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Open Adventure: Starfinder in the Compartment

Open Adventure: Starfinder in the Compartment

You never know when your space travels will lead you to a mysterious abandoned spacecraft! No Game Master wants to spend time drawing every compartment and bulkhead, whether they are inspecting the wreckage of a wrecked spaceship or trying to salvage an abandoned starship wandering in space. Thankfully, you don’t have to with Paizo’s newest Starfinder Flip-Mat! For the busy game master, this range of gaming maps offers ready-to-use science-fantasy set pieces. The terrain is double-sided, with the abandoned tramp freighter on one side and the abandoned science research vessel on the other, both of which are open for your players to explore and board.

Spend less time drawing and more time playing. The next time your players discover a weird ship, you’ll be prepared thanks to Starfinder Flip-Mat: Ghost Ship!


Without a guide to assist ambitious game masters in setting a route for their players, no beginner box would be complete. The adventure Steel Talon’s Lair, which offers a brief, 14-page journey for beginning players to enjoy as their first foray into the realm, is the major attraction in the Starfinder game master book. The adventure has a distinctly retro vibe to it because it is set in an abandoned future space station and prioritizes fighting and dungeon crawling above story and world-building.

In addition to the adventure itself, the guide offers advice on creating your adventures as well as some of the resources you may require (such as trap ideas, extra mechanics to use, and a list of potential enemies for a game). However, the amount of knowledge regarding the environment is very limited, much like in the Heroes’ Handbook. The Game Master’s Guide devotes ten pages in total to explaining the Starfinder galaxy, which is incredibly little information to work with, not even as a starting point. It’s difficult to become enthused about the world when so little is spoken about in this box; instead, you have to rely on the GM to create one from a limited number of known facts. It’s obvious that this is a beginner’s box, so you shouldn’t expect an in-depth explanation of the Starfinder galaxy and everything it has to offer, but given how little time is spent explaining to the players or the GM exactly what they’re getting into, it’s difficult to even get excited about exploring the universe and consider buying the full game.


The mat included with the Starfinder Beginner Box is one of the better-quality maps I’ve seen; it’s constructed of a glossy, firm plastic as opposed to the flimsy paper grids you may be more familiar with. This can be quite helpful for a GM on a tight budget because it allows you to annotate the map using dry-erase markers and then wipe it off to reuse it later. The drawback of this is that the creases from folding make it difficult to get the map to lie flat on a table. The preset adventure provided in the Game Master’s Guide takes place in an abandoned space station that resembles a dungeon, and one side of the map shows that location. The other side is a basic grid that can be used for any other idea you can think of.

This mat is quite excellent quality and multipurpose in comparison to other mats. It may not be a deal-breaker for the beginner’s box as a whole, but it does add value to a set that already offers excellent value.


The cardboard pawns and plastic pawn bases are one item that comes in the starter box and will undoubtedly prove to be quite useful to game masters. There are a total of 87 creatures and character pawns, providing a large selection of opponents, playable characters, and creatures to utilize in the prefabricated adventure as well as any future adventures where these pawns can be used. Furthermore, the stands are well-made and may be simply replaced with whatever unique pawns a game master could require.

Furthermore, there are a few larger pawns that can be held using the three huge pawn bases, even though the majority of the pawns and pawn bases are designed for small, humanoid creatures. These are ideal for enormous monsters that you wish to show to scale, or for large, non-humanoid NPCs that might be the focus of a boss fight. This is a major selling factor for the set because, in my opinion, pawns and pawn bases are one of those items that you can never have too much of and are difficult to locate outside of a starting box.


Finally, player aid cards are a crucial component of the kit for neophyte Starfinder players. The double-sided index cards known as player aid cards are designed to act as a portable source of information for players. The fighting round’s possible actions and some rolling and healing guidelines are listed on one side, while a list of potential player-impacting situations and their mechanical effects are listed on the other. I greatly appreciate these allusions that try to minimize the fact that his players take ten minutes to read through a rulebook in the middle of an RPG session, as I have often found myself getting impatient with them for that precise reason.