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Davelozzi wrote:
ThermalCat wrote:

Thanks for sharing your chart. It inspired me to customize and create my own version. It's "Wilderness Trek Sheet share" in this Google drive folder

It incorporates a few of my house rules, like Lashunta Tempweave being free of the -4 penalty to heat dangers (CRB pg.402).

ThermalCat, if you happen to see this today, is that spreadsheet still handy by any chance?

I couldn't find it on the link and my group is starting the Ukulam trek tonight.

Sorry, missed this by a mile. Hope you were able to find it on your own, but this was in the folder "Dead Suns AP GM resources". The direct link is eUSxVVTo/edit?usp=sharing

I created a couple of player handouts.

If Quorsica trusts the players, she can give them a map based on her memory of having been in the garrison.

If the players hack or get the Royal Venture's virtual intelligence, Ellioch to assist, they can get a map of the ship.

I've placed these images in a google drive folder

yosmitty01 wrote:
Grandpa Jerry wrote:

Tiny detail that I found confusing: The book says that the southern door of the Parept's Chamber on the Royal Venture is locked from the inside.

If that's true, how did Sharu and her cronies get through? I assume they wouldn't have locked it from the outside after passing through since that would just trap them inside the front half of the ship.

I chose to simply mention that the doors have locks, but left both unlocked.

Good point! I figure the robot may have locked the door behind them?

I'll add my interpretation to an old thread, in case others are still just getting around to running this adventure path like I am. At the time Sharu and crew went through the engine room (N3), they simply went through the south door, down the southern corridor through the cargo area (N7) and up to to the bridge (N12). The Engine Room description says

Engine Room description wrote:

An area at the eastern end of the room contains two doors. The north door appears intact while the east door is askew in its frame. What was once a door to the south is now nothing but charred slag, destroyed in an explosion that seems much more recent than the other damage to the room.

and the text afterward mentions
Reach of Empire page 31 wrote:
The southern door recently led to the starboard walkway, but it was destroyed in a blast by an overloaded engine when Lieutenant Sharu brought the ship’s power back online.

To put it briefly, I think they meant to say

Anchoring rule should be wrote:
A starship’s gunner or engineer can detach any number of their own weapons’ anchors as a free action in addition to their normal action that round.

But it's probably safest to call this a houserule until clarified.

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

This may be an FAQ candidate, but I see a possible unintended interaction with the Anchoring weapon property described in the Starship Operations Manual (SOM) and the Minor crew action rules in the Core Rulebook (CRB).

The SOM introduces some melee class starship weapons and the Anchoring property on tether weapons ties ships together mainly for boarding activities. The rules discuss how to break free of someone else’s anchoring weapon, but mention that your own anchoring weapons are easy to detach. The entire last paragraph for Anchoring states:

Starship Operations Manual page 13 wrote:
A starship’s gunner or engineer can detach any number of their own weapons’ anchors as a minor crew action.
However, on Minor crew actions, the CRB says
Core Rulebook page 326 wrote:

Minor Crew Actions

Minor crew actions are computer-aided actions that allow a starship limited functionality if it doesn’t have the necessary crew to fill all the roles (for instance, the lone crew member aboard a Tiny starship might always be the pilot but may need to fire one of the vessel’s weapons in an emergency). You can take one minor crew action per round regardless of your current role, but only if no other action was performed this round for the role associated with that minor crew action. A minor crew action can be performed only once per round and doesn’t count as your action.

I take that to mean if there’s no one acting in the gunner role that round (as on a one-person fighter), you can have the ship’s computer do a Snap Shot action for you as an automated gunner, but not if there’s someone else on the ship actually filling the gunner role by taking a gunnery action.

If detaching an anchoring weapon is a gunner’s or engineer’s action, does detaching your anchoring weapon then mean you have to forego either all Engineering or all Gunner actions that round? (Because of the bolded text on Minor crew actions.)

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I'd use house rules of escape pods having just enough thruster to stabilize (so you aren't tumbling tilt-a-whirl style until rescued) and just enough fuel to nudge you toward the nearest planet if you are in a system. Why not have the slowing mechanism be a buoyant helium balloon/paraglider. On a terrestrial planet a successful piloting roll improves the chance of landing on your preference of land or water, and if you fall into a gas giant, you might stabilize and float at some level and have a chance of rescue too.

Here is an update which adds a Boarding Actions tab (from the Starship Operations Manual) to a Google spreadsheet.

