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Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Scenario #1-05: The First Mandate PDF

***** (based on 5 ratings)

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A Starfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 1-4.

With a new generation of Starfinders already accomplishing great deeds within the Pact Worlds and beyond, First Seeker Luwazi Elsebo is ready to announce the Starfinder Society's next initiative that will define her tenure. The PCs attend a gathering at the Lorespire Complex to socialize with several visiting dignitaries, each instrumental in the Society's survival following the Scoured Stars Incident. Nothing is as it seems, though, and when Radaszam, leader of the Acquisitives faction, uncovers a plot against the First Seeker, the PCs need to step in and ensure the Society's public event doesn't end in disaster!

Content in The First Mandate also contributes to the ongoing goals of the Acquisitives and Second Seekers (Luwazi Elsebo) factions. Content in this scenario also contributes to the ongoing Year of Scoured Stars storyline

Written by Lyz Liddell.

Starfinder Society Scenario Tags: Faction (Acquisitives), Faction (Second Seekers [Luwazi Elsebo])

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PZOSFS0105E


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Product Reviews (5)

Average product rating:

***** (based on 5 ratings)

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Space Sleuths

*****

Another great Starfinder scenario, that - like most of the others - picks up on other scenarios, and hints to others to come.

A very nice general multi-PC/NPC interaction, followed by investigation and a race against time fight.
Things to do for all.

Lots of fun!


A Strong Set-up, But a Weak Follow-through

****( )

I ran this scenario for SFS this evening and it was, overall, a fun experience. However, despite the scenario's strong opening scene and creative role-play opportunities, it falls flat in Acts II and III with awkward pacing, opaque motivations, and a confusing combat set-up.

Let me disclose, first of all, that I love party scenes. It lets me fill a room with interesting people and turn the PCs loose in a role-play interaction sandbox to learn all about the quirks and personalities of the guests. The gala scene in The First Mandate was no different, and the five NPCs the PCs had to influence were distinct and entertaining enough that each interaction felt memorable. The players certainly came up with unique ways to leverage their skills in conversations with the guests, from discussions of the ethical and geopolitical implications of First Contact events to pitching mining opportunities to an Aspis Consortium representative. Unfortunately, because we were playing with 3 players + 1 GMPC, the two sets of social rounds dragged out a little bit, but that may be more of a symptom of our table than the scenario.

After the PCs are called away from the gala is when the scenario's pacing seems to break down. First, asking the PCs to leave a party they have just finished winning friends at seems very strange. Their friends will wonder where they've gone, why they've gone, and what it is they could possibly be doing that's more important. Not only that, it seems a little strange to send the agents you're supposed to be showing-off to follow-up on a lead. You've got other agents who can handle that, these guys are assigned to the party.

Of course, the investigation scene is technically proficient and well-constructed. It is your typical obstacle-discovery set-up, with a great a-ha moment for the players who paid attention to the fluff text. I do wish one of the rewards weren't so hidden, and I worry other groups might miss the opportunity to collect it.

The weakest scene in the scenario is, sadly, the conclusion. While I did like that the NPCs mentioned in the first scene are made relevant again in the third scene (and can contribute meaningfully to its resolution), the entire organization and pacing of the whole event is, quite frankly, a mess. In fairness, most scenes involving a split party are, but that's no excuse. The scene should have decided whether it wanted to be a technical scene or a combat scene, but not both at the same time, especially with such a high CR enemy (I would've been in favor of combining the CRs of the enemy and the skill challenge if both are to play out at the same time).

Perhaps what frustrates me most about this scenario is that it goes about its script too closely. The plot unfolds not because of the actions of the PCs or their guests, but because it's what's supposed to happen next. Key characters say things because they need to same them, not because it necessarily makes sense. This makes the story feel forced, and threatens the sense of accomplishment the PCs are supposed to achieve from their successes.

For Example:
The First Seeker's quote about "people trying to kill her" to the audience makes no sense if the third scene were not out in the open (since it's assumed the PCs were surreptitiously disarming the bombs and therefore most attendees weren't even aware there was a threat).

In conclusion, The First Mandate is a fun scenario with a strong opening that is hampered by a weak middle and end. The scenario should have tried harder to keep events closer together, in such a way that the important NPCs the PCs spent nearly an hour interacting with remained relevant throughout, instead of only Acts I and III. That said, this is another scenario really had good ideas, and with some additional polish and editing, could've been a slam-dunk way to kick off the next round of SFS missions.

As something of a post-script, I really did appreciate the way the scenario dropped hints about upcoming scenarios. It was a clever detail, and one that went a long way to making the story of Season 1 feel more coherent.


Simply Fantastic

*****

Based on my experience running this at my local gaming store...

This starfinder society scenario really hits the mark! It has something for everybody (except maybe the dedicated starship pilot due to the lack of space combat - not necessarily a bad thing!), gives each type of PC their time to shine, and is vital to the megaplot of the starfinder society during season 1.

Do you want (mostly) social challenges with a variety of memorable NPCs? Check! Do you want combat against unusual or challenging opponents? Check! A little bit of investigation and puzzle solving? Check! A thrilling final encounter with just the right mix of social, technical, and stealthy skills required, not to mention combat: it's all here!

If I were advising a GM which scenario to run after The Commencement to give a new group of players the real flavor of the Starfinder Society, I would tell them to start prepping this scenario.


Just, an all around great scenario

*****

I love this scenario. It might just have been our GM getting into the spirit and acting out all the little details (like making Zo! out to be a cheesy used car salesman) but it was just super fun to have my Icon Envoy schmooze it up with all sorts of hoity-toity dignitaries. There is a dignitary for almost any kind of person to engage with.

A sleezy media moagul for all the people who are interested in fame and fortune.
A scholar for the PCs that like to discuss heady subjects.
A garrulous dealmaker for those who are looking to forge alliances
A stoic no-nonsense fellow starfinder
And a straight up gossipy entrepeneur.

A couple of the characters at the table didn't want to talk much, but even they found success with the no-nonsense starfinder and were able to do work with her.

There's a minor little hiccup in the scenario where the plot expects the PCs to do the very dangerous and potentially deadly thing because it will make the Starfinders 'look good,' even though it's very stupid, but since it was set up from the begining of the scenario, I let it slide.

I'm not saying I want all scenarios to be like this, but this was a great one that was super fun to do, and a great break from the dungeon crawls and straight up combats of the previous scenarios. Lots of great RP potential.


Sneak Peak

*****

This scenario was phenomenal by its lonesome with the diplomatic nature. It also included some great intrigue, investigation and combats. Most of all, the 5th star comes from the alluding to multiple future scenarios.

Great writing! 5 stars!


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