End Boss of Incident at Absalom Station is pretty brutal *obvious spoilers*


Dead Suns


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I'm wondering if groups are getting TPK'ed here.

The Garaggakal never really misses with a +12 bite and at level 2 a KAC of 12-15 would be the normal for players. The first bite he took hit my solider for max damage (just bad luck) for 20, that took out his full stamina and a chunk of his HP, and the next hit took him down to 0.

Meanwhile, the rest of the party is doing 1-10ish damage per hit, slowly lowering his HP from 75, but the Garaggakal is able to do a damage/self heal 4 times in the battle that averages 15 damage (7.5 if people make a fortitude save).

Boss is tough, really tough. I think it seems possible given good dice rolls but for a first module, this is no introduction. I can very well see a complete party wipe here.

The only way we made it though is because one player had bought the electricity based dragon gland and then spent all resolve points to use it over and over again. That player could have easily picked a different variety dragon gland which would have reduced the damage dealt by a lot. (Garaggakal is vulnerable to electric).


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I have two AP intro scenarios for Starfinder so far. Thenone by Paizo and the one by Legendary Games.

I have concerns about the fights in both of them. I'm wondering if this is an issue with a new system and getting challenge ratings correct.

The same thing happened with 5e and the first adventure path they released for that (Dragon Queen). They had kobolds in that, running like you would a traditional kobolds group. The problem being 5e kobolds go pack tactics and rolled advantage when they attacked in groups. I TPKd a group iour first session running just kobolds against them. It was crazy.

For the Garraggakal, I'd actually push the characters into third level before they attack this thing. Other wise it's three levels higher than they are, and they're likely fighting it after a number of fights already.

That level boost should make it easier, but still a challenge.

Edit - I just through the module. If they PCs take on everything they're meant to before reaching Mr ugly at the end, they are literally only 50 xp from level 3.

Just give them the level before that fight. They are going to need it.


Another thing to do would be for the GM to get the party back to the Acreon to rest before attempting this. Not sure how, but it would be pretty important to come into this with spells and resolve.


I think designing boss fights in Starfinder is always going to be tough when you don't know if the spell casters have level 1 spells left that can do a lot of damage a pop. Two caster parties can easily kill this boss while no caster parties need a lot of luck.

One Technomancer can probably solo this boss casting 3 Jolting Surges at level 2 (with Cache). That's 4d6 electrical damage each time. With its weakness that's an avg of 18 points of damage a round.


Pax Rafkin wrote:

I think designing boss fights in Starfinder is always going to be tough when you don't know if the spell casters have level 1 spells left that can do a lot of damage a pop. Two caster parties can easily kill this boss while no caster parties need a lot of luck.

One Technomancer can probably solo this boss casting 3 Jolting Surges at level 2 (with Cache). That's 4d6 electrical damage each time. With its weakness that's an avg of 18 points of damage a round.

It has Vulnerability to Electricity, so if Techie has the slots light that m+#!~~@!&@+$ up.


Keep that vulnerability in mind for pulsecasters too. Or Arc weapons


*nods*

Silver Crusade

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There is also a forcefield belt that if the players pop a fresh battery into effectively renders them immune to its attacks.


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And two arc weapons lying around that they can pick up...

It's also quite possible to hit 3rd level BEFORE you meet the thing, assuming your players make even a remotely respectable attempt at investigation and diplomacy. And those goblins can be used as ablative meat snacks for a round if the party actually lets them tag along, they can possibly hire that android that tried to kill them...

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

My party almost TPK'd on this fight last Monday. The technomancer was completely out of spells before we even got to the fight. I was playing a space goblin melee soldier, so I was always in front and got hit once every 2 rounds in almost every combat. So, I went into that boss fight with no Stamina and no RP left. Needless to say, I died. (I should have also risen as a void zombie, but we totally forgot about that by that point) Of the other 4 party members, 2 were down and dying and 2 were barely alive when they managed to push the monster to its HP threshold for fleeing.

I think any 1 of the following things would have made all the difference for us:
1. Having rested before this fight or even before investigating the rock
2. Having leveled up to 3rd before this fight. That Weapon Spec that everyone gets would have almost doubled the damage for most of us.
3. Having more electricity weapons found along the way. We used the 1 gun and all the grenades we found, but when you roll a 1 on the damage die, it doesn't really matter if the creature is vulnerable or not.


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James Krolak wrote:

My party almost TPK'd on this fight last Monday ... So, I went into that boss fight with no Stamina and no RP left.