Starfinder Starship Reference Sheets v1.2

The first tab of the spreadsheet has instructions. The advantage of google sheets is that as one player updates the Critical Damage tab, the DCs of various crew actions are updated for all viewers sharing that sheet. The intended audience is for gaming groups where the players have access to computers and internet (especially groups playing remote or VTT).

Please let me know if you find any errors or have suggestions for improvement.

For a reference sheet, I do like the idea of having them listed to remind me of what occurs during the open crew phase of the turn though. I'd put them at the end since they are used rarely.

I like the idea of Fight Defensively applying to spells, as long as there is an attack roll or target saving throw that the -4 penalty can apply to. It may be in the realm of a house rule, but as a GM I think I'd allow it to apply to spells.

One more thing, if I was making a reference sheet, do you think these would be good descriptive open crew action names?

  • * Subdue Pathogen with Environmental Defense
  • * Initiate Boarding after Ramming
  • * Reload Antipersonnel Weapon

In the Character Operations Manual, there are some Open Crew actions added to starship combat

Character Operations Manual page 148 wrote:
Open crew actions occur at the beginning of the engineering phase, before any other actions occur. All open crew actions occur simultaneously and can be resolved in any order the GM sees fit. Each open crew action can be performed only once per round.

Furthermore, taking an open crew action counts as your action during a starship combat encounter.

The Open Crew Actions are:

  • Erratic Maneuvering
  • Feign Disaster
  • Prioritize Calculation
  • Range Finding
  • Ready Weapon System

Then along came the Starship Operations Manual and on page 41 added

  • Lead Boarding Party
  • Subdue Boarding Party
and both of these also occur during the Engineering phase (presumably at the start with the other open crew actions).

It seems to me like three additional Open Crew Actions are needed, because in the Injected Pathogen description another Open Crew Action is mentioned (bold added)

Starship Operations Manual page 40 wrote:
In addition to fending the pathogen off as though it were a boarding party, a defending officer can use environmental controls to weaken the pathogen as an open crew action with a Life Science check (DC = 10 + 1-1/2 × the creature’s tier). If successful, all pathogen boarding parties take a –4 penalty to their next boarding attack before the end of the next round.

So a "Subdue Pathogen with Environmental Defense" action seems to be needed as a new open crew action since the mechanics involving a science check makes this somewhat different from the "Subdue Boarding Party" choice.

Also, in the Ramming description, another Open Crew Action is mentioned (bold added)

Starship Operations Manual page 40 wrote:
When a starship successfully rams and deals damage to another starship’s Hull Points, an officer can direct a boarding party to invade the targeted starship as an open crew action during the gunnery phase that round.

In this case an "Initiate Boarding after Ramming" seems to be needed, as this action specifies it takes place during the gunnery phase, making it different from the new "Lead Boarding Party" action. One thing to note, since this is an Open Crew Action, then it will use up someone's action during the round, while the other methods of initiating boarding such as Anchoring Weapons, Breaching Pods, and Injecting Pathogens don't need an additional action.

Finally, in the Security Modifier description a third possible new open crew action is mentioned

Starship Operations Manual page 41 wrote:
Antipersonnel weapons provide their BR modifier only against the first boarding attack attempted against the starship, after which the weapon exhausts its ammunition and must be reloaded as an open crew action.

Some sort of "Reload Antipersonnel Weapon" would then be needed to fulfill this open crew action, probably at the start of the engineering phase with the other open crew actions since the phase is not specified.

Just curious if other people interpret this the same way I'm seeing it.

Zwordsman wrote:

Realistcally a solo boss probably should rarely occur I feel like... Unless they're massively massively stronger than anything else around. Just in sheer action economy the battle is so one sided. or, the one enemy has to be so untouchable that it feels rough on the players "wasting turns missing everything" while being wrecked a bit.

Not always true of course. but I feel like there are already a lot of issues preventing a singular target enemy than this situation.

It is a big concern though.

The solo boss could have some massive area of effect damage or a teleport/travel through wall/floor defensive reaction. The GM may just have to limit stacking to +4 or +6.

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Note that for grenades, in addition to the Explode property description on CRB p.181, also apply the first paragraph on Grenades on page 183. The DC for the reflex save is harder if the thrower has high dex, and easier for every range increment beyond 20'.

If you are the type that has a computer handy while you game, I created a table of DC's and grenade type stats, which saves some calculation time during our combats.

Grenade DC Chart

The link I posted now links to a version 1.1.1, with an updated description of turret conditions on the "Critical Damage Status" tab.

