The Starfinder Armory delivers exactly what you’d want from this sort of supplement – not just arms and armor, but many, many other kinds of gear – biotech, cybernetics, magitech, necrografts, tech items, magic items, hybrid items, personal items, drugs (and related), transportation, food, personal services, etc. And not just breadth, but depth. There are 17 pages of weapon tables, 46 weapon special qualities, 16 weapon critical hit effects, 13 weapon manufacturers, 45 weapon accessories and fusions … and that’s just the weapons. I think the biggest problem with the Starfinder Armory will be trying to keep track of all of the options! And on top of all that, there’s a new archetype and new character options for all seven classes.
There’s so much stuff in Armory that it would be impossible to summarize it all – there’s just too much information density. But here are some things that stood out for me:
- Sonic weapons – I’ll grant some of the names sound a little Warhammer 40K (e.g., resonant dirge cannon), but I always liked the concept of chanting someone to pieces on the battlefield (fair warning, the raw damage isn’t great and they only work on the living … but still, points for concept);
- Grenades – the holy water, riot, foam, web, and pulse grenades join the arsenal. Grenades cab be a really big part of tactical play in Starfinder, and that’s a lot more options for the explosives mavens out there; on the flipside, there’s also a grenade scrambler to be found in the technological items section, so maybe don’t rely on them too much …
- Concealing Weapons – I don’t know how much sneaking around everyone else does, but I lost track of the number of properties, fusions, etc. that made it easier to conceal a weapon on your person. One that I didn’t lose track of, however, is the null-space gunner harness, which shrinks a heavy weapon into a 1.5″ disk that can be grabbed out of its alternate dimension at leisure – that’s going to be an unpleasant surprise for whoever is on the receiving end;
- Tail weapons – ’nuff said;
- Manufacturer-specific modifications – There are 13 different corporations/groups represented here, each with a way to make their weapons different. AdabarCorp weapons can be Defenders, programmed not to target your friends (or children or police). Lethal Innovations weapons are alive, and so can be wielded by even the most puritanical Xenowarden. Snowgarden Productions weapons let characters with Profession (dancer) deal nonlethal damage without penalty – beware the battleribbon!
- Lashunta Mind Mail – This light armor is constructed of psychically active nanotech that uses hundreds of tiny force fields to keep its shape without actually touching the wearer, which makes it a sight more comfortable than your typical armor;
- Hydrojets – Granting a swim speed, the hydrojets upgrade makes armor your friend in the water, instead of an enemy; or you could pick up the emergency raft if you’re willing to just take it slow down the river;
- Cleansing Breath – This biotech augment is too high a level to be relevant in many campaigns, but I love that it lets you exhale antibodies and antitoxins, helping everyone near you save against poison and disease;
- Hoverskates – Who wouldn’t want hoverskates? In addition to being really cool (for certain definitions of cool), hoverskates keep you an inch above the surface, letting you walk on water, ignore difficult terrain, and on occasion get some extra movement;
- Tool Kit – Tool kits are a great way to get skill bonuses, and the Armory introduces even more of them – animal trainer, astrogator, aura-translation, broad-spectrum scanning, mental interpretation, personal gravitational distributor, and that old standby, thieves’ tools; and
- Starfinder Backpack – Everybody loves a Bag of Holding. I also have a soft spot for Heward’s Handy Haversack, which was a Bag of Holding with less capacity, but with the added bonus that it was much easier to get anything out of it. The Starfinder Backpack is a nice, low-level version of that – it lets you carry a bit more, and retrieving or stowing objects out of it can be done as if you were drawing or sheathing a weapon.
As noted above, there’s one archetype and then additional options for each class (usually extra choices for that classes primary modular ability). So envoys get more improvisations and expertise talents, mechanics get more tricks and drone mods, operatives get new exploits, solarians get more revelations, soldiers get more gear boosts, and the technomancer gets new magic hacks and spells. The mystic, however, gets a new connection, the geneturge, who synergizes with biotech augmentation. In addition to the new exploits, the operative also gets a new specialization, the gadgeteer, who likes the utility belt exploit (which let you spend credits to store unspecified supplies in your belt, and then *poof* it just happens to be what you need when you need it). In addition to the gear boosts, soldiers get a new fighting style, shock and awe, which emphasizes bright and sonic weapons. Regardless of the exact contents, each class gets two pages, including a stylish new character image.
The archetype is the augmented, which does exactly the sort of thing you would think – gives the character improved augmentations.
I really appreciate the multiple two-page art spreads with images of the weapons and armor. I don’t know about you, but I have a really hard time picturing what a “diffraction perforator pistol” or a “corona colossus coil” looks like based on a written description, no matter how well-crafted.
Ultimately, whether I can recommend the Starfinder Armory depends entirely on whether you have any interest in this type of supplement. Do you have any interest in a bunch more equipment for your Starfinder game? Then you’ll definitely be interested in the Armory. The only reason I can think of for not wanting this as a Starfinder player is if you actively don’t want more options. It’s just that good at what it does.
Promotional consideration was provided in the form of a review copy.