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Just finished doing something I actually haven't done in a long time: Sitting down and reading an RPG hardcover front-to-back.

Now I'm idly pondering how some of the threads of the Drift Crisis could intersect with the ongoing saga of the Starfinder Society.

I have no insider info on what's coming in Year 5, but I will touch on "spoilers" for the story beats of past arcs, plus spoilers for the Drift Crisis itself, so tags on from here on out.

P.S.: I'm certain that Year 5 is already planned out; not attempting to push any ideas here. Just jotting them down for posterity, mostly as a writing exercise to help sort though these ideas in my own head. If anything below does come to fruition in the future, it's just a coincidence.

If you have your own musings or predictions, feel free to share!

In no particular order:

Spoiler:
*** So, it turns out that the church of Eloritu has more than its fare share of irons in the fire, playing multiple roles that, while not necessarily malevolent, do paint them as potential antagonists to typical PCs. Turns out that Eloritu's followers have a rather mixed opinion of the Drift, and some of them would prefer that it just go away.

Gaze slowly glides over to the Starfinder Society's resident mystic of Eloritu, Venture-Captain Arvin.

While I'm not exactly hoping for a heel turn from Arvin (one of my players' PCs had a crush on him -- she thinks he has "hot lips" -- and he had to gently turn her down due to their imbalanced work relationship), Arvin presenting a nuanced, conflicted personal take on the Drift Crisis while helping plan the Starfinder Society's field missions would be an interesting wrinkle, to say the least.

Spoiler:
*** We already have announced scenarios on the schedule that will be touching on the Drift in Reverse and Broken Beacons campaign hooks, so, just noting how eager I am to see them now.

Spoiler:
*** When One Becomes Three: On the one hand, taking Year Four as published, the Compiler Worm might feel too familiar coming hot on the heels of the Data Scourge.

On the other hand, long before the Data Scourge, the threat of an invasive, incredibly powerful computer virus was a recurring theme in Years One and Two, and left a shag rug of loose threads and unanswered questions in its wake. Here's what I'm talking about:

1. The virus that accumulated a starship graveyard on Agillae-5. Of unknown origins; created nanites that could control the minds of living creatures, and constructed a virtual mindscape to keep many more prisoners in stasis indefinitely.

2. The "SMoV" virus unleashed on Songbird Station by the "Board of Directors."

3. The virus Datch used to take control of Guidance in Year Two. Despite some narrative obfuscation, this virus seems to me to have been a different iteration of the same SMoV uploaded to Songbird Station.

4. Historia-6 ties many of these threads together. A victim of the virus in example 1, his actions triggered the wrath of the Board of Directors and/or Datch down the line. And then he himself returns in Year Four as a, yup, highly invasive virus capable of usurping infospheres and living minds alike.

In my home game, these threads are all being woven into a single cord. Very briefly, the chain of events in my game (not necessarily adhering to published canon):

A. About a hundred years before the Scoured Stars incident, the Society and other Pact Worlds explorers pulled out of the Scoured Stars entirely, provoked at least in part by the threat of losing ships to a technomagical virus on Agillae-5. Let's call that virus the SMoV (Synthetic Model Virus) for simplicity's sake.

The still-mysterious "criminal" faction of the Starfinder Society (glimpsed at the end of Year 2 and teased for Year 5) is active in this era.

After AbadarCorp loses an expedition to Agillae-5 and retreats from the Scoured Stars, they take a captured copy of the SMoV back home with them, kept secure on an air-gapped data module. AbadarCorp R&D considers whether to try to reverse engineer the SMoV but quickly decides that it's too dangerous to play with. Their copy essentially sits on a shelf for decades, gathering dust and nearly forgotten.

B. While researching the Scoured Stars in advance of First Seeker Jadnura's expedition, Historia-6 brushes up against AbadarCorp's old records. This in turn pings Datch, who is in the early stages of playing her long game against AbadarCorp. She's approached by the Secret Criminal Faction (being very vague here, since we don't know what their deal is yet) and they alert her to the existence of the SMoV. If she pulls strings within AbadarCorp to obtain the SMoV, they'll assist her in her scheme. Proper analysis of the SMoV begins.

C. Datch and the "Board of Directors" infiltrate the Lorespire Complex and upload their current iteration of the SMoV into Guidance, breaching the Cortex's data vaults and, well, setting in place a heaping pile of Years One and Two.

D. During Year One, Datch and the "Board of Directors" deploy a newer iteration of the SMoV on Songbird Station in a plot to eliminate a loose end and maybe some Starfinder Society leaders to boot.

E. Late in Year One, Historia-6/Prime returns. During his brief regin, they learn everything the Dataphiles know about the SMoV (including being able to examine the code directly). When he's forced to "flee," he takes that knowledge of the SMoV with him. He spends the next couple of years utilizing the SMoV to work toward his "comeback" in Year Four.

F. During Year Two, Celita deduces out that Guidance is infected with a version of the SMoV and develops a patch to wipe it. PCs free Guidance from Datch's control, and the Society and Guidance develop new safety protocols to prevent a repeat going forward.

G. At the end of Year Two, Datch is captured and her Secret Criminal Faction allies write her off. That group's identities, origins, and intentions remain a mystery.

H. In Year Three, in the Fleeting Truth arc, Guidance sends some high-level PCs off to collect encrypted data about a shocking, suppressed discovery made about two hundred years ago. I had been planning on running these scenarios with the published version of this "revelation," but now I'm pondering a change... which I'll circle back to in a sec.

I. In Year Four, Historia-Prime returns to seek his revenge, utilizing the most powerful iteration of the SMoV to date -- one directed by copies of his own soul, making it truly "alive" and sapient. This catastrophe gets resolved at the end of Year Four, of course.

But all of this still leaves one big mystery: The virus on Agillae-5. Where did it come from? How long was it there? The species native to the Scoured Stars never mention it, and while the jinsuls are in power, it seems that they monitor the planet but don't establish a presence there. Effectively maintaining a quarantine blockade in orbit above the graveyard. So it isn't their doing.

Where does a virus like the SMoV come from? What if...
* What if, at the heart of that starship graveyard on Agillae-5, explorers found a fossilized fragment of the All-Code?
* What if that discovery fell into the hands of the Order of the Divine Fault? What if they transferred the code into their ship's computer, only to see it take control and even spread to the constructed life form crew? What if this was the birth of the SMoV?
* What if the terrible truth the Starfinder Society suppressed 200 years ago wasn't simply an extreme Singularitism philosophy? What if the Mechanists were a splinter group of the Faulters, and the "revelation" the Society chose to hide from the galaxy was an early iteration of the SMoV?
* Jumping ahead to the Drift Crash, what if NIHIL and the Compiler Worm is the SMoV, a final iteration infused by more of the All-Code than ever before, its outbreak on Aballon stymied only by the anacite's recent battle against the Data Scourge?

Anyway, just thinking aloud.


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Very interesting adventure, but one of those times when I wish SFS would get a little more specific with some of its dates just to nail down a consistent timeline.

Couldn't help but put on my timeline chronicler cap to examine some conflicts the scenario's backstory. These conflicts don't "break" the adventure in any way, but GMs might want to note them and pick one "story" to go with over the others.

Assuming that the scenario is set in the "present day" of 322 AG, I'll put the rest in spoiler tags.

Spoiler:

1. Pallena Lervo is initially described as "one of the first" Starfinders. We don't know exactly when the Society was founded, but we're generally told that it was formed shortly after the end of the Gap and the introduction of Drift engine technology. (In my own campaign, I've pinned it down to circa 25 AG, but that's just me.)

Pallena Lervo, a human, is depicted as having had a long career and even longer life, but if she toured the Idari, it was presumably just after it arrived in the Pact Worlds in 240 AG (one of the only fixed dates we have to work with here). Even if she toured the Idari as a revered elder statesman, to have been around in the early days of the Society means she was kicking around for well over two centuries.

2. The loosest temporal marker about Lervo we get in the scenario is Celita's comment that Lervo was most active as a field agent in a period when the Society was primarily concerned with learning about the Gap. That makes sense if she really was around in the Society's early, post-Gap days, but it could also coincide with the tenure of First Seeker Lanrah, which would place her peak field career in the neighborhood of 160 AG.

Alternatively, Celita could just as well be referring to some other, previously unmentioned period, presumably separated by years or decades to either side of First Seeker Lanrah's disastrous legacy. Ultimately Celita's comment is really too vague to be able to cause conflicts.

However, if Lervo is a fresh-faced field agent in 160 AG, then it becomes more feasible for her to be a venerable retired venture-captain and Forum member in 240 AG. But...!

3. The final temporal marker we have for Lervo's backstory is the most important; the one with the most direct effects on the adventure itself: the family history connecting Koyonn (modern day) to his great-grandmother Ahusata (Lervo's contemporary).

Now, we don't know the ages of any of these characters, so there's going to be decades of slack built in here, but we do know that strix reach the age of maturity at 12 and their maximum age tops out at 70. Let's keep it super simple and assume an average age of 30 for Koyonn now and each of his ancestors. If Koyonn was born in 292, let's assume his mother was born in 262 and his grandmother was born in 232. His great-grandmother, Ahusata, is described as being a young woman when Lervo entered the Aerie of the Sun (and couldn't have had her child any later than her trip to Absalom Station), so let's make a final leap of faith that the backstory of this scenario took place circa 215 AG or so. Give or take.

