Starfinder Society Scenarios: The Many Minds of Historia and The Herald’s War

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 these scenarios 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!

PZOSFS0138E - The Many Minds of HistoriaStarfinder Society Scenario #1-38: The Many Minds of Historia is a Tier 5–8 adventure written by Lyz Liddell, with art  by Sebastian Rodriguez and Bryan Syme, and cartography by Robert Lazzaretti and Damien Mammoliti. This scenario features the Faction (Dataphiles) and Faction (Exo-Guardians) tags, and does not include starship combat. It builds on events from Starfinder Society #1-99: The Scoured Stars Invasion, although playing this scenario beforehand is not necessary. It also continues an ongoing personal subplot involving Zigvigix and Historia-7. Although it’s not necessary, I highly suggest you play some of the previous scenarios that feature Zigvigix and Historia-7 in order to better enjoy and understand this scenario. Players who do so will definitely get more out of it emotionally and contextually, than players that do not. This scenario makes use of Starfinder Flip-Mat: WarshipStarfinder Flip-Mat: Jungle World, and a half-page custom map. It includes content from the Starfinder Core RulebookAlien Archive, and Armory, although all of the necessary stat blocks are included in the adventure itself.

The Many Minds of Historia takes place in Absalom Station’s Lorespire Complex, base of operations for the Starfinder Society. There you will assist Zigvigix in confronting Historia-7, his friend and fellow faction leader who he believes is acting strangely. It includes plenty of important characters, and has lasting ramifications for the future of some of the involved characters and factions. Due to the importance of this scenario, and because it is much more enjoyable to play while completely in the dark, I won’t be saying much more about the content of this scenario. I will say that I absolutely loved it! The Many Minds of Historia is creative, exciting, unique, and shocking. It’s emotionally impactful, and brings a lot of interconnected storylines, characters, and events together into an intriguing cohesive whole. It’s fun for players and GMs both, allows for a lot of creativity, and is an absolutely wonderful scenario. It feels personal, and I expect many players will be on the edge of their seats throughout the course of this adventure. All that said, it’s not without a few minor weaknesses. A few of the enemy’s starting positions don’t work optimally with their tactics (which also means it’s a bit easier than some CRs imply), and it will be difficult to convey some of the skill options PCs could use without simply telling them. Miniscule nitpicks. Overall, The Many Minds of Historia is among my very favourite scenarios. Without a doubt I give it five out of five stars. Awesome job, Lyz!

PZOSFS0139 - The Heralds WarStarfinder Society Scenario #1-39: The Herald’s War is a Tier 7–10 adventure written by Mikko Kallio, with art by Graey Erb, Michele Giorgi, Miroslav Petrov, and Bryan Syme, and cartography by Robert Lazzaretti and Damien Mammoliti. This scenario features the Faction (Second Seekers [Jadnura]), Faction (Second Seekers [Luwazi Elsebo]), and Starship tags, and contains starship combat. It continues the ongoing Scoured Stars storyline, involving both the jinsul and the Kreiholm Freehold. I highly recommend you play #1-29: Honorbound Emissarries before playing this scenario (although there’s a ton of other Scoured Stars scenarios that would also be great to play beforehand). Players who take the time to do so will get more enjoyment out of this adventure. The Herald’s War utilizes Starfinder Flip-Mat – Basic Starfield, and two custom half-page maps.  It makes use of the Starfinder Core Rulebook, and, as always, all necessary stat blocks are included within the scenario itself.

The Herald’s War takes place in Saaruq-Ruaan, which is part of the Kreiholm Freehold. In this scenario PCs will join a massive Starfinder Society mission to protect the Kreiholm Freehold, and convince them to join the Starfinder Society in a future assault against the jinsul –– presuming they all survive, of course! This scenario involves a ton of different characters, plot lines, and events all coming together into one absolutely awesome scenario. It’s fast-paced, exciting, and dynamic. It’s definitely long, though, so GMs will need to keep a brisk pace to fit it all into a single timeslot. The encounters cover a variety of types –– combat, skills, social, starship, and so on –– and most challenges allow for multiple methods to overcome them. It’s action-packed and epic, but a bit manic and disjointed –– which actually fits the adventure really well. Although we have a ton more to say about this scenario, we’re going to keep it brief. This scenario is the conclusion of the Year of Scoured Stars  for the Starfinder Society, and is best enjoyed without further spoilers. All in all, it’s a really satisfying scenario with a great pay-off. This scenario leads directly into the events of #2-00: Fate of the Scoured God by Christopher Wasko, an interactive special which will debut at Origins. I give this climatic scenario five out of five stars. 

 

 

Starfinder Society Scenarios: Survivor’s Salvation and Treading History’s Folly

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!

