Most of the night passes without action. The night sky is crystal clear, with stars in the thousands. Strangely, there's hardly any light pollution at all from the city of Brinnoa to the northeast. The war has changed people's habits.
No armor-sleeping penalty tonight. The WU patch will remove that.
A patrol schedule would be good, as well as timing on when you use your wake-up patches.
The night is cold, and the wind relentless. Without shelter, the team is reliant upon their environmental protections to keep frostbite at bay. Even with them at full blast, the chill still gets through.
The first few hours of patrol pass without incident. Kita tries to sneak about, but makes far too much noise to go unnoticed. Luckily, there doesn't seem to be anything out here to care.
The trek is rocky and snow drifts cover much of the landscape. Outside the bustle and noise of camp, the wilderness is eerily silent. This silent winter would be peaceful any other time, but now there's a weight of oppressive unease.
Following Little Foot's path, Midnight Squad makes its way to the Delta Escarpment in about two hours, by which time the sun has fully set and darkness covers the landscape.
Dawn is 11 hours away.
What are you doing?
The quartermaster frowns. "My orders are to take payment for any requisitions. But, if the Major said..." he trails off, before shrugging his shoulders and typing something into his datapad, seemingly ignoring Zarrex for a full minute.
Without looking up, his eyebrows raise in surprise and he suddenly says "Huh. It got approved. Well, they're on shelf 41A, to the right side. Big green package, code 'M0N5-TAR' on it. Be sure to scan the shelf with your IDENT when you grab 'em. Good luck out there!"
Everyone can have little a Wake-up Patch, as a treat.
The Quartermaster is in the camp's central armory. The sun is getting real low in the sky as Midnight Squad enters the warehouse.
A slender man with a datapad stands near the front door. He turns to the team as they enter. "Come to requisition something, soldiers? Due to the supply shortages, I'm afraid I'm going to have to ask you to pay out of pocket for anything you need."
Enoot, you don’t see anyone that looks in charge, just a bunch of nervous recruits. The driver already exited and there’s no sign of him or anyone else with an actual SDF rank.
As the more claustrophobic of the recruits just start to panic a bit, a loud CLICK reverberates through the cabin, and the back doors swing open, flooding the transport with sunlight and biting, freezing air. Standing on the ground is an SDF Corporal, her blue uniform meticulously clean and neatly pressed. Her half-elven eyes pierce the recruits with cold indifference.
”I’m Corporal Lissa. Time to move, newbies. Form columns behind me and follow.”
Not waiting for further pleasantries or even for people to disembark, she turns and begins walking briskly to the far end of the encampment. Recruits scramble to grab their gear and stumble out of the transport and onto the muddy, slushy ground. It takes a few minutes, but eventually they form a pair of uneven lines and begin jogging after the Corporal. All around, the activity of war preparation is apparent. Starships buzz like wasps overhead, waiting for their turn to dock. Other transports ferry troops and cargo around camp, leaving deep tracks in the muddy snow. Troops on foot dodge the caravans, busily seeing to their own tasks or training. If viewed from far above, you might be forgiven for wondering what the real difference was between this nexus of activity and a Swarm hive. Both are full of component creatures carrying out tasks to ensure the survival and health of the whole for the coming fight. The jog winds the column past the barracks, then the command post, the mess hall, and a few separate armories. The pace is difficult to keep, and the transport tracks make jagged ditches in the muddy ground, leaving freezing puddles that could break an unlucky ankle. When a couple of the recruits feel as if they might actually be lost or on the verge of collapse, they finally stop at a holographic sign reading:
“WARNING: LIVE FIRE TRAINING. DO NOT ENTER WITHOUT AUTHORIZATION”
The transport bounces heavily as it makes its way down the broken, pot-holed road from the capital city of Brinnoa to Camp Cavalier. The engine whines loudly, straining to keep up such a high speed in this difficult terrain. Even with such loud mechanical noise, the winter wind makes its presence known, buffeting the transport with heavy blows as if toying with the multi-ton machine. There are no windows, but the dim yellow dome light flickers with each jolt, allowing the occupants just flashing glimpses of one another. The air is stuffy and pungent, as the few dozen passengers crammed in such a tight space generate quite a bit of heat and stench.
In peacetime, this wouldn’t be a terribly odd collection of folks anywhere on Suskillon. Some humans, a few shirren, and quite a number of other races, old and young alike. Many are wearing Suskillon Defense Force patches on their civilian clothes, but some are clearly not Suskill. Almost all are carrying some form of firearm. Most fidget nervously, sitting in silence. Many of these new recruits have lost friends, family, parents, and children in the six months since the invasion began. Now they are finally joining the fray, answering a call to rebuild the ranks of the lost Fifth Battalion. Even more omnipresent than the stench of sweat, the nervousness in the air is palpable. These people have heard the stories of what the Swarm did at the Battle at Stone Sea.
