New Starfinder Society Scenarios: Truth of the Seeker and King Xeros of Star Azlant

Today we’re going to take a look at the two most recent Starfinder Society Scenarios that are currently available for purchase, and let you know we thought. Although you’ll find references to events in each that I liked or disliked, and comments about specific characters, these scenarios are not explored in detail. It’s not my intention to spoil the events in these scenarios, or give summaries and full reviews, but to share my opinions and provide recommendations. That said, if you want to avoid even minor spoilers I recommend you check out a different article. Whether you intend to use them in home games of the Starfinder Roleplaying Game, sanctioned scenarios for use with the Starfinder Society Organized Play, or just want to read a nifty new adventure, we’ve got you covered! So sit back, and get ready to explore the Pact Worlds!

1-26 Truth of the Seeker
Starfinder Society Scenario #1-26: Truth of the Seeker

Starfinder Society Scenario #1-26: Truth of the Seeker is a Tier 3-6 adventure written by Shahreena Shahrani. It begins in Absalom Station before quickly moving to the Kasathan home-ship of Idari. This scenario later travels into the Vast, to the remains of an Ibran Temple. This scenario features the Faction (Second Seekers [Jadnura]) tag and does not include starship combat. It makes use of a gorgeous map if Idari, Pathfinder: Flip-Mat: AsylumPathfinder Flip-Mat: Desert Ruins, and Flip-Mat – Starfinder – Asteroid. In addition to the Starfinder Core Rulebook, it’s highly recommended you own Starfinder Pact Worlds. It also features some nifty new creatures from Alien Archive 2, and equipment from Starfinder Armory. All relevant stat blocks are included in this scenario.

Eshki Graey Erb 1-26 Truth of the Seeker
Eshki, a skittermander Starfinder recently rescued from the Scoured Stars Trinary System. Art by Graey Erb.

Truth of the Seeker continues the story of the Scoured Stars plot line, and directly follows up on events from Starfinder Society Scenario #1-99: The Scoured Stars Invasion. Although playing these prior scenarios isn’t necessary, you really should! They were awesome! If you haven’t, there is a bit of important information you’ll need to know: under the guidance of First Seeker Luwazi Elsebo the Starfinder Society has rescued the their lost comrades from the Scoured Stars Trinary System. This includes rescuing the old First Seeker, a kasatha by the name of Jadnura. Surprisingly this scenario only features one recurring characters: Captain Kahir of the Void Scholar who was briefly met in Starfinder Scenario #1-19: To Conquer the Dragon. In addition it introduces a few new ones, some of which could become recurring characters. For starters, there’s the skittermander Starfinder Eshki who hires your PCs for their mission. There’s also First Seeker Jadnura, of course. Finally, there is a lashunta teashop owner by the name of Alsuka, and a serene kasathan solarian called Master Boojan. They’re all delightful — particularly Eshki! There aren’t any specific boons I recommend slotting for this mission, although there are a few important things to note when selecting characters. This mission will go a lot smoother if someone in your party is diplomatic and sensitive to the traditions of other cultures. In addition, a Starfinder trained in mysticism is also important. Lastly, you’ll want to have some way to harm something incorporeal. You have been warned! Haha.

First seeker Jadnura
First Seeker Jadnura, one-time leader of the Starfinder Society.

Truth of the Seeker begins in Absalom Station, as the PCs attend a fabulous dinner with Eshki, the most cultivated skittermander I’ve ever encountered. This mission briefing is great fun, and packed full of flavourful interactions. Many of Eshki’s behaviours are scripted out, which serves to immediately make him likeable, quirky, and entertaining. He’s awesome (just in case you couldn’t tell from his art! Haha). Eshki explains that he was a Starfinder trapped in the Scoured Stars System, and that First Seeker Jadnura was a friend of his. Unfortunately, since returning, Jadnura’s gone into seclusion on Idari and Eshki isn’t sure where. He wants you to head to Idari, find his pal Jadnura, and convince him to come back to the Society. After agreeing the PCs bid Eshki farewell, hop aboard a shuttle, and end up on Idari. There they have to navigate their way through the Kasathan home-ship and track down Jadnura, all while dealing with the vastly different cultural traditions around them, and (hopefully) not offending anyone too badly. This scenario does a wonderful job of immersing you in a unique, serene sort of culture with strong Asian and Middle Eastern influences. It was engaging, fun, and wonderfully handled. Vastly different than the frantic, high-tech, fast pace of most scenarios, your players time on Idari is sure to throw some players for a loop. Characters who have social skills will definitely excel in this part of the adventure, but its not only skill, but clever roleplaying that’s necessary to make progress here, so even the most awkward of characters can be helpful if they try. Personally, I felt the the entire time on Idari was wonderfully handled and a real highlight of the scenario. That said, some groups may find it tedious. In time the PCs will need to track down Jadnura. The final location has a wonderful atmosphere, but other than that I’ll leave this part of the scenario a mystery.