I also added a "V1.1.1" to cell B1 of the "Notes" tab to make it easier for people to ID the revision.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
ThermalCat wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
B. The turret itself is in all arcs, so if any gun is malfunctioning the turret is malfunctioning. Things are either malfunctioning or not, otherwise the mechanic couldn't fix it.
So if port and starboard arcs are marked as glitching, an Engineer (or even better, two engineers in the same phase) needs to successfully patch each of those quadrants to get the turret fully functional?


It the only downside to the turret.

Thanks, that’s what I thought, but it clarifies that I understand what you’re saying.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
B. The turret itself is in all arcs, so if any gun is malfunctioning the turret is malfunctioning. Things are either malfunctioning or not, otherwise the mechanic couldn't fix it.

So if port and starboard arcs are marked as glitching, an Engineer (or even better, two engineers in the same phase) needs to successfully patch each of those quadrants to get the turret fully functional?

I'm working on a Starship Combat spreadsheet, calculating crew role DCs and reference pages.

Starfinder Starship Reference Sheets v1.1

Building off the work of a previous post by u/uasutton (credit also given in notes tab of sheet), I've made my own enhancements and included many of the Starship Operations Manual updates.

I found that

something I said about turret penalties from critical damage wrote:
Turret Weapons count as being in all weapon arcs. For example, if the port arc is malfunctioning and the other arcs are normal, then a turret weapon firing on targets in the port arc receives a -4 penalty, but the turret can be used normally for targets in other arcs.

is getting some push-back.

So it boils down to the table at the top-right of

CRB 321 wrote:

Randomly determine one arc containing

weapons; condition applies to all gunner
actions using weapons in that arc (a
turret counts as being in all arcs)

Which I took to mean

my interpretation, option A wrote:
...condition applies to all gunner actions using weapons in that arc as well as turrets firing on targets in that arc

My reasoning being that the standard ship sheet tracks critical damage to weapons by arc, but does not have a distinct spot to track the critical damage level on a turret, which is in all arcs.

But, as I'm collecting feedback, I've discovered

others interpret this, option B wrote:
...condition applies to all gunner actions using weapons in that arc as well as a turret fired in any arc

Following a convention that the 4 arcs collectively at each level should count as the turret penalty if any of the quadrants are marked (on the standard starship sheet critical damage tally for weapon quadrants, CRB p.524).

I will adapt my sheet to match the majority concensus, so do people have a preference for Option A or Option B?

I think I agree, it feels like these science officer actions should be performed through the weapons systems rather than the sensors.

One other thing that should be FAQ'd, I would like to assume your ECM modules are attuned to your own ship's shields, so that the following applies just to the enemy shields

SOM page 12 wrote:
Due to the interference created by shields, starships with functioning shields in the targeted quadrant gain a +2 circumstance bonus to their TL against ECM modules.

Otherwise you need to drop your own shields to get the best use of your ECM actions.

4 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

In the Starship Operations Manual (SOM) there are new actions for the science officer that occur during the gunnery phase (SOM page 15). Some of the new actions like Rapid Jam and Insidious Electronics are marked "Push", so they don't work if their key system is Malfunctioning or Wrecked.

My question is, WHAT system interferes with these actions when Malfunctioning or Wrecked (Sensors or Weapons array)? These ECM modules target through quadrants and are mounted on hardpoints, so would you say they are affected by critical Weapons damage? That would give the science officer something to do during starship combat if the Sensors are wrecked but there are still some ECM modules on functioning weapons quadrants.

On the other hand, would you say all science officer actions are dependent on working Sensors?

The ECM module description says

SOM page 12 wrote:
ECM modules follow the same rules for range and quadrant targeting as conventional starship weapons.

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Maybe this is in the House Rule category, but I'd allow a reaction of this sort to be bundled in to a readied action, so the trigger stated by a player could be "If any foe comes up next to me, I will Kip-up and do my full melee attack on that person". The reaction would be defensive, so I'd count that as before the enemy action (removing the +4 to hit prone), but the full attack comes after the enemy action.

Garretmander wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:

So I have misc question I'd like to answer on:

Did I understand map right that Empire of Bones is basically larger than Absalom Station? x'D

I want to say it's about the same length but has much less volume.

My own reading told me that it was similar in size, but much less population on board (so I agree, less volume). The image inside the back cover gives a scale labeled "2 miles". Based on size description of the EoB in the text ("6 miles long", page 3, second to last paragraph), that seemed too big. I changed that scale to "1 mile" before showing it to the players to be more consistent, which makes the ship similar is size to Absolom Station rather than way bigger.

I'm starting to read through the Starship Operations Manual (SOM) and on page 13 there are some properties of "Automated" and "Deployed" described. But then on the following weapons table (pages 18-19) none of the weapons have those properties listed in the "Special Properties" column like I'd expect.