So! What this means:

Pallena Lervo's "expedition" to the Aerie of the Sun, the core of the scenario's backstory, probably took place circa 215 AG. This potentially makes her a contemporary of Sangoro, founder of the Exo-Guardians. Having her tour the Idari 25 years later is pretty reasonable and could have occurred in any number of contexts. However, the Starfinder Society's interest in the Gap at the time was not tied to First Seeker Lanrah, but may have led into another (unnamed) First Seeker's decision in that period to pull most of the Society's resources back from the Vast to focus on the Pact Worlds.

Any references to Lervo being one of the "first" Starfinders should probably be downplayed, though.


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See subject header. Someone else noticed this just about the time of the Gap yesterday but they're still wonky.


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So, here's my situation. I'm a GM running a home campaign assembled from Starfinder Society scenarios. My campaign is non-Organized Play compliant, but I enjoy using the Reputation and Boons systems for my PCs. Until now, that's worked out great for me. Purchase scenario, boom, there's the boons right in the back.

But now, as of Year 3 onward, the content of Boons are locked behind the OP system. Take 2 boons for example: Starfinder Forum Member and Awakened from Rel-State.

I just want to see the text of these boons. But the only way to do so seems to be to register a SFS-compliant PC as having completed these scenarios, which in turn requires having an "official" PC in the system whose level has reached the lower teens for the former boon and 20th level for the latter.

Is there any way to preview boons? Just so you can see what they are without having to legally earn them?


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I don't know if this will be of use to anyone else at this late date, but I'm running Year of Scoured Stars as a campaign and compiled what we know of the Scoured Stars system itself from across a handful of sources. Not a lot of true spoilers here, and this is the GM's forum, but I'll tag the planets with spoilers anyway.

Agillae
An orange dwarf star with five terrestrial planets, all of which are in the star's habitable zone.

Agillae's Planets:

Agillae-1: A warm world, usually safe and rich in resources if not very fertile. Carnivorous plant creatures are the dominant predators. The deadliest family of plants are bluethorns, which are highly sensitive to electromagnetic radiation. They either register EM radiation as prey, or it drives them into a frenzy, with the result that bluethorns stampede toward comms signals and similar emissions from miles away to attack them.

Gravity: Standard

Scoured Stars Incident: Jadnura's expedition established an outpost on the planet during the initial expedition. Comms transmissions soon lured bluethorn predators to the outpost (possibly resulting in the destruction of their starships). Even so, under Jadnura's leadership, Agillae-1 maintained the largest outpost of survivors until the rescue mission.

Agillae-2: A few enormous rock monoliths jut from the steamy swamps and jungles of this tropical world. Extreme biodiversity.

Gravity: Standard.

Home World: Agillae-2 was the original home world of the nelentu, who joined with the thyr during or perhaps even after fleeing the system to found the Kreiholm Freehold in the Saaruq-Ruaan binary star system.

Scoured Stars Incident: The Starfinders trapped here by the Godshield all died.

Jinsul Occupation: The jinsuls strip most of the planet's vegetation to fuel their war industry, then use the cleared terrain to drill troops and test vehicles.

Agillae-3: We have no data on this planet.

Agillae-4: A hyper-industrialized city-planet.

Gravity: Standard

Home World: Well, here's the trick. We never find out which planet in the Scoured Stars system is the original jinsul home world. We do learn that they call their home world Otorak, but they reject the Pact Worlds' naming system entirely so we never find out which planet they're referring to. A heavily industrialized planet does seem to match the jinsuls, however. If Agillae-4 isn't Otorak, when we have no other clear candidates, and Agillae-4 must then have been the home world of one of the remaining three undiscovered Scoured Stars civilizations.

Jinsul Occupation: Apparently treating their original home world as just another resource to strip mine (admittedly, it seems likely that they'd already exhausted their home world's resources before they fled), the jinsul construct a massive data-processing station among the ruins of their former home.

Agillae-5: Insidious alien nanites have turned the surface of this planet into a starship graveyard.

Gravity: Standard

Scoured Stars Incident: The virus lured numerous Starfinder ships into its web, trapping the crews in virtual simulations or enslaving their minds with nanites.

I have some head-canon concerning this virus, but I'll leave it out of this lore compilation.

Bastiar
The largest, brightest, and most massive of the three stars. Bastiar is a yellow dwarf stars with eight planets: five terrestrial planets, a gas giant with more than three dozen moons, and two ice giants. Figuring out which of those planets are the ice giants is hazier than it needs to be, though.

Bastiar's Planets:

Bastiar-1: We have no data on this planet.

Bastiar-2: A rocky, volcanic planet with pockets of rich vegetation. Rivers of lava flow all over the planet's tectonically active surface.

Gravity: Low

Home World: Bastiar-2 was the original home world of the mentrasi, who were wiped out in a natural disaster several centuries after reaching their new home on Kukanou-2b, a moon orbiting the gas giant Kukanou.

Note 1: The Mentrasi Tear reached the menstrasi just weeks before they were (coincidentally) wiped out in the "271st Orbit" of their calendar, suggesting 271 years after they established their colony. However, a year on Kukanou-2b is 508 days of 18 Pact Standard hours; thus a Kukanous-2b year is 381 Pact Standard days long. A little more math puts just under 283 Pact Standard years between the founding of the mentrasi colony and their destruction. So either they were wiped out before the Gap, or they were wiped out in 283 AG, which is in the same general time frame (within a decade and a half) that we know the izalguun Tear reached Izalrran, which seems about right.

Note 2: A survivor of the Scoured Stars expedition, Eshki, was trapped by the Godshield on a world that closely matches Bastiar-2's description (he doesn't actually name it), but he also credits Jadnura with getting him through the first rough months. However, Jadnura was trapped on Agillae-1, and the Godshield blocked communications, so there's a continuity error here that needs to be resolved. (In my game, I'm just moving Eshki to Agillae-1; his connection to Jadnura is the important element.)

Bastiar-3: A fertile planet blanketed in fungi.

Gravity: Standard

Jinsul Occupation: The jinsuls establish a heavy military presence here.

Bastiar-4: We have no data on this planet. During the Scoured Stars expedition, the Starfinders dropped a medical ship in orbit here to place it in medical quarantine. However, we know Bastiar has two ice giants, and this is kinda the only place the second giant can go. (How you get a humid jungle planet farther out in orbit than an ice giant is not my place to answer.)

Bastiar-5: A barren, gray world. Seemingly innocuous and easily overlooked, but in fact the physical location of the slumbering god Kadrical.

Gravity: Standard

Jinsul Occupation: The jinsuls establish a heavy military presence here, obviously.

Bastiar-6: A humid jungle planet.

Gravity: Standard

Jinsul Occupation: The jinsul install a heavy military presence on this planet.

Bastiar-7: A gas giant with icy rings and over three dozen moons.

Gravity: High

Home World: Original home of the thyr, though signs of their civilization would be hard to detect. During or perhaps after fleeing their home, the thyr joined up with the nelentu of Agillae-2 and went on to found the Kreiholm Freehold in the Saaruq-Ruaan binary star system.

Scoured Stars Incident: Several Starfinder ships were in orbit around Bastiar-7, searching for rare mineral, when the Godshield started to manifest. Some ships fled for Bastiar-2, but at least 10 others, including the Empyrean Eye, were trapped here. Something destroyed the Empyrean Eye - possibly just an accidental collision in the planet's icy rings - and the ghost ship then wiped out the remainder.

Bastiar-8: An ice giant with at least two moons, which I'll call 8a and 8b for convenience.

Bastiar-8a: One moon is rocky, barren, and inhospitable on the surface but contains air-filled cave systems. Long ago, before Kadrical ever manifested the Godshield, jinsuls treated this moon as "God's Home." Only the holiest of jinsul priests were allowed to step foot on the sacred moon, bringing other living creatures here only as sacrifices. Dhurus, one of Kadrical's heralds, maintains a strong mystical connection to this ancient sacred site.

Gravity: Low

Scoured Stars Incident: As far as I can discern, a team of Starfinders arrived here in search of "God's Home" a location they'd learned of elsewhere in the system. In the shrine to Kadrical, they appear to have accidentally drawn the attention of Dhurus - at that moment light years away on the jinsul's new home world. Dhurus summoned demons to imprison (and gradually sacrifice) the Starfinder captives. This interaction may have also briefly roused Kadrical, causing the slumbering god to reflexive raise the Godshield, both trapping the Starfinder expedition and cutting off Dhurus (and Kadrical's other wandering heralds) from Kadrical and the system. Demons have been sacrificing captive Starfinders to Kadrical on a slow drip ever since, but Dhurus doesn't seem to have had an opportunity to learn much from his captives prior to the Starfinders' rescue mission.

Bastiar-8b: A ship operating "somewhere near" Bastiar-8 encountered the home world of a particularly nasty, non-sapient species called huskborn. While it's possible that huskborn might be native to the ice giant itself, it feels more likely that they would be native to one of its moons instead. (And it seems unlikely that they're from Bastiar-8a.)

Callion
The smallest of the three stars, Callion is a red dwarf with two small, tidally locked planets. The planets' orbits are synchronized so they're always on opposite sides of the star.

