Balazar

VampByDay's page

******* Pathfinder Society GM. Starfinder Society GM. 2,067 posts (4,872 including aliases). 39 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 47 Organized Play characters. 6 aliases.



1 to 25 of 39 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>

Sign in to create or edit a product review.

Our Price: $4.99

Add to Cart

A great way to interact with the community, needed slightly more refinement.

4/5

So I was at PaizoCon when this scenario was released, and I REALLY liked the premise. Some actual players submitted their characters (after jumping through some hoops) and out of those, they were narrowed down to which were first seeker material. They were narrowed down to these four first seeker candidates.

I really like the different personalities that show up in this scenario, and knowing that these characters are REAL people’s characters and not designed by committee really makes them feel alive. Of course they are crazy and silly Starfinder characters that we love, and I really enjoy that. I also really appreciate the level of feedback between the design team and the players, and it just feels great.

I will say, the downside here is that the missions each of the four candidates gives out . . . don’t make a whole lot of sense. Three out of the four of them involve days-long missions. I mean, the scenario sets it up like ‘Go talk to these people for the day, see if they need help, and then try to figure out which would make the best first seeker.’ However, three of the four candidates send you to either near or far space. Realistically this scenario would take Starfinders a month or more to complete. I feel it would have been better if these missions had been limited to Absolom Station-that would have made the scenario feel more connected and whole.


Our Price: $4.99

Add to Cart

Great premise, poor secondary success condition.

4/5

This should be a scenario that is more fun than it is. It starts off strong, with a return to Salvation’s end and an investigation of another testing chamber. It’s fun infiltrating the area, trying to play along while still trying to figure out what’s going on, and find out what the big issues is. It's a fun to try to slowly piece together what the 'puzzle' is that has led to this particular simulation.

The second half is also fun, but becomes supremely problematic. All the sudden everything comes crashing down around your ears and it’s a mad dash to save people, gather as much data as possible, and get out. This also makes the secondary success condition problematic.

Mild Spoilers:
Unfortunately, there is an invisible counter between how much data you need to gather and how many people you need to save. And there is absolutely NO indication of how much of each you need. When we played through this, being generally good-aligned characters, our party saved a bunch of people, and got data when we could. Apparently, that was the wrong choice because we only got half credit for the scenario, as we saved way more people than we needed, but didn’t get enough data. With no indication of how much of each you need, it seems difficult to psychically intuit the right amount of people saved to data collected to get full credit for this scenario.


Our Price: $4.99

Add to Cart

A fine series of quests, would have been a better scenario

4/5

An interesting little scenario. I really like the premise of a mysterious world that should not exist. And, as far as quests go, it’s actually pretty good. It works as a scenario by itself, but it also works as a series of standalone adventures with very minimal setup.
Unfortunately, it’s also kind of hindered by the quest-like nature. Instead of investigating and finding clues about what is going on to keep this world aloft, you just kind of plod along, the clues not really connecting until the end. Even then, the clues don’t lead to some earth-shattering revelation. It’s just kind of presented as an ‘oh, by the way, this is how this works.’ I think if this was a standard scenario and the buildup was better, then the reveal of how this mysterious planet exists would have been more impactful. Still, it’s not a bad experience.


Our Price: $4.99

Add to Cart

Starts off great, then detours into weirdness

3/5

So this scenario’s a bit confusing. I mean, it starts off alright. You are told to explore the native flora and fauna of an area, report back, play nicey-nice with an NPC guide. The guide is exotic, the local is exotic, and it is a scenario that favors a skill that isn’t computers or engineering, so that’s refreshing! And the first half of the scenario is fine, follows logically very nicely.

The second half of the scenario jumps right off the rails and takes a right turn into unknown waters. I mean, it just comes out of nowhere and makes no logical sense. Without spoiling anything, you stumble upon something you had no idea was going on and it is just coincidence the Starfinders show up when they do. And it is up to the Starfinders, who just happen to be there by happenstance, to save the day. That kind of extreme ‘oh, we just happened to show up at the at the exact right time even though we had no idea what was going on’ writing is a bit too trite for my taste.