Ha, good for you. My party is way too risk-averse to continue a dungeon crawl once they're out of RP and spells. I haven't run Incident at Absalom Station with them yet, but I'm sure they would retreat to the Acreon and sleep at this point.


DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
There is also a forcefield belt that if the players pop a fresh battery into effectively renders them immune to its attacks.

I thought the brown forcefield just provided 1 temporary HP, with a fast healing of 1 each round. That doesn't do much at all against a monster doing 15-20 a hit.

But please correct me if it does more.


DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
There is also a forcefield belt that if the players pop a fresh battery into effectively renders them immune to its attacks.

How so?


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Pax Rafkin wrote:
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
There is also a forcefield belt that if the players pop a fresh battery into effectively renders them immune to its attacks.
How so?

They can't phase through force fields.


captain yesterday wrote:
Pax Rafkin wrote:
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
There is also a forcefield belt that if the players pop a fresh battery into effectively renders them immune to its attacks.
How so?
They can't phase through force fields.

They can bite you and use their Leech ability on you so I'm not sure why this force field makes you immune to its attack. Furthermore, its Phase ability does no damage...


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Maybe I just have strange players but they did not have incredible luck with dice and still took out the boss with no casualties. One player was taken to 0 HP but he stabilized with RP, two others were low on HP but still standing. Just basic laser rifles + Solarian solar weapon in use. The solarians gravity power was useful in bringing the boss back down when he tried to take some distance. Still, it was brutal but by no means too hard. It was boss, after all.
We did have 5 players though, but one has so bad luck he basically always misses :D

The biggest problem with the adventure path is that volume 2 is still month away :)


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rixu wrote:
Maybe I just have strange players but they did not have incredible luck with dice and still took out the boss with no casualties. One player was taken to 0 HP but he stabilized with RP, two others were low on HP but still standing. Just basic laser rifles + Solarian solar weapon in use. The solarians gravity power was useful in bringing the boss back down when he tried to take some distance. Still, it was brutal but by no means too hard.

So were your PCs level 2 or 3 when they fought him?

I think that's my biggest quandary. Our group uses the "milestones" system for leveling up, and I want to be sure if they are level 3 before the big end fight that they won't walk through it too easily.


At level 3 this thing wasn't a problem:

My combat stats at the time:

Solarian 3
BAB +3
EAC/KAC: +16/+19

HP/SP: 32/21

Attack: (Solar Weapon)
+6 to hit, 1d6+6 (+7 when in Photon Mode)

Revelations:
Black Hole
Supernova
Stellar Rush

Feats:
Heavy Armor Proficiency
Step Up

-----

If I remember right our Technomancer rushed in and hit it with a spell (I think it did 4d6 shock damage, doing I think 16 damage), the Goblin went and hit him. Then I photon attuned and stellar rushed in, which got me into flank thanks to the positioning of our T-Mancer, and hit for 12 damage. We had people peppering him with longarms and pistols for 5 and 6 damage. I do remember someone hit the Gobby with "Get 'Em" which gave us attack bonuses.

Then the next round the technomancer did the spell again, hit for another 15-16 damage. The goblin smacked him twice. He went down.

Then I gained my 2nd point of attunement and full attacked. I hit with both attacks doing I think 9 and 11 damage.

More gunfire peppered into it. It full attacked me, which hurt, and took out my stamina, and then went I think 5 into my HP.

I used guarded step, so I was clear of the down'ed mystic, then unloaded Supernova on it, I did 4d6 fire damage. I think I did 13 damage, he passed the save but dropped anyway.

So, I mean, we didn't TPK.

Liberty's Edge Contributor

Pax Rafkin wrote:
captain yesterday wrote:
Pax Rafkin wrote:
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
There is also a forcefield belt that if the players pop a fresh battery into effectively renders them immune to its attacks.
How so?
They can't phase through force fields.
They can bite you and use their Leech ability on you so I'm not sure why this force field makes you immune to its attack. Furthermore, its Phase ability does no damage...

Although there's nothing in the monster's statblock to confirm it, the text of the adventure implies that the force field will protect against the creature's attacks:

pages 34–35 wrote:
Spoiler:
"Wounded and unable to escape the monster, Moriko managed to modify her armor’s force field to extend in a bubble around her, as the monster seemed unable to pass through the force field. Nevertheless, Moriko realized her force field would eventually run out of power, and the monster would finally be able to reach her."

Sovereign Court

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I don't think that is the case, Paris.