Am I missing something here?

kahn265 wrote:

Aeons in the Drift.

Did anyone else have players who totally steamrolled this? The Azlanti were zero threat to them. Should I have not let them spend their build points before the module?

Just curious.

My players totally steamrolled it too. I let it play out as is, since sometimes it's good for them to have an easy encounter and extending it wasn't important to the plot. I threw in a few interesting items in the Azlanti cargo bay for them to play with--

GMs only:
they almost got themselves caught in the self-destruct blast grabbing it too

I can imagine a tactic of reloading every other round if you are using automatic fire. An advanced X-gen gun will go through 100 bullets a round in this mode. (Truly a winner for bullet sales ;-)

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Hawk Kriegsman wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:


Great word. LOL!

Consider it pinched.

I agree! Maybe "Rolfstomps" will be a brand of Vesk combat boots in the next visit to the equipment store...

5 people marked this as a favorite.

Thanks for the various viewpoints.

Since True Seeing is a sixth level spell, which in Starfinder is the most powerful level, and a holoskin is a 2nd level item, it feels to me that True Seeing should easily cut through the holoskin effect. But it really depends on the balance of power you want between technology and magic in your universe, so I can see it being played either way.

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

I'm curious how others would play this.

CRB p.383 wrote:

True Seeing

You confer upon the target the ability to see all things within
120 feet as they actually are. The target sees through normal
and magical darkness, notices secret doors hidden by magic,
sees the exact locations of creatures or objects that are
invisible or displaced, sees through illusions, and sees the true
form of changed or transmuted things. Further, the target can
focus its vision to see into the Ethereal Plane (but not into
extradimensional spaces).

True seeing, however, does not penetrate solid objects. It
in no way confers X-ray vision or its equivalent. It does not
negate concealment, including that caused by fog and the like.
True seeing does not help the viewer see through mundane
disguises, spot creatures who are simply hiding, or notice
secret doors hidden by mundane means.

The first sentence says you see things "as they actually are" but I'm a little surprised technological aids to disguise are not mentioned more directly later.

CRB p.220 wrote:


This holographic projector is generally mounted to a belt or
arm strap. It can be programmed using the Disguise skill to
project a different appearance. When you use a holoskin, you
can disguise major features, race, or creature type without the
DC of your Disguise check increasing, except
against Perception checks that involve
physical examination.

Being that True Seeing sees through normal darkness, I'm inclined to say it sees through Holoskin projections, being a light manipulation effect.

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As a GM I don't normally track food and water. One character did find a clear spindle Aeon stone, which negates the need for for food and water.

Sometimes I throw in additional loot if there is an additional encounter cause by a side-trip. In the cargo hold of a Klockworx Prism cargo hold, I threw in for fun an Azlanti food replicator (turns UPBs into luxury Azlanti foodstuffs) which created all sorts of exotic things for them to try eating. Other than that, I only pay attention to food and drink if it's key to the adventure or adds color to a special restaurant visit.

I've been collecting extra content for Dead Suns where I felt there was a small encounter area missing (often a random encounter doesn't have a map as part of the module).

Go to
then navigate to the folder "Extra Content" and then "Dead Suns"

I just recently added an emergency key (DS6x Emergency key.jpg) to show the players. As well as a potential map they can download with the sensitive areas blanked out from EoB area A2 (DS6-Ax Hangar Country handout.jpg).

CorvusMask wrote:
Xavra is definitely most challenging boss in this ap so far even with corrected AC :O Which is good in my opinion since so far players seemed to have too easy time to the point not everybody felt like their abilities were as useful since they never got to use them to full potential.

I actually left Xavra's AC as written since my players were highly optimized, and it made for a boss fight that went about the right length for them to have an enjoyable challenge.

CorvusMask wrote:

I mean, there is very basic reason why I don't think boarding Stellar Degenerator would be "good" idea as the game presents it. It would be COOL idea yeah and its unexpected you never get to visit it, ...

But yeah, its bit of missed opportunity for stellar degenerator never being boarded, but I think Empire of Bones is cool on its own way and while plan is unintuitive, I wouldn't say its "dumb". I think the ap would have just needed something like Gevanor Nor contacting players to give them intel on ship or something like that to make it feel less like "we don't know what we are doing so we are just bumbling around" xD

Yeah, there is a lot of potentially interesting territory to explore on the Stellar Degenerator, DS5 The Thirteenth Gate, page 37, mentions the superweapon is over 100,000 feet long, or about 19 miles! The time needed to get it working for what the players might want to do just doesn't fit with the urgency laid out in this adventure path. I do feel like maybe they can activate some minor function, like a super tractor beam that would pull in the Empire of Bones into a catastrophic collision as if they had been on the EoB and piloted it into the Degenerator. I would say the Degenerator would have a few escape pods left so that avenue of getting out works as originally planned.