That said, the fights and set pieces were all tactically challenging, interesting, and fun! Just wish the story had been workshopped a bit more.


Our Price: $4.99

Add to Cart

Great series of unconnected quests

4/5

So this is actually pretty good. The problem I usually have with quests is that they are too disconnected to function as a full scenario, but are too connected to be a standalone adventure. This quest series does away with any connective tissue other than the theme ‘these quests all have something to do with Starfinders and the Corporations that they work with.’ Unlike other quests that feel like you can’t really start and stop them at any time (I’m looking at you Withering World) these are just a straightforward series of 1-shots that you really feel like you can drop in-drop out of.

The quests are all varied (and all of them are more than go here, do skill check, get ambushed by a fight) and have a unique flavor to them. I really appreciate that. Plus, it is another 3-6 repeatable, which I enjoy.


Our Price: $4.99

Add to Cart

Great flavor, skill DCs way out of whack.

3/5

The first thing I noticed when I prepped to GM this scenario is that the skill DCs seemed really high, and my players, having played it last night, agreed with me. The only reason the players were able to get full rewards was because we were doing a charity event with $1 rerolls and the players spent over $20 on skill check rerolls alone. This was in addition to them ‘cheating’ and not having to do certain skill checks by creative use of spells and class abilities. I’m obviously not complaining about donating to charity, but not every group will have this option. Everyone commented on how out-of-whack the DCs were. We had a level 10 operative and Technomancer, and an 8 soldier and mystic. The mystic and soldier were unable to contribute to ANY skill checks AT ALL and were basically stuck watching the other players throw dollar bills at me until they rolled a 15 or higher on the die. They eventually took to taking 20 on every check they possibly could. If not for the flavor of this scenario (which they loved) it would have been a very unhappy table.


Our Price: $4.99

Add to Cart

Super deadly to low levels.

1/5

Played this at the 1-2 tier table with five players, and it was a lucky thing there was a level 4 and level 3 soldier there or everyone would have just died, no question. Fights with no weapons, death traps everywhere that deal tons of damage, and high DC saves that the game requires you to subject yourself to to succeed. Like I said, I was a level 3 soldier playing down and my character STILL almost died (was 2 HP from going down, and we were out of healing serums, spells, and no one in the party had medicine.)

Like I said, I don't know how low-level players are supposed to survive this at all.


Our Price: $4.99

Add to Cart

Two fun bits with a poor transition

4/5

It Rests Beneath is a bit of an odd duck when it comes to scenarios. It is essentially separated into two parts, a fun road-trip part where people get to tool abound on hoverbikes and go nuts, and a kinda alien-horror mystery part. The thing about it is. . . The transition from one to the other is kinda clunky and jarring. Here my ace pilot was going along, loving piloting along this open field and doing stuff, and then boom, cosmic horror. Neither section is bad, just. . . The genre shift was a bit abrupt.


Our Price: $4.99

Add to Cart

Fun game show feel that take hours

4/5

Like many others have said, super fun and super flavorful if your GM is willing to indulge, but it can run long. Also, it is really heavy on skill checks, so if you don’t have the skills highlighted in the segment, you feel useless.


Our Price: $4.99

Add to Cart

Incredably strong opening, weak finish.

3/5

King Xeros starts with a super fun action sequence that is great if your GM plays it up. The King Xeros, an ancient sailing ship has shown up on an outpost and the Azlanti have shown up, killed everyone, and are preparing to take the back to their empire. They can’t be allowed to just waltz in and take whatever they want from the pact worlds, kill our people, and the Xeros should be the pact worlds’ to study.

What follows is a harrowing mission where the PCs, with help, perform a commando-style raid on a facility. It’s great, makes you feel like an action hero, super fun.

But the second half is not nearly as fun. Basically, after a starship combat, it turns into a below-average dungeon crawl. Because it only takes up half the scenario, it is short and rather unimpressive. I just wish the author would have kept the action up with a second commando style boarding and some more interesting stuff instead of a rather empty dungeon crawl with an artificial time limit that presents no real danger at all for parties that don’t futs around.

