be resolved at the lowest level possible within the Organized Play organization. In the case that escalation is necessary, the OPC is the final arbiter of any dispute arising from application of this policy.

Illegal activity needs to be escalated to proper authorities such as convention organizers, facility security, local police, or other appropriate organizations. Event Organizer or Venture-Officers are available to assist participants with contacting local law enforcement, providing escorts, or otherwise help participants feel safe for the duration of an event.

Paizo recognizes that there may be themes included in the Organized Play campaigns that result in uncomfortable situations at the gaming table. If content within a scenario or another character at the table presents cause for concern, we request players identify the issue to the Game Master either vocally or by passing a note. We ask that GMs help the table respect attendees’ sensibilities and reduce/redirect problematic themes once identified. If a participant has been asked to stop any problematic behavior, they are expected to comply immediately, or will be asked to leave the table.

Once again, the intention of Paizo Organized Play is to provide a fun and inclusive gaming environment. The above policy is in place to help further that goal. By joining any Organized Play table, participants are agreeing to the terms and conditions of Paizo Organized Play.

Acceptable Content

Paizo Organized Play games use the Pathfinder Baseline. GMC pg. 7, CRB pg. 486GM Core page 7
Core Rulebook page 486
(click to close)
Circumstances such as venue restrictions, table composition or player needs can require additional adjustments to the baseline. GMs are encouraged to choose alternate descriptions, utilize Lines and Veils, or incorporate X-Cards GMC pg. 7, CRB pg. 485GM Core page 7
Core Rulebook page 485
(click to close)
to provide the best gaming experience possible.

The version of the Pathfinder Baseline published in the Pathfinder GM Core is the official version and takes precedence in the case of any conflict with the version below, which is reproduced here for convenience.

The Pathfinder Baseline

You might find that your players don’t have much to say on the topic of objectionable content, and just assume that general societal mores will keep the most uncomfortable topics out of the game. That’s not always enough, as that approach relies on shared assumptions that aren’t always accurate. The following is a set of basic assumptions that works for many groups, which you can modify to fit your preferences and those of the other players.

  • Bloodshed, injuries, and even dismemberment might be described. However, excessive descriptions of gore and cruelty should be avoided.
  • Romantic and sexual relationships can happen in the game, but players should avoid being overly suggestive. Sex always happens “off-screen.” Because attempts at initiating a relationship between player characters can be uncomfortably similar to one player hitting on another, this should generally be avoided (and is entirely inappropriate when playing with strangers).
  • Avoid excessively gross or scatological descriptions.

The following acts should never be performed by player characters:

  • Torture
  • Rape, nonconsensual sexual contact, or sexual threats
  • Harm to children, including sexual abuse
  • Owning slaves or profiting from the slave trade
  • Reprehensible uses of mind-control magic

Villains might engage in such acts, but they won’t happen “on-screen” or won’t be described in detail. Many groups choose to not have villains engage in these activities at all, keeping these reprehensible acts out of mind entirely.

Do Not Cheat

Maintain the integrity of the game. Cheating behaviors include, but are not limited to, falsifying rolls, forging records, using unapproved resources, not owning the sources used by your character, and lying to GMs and Event Organizers. Participants caught cheating will be barred from Paizo Organized Play events for an amount of time dependent on the severity of the offense. Repeat offenders will be banned from all Paizo Organized Play activities.

Keep Good Records

Paizo Organized Play uses a combination of character sheets, Chronicles, and record trackers to chart character progression. GMs and Event Organizers rely on these documents to keep the campaigns honest, fair, and fun for everyone. It is your responsibility to maintain accurate records. Always bring either paper or digital copies of your character sheet and supporting documentation such as Chronicles and record trackers of any character you wish to play to Paizo Organized Play events. If using paper copies, we suggest keeping them all together in a binder, with a folder for each character.

If you cannot produce the supporting documents for your character, the GM can ask you to play a pregenerated character instead.