Callion's Planets:

Callion-1: Similar to Verces in many respects, this planet can support life but is a permanent tundra on one side and desert on the other. Its upper atmosphere is wracked by gigantic magnetic storms that wreak havoc on vehicular sensors, comms, and navigational systems, making the use of air vehicles and even starships incredibly hazardous. Home to massive, predatory sand worms.

Gravity: Standard

Scoured Stars Incident: A sizable number of Starfinders managed to survive on the desert side of the planet here until their rescue. While we don't know anything about the outpost, it seems plausible that they were drawn to the ruins of an ancient city and then utilized it to survive. This in turn would suggest that Callion-1 is the home world of one of the system's three undiscovered native sapient species.

Callion-2: The original izalguun home world, this planet's temperate zone is ringed by a massive, technologically advanced and entirely automated megacity, making Callion-2 particular reminiscent of Verces.

Gravity: Standard

Home World: The izalguuns created this chaotic, materialistic megacity before rejecting technology (and their home world); after the izalguuns reached Izalraan (Icefront), they shunned most tech and any reminders of their home. Just before they left, they placed an AI in charge of maintain the megacity forever. Part of the jinsul master plan is to force the izalguuns to resettle Callion-2, which is the very last thing the izalguuns want to do.

Scoured Stars Incident: A team of Starfinders explored the megacity and interfaced with its networks, but were wiped out by automated defenses when they tried to enter a restricted area. After analyzing data found on the dead invaders, the AI created a hologram (synthesizing an amalgam of the Starfinders' various humanoid species) to better interact with future visitors.


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This month's subscription consists of the Pathfinder and Starfinder APs. Received a shipping notice for Pathfinder AP #163 on 1/14; Starfinder AP #36 has not shipped.


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This is a spoiler-filled reference thread for GMs running Book 3 of The Devastation Ark Adventure Path, "Dominion's End."

All GM threads in this series:

1 - Waking the Worldseed
2 - The Starstone Blockade
3 - Dominion's End


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This is a spoiler-filled reference thread for GMs running Book 2 of The Devastation Ark Adventure Path, "The Starstone Blockade."

All GM threads in this series:

1 - Waking the Worldseed
2 - The Starstone Blockade
3 - Dominion's End


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This is a spoiler-filled reference thread for GMs running Book 1 of The Devastation Ark Adventure Path, "Waking the Worldseed."

All GM threads in this series:

1 - Waking the Worldseed
2 - The Starstone Blockade
3 - Dominion's End


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Gentle reminder that Fly Free or Die needs a subforum, and Devastation Ark, which has now been published in its entirety, still needs a subforum.


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Just a reminder that Devastation Ark still needs a subforum in the Starfinder Adventure Path forum.


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For the last day or so, in Chrome at least, clicking on "Forums" on the drop-down menu from the main page results in a dead link. Clicking on "Community" works fine.


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I've become a bit fixated on Candares lately (I connected it to a recurring NPC's background), and that got me thinking more about the settlement and the mysterious kaymos mentioned in passing in the Castrovel article in Dead Suns #2.

I've gone so far as to pester past and present Starfinder developers about the kaymos and I've confirmed that, yup, they're a tossaway line to inspire GMs, with no plans for them currently lurking in the wings. So with the stage cleared, I decided to flesh them out a bit; here are my WIP scratch notes.

First of all, here's all of official canon on kaymos:

1. They are native to the cliff walls of the crevasse surrounding Lower Candares, where, traditionally, they maintain seasonal temples and bury their dead.

2. They are "spider-limbed."

3. They live in peace with Candares' lashunta population.

4. A rare mineral, corpsicum, is produced when water seeps through the kaymos' burial grounds. Astral Extractions recently discovered new magical uses for corpsicum, leading to a "corpsicum rush."

5. Some kaymos (along with some lashuntas) have formed a resistance group to the industrial miners called the Wallkeepers.

And lastly, it's not directly stated, but kaymos are native to Castrovel, where most of the other sapient species (lashuntas, formians, and khizars) are telepathic.

So, since the next Starfinder Wayfinder is years out, here's what I'm noodling with so far. Work in progress!

Kaymo Racial Traits
Ability Adjustments: +2 Dex, +2 Wis, -2 Cha
Hit Points: 4
Species Language: Kaymo
Size and Type: Kaymos are Medium monstrous humanoids.
Darkvision: Kaymos have darkvision with a range of 60 feet.
Four-Armed: Kaymos have four arms, which allows them to wield and hold up to four hands' worth of weapons and equipment. A kaymo's upper set of arms are distinctly smaller than their lower set. A kaymo takes a -2 penalty to attack rolls if if uses its upper arms to wield weapons of 1 or greater bulk. Otherwise this functions as the kasatha ability (and counts as it for the purposes of prerequisites).
Inherited Memory (Su): A kaymo's neurological system naturally forms crystalline micro-lattices that become psychically attuned as the kaymo reaches adulthood. This acts as a natural psychic receptacle for memories that one kaymo can mentally pass on to another. At character creation, a kaymo may choose any one skill to store as an "inherited" memory. The kaymo gains an additional skill rank at 1st level and each level thereafter; these ranks must all be placed in the inherited skill. A kaymo may also choose to leave their receptacle unused, not applying the bonus skill ranks.

Once per day, in a process that requires one full hour of uninterrupted physical and telepathic contact (or one day of downtime), a kaymo can pass this skill to another kaymo. The initiating kaymo loses the stored memory (including all of its skill ranks) and the receiving kaymo gains that memory (including extra skill ranks in that skill equal to the receiving kaymo's level). If the receiving kaymo already had an inherited memory, it loses that memory (and its skill), with the new skill replacing it. Alternatively, the receiving kaymo can pass the existing inherited memory to the initiating kaymo (effectively trading the skills).

If the recipient kaymo is already trained in the inherited skill, their own skill ranks and the inherited ranks do not stack. Thus, "extra" ranks go unused, but still exist to be passed on.

A kaymo can also pass their inherited memory on to non-kaymos, so long as the recipient has either telepathy or limited telepathy (from any source). However, the transference is far less effective with non-kaymos. A kaymo can also choose to use this limited and temporary form of memory transference with other kaymos, if it so chooses. When it uses the limited form of this ability, a kaymo can grant one of two effects (the initiating kaymo's choice). First, a kaymo can deliver a burst of information related to the inherited memory, as a mink link spell (CL equals the kaymo's level or CR). Alternatively, a kaymo can grant a psychic impression of the memory, granting the recipient the benefits of the aid another action when using that skill for the next hour. This limited form of memory transference requires only physical contact and a full action to perform.

In all cases, recipients must be conscious and willing for the psychic bond to function. Transferring memories is a supernatural ability, but a kaymo's ability to store an inherited memory is extraordinary and cannot be dispelled.

For kaymo NPCs, designate one master skill as the kaymo's inherited skill. NPC kaymos can transfer memories to reallocate that master skill to a new skill using the same skill bonus.

A kaymo's inherited memory includes not just the practical knowledge and even muscle memory contained within the skill, but also the experiences of the kaymo who originally formed that memory. Kaymos view this ability as a means to literally share a piece of themselves or keep aspects of a respected ancestor alive within them, so they consider the process incredibly intimate, usually transferring memories only to loved ones, dear friends, or trusted heirs or students. Kaymos speak of "bequeathing" memories through the generations.

Kaymo Movement: Kaymos have a base speed of 20 feet and a climb speed of 20 feet.
Limited Telepathy: Kaymos can communicate telepathically with any creatures within 30 feet with whom they share a language, as the shirren ability.
Spatially Aware: Kaymos gain a +2 racial bonus to Athletics and Sense Motive checks.

Kaymos are an insectoid species native to the high peaks surrounding the Candares valley on the continent of Asana on Castrovel. Unlike Castrovel's dominant sapient species, they remain clustered in the region, generally feeling a strong and direct connection to the history of their homeland. Kaymos' ancestors spent the majority of their lives scuttling along the vertical surfaces of the ravine walls overlooking the Tarakeshi River, where they built their ancient temples, tombs, and nest-like villages. When the spring floodwaters sieve through the porous rock of the cliffs, they would break down the interred remains of the kaymo dead, gradually flushing their crystalline memory matrices into a sludge-like solution that often lined the pools formed at the base of the valley's countless waterfalls. When early lashuntas and other creatures wandered into the valley and drank from these pools, they received strange visions -- kaymo memories scattered into component atoms -- that eventually caused them to look up and discover their neighbors peering down from high atop the jagged cliffs.

Kaymos' ability to literally share the learned experiences of others makes them extremely open-minded, though they are cautious and deliberate. As a culture, they remained neutral in the lashunta-formian wars, their presence gradually leading the lashuntas of Candares to develop slightly progressive views toward their insectoid foes in the Colonies compared to other city-states.

The strange properties of corpsicum -- the mineral formed by the breakdown of kaymo neurons in solution of water and the mountains' natural mineral deposits -- has long been known in Candares, but in its natural form it only produced weird, disjointed memory-visions of no practical use. Within the past dozen years, however, researchers from the off-world Astral Excavations mining company discovered that purer, more concentrated corpsicum -- that mined from the cliff sides directly below the ancient kaymo tombs could be refined into a magical substance that greatly enhanced telepathic communication and memory retention, useful in a variety of hybrid technologies that utilize the recording and transferring of memories, such as mnemonic editors. While Astral Extractions is not yet known to have violated any kaymo burial grounds, their cliffwalking extraction bots creep closer and closer to the "pure veins" of corpsicum by the month. Traditional rebels like the Wallkeepers insist that it's only a matter of time before Astral Extractions starts "mining" the kaymo dead directly or even, as the most conspiratorial think, start experimenting with methods of "farming" kaymos to extract corpsicum directly from their bodies.