I also felt like the Kish Foundry in DS4 The Ruined Clouds had a lot of potential. When the party looked through the west door, that area was not detailed and left as an exercise to the GM to flesh out. I just told them is was a desolate factory floor as far as they could see, with a few Acrochors slithering toward them (an encounter they didn't particulary enjoy earlier). So they shut the door and proceeded with the main path of the adventure.


Anyhoo, I would like to also point out that as written, the ap has really good point about why not destroying degenerator is a bad ending: Everything said in it IS something that would very likely happen as results of players not destroying it

I was impressed with the write-up at the end of the adventure path, giving some good ideas of what a GM could do next if the players want to continue adventuring with their characters. They included a "What if the Stellar Degenerator Survives?" for concerns to think about in that scenario. Other than the Corpse Fleet knowing about it, with the help of Gevalarsk Nor, maybe it can be kept secret a little while longer, but not indefinitely. At some point Twinned Echo (the atrocite in the supplemental info at the back of the book) will organize the Cult of the Devourer to again pursue the superweapon.

Garretmander wrote:

I don't think I'd give the stellar degenerator any sort of special anti-boarding field. I'd rather just leave the encounters as a hidden railroad (same encounters regardless of where the PCs go).

If they really want to go to the Degenerator, I'll let them take that hidden railroad. By analyzing the energy signature of the Corpse Fleet ship that exploded on the gate membrane field around the Degenerator, they can roll an engineering or computer check to adjust their shields to the phase of the field. Then they can fly through it and see if they got it right, or suffer some minor consequences for not rolling high enough on their skill checks.

Thanks for the adventure summary for your group. It's always interesting to hear how someone else holds it together when the party goes off the planned path.

These forums are a great resource for dealing with situations I hadn't thought of. I like the idea of the Corpse Fleet maps being translated to the Stellar Degenerator if the party decides to go that route, but I've consolidated ideas from this forum into a collection of reasons to try a takeover of the Empire of Bones:

Reasons to go onto the Empire of Bones
Give the PCs a DC 20 mysticism/engineering check to learn that big Eoxian ships use a lot of automation via mindless undead, and a DC 25 culture check (circumstance bonuses: +5 if theme is Mercenary, +5 if class is Soldier) to learn that the Heart's Decay (the sister ship to the Empire of Bones) was lost to a small group of Vesk commandos in the Silent War when they took Heart’s Decay’s bridge and turned its guns on its own fleet.

The party finds the planted tracking device on the Sunrise Maiden, inside the port landing gear bay. It is Aballonian in design but has been reprogrammed to use Corpse Fleet signal protocols. Upon examination it’s found to include an encrypted comm module. Hebiza Eskolar makes contact with a video call (if the players don't remember her from book 1, give them a perception check to recognize her). She quickly says “Ambassador Nor sends his regards. I have very little time, so let me send you a hint rather than prolong this call.” An icon of a tombstone appears in the received documents window of the comm unit. Opening it reveals:

Hebiza wrote:
When I found out first Lieutenant Renzar was tasked with planting a tracker on your ship, I hid this comm module inside. If you can get to the security post computer near hangar bay 27, you should use as many emergency security keys as you can find to hack the security computer. Find Malakar’s notes. I’ve installed a virus called Wraith 2.0, and if you can add your likeness to its stealth file, it will give you an advantage to evade the security robots and cameras. I should like to stay onboard the Empire of Bones to shepherd our plans–even if it means my demise–but I have my orders, so I will not be around to aid you further.

This hint is intended to make boarding the Empire of Bones feel less suicidal, but the Wraith 2.0 effects are worded vaguely to keep some mystery about what exactly it does. Unbeknownst to Malakar, Captain Hebiza Eskolar was an agent for Nor, and together they injected the Project Tombstone viruses into the Empire of Bones computer network. Hebiza has orders to depart the EoB soon after sending this message (perhaps to appear again in the player's future endeavors outside the Dead Suns adventure path). The tombstone icon for this message matches the Project Tombstone icon and was an additional hint sent by Hebiza.

