Starfinder Bounties

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Hello everyone!
Earlier this year we launched Starfinder Bounties, a line of short, PDF adventure products designed for 1st-level characters. Each bounty fills about an hour of play and can act as an easy introduction to the Starfinder Roleplaying game. Starfinder Bounties can be used as standalone adventures, strung together in any order as a series, or used as transitions and side quests in between longer adventures and campaigns. While bounties take place in specific areas, they can be used in any campaign setting. Each bounty is also sanctioned for play in our Starfinder Society Organized Play program as a repeatable adventure.

We’ve released four Starfinder Bounties so far this year, with more on the horizon. Take a peek at our bounties below!


Starfinder Bounty #1: The Cantina Job
A desperate scam artist prowls the bars of Drifter’s End, fleecing the tourists and starship crews of Absalom Station with a chunk of fake horacalcum and the chance to invest in their newly discovered starmetal vein. It’s up to the PCs to track down this fake miner and haul them back to pay their dues! Starfinder Bounty #1: The Cantina Job is an adventure for 1st-level characters written by John Godek III.

A dwarven man raises a frothy mug of beer in a toast

Dwarf Scammer: Art by Samuel Azeredo


Starfinder Bounty #2: Test Flight
Take an experimental starship, the Grimshaw, on a test flight on behalf of shirren starship manufacturer United Interfaith Engineering. Plot your course from Absalom Station to a Liavaran shepherd moon and back! Along the way, the PCs put the starship through its paces, avoiding dangerous hazards, performing difficult maneuvers, and dealing with Liavara’s massive wildlife! Starfinder Bounty #2: Test Flight is an adventure for 1st-level characters written by Michael Bramnik.

A starship designed to imitate a fly with a teal and silver body, and translucent white wings

Art by Fabio Rodrigues


Starfinder Bounty #3: A Green Place
When an automated power plant on the fringes of Verces’ Ring of Nations goes offline, casting swaths of the city of Thamal in darkness, the government deploys repair and scouting drones to investigate. None have returned. Armed with a few aerial images of the power plant, now mysteriously overgrown with local flora, the PCs are dispatched to bring the power plant back online! Starfinder Bounty #3: A Green Place is an adventure for 1st-level characters written by Erin Roberts.

A green, weasel-like, predator with a spiked tail bares its teeth.

Scrap Rat: Art by Beto Lima


Starfinder Bounty #4: Poacher’s Prize
After years of work, a research laboratory on the moon of Arkanen has genetically re-engineered an extinct animal species. Before the creature can be introduced into a nearby nature preserve, opportunistic poachers strike, breaking into the facility and absconding with the once-extinct creatures. It’s up to the PCs to retrieve the valuable animals before they’re lost forever! Starfinder Bounty #4: Poacher’s Prize is an adventure for 1st-level characters written by Shan Wolf.

Sparks fly from the back of a charging, antlered, creature with the body of a rhinoceros

Art by Bruno Senigalha

Keep an eye out for our next Bounty, Starfinder Bounty #5: Echoes of Woe by Ruvaid Virk, in late October!

Jessica Catalan
Starfinder Society Developer

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Organized Play Starfinder Society Starfinder Society Scenarios
Second Seekers (Jadnura) 5/55/55/55/5

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Warning: These are action packed and tons of fun!

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5 ***

Also warning: they don't award any Reputation.


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Third warning: they give 0.25xp. If you don't want to deal with fractional XP on your character pretty much forever, do four at once. :)

*

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Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
Keldin wrote:
Third warning: they give 0.25xp. If you don't want to deal with fractional XP on your character pretty much forever, do four at once. :)

Another trick is, as long as you do less than four, that fractional xp effectively doesn't matter; you just have some extra credits. (An 5.75 xp and 5xp character are effectively the same; both are level 2 and after playing their next scenario will be level 3.) The only way it would matter is when we get bounties at higher level you would need to remember how many you have done in case that would be your fourth bounty.

Also, they really should have a way to get at least 1 rep if you do 4. 2e bounties give rep to add up to effectively be a scenario but if you do 4 SFS bounties you are behind some reputation for your level which can feel bad since the extra credits aren't really that much. (A bit above 'rolled really well for a day job' amount.) Kinda feels like the flawed first attempts at quests back in 1e.

(On that note, I know Ambush in Absalom is available free but what about The Urge to Evolve? I'm a bit of a completionist and the only way to legally do that one would be to hunt down an old copy of Kobold Quarterly 23.)