Six months ago, the Swarm breached the planet’s orbital and aerial defenses and touched down at Stone Sea, a large freshwater lake surrounding a dormant volcano. The Fifth Battalion of the SDF was closest to the site of contact and held the Swarm back long enough for the SDF to mobilize other battalions to the area. Stories of the battle have already reached near-mythical heights, as most members of the Fifth Battalion were killed in glorious, terrible combat.
Since then, the SDF has fought a losing battle against the Swarm. Though Suskillon is a friendly trading partner with the nearby Pact Worlds, the planet’s government has yet to officially request aid, with many afraid that the Pact Worlds will claim their planet as a protectorate in “payment” for such help. However, that hasn’t stopped volunteers and mercenaries from other systems (including the Pact Worlds and the Veskarium) from journeying to Suskillon to join in the fight against the invasion. The Swarm is relentless, though, and it has already overrun nearly half of the planet. However, over the past few weeks, Suskillon has enjoyed something of a respite as the Swarm appears to have ceased its near-daily attacks.
The transport suddenly lurches to a stop, the engine seemingly sighing in relief as it returns to a low rumbling idle. Many of the recruits stand up, but the doors remain closed. Outside, the sounds of activity become clear. More vehicles moving about, indistinct shouting, as well as the odd burst of artillery fire. For almost fifteen minutes, nothing happens. The recruits slowly begin talking to each other, introducing themselves, reminiscing about their homes, their reasons for fighting, and trading rumors they’ve heard about the Swarm and the war effort.
Go ahead and introduce yourselves. You four are seated near the middle of the transport, 2 each on either side of the center aisle.
Use Zarrex's profile as your template when making your character. (My Account - My Profile - Aliases)
You can buy any of the items listed in the Player's guide except the magic item Medallions.
You all will receive your IDENTs (p44) at boot camp.
Everyone knows the 'Suskillon' language, it's the equivalent of Common in this system. This does not count against your known languages from INT or Culture.
You also know a lot about Suskillon! Here's a primer on the planet.
Welcome, soldiers, to the 5th Battalion of
Use this thread to talk strategy, purchases, or other ooc and meta topics. Topic 1 of course, is party make-up. Who are you?
If you have AP19, you can find the player's guide on pages 38-45. If you'd like me to snip just those pages out and send them to you so you can more readily avoid spoilers, I'd be happy to.
Character creation guidelines
Since this is not SFS, you best believe almost everything is fair game. Race, class, gear options, just run it by me before you fall in love. The only thing I'll cut right up front is ring of fangs and the cheesy strength-build stellifera. You can make other kinds of stellifera if you want.
- No evil characters. You've signed up to defend the Suskillon system from invasion.
- Have some personal connection to Suskillon. The population is majority human, minority shirren, but other races come and go along with the trade to the Pact Worlds and Suskillon's own space exploration. Whether you were born and raised here, or your true love died in the Battle at Stone Sea, or your mercenary career brought you here looking for glory, there's a reason you're now fighting the good fight.
- Do not post in the main gameplay thread until I ok your character concept. Send me a DM of your character's motivations and personality. The more I have to work with, the more I can weave you into the story.
- Character avatar selection appears to be broken currently, but when it's fixed start thinking about what image you want as your character.
Question 2: Doors within the facility.
I took this to mean the doors have no actual panel to allow opening them manually. Basically I ruled that the door opened if you ended your turn in front of it, and it would close at the end of the turn of the last creature to trigger the door (I.E. stand in front of it or walk through it). This made for some really interesting tactical decisions while the team tried to escape the golem and still loot everything they could without leaving anyone trapped behind an automatic closing door. Took a bit of headache to keep track of which door opened/closed when, but it was fun.
Our GM crew got into a debate about the golem's tactics. The tactics clearly state that it focuses its attacks on a target until they are dead. Does that mean it administers a coup-de-grace if a PC goes unconscious?
Option A: Yes. Dead has a specific mechanical definition in the CRB. The golem should continue to attack until that condition is achieved. This makes it infinitely more dangerous, but thematically appropriate.
Option B: No. The golem does not have lifesense, no Medicine or Life Science skill, and no intelligence, so it cannot perceive the difference between unconscious/dying and dead. Therefore when it knocks a target down, it assumes they're dealt with and moves on to the next closest target. This takes a bit of the edge off, but seems more in line with how other 'boss' monsters work.
