A few weeks ago we received a new awesome book to review from Paizo as they mailed us the Starfinder: Armory rulebook for us to browse through. It took us a few weeks, not only because we were tied up at events, but because we wanted to find a game and mess around with some of these items with people who wanted bigger guns and better toys in their game. So what did we find? Let's start with the basics: this is a short book. It has less than 160 pages, so for those of you thinking you're getting access to every weapon known to exist in this universe, calm down. However, that doesn't mean the information is limited. You're receiving a vast breadth of knowledge in one particular area, nothing more. So while it isn't an all-encompassing guide like other books in the series, it is dense when it comes to what it focuses on.
The Armory has two specific areas of focus: Equipment (which takes up most of the book) and Class Options. Focusing on equipment at first, everything is divided into sub-categories. Weapons, special materials, armor, magic items, technological items, augmentations, personal items, vehicles, and several others. The goal of this portion of the armory is to inform you of what your options are and how well they perform, as well as what level you can use them at, the price, damage dealt, critical hit effects, bulk, and special proficiencies. If you're looking for a specific kind of laser, this book will tell you what you need to know about it in full. There's even a section that will give you descriptions of items if you need them. Let's say you get a Singing Spear and have no clue what it is. This book has the answer for you to understand what you're now holding or trying to buy.
The second portion, Class Options, we found far more informative. Every class of character you have available in the game is analyzed and you're given a rundown of what would work best for that person. So let's say you choose Operative. This book will give you exploits, best suggestions for level options, and specializations that will help you figure out how your character could use the best, and therefore dictate your decision making on what you purchase or grab when you find stuff. That way when you have a jerk GM who lets you get into some armor that you suddenly can't move, you'll know a little better as to what would work best for you.
The Starfinder Armory is a must-have for GM's who want to run longer campaigns that have you buying a lot of items or running into a cache of items left behind. If you're an average player and have no goal to become a GM, it's a nice reference book, but you won't be using it much if you already know what you want to play and what you want to utilize, it's best used for players that are often experimenting with their characters. If you're always a soldier, the book is a waste. If you're looking to switch to a Mystic and maybe change things up if you don't like them, it's a necessity. The book is currently on sale for $40 as a hardcover and $10 as a PDF.