4/5 5/55/55/55/5

Seems odd they provide no rep.

Would also like to see these bumped up past L1, could there be some sort of scalability?

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5 ***

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Pathfinder 2 eventually released Level 3 Bounties. If these do well enough, I imagine the same could happen here.

But not offering Reputation kills them for me. I played the first one, was dismayed at the news, and won't be touching the rest. And I can't be alone in that.

It's mind boggling to me that Paizo consciously restricts their revenue this way. I would have bought and GMed each of these multiple times by now. Repeatables are constantly full online.

And since this has been happening with a variety of adventures over the years, in all three Campaigns, I have to imagine there's a veteran employee at the top who's to blame.

Because you can either maintain the status quo (offer regular Reputation), disincentive participation (offer no Reputation), or incentive participation (offer some other benefit in addition to Reputation).

If Paizo wants these projects to succeed as much as possible, both monetarily and as part of their product lineup, I'd probably recommend having a chat with whoever the curmudgeon is up top.

Paizo Employee 5/55/5 Organized Play Coordinator

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Starfinder Society scenarios offer 1 Reputation, 1 XP and 720 credits at level 1.

Bounties are intended to take 1/4 of the time. As a result, we decided that they should award a quarter of the rewards. 1 XP turns into 0.25 XP, which, while not ideal, is fine because it's trackable on the player side.

Our reporting system is not capable of tracking fractional Reputation. As such our options were to either award 1 Reputation (making Bounties easily the best way to ratchet up Reputation) or 0 Reputation. We went with 0, while providing a little extra credits (they award 200, which is a little more than the "expected" 180) to compensate. Thematically, this makes sense, as Bounties don't expect you necessarily to be Starfinder Society agents.

I'm sorry to hear that the loss of reputation has prevented you from enjoying these sanctioned adventures. Based on our reporting data thus far, plenty of other players haven't found this to be a hindrance.

Sovereign Court 5/5 5/5 ** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes

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Nice to see Starfinder getting some love.

Second Seekers (Jadnura) 1/5 5/55/5

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Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

I have played or GM'd all of the Starfinder Bounties for different groups, and I haven't heard a single complaint so far. It's a great line, and I hope to see many more - and, like others have said, higher level ones, too!! I realize that the format of the Bounty makes it feel like Paizo 'has to' release them in batches of 4 at a given level range, or go low-and-slow for release schedules, but, let instead ask of Paizo: I want you to go nuts with Bounties :D

The one-shot, 1-ish hr, format means that they're perfect low-stakes opportunities to explore things that might be harder to put into a scenario, module, or AP. Like, give me a tier 11-12 Starship combat bounty (we haven't seen starship combat that high in any Org Play product so far, right?) Or, a gonzo skills/social encounter: just making up examples, but a Heist scenario, like the preparation portion of Mark of the Mantis, where you make preparations to burgle something or other, and the entire Bounty resolves at the end, sans-combat, depending on how well your prep went! OOH or - dare I say - since these don't necessarily assume you're Society members, an evil Bounty? Hot Single Eoxians in your area need live chattel for bloodsports brave adventurers of firm resolve! Free Captain seeks bold crew for "totally legit, 100% legal, salvage & retrieval mission!" Veskarium advertises a need for weapons testers; interested applicants should announce themselves (prepared for battle) in Docking Bay 12 of Department of Experimental High-Energy Planar Research @ the Conqueror's Forge (please sign provided liability waivers and deposit, with notarized Last Will & Testaments, in the Adamantine Box)!

Go wild!!

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5 ***

Alex Speidel wrote:

Starfinder Society scenarios offer 1 Reputation, 1 XP and 720 credits at level 1.

Bounties are intended to take 1/4 of the time. As a result, we decided that they should award a quarter of the rewards. 1 XP turns into 0.25 XP, which, while not ideal, is fine because it's trackable on the player side.

Our reporting system is not capable of tracking fractional Reputation. As such our options were to either award 1 Reputation (making Bounties easily the best way to ratchet up Reputation) or 0 Reputation.

Scenarios award 2 Reputation, not 1. So a Bounty would award .5, not .25.

The Reporting system does track fractional Achievement Points and fractional GM tables.

Why not use that code for tracking Reputation?

It would also fix the issue of Slow Tracking 1xp Adventures in the PF2 Campaign.

Why was that not deemed an issue there, but it is an issue here? I have a PFS2 PC with 17 Reputation, but only 8.5 XP.

It's mathematically no different than awarding 1 Reputation for Starfinder Bounties.

