Rules > Character Creation
As a player of the Starfinder Roleplaying Game, the first thing you need to do is create a character. This is the in-world individual you’ll be playing during the game, and it’s up to you to create her background and personality. You’ll also want to build the character using the game’s mechanics to determine her starting capabilities at various tasks and the special abilities she can use during her adventures.
CHARACTER SHEETFor each step in the character creation process detailed below, fill in the necessary information in the appropriate field on your character sheet. You can find a blank character sheet at the back of this book or available as a free download at paizo.com.
The following instructions assume you’re building a 1st-level
character. These steps are presented in a suggested
order, but feel free to complete them in the order you prefer.
Many of the steps below instruct you to fill out fields on
your character sheet (see pages 520–521), but note that the
character sheet is arranged for ease of use in gameplay rather
than character creation—for instance, several fields listed at the
top of the character sheet are finishing details you’ll determine
at the end of the character creation process.
If you’re creating a higher-level character, it’s a good idea to begin with these instructions before progressing to page 26 for instructions on leveling up characters.
What sort of science fantasy hero do you want to play? A good
way to start character creation is to decide the general thrust of
your character’s personality, sketching out a few details about
her past and thinking about how and why she adventures. During
this step, you’ll likely want to peruse Starfinder’s available races,
themes, and classes, so that you have an idea of the options
available. The sidebar on page 15 briefly introduces these, so it’s
a great starting point; full information on races is in Chapters
3 and 13, Chapter 4 presents classes, and pages 28–37 detail
themes. Race refers to your species—from bug-like shirrens and
reptilian vesk to humans and elves. Themes represent an element
of your background, whether it’s from your upbringing, training,
or destiny; it can be related to your class but doesn’t need to be.
Classes represent the primary focus of your character’s abilities
in battle and while adventuring—a technomancer manipulates
technology and casts spells, an envoy issues commands and
inspires her allies to feats of heroism, and so on.
Once you’ve considered your options, come up with a brief description of your character, focusing on what sorts of things you want her to be good at (shooting guns, flying starships, and so on). Then consider how best you could model that using this book’s rules components. Do you want to play a hulking lizardcreature with an enormous laser rifle? Then a vesk soldier with the mercenary theme is a perfect choice. If a scrappy bipedal rat who likes to burgle is more your style, a ysoki operative with the outlaw theme could be the way to go. If you’re feeling lost for ideas, try choosing a piece of art from somewhere in the book and creating a character who matches it.
CHARACTER SHEETWrite your own name in the Player field. Depending on how much you’ve developed your character’s background, you may also want to note your character’s name and gender and perhaps add a short physical description or a sketch.
Your character’s race, or species, is one of her most important
characteristics. Chapter 3 and the sidebar on page 15 detail
Starfinder’s core races—many of them quite alien—while Chapter
13 details legacy races iconic to sword-and-sorcery roleplaying
games. Your character’s race grants her abilities and languages
and determines a portion of the Hit Points (HP) she has when you
begin play (HP represents how badly she can be hurt before she
falls unconscious or dies). Her class will also impact her starting
HP total, as described in Step 6.
Your character’s race also modifies her ability scores. These are important values that affect many of your character’s statistics, but you won’t finalize them until Step 5.
CHARACTER SHEETPut your character’s race at the top of your character sheet. Note her starting racial Hit Points and her racial language (if any), as well as the racial abilities she can use. For now, note any points she’ll add to or subtract from her ability scores due to her race in the margins next to her ability scores (you’ll need this during Step 5!).
Next, you can choose a theme for your character, which represents a core aspect of her background and motivations. A theme can help express your character’s approach to adventuring—whether she’s a bounty hunter, a scholar, or the embodiment of another classic adventuring trope. In addition to reflecting a certain background, a theme provides benefits to an appropriate skill or skills at 1st level and also grants 1 extra point to a specific ability score—you’ll finalize your ability scores during Step 5. Starfinder’s character themes are summarized in the sidebar above, and presented in detail starting on page 28 along with the rules for being themeless.
CHARACTER SHEETWrite your character’s theme at the top of your character sheet and record any bonuses it grants to skills. For now, note the point it adds to an ability score in the margin next to that ability score (you’ll need this during Step 5!).