Starfinder Society Scenario #1-30: Survivor’s Salvation is a Tier 1-4 adventure written by Kiel Howell. It takes place on Absalom Station, beginning in the Downlow District, then travelling to the Lorespire Complex (home of the Starfinder Society), and down to the Spike. This scenario does not contain starship combat.  It features the Faction (Exo-Guardians) tag, and continues the ongoing Scoured Stars storyline, particularly the events of Scenario #1‑99: The Scoured Stars Invasion. Although playing #1-99 before this scenario is not necessary, doing so will lend more emotional weight to the events of this scenario. Survivor’s Salvation uses two custom half-page maps, and no flip-mats. In addition to the Starfinder Core Rulebook, this scenario features content from the Alien ArchiveAlien Archive 2Armory, and Pact Worlds. All necessary stat blocks are included in the scenario itself. If you happen to have any characters who are doctors, psychologists, healers, or particularly caring or empathic I highly recommend you bring them. This is a great scenario to role-play such characters. On the other hand, if you’ve got particularly blood-thirsty, insensitive, or mean PCs, I recommend you let them sit this one out, and bring a different character. This scenario touches on serious themes such as mental health, PTSD, and depression, so if you’re uncomfortable with such topics, you might want to give this scenario a pass. Finally, it should be noted that my kids (who are nearly seven and eight years old) would be freaked out by the final villain in this scenario. You have been warned! Haha.

Survivor’s Salvation begins in a warehouse that serves at the Exo-Guardians base of operations, which Starfinders who have played #1-01: The Commencement or #1-04: Cries from the Drift will recognize. There your players will have a brief chat with Zigvigix, leader of the Exo-Guardians. Ziggy informs the party that Hurondo, a high-ranking shobhad Starfinder who retired after being rescued from the Scoured Stars system, recently went missing. Hurondo runs a medical facility within the Lorespire Complex called Respite, which offers support and services to Starfinders who have suffered trauma. His disappearance has Ziggy worried, so they want you to investigate. At Ziggy’s request you can check out Respite, interview Hurondo’s co-workers and patients, and try to track the big fellow down. Because this is a mystery I won’t reveal too much more abut the plot than that. I will say that more than one life hangs in the balance. No pressure! Other than Zigvigix this scenario has no recurring characters. New characters of import introduced include Hurondo, Jiwalla Zarvim (a ysoki who works at Respite), Petine, Bygones-B, Quadrant-2, Orghuun, and Bargai (a deaf vlaka who I really enjoyed).

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Bargai, a deaf vlaka from Starfinder Society Scenario #1-30: Survivor’s Salvation. Illustrated by Nicolas Espinoza. Art courtesy of Paizo Inc.

Mental health is a touchy subject for some, and I thought this scenario did a wonderful job of shining a light on trauma, depression, post-traumatic stress, and other mental health issues, along with the stigma that can be associated with them, without being insensitive or preachy. You have plenty of opportunities as players to offer support to, gain insight from, and empathize with the various side characters throughout this scenario, all while fulfilling your mission objectives. In fact, the opening series of social encounters at and around Respite turned out to be one of my very favourite parts of the scenario. I also really enjoyed the tense social interactions with Bargai. The true villains of this scenario were exceptionally well-utilized, and I can’t wait to see what further events they could later be linked to. The final battle is quite dynamic, but to retain the element of surprise we won’t go into any more detail that that. Overall, I loved this scenario. It had a ton of engaging social interactions, interesting enemies, and a dynamic final encounter. It’s one of those scenarios where your actions clearly matter. I give it five out of five stars.

Starfinder Society Scenario #1-31: Treading History’s Folly is a Tier 3-6 adventure written by Vanessa Hoskins. It takes place on Kukanou-2b, a hot, toxic, shattered moon in the Vast that orbits the gas giant Kukanou. You’ll definitely need to use your armour’s environmental seals for this mission, so if you’re using a character who doesn’t have armour, buy some. This scenario features the Faction (Second Seekers [Jadnura]) tag and does not contain starship combat. It continues the ongoing Scoured Stars storyline — particularly Scenarios #1-11: In Pursuit of the Scoured Past, #1-13: On the Trail of History, #1-17: Reclaiming the Tome-Lost Tear, #1-23: Return to Sender, #1-99: The Scoured Stars Invasion, and #1-29: Honorbound Emissaries — although it does so in a completely different way than Survivor’s Salvation. It features a minor encounter that has ties to Scenario #1-24: Siege of Enlightenment and will have further connections to the upcoming Scenario #1-37: Siege of Civility. If you have any characters who have played Siege of Enlightenment I recommend bringing them along, but not at the expense of characters with ties to the Scoured Stars. Finally, characters who have the ‘Abysshead Download’ boon from Scenario #1-06: Night in Nightarch will need to endure an unfortunate surprise (which I enjoyed!). Treading History’s Folly makes use of Pathfinder Flip-Mat: Cavernous Lair and Pathfinder Flip-Mat Classics: Village Square.  In addition to the Starfinder Core Rulebook it contains content from the Alien Archive and Armory. It’s only recurring characters are First Seeker Jadnura (who was previously featured in Scenario #1-99: The Scoured Stars Invasion and #1-26: Truth of the Seeker) and Iteration-177 (who was previously featuring in Scenario #1-05: The First Mandate, #1-11: In Pursuit of the Scoured Stars, and #1-29: Honorbound Emissaries).

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The symbol of Kadrical. Illustration by Graey Erb. Art courtesy of Paizo Inc.