One of the battles has an opportunity for roleplaying with your opponents, and your actions can have an obvious effect on the battle. Most have more straight-forward enemies — not so much in mechanics, but in roles. This scenario also featured some flavourful psychological/magical traps which will be interesting to see play out at the table. I’m curious how they’ll work. Overall, I thought this was a fun adventure. I particularly enjoyed how well it immersed us in Kasathan culture. That said, unprepared groups may find the final battle too difficult, or the social interactions tedious. Because of this I give it four out of five stars.

1-27 King Xeros of Star Azlant
Starfinder Society Scenario #1-27: King Xeros of Star Azlant

Starfinder Society Scenario #1-27: King Xeros of Star Azlant is a Tier 5-8 adventure written by Christopher Wasko. It begins with a mission briefing on Absalom Station, but quickly moves to a region of space near a lunar outpost called ‘Peak of Evening.’ There you will attempt to get your hands on an Ancient Azlanti Starship known as ‘King Xeros,’ which was ancient beyond reckoning long before the Gap. Of course, the Azlanti Star Empire already has it… so there’s that major complication to deal with. Haha. This scenario features the Starship tag and has starship combat. It is a distant, distant sequel to Pathfinder Society Scenario # 20: King Xeros of Old Azlant. In addition, this scenario has connections to the Against the Aeon Throne Adventure Path (Starfinder Adventure Path 7: The Reach of EmpireStarfinder Adventure Path 8: Escape from the Prison Moonand Starfinder Adventure Path 9: The Rune Drive Gambit). This scenario can easily be woven into that campaign. This scenario makes use of Starfinder Flip-Mat: Basic StarfieldStarfinder Flip-Mat: Urban SprawlPathfinder Flip-Mat: Forest Fire, and a custom map of King Xeros which looks awesome! Fans of the original King Xeros will be happy to know the ship looks nearly the same.  Awesome! As for books, it’s expected you own the Starfinder Core Rulebook and Starfinder Armory. In addition it makes use of content from Starfinder Adventure Path 7: The Reach of EmpireStarfinder Adventure Path 8: Escape from the Prison Moon and Starfinder Alien Archive, although all necessary rules from those books is reprinted in this scenario itself. King Xeros of Star Azlant only features one recurring character: the bleachling gnome Venture-Captain Naiaj. Although there’s no boons I specifically recommend slotting, if you have characters who has chronicle sheets from the Against the Aeon Throne adventure path I highly recommend you bring them along! Otherwise, all characters will excel in this scenario.

This scenario begins when Venture-Captain Naiaj gathers a large number of Starfinder together for a mission briefing. She explains that the ancient Azlanti ether-ship ‘King Xeros’ has been sighted for the first time since the Gap. Capable of sailing through the ethereal plane and exploring other worlds at incredible speeds, King Xeros is a ship of legends. Information is sparse, but you know it’s location — around a lunar base known as Peak of Evening — and that the Azlanti Star Empire has sent a small contingent of ships after it. Determined to get the ship in the hands of the Starfinder Society and to keep the Azanti Star Empire from acquiring it, Naiaj wants your group to go in and retrieve it. Well, not just your group. This is a multi-team mission! Basically, the teams will be split into three: Scout Team, Shield Team, and Strike Team. Naiaj will also be there on her personal ship as Commander of the mission. Your players will be a part of Strike team, whose job it is to land on the base and steal King Xeros. The other ships will support and protect you from the rest of the Azlanti ships as best as they can. With the briefing out of the way the Starfinders all board their ships and set out for the lunar base. Once there Naiaj determines there are two areas that appear of particular importance to the Azlanti: the Construction Bay and the Greenhouse. Your team gets to choose which nearby Azlanti Garrison to attack, and then begin their infiltration at whichever of the two points they desire.

This scenario has a dynamic starship combat that will be quite tough. King Xeros is an awesome ship, with some cool Azlanti upgrades. Luckily, the advantages your team may have discovered in their first location will give them a much needed benefit here. Which benefits is variable though,  depending on what they uncovered in their chosen location, and how efficiently they recovered it. Which is nice! With the starship battle complete they get to board King Xeros, fight the Azlanti inside, and explore the ship. But, the ship is acting erratic, and it soon becomes clear they’re on a timer for this one. They’ll need to recover what they can from the ship and make some split-second decisions about what matters to them and their mission the most. This does a wonderful job of ramping up the tension, and keeping this mission moving along at a good clip.