I chose option B, as for my players, losing their characters in the first room of this map would have been the opposite of fun, and especially frustrating as they really hadn't had a chance to fully figure out what the hell was going on yet by the time I took one of them down. However I could see the argument for option A, RAW, if you're an especially malicious GM.
I think a starship travel and/or combat deck would be neat, similar to the crit decks. Roll a nat20 in starship combat?
Engineering - double the bonus you applied or shields you restored
or just some other random events. Drift encounters? stellar phenomena that can instantly change battle? (solar winds knock out all targeting systems, sudden comet dust storm reduces shields, etc.)
Ninja Division is offering a big digital bundle of their games for print-and-play. Humble Bundle.
You can actually buy these digital products and receive them instantly! This is a brave New business strategy for ND.
Hope they use some of their earnings to get our minis out there.
Don't forget the 'Where Is Wolf Right Now?' segments he used as filler for his other shows.
I know there's no larger map (yet) of the galaxy. I don't have any of the older pathfinder sources either, so I was wondering if we know the shape of the galaxy and where the PW system lies in it?
I assume its a spiral galaxy like ours, and since Golarion and the system as a whole is an analogue to our own solar system, it stands to reason that it lives on the outer fringes of one of the arms of the galaxy. But if there's a reference for this anywhere, I'd be interested to know.
I actually really liked the 3 part format. Long enough to tell a fun story arc but short enough to keep the pace going. It'll take my group almost 18 months to finish Dead Suns at the speed we're going now.
Call me crazy, but I think even a 1-part AP (Starfinder Module?) would be cool. Doesn't have to start at level 1, either low or high level it would be a good introduction to the game (and if people are just starting, not as huge of an investment!) If a 1-book adventure is well received, it sets up Paizo with a bunch of options to tell short, medium, and long form stories down the road.
I think I remember In one of the twitch streams they said that rewriting the CRB takes away from the time that they can work on new content. As a value proposition for them, it doesn't make too much sense yet to release an updated CRB yet, as most retailers are still packed with the current one, and they have a pretty tight content schedule to meet, with 2 scenarios, 1 AP a month, in addition to the beginner box, hardbacks, and maps. Not to mention many of their staff are also working on PF2.
But never say never, just don't expect it any time soon.
I'll jump on the promotional boon bandwagon. Once per session, each player must bring their own deck seems fair enough. If someone wants to cheat that badly, then it won't impact the scenario too much.
Maybe tone it down by restricting it from being combined with shirt reroll? I.E. choose either crit effect or reroll but not both. That'll even further reduce the incentive to cheat.
I'm intrigued on what will be in the crit fumble deck in a couple months too and how that might work in society.
The Kickstarter backers and GameOnTabletop late pledges are not customers of Paizo nor Ninja Division. We freely gave our money, not for a product, but to assist a company in developing a product. That is the fundamental basis of Kickstarter.
So our relationship to ND is not one of customer-retailer, but rather closer to patron-artist. As far as the failed Kickstarter goes, Paizo slapped their name all over it but they have no legal obligation or business connection to us at all. It's simply marketing.
So because an artist failed in their artistic endeavor, that makes them liable to suit from those that patronized them? That seems an unfair precedent to set.
We knew upfront that this money was effectively lost the moment we spent it. There's a whole section of every Kickstarter description devoted to potential risks, so we can't say we weren't aware what we signed up for.
And again, there is no contractual obligation for ND to provide us a product. Now, if it came out that they defrauded everyone with 0 intention of delivering anything, just to take the money and run, then maybe we'd be able to go after them in court. But that's a really high bar to clear. And the fact that some people did receive miniatures (however few) shows they at least attempted to do what they said they would. They just failed.
Does it suck? Yes. Do I wish someone else would have taken the license and made SF minis? Absolutely. But to keep blaming Paizo or demanding some recompense for mistakes we made is pointless. I know I'll take a hard pass on anything associated with Ninja Division or the people who work(ed) there in the future. Lesson learned. Let's move on. I've got Infinity miniatures to paint!
Edit: I really appreciate that Sara Marie and Paizo in general are not giving up on this and continuing to work behind the scenes. But I'm honestly treating anything we might get in the future as a surprise bonus. ND failed us and trying to punish them now is pointless.
All this makes me really nervous. I also went all-in and have received a grand total of 10 miniatures (1 of which had broken feet). Based on the rumors that the manufacturer has put the line on hold, it seems the only way I'll get even a few more SF minis is to buy the pre-painted ones that made it to stores. But do I really want to shell out $120 for 17 minis? That decision would have been a lot easier if I had an extra $400.