Spoiler:
I read that passage as her using the forcefield to block the monster's access to her hiding place, not the monster's attacks. The force bubble prevents it from entering the small room with its phase shift.

Liberty's Edge Contributor

KingOfAnything wrote:

I don't think that is the case, Paris.

** spoiler omitted **

Spoiler:
I could see how expanding the force field to form a bubble would prevent the garaggakal from phasing into the room while also preventing it from damaging the field. Therefore, it couldn't touch her until the field's energy supply was depleted.

Once the PCs get her suit, I assume it will work like a normal brown force field, which won't completely protect the PC, but it will help some.

The description of force fields in the Core Rulebook (page 206) states, "The force field blocks solids and liquids but not gases or light (including laser beams). You can breathe while the field is active, but you can’t eat or drink. ... All damage dealt to you is subtracted from the force field’s temporary Hit Points first."


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ENHenry wrote:
rixu wrote:
Maybe I just have strange players but they did not have incredible luck with dice and still took out the boss with no casualties. One player was taken to 0 HP but he stabilized with RP, two others were low on HP but still standing. Just basic laser rifles + Solarian solar weapon in use. The solarians gravity power was useful in bringing the boss back down when he tried to take some distance. Still, it was brutal but by no means too hard.

So were your PCs level 2 or 3 when they fought him?

I think that's my biggest quandary. Our group uses the "milestones" system for leveling up, and I want to be sure if they are level 3 before the big end fight that they won't walk through it too easily.

4 were level 3, one level 2. Just leveled to 3 before the boss.


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I dunno. It's a hard fight, and we almost got wiped, but we didn't. And that's how a boss fight should be.

We went in really low on resolve and spells, and our mechanic's droid was long dead (it'd gotten the beat stick first thing into the Driftrock and we proceeded without it).

But, our solarian came through in a big way, and our soldier missed some critical shots (the ones which my technomancer had over-charged), but we got through it. It was a hard fight. If it'd been easy, then what's the point?

If you are level 3 going in, you'll kill it, methinks. But if you are level 2, and trying to play straight through, it's a rough one.


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My group of four took it on at level two. They were running low around the time of the drift dead and made the assumption that the whole crew was dead so they rested and tackled the rest of the dungeon with near full resources.

The only human of the group was the one equipped with magic missile so he got a couple of full casts of it off and the bulky vesk was the one with electricity weaponry so things were in their favor. I dropped one party member but the mystic kept him alive through the fight. I didn't need to pull any punches and, frankly, if they were level three it would have been a cakewalk.


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sebastokrator wrote:

My group of four took it on at level two. They were running low around the time of the drift dead and made the assumption that the whole crew was dead so they rested and tackled the rest of the dungeon with near full resources.

The only human of the group was the one equipped with magic missile so he got a couple of full casts of it off and the bulky vesk was the one with electricity weaponry so things were in their favor. I dropped one party member but the mystic kept him alive through the fight. I didn't need to pull any punches and, frankly, if they were level three it would have been a cakewalk.

we went in w/o resting - so basically we did the whole of the Akreon AND the Driftrock w/o rest. Everyone ended up with 0 or 1 resolve point, but it was much more fun to just push through, since there was a distinct element of danger.

It also made a lot more sense - it's a rescue mission, and there's a clear pressure to get to the rock and get the surviving crew off. It's just not "realistic" to clear out the ship and then say, alright, let's hang out for 8 hours before getting on the Driftrock.


Yakman wrote:
If you are level 3 going in, you'll kill it, methinks. But if you are level 2, and trying to play straight through, it's a rough one.

Yeah, my group took it down in 2-3 rounds with no trouble at 3rd level. Of course, they also had Roger the space goblin and Clara-247 helping out. And the mystic hit the identify creature check, so I gave him the electricity vulnerability detail. He took a pop shot at it with his arc pistol, then tossed the weapon to the operative, who proceeded to crit and roll really well for damage. With "Garry" on the defensive, it was just a matter of mopping up.


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My 5 player group took it on at level 2, however they were effectively a 4 player group for this fight. One of the PC's stayed back on the Aceron because they rested before they finished exploring the Drift Rock, and they became more ill instead of better. Instead they ran one of the Space Goblins they'd befriended.

Anyways, they never figured out the creature's vulnerability, and it ended up being a very close fight. By the end of the fight 3 of the players had fallen unconscious (some more than once), and most resources spent.

The weird thing was that players kept stabilizing, regaining consciousness, attacking, and getting attacked back and going unconscious again. It felt kind of like whack-a-mole, not exactly great. Also having the RP to spend removed the pressure of needing healing, since 1 HP was as good as any healing spell could do for them.