Ironically, kaymos as natural cliff-walkers, kaymos are exceptionally well adapted to work the corpsicum mines, and for every kaymo secretly attending Wallkeeper meetings, another two or three put on a hard hat and a name tag every day to collect an Astral Extractions paycheck.

A kaymo's anatomy mingles both insectoid and humanoid traits in ways that some of Castrovel's denizens find unsettling. A kaymo has a segmented body with eight spindly, multi-jointed limbs -- four fully prehensile arms and four legs -- all ending in delicate, clutching claws. A kaymo's foremost set of arms and its rearmost set of legs are shorter than the central limbs, so when a kaymo isn't clutching a vertical surface, it naturally stands upright with a slightly hunched posture. A kaymo moves with deliberate precision; on the crumbling cliffs of the Candares valley, "Slow is fast, and fast is dead." The chitinous plates on a kaymo's back are a mottled greenish-brown that would normally blend into the vine-covered cliff sides of their native environment, but in modern Candares most kaymos spotted on the cliffs wear neon orange safety vests and carry whirring power tools, somewhat disrupting their natural camouflage. The lines of a kaymo's face are almost disturbingly humanoid, with four small mandibles forming something akin to a humanoid jawline and two large, black compound eyes that even some kaymos admit share a strange resemblance to elven eyes. (A distasteful joke told by some of Castrovel's lashuntas and elves is that kaymos were created when either ancient lashuntas or elves -- whichever one isn't within earshot -- intermingled with formians. Genetic analysis has disproved any such connection, however.)

The average kaymo is 5-6 feet tall when standing on a flat surface and weighs 150-250 pounds.


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Quick recap: I asked to unsubscribe from the Pathfinder Rulebooks line at the start of May. This didn't happen until after the May subscriptions were sent out, so I was sent the Bestiary 2 (and for that month effectively kept enough subscriptions to maintain my free Starfinder Society scenarios subscription).

A month ago, I was offered a refund for the Bestiary 2. I think that's too generous, so my counter-offer was to be given the pdfs for Starfinder Society scenarios #2-23 and #2-24 instead (which, to be honest, I think I qualified for anyway).

If I could just get those two scenarios added to my account, I'm good to go. Otherwise I'll take the offered store credit (which is going to go toward SFS scenarios anyway).


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I requested to cancel my Pathfinder Rulebooks subscription on 5/4 but as of the order notification I've received on 5/7 that has not gone through. Again, please cancel the Pathfinder Rulebooks subscription and remove Bestiary 2 from my order.


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I am aware that this will also end my bonus Starfinder Society subscription.

All other subscriptions unchanged.

My focus is just on the Starfinder RPG these days, but I'll note that part of the reason I'm unsubscribing is an ongoing issue (flagged and noted three months ago) in the PF2 product line's PDFs that prevents me from accessing the art.


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Howdy all; I find myself sitting down to convert some of the PF1 corruptions from Horror Adventures, plus the psychometabolic corruption from Psychic Anthology, over to Starfinder. So far only the shadow corruption (shadowbane in HA) has made the official leap, and I was wondering if anyone else has already dug into this topic. (It's trickier than it looks.)

I know that Rogue Genius Games has tackled a lot of corruptions -- and I have a collection of those products -- but I'm looking for something that hews closer to the official rules.


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Paizo attempted to ship my monthly subs to me on March 16, but my card declined payment. Long story short, this alerted me that someone (local to me) had stolen my card number and gotten the card blocked. I fixed the payment snafu on March 18. Not sure when the system is set to try shipping to me again, but just thought I'd drop a note to highlight that the problem's been fixed at my end.


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I want to start out by saying that I don't think this is necessarily a problem that falls on Paizo to solve, but I do have a problem, and if I don't comment, then all I do is help guarantee that the problem never gets solved. And, for me, it's a big enough problem that I'm on the verge of cancelling all of my 2nd Edition Pathfinder subscriptions, so I feel I really ought to shine a light on it.

The issue is that I run my games using VTTs, so the quality of Paizo's art and maps and the ease with which I can extract it from the PDFs has always been a MAJOR selling point for me -- not just to run those adventures but also to build a visual archive to enhance the *rest* of the Golarion games I run.

But now, without any clear cause, that's all come to a stop with the PF2E line. I used to use an old version of Adobe Acrobat, which was fine, but over the years slowly lost the ability to keep up. But then I switched to a program called PDF Candy Desktop, which was/is absolutely great for this purpose. I'm naming the specific software so anyone who cares to can test this themselves.

When attempting to extract images from PF2E PDFs, without fail, the program works perfectly at first, but then hits *something* a few pages in that causes it to hang, making it impossible to continue. The "few pages in" varies from one PDF to the next but is always consistent within each individual PDF.

Switching from "one file" to "one file per chapter" doesn't work to bypass the issue. First off, it isn't always an option, and secondly, the problem just reoccurs--get a few pages in, then freeze and can't grab anything past that.

I'm going to use Pathfinder Adventures 151 (Extinction Curse #1) as a specific example, but this problem has been absolutely consistent with every PF2E product I've purchased -- Core Rulebook, Bestiary, and all of the adventure path books. Only the Extinction Curse Player's Guide worked fine, and I suspect that's because it's so short it may have escaped whatever formatting issue is causing this behind the scenes.

Here's a breakdown.

Extracting images from the entire book as one file: The program extracts images through page 7, then hangs.

Extracting images from each chapter as its own file:

000 Front Cover: Works A-OK
001 Frontmatter: Works A-OK
002-015: Chapter 1: Extracts images through page 7, then hangs.
016-031: Chapter 2: PDF Candy Desktop hangs (and has to be shut down via the Task Manager) whenever I try to open this file.
032-045: Chapter 3: Works through page 35, then hangs.
046-057: Chapter 4: Works through page 49, then hangs.
058-069: Life in the Circus: Works through page 64, then hangs.
070-091: Toolbox: Works through page 73, then hangs.
092-096: Backmatter: A-OK (that's always a crazy mess of tiny files anyway, but not a problem)
100: Back Cover: A-OK

Importantly, I have *not* encountered any hint of this problem with any PF1 or Starfinder PDFs--including SF PDFs being produced concurrently with PF2E. (SF AP #12 had problems with its image files, but that's a separate issue and didn't become a recurring problem.)

Of course, I can still go through the PDFs in Acrobat Reader and individually grab each image, but that's a slower process that generally results in a huge loss of quality for any art that incorporates masking layers (i.e. anything but maps and half- and full-page illos).

I suspect there's something hidden in the formatting of the PF2E overall layout design that's choking this program. But, not being able to examine those PF2E files myself, that's as far as my diagnosis can go.

I really hope I don't come off as angrily slamming my fist on the table and demanding fixes from Paizo here, but the truth is these files have lost their main utility for me, so like I said, I'm on the verge of cancelling my PF2E subscriptions here. And who knows, maybe someone else out there is having the same problem.


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The Starfinder Society scenario #1-16 introduces the city-state of Vanos on Verces (this is not a spoiler). Presumably an upscale Outlaw Kingdom, we know it's located in the temperate zone and locked in a state of permanent twilight.

However, it doesn't appear on the map in Pact Worlds, so beyond those hints there's no telling where Vanos is located in relation to its neighbors. Personally I've tucked it in the elbow of that mountain range northeast of Athalo, between the mountains and the large lake, more-or-less right at the mouth of that river tributary. Anyone else plunk Vanos on a map? Anything official I've missed?


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Third month running, and supposedly fixed after last month; seems like there's some kind of lingering problem.


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SFS #2-07 and #2-08 haven't unlocked for me. If I'm reading the general thread right, they should have and I need to open a thread to note it, so here I am!

(Second month in a row...)


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I posted a version of this over in the Starfinder forum, where it promptly died a red shirt's death, but maybe over here, where Absalom Station plays a much more central role, some folks will have thoughts.

At any rate:

Has anyone put any thought into the geography of the Spike? At least, where the various neighborhoods (Botscrap, Conduit/Pipetown, Downlow, and Sparks) are in relation to each other? I ask because in SFS we have a number of scenarios that take place in full or in part in the Spike, including one where the exact time needed to move between the Lorespire Complex and a specific location in Sparks is important.

So far, it seems like we have a dribbling of details (the Spike consists of hundreds of levels, the Ghost Levels are apparently concentrated in the bottom half, which then suggests (since Level 41 is inhabited) that the levels count from the Ring down to the gravity generators at the tip, etc.), but personally I could really make do with a side-view map of Absalom Station.

So, anyone know of any obscure data drops about the Spike, or have any headcanon?


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Has anyone put any thought into the geography of the Spike? Specifically, where the various districts of Downside (Botscrap, Conduit, Downlow, and Sparks) are in relation to each other and the Ring?

(It seems to me that Sparks may be at the "top" of the Spike, nearest the Ring & Eye, but beyond that it seems to be anybody's guess.)


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Please cancel my subscription to the Pathfinder Campaign Setting. Thank you.


