Sargava Vignette

Commodore_RB's page

Organized Play Member. 80 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 3 Organized Play characters.




Hello all, I don't know if anybody else has been frustrated by the lack of standalone adventure modules for Starfinder, but after grumping about it for a couple years I finally decided to do something about it. Here is my offering, it has been a blast to run and all of the play tests and I have never had any player give anything other than an enthusiastic review.

Check out here.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Figure I'd signal-boost this excellent podcast, the Back Patio Network guys (who also did a fun complete playthrough of Doomsday Dawn and are 50% of the Called Shot podcast) run a hilarious and deadly game that's definitely worth checking out, they just wrapped up Book 2 so it's a great time to jump on.


As I'm finishing up prep for my second Starfinder campaign set in the Starcraft universe, I figured I'd dump what I'd made for the players here; they've been absolutely loving the system for Starcraft, it's fit pretty effortlessly. Magic isn't a thing but psi powers are; the two Protoss players are a Zealot with a re-flavored Solarion and a High Templar using the new mystic connection. I'd happy to field questions, we've been having a ton of fun in this setting.

Protoss: Possibly slightly overtuned at first level, having a level 1 Protoss feels a little weird anyway. I haven't worried heavily about making a specific race graft, but the rubric should be fairly obvious. I made some gear for the Protoss players, they've been upgrading as they go, but you can get the typical vibe for their weapons and armors.

The new mystic connections ought to make sense to anyone who's played the games. The high templar went all the way last game, the dark templar connection has only been used in various one-shots.

Finally, I'll note that the medic class I wrote up was published before a whisper of the Biohacker was ever mentioned. A lot of the same solutions here, although you'll note I opted to make shooting the serums into allies automatic. Medics are slightly more focused than Biohackers, and more buff/debuff-centric, but the main mechanic difference is in the stims. Stims, as you'd expect from the games, are a nice damaging buff that can really ruin abusers.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Since we had both a vanguard and a witchwarper, didn't think this belonged in either class forum; feel free to move if desired.

I ran a nice long one-shot session (my own adventure) over the weekend, a six-hour session with a good mix of combat and exploration/talking. My players picked their own characters, level 4 with bog-standard WBL, and we wound up with:
A Dwarf vanguard
A Half-Elf mystic (star shaman)
A Nuar soldier (blitz)
A human witchwarper
I didn't push for it, but I was happy with what we got here; the soldier contrasting with the vanguard and the mystic with the witchwarper. The Nuar was focusing on a doshko rather than Ring of Fangs or horn-gore natural attack builds, while the dwarf was being traditionalist with axe and shield (player wanted this since that awesome Dwarf vs. Vesk art in the CRB). The half-elf had pumped Dex with her first enhancement and was focusing on spells without saves, while the human seemed more focused on Cha and casting. Of course, everyone has played Starfinder before, so they knew to make dexterity second priority in all cases (14 on the solider was the lowest). Nobody felt terrible at their jobs, and everyone had fun.

Ship combat went well; Vanguard gunner, Soldier engineer, Mystic pilot, and Witchwarper captain. The witchwarper was relieved that there wasn't an envoy, who would have been a better captain...felt like that was pretty much the only role he could play with any efficacy. Then again, that makes him less screwed that any non-Star-Shaman mystic.

Upon defeating the enemy ship they followed with a boarding action; the witchwarper LOVED that his Infinite Worlds ability wasn't just land, but would work for sea, air, or vacuum by RAW. There's a lot of applications in free-fall, if free-fall is a common adventuring environment. The witchwarper did get excited at first that vacuum does damage, something he could change to a region of flames. Looks like that isn't doable as-is, though, given vacuum does bludgeoning damage, not energy.

The poor dwarf vanguard did get frustrated about his speed at times; his blitz buddy was often reaching the enemy a full round before he did; he joked that he should have taken the Momentum aspect “even with the useless skill”. Talking afterwards, the soldier suggested a dip into blitz or taking the Fleet feat; the vanguard actually said if he was building again he'd actually take an operative dip for the speed boost plus trick attack accuracy. With Attracting Shield and Interfere, he really did feel like he was an effective tank once he got there. His damage was lower that the solider's, of course, but he loved his accuracy (players like hitting).