Treading History’s Folly begins when the PCs accept a secret mission on behalf of First Seeker Jadnura. Wracked with guilt over his past decisions, which lead to many agents losing their lives in the Scoured Stars Incident, Jadnura is searching for meaning. He wants a team of reliable agents to visit the location where he originally found the Tear that lead him to discovering the Scoured Stars trinity system. Your PCs mission it to investigate the site and see if he missed anything that could have fortold the danger the system posed. It’s a fun adventure that features a few interesting social interactions, and plenty of traps, hazards, and enemies. My favourite part was the exploration of Xaharee. It’s a really cool, atmospheric location, that gives clever PCs the chance to learn a LOT about the Scoured Stars trinary system and the Tears. Although some of this information can be gleaned from previous scenarios, a lot of the information is brand new. Very cool! There’s also a surprisingly touching player hand-out, which I always enjoy. This scenario’s chronicle features two easy to acquire boons and some nice thematic gear for both sub-tiers. One of the boons is another segment of the mysterious ‘Journey to the Scoured Stars’ boon which doesn’t do anything right now but promises to do something in the future. The second boon is a really useful limited use ally boon. Overall, I really enjoyed this scenario. It was unique, atmospheric, and enlightening, I give it four out of five stars.

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An earth elemental haunted by the mentrasi from Starfinder Society Scenario #1-31: Treading History’s Folly. Illustration by Graey Erb. Art courtesy of Paizo Inc.

Thanks for joining me today. I hope you come to love these two solid Starfinder Society Scenarios as much I do. Be sure to come back later this week when we take a peek at the two newest Pathfinder Society Scenarios.

Jessica

 

Starfinder Society Scenarios: It Rests Beneath and Honorbound Emissaries!

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!

1-28 It Rests Beneath
Starfinder Society Scenario #1-28: It Rests Beneath by Jason Tondro.

Starfinder Society Scenario #1-28: It Rests Beneath is a Tier 1-4 adventure written by Jason Tondro. It takes place on the planet Vabaimus, a Near Space world home to a variety of ecosystems and rich mineral deposits. It’s dominant native species is a sloth-like race that is approaching sentience. On Vabaimus you will help out a small Starfinder research facility. This scenario features the Faction (Wayfinders), and Vehicle tags. It does not contain starship combat. It utilizes content from the Starfinder Core RulebookStarfinder Armory, and Starfinder Alien Archive . It makes use of Pathfinder Flip-Mat: Hill CountryPathfinder Flip-Mat: Twisted Caverns, and Starfinder Flip-Mat: Asteroid. In addition, you’ll also want a relatively featureless map, like Pathfinder Flip Mat: Basic Terrain Multi-Pack or Pathfinder Flip-Mat: Dragon’s Lair, for any unmapped encounters. If you’ve got any vehicle-related boons now is the time to slot them. Similarly, if your character happens to own their own vehicle, definitely bring it along!

It Rests Beneath features only one recurring character: Fitch, leader of the Wayfinders faction, an her mischievous grandchildren. It introduces a few new characters: Dr. Mora Motressi, leader of a Starfinder research facility on Vabaimus; her daughter, Little Mina; and Bud, a cuddly sloth-like being that’s both the good doctor’s pet and the most advanced native species on the planet. This scenario begins on the Master of Stars, the largest ship in the Starfinder fleet. It’s currently docked in Absalom Station’s Armada and has been undergoing repairs since the start of Starfinder Society Organized Play. From there it swiftly transitions to Vabaimus, where the rest of the scenario takes place. There PCs will need to assist the science team in performing a survey of a strange landmass. Nearly 85,000 square miles in size, with no water or plant-life, this calcified plateau is of great interest to Dr. Motressi and her team. She asks you to travel across the plateau to three specific locations, set up some specialized towers you brought with you, and calibrate surveying equipment atop of each one. Each tower has its own challenges, hazards, and enemies to contend with. There’s multiple vehicles your PCs can choose from, and the towers can be tackled in any order. There’s a simple vehicle handout that will be useful for both players and GMs, which is a nice touch. I love how flavourful the new creatures and environmental hazards are. A lot of thought has gone into ensuring they fit into their ecosystem — which is particularly important when players are surveying an environment. Also, I particularly enjoyed the mystery of the old kasathan ship.

I do have  one nitpick. Page three is missing half of a sentence at the end of the first section, which I assume should read something along the lines of ‘up to help,’ ‘up to lend a hand,’ or something else similar. It’s not a hindrance to the scenario. You can still get the gist of what it’s supposed to be saying, but it was jarring enough that it caused me to look around in confusion for a half a minute, to make sure I hadn’t missed anything. A minor distraction in an otherwise enjoyable read.

Overall, I loved I this scenario! The premise is different from any that have come before. It was engaging all the way through, with a wonderful array of social interactions, skill-based encounters, hazards, and combat. The enemies and hazards were all well-thought out. The NPCs were properly engaging and ‘real.’ And, best of all, your PCs have to make an important decision regarding the future of this planet. Really top notch! Although it didn’t blow my mind, like some other amazing Starfinder adventures, it was an… understated awesome. I give it 5 out of 5 stars.

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Starfinder Society #1-29: Honorbound Emissaries by Jenny Jarzabski.