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Howdy all; I'm going to be running the Starfinder Society Scoured Stars scenarios for my home game, playing through, well, just about everything, eventually. For now, we've just recently kicked off and are most of the way through Into the Unknown.

We're playing in campaign mode, but as GM I'm not worrying about keeping it Starfinder Society Guild-legal. This frees me up to make some tweaks along the way! Obviously none of this applies to guild games, but if there are any other GMs out there following the same path, maybe my notes will be useful. (And I'm interested in notes from other GMs too!)

For the record, my campaign's PCs are a gang of misfits (who mostly wouldn't be allowed at convention games):

  • Bate Chewed Ton, a draelik dream prophet mystic originally from the Burning Archaepelago on the sun, and who may have fried his brain with too many psychotropic plants.
  • Clink, an ysoki roboticist mechanic from Akiton, technical owner of the team's starship, the Starfish, and borderline criminal.
  • Kel'vardon, a drow ace pilot operative on the run from Apostae.
  • Lynarra Obos, a damaya lashunta corporate agent envoy from Castrovel (and actually an astrazoan with multiple identities).
  • "Roya" Ilyich Byczek, a withered human borai death-touched soldier who never takes off his space suit, insists he's human, and insists he was originally a "cosmonaut" abducted from a world no one's ever heard of called "Earth."
  • TACO (Tactical Arcane Combat Organism), an android biotechnician technomancer who was "born" in a crime scene in the Spike on Absalom Station just over a year ago.

    For now, I have one change to share, followed by a general question.

    Into the Unknown: The Endless Threnody
    I ran quests one through three without ever really worrying about whether the adventure's backstory was technically "possible" by the rules. After my PCs successfully dealt with the Endless Threnody last week, I finally took a minute to check and, gladly, it all made sense! (The Lawblight wrecked the Endless Threnody's shields and Drift engine, but the latter's mechanic must have used the Hold It Together action to keep the freighter going just long enough to escape.)

    But one item drew a lot of PC attention: the scout craft the Endless Threnody carried. This became an issue because for a while my PCs really wanted to bring the scout craft along with them to intercept the Endless Threnody, and they got to examine it closely after it was impounded following Exegara's arrest. I ended up statting up the scout craft, so here it is for you! (As a note, to make everything strictly by-the-book, remove two of the Endless Threnody's cargo holds and replace them with launch tubes.)

    The scout craft ends up being a cockpit strapped to a Drift engine and a wildly overpowered engine. One PC aptly described it as a "beefed up escape pod."

    EOXIAN SCOUT CRAFT
    Tier 1/4 Tiny Interceptor
    Speed 6; Maneuverability perfect (turn 0); Drift 1
    AC 13; TL 12
    HP 30; DT —; CT 6
    Shields Basic 20 (forward 5, port 5, starboard 5, aft 5)
    Power Core Micron Ultra (80 PCU); Drift Engine Signal Basic; Systems basic computer, budget short-ranged sensors, mk 1 armor
    Modifiers +3 Piloting; Complement 1 (no life support)

    And now, a general question. This has been percolating in my brain particularly since the release of #1-25: The Beacon Code Dilemma. Namely, how does everyone picture the Lorespire Complex itself?

    There's a nice piece of preview art floating around of what must be the complex (I think I saw it on the Paizo Twitch stream going over Absalom Station), and I find myself really intrigued as to whether that concept art is still "canon." There's a couple of inconsistencies to reckon with, primarily that the Lorespire Complex in the illustration appears to be outdoors (complete with clouds and rolling countryside), which suggests both that it's A) in the Eye, and B) that the Eye is really big. But game text consistently places the Lorespire Complex in the Ring, which then calls into question just what the PCs' home base really looks like. And to that end, what is the Lorespire? Is it a separate structure that lends the campus its name (but isn't otherwise ever mentioned or described), or could it be an alternative name for one of the known structures on campus? Personally, I've decided the Lorespire is another name for the Hall of Discovery, though my same train of thought could just as easily identify it as the Archives instead.

    Anyway, thoughts?


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    Please cancel my Pathfinder Modules subscription. Thank you.


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    I like the storyline to this scenario, but in both areas A2 and A5, the primary threat of the encounter is an inhaled hazard. Aren't these going to just be effortlessly negated by the environmental protections in the PCs' armor?

    I'm new to running Starfinder, so maybe I'm overlooking something.


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    I'm prepping a home campaign that will include an astrazoan PC, so I'm pondering a few things about this species.

    Namely, since the astrazoan's change shape ability is extraordinary (and thus non-supernatural), I've ruled that unlike Pathfinder's druids, werebeasts, or the like, worn and carried gear doesn't change with them (nor is it absorbed, as with wild shape). I'm pretty satisfied with this ruling, and as it happens the player is looking to create alter egos with a deep clothes closet anyway, so all's well there.

    But now I've gotten to pondering augmentations. It seems to me that if an astrazoan can't affect gear, it probably can't alter cybernetics as well. An astrazoan with a prosthetic limb is always going to have that limb sticking off of it somewhere! While I can see my way clear to hand-waving most biotech and magitech, I think I need to judge cyberware on a case-by-case basis.

    Anyone else have any thoughts about this?


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    I'm informed that my payment method was declined, but I'm not certain whether this is a glitch or related to the fact that I did recently change payment methods (though I have used this method successfully before). Since being informed of the problem, I was given access to the PDF of Adventure Path #85, but not the other two books in this month's subscriptions. Could I get a clarification on why the payment method was declined, and on whether I'm clear to pick up my subs at Gen Con?


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    I've sorta stymied myself with a fairly simple question here: Can Medium characters wield Small crossbows? I've gone looking and found a fair amount of discussion on the reverse (characters wielding crossbows sized for larger users), but nothing on this. The issue I'm getting stuck on is that crossbows are generally two-handed weapons, but can be wielded one-handed, so I can work my way to either a "yes" or "no" answer with equal parts certainty and hesitation.

    Here's the answers I've tentatively settled on for now; tell me your thoughts.

    Hand & Light Crossbow: When wielded one-handed, both of these weapons are treated as light weapons, so my inclination is that these weapons are too small to be used by a larger wielder.

    Heavy Crossbow: When wielded one-handed, this weapon is treated as a one-handed weapon, so perhaps it's possible, treating it as a light weapon?

    Either way, regardless of size, I'm confident that you always need to use two hands to load a crossbow regardless of how small it might be.

    If anyone's curious, I'm running a variant version of Sewer Dragons of Absalom as a home game, and the question arose when it came to looting some height-challenged baddies.


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    Howdy all. I'm starting the process of thinking up some ideas for a short adventure, and I'm all ears if anything has some good notions or knows of any existing adventures that could somehow slot in here.

    The Setup: This is kind of an extended side trek from an ongoing adventure path, but doesn't actually have anything to do with the AP in question (Legacy of Fire). The AP includes a lengthy section of downtime, and includes various ideas on what the PCs might do to keep busy during that time.

    One of the options is to travel abroad, and that's what one of the PCs did, traveling from Katapesh to the Lands of the Linnorm Kings and back to explore his draconic bloodline. Originally, I just worked out the timing involved to get the PC there and back before the next chapter of the AP began (it ends up being a 9-month round trip, as it happens). The player and I penciled in some basic notions of the various steps of the journey, but for the most part we just left it a blank travel itinerary.

    Now, however, the player has an itch for a little play-by-post gaming, so we've decided to turn back the clock and actually play out the sorcerer's big adventure. Most of it I have figured out, either coming up with my own ideas or borrowing liberally from existing adventure scenarios. But there's one section that I haven't quite cracked yet. Tell me what you think!

    Here's what's set in stone: The PC is Snowflake, a kobold sorcerer traveling with two human NPCs, one of whom, in the main campaign, is fated to become the PC's cohort; the other one is fated not to return to Katapesh. The women are Asta and Laetitia, and until just recently exotic concubine. Asta is Ulfen by birth, and Laetitia was born in Taldor. However, each of them was nabbed and sold into slavery in their youth, and all three of them are basically stretching their legs as free folk after about a decade spent as expensive property.

    Snowflake (LN sorcerer 5, white draconic bloodline) is actually a dignitary back home, and was basically raised by humans. Asta (NG rogue [acrobat] 2/fighter [mobile fighter] 1) is somewhat simple and naive, but a gifted tumbler and acrobat--a physical valkyrie who doesn't know her own strengths. Laetitia (N rogue [spy] 2) is a cynical seducer and Snowflake's right-hand-woman/chief emissary.

    Leaving Katapesh in September/Rova, their connections can get them as far as Magnimar, arriving in early December/Kuthona. You might well imagine, as I do, that securing sea passage to the Linnorm Kingdoms in the dead of winter is not going to be a simple matter.

    So, those are the unalterable facts I start with. (Another is that traveling overland isn't an option; Snowflake doesn't have enough time to dip into a Jade Regent-style caravan trek.)

    In the original bare-bones travel itinerary version of these events, I just jotted down that Snowflake and his companions somehow befriend a longboat full of (stranded) Ulfen raiders, who then carry them home to the Lands of the Linnorm Kings. Why? I penciled in that the captain of the longboat--a big, burly lunkhead named Kjell Thangbrand was instantly smitten with Asta, and that they would eventually go off together rather than return south.

