After over a year of waiting, Starfinder is upon us. I’ve been getting some play in via play-by-post, but I want more. Baring some time-generation machine to allow me more face-to-face gaming time, I’m excited to at least get to be entertained and educated by others playing and enjoying the game. Roll For Combat is an excellent way to enjoy the unfolding story that only an RPG can tell, while learning the ins and outs of Starfinder. Throughout the podcast these experienced players discuss the rules and how they’re different from Pathfinder. The four players and GM, Stephen Glicker, are well qualified to lead us on this adventure, having a combined 170 years of roleplaying experience, playing together since 2012 and through many Pathfinder Adventure Paths.
Roll For Combat is a weekly podcast releasing on Tuesdays. Each episode is around an hour. I love the bite-size hour podcast format that allows me to fit it in each week, or as is common with me, missing a few weeks and being able to binge a few episodes on a long (and otherwise boring) drive. I have never been able to keep up with the weekly 3+ hour long episodes of some shows, I get too far behind, and then I’m missing out on the excitement around current happenings.
The First Two Episodes
There are two episodes available so far, episode 1, Greetings and Salutations, is more of a gaming session 0. We’re introduced to the characters as well as the players, to the concept of the show, and the episode has a special guest, Thurston Hillman. In this episode, “Thursty,” Paizo’s Starfinder Society Organized Play Developer, covers the Starfinder universe as well as some differences between it and Pathfinder. Thursty even plays the role of the Starfinder Society NPC contact the characters are meeting in Absalom station. Special guest NPCs will be a regular occurrence on the show!
After ending episode 1 on a cliffhanger, episode 2, jumps right into combat. In the episode intros Stephen has described this gaming group as unorthodox and this is proven true as the players get through three rounds of heated combat before ever firing a shot! The role playing, and actions taken made sense and were a welcome relief from the standard murder-hobo mindset.
The players are all geographically disperse, so Roll For Combat is played using D20Pro. In addition to handling many of the rules elements as well as a virtual table top, D20Pro provides sound effects for such actions as rolling for initiative, rolling attacks, hitting, missing, criticals, and when the turn moves to the next character. These cues, in addition to what the players are saying really help us follow along as listeners. The sound throughout the two episodes I’ve heard was great, especially considering the virtual nature of the table, and the sound effects and music add to the mood of the show without overbearing the players’ speaking.
In addition to the weekly audio show, Roll For Combat player Jason McDonald is recapping each episode in theTalking Combat blog posts. In the first post Jason talks about having Thursty there to give some insight into the universe, how he came up with his character Tuttle, and some background on his club-wielding drone C.H.D.R.R.
And a Contest Too?
To kick it all off with a bang, Roll For Combat is having a contest with over $1000 in prizes including a grand prize of a $250 Amazon gift-card and a Roll For Combat t-shirt. Each week running up to the big give-away on November 30, 2017, they’ll also have a weekly drawing for a $25 Amazon gift-card announced after every show, every week to one lucky contestant (who’ll still be eligible for the grand prize!) Check out the contest page for entry instructions. It’s easy! Basically subscribe, rate, and review in iTunes, and then send in an email with your iTunes review name. Every entry gets custom roleplaying content made by pros for use in your game.
Supporting the Show for Great Rewards!
Last, if you want to support the show so we can keep getting quality and entertaining content, be sure to pop on over to the Roll For Combat Patreon campaign. For $5 you get access to exclusive content such as an aftershow interview with Thurston Hillman where he drops secrets from Starfinder development and other tidbits. At higher tiers you can get exclusive Starfinder artwork, Roll For Combat t-shirts, web hang-outs, and at the $100 level you’ll get to play a Starfinder or Pathfinder scenario with a Roll For Combat GM!
Speaking of the art, Roll for Combat has Rob Csiki cranking out some great art for the podcast. This art, and the music you hear in the background composed by Michael Gordon Shapiro, are both big indicators of how much work they’re putting into Roll For Combat. They’ve got the episodes rolling out, a Patron ready to roll, and excellent production quality, especially considering they’re playing through an on-line tool. I’m confident they’ll be sticking around and I’ll get to enjoy their complete play-through of the Dead Suns Adventure Path. I’m going to start GMing Dead Suns via play-by-post in the near future, and getting to hear someone else play through it first will be an enormous benefit in my planning.
Give it a Listen
The episodes are free, so just hop on over to your podcast site of choice and give the first couple of episodes a listen. The Roll For Combat episodes are available on the Roll For Combat website, iTunes, Google Play, and Stitcher. If you enjoy it, consider contributing to the Patreon.
I know I’m looking forward to some more exciting Starfinder action. With the characters maybe in some serious trouble here at the end of episode two, I think these guys understand the “cliffhanger!” In a later post I’ll delve into who the players are, who they’re playing, and maybe why they picked those characters. Starfinder is new to us all, and I’m eager to learn as much as I can from playing, and following Roll for Combat when I’m away from the table.