I'm taking a hard look at this guy and looking for ways to nerf/cap him in case things get hairy. My players haven't made characters yet, but I noticed the feat Mystic Strike which will be good to hint at character creation might be nifty for spellcaster classes to take (since there are at least 2 incoporeals in this that I see).
I'm also toying with the idea of making the security bot reprogramable, or making it so that the players can lure the end boss into the security bot, so that it soften's it up for them.


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Played this with 4 healthy PCs, 1 slightly sick PC, 1 very sick PC + Clara. A few players went unconscious during the fight (including the vesk soldier who went down very early on), but mostly it felt tough + dangerous, but not to the extent that it had to be nerfed. The system of SP / HP / RP meant it was pretty difficult to have an outright TPK unless things were really, really going wrong.

I think a Level 3 group would shred it with all the extra damage from weapon specialisation.


In my run the fight was over quick. It dropped down and bit someone hard. It got trick attacked and lost some hp. Then the technomancer casts jolting surge (she has a strength penalty so no business making melee attacks), crits, rolls almost perfect damage, vulnerable to electricity, thing is toasted from near full hp.... I had to describe it getting absolutely barbecued by lightning.

Liberty's Edge Contributor

This fight was scary for my group, but wasn't as bad as it could have been because I played the garaggakal as being overconfident and focused on "tasting" each race before focusing on a single character. Ultimately, everyone took some damage, but the only ally to fall was one of the two space goblins who were following the PCs around. She managed to score a critical hit and was celebrating when the monster bit her head off.

Ultimately, the garaggakal realized it wasn't going to win and used its life draining power on one PC to boost its HP just before it phased through the hangar doors and escaped. It may come back for revenge. I haven't decided, yet.


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KarmaKollapse wrote:

Played this with 4 healthy PCs, 1 slightly sick PC, 1 very sick PC + Clara. A few players went unconscious during the fight (including the vesk soldier who went down very early on), but mostly it felt tough + dangerous, but not to the extent that it had to be nerfed. The system of SP / HP / RP meant it was pretty difficult to have an outright TPK unless things were really, really going wrong.

I think a Level 3 group would shred it with all the extra damage from weapon specialisation.

there's two Dead Suns podcasts I listen to - ROLL FOR COMBAT & ROGUE EXPOSURE - and in both of those games, the PCs fought it at level 3. They RfC guys just tore through it, and the Rogues... well... it's a good listen.


Our group consisted of just 3 PC's which we usually do for pathfinder and generally don't have a lot of trouble, fights are a bit tougher but nothing to rough. However that said we found Starfinder to be much tougher. Even for 4 players as others have mentioned here.

Especially with boss fights. Also it seems according to our GM the boss info is vague ours said their stat sheets seemed to be lacking. Then just the fact that bosses were pretty rough. And we didn't have any shock weapons and we just stopped as it would have been a TPK. Our GM was frustrated at just how OP the boss was, even again just having 3 PC's even 4 we'd have wiped.

I think possibly if characters where 1 lvl higher possibly 2 in our case with just 3 players it would have been better?

In anycase it does seem as though the Starfinder Adventure thus far is much tougher than it should be?


Wolverine690 wrote:
In anycase it does seem as though the Starfinder Adventure thus far is much tougher than it should be?

I think there's two things at work that make this adventure tough if you come from Pathfinder (as my group did):

(1) Combat looks the same as Pathfinder, but plays quite differently. My group formed "battle lines" and fought as their Pathfinder characters did, and got beaten down a lot. Taking cover and using "in-game" strategies matter a great deal more.

(2) Monsters scale differently than Pathfinder, and hit harder and more often. If you have an expectation of how long HP will last based on Pathfinder, you'll be caught off-guard in Starfinder.

No doubt, the Garaggakal is a tough customer with a lot of special abilities. My party ended it fast with a Solarian wailing on it while an Operative distracted it, but I can see how it'd be a brutal fight for other groups.


Wolverine690 wrote:
In anycase it does seem as though the Starfinder Adventure thus far is much tougher than it should be?

My table has had almost no problem with combat so far. I wouldn't call them munchkins, but they are pretty optimal when they build characters (some players more than others).

They stomped Ferani & Vroky with a well-placed flashbang and good initiatives. They've fared well against void zombies and akata even if the zombies do land some tough hits. They pretty thoroughly demolished the secbot, though it did land a max damage punch on our solarion who is pretty much the cornerstone of the groups DPS.

