Reynard wrote: ↑
Fri Aug 18, 2017 10:18 am
dmccoy, you just described Dragonstar and other attempts to put elves in space. Traveller is still here as popular as ever and very few people know or remember Dragonstar.
Starfinder is just another D&D game and the crowd it will cater to is the Pathfinder fanatics who grab anything that smells like Pathfinder. At least Shadowrun made magic and elves in a modern setting unique to be interesting not just a space paint job.
You are vastly underestimating Starfinder. Starfinder is being put out by Paizo, one of two of the biggest RPG companies in the business right now. They have their own development team inside the company, made up of some of the best names in the industry right now. Contrast that with Dragonstar which was put out by Fantasy Flight, which was a notable 3.5 compatible publisher back in the day, but they weren't even one of the top 5 3rd party publishers back when the 3.5=>4e transition happened (history reminder: WotC tried to get the top 5 3PP onboard with 4e about 7-8 months before its launch. Those were Paizo, Green Ronin, Mongoose, Goodman Games, and Necromancer.) Plus there wasn't a dedicated Dragonstar development team. Those that worked on it split their time between Dragonstar and other FFG projects. It was just one of their projects they had to work on.
There are also three other things that Starfinder has going for it that Dragonstar did not: third party publishers, organized play, and mass Gen Con sales. Starfinder has a compatible license for the game so any other company can make their own supplements for it, increasing available content and breadth of options. Organized play means Paizo is making serious cash off each game played at Gen Con. And the game is selling like crazy. Paizo has said they brought more copies of Starfinder than any other book to the convention. They sold out. On the first day of Gen Con. At the largest Gen Con in history.
Add to that that 10-15 years ago, SF wasn't as popular in pop culture as it is right now. Between Star Wars, Star Trek, and Guardians of the Galaxy movies, Science Fiction/Fantasy is holding its own these days. 15 years ago, the 3rd LotR movie was just coming out and the Harry Potter movies weren't even half way done.
Don't get me wrong. Starfinder is not going to "destroy" Traveller. However, it is aiming for the same space (pun not intended) as Traveller and it has things going for it that Traveller does not which will help it attract an audience that Traveller does not attract. Like I said, Traveller has flirted with science fantasy, but has never really embraced it. It has always gone for, "you're an ordinary truck driver, but in space," feel, aiming for what it calls "hard sf." Someone that wants to have a more fantastic view of the future has found little support for it in the game. It doesn't have "technology so advanced that it might as well be magic" as a playable character option. While religions are present in Traveller, there is little to distinguish someone that makes religion their life profession and someone that reads alot of relgion books.
Starfinder is not "elves in space." While the book does have elves, it makes it clean that elves, dwarves, etc are not one of the core races; they are shoved into a back chapter. Their core races are an android, a reptile-like race that will please klingon fans, a ratfolk race that targets fans of rocket raccoon, an ancient four-armed race, a human-like race with antennae (like mantis from GotG), a bug-like race (not unlike the droynes, but not sequestered to their own planets), and of course humans.