At this point, you’re almost ready to finalize your character’s
ability scores, which are key values you’ll need to calculate
many of her statistics. First, though, you need to choose your
character’s class. This affords her access to a suite of heroic
abilities, determines how well she can attack, and governs
how easily she can shake off or avoid certain harmful effects.
Chapter 4 details the seven classes you can play in Starfinder,
and the sidebar above provides an overview of the classes’
functions and roles.
You don’t yet need to note all of your character’s class features. You simply need to know which class you want to play, which will tell you the ability scores that will be the most important to you. Each class notes its key ability scores, as well as other particularly helpful ability scores, but for easy reference, Table 2–3 on page 19 lays out the key ability scores for all classes.
CHARACTER SHEETPut your character’s class at the top of your character sheet, then write "1" after it to indicate that you're 1st level. Don’t worry about other abilities your character gets from her class—you’ll handle that in Step 6.
Now that you’ve made the most important decisions about your character, it’s time to fill in her statistics. Your character’s ability scores determine a wide array of her capabilities and consist of six values: Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma. To learn how to calculate your ability scores, see Ability Scores beginning on page 18. That section will also tell you how to determine your ability score modifiers, which affect the calculation of many of the values described on your character sheet and later in this section.
CHARACTER SHEETRecord your ability scores in the appropriate fields on your character sheet. Next to the scores, write down each score's modifier.
Now, determine the powers, special abilities (called class features),
and other key statistics your character gains from being 1st level
in her class. The table at the beginning of each class section
includes your character’s base attack bonus, which helps
determine how good she is at attacking. You’ll add this base
value to her melee and ranged attacks; see Chapter 8 for more
details on combat. That table also indicates your character’s
base bonuses for her Fortitude, Reflex, and Will saving throws.
See Step 9 for more information on saving throws.
Additionally, your character’s class affects her total Stamina Points (SP). Stamina Points measure how much punishment she can absorb before it begins to really hurt her and reduce her Hit Points. At 1st level, you gain the number of Stamina Points listed in your class + your Constitution modifier. At 1st level, you also add the number of Hit Points indicated in your class to the number of Hit Points you gain from your race. (See page 22 for more about Hit Points and Stamina Points.)
Finally, your character’s class influences how many skill ranks she can assign per level (see Step 7), and determines her armor and weapon proficiencies (see Step 8).
CHARACTER SHEETNote your character's total Stamina Points as well as her total starting Hit Points. Record her base attack bonus and the base saving throw bonuses she receives from her class. (Step 9 explains how to calculate your character’s final saving throw modifiers.) Also write down your character’s 1st-level class features.
Next, figure out what skills you want your character to be
good at, whether it’s using technology or surviving in the
wilderness. At each level, she gains skill ranks, representing
her growing know-how and training. The number of ranks
she gains at each level equals her Intelligence modifier + an
amount determined by her class (but she always gains at least
1), and you can allocate the ranks to any skills you want. Some
skills are called out as class skills in your class entry—these
are skills tied to your class, and you automatically get a +3
bonus if you put a skill rank into them. (You can still put ranks
into skills that aren’t class skills; you just don’t get the special
+3 bonus when you do.) For more on skills and how they work,
including information about trained-only skills and penalties
for wearing armor while using skills, see Chapter 5.
Once you’ve assigned your character’s skill ranks, choose her feats. Most characters begin play with one feat, though humans gain a racial bonus feat. Feats are a good way to boost an element of your character that might be lacking. For example, Toughness grants extra Stamina Points, while Bodyguard lets you protect nearby allies from attacks. See Chapter 6 for more information.
CHARACTER SHEETAssign your character’s skill ranks on your character sheet—remember, her ranks in a skill can never exceed her character level! If any of the selected skills are class skills, note that she receives a +3 class skill bonus in the appropriate box. Include her ability score modifier for each skill. Note her feats, and if any provide bonuses to skills, put them in the skills box for miscellaneous modifiers. Finally, add up and record her total skill modifier for each skill that isn’t a trained-only skill.
At 1st level, your character has 1,000 credits to spend on armor, weapons, and other supplies (though your GM may give you alternative instructions for how to choose your gear). Armor and weapons are often the most important—keep in mind that your character’s class determines the types of weapons and armor that she is proficient with. Your character’s weapon determines the damage she can deal in combat, while armor affects her Energy Armor Class (EAC) and Kinetic Armor Class (KAC)—see Step 9 for more on Armor Class. Additionally, there are other staples that can help your character during play. For more on the equipment available and how much it costs, see Chapter 7.