We noticed that with Charming Veneer we have a return of the old Enhance Diplomacy. Does it work in starship combat? I dunno. But it's basically an always-cast for the party face. Our witchwarper appreciated the default +1 bonus on his talking, but found it fiddly to always cast. The witchwarper generally enjoyed his casting, although he avoided taking some spells on the list because they “felt too techno”. He did take Spell Focus immediately, of course, and he felt like Spell Penetration was there way earlier than it needed to be. As the loon had gotten up to a 20 in his casting stat he actually had enough spells to keep casting, and as his other feat was Extra Resolve he was able to Lessen Injury a lot. Even with that 9 RP at level 4 (!) he felt resolve-limited.

The solider and the mystic both did more raw damage in fights than the two new classes, but that's what they built for. For what it's worth, everyone wants to play with these four characters again; I might let them level up a bit first.


So I’m clearly not in Paizo’s prime target demo here. I mostly write and run my own stuff in Pathfinder, although I’ve been having a lot of fun with Starfinder lately. I’m not interested in setting material, and long APs. Since Paizo discontinued the module line, I’m not much interested in their adventures. And Pathfinder 2 appeals to me less than D&D 5e. But Doomsday Dawn interests me. I love raiding Dungeon for adventures to sprinkle into my home games, and Doomsday Dawn is like the first Dungeon we’ve seen in a long while, just with a nice metaplot linking the adventures. Some look to be stronger than others, but this seems like something I could run. And hey, I never get the chance to run level 17 stuff. So why not see how Doomsday Dawn runs as a Pathfinder adventure?

Now, converting on the fly should be interesting. I intend to do this thing actually on the fly. I don’t want to write up big statsheets to swap in and out, none of that noise. I get annoyed enough with the industry standards of spreading statblocks and keys well away from the maps* (in my publications I put the stats on the map and the key on the adjacent page), so if I can’t convert things from off the Doomsday Dawn (or Playtest Bestiary) page, I’m just going to hit the online SRD and grab the nearest thing. We’ll see how the conversion goes. I’m sure it’ll break at later levels, but that’s useful information too. I used to run 3.5 modules right off the page, so let’s see.

I’m going to run this with a group of three fairly hardcore players. Unless they start dying, I’m going to let them use the same three characters in all seven parts of the adventure; the story is pretty flexible on the matter. The players are allowed to optimize pretty hard after the starting constraint, which one they enjoy; the PCs are rolling stats of 4d6 drop 1 in order. So that in mind, we wound up with:

Quote:

Siegfried the Gnome, Heavens Oracle

Siegfried is yes, a disgusting Heavens build, but he’s complimented his 19 Cha with a remarkable 4 Dex. He’s going to be slowly waddling about in heavy armor (heh) and useless at ranged plinking. Siegfried rolled a solid 14 Int and a 15 Wis, so he’s going to be skillful enough.
Quote:

Sally the Dwarf (!), Hexcrafter Eldritch Archer Magus (!?)

Taking a natural 18 rolled in Dex, the player of Sally here wins points in my book for creativity. Only 15 Int means she’ll be good but not great at her spells, but the silly 15 Cha means this is the most beautiful and graceful dwarf you’ve ever seen.
Quote:

Hero the Middle-Aged Human, Arsenal Chaplain Warpriest of Desna

Old boy here is totally min-maxing with four of his six scores starting out odd. I’m fine with it. Another middling Dex roll means Hero is another heavy armor guy, this is going to be a comically slow party.

The party is going to be given their standard WBL every time we time jump, along with whatever gear they snag in the previous adventures. Traits are going to be standard Pathfinder traits, but I’m gave them the option to take the Doomsday backgrounds as backstory. They enthusiastically agreed they all wanted to be survivors of a mindquake. Cool, I’ll buy it. We don’t usually use hero points, but they are options in Pathfinder so I’ll give them here. By consensus, my players don’t want to use them to prevent death though. So with that said, let’s get in to it.