Also the ending is just a hallow victory. I understand why it goes the way it does, but it just contributes to the feeling of ennui.


Our Price: $4.99

Add to Cart

Could have been so much more.

2/5

So, like many SFS scenarios that get a poor review from me, the problem in the scenario isn’t the concept-the concept is great. There is a new species that has proven itself a threat! The Starfinders have captured one of their ships, and are going to pull an Independence Day. Pose as a returning ship, load it up with a bomb, and blow one of their installations.

The thing is, this turns out to be just a dungeon craIwl, and not a particularly interesting one. Fight your way to the reactor, then let OTHERS take the bomb there after you’ve cleared the way. As my friend put it ‘doesn’t make you feel like the hero, makes you feel like the guys opening the door for the hero.’ Additionally, this could have been the way to explore the alien geometries of this previously unknown civilization, but in reality the base just has the same boring feel of every other base/dungeon.

There’s no reason the PCs couldn’t have been escorting the bomb, which could have introduced a cool bomb defense mechanic, which would have made the PCs feel more relevant and made the session more memorable.

I should mention that by no means is this a terrible scenario. If you are looking for some straight up fights with a few skill checks, then you will get exactly what you want. Just feels like the scenario could have been so much more than it ended up being. A race to the reactor while shielding a bomb, and then a race out!


Our Price: $4.99

Add to Cart

Promising premise, lackluster execution

2/5

I got to play this scenario with my Kasatha-loving half-orc Solarian, which is possibly the absolute best character to play this game with, and it still wasn’t that great.

The scenario seems like it should be fine. A prominent Starfinder Solarian And Kasatha has gone on a spiritual journey at the worst possible time, (as he is needed to politically stabilize the Starfinders) and the PCs are tasked with bringing him back. The PCs have to navigate the political customs of the Kasatha in order to find out where their quarry went and then go retrieve him.

The thing is, if the PCs don’t play ball (like many at our table didn’t) it just turns into a circus and everyone fails. On a writing standpoint many of the fights feel forced and tacked on, and there is no ‘convincing’ the Starfinder to come back. You just win the final fight and he decides to return. You’d think convincing a spiritual leader to abandon his spirit quest would require a diplomacy check or something.

I’ve been waiting for a scenario involving the Irdari for a while, but this scenario did not deliver a great scenario for it or make use of the setting as much as it could have.

Still, investigating on the Idari allows for some role play opportunities if you are willing to actually follow Kasatha customs, so it isn’t without some merit. Just be aware what you are getting into.


Our Price: $4.99

Add to Cart

Solid repeatable, could have been a skosh more.

4/5

By far one of the best repeatable out there. There is a randomized investigation section in the beginning which can vary from game to game, the crew of the ship you find is randomized, the threats are randomized, all in all, a lot of good elements for a repeatable.

The only nitpick, and it is a minor nitpick, is that the story beats are always the same. Unlike PFS scenarios ‘Tome of Righteous Repose’ and ‘Down the Half-light Path,’ the story is always roughly the same. If only they had included different story elements with the amount of choice in this scenario, then itwould have been five stars for sure. But then that might have been too tough on GM prep maybe? Still, solid, solid repeatable.


Our Price: $4.99

Add to Cart

Multiple paths to the finish=low railroading.

4/5

Interesting scenario and hard to rate. It certainly isn’t your typical scenario, as it is possible to only have one fight during it. Lots of diplomacy and social interactions, and a fun and unique enemy to boot. The only issue is; my character came up with what I thought was a unique solution to the problem, but I’m not sure if the solution worked because of my logic or because that’s the situation that the game expected, or because ANY solution would work. Anyway, decent scenario with multiple ending paths depending on how your party wants to roll.


Our Price: $4.99

Add to Cart

Good mostly through, but gatekeeping at start marrs it.

4/5

This scenario is fun, but there are a few gatekeeping situations that really hurt it. At the start there is a bit that basically requires the physical science skill, and if the party doesn’t have the skill (or the people that do roll super low, like in our group,) the game just stalls. Not really that fun. The middle part of the scenario is great though, with some good intrigue, and a real climax that is mitigated based on how well skill checks were made. And the skill checks are varied enough that most parties will be able to get at least some of them.