Starfinder Society #1-29: Honorbound Emissaries is a Tier 7-10 adventure written by Jenny Jarzabski. Yup, you heard that right! Tier 7-10! The first of its kind! It takes place primarily on Saaruq-5, a planet in the Vast that’s part of a multiplanetary federation called the Kreiholm Freehold.  This scenario features the Faction (Second Seekers [Luwazi Elsebo]) tag, and does not involve Starship combat. It continues the ongoing Scoured Stars storyline, and is a direct sequel to the events of Starfinder Society #1-99: The Scoured Stars Invasion. Although playing these previous adventures isn’t necessary, I highly suggest you do. Everything will make more sense, have more importance, and be more engaging if you have.  It features NPCs from some previous scenarios (Starfinder Society Scenario #1-04: Cries from the Drift, Starfinder Society Scenario #1-05: The First Mandate, and Starfinder Society Scenario #1-11: In Pursuit of the Scoured Past). In addition, there are multiple instances where PCs who have played previous scenarios involving the jinsul have an advantage (Starfinder Society Scenario #1–13: On the Trail of History, Starfinder Society Scenario #1–99: The Scoured Stars Invasion, or Starfinder Society Scenario #1–23: Return to Sender). Finally, it should also be noted that this scenario helps lay the foundations for further scenarios, as well as the next interactive special. Important stuff! If you’ve got characters who have played any of the above-mentioned scenarios, I highly suggest bringing them. And, if you’ve got the Honorbound Allies boon, now’s the time to slot it!

Honorbound Emissaries utilizes Pathfinder Map Pack: Starship DecksStarfinder Flip-Mat: Hospital , and a custom half-page map. It contains content from the Starfinder Core RulebookStarfinder Alien ArchiveStarfinder Alien Archive 2, and Starfinder Armory. In addition to containing important events, this scenario has a lot of important NPCs. It features First Seeker Luwazi Elsebo, Iteration-177 (who was previously in Starfinder Society Scenario #1-05: The First Mandate and Starfinder Society Scenario #1-11: In Pursuit of the Scoured Past), Captain Yuluzak (who was previously in Starfinder Society Scenario #1-04: Cries from the Drift), and mentioned (but unfortunately doesn’t feature) the gruff vesk pawnbroker Julzakama (who was previously in Starfinder Quest: Into the Unknown and Starfinder Society Scenario #1-10: The Half-Alive Streets). Captain Yuluzak has his own artwork this time around, and it is awesome! All of these NPCs were well-represented, and I’m happy to see them back. Honorbound Emissaries also introduces a ton of new NPCs to interact with, many of which have names, personalities, and quirks. I particularly enjoyed the crew of Honorbound.

The opening premise for this mission is… convoluted. Captain Yuluzak, who runs a salvager, discovered a starship wreck, took what was valuable and returned to Absalom Station. Some objects he kept, and others he sold to a pawnbroker named Julzakama. Juzakama recognized one of the objects as an important piece of art and contacted some people he thought would buy it. One of those people, Iteration-177, recognized the object as belonging to a culture that was once a part of the Scoured Stars Trinary System, so he contacted Luwazi Elsebo. Luwazi had the object brought to her, along with a team of Starfinders, Iteration-177, and Captain Yuluzak himself. Luwazi tasks the PCs with travelling aboard Captain Yuluzak’s ship to investigate the original wreck. There they’ll  determine the ship’s origins, and travel there to investigate and (hopefully) make some new allies.

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A jinsul. Illustrated by Graey Erb. Art courtesy of Paizo Inc.

This scenario was big with a capital ‘B.’ It involves the Scoured Stars storyline, the jinsul, a new solar system full of inhabited planets, three new races (nelentu, syngathrix, and thyr), people to save, important decisions to make, a massive starship battle, and combat on… well we’ll leave that part secret for now. Haha. To say this scenario is bold is an understatement! The entire hospital section of this scenario was particularly well handled, as were the NPC interactions found throughout. And the setting for the final battle? Epic! Your PCs are sure to come away from that fight feeling like badass action heroes. It’s going to be a ton of fun to play.  On the downside, everything in this scenario is overly convenient in a rather heavy-handed way. Now, I’ve no problem with a ‘railroad,’ particularly in short adventures like Society Scenarios, but in Honorbound Emissaries you always arrive in the exact right place at the exact right time in order to avoid something troublesome. Heck, you even travel through a massive space battle and don’t get attacked by either side. At all! In fact, you even manage to approach the planet and land without a single threat or altercation. It’s like you’re invisible. Which brings me to me second down-side: starship combat. This scenario should have had one. Getting to witness an epic starship war and not engage in it at all is kind of a let down. And how fun would it have been to help out the crew of the Honorbound? Now, I get why it’s not in here. This scenario has more than enough encounters to engage in, and they’re all cool. But, it would have been nice to at least see the ship you’re on come under attack. Or mention the bumpy ride as the pilot has to take evasive maneuvers. Something.

…But that final battle! Wow! Haha.

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A jinsul ship. Originally depicted in SFS #1-13: On the Trail of History. Art courtesy of Paizo Inc.

Overall, I really enjoyed this scenario. It’s bold, daring, and casts your players into situations much bigger than themselves. PCs get to do some heroic things, some absurd things, and   some absurdly heroic things, all of which is going to be a blast! It’s rounded out by some really solid social interactions with a large cast of quirky characters. This is truly one of those scenarios that players will talk about for a long time afterwards, simply because they want to brag about their character’s exploits. Five years some now I’m sure some players will still look back on it fondly and say “Wow, remember when my Starfinder character did THAT? THAT was cool.”

Which is cool!

I give this scenario 5 out of 5 stars.

Thanks for joining us today!

I wish you happy holidays, plenty of natural 20s, and all the best in the upcoming year!

Jessica

Starfinder Society Scenarios: ‘The Protectorate Petition’ and ‘Return to Sender’

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!