1/5 5/5

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PFS2 gives 4 exp and 4 reputation if successful in a four hour scenario.

SFS gives 1 exp and 2 reputation if successful for a four hour scenario.

Would awarding zero reputation be acceptable for a Bounty failure?

Would telling someone new that they have a fraction of Starfinder rep points be a good sell point?

I do not like it, and if given the choice would almost rather run one of the intro scenarios instead.

That being said, I get it.

Bounties are built for cons to draw folks who 'only have an hour or so'.

If only there was a way to give a no-cost Bounty Boon that goes into effect after playing four Bounties in Starfinder that awards 2 reputation...


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You can't adjust the system to record fractions of a full number?


The Ragi wrote:
You can't adjust the system to record fractions of a full number?

Nope, its either 1 or 0, no fractions allowed. /s


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The Ragi wrote:
You can't adjust the system to record fractions of a full number?

Or go to 100 instead of 1 and 25 instead of .25? Mind-bogglingly elliptical response.

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5 ***

Zero the Nothing wrote:
The Ragi wrote:
You can't adjust the system to record fractions of a full number?
Nope, its either 1 or 0, no fractions allowed. /s

Yeah when you Report a PFS2 Bounty, which only awards 1 Reputation, but a Character is going Slow Track, you can't report it as .5 — only 1 or 0.

I wanted to play my Bounty Hunter PC through all 17 published Bounties (which requires Slow Track), so he ended up with 17 Reputation, but only 8.5 XP. Twice as much Reputation as he would otherwise have.

Now, Slow Track doesn't exist in SFS, but, if Reporting 1 Reputation was allowed for Starfinder Bounties, a Character would have 4 Reputation after playing through all 4. Twice as much Reputation as they would otherwise have playing just Scenarios.

So I have to ask, why did someone decide that was fine in PFS, but not SFS?

5/5 5/55/55/5

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Why not just a boon that if you have 2 you get 2 reputation and 4 you get 4 rep? or can the boons not handle that?

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5 ***

Boons used to do exactly that, when you could track your total on a piece of paper, but the website doesn't work like that.

2/5

Alternatively why not just have bounties reward 1 Rep each?
Playing all 4 would put you 1 rep ahead of playing a faction aligned mission, though at the current release rate and the hard lvl 1 restriction I dont see this adding up to a huge advantage, maybe a character hits Capstone at lvl 7 rather than level 8.

Grand Lodge 4/5 *** Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento

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Nefreet wrote:


So I have to ask, why did someone decide that was fine in PFS, but not SFS?

Because it *wasn't* fine in PFS2?

Slow speed bounties in PFS2 are supposed to reward 0.5 Reputation.

But as you found out, the system can't actually handle that easily. And players and GMs were unwilling to put in the work to take 1 point of reputation every other bounty, and so people who went slow track got twice the reputation they *should* have on their characters. (Or to put it another way, people who played slow track consistently cheated and collected twice the reputation they were entitled to.)

So now, with SFS bounties, where there is no slow track and it will effect *everyone* someone made the decision not to replicate that error in judgement a second time on an even larger scale.

I actually now regret my earlier support for allowing slow track to expand to PFS quests and bounties. "It will be fine" I said. "People won't take advantage" I said. Boy was I misled.

And now you are upset because you can't cheat in the same way in SFS. So you won't play unless you are allowed to cheat?

Scarab Sages 3/5 **** Venture-Lieutenant, Nebraska—Bellevue

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FLite wrote:

And now you are upset because you can't cheat in the same way in SFS. So you won't play unless you are allowed to cheat?

Cheat is a strong word. The system is quirky and he got 8.5 extra reputation for 17 plus hours of game-play. That isn't getting him much of anything for the time spent. It's not like he's getting extra achievement points or XP. Plus with the level cap of bounties, it's not something he can do further on that character. He might get slightly earlier access to a few boons that rely on reputation. But not it's not a big advantage.

Heck, I'm sure I lost way more reputation with the transition from paper to electronic reputation. There were several boons in PF2 at the beginning that were do X and record a reputation bonus. None of those translated as they all required the player to write stuff down.

Bounties serve two basic purposes, (1) introductory scenarios for new players and (2) short scenarios that can fit in a 2 hour slot - for filling convention schedules or short weeknight scenarios that let people go home quickly. I'm fine with the reputation limitations.

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5 ***

JohannVonUlm wrote:
Cheat is a strong word.

Thank you.