No Character-versus-Character Combat

In keeping with the “Explore, Report, Cooperate” motto, engaging in non-consensual character-versus-character conflict is prohibited. Players must obtain the consent of other players before taking an action that would intentionally include another Player Character in a damaging effect or other or harmful effect (such as effects that impose negative conditions).

Some examples include casting a harmful spell on another Player Character or an area that includes them, using abilities with an area of effect that would deal damage to another PC, or moving so that another PC is affected by a harmful emanation surrounding your character.

This rule does not apply in situations where a character is not acting of their own free will, such as if they’re being mind-controlled by an NPC and forced to attack a fellow PC.

Dealing with Problems

While hopefully rare, sometimes out-of-game problems happen. See the policies below and check with your local Event Organizer or Venture-Officers for guidance.

Dealing with Cheating

Cheating is rare, and it can be a rather heated topic. If you suspect that a player is cheating, it’s always a good idea to take a step back and consider the possibility that they are instead making an honest mistake. Inaccurate numbers on a character or mistakes on a Chronicle are far more likely to be math errors than deliberate cheating. When you see these issues, keep an open mind and work with the player to resolve them. Other issues are more clear-cut, such as lying about the results of a dice roll or the contents of their character sheet or breaking the rules even after being informed of what they are.

If you believe a player is cheating, record the Organized Play number of that player and ask them to leave your table. Afterward, send an email to the Organized Play staff at organizedplay@paizo.com, including the player’s number and as much detail as you can remember about the situation.

Dealing with Distractions

No game table is completely free of distractions. However, if something (like an electronic device) creates an ongoing distraction, a GM can request that the player put it away or police their use of the device (such as not also using a tablet computer to play a video game). If the device continues to be a distraction, the GM has the right to ban that particular item for the duration of the game.

Dealing with Interruptions

Sometimes circumstances prevent a player from completing a scenario. Reasons include—but are not limited to—personal emergencies, device battery issues, venue problems, and bad timing.

To mitigate the impact on the table, GMs can exercise their discretion by adjusting the adventure's level range or scaling to accommodate the table’s remaining players, bringing in the pregenerated character that most closely resembles the lost PC, or postponing the game until all players are able to complete the scenario. If a character sheet is no longer accessible due to a loss of battery power, the player can play the pregenerated character and apply the scenario’s rewards to their original character. In all cases where the GM applies one of the above remedies, rewards for all players are based on the lowest level range played during the scenario.

In the (hopefully rare) case of a medical emergency (defined as a player needing immediate, unexpected, professional medical treatment), the Chronicle is filled out as if the player stayed for the full session and they earn the same benefits as the rest of the table.

GMs are asked to make reasonable efforts to provide a Chronicle Sheet to any player who does not complete an adventure.

Scenarios: For incomplete Scenarios, award 1 XP and award other game rewards the party earned up to the point when the player left the adventure. Specifically, award reputation and credits for the tasks completed up to that point. Items found up to that point that are listed on the Chronicle are not crossed off; items not yet found at the point of leaving are crossed off, even if the party finds them later.

Starfinder Adventures and Adventure Paths: For incomplete Adventures and Adventure Path volumes, the player receives partial credit based on how much of the adventure the party had completed up to the point when the player left the adventure. If they complete less than half of the adventure, they receive half of the adventure’s credits and XP. Items found up to that point that are listed on the Chronicle are not crossed off; items not yet found at the point of leaving are crossed off, even if the party finds them later.

If the player completes more than half of the adventure, they receive full credit for the adventure.

Violation Enforcement Procedures

If a player is removed from a table for violating the community standards or a character is marked “dead” due to Infamy, then it is the responsibility of the table GM or Event Organizer to advise their local venture-officer of the situation. The GM or Event Organizer will advise the player of the report and provide the player with the venture-officer's contact information so the player can present their side of the issue. Rules infringements will be kept on file, as continued violations will result in suspension of Organized Play membership.

Characters reported as Wantonly Evil must also be reported to the Organized Play Coordinator (organizedplay@paizo.com) to advise them of the situation. Be sure to include the player’s name, Organized Play number, and email address.

(See Ethical Infractions and Infamy for more about Wanton Evil.)

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