    That's all fine when you're handwaving, but now I'm eventually going to have to pull this together into some sort of coherent adventure. Poring though the setting, I did stumble into some luck: an explanation for what the longboat is doing just hanging out there.

    So here are the story elements I need (or at least, would like) to slot together:

    1. Snowflake, Asta, and Laetitia arrive in Magnimar. Getting even this far was lucky, and everyone says that as far as sea travel farther north goes, they've hit a dead end until spring at least.

    2. Coincidentally, earlier this year the Linnorm King Ingimundr the Unruly sent a fleet of longships south to go a-rading and show up White Ingrid, but a freak storm sank half the fleet and grounded the rest along the Varisian coast. Great!

    3. Since Snowflake and Laetitia's survival isn't really in question (the main campaign has since moved on, and they're both alive and well), it's fine to take a light touch, even play some elements for laughs. Asta and Kjell are designed for some light comedy, for example. Kjell, who calls Snowflake the "White Wyrmling," believes that the kobold spellcaster has Asta in his thrall, and keeps trying to appease Snowflake or force weregild payments on him in order to win Asta away. (In fact, Snowflake's already set his companions free; they're just working off a year of indentured servitude, which Snowflake eventually waives anyway.)

    4. Let's say that Kjell (human fighter 4) wasn't originally the captain of his ship. Let's say that the original captain died in the storm, and that Kjell's crew has been scrabbled together from the survivors of half a dozen ships. I'm thinking that one of those other vikings will eventually reveal himself to be an antagonist who doesn't agree with Kjell's decisions. Let us also say that by the time Snowflake and co. arrive on the scene, Kjell & co. have spent weeks scavenging parts from other wrecks--and maybe even doing some raiding in the Magnimar hinterlands--to repair or rebuild a ship to get them home. But now, just as they're all but ready to cast off, something's gone wrong -- something that a ship full of lunkheaded vikings with axes can't handle, but an ice-slinging kobold sorcerer and his two lovely rogues can. Maybe an incorporeal spirit? Maybe the dead captain's returned to reclaim his beached ship? Are boggards or goblins causing problems?

    So--what would you do with these jigsaw pieces? How would you link Snowflake and his entourage to the stranded raiders? What could Snowflake do in a couple of days to win the raiders' support and get them headed north?


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    ...by which I don't mean outsiders tossed back to their home planes via banishment, but rather the opposite: outsiders who've been banished from their home planes, and are now basically living as exiles on the Material Planes. You occasionally see NPC outsiders crop up with this background in the setting. I can think of a djinni exiled from the Plane of Air and a horned devil exiled from Hell just off the top of my head.

    What might it mean for an outsider to be banished from its home plane? Does it just mean that someone higher up on the totem pole tossed them through a portal and told them not to come back, or might it have deeper ramifications? What happens if an exiled outsider does get kicked back home via banishment? Would it just be an extra-effective intimidation tactic, or might there be a more fundamental change that makes the magic go awry? Or it is possible for the assorted godlings of the Great Beyond to "burn a passport," changing the outsider's effective home plane to wherever it's been sent?

    If an expatriate devil tries to summon allies from back home, does it have the normal chance of getting a response or has the hierarchy of Hell put out a burn notice on him?

    Now, I readily admit that I'm really just thinking in mechanical terms about something that's certainly meant to be take as a scrap of background "fluff," so I don't expect that there's really going to be anything along the lines of "right" or "wrong" answers here. I'm just idly mulling the possibilities, myself. But what do you think?


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    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

    In my current campaign, a janni rogue has been a persistent thorn in the PCs' sides for a while now. When the janni did turn up, the PCs turned the tables on him, successfully zapping him with a dimensional anchor spell and pounding him with damage. Suddenly realizing that the PCs were now capable of posing a serious threat to him, the janni tumbled out a nearby window and turned himself invisible.

    Now here's where things got sticky, leading to the question above.

    Dimensional anchor's flavor text mentions a "shimmering emerald field" that covers the target. The argument I now find myself in is whether that "field" remains visible or not, and if not, whether the "glow" of the aura should be visible. (Specifically, whether or not the "field" negates the invisible genie's total concealment, thus making him a valid target for magic missile spells.)

    I've gone looking for an answer to this and found absolutely nothing, but I'll hold off on my personal opinion and any further details so as to avoid muddying the waters.

    So, what say you?

    ETA: Fixed some punctuation.


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    When I started my Legacy of Fire campaign, I had a PC gnoll in the party. (Sadly, Erryou moved on the Great Beyond while fighting the Carrion King.) At the time, I simply removed the Bestiary gnoll's racial Hit Dice to create a player character race; the result seemed to be balanced well enough, but honestly gnolls are fairly boring in terms of game mechanics (nothing past high physical stats and darkvision).

    Now that the Advanced Race Guide is out, I've decided to revisit the race just in case I ever get more interest in gnoll PCs in the future. The sample gnoll included in the back is unsurprisingly weak in terms of racial traits, so here's my own take, using the ARG rules to incorporate more of the flavor presented for gnolls back in Classic Monsters Revisited.

    Civilized Gnoll
    The cities of Katapesh and Okeno, both in the nation of Katapesh, may be the only bastions of civilization where gnolls are freely permitted to live and work among humans, so long as they behave themselves. Some gnolls raised in these environments may eventually find that they have more in common with their human neighbors than they do with their feral, tribal kin. "Wild" gnolls denigrate these "civilized" gnolls as domesticated "city dogs," and see them as little better than humans.

    Racial Traits
    +2 Strength, +2 Constitution, –2 Charisma:
    Civilized gnolls are physically powerful and hardy, but primitive and cruel.
    Gnoll: Gnolls are humanoids with the gnoll subtype.
    Medium: Gnolls are Medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
    Normal Speed: Gnolls have a base speed of 30 feet.
    Darkvision (Ex): Gnolls can see in the dark up to 60 feet.
    Armor: Gnolls have a +1 natural armor bonus.
    Carrion Feeder: Civilized gnolls gain Carrion Feeder as a bonus feat at 1st level.
    Desert Raider: Gnolls receive a +4 racial bonus on Constitution checks and Fortitude saves to avoid fatigue and exhaustion, as well as any other ill effects from running, forced marches, starvation, thirst, and hot or cold environments.
    Languages: Civilized gnolls begin play speaking Common and Gnoll. Civilized gnolls with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Dwarven, Giant, Goblin, Halfling, Kelish, Osiriani, and Sphinx.

    Racial Point Breakdown
    Type:
    Humanoid (0 RP); Size Medium (0 RP); Speed Normal (0 RP); Ability Scores Specialized (1 RP); Language Standard* (0 RP); Defense desert runner (renamed but unchanged) (2 RP), natural armor (2 RP); Feats and Skills Static bonus feat (Carrion Feeder, ARG 165) (2 RP); Senses darkvision 60 ft. (2 RP)
    Total: 9 RP, standard race

    * "Wild" tribal gnolls begin play with "xenophobic" language choices.

    Alternate Racial Traits
    The following racial traits may be selected instead of existing civilized gnoll racial traits. Consult your GM before selecting any of these new options.

    Bonecracker: Some gnolls develop particularly strong jaws and fangs. Gnolls with this racial trait gain a bite attack that deals 1d4 points of damage. This is a primary attack, or a secondary attack if the gnoll is wielding manufactured weapons. This racial trait replaces the Carrion Feeder bonus feat.

    Four-Legged Loper: Some gnolls are more comfortable on four legs than on two. Gnolls with this racial trait gain the benefits of the Run feat whenever they drop to all fours. Dropping to all fours is a free action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity; standing back up is a move action that does. A prone gnoll still needs to stand back up to return to a four-legged stance (provoking attacks of opportunity), but it also retains the option of crawling as normal. A gnoll cannot use its hands for any other purpose while running on all fours. This racial trait replaces armor.

    Hyena Senses: Some gnolls are more closely attuned to their hyena ancestry than others. Gnolls with this racial trait gain low-light vision and a natural ability to sniff out carrion. This carrion sense functions like the scent ability, but only for corpses and badly wounded creatures (creatures with 25% or fewer hit points). This racial trait replaces darkvision.

    Random Starting Age
    Adulthood
    7 years; Intuitive +1d4; Self-Taught +1d6; Trained +2d4

    Aging Effects
    Middle Age
    20; Old 30; Venerable 40; Maximum Age 40+2d10 years

    Random Height and Weight
    (Both genders use the same vital statistics)
    Base Height 5 ft. 6 in.; Base Weight 150 lbs.; Modifier 2d10; Weight Modifier x7 lbs.

    Racial Feats
    I haven't designed any gnoll-specific feats, but gnolls may take Carrion Feeder (ARG 165), Ironhide (APG 164), Keen Scent (APG 164), Razor Tusk (APG 168), and Smell Fear (APG 170) as if they met the racial prerequisites.


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    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

    My Legacy of Fire campaign is coming up on "The Jackal's Price," so lately I've been reviewing the support material for the city of Katapesh.

    "The Markets of Katapesh" by Richard Pett in Pathfinder #21 describes several markets and sites of interest, including one rooftop restaurant called the Gables. Here, the article makes passing mention of "a pair of strange, four-armed slave girls" playing multiple panpipes in the background.

    This intrigues me; anyone have any ideas what these two might be? Four-armed humanoid races are in short supply on Golarion (and likely to remain so), but there's still several potential explanations that come to mind. Could it be that the slave girls are...