1-22 Protectorate PetitionScenario #1-22: The Protectorate Petition is a Tier 1-4 adventure written by Mike Kimmel. It takes place on Tabrid Minor, a planet in Near Space that has a population of around two billion. The dominant race on the planet, the copaxis, have applied to the Pact Worlds for Protectorate status. The Stewards have hired the Starfinder Society to conduct an independent review of the ruins of an ancient flying city located on Tabris Minor, with the help of some locals. You’ll need to learn all you can about the cobaxis, their culture, and their history. Once you’ve got a feel for them and their past it will be your job to write a report which will either approve or deny Tabris Minor’s request for Protectorate status. This scenario features no special scenario tags, does not include starship combat, and does not continue any ongoing storylines. It makes use of Pathfinder Map Pack: Ruined Village, and Pathfinder Map Pack: Secret Rooms . In addition to the Starfinder Core Rulebook, it features content from Starfinder: Alien Archive, and Starfinder: Armory. There is a single familiar face in this scenario: the always delightful Venture-Captain Arvin, as well as a host of new NPCs. It introduces a member of the Stewards: Major Tower-9, who will hopefully be featured in another future scenario. The copaxis are a really interesting race. Each individual is actually a colony of microorganisms which live within a single humanoid-shaped exoskeleton and act as a single unit. They’re basically coral-people. There are also a lot of interesting NPCs in this scenario from among the copaxis themselves, including Bryanisis, Gnaucara, Panacula, and Therseis. My personal favourite? Less Than Three (of whom I will divulge no further details).

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Therseis, a copaxis from Tabris Minor featured in SFS #1-22: The Protectorate Petition. Illustrated by Michele Giorgi. Art courtesy of Paizo Inc.

Exploring the ruined flying city of Tabantria is a lot of fun, with some locations already excavated and safe, and others still dangerous. There’s opportunities to glean interesting information at both types of locations, as well as copaxis researchers you can turn to for context and advice if desired. Although I don’t want to give away anything about your discoveries, I will say that things are more… complex that they seem. It’s wonderfully handled. There’s some fun battles in this scenario, all of which can provide the PCs with some information. I particularly enjoyed the new crab-like creature known as the corchaaz which can alter gravity and even use some solarian powers! Very cool. There’s no particular boons you’ll want to slot for this one, although members of the Dataphiles, Exo-Guardians, and Wayfinders all should naturally have the most interest in this scenarios goals. If you’ve got a solarian, now is a great time to play them. Solarians have a few unique benefits throughout this scenario. Overall I really enjoyed this scenario. I give it four out of five stars.

1-23 Return to SenderScenario #1-23: Return to Sender is a Tier 5-8 adventure written by Natalie Kertzner. It takes place on the edge of the Scoured Stars trinary system, which contains three suns, and a plethora of planets. The systems within the Scoured Stars are Callion, Agillae, and Bastiar. This scenario takes place after a number of other Scoured Stars related scenarios including: #1-05: The First Mandate, #1-11: In Pursuit of the Scoured Past, #1-13: On the Trail of History, #1-17: Reclaiming the Time-Lost Tear, and the Starfinder Special: #1-99: The Scoured Stars Invasion. Obviously, this scenario contains some spoilers, particularly in regards to the Special. I recommend playing as many of the previous scenarios as possible, before playing this one. One very important piece of information? Jinsul are an alien species that attacked the Starfinders when they attempted to rescue their comrades from the Scoured Stars system. Although most of the Starfinders escaped, the jinsul conquered the Scoured Stars system. As to what they want next? Unknown.

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A jinsul ship. Originally depicted in SFS #1-13: On the Trail of History. Art courtesy of Paizo Inc.

This mission begins when Historia-7 (leader of the Dataphiles) flies the PCs to a secret facility run by Radaszam (leader of the Acquisitives) and maintained for his Obsidian Spiders mercenary company. Together the duo gives the PCs an off-the-books mission. Their job? Take a recovered jinsul ship and fly to a space station on the edge of the system. Infiltrate the jinsul base, learn all you can, and destroy it (with the help of Historia-7 and Radaszam!). This scenario features the Faction (Acquisitives) and Faction (Dataphiles) tags and uses two custom maps. It features content from Starfinder: Alien Archive, but all relevant information is included in this scenario. There’s no specific boons I’d recommend slotting (other than the faction boons, of course) or classes to take. It is worth mentioning that one enemy in this scenario has an ability that could allow them to foil the operative’s trick attack ability.  Return to Sender is intended to be a dangerous infiltration mission with a nerve-wracking atmosphere. You’re supposed to worry over alerting the base to your presence, while learning all you can. That said, the path laid before you is noticeably linear, with no real repercussions for being discovered. It runs the risk of feeling like a long, drawn out slug-fest. Room, fight, hack a computer. Room, fight, hack a computer. And so on. This is one of those missions that really requires a talented GM to make it shine. That said, I particularly liked the final battle, and the scenario’s cinematic ending. In my opinion the best part of this scenario was actually nothing to do with the mission at all. Throughout it the PCs get to hear Radaszam and Historia-7 banter over the comms and learn more about the duo. PCs also have the opportunity to release and befriend and adorable little alien that behaves like a goofy puppy dog and looks like a mix between a shark and an octopus, with big, cutesy eyes and a lolling tongue. This little fellow’s antics can either be played up (for groups who would enjoy some comic relief) or fall to the wayside (for groups who are enjoying a more serious, suspenseful playthrough). I think the fact that the option was given for this creature to serve different roles for different kinds of groups was a really nice addition. Although this mission will be a great fit for some players, it just wasn’t my cup of tea. I give it three out of five stars.