KingXeros Graey Erb 1-27 King Xeros of Star Azlant
King Xeros, an ether-ship from Old Azlant.

Overall, I really enjoyed this scenario. It’s got awesome art of King Xeros, great interconnectedness with its prequel, and the Against the Aeon Throne Adventure Path, but is a solid and fun adventure that’s more than capable of standing on its own. It has a different feel and tone to it than most scenarios. It’s dynamic, engaging, suspenseful, and a little frantic. Players and characters should be on the edge of their seats for this one. I love that your player’s get to make decisions that have an effect on the scenario and its outcome.

There’s some wonderful new ship mechanics that players will get to see the enemy make use of, and a lot of cool gear on the chronicle — including a unique aeon stone that’s awesome! There are two boons up for offer, both of which involve the alien races you could meet, and one of which allows access to that race as a player. You’ll only be able to get one of these boons though, so make your decision wisely! I think this scenario is a great change of pace that will be fun to run at a table. I give it four out of five stars.

Thanks for joining us today! We’ll see you tomorrow when we report on the new Starfinder Playtest Classes! See you then!

Jessica

 

Starfinder: Character Focus

I love Pathfinder. My husband loves Pathfinder. My kids love Pathfinder. So when I first heard about the release of Starfinder I was excited. I didn’t think I’d love it as much as I did Pathfinder, but I knew I’d enjoy it. And I was right! Although it didn’t supplant Pathfinder as my favourite d20 game, it turned out to be a blast. My husband and son were the same. Love that Starfinder! But love Pathfinder more.

StarfinderCover
Starfinder Roleplaying Game: Starfinder Core Rulebook

And my daughter? Ah, my daughter! She loves Starfinder best of all. Absolutely, positively loves it. She has such patience for the game, and for learning it. It should be noted: she’s six.

So, it came as no surprise to me that she finally looked at me and said, “Mom! d20 Diaries needs to hear about our Starfinder characters! Write about my Starfinder!”

And here we are! Mommy’s on it, dear!

So without further ado, (and because my daughter’s certain she’s waited enough!), here they are.

I was the first one to make a Starfinder character in my house. But, I didn’t start by making characters I intended to play, so much as making characters for the sake of making them. I wanted to get a handle on the creation process, and understand the mechanics of the game. I tested out classes and mixed them with different themes, curious how much it would effect the feel of the character. The first character I made with the intent of continued play was a bold, enthusiastic (and admittedly stupid) Vesk solarion by the name of Julakesh Starfist created for playing in the Starfinder Society via play by post. She’s not my only Starfinder Society character, of course. I have three, but we’ll touch on them another time.

So, imagine my surprise when it came time to sit down and make our characters as a family, that my daughter was the first to insist upon a turn. She immediately informed me that nothing would be good enough until we converted her lovingly made rabbitfolk to Starfinder. But, we sat side by side and flipped through the book while I read to her. She thought humans might be okay, and that bug and lizard people were right out (“Ewwww!” was her actual response). But there, right at the back, were the ysoki.

“Rats?!” She said. And then, “Hmmmm… Them are cute…”

And by the time she heard the words ‘cheek pouches’ she was sold. “Them are my favourite!” She exclaimed.

“They.” I corrected, because grammar matters.

“THEY are my favourite! I will be a ee-so-keeeeee with a robot rabbit that I made myself!”

Sure, I thought. She’ll be a mechanic! So I read her the mechanic class and she said, “No way! I am NOT a mechanic!”

Uh… Okay, then.

So we set to work reading through all of the classes and she finally decided upon technomancer. We fiddled with her stats, and picked out her spells. I thought for sure she’d choose something flashy, and was surprised at her very utilitarian, understated choice of air bubble and unseen servant. For cantrips she chose dancing lights, energy ray, mending, and token spell.

We looked at themes and she immediately decided on being a bounty hunter. When asked why she told me, “Cause her is–“

“She.”

“Cause SHE is looking for the perfect mate! She will hunt him down if she has to!”

I decided it was best to discuss that issue no further, and her ysoki bounty hunter technomancer was born! She put skill points into computers and engineering, so she could modify her custom robot rabbit at higher levels, and then chose to put the rest into acrobatics, medicine, physical science, piloting and mysticism. For her feat she chose skill focus (engineering), to better enable her to create her own robot rabbit.