    1. Alchemists! (CR 2 or 3) In order to have taken the vestigial arm discovery twice, they'd need to be at least 3rd or 4th level. Pros: Probably the simplest explanation. They could even be Oenepion researchers from Nex, fallen on hard times. Cons: Seems an odd fit for reasonably talented alchemists to be working as cantina musicians. Least support for why they'd both have four arms.

    2. Shobhads! (CR 3 or 4) They're a long, long way from home, but it's not impossible for a pair of shobhads to have turned up in Katapesh. (Likely unbeknownst to the slave girls, they're not the only Akiton ex-pats in the city.) They could have somehow been brought to Golarion through the Doorway to the Red Star; that could mean that in Katapesh the slave girls are billed as "exotic creatures from the heart of the Mwangi Expanse." Pros: The shobhads of Akiton appear to be the best-fit race we have to describe "strange, four-armed" ladies. Cons: Conversely, the phrase "strange, four-armed slave girl" doesn't exactly paint the same mental picture as "strange, 12-foot-tall, four-armed slave girl covered in ropy muscles." Could it be that these slave girls actually are girls, with the "young" simple template? What's the lifespan of a shobhad, anyway? Have these slave girls grown a foot in height since first taking the stage at the Gables?

    3. Four-Armed Malenti Mutants! (CR 4) Check out Pathfinder #56 for the return of these sahuagin variants. I can certainly see "strange" being used to summarize "feral, blue-gray aquatic elf" in Katapesh. This is also the most malevolent take on the slave girls. Pros: Doesn't require much effort to explain; these slave girls truly would be rare and exotic, and could have been captured in the Shackles. Cons: Technically, "four-armed sahuagin" and "malenti" aren't templates, just variants, so it isn't a given that they could stack. This isn't necessarily a con, though, since so long as it isn't completely impossible the combination of these mutations would have to be incredibly rare--thus adding to the slave girl's exotic aura. Bigger con: When sahuagin moved from 3rd edition to Pathfinder, they lost their amphibious special quality, so technically, they can't breathe air. This might be a problem for a pair of musicians in the middle of a desert city. On the other hand, I remain convinced that the sahuagin are intended to still be amphibious, since they continue to be depicted as raiding coastal communities and fighting on land--a bit harder to do when you're holding your breath the entire time.

    Anyone else have any ideas?


    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

    Just out of curiosity, has anyone out there pondered some game rules for this "special material"? I ask because my players are looking to divination-proof some containers, but so far I haven't had the time to think about the costs beyond "cheap but heavy."


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    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

    I initially posted a version of this elsewhere on the forum, but I've realized it'll do more good here among its Legacy of Fire fellows.

    The issue at hand: Continuing the adventure past "The Final Wish." Right now, I'm only just wrapping up "House of the Beast" and transitioning into "The Jackal's Price," but my players are aware that the campaign ends around 15th level and have already expressed interest in potentially continuing after that point. Initially I'd just planned on transitioning into the City of Brass boxed set by Necromancer Games, but gradually I've shifted gears into a true continuation of Legacy of Fire that would take the PCs through 20th level, as well as resolve certain dangling plot threads.

    Right now what I have is just a collection of ideas and a loose outline, but perhaps others will draw inspiration from it. At the rate we play, I might have as much as 4 years to get this thing ready!

    Design Goals and Broad Strokes

    Spoiler:

    Defeating Jhavhul at the end of "The Final Wish" is a major accomplishment, one that shouldn't be diminished, so to the goal of these two adventures is to act as a coda to the story rather than a direct continuation.

    Beyond that, the adventures have four basic goals:

    1. Allow the PCs to keep adventuring right up to the verge of mythic levels.

    2. Resolve the issue of Xotani's heart, a time bomb left ticking in the heart of Pale Mountain.

    3. Incorporate additional support material that didn't see much impact within the original AP (such as azis and divs), as well as including additional "Arabian" adventuring themes that come to mind.

    4. Act as a "victory lap" for the PCs, allowing them to revisit old locales, this time as movers-and-shakers and largely on their own terms.

    Lastly, elements of these adventures work off a basic assumption that held true in 3.5 but is less clear in Pathfinder: that outsiders can only be truly slain on their home planes. If killed anywhere else, their spiritual essences seep back to their home planes (or try to) and slowly reform, starting almost from scratch. If you disagree with this interpretation, it can be passed off as div deception (see Seeding the Adventure).

    Seeding the Adventure

    Spoiler:

    The epilogue begins long after The Final Wish concludes, so I actually don't want to include too much foreshadowing that the story doesn't end with Jhavhul. In my own campaign, I'm simply adding three wrinkles:

    1. At the conclusion of Howl of the Carrion King, based on my assumption that the defeat of Xulthos results not in his true destruction but merely his dissolution and banishment back to Abaddon, I had the daemon's "dying" words (as he dissolved into a black stain) be a heckling taunt that "The Legacy of Fire will never end!" Later (though it was intended that they find it earlier), the PCs discovered a secret shrine Xulthos had started excavating behind the Pale Cascade, in which he'd collected stone carvings of the Genie War and the Legion of Wands battling Xotani (along with an unfinished carving of his own glorious war-mongering cult's planned conquests). When he reforms in Abaddon, Xulthos' account of his discoveries on the Material Plane may be what first draws the attention of the Horseman of War.

    2. Concurrent with The Jackal's Price, I'll be running my PCs through a side adventure (Black Marks at the Violet Fire) to resolve the issue of Haleen's debts in the city of Katapesh. In that adventure, one of the antagonists is secretly a member of the div-worshiping Usij. In addition, the head of the Duskwalker Guild, Khafira Blacktongue, is identified as a tiefling; I've decided she's a div-spawn tiefling, originally from Thuvia. These facts doesn't play a significant role in the adventure itself, but way down the line, players may look back and realize that, aha, this may have been when the minions of Ahriman first became aware of them.

    3. One issue of the now-suspended Set Piece adventures was how best to work them into the main AP. The Set Piece accompanying The Final Wish is The Decanter of Black Breath, the plot hook basically amounts to "in the midst of defeating the major foe threatening their home town and all the lands beyond, the PCs get an itch to check out a magic bottle."

    Here's how I'll be handling it: By the time the PCs return from their misadventures in the Great Beyond, the highly public, destructive emergence of Jhavhul and his army is big news in Katapesh and already spreading to neighboring lands. Somewhere on their way to Kelmarane, or just after they arrive, the PCs are confronted by a sinister figure (perhaps our "leprous lamp-seller" in the wilderness, perhaps in the middle of a short, freak sandstorm. The lamp-peddler has been sent by the Usij, perhaps accompanied by an entourage of divs, who keep their distance. The Usij plays it straight with the PCs--his masters know that the PCs are on their way to stop Jhavhul, and the Usij assures them, truthfully, that those he serves are no friends to the genie. Yet, the Usij points out a basic problem facing the PCs: they will be facing Jhavhul here, on the Material Plane, and not in his home on the Plane of Fire. Virtually no matter what they do, they cannot permanently destroy Jhavhul here, so their victory against him cannot help but be temporary, buying perhaps as little as a few human generations before the Crimson Butcher returns. But by accepting the Decanter of Black Breath, they can rid the world of Jhavhul forever. The lamp is a magical trap created by the forces of Ahriman; when empty, the lingering spirits of the just-slain are drawn inside the bottle, where they cannot escape. Trapped inside the bottle, the spirits of mighty genies are warped into wretched ghuls. But there is one catch: The bottle must be emptied before it can be used again.

    If the heroes enter the bottle and destroy Umad al-Waliyya, then the Decanter is automatically primed to be used again. (And is the pairakas are also slain, the bottle becomes a handy bolthole during the final assault.) If the PCs activate the decanter within one minute of slaying Jhavhul, the genie's spirit is drawn into the bottle. (The Usij doesn't mention that anyone else present at the battle and slain within the past minute will be trapped as well.) When the heroes re-emerge from Xotani's Grave, the divs appear, magically reclaim the Decanter, and before vanishing again, congratulate the heroes on their victory, assuring the PCs that thanks to them, Jhavhul goes to face "the destruction that never ends" in the genie hell that is Ahriman's realm in Abaddon.

    Adventure Background

    Spoiler:

    "The Oblivion Ember" and "The All-Consuming Fire" take place many years after the conclusion of "The Final Wish." Even before the events of the Legacy of Fire adventure path began, there were dark forces in the Great Beyond who coveted the destructive power of Rovagug's slain spawn, Xotani the Firebleeder, and who had even started making efforts to find and revive the ancient beast.

    The sudden, shocking appearance of the efreeti Jhavhul al-Batan and his monstrous army in the city of Katapesh, followed by their flight to Pale Mountain and subsequent defeat, rightfully became the stuff of legend, and throughout northern Garund tales spread of the sleeping Firebleeder that had not been heard in millennia.

    For the foul beings who coveted the Spawn for themselves, this was a rallying call. Fortunately for humanity, the fiendish denizens of Abaddon despise each other nearly as much as they do all the rest of creation, but the minions of Ahriman and Szuriel, the Horseman of War, have struck an unusual and tentative bargain to achieve what each side claims is a mutual end: The rebirth of Xotani.