Thanks for joining us today! I hope you enjoyed this look at the newest Starfinder Society Scenarios. We’ll be back in a few days with a look at the newest Pathfinder Society Scenarios. See you then!

Jessica

Scoured Stars Trinary System

Ch-ch-ch-CHANGES! (August News)

Well, it’s official! Season Nine: Year of Factions’ Favour has come to an end, and the Pathfinder Society has launched Season 10: Year of the Ten. Faction Cards have been updated, and the newest edition of the Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Guide has been released. If you don’t have the newly updated versions of these documents then I highly recommend you head on over to Paizo’s website and give them a download. They’re free.

In other news, Gameday VII is underway. This means that my family is enjoying the chance to play in a bunch of new Pathfinder Society Scenarios online via play-by-post. There is a HUGE number of games scheduled to start now. That includes playing in the Pathfinder Society, Pathfinder Society Core, Pathfinder Society Adventure Card Game, Pathfinder Society Playtest and the Starfinder Society! In addition, they’re running the Pathfinder Society Scenario #8-99: Solstice Scar Special and Starfinder Society: #1-99: Scoured Stars Invasion Special as we speak. More games are slated to start in October. That’s also when Pathfinder Society Scenario #9-00: Assault on Absalom Special will run. Although it’s likely too late to join any of August’s games, there’s still plenty of time to sign up for October’s. That said, many games are full already, so I wouldn’t dawdle much longer if you want to get into a game! Haha.

First seeker Jadnura
First Seeker Jadnura. Art by Graey Erb for Starfinder.

For those of you who don’t know, the Scoured Stars Invasion special also brought with it the introduction of a new faction: Second Seekers (Jadnura). Who the heck is Jadnura? Jadnura is the First Seeker who led the Starfinders into the Scoured Stars system. That’s right. He’s the kasatha who got everyone stuck and lost in an event now known as the Scoured Stars Incident. So why would you still follow this guy when Luwazi Elsebo is the current First Seeker? For starters, it lets you make a character who was a loyal Starfinder before the advent of the Scoured Stars Incident. You can be the guy left behind, whose still loyal to a leader no longer present. Second? Well, the special is called the Scoured Stars Invasion, and it’s main purpose is to enter the Scoured Stars System and rescue as many lost agents as you can. I suppose some might call that a spoiler, but honestly, it’s obviously the point of the scenario right from the first few sentences of playing. Why else go there? Want more details? I can’t give them to you! Haha. I’m currently playing this scenario for Gameday VII and don’t know how it ends. If you want more information (and some spoilers) feel free to check out Paizo’s blog post on First Seeker Jadnura here.

GrandLodgeSymbol
The Sigil of the Open Road, logo of the Pathfinder Society.

So what the heck is Season Ten: Year of the Ten all about, anyway? Judging by the title, something to do with the Decemvirate. But what? It’s been hinted that it has something to do with the infamous Grandmaster Torch, and that some of the Decemvirate might find their anonymity threatened and their mysteries unveiled. Interestingly, most of the missions this season will revolve around the Hao Jin Tapestry. For those of you who don’t know, the Hao Jin Tapestry is a literal tapestry that leads to a demiplane which contains mysteries, relics, ruins and other places collected by the wizard Hao Jin. This object was acquired by the Pathfinder Society way back in Season Three and has been a source of tons of adventures. It’s also been harnessed by the Pathfinders in order to allow their agents to travel the world quickly and efficiently. This season the Hao Jin Tapestry is beginning to unravel and, if we can’t fix it, it’ll dump everything inside it into the Astral Plane. An unfortunate event for not only the Pathfinder Society, but also all the people and creatures who still live inside the demiplane itself. Unfortunately, you can bet that fixing it won’t be as easy as just casting mending. I’m sure there’s plenty of adventure involved! There’s a few other things that have been revealed to be a part of this season. There’s plenty of relics related to the lich Tar Baphon that will be surfacing. There’s also a demon who wants to utilize the Worldwound’s collapse to launch his apotheosis into full demon lord. Pretty nifty! I think I’m most excited for the missions involving Grandmaster Torch, but hey, I’m biased! I’m also excited to learn more about Tar Baphon. I love a good (BAD) lich!

Pathfinder Playtest Rulebook
Pathfinder Playtest Rulebook

There’s a few more exciting things going on around my house right now. My daughter’s begun work on creating her second Pathfinder Playtest character so that we can continue with our Doomsday Dawn Playtest. She’s decided to make a gnome fighter who wields an absurdly large sword. She’s very excited to be the melee character for a change.

My family and I entered a contest a week or so ago. Hosted by the overly generous Hmm on Paizo’s message boards, she was going to give away all the boons necessary to create a mermaid in PFS play. There were a few ways to enter — for yourself with a mermaid character concept, for a group of friends with a team created from the other boons she was giving away, or by nominating someone else who you thought deserved to win. Now, when we play in the Pathfinder Society, the question my kids ask me most often is:

“Mom, why can’t I be any race I want?”

Unfortunately, at the ages of six and seven, the idea of holding out for race boons is absurd. Haha. The follow up question I most often get after any explanation I can concoct is:

“Yeah. But WHY?”

So, as soon as I read the contest I told my family about it. My kids were jumping up and down in joy. They spend that night brainstorming, and spent the next day planning their characters while I madly tried to keep up with them. And then we got to the end. They were ready! Sort of. For bonus points you could also write a song.

