Starfinder Galactic Magic brings more fantasy to the science-fantasy world of Starfinder! We knew it was on the horizon with the recent publication of Starfinder Tech Revolution. Paizo couldn’t introduce all this great tech without also doing the same thing on the magic side, right?
Starfinder Galactic Magic gives us a brand new class called Precog while also expanding the magical reach of other spellcasting classes in the game like the solarion, mystic, technomancer, and witchwarper. At the same time, other class that are traditionally viewed as non-magical get infused with some magical capabilities of their own. It’s a fantastical addition to Starfinder because morphs the world to be more akin to a Star Wars game than an Expanse game.
If you’re interested in my thoughts on the other Starfinder books, you can check out this singular link that shows the Starfinder reviews in one place. It’s a one-stop-shop!
Let’s get into the details of the book!
Starfinder Galactic Magic: Who It’s For
If you’re a Starfinder player or Gamemaster who wishes there was more magic in the game, this is THE book for you! Just like Starfinder Tech Revolution is designed for the mechanically-minded, Starfinder Galactic Magic plays into our love and wonder of everything magical.
There’s one new class in the book: Precog. This class focuses on harnessing the magical properties of time, bending and shaping it to their will. What I really like about this class is that it reminds me a lot of the Sacred Timeline from the Loki Marvel series on Disney Plus. You essentially get to choose your Anchor, which is the grounding point of your character that allows them to tap into time as a resource.
Here is a brief overview of the Anchors you can choose from:
- Chronomancy – Another power has given you the ability to control time, whether it be a fey or an inherent trait of your bloodline.
- Dimension of Time – You are bonded with the Dimension of Time, perhaps through an encounter with a dimensional, and you are now linked to it.
- Doomed Future – Something bad will happen in the future, and you obsessively dwell on it.
- Fragmented Past – At some point in your past a moment occurred that shouldn’t have happened, and this error will undoubtedly be corrected.
- The Gap – Your power comes from the Gap. Most people can’t account for that time, but you can.
- Timewarped – Time can be controlled through the machinations of technology, and you’ve found a way to use time in this way.
Those six Anchors are oozing with potential backstory and character development arcs that leave me wanting more. Aside from these, one of the main mechanical functions of the Precog class for Starfinder is that you gain things called Paradoxes. Essentially, this is a pool of dice outcomes that you can draw from when you absolutely need them.
As you level up, this means you can replace your initiative roll with a paradox value, or even use them for saving throws or attack rolls. Just make sure that your Dexterity is high enough that you can get the most use out of the resource. Certain spells will also tap into your paradoxes, making them incredibly versatile and valuable resources to have around.
Now that I’ve derailed about the Precog for awhile, Starfinder Galactic Magic is designed to give your magical world more depth. Through magical items, Spells, and information on how various deities handle magic, it’s as much a resource for Gamemasters as it is for players. The section on Faith is actually really good because it introduces more than just the main Starfinder deities that you’re used to. You also learn about various religious groups, Outside deities, Ancestral deities, and even the Elder Mythos.
If there was a part of the book that I wish had more coverage, it would be the section on the Magical Galaxy. There are quite a few Magical Institutions and Factions listed and described, but since I’m all about lore I really want there to be more! Part of the joy of being a Gamemaster is filling in the blanks with your own creativity, so I understand why these are made to read more like teasers. Even still – there’s a lot of really creative stuff in that section that leaves me wanting more.
Starfinder Galactic Magic: The Best Parts
Now let’s take a look at my top three takeaways from Starfinder Galactic Magic. These are things that caught my eye when reading through the book, and the things I’m most excited to bring to the table.
Mentioned in the section of Magical Institutions, the Ninefold Collective is a group of nine schools that span over nine separate planets. However, the Collective is so advanced that they have step-gates connecting everything together. This means that students can get an incredibly comprehensive education and exposure to many different disciplines and biomes without all the hassle of inter-galactic travel.
What draw me into the Ninefold Collective is an adventure centered around the Halaths and their home planet of Thel. Thel is a volcanic planet that should be hot, but the Halath keep the planet icy through their proclivity to ice magic. This can’t be easy, however, and something is going to give sooner or later.
I’d like an adventure where a solution to the planet needs to be found. In fact, I’d probably even incorporate some mechanics and inspiration from Terraforming Mars as a ticking clock for the party to find a solution while the planet slowly warms around them. Can they get help from other schools? Are there other beings who could assist? Perhaps the Halaths need to find a new home? There’s a fun adventure lodged in there, and I want to play it!
Experienced followers of the Neutral Evil God Zyphus are known as Harvestmasters. Zyphus is a god of fatal accidents due to mischance, or engineered circumstances that appear to be happenstance at first glance. Followers of Zyphus conduct acts of sabotage, both minor and catastrophic, to further the machinations of their god.
I can see a campaign where the Harvestmasters are behind a tight-knit conspiracy plot that spans decades or centuries of time. Strange coincidences are recognized by the powers that be and suddenly the players are neck-deep in stopping the Harvestmasters from enacting their end-goal apocalyptic event.
What sorts of accidents could lead back to Zyphus? Over the course of the narrative, things might start small before connecting into the larger plot with heavier ramifications. It would be like Butterfly Effect: the Starfinder adventure! Something as innocuous as a mis-punched serial number on a screw could send a space station hurtling into a planet. Connecting the strings on a corkboard would be glorious!
Plus I really like the name Harvestmasters. It’s just COOL. And it ties really well into the Precog’s Doomed Future anchor.
Rat’s Last World
The last really interesting thing in Starfinder Galactic Magic that I want to mention is a Level 16 Item called Rat’s Last Word. It’s just a pen. However, you can use the pen alongside a piece of ammunition or battery to write the name or alias of a creature. When you use the ammo against that creature, your crit-range is essentially expanded to be 13-20, albeit with other effects. If you manage to roll a 20 on your attack, you also get the benefits of a snuff life spell (CL 16th).
This reminds me a lot of that trope where characters save their last bullet for final retribution and revenge against their worst enemy. With Rat’s Last Word, you can’t just sit there and load up all your ammo with the effects, but you certainly don’t have to save a single bullet for the right moment.
My main issue with the item is that you have to use the ammunition within 1 minute. This makes it much more difficult to anticipate to a combat, especially since you can only use the pen once per day to begin with. Might need to tap into some Precog time shenanigans and foresight to know what’s coming up before scribbling on your ammo.
Rat’s Last World is just one of several fun items that you can pick up in the book. Be sure to get a Hood Ornament of Hovering for your Space Wrangler, that’s all I’m going to say.
Starfinder Galactic Magic: Parting Thoughts
Starfinder Galactic Magic bends the realities of space magic so that your Starfinder adventures can be packed with spells galore! The Precog is a delightful class that I will be trying out in full when I make my next Starfinder character. There’s plenty of lore and organizations that you can use as substantial plot hooks for one-shots or full-blown campaigns as well. Who wants to mess with the Sacred Timeline?!
Sorry Loki, there’s a new sheriff in town.
[Disclosure: Nerds on Earth was provided a copy of Galactic Magic from Paizo in exchange for an honest review.]