There is an ending fight that is pretty tough because the environment gives the bad guy a huge advantage, but it is also climactic and fun. There is a bit of an issue in that the scenario expects you to fight, then get the mcguffin, but you can get the mcguffin during the fight.

All in all, solid scenario with some real fun bits, marred by the stupid bit of gatekeeping at the start.


Our Price: $4.99

Add to Cart

Fun scenario, few minor hiccups.

4/5

Just GMed this one:

So this was a fun scenario, but there are a few minor things that can cause problems. It's easy to miss out on certain bits of information that the scenario expects you to know.

The gist of the scenario is that there is a planet that is petitioning for protectorate status, and the Starfinders are hired to look into their archaeological record in order to see if there are any skeletons in their collective closet. Lo and behold, the archaeological record starts contradicting with stuff the government says, and the PCs have to figure out what to do with that information.

The big problem I have with the scenario (the thing that knocks off a star for me) is that there is one location that gives away, like 90% of the story. So if the PCs visit there first or early on, many of the other areas become superfluous.

**********SPOILER-MY GROUP'S RUN THROUGH SPOILER********
My players went counter clock-ways around the city, so they ended up at the observatory (with the journal) about halfway through the scenerio, which is when the government agent became friendly to them and spilled the beans. The Starfinders, being good starfinders, grilled him on what he knew, but surprisingly were nice and understanding. The universal thought was 'all governments lie, this is nothing new.'

There are a few things that the PCs didn't pick up on. They did notice the agent's control rig but did not identify it in game, and none of them were androids/SROs/drone mechanics so they didn't know about the taboo against AIs until they contacted the agent about Less-than-Three. They did know that the Copaxi USED to be dicks to robots, but figured their ideas had changed a while ago, not realizing that AI had been outlawed.

Also, bits of the lore had to be told to them after they had identified the stuff. So they didn't put together that it was odd that the Copaxi developed drift drive some 290 years AFTER Triune's signal, so they never learned about the government lie that the people got the signal, but couldn't interpret it for some time.

All in all, most of the players liked it, but I just wish there were some ways to feed some of the Copaxi government lies to the players earlier on, not tell them in retrospect 'BTW, government lied about that too."


Our Price: $4.99

Add to Cart

Not bad, but sadly kind of forgettable.

3/5

An interesting scenario. It does nothing wrong-per se. The session revolves around a mystery at an archaeological dig that is in the sovereign territory of Eox. Theoretically this could have been a lot of fun by navigating political waters while solving a mystery.

But it just isn’t engaging. There are basically three suspect groups for the mystery, but you either make the knowledge checks and essentially know who it is from the beginning during the mission briefing, or you don’t make the knowledge checks and the reveal comes out of left field. A few more sprinkling of clues as to the real perpetrators, and possibly a few more red herrings, could have really spiced up this scenario.

As it is, the scenario is certainly not . . . Bad. There are no major issues (well, there is, a party of melee beat-sticks will have trouble here) but it is sadly just kind of. . . forgettable. When stacked up against the flavor of other recent scenarios, like Save the Rendrokas, Live Exploration Extreme, or Star Sugar Heart Love, it doesn’t even compare.


Our Price: $4.99

Add to Cart

About as good as quests get.

4/5

So I have a friend who hates quests because they are so disconnected and disjointed from each other, and even he liked this game. Generally solid plot and good story. Some of the quests are a little cliche, and it would have been nice to see some of them fleshed out a bit more, because there are a few contrived coincidences, but what do you expect for one hour time slots per adventure?

Things that could have been better:
Considering the ‘one combat per day’ nature of the scenario, the fights could have been harder. And I will say that I was quite disappointed that my Dream Prophet who essentially studies/worships the Liavaran Dreamers did not get to role-play/use that aspect of their character in the scenario that touts being all about a dreamer. Final quest was a good finisher though, really unique ideas.