-

* Review of Doomsday Dawn as reading material.
I guess I should first say a few things about the playtest adventure as reading material. I know for all the strum und drang around the new gaming system there is a large chunk of Paizo’s customer base that buys their adventures just to read. A lot of criticism toward how these adventures are written is a little misguided, I’ll readily admit. Things that would make the Bog Standard Format easier to run at the table would probably make them less enjoyable as fiction. I recall reading these things before I could regularly play and it’s something like reading both a bit of genre fiction while also imagining playing the game.

Going by that criterion, Doomsday Dawn still reads like a Paizo Pathfinder adventure. The changes in how monsters, hazards, and traps are displayed don’t significantly change how reading flows, and the way that neat abilities get highlighted in the statblocks is fun to read. The adventures are closer to Society scenarios than AP installments in their story flow, but I think the secondary (or primary?) market that buys APs for the reading will be quite content with second edition.


So I recently introduced my SciFi-loving brother to tabletop with Starfinder (set in the Starcraft universe), and the bug bit deep. His girlfriend and her own brother and another friend were interested in the RPG part as my brother described it, but wanted to play in fantasy. I told him that Pathfinder exists of course, but he surprised me by being happier instead to just ban all guns and grenades, reskin, and roll in to a low fantasy game with the Starfinder rules. His players were a dagger-using operative scout, a bow-using solider sharpshooter, and an envoy that was definitely a classic bard in personality.

I'm not sure how far you could take this kind of back-porting, but I was definitely charmed. The fast-paced rules and simpler math makes Starfinder a fine enough choice for what he wanted to do. Anyone else seen this?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

The Medic
So I've been working on this class for a while through several playtests at various levels, and I figured I'd go ahead and throw it out here to mess with. The class goal is to have an interesting and adaptable nonmagical healer with a scientist flair. Influences and archetypes are the Starcraft medic units, the Team Fortress 2 Medic, and of course countless d20 modern/SciFi science classes. Take a look, break it in theorycrafting, play it in your home games


New from the maker of The Fall of Whitecliff and Night at Fausen's Manor, a dark new adventure set in an alternate Renaissance.

It is the year of our Lord 1452; the world is changing. But here in Village Sujeira, time seems to have stopped. From misty sunrise to dusty sunset, the ebb and flow of life remains the same. Although the animated gossiping of the women seems a little tense today. And are there perhaps a few more dirty travelers upon their burros than normal? And here is Father Olavo...does the prelate look a bit shifty?

In this adventure players are set first on a simple task, to solve the disappearance of the local witch before outside forces take an interest. But as the players get deeper, they will rapidly kind themselves on a quest for far more, as they range from an alchemist's lair on a crumbling tower down to a dark swamp full of mystery and danger, seeking a holy relic that might lead them to the outskirts of Hell itself. All in service of the sleepy Village Sujeira and the dusty souls within.

1452: Saving Sujeira’s Soul is an adventure set in northern Portugal on an alternate history Earth during the year 1452, in a world where history is much the same, but for the fact that the Rus are all hirsute dwarves, the hordes that poured out of central Asia were orcish (and half-orcs are mostly janissaries split among the Ottoman Empire’s demesnes), and elves are creatures of rumors and myth. Halflings live among the English and Portuguese in villages and farms, while goblins are pests best left for dead in the wilds between civilized countries. The Church arms its inquisitors with holy blessings, for witches are not mere milk-souring old women but vile devil-pacted souls, and wizards and sorcerers seek human and kine for sacrifices to fuel their darkling magics. There be dragons on the edges of the world, and ogres and sea serpents and giants, but the alchemists of this world know things beyond mortal ken and fight these horrors with science and canny concoctions.


Hate having to bring dozens of different things with you if you're running at a con or over at someone else's house? I've taken to making kits for one shots I'm running, printing out the map(s) and minis and all the extras needed, so that everything can be carried in a tight roll. No drawing needed; just add dice. I've been doing this for a while and this is one of my favorite one-shots, I figured I would put it up on here and if there's interest in more, I'll be making more. The map is sized for standard minis and the adventure is of course able to be used in any context, not just as a one-shot. The product is pay-what-you-want with a suggested price of $1, but I'm all about try before you buy. Enjoy!
Here's how it looks printed out!