Nobody has fallen over yet and with the exception of shuffling some of the akatas and void zombies around (I interspersed a few void zombies on the acreon instead of relegating all of them to the rock and moved some akatas to the rock) I have been playing the adventure by the book.

The enemies do have pretty ridiculous to hit and damage values. I could see lesser optimized groups getting knocked around.


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Two Arc Weapons, one a pistol, and the other a longarm are given to the party over the course of the adventure...


Yes, the garaggakal is unbeatable. Our GM ruled that it had a morale condition, so after it took a certain amount of damage or fought for X number of rounds, it ran away. That's the only reason we survived.


Calybos1 wrote:
Yes, the garaggakal is unbeatable. Our GM ruled that it had a morale condition, so after it took a certain amount of damage or fought for X number of rounds, it ran away. That's the only reason we survived.

You had back luck, poorly optimized PCs, did something wrong, or a combination of the formers. It's though yeah, but hardly unbeatable, after all a solo monsters only gets one action while you get four-five. Hand with resolve PCs can get back up a couple of times during the fight.

I honestly found it rather dissapointing has i was expecting way harder, my PCs tore through it rather quickly. All that while having a sick soldier and the operative player having an average of 6 on his attack roll. Granted they were five instead of four, but they still fought it at level two and thanks to it's terrible roll the operative was nothing more than a cheerleader for the fight.

Oh and the morale condition isn't something your GM made up, it's written in the adventure, it's expected to flee after a certain amount of damage.


Calybos1 wrote:
Yes, the garaggakal is unbeatable. Our GM ruled that it had a morale condition, so after it took a certain amount of damage or fought for X number of rounds, it ran away. That's the only reason we survived.

It's not unbeatable, but it's pretty tough. I think that's a smart solution on the part of your GM for a fight that can go bad.


Calybos1 wrote:
Yes, the garaggakal is unbeatable. Our GM ruled that it had a morale condition, so after it took a certain amount of damage or fought for X number of rounds, it ran away. That's the only reason we survived.

Well, as written, the garggakal DOES have a morale condition.


My players showed up unrested, 1 resolve point on each, not even full hit points nor complete spell slots.

So, dead goblins and android hitwoman later, one of PCs went inside the Sunrise Maiden to try and blow the monster up with with a light laser cannon, while the rest of the party distracted it. They even managed to hide inside the corridor before the whole hangar got blasted with 50 points of damage.

The garaggakal actually survived and hid inside the ship, ending up as a plot device during the trip to Castrovel.

They could hit it, but couldn't take the damage he was dishing out.


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We were confronted with it yesterday evening.

My GM played it most disgustingly and started with only just missing me on a roll of 2. And I missed it on a pretty god roll.
Pretty horrifying.

So the truly hideous takes a bite out of the other melee character at its second turn and our backs run cold with fear!
When it heals we were ready to just lay down and die in real life.

But we survived! (Also in real life).

And it was one of my best encounters ever.

So i think it's okay. Horrible difficult. But okay.


The fact that no weapons can harm it is a pretty big hurdle at such a low level.


Calybos1 wrote:
The fact that no weapons can harm it is a pretty big hurdle at such a low level.

That is straight up false, i don't know where you got that info. He's even weak to electric damage.


Algarik wrote:
Calybos1 wrote:
The fact that no weapons can harm it is a pretty big hurdle at such a low level.
That is straight up false, i don't know where you got that info. He's even weak to electric damage.

He's incorporeal, immune to flame/laser/plasma weapons, and can drain life. That's pretty nasty for level 2 characters. It was sheer luck that one of our party had happened to buy a shock pistol and that we had a technomancer to cast Magic Missile at him. Everybody else was helpless.


Calybos1 wrote:
Algarik wrote:
Calybos1 wrote:
The fact that no weapons can harm it is a pretty big hurdle at such a low level.
That is straight up false, i don't know where you got that info. He's even weak to electric damage.
He's incorporeal, immune to flame/laser/plasma weapons, and can drain life. That's pretty nasty for level 2 characters. It was sheer luck that one of our party had happened to buy a shock pistol and that we had a technomancer to cast Magic Missile at him. Everybody else was helpless.

It sounds like your GM ran the creature incorrectly. Have you looked at its stats? It only has radiation immunity, not flame immunity. It's not incorporeal, it can phase through solid things on its turn. Both that phase through and its life drain use up resolve points.

Regular weapons work on the creature, not just force weapons and electricity.

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