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Pathfinder Society

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game

Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Scenario #1-01: The Commencement PDF

****½ (based on 7 ratings)

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A Starfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 1-2.

All Starfinders complete their training by conferring with Guidance—a network of uploaded personalities embodying paragons from the Starfinder Society's history. Before receiving the blessing of Guidance, the PCs must meet with and assist critical missions on behalf of key leaders of the Society's leading factions. With the events of the Scoured Stars Incident still fresh in everyone's memory, there's plenty that needs doing to set the Society back on track.

The Commencement is a replayable scenario designed to help introduce players to the factions of the Starfinder Society and areas of importance on Absalom Station.

Written by Eleanor Ferron.

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Product Reviews (7)
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****½ (based on 7 ratings)

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Strong Start, But Needs Some Work

***( )( )

Starfinder Society Scenario 1-01: The Commencement is a strong introduction to the Starfinder Universe, but needs work. Some gripes are with the writing and mechanics. Often times our actions felt rather lightweight, like they had no impact on the characters or the story. The junk race had some especially noticeable issues, with it's poorly-elaborated and mathy rules that confused players trying to participate. Furthermore, punishments for the pre-race scene for more unscrupulous characters failing their skill checks were too severe—getting locked out of the scene with little opportunity to recover. Realistic perhaps, but unfun for players who effectively can no longer participate in the scene because of bad luck.
Other issues are more personal. The Scenario's careless use of Alzheimer's Disease as a minor plot point bothered me greatly, since my family has been affected by Alzheimer's, and to bring it up as a throw-away character feature felt, to me, deeply disrespectful to AD patients and their families.
Outside of these complaints, this Evergreen Adventure has a good mix challenges for skill-based, combat-based, and social-based characters. It sets a solid baseline of quality, and is one which I hope future scenarios will live up to, providing they address this issues outlined above.

A very good introduction to the society


I've just finished running the Quests and the first 3 PFS scenarios at a Con. These reviews are partly for the impression that they collectively left on me and so the beginning of the reviews are identical.

Together, these form a wonderful introduction to both Starfinder and the Society. There are lots and lots of background details that just pop out and are very evocative of the setting. Together, they illustrate just how wide a range of possible games can be run using Starfinder and the variety of adventures that we can hopefully expect in Society play.

The end result of running this material is that I am much happier with both the mechanics and setting than I was going in. The game plays better than it appears that it might, all the characters were participating in all the scenarios and none really dominated any particular scenario.

And the setting has become quite interesting. There are LOTS of stories to be told and the system is robust enough to tell most of them :-).

=== The Commencement specific review

The commencement was, overall, a good introduction to the society and the setting. I'm not sure why there were only 4 factions covered but, quite frankly, the other one sounds very boring to me :-).

The Race took by far the most time. Do NOT let the players choose to do this first, you want to get it out of the way so that you can gauge time better. Every time that I ran this the players were all having fun building their racer and then the race was definitely exciting (although it perhaps went on a little long).

There is lots of humour in this senario. The CD "side quest" was quite amusing.

And the various Faction Leaders were quite well portrayed. They seemed far more like "people" than many from PFS. Fitch was the favourite. Kudos to the artist, she is so CUTE :-)

An excellent intro for Starfinder Society!


After years of playing Pathfinder Society, I've started to grow a bit weary of all those "Welcome to Pathfinder" scenarios that are out there. The Confirmation, Wounded Wisp, First Steps, all those quests. So when I heard that Starfinder was starting off with a "Welcome to Starfinder" scenario, I was not colored excited.

Then I played it.

Then I ran it.

Holy freaking crapbaskets this scenario has it all. First we start off getting a dope introduction. The TLDR of which is that 80% of all the higher level SFS agents are gone. Lost somewhere because of a technical artifact glitch or some Deus Ex Machina. Either way, they're outta the picture. Great explanation for why they're recruiting so many new agents. Very choice.

We then get 4 missions, each of which shows off something different for your new players. You get to choose your own adventure of .. Shadowrun-level espionage, Classic wham-bam alien hunt, skill check extraviganza to chase down some sentient life, and finally, the crowd pleaser, a freaking pod race.

Well not a pod race. This isn't Star Wars. It's a junk race. But there's still pit droids, Hutts, Sebulba, chance cubes. Alright. Not really. But maybe if your table takes the scenario in that direction. Which ours did. And it was beautiful. Nothing like Star Wars quotes, blasters, and a good RPG to make a memorable night.

And that's what this adventure was. I suspect we'll be hearing long into the future about the various podjunk races that took place in Tattooine the Downlow for years to come. There's also STAR SUGAR HEARTLOVE!!! which was shouted no less than 7,452 times the first time we played (it was a 13 year long session). Now we just need more people playing this game so we can get more content.

I would kill for more content like this. I would lightsaber battle my mentor while he had the high ground for more content like this. It would not go well.

5/5 would (will) play / GM again.

Good start, minor issues.

****( )

This is a good way to start off Starfinder, and there are only a few minor hiccups.

The good: Good introduction to four of the main faction leaders. Also has plenty of levity and humor without breaking the suspension of disbelief of the scenario. There is good reason to do what you are doing, and nothing is unreasonable or comes out of left field. Introduces PCs to the scouered stars incident if they don't know about it already.

Downsides: The only major downside is that one task (the bike race) takes MUCH longer than the others and is fairly complex. It involves a lot of math and it's easy to lose track what is going on.

Other downsides are minor nitpicks. It is possible to do task for a for a leader, then do a task for another leader, then have to return to the first leader just to deliver a package, interrupting the flow of the scenario.

It's possible priests of Abdar/ extreame lawful types will have moral problems with one of the tasks, as it involves doing some illegal activities.

Solid introduction to four faction leaders

****( )

This scenario is a great way to meet four of the faction leaders.

Our dice were not playing really nice during combats, but we had a lot of fun nonetheless.

I want to particularly point out that Eleanor Ferron has made some excellent pictures to go along with several NPCs (technically fanart as they're not comissioned by Paizo), which we used to give it just that extra touch during play.

That said, the lack of space combat makes me not give it 5 stars, due my expectation of to it being such an integral part of Starfinder.

The vehicle race was interesting, but I feel it should have been a spacerace

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