FLite is, unfortunately, my Venture Captain, and it's the first word he often reaches for. Either because he knows it bothers me, in a public forum, or because the questionable things he's done himself in the past make him paranoid.

It is exhausting dealing with him in person, exactly because of these sorts of interactions.

BTW, for anyone who is interested, I actually share all of my Chronicles publicly on my characters' Paizo profiles, because I believe in transparency and the honor system, and so you can see the character in question does not actually have any "early access" Reputation Boons.

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5 ***

FLite wrote:
So you won't play unless you are allowed to cheat?

I won't play them, because they offer zero Reputation. I think that's a valid objection.

Both Societies are pretty solidly built around the concept of earning and using Reputation. And personally, like PFS2, I would favor playing all of the Bounties on one character. In PFS2, it was a character with the Bounty Hunter Background (technically recently rebuilt with the Detective Background after completing said Bounties).

For these Bounties, I made a Dragonkin Mercenary who I was looking forward to completing everything with. A strong-man, because my other Bounty Hunter was a smarty-pants.

But in addition to the player side, it disincentivizes GMing, because you're either not going to apply the Chronicles at all, or the character you apply them to starts their career behind the curve.

Now, none of that might matter to you, but it matters to a non-zero population of Society goers, and so I feel the objection needs to be voiced.


Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Clicking the link for Bounty #1 just brings you back to this blog post.

Silver Crusade

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Nefreet wrote:
Boons used to do exactly that, when you could track your total on a piece of paper, but the website doesn't work like that.

I've personally found it's better for me, environmentally, physically and for my disabilities, to not be tracking everything by paper or leaving it completely on me to track in many places online.

I'm not hauling a BIG amount of stuff to cons to run (can ask shifty up there about my bags for cons which wasn't fun with my fatigue issues), nor am I losing everything I need (or having it taken from me by accident, because other people live in my home).

It's a compensation for Paizo behind the scenes flaw, as Alex said.

It doesn't work for everyone, no, but I'm pretty sure you can also compensate with some existing boons.

I'm not entirely sure, but I think the Second Seekers Jadnura 2nd to last or last boon or Starfinder Forum member's Protege boon could help you out, especially if it's only 1 character your put bounties on.

Heck, be real simple for ongoing characters, at 5 rep pick up Avid Volunteer for the Advocates or Digital Presence for the Dataphiles, slap that on that Bounty character.

Then if you prefer RL play with the Advocates, just help set up 4 times over the character's career (which, if you're GMing and turning up to set up a table any way, you should defs qualify for, imo).

If you prefer online, 4 scenarios with that Dataphiles boon on, and you've fully compensated for the bounties.

You're not as stuck as you may think you are for the long run.

GM Fair Wage wrote:
Bounties are built for cons to draw folks who 'only have an hour or so'.

I wouldn't say that at all.

-They're a great game demo tool to new players.

-Great for friends who want to play, but cannot play a full scenario game.

Not everyone has 4+ hours of brain RAM or physical time all the time, for various reasons. I can't tell you how many new parents who like to play fall asleep hour 3 of a 4 hour scenario. Not just on me, they fall asleep even when they're having fun. Sleep deprivation does that. Sleep deprivation + social isolation is not a great combo either, so 1hr games, maybe 2 or 3 if they're up for it. A meal if they can squeeze it in sounds like a great gaming night. Works for new parents, and probably also disabled people with fatigue issues, like myself.

-Great for new to Starfinder GMs to get a taste of the system, but not get overwhelmed in running.

I can attest that when you start out, running for four hours with no GMing experience and basically no hand holding from more experienced GMs (eg. you are the most experienced person with Starfinder at the table or the GM/s at your table are not good at teaching you to GM for any reason), it's very scary and would put anyone off.
1hr run times seem like they're good for newb GM toe dips in the Starfinder pool in a safe way. And we need more GMs.

4/5 5/55/55/55/5

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^^And great for people for whom 1-2 hours of social interaction is all the spoons they can muster.

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5 ***

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Cassi wrote:
Nefreet wrote:
Boons used to do exactly that, when you could track your total on a piece of paper, but the website doesn't work like that.
I've personally found it's better for me, environmentally, physically and for my disabilities, to not be tracking everything by paper or leaving it completely on me to track in many places online.

That quote was in reply to BigNorseWolf directly above me. He was asking whether there was a way to track bonus Reputation online through a Boon, and there isn't.

Please don't interpret my response as being against the online reporting system. I love it, but this is a needed area of improvement.

5/5 5/55/55/5

The online reporting is good but the system sometimes need perfection that is lacking.

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