Reasons not to go to the Stellar Degenerator
An energy "membrane" surrounds the Stellar Degenerator as it emerges from its demiplane, a side-effect of the gate opening, The long dormant Degenerator itself is giving off very low energy signals. The enveloping energy field is fading as the Degenerator emerges but its levels are initially intense. You observe a Pale Butcher Scout (medium explorer) swoop close to the emerging tip of the Degenerator, maybe performing a close scan--too close, the moment it skims the glittering energy membrane it erupts into a shower of glowing white powder. Your calculations indicate the field will dissipate to safer levels in about 6 hours when the Degenerator is 90% out of the demiplane gate.

The Stellar Degenerator, if scanned, reveals hundreds of docking portals. A few are very large docking bays, well guarded by gun turrets, but the rest are many small one-way escape/egress portals, nearly all vacant, their pods having been used. Clamshell guard doors are fused shut to prevent infiltration of the small portals after use. This suggests that the degenerator needed a surprisingly large crew to operate.

It’s ancient, alien and dormant, could be very iffy to get it working anytime this week. Plus, you know that the Kishalee can become undead too. Assuming the players ran into Abneth in the previous book.

curuthanir wrote:

I'm running my players through The Ruined Clouds now, and they just went through the House of Renewal. They're level 7, and about 4k XP from 8. I know that the AP says they should be level 8 before entering the Temple Found.

So they still have the Maze of Ghosts, and then the Securitech Offices. I anticipate they will still be level 7 after the Maze. So my question is whether level 7 is sufficient for them to survive the Securitech Offices, or should they be level 8 before Securitech?

I recently ran The Ruined Clouds, and I think that level 7 is fine for the Securitech Offices. I moved them up to level 8 for the Foundry, since I knew that some of the fights there were more challenging--none of the players questioned or complained that the XP award for the session just before the foundry was twice as big as usual. If they did ask, I would have just told them I was adjusting them to the recommended advancement track for the adventure path. The party is strong, sometimes at 6 characters, and the players are very experienced, so I have been boosting the challenge of the encounters, but still they would have been short of XP for level 8 had I not made the adjustment.

My players beat the Fearful Symmetry pretty easily, but I knew that would happen. The players had a nearly max scan roll, so they new about the self-destruct mechanism and they were going to leave until I mentioned "the Azlantis might have some cool gear..."

The party boarded the Azlanti ship (there's a nice map of the ship in the back cover).
* The Aeon Guard Specialists are no slouches and they have nice armor, weapons and combat skills, so the real trap could be the firefight onboard the enemy vessel.
* The party knew from their way-above-average scan that there were two life signs on board. If you want to make this onboard combat surprisingly challenging, there could just happen to be 1 or 2 SRO crew members (I decided this part of the story didn't need to be extended that much so didn't add the extra challenge to my campaign)
* When the Aeon Guards were about to be beaten (around 10 HP left), they initiated the self destruct. (The Azlantis exchanged code words in their communicators and then typed codes into their forearm computer pads)
* The destruct sequence gave the party 5 rounds to get off the ship, one party member could read the Azlanti language countdown to estimate time left.
* The destruct sequence locks the outer airlock doors, the party unexpectedly has to make a DC 20 computer check to exit (if you want to add tension).
* My group was able to hack the computer to unlock the airlock doors and, since they had such an awesome computer roll, 15 above what they needed, they also reset the timer to give them an extra 6 rounds before detonation (but in no way would I let them deactivate the self destruct). They scrambled to grab a few boxes of mystery loot out of the cargo hold and made it off just in time along with the Aeon Guard bodies and gear.
* The Sunrise Maiden took some serious blast damage for their greed since they cut it down to the wire on the get-away. They got a few very interesting items of moderate value (mostly for story flavor and role play, nothing that breaks game balance)

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Our group has been enjoying Dead Suns, enough that we plan to finish out the AP, and I've bought the last two books recently as we play through book 4.

As far as time, if I remember right, we've easily gotten over 30 hours of play time from Dead Suns book 1. I was new to GMing and we were all new to Starfinder, so it was a little slower than typical, but we spent 3 and a half sessions gaming in the first book. When you consider entertainment for 6 people for 30+ hours, the price isn't too bad. Definitely only buy ahead one or two books at a time as you become certain your group wants to continue in that adventure path.

Thanks for the link. Several of these images would make great starship battle backgrounds. We use roll20, so no time need be spent to align hex grids, I can just turn on the grid and scale it to whatever feels appropriate.

I'd give players a lot of leeway in their character design. I'd suggest that many androids have a lung equivalent for talking, but don't need to breathe unless they want to speak, sigh, or perhaps play the tuba.