Our Price: $4.99

Add to Cart

Good concept-Terrible execution.

1/5

(Minor Spoilers).

This is the first Starfinder Society that no one in our group cared for at all. It starts off promising enough, with some haunted ruins housing some unknown artifact, but it just never really delivers. If you do things ‘the right way,’ (being real Starfinders, being cautious and thorough, and exploring everything), then it is possible to skip all fights except the optional encounter (even the final fight was essentially skipped; which our group did.). There are several ‘gotcha’ tactics (Traps and radiation that do boatloads of damage with little to no chance of countering them) and the final scene, while a cool concept, is a massive anticlimax that left most our party just twiddling our thumbs. Overall just, not fun.


Our Price: $4.99

Add to Cart

Another great flavor scenario.

4/5

Starfinder is really hitting it out of the park with some great flavor scenarios. And this scenario is no exception. I won’t ruin it because it’s super fun, but as there is a giant t-Rex like beast on the cover, I feel it’s safe to say things get all Jurassic Park. I will say that once you peel back the veneer of awesome silly fun, you find that these scenarios are fairly straitght-line adventures, which some of my friends dislike, so keep that in mind. But if you want to live a cheesy action spy thriller movie, this is the scenario for you!


Our Price: $4.99

Add to Cart

Can I give this six out of five stars?

5/5

I thought that no scenario could top Live Exploration Extreme! But I think I'm wrong. This scenario, if it doesn't surpass it, at least gets to the same level. Hilarious, good-natured romp all around, with tons of super fun tongue-in-cheek scenes. It's got challenging combats, really fun role-play elements, a thrilling cyber-mystery plot, and so much more! It's just really . . . the best. Top tier. Words cannot do it justice, it is super fun.

I will say that even more than 1-09 (Live Exploration Extreme), the the players need to be on board and the GM needs to be prepped. Preferably with a playlist of K/J-pop songs because it really adds to the concert atmosphere.

And, also like 1-09, the players really need to be willing to go along whole-hog with the scenario. That doesn't mean you have to be a Strawberry Machine Cake superfan, but you do need to get into the spirit of things. A murderhobo who is just sitting around waiting for the next fight is going to miss out on a lot of the atmosphere and fun of the session.

In short. Gms, prep it. Players, Role-play it. If your character hates going to concerts, play up that angle (we had a player who did, he still had tons of fun!) If your character is a Strawberry Machine Cake fan, ham it up! (My Character bought Strawberry Machine Cake Formal Attire!)


Our Price: $4.99

Add to Cart

Fun scenario, but a few flaws and annoying space combat

3/5

So played this with an all Lashunta party, soldier, envoy, Mystic, technomancer. Probably should have been harder to talk amongst ourselves in mixed company except we were all telapathic :p

So, first off: the good bits. This continues the scoured stars metaplot in a believable and fun way, with the PCs trying to track down a clue discovered in an earlier scenario. It involves an alien race that our party totally thought was interesting and fresh, and had some great role-play opportunities. Also introduces the idea of a prime-directive like concept that our area has thought was sorely needed in Starfinder.

Downsides: The space combat was just brutal, and we bit it hard. And you know what? No effect on the rest of the scenario! We don’t even get a clue what it was about! I realize it is setting up for something down the line, but there’s no context for it within the scenario.

Also, there is a plot hole in the scenario. Without going too much into spoiler territory, it is pretty easy for Starfinders to figure out something from a cursory glance that the lead scientist of a research facility doesn’t see. I mean, when my Icon former child actor with minimal first aid experience can figure out something that the lead scientist can’t, I consider that a head-scratcher.


Our Price: $4.99

Add to Cart

Good repeatable, few minor hiccups.

4/5

First off, I just want to say I love repeatables. I play in a community that is very active, so we quickly burn through scenarios we can play, and then it becomes a rigamaroll to find something that everyone can do. So I really appreciate repeatable because then, at least, we can all play.

And the basis for this scenario is pretty good. A group (there is a table to roll on randomly for the GM, so it is not always the same group) has recently rediscovered an outpost lost 200 years ago