….yup. A song.

Not my forte. My son wanted to add jokes into the song, and my daughter wanted it to have a lot of animal sounds (since we were nearly all animal people of one kind or another).

It was… hard. Haha.

But, in the end we handed in our entry with pride. So what was it?

My family and I wanted to make a quartet of characters who are (and were) universally considered outcasts among their people and Golarion at large. They’re weird, and different. But what’s strange for one culture isn’t strange for others, and it’s those very oddities that the others embraced and connected with. After all, who cares if the vanara has unnaturally large eyes, if he’s hanging out with a grippli? These guys are friends, companions, and (in many ways) family. They don’t have the same interests, and they don’t always get along. But, hey? What family does?

My daughter made an energetic poisonous grippli, my son made an eco-conscious vanara with a stumpy tail who has hair growth issues, my husband made a ratfolk who chews on everything (including magical objects), and I made an overly adventurous aquatic elf whose curiosity got her abandoned on the surface. Together, these quirky characters would do… stuff!

Just the other day the winners were announced. There were a ton of great ones. And some of the songs were awesome! Hmm ended up giving out boons to winners of each category, which is incredibly generous! We won in the ‘buddies’ category, and my kids have been hard at work ever since, plotting out their character mechanics. We were lucky enough that a fellow play-by-poster offered to run us through our group’s first PFS scenario together, so once everyone is ready and formatted for online play we’ll be starting Heroes for Highdelve! My daughter got to work first and is almost done. She’s thrilled!

We’ll post more about these lovable weirdos once they’re ready for a game. One thing’s for certain: they’re going to be the most eccentric group of characters we’ve ever made! (And that’s saying something…)

Now it’s time to say goodbye,

Or, more accurately: ‘Now it’s time to get to work on my next article.’

Season 10, here we come!

Jessica

SaveSave

New Starfinder Society Scenarios: Dreaming of the Future & Reclaiming the Time-Lost Tear

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!

Scenario #1-16: Dreaming of the Future is a Tier 1-4 adventure written by Natalie Kertzner, Nate Wright, Sasha Lindley Hall, and Tineke Bolleman. Unlike most scenarios, this is a Quest. Each quest contains multiple one-hour long adventures that link together to form a cohesive story. These four quests send the PCs across the Pact Worlds. It begins in Absalom Station, but also visits Aballon, the Diaspora, Liavara and Verces. This scenario has the Repeatable tag, which means that you can play this scenario once per character (as opposed to once per player). One of the Quests, ‘River Rat,’ features Starship combat. This scenario tasks the PCs with unravelling the mysterious visions of a Liavaran Dreamer (Whisperer of Solar Winds) who works for the Starfinder Society, and obtaining three fragments of a sandstone tablet. Together, this tablet is thought to unlock a variety of tools and relics from a Pre-Gap Liavaran Dreamer, which will empower and enhance Whisperer of Solar Winds’ prophetic dreams. Maybe. The only recurring cameo from previous scenarios is from Venture Captain Arvin.

sfs 1-16 - ikeshti - congregant merthinett - nicolas espinoza
Ikeshti Congregant Merthinett from SFS #1-16: Dreaming of the Future. Illustrated by Nicolas Espinoza. Art courtesy of Paizo Inc.

This Quest works great as an introductory adventure for new players and GMs. It has lots of helpful hints throughout it, some fun player handouts, and is a real tour de force of the different kinds of scenarios you might play in the Starfinder Society. The first three quests can be completed in any order, although the fourth quest is the culmination of the previous three and should be done last. The first Quest is entitled ‘Megaplex’ and is set in the Towershadow region of the Megaplex settlement of ‘Striving’ on Aballon. This is a pretty straightforward Quest which involves a battle in and around cramped spaces, and some negotiation. It’s quite brief in feel, and was probably the Quest I enjoyed least. That being said, it’s also the easiest of the Quests to run and play through, so if you’re a new GM or player I highly recommend starting with this one! Megaplex utilizes Starfinder Flip-Mat: Urban Sprawl. The second Quest is entitled ‘River Rat’ and is set in the asteroid belt known as the Diaspora. It features a very strategic, unique starship combat which I really, really enjoyed. To make it even better, there’s some great opening social interactions you can engage in with your opponents before the battle. It was lovely to see! River Rat utilizes Starfinder Flip-Mat: Basic Starfield. The third Quest is entitled ‘Bad Chameleon’ and takes place in the sector of Verces’ Ring of Nations known as Vanos. This area is known for it’s high-end nightlife. In this scenario you’ll need to blend in among the wealthy clientele of this neighbourhood, and perform a heist. It’s very free-form, and really allows players to be creative. It has some fun social encounters and a delightfully foul enemy, with some creepy artwork which really made it memorable. I really enjoyed this quest. It makes use of the Starfinder Flip-Mat: Cantina. The final Quest is entitled ‘Nightmare,’ and is a lovely little delve into a ruin where you can utilize your tablet pieces and achieve your goals. If you can get past the obstacles contained within! Nightmare takes place on Praehan, one of the moons of Liavara. In addition to being a ‘dungeon delve’ style of adventure, it also features a bunch of awesome environmental hazards. You’ll have to deal with weather, atmosphere, gravity, and attempt to swim through liquid methane (which is much harder than it sounds). It has an exciting enemy with a great premise, stats, and art which serves as a wonderful climax to this adventure. I thought it was awesome. It utilizes Pathfinder: Flip Mat: Tech Dungeon. Overall, I really enjoyed this series of Quests, and highly recommend it — especially for newer players. I give it four out of five stars.

sfs 1-17 - reclaiming the time lost tear - prima - graey erb
Prima from SFS #1-17: Reclaiming the Time-Lost Tear. Illustrated by Graey Erb. Art courtesy of Paizo Inc.