It's not specified by the rules, but my reasoning is that the biological portions of an android still need oxygen. One way this could be played is that androids have an oxygen buffer good for several days (like armor environmental protection systems) and that they breath and replenish the oxygen supply when they have access to breathable air.

With the wide variety of androids, it may even make sense that some come with short range radio instead of lungs and vocal cords, so they can talk directly to the comm units of those nearby (you might treat it as limited telepathy from a gameplay standpoint). Normal speech by androids without lungs could be accomplished by an electronic speaker just under the skin of their neck or the back of their throat.

MythicFox wrote:

Has anyone toyed with tweaking the ending to provide an 'out' for Osteth's sacrifice? Some way to perhaps save her, even if it means leaving her for now and coming back later after the AP wraps up?

I'm curious what ideas you had along the lines of Osteth's fate. Did your players end up following any of those paths?

Shisumo wrote:
Now that Alien Archive 3 has given us creature companions, I'm suddenly wondering what I might do if one of my PCs takes a shine to the velsasha. Would Mr Radney-McFarland have any thoughts on the matter, by any chance? Anyone else, for that matter?

I don't see any problems in letting the players get a creature companion--it would be a fun role play opportunity and the AA3 rules aren't too complex.

One more thing to note, Ysoki get to stand up from prone as a swift action (See the Moxie section on the first page of their race description).

Since the party is down 25% from 4 players, you can also reduce the encounter enemy HP by a percentage and run 3 players (which is great for the players to not have to wait as long for their turn). You could drop the enemy HP by as much at 25%, but since most encounters aren't supposed to be overly tough, try starting opponents out at 85% HP and see how it goes. Adjust enemy HP more or less depending on how tough the first few combats seem. I'd award the same XP as recommended. This is one of the easier ways to scale difficulty without the hassle of changing numbers of opponents. My group was quite pleased that they estimated the number of enemies in the final battle of book 2 by paying attention to the number of the bad guys mentioned at the beginning of the jungle trek and counting bodies along the way. If you change numbers of opponents, then you risk throwing off the storyline unless you go through the whole adventure in advance and adjust the numbers.

Make sure they are meeting the expected level advancement track spelled out in the beginning of each book of Dead Suns. Don't tell them you are throwing reduced HP enemies at them so it still feels exciting. If they tend to track enemy HP closely and read the Alien Archive they may notice the enemies aren't at full health, but explain that their opponents aren't always fresh and well rested--then mix in different tactics to control the difficulty of future encounters.

In such a large universe, you may have a choice of flammable or non-flammable sticky grenades. You may have to house-rule they are one type or the other by default unless you specify what type you bought.

Does anyone play sticky grenades as making the area of effect sticky? Or do you treat it as a momentary effect that only affects those caught in the blast radius and does nothing to hinder those that pass through the area immediately afterward?

Nicolas Grilli wrote:
Sorry for reviving the post. We are playing dead suns 3. I am reading the marrowbligth and its multi-attack is worse than a full attack (-5 to hit). What conclusion did you reach? Can monsters Full attack or not?

I noticed that as well. I think that the rule in Alien Archive shows that monsters can make full attacks, and in place of that full attack (two attacks at -4 with the same weapon), they can instead choose the multiattack. In this case a marrowblight multi-attack isn't the most optimal, but it may make for a more colorful combat with two types of damage in a single full action, albeit at -5 to hit.

However, there are some powerful creatures where the multiattack is a much more deadly attack than the standard full attack:

Example 1:
CE Colossal magical beast (colossus)
Melee bite +35 (4d12+29 P) or
claw +35 (4d12+29 S) or
slam +35 (8d6+29 B)
Multiattack bite +32 (4d12+29 P), 2 claws +32 (4d12+29 S), slam +32 (8d6+29 B)
Note how these multiattacks are only at a -3 from the normal attack!

Example 2:
LE Colossal outsider (devil, evil, extraplanar, lawful)
Melee slam +32 (4d12+30 B)
Multiattack 2 slams +26 (4d12+30 B), 4 legs +26 (6d10+30 P)
Ranged hellfire glare +34 (8d8+19 F; critical burn 5d6)
Note how these multiattacks are at a -6 from the normal attack, but there are a lot of attacks!

Search for "multiattack" if you have the PDF Alien Archive for other examples.

