When you think about what you’d expect to see in the new Tech Revolution book for Starfinder by Paizo, what comes to mind? Are you thinking about rad laser weapons or the latest innovations in armor? What about cybernetic augmentations or a playable class centered around controlling robotic nanites? What about MECHS?!
You can find all of these and more packed within the pages of the Starfinder Tech Revolution book! For a futuristic space setting where the boundaries of magic and technology are virtually non-existent, it’s really great to have technology content that expands the Starfinder universe. Plus, it includes additional alternatives for players who want to be more tech-saavy without sacrificing their favorite non-tech-based classes.
With all the pleasantries out of the way, how about we dive into Tech Revolution and see what it’s all about!
Starfinder Tech Revolution: Who It’s For
Starfinder Tech Revolution is designed for people who want more technology in their games. Everything within the pages isn’t going to be for every table or every campaign, and the authors often note as much.
For example, there’s an entire section on Mechs, but that’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. If that is something you’re interested in, however, there is plenty of Mech-related meat to fuel a campaign where all of the players pilot their own mechs around and blow stuff up. What’s even better are the Voltron rules that allow individual mechs to combine into single, super mech! I’ll talk more about this in my section of favorite parts below.
If you’re looking for more classes to play, Starfinder Tech Revolution introduces the Nanocyte class. The body of a Nanocyte is filled with gobs of little nanobots that can be commanded to do any number of things. This includes using your nanites to perform combat manuevers, shield yourself from damage, or even stave off ally death. They’re powerful and versatile, and definitely fall into the realm of a utility class that I’d like to roll up as my next character.
There’s also a section on Vehicles. This includes creating your own custom vehicle, adding modifications to existing vehicles, or just using one of the pre-built vehicles in the chapter. Again, your mileage on vehicles is definitely going to vary; most campaigns tend to happen on-foot or in starships, but there are some really interesting campaign ideas you can run with regarding vehicles. A Mad Max style campaign could be fun, or even a few sessions of custom races. Or maybe the party needs to do some exploration into inhospitable territory, and a vehicle is the right tool for the job.
Overall, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly who this book is designed for. There’s a lot of really great content for players, but I think a lot of it is heavily dependent on the GM and the style of play or campaign. If nothing else, players would get use out of the Nanocyte class, alternate class features, and the equipment pages. This is just about half of the book.
The other half seems very focused as a way for the Gamemaster to flesh out the universe’s technology. I particularly like reading Chapter 5, which are single-page spreads about different aspects of Tech within the Galaxy. It makes my character concept for a hologram advertising specialist that much more satisfying.
If you like technology and using it to bring depth to your table, then Tech Revolution is for you!
Starfinder Tech Revolution: The Best Parts
As is tradition, let’s take a look at my top three takeaways from Starfinder Tech Revolution. You all know that Mechs will be a highlight, but what about the rest of the book?
No surprise here. Mechs are such an incredible addition to the Starfinder arena because in a world with starships and magic, there would totally be super-powered exo-suits in the form of Mechs!
Being able to combine individual party member Mechs into a single Mech is a classic trope, and would be the great cake topper for a Godzilla-sized campaign arc. Mechs are heavily customizable thanks to choice of frame, limbs, auxiliary systems, and weapons. We also get full-page diagrams of various mech designs, and how different factions might make their mechs stand out.
I also really like that there is a blurb of rules for creating your own Transformer! Mechs can have a mech form and a vehicle form, and the transformation is recommended to only take place outside of actual combat. Even though that’s the suggestion, I think it would still be a blast to be cruising around a mech and then two rounds later you’re in a slick-looking roadster.
Mechs open the door for dynamics sessions and campaigns that take battle in multiple dimensions. There is a slight typo, that says pages 112-118 have pre-built mechs from various cultures, but the actual pages are 118-125. Just keep that in mind.
The Solarian class was one of the primary things that drove me to Starfinder in the first place, but I’ve always felt that something was missing from it. You get the Photons and the Gravitons, which are great, but the best things come in bundles of three. So what’s the third option?
Enter Electrical Attunement! This basically changes your damage from solarian abilities to electrical damage, and you also get electrical resistance instead of cold resistance. You also get to be in energy mode or resistance mode, which essentially counts as photon or graviton modes respectively.
Because you still have the photon and graviton modes available to you in terms of using your solarian revelations, having electrical attunement just seems like a bonus on top of what solarian’s already get. To me, it’s a strict upgrade. And think about all the times that you go to hack a Computer and trip a trap that shocks everybody in the room! Lot’s of utility there.
I also really like the Paralyzing Storm Revelation. It gives your Destructive Discharge an additional effect, which you can choose, so that it does more than just damage. Having options is the best way to become a Swiss Army Knife for your party, so you can choose whatever fits best for the given situation.
We have a lot of pop culture references that we can pull technobabble from, like Star Wars, The Expanse, Star Trek, and many more. Jokes about parsecs aside, Tech Revolution gives us an entire page of technobabble for us to throw around and make us feel like real members of the galaxy.
Here are a few of my favorites:
- Bod-box: Originally named after a corpse recycling machine, bod-box has been repurposed to mean anything that converts one thing into another. Colloquially, it’s like a trash bin. Did you find your fourteenth Skipshot Pistol? Toss that thing right into the bod-box.
- Troxware: You’ve heard of malware, spyware, and WarioWare, but Troxware is like a good version of antivirus software that protects your system. If it provides countermeasures or any sort of defense against malicious digital attack, it’s referred to as Troxware.
- Jolter: Coffee is out; Jolter is in! This is the Starfinder equivalent of an espresso that people will pound to help give them a boost of energy. Surge is back in a big way!
Adding this sort of technobabble will help you bring your character to life!
Starfinder Tech Revolution: Parting Thoughts
In a book called Tech Revolution, I’d expect there to be a lot of fun and interesting technology. And guess what? It delivers. I’m very happy with using this book as a resource to help with preparation whenever computers, hacking, or cities are going to present in our Starfinder game. Which, honestly, is most of the time.
Like I said before, the vehicle content and mech rules are only going to get as much mileage as your campaign will allow. But anytime you can get extra options for your characters is awesome. Even if the Nanoctye doesn’t interest you, perhaps some of the other alternate class options might.
[Disclosure: Nerds on Earth was provided a copy of the Starfinder Tech Revolution from Paizo in exchange for an honest review. Amazon links are affiliate links with Nerds on Earth, who get compensation for purchases made from them.]