Scenario #1-17: Reclaiming the Time-Lost Tear is a Tier 5-8 adventure written by Larry Wilhelm. Yes, you read that right. Tier 5-8! It takes place on the scorching hot, barren moon called Repository, which orbits a planet in the Vast called Izal-4. There you’ll explore a dangerous complex filled with ancient, advanced alien technology. This scenario has the Faction (Second Seekers [Luwazi Elsebo]) tag, and continues the ongoing Scoured Stars storyline. It does not feature starship combat. This scenario tasks the PCs with acquiring a mysterious key that will lower the barrier around the Scoured Stars. It builds directly off of events that happened in Scenario #1-13: On the Trail of History, which in turn builds off events that happened in Scenario #1-11: In Pursuit of the Scoured Past. I highly recommend you play both of those scenarios before this one. As for the scenario itself? I really enjoyed it. But, beware! This scenario is challenging! It’s got some good environmental challenges, makes use of an interesting new kind of radiation, fun battles, cool traps, and has a great pay off in the end. There was also some interesting back-plot that you can unravel as you progress, which I always enjoy. This scenario features two custom maps, and no flip-mats. I give this scenario four out of five stars!

I hope you enjoyed taking a look at this months new Starfinder Society Scenarios with me! I certainly enjoyed reading them. Tune in later this week for out look at the new Pathfinder Society Scenarios!

Jessica

 

New Starfinder Society Scenarios: Ashes of Discovery & On the Trail of History

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!

Scenario # 1-12: Ashes of Discovery is a Tier 1-4 adventure which takes place on an abandoned outpost in Near Space. It has the repeatable tag and features starship combat. As a repeatable scenario, this adventure can be played once with every character (as opposed to once per player), which is AWESOME and makes it easier to get some much needed experience for low level characters. In addition, it features randomized mechanical and story elements, which means that each time you play it will be slightly (or very) different. These randomized elements include what special abilities the enemies have, the atmosphere of the planet, attitudes and cultural quirks of the locals, what corporation the colony once belonged to, and much, much more. I was super impressed with how completely these randomized elements could change the scenario. I fully intend to play this one through with every character I ever make for SFS play. The only difficulty? With a scenario this randomized it’s really up to the GM to sell the environments, characters, and atmosphere. With a GM not willing to put their all into running this delightful scenario, it could fall flat.

So what’s this scenario about? Recently a corporation discovered records of a long abandoned outpost they haven’t had contact with in centuries. They’ve hired to Starfinders to head on down to the planet–cleverly named Colony-753–and have a look see. Your Starfinder will get to explore an unknown planet, deal with hazards and wildlife, befriend the locals and survive a bit of wild weather. Basically, this scenario is a wonderful example of what being a Starfinder is all about! It features Guidance, an AI created from the memories and knowledge of previous Starfinders. Unlike the other repeatable scenario (#1-01: The Commencement, which also happens to be Guidance’s first appearance), this one really lived up to my expectations. It was wonderful. Overall, I highly recommend Ashes of Discovery. I give it five out of five stars.

sfs 1-12 - ashes of discovery - besmaran whelp
Besmaran whelp from SFS #1-12: Ashes of Discovery. Art courtesy of Paizo Inc.

Scenario #1-13: On the Trail of History is a Tier 3-6 adventure which takes place on an unchartered planet in the Vast known as Icefront, or Izalraan to the natives. It has the Faction (Second Seekers [Luwazi Elsebo] scenario tag and features starship combat. In addition to being of great importance to the Second Seekers (Luwazi Elsebo) faction, this scenario also contributes to the ongoing year of the Scoured Stars storyline. Following a lead discovered in Scenario #1-11: In Pursuit of the Scoured Past, First Seeker Elsebo sends the Starfinders on an expedition to a planet that could have a connection to the Scoured Stars incident. Tasked with finding out whatever they can about the planet, and a relic believed to have landed there, the group must deal with a strange environment, and dangerous locals. Unlike similar scenarios, this adventure features a whole lot more than you’d expect, the mysterious introduction of what’s sure to be an important part of the Scoured Stars plot line, and some delightful moral dilemmas. Those of you who have played through #1-05: The First Mandate, will find that one of your boons might earn you an extra hint or two. Overall, this was an awesome scenario, that was very different from those that have come before. I give it five out of five stars.

sfs 1-13 - on the trail of history - jinsul ship
A mysterious ship… Art courtesy of Paizo Inc.
starfinder society agent
A Starfinder Society Agent from the Starfinder Society Guild Guide. Art Courtesy of Paizo Inc.

And that’s all for today! Thanks for joining us on our exploration of the wonderful new scenario’s available this month. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about them as much as I have. Both scenarios look like a ton of fun, and I can’t wait until I have a chance to run them for my family, or play them myself. My son’s been super curious about the mystery of the Scoured Stars incident, so I can’t wait to tell him about what’s waiting for him down the line.

Until next time,

Jessica