I just noticed that AA2 and AA3 have a different wording:

Stat bloc description for Alien Archive 2 and Alien Archive 3 wrote:

Multiattack: If the creature can make more than two melee

attacks with a full action (usually with different weapons),
the attacks and attack roll modifiers are listed in this entry,
followed by each attack’s damage, damage type, and critical
effects in parentheses.
Rule description for Alien Archive 2 and Alien Archive 3 wrote:

Multiattack (Ex)

In addition to its standard melee or ranged attack, the
creature has a multiattack entry. When making a full
attack, the creature can make all the attacks listed in the
multiattack entry at the attack bonuses listed, rather than
make two attacks. It can make the attacks in any order.
Format: Multiattack bite +10 (1d4+11), 2 claws +10
Guidelines: Use the appropriate damage column for the
creature’s array for all attacks in the multiattack, and impose
a –6 penalty on these attacks (rather than the usual –4
penalty for a full attack).

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I'm running a party through the second half of Dead Suns #3 soon, so the discussion on Eox is very relevant now. I thought it apropos to cast "Raise Thread" to say thanks for all the great discussion, ideas and taking the time to write up things that are useful to other GMs, even a year and 7 months after the previous post.

Matt2VK wrote:

Question -

Can you take 20 on Medicine / Treat Deadly Wounds?

It looks like you can take 20 but I thought I read somewhere you had to make that D20 roll.

Although two medical tasks specifically state you cannot take 20 (First Aid and Long-Term Care) most GMs I've discussed this with will rule that you cannot take 20 on any of the medicine tasks, to be realistic.

Tryn wrote:


So why should I use the worst option to regenerate hp?

I think this a basic problem with Starfinder, the technological solution are most times more expensive and less effective then the magic ones.
I think a solution would be to reduce the price of the sprayflesh dramatically (especially since it already has three drawbacks (check, rest, RP spent).

I agree, overall, magic is much more powerful at healing in Starfinder than technology. Sprayflesh does at least give you a way to boost healing if you are using Starfinder rules to play in a non-magical Sci-Fi universe.

One of the biggest differences I've noticed is that the Remove Affliction spell is far better for a poisoned or diseased character than the medical skill tasks of Treat Disease or Treat Drugs or Poison, which only give a +4 to the character making fortitude saves. Technology doesn't come close until you buy a Regeneration Table, which ironically describes it's effects as if you went to a spellcaster:

CRB pg.221 wrote:
...A living creature using a regeneration table is affected as if a 6th-level mystic cure spell as well as the remove affliction and restoration spells were cast on it. A dead creature is affected as if raise dead were cast on it. A regeneration table has an effective caster level of 20th.

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One thing I'd like to see is an "Identify DC" added near the top of the Stat Block. Not just in Alien Archive #, but in adventure paths and anywhere else a new creature is published.

example wrote:


XP 600
NG Medium aberration (plantlike) >>>Identify DC 13 Life Science (Common)<<<
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft; Perception +12

With so many aliens to choose from, part of the fun for the players is figuring out what they are up against. Almost always the first action they will (should) be doing is an Identify Creature skill roll. It would be a nicety for the busy GM to have the skill (or skills, if more than could apply) needed plus the assumed rarity from the typical Pact Worlds resident perspective. Naturally, you'll need to adjust the DC up or down based on the character making the skill check as rarity is relative to where you're from; "Very Common", "Average" or "Rare" (CRB pg.133)

CRB pg.220 wrote:


...If you have
ranks in Medicine, a dose of sprayflesh allows you to attempt
a check to treat deadly wounds on a creature that has already
received its limit of treat deadly wound benefits for the day
If you succeed at a DC 25 Medicine check, the next time such
a creature rests for 10 minutes and spends a Resolve Point to
regain Stamina Points, it can instead gain the benefit of your
Medicine check to treat deadly wounds.

The way I run my campaign, exploiting the part I've bolded above, is that in the hands of a person with medical training, you can keep using sprayflesh to treat deadly wounds as long as the Resolve Points of the recipient holds out. You might argue that I'm breaking the spirit of the rules, but by the way they're written I don't think I am. There is the limit of Resolve Points, which you should use cautiously, and the cost of sprayflesh, which is a bit pricey for lower level characters, so I don't think my interpretation breaks anything badly.

"I've got my case of Sprayflesh here. You may look like the Michelin Man when I'm done, but by God I'm going to stop that bleeding!"

Koboldinator wrote:


As for just touching someone or hitting them with a nonharmful object, I'd houserule you can aim for a AC that's just 10+ their Dex modifier.

In general, I'd houserule that even harmful objects hit the target's armor/shield/magical-protection on 10+Dex Mod, but you need to exceed KAC/EAC to get through to harm the person inside.

Of course I can think of exceptions, acid-resistant armor or a good energy shield would probably shed a paintball mark the way a hot teflon pan sheds water.

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