CHARACTER SHEETOnce you’ve spent your character’s credits, note the equipment she owns as well as any remaining credits. Record your weapons on the appropriate lines, as well as their relevant details, including how much damage each weapon deals (see page 240 for details about how to calculate damage).
Now add the following details to your character sheet.
Note your character’s alignment, which plays a role in her personality. See page 24 for more information.
Energy Armor Class (EAC) and Kinetic Armor Class (KAC)
represent how difficult your character is to hit in combat.
Energy Armor Class represents her ability to avoid injury when
hit with energy attacks, such as lasers. Kinetic Armor Class
represents her ability to avoid injury when hit with physical
attacks, such as bullets. (See page 240 for more information.)
The values for EAC and KAC each begin at 10. Add your character’s Dexterity modifier to each value. Then add the EAC bonus and KAC bonus that her armor provides to the respective values. You’ll also want to note your character’s Armor Class against combat maneuvers, which is her KAC + 8.
You noted your character’s base attack bonus in Step 6, but you still need to calculate her total attack bonuses with melee, ranged, and thrown weapons. To do so, add her Strength modifier to her melee and thrown attacks, and add her Dexterity modifier to her other ranged attacks. Then add any miscellaneous modifiers from feats or class features to the appropriate attacks.
On page 16 under Carrying Capacity it says you are encumbered when carrying an amount of bulk equal to or greater than half your Strength score. The full rules for carrying capacity on page 167 says you are encumbered when carrying bulk greater than half your Strength score. Which is correct?
The entry on page 167 is correct. You can carry up to half your Strength score in bulk without being encumbered.
This is how much bulk your character can carry based on her Strength score. She is encumbered (see page 275) when carrying an amount of bulk equal to or greater than half her Strength score, and overburdened (see page 276) when carrying an amount of bulk equal to or greater than her total Strength score.
Note the deity your character worships, if any. See page 482 for more information on religions and philosophies in Starfinder.
If you haven’t already, write a short description of your character.
This is where your character was raised, whether it’s a planet, a space station, or even an asteroid. (See Chapter 12 for inspiration.)
Your character’s initiative modifier is added to her initiative checks to determine the order in which she acts in combat. It’s equal to her Dexterity modifier plus modifiers from feats or other abilities that affect initiative.
Your character begins play speaking and reading Common, her racial tongue (if any), and the language of her home world (if any). If she has a positive Intelligence modifier, she knows a number of additional languages equal to that value. See pages 40–41 for more on languages and a list of languages to choose from.
Your character can use Resolve Points for many important purposes, including replenishing her Stamina Points and powering some class features and other abilities. At 1st level, your character has a number of Resolve Points equal to 1 + the ability score modifier for her class’s key ability score. For more information on Resolve Points, see page 22.
From time to time, your character will need to determine whether
she can avoid or shake off an effect or spell. When this happens,
the GM will call for a Fortitude, Reflex, or Will saving throw,
depending on the situation.
A saving throw is a d20 roll to which you add your character’s base saving throw bonus of the appropriate type and other applicable modifiers. Your character’s class determines her base bonus to each type of saving throw. Additionally, you apply her Constitution modifier to her Fortitude saving throws, her Dexterity modifier to her Reflex saving throws, and her Wisdom modifier to her Will saving throws—and you must do so even if a relevant ability score modifier is negative. Finally, you apply any additional modifiers to specific saving throws as appropriate, such as bonuses from feats or other abilities.
Your character’s race determines her size (see page 255).
Your character’s land speed at the beginning of play is 30 feet, unless she has an ability that modifies it (or penalties from armor or encumbrance). See Chapter 8 for more information on speed and movement.
While you can play Starfinder without the starship rules, most
adventures assume the PCs are (or will soon be) crew members of
a shared starship. Ask your GM whether you’ll be starting out with
a starship or potentially acquiring one as part of an adventure. If
you begin with a starship, ask the GM for its statistics, and find
out whether you’re able to customize it—at the very least, every
ship needs a good name! See Chapter 9 for more on starships.
Once you’ve recorded all of this information on your character sheet, you’re ready for adventure!