Then we turned our attention to gear. Her first priority? Making her robot rabbit. So we flipped to the chapter on computers and created a mobile computer that looks like a mechanical bunny, with basic AI, an artificial personality, a voice box, locomotion, the ability to function as a personal comm unit, and as her spell cache. Oh! And she wrapped it up in faux rabbit fur for optimal cuddling. It’s the most expensive frivolous object I’ve ever had a hand in crafting. Unfortunately, it used up all of her starting credits (and some if mine as a loan). Apparently I would be making a character who was either generous, or a moneylender…

With her ysoki complete, all she needed was a name. She scrunched up her face in thought, and made up the name Hoponisa! Or Hops for short. She decided Hops was from the dark side of Verces, and used to the cold. And what did she name her robot/spell-cache rabbit? Snowball.

But who would be travelling with our quirky little ysoki? A good question! For answers we turned to my son. After peering over my shoulder as I read to my daughter, and stealing my Starfinder rulebook to gawk at the pictures whenever he could, my son already had a solid idea of what he wanted to make.

“I love drones, Mom! You know I always ask you to get me one for Christmas and you never do! Well, I WILL have one! I am a mechanic! And I will either be a ysoki or a shirrin. I like the Shirrin best, I think, cause they are so funny… But she is being a rat… Maybe I should be one to?”

“Don’t copy me!” My daughter yelled. “Mom! Him is copying me!”

Obviously, there was a great argument following this statement, which I will spare you, but by the end of it my son decided he liked shirrin better. He would be a bug and have lots of baby bugs dangling off of him in their little canisters, and it would be awesome! So there!

My son decided early that his ‘super-awesome way-better-than-a-ysoki’ shirrin mechanic would be an ace pilot by the name of Vishkesh. His drone was a spy drone, with little arms and hands. With these he would manipulate tools and be a mini mechanic who always helps Vishkesh with repairs–or does them on his own if they’re in hard to reach places. With a flare gun mounted on his back and a chipper attitude reminicent of Claptrap from the Borderlands video games, the little fellow was adorable. He decided to name him Rijin, and even before play began, my son LOVED him. For skills, he invested in piloting, engineering and computers, followed by perception, physical science, athletics and survival. For his feat he chose skill focus (piloting). Enamoured with the iconic mechanics flamethrower, my son decided he would purchase a flame pistol for himself. Along with his other gear he purchased a pig stuffed animal. He decided Vishkesh was from Absalom Station, and worshipped the god Hylax. 

My husband went next, and after much deliberation he ended up making two characters.   However, the one he chose to use to play with our kids characters in the end was a halfing by the name of Tucker Aetherfoot. Tucker’s an operative with the daredevil specialty, making him a nimble, acrobatic fellow. He chose scholar for his theme and nimble moves for his feat. For skills he invested in acrobatics and athletics, of course. He also invested in bluff, computers, culture, life science, perception, piloting, sleight of hand, stealth. Finally, he invested in profession (blogger), his quirkiest choice by far. When it came time to choose his equipment, Tucker invested in a survival knife and azimuth laser pistol for combat purposes, along with some more utilitarian gear. As a nod to his pal, Vishkesh, he purchased a t-shirt with a Shirrin design across it, while to represent his friendship with Hops he purchased a space helmet with a rose tinted visor and stylized mouse ears on the the sides. Tucker comes from Absalom Station, and worships Desna. Thus prepared, it was my turn.

As previously mentioned, I have a few Starfinder characters, and already had a few favourite races (ysoki, vesk, and shirrin), so I wanted to try out a race I hadn’t before. In the end I chose to make a kasatha. Knowing our group would be in need of healing, I decided on Mystic for my class. Although I had a few connections I was debating between, I went with the healing connection in the end, with the concept that my character would be a serene, wise, enigmatic character with a strong respect for life. This granted me the healing channel, and healing touch abilities. I chose the xenoseeker theme, and the bodyguard feat. For zero level spells I went with daze, detect magic, stabilize and token spell, while my first level spells were mystic cure, mind thrust and share language. Deciding my character would be traditional and more interested in cultures than technology, I went with culture, diplomacy, life science, mysticism and survival for my skills. (That’s right! No engineering, piloting, or computers here!). When it came to choose her gear, I picked up a battle staff (love that block ability!), and a pulse caster pistol (because all life is precious). I have ambitions of installing a merciful infusion on my battle staff, but that’s a thought for another day. Then it came time for the name. Now, it should be noted, I love naming conventions, so the Kasatha’s absurdly long lineage name really tickled my fancy. In the end I decided to not go too crazy or off formula. I named her Aya. Full name: Aya Nina Qaru Jehir of Clan Zomala, House Maendar, soul-splinter of the Line of Altronus. Aya worships Talavut, and is lawful neutral. She comes from Idari, the kasathan home-ship.

With our characters complete, it was time to get together, and play. But, that’s a tale for another day!

See you next time, when we head Into the Unknown!

Jessica