I attended AndoCon 2018 recently! I spent a majority (see: all) of my time playing table-top role-playing games. I convinced myself this was for research when it was really because I have a serious problem, one that no one will stop. With that said I'm going to recap the sessions I played, starting with Starfinder Society!
After arriving at the convention and spending hours riddled with anxiety (and taking a break from that to play Youkai by David A. Lupo) it was time to play my first session.
The game was Starfinder Society, which I foolishly did not realize was a Science Fiction setting from Paizo, publisher of Pathfinder. I'm familiar with Pathfinder, but haven't played it enough to judge properly. The other players at the table had similar experience with Paizo games. We had all picked out different pre-generated characters and played "The Commencement." The module serving as an introduction to Starfinder for new characters, that can change a bit every time you go through it with a new character.
With everyone new to their characters we struggled a bit getting into our roles, but everyone did an admirable job in the variety of missions we were set upon. We first helped a little old lady fake her death and I literally drew a blank when attempting to barter for corpses, and said I wanted to buy freshly deceased people. Luckily, the Game Master played off this and it made a humorous scene of his character "chastising" mine in the back office. During a fight with a feather alien beast a rat-kin attempted to hot-wire a forklift, but unfortunately his rolls were abysmal and we simply lasered it to death. The most notable scene was probably when a large lizard-kin intimidated some small girls to cut in line for a new album that was being released.
My interactions with Pathfinder, and now Starfinder, leaves me with a lack of desire to pursue it's system. I was intrigued by their system of continuity. Once a module was complete all items gained are essentially unlocked and liquidated. Each player can then spend creadits on unlocked items, ensuring that no one fights over loot or unique items. I certainly understand the appeal of X-finder, but the same faults I have with Dungeons and Dragons are felt. X-finder seems to have a Yu-Gi-Oh effect as well, all the numbers are larger for not much reason.
The setting I think does allow players to explore less combat oriented options, encountering entirely unknown alien races rather than orcs and goblins again. And the classes are intriguing as well. Technomancers that use technology and magic, and others that use the powers of the stars and gravity to fight the unknown. The Engineer in particular peaks my interest, being able to build a variety of drones or augment your body with a custom AI entity. If that sounds like your kind of starship then join a faction today!