    For decades, if not centuries, the daemons of War have sought to recreate the carnage created in the epic battles of the Legion of Wands against the Flamebleeder, but lacking the wishcraft of the genies they have researched alternative means of reigniting the spark of life within Xotani's heart. The divs of Ahriman lack this research, but in the House of Oblivion, they do possess the means by which the armies of Abaddon might pour forth to lay claim to the heart, and their desire to see the Firebleeder live again burns just as strong.

    Shortly after Jhavhul's defeat, a general from each of these armies--a purrodaemon and an akvan--met in a blasted citadel in Abaddon to broker a rare alliance. Even with their combined knowledge and power, it would take their scheming many years to overcome the downfall of Jhavhul, but the passing of a human generation means nothing to the devourers of creation.

    Now, at long last, the time has come and their forces are arrayed. A combined army of divs and daemons is massing in Abaddon at the base of the House of Oblivion, and a black-sailed ship is sailing through the Dimension of Dreams with a portentous cargo. Their destination: Pale Mountain.

    Oop! Out of time--the rest has to wait.


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    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

    Head's Up: This thread is for GMs only! Now then...

    Howdy all! My group is currently transitioning from House of the Beast to The Jackal's Price, and I want to create a short "set piece" adventure that can play out alongside the Katapesh goings-on there. Here are my constraints and goals:

    * Goal: Resolve the story thread of Haleen's debts in Katapesh.
    * Goal: Incorporate the Duskwalker Guild and some of the Nightstalls material provided in AP #21.
    * Constraint: PCs will be 8th level
    * Constraint: I have an " adventure budget" of about 10-12,000 XP or so to play with, which is fairly tight at this level. (I'm running LoF on the Medium advancement track and should have this much of a shortfall to make up by the end of TJP.)

    I have a lot of toys to play with, but I'm getting bogged down trying to figure out how to tie it all together. I'd love to hear any feedback anyone has to offer!

    While some of this is tied to specific events in my campaign, I'm attempting to present this in a fashion that should be useful for any other groups as well.

    Set Piece: Black Marks at the Violet Fire
    Premise:
    Well over a year ago, the swashbuckler Haleen, a woman with close personal ties to one or more of the PCs (see "Howl of the Carrion King" and the Legacy of Fire campaign traits) borrowed 2,000 gp from shady Nightstalls moneylenders, then ran off in the night to escape her debts. Now she's back--but the Duskwalker Guild never neglects its ledgers. Haleen's debts draw the PCs into a web of double-dealings and lost souls at the Violet Fire, an infamous sin pit run by the tiefling Khafira Blacktongue, leader of the Duskwalker Guild.

    Background:
    Several months before the PCs set out for the Sultan's Claw and Kelmarane, the young street-rat Haleen found herself in need of a large sum of fast cash.

    In my campaign, she needed the 2,000 gp for various bribes and guild fees to pay for her little brother Hollistan's apprenticeship as an alchemist, but the specifics will vary in your game.

    An orphaned street rat without connections or resources, Haleen had few legal options. Prone to rash and impulsive decisions, but wisely determined to keep herself (and the PC she supported) free of the dangerous lure of Katapesh's vice dens, Haleen hocked her family heirlooms (a +1 rapier and +1 buckler) as collateral to secure a loan from a Nightstalls loanshark. She even managed to retain physical possession of her heirlooms by promising to fight for the loanshark in illegal (non-guild) pit fights. However, with the cash already spent, the heady but inexperienced Haleen lost her first bout, and her lender's demands suddenly grew menacing.

    Finally realizing she was in way over her head, Haleen grew afraid that she would not only lose her family heirlooms but, even worse, the Duskwalker Guild would learn about her PC dependent and use her debts to pull the talented youngster into their clutches. She ran out on her debts that very night. Without so much as a word to anyone, she hired on as a caravan guard and left Katapesh with a Solku-bound camel train the next day, hoping to quickly earn the money back through honorable adventuring.

    By the time the PCs travel to Katapesh in "The Jackal's Price," at least a year has passed since Haleen ran out on her debts. (In my campaign, it's been nearly two years, but it doesn't really matter.) Much has changed since then, but her debts have not been forgotten. Having been reunited with her dependent (in "Howl of the Carrion King," Haleen has been saving up her cash with the thought of someday returning to pay her debts, but mainly she's been content to lay low with 200 miles of barren wasteland separating her from her debts. For its part, the Duskwalker Guild has been busy.

    Several months ago, Haleen's loanshark discovered that she was "hiding out" in Kelmarane, most likely through her role in restoring the town. (In my campaign, which incorporates some Kingmaker elements, she's been Kelmarane's warden for much of that time.) The most likely culprit for ratting out Haleen, however, is the Pathfinder bard Felliped (also from "Howl of the Carrion King"). Not through any sense of malice; no, Felliped is simply a Pathfinder. After the PCs defeated the Kulldis gnolls, the genie Kardswann, and the daemon Xulthos, Felliped wrote an PC-glorifying account of Kelmarane's downfall and subsequent rebirth. He sent the fairly-accurate account off to Sueda Lodge, which eventually published it as a Pathfinder Chronicle. A few copies of that Pathfinder Chronicle made it to the markets of Katapesh, and one of those copies eventually reached a Duskwalker who recognized Haleen. Even then, however, the guild determined that sending thugs across the country to collect her debts was cost-inefficient--but now Haleen has walked back into their web.

    This adventure works best if Haleen is physically present during "The Jackal's Price," which is most likely if she has become a cohort to one of the PCs (either through the Leadership feat or the Romance option in "Howl of the Carrion King"). If Haleen is not survived or is otherwise not present, however, the Duskwalkers have also learned of her connection to a PC, and are perfectly content to transfer her debts fully to that character.

    Once Haleen's location was learned (and possibly, her prominent position in Kelmarane), the Duskwalker Guild bought Haleen's debt from her loanshark. Haleen now owes the Duskwalker Guild directly--and punitive interest, her debt has now doubled to 4,000 gp. Without PC help, Haleen's managed to earn less than a quarter of that, and even if she's moved on to using better gear, she's still completely unwilling to sell her magic heirlooms. Yet even if the PCs are willing and able to pay the full sum in cash, escaping the debt won't be so easy. Khafira Blacktongue, leader of the infamous Duskwalker Guild, isn't willing to simply overlook that the street rat Haleen reneged on a legal debt. Simply on matters of principle, Khafira intends to make an example of Haleen; her debt is to be paid not just with hard coin, but also with a pound of flesh.

    ...To Be Continued...


    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

    GENERAL CONVERSION NOTES

    Howl of the Carrion King, Part I:
    The Sultan’s Claw
    * First of all, thanks a ton to the board poster who created the map of the Sultan’s Claw campsite; helped quite a lot, particularly since my group meets online via D20Pro. The more visual aids the better!

    * Put Out the Fire: I used the catastrophe rules from Pathfinder #30 to make this challenge more interactive. I placed blazing fires in three squares on the map (two for Eloais’s wagon, and one for the overhanging branches) and decided that each fire could be extinguished by 20 gallons of water (with the campsite using 1-gallon buckets). The alchemist immediately found himself in his element, since he’s specialized in throwing splash weapons. Snowflake relied on his ray of frost cantrip, so for the purposes of this encounter I decided that each successful use of his spell would count as one gallon of water. I also quickly decided that since we were using attack rolls and all (and also to speed things along just a touch), that anyone who made a “critical hit” would count as two gallons.

    * Heal Wounded Firefighters: See Father Zastoran above for my changes to this challenge. In this case, the cleric stepped in and saved the day with a quick rebuke death.

    * Deal with Frightened Animals: The ranger ended up coming at this by himself. He’s also specialized in melee, to the point that he doesn’t actually have any training in Handle Animal. This left him to rely on his wild empathy, and that DC 20 turned out to be quite the challenge indeed. After a round or two I had Hadrod and Hadrah start using aid another to help him out (despite the fact that, really, they’d do better at the checks than he would). Ironically, the gnoll is trained in Handle Animal (and has a trained monkey pet to show for it), but he focused on the Pull Wagon Out of the Way challenge (and did fine there). By the time the fire was put out, the ranger had managed 4 out of 5 successes, so I gave him a pass.

    * I pumped the story award up to CR 2 (600 XP).

    * Investigating the Fire: I know the adventure says that no one in the expedition, PC or NPC, has ever heard of pugwampis when Dashki brings them up, but A) the ranger had already found odd, tiny little animal tracks all around the burned wagon and campsite, B) the PC alchemist trained in Knowledge (nature) for a reason, doggonnit, and C) he rolled a really successful check, so when Dashki inserted the word “pugwampi” into the discussion Hollistan came back with quite a wealth of third-hand pugwampi lore, so the PCs were quick to believe him. Since Hollistan has a bit more on the ball than Dashki, I was able to elaborate the description of “pugwampi bad luck” with legends claiming that “gremlins fray the fabric of reality with their very presence, unraveling the same threads of fate that genies use to work their wishcraft.”

    As the session ended, the PCs had wrapped up their investigation at the campsite and were about to head off into the night in search of Rombard and a pugwampi (dead or alive). They believe Dashki that these pugwampis exist (have you ever known a PC who didn't believe every wild tale they ever heard?) but are still deeply suspicious of him; they think Dashki may have somehow sent the pugwampis to bump off his romantic rival.

    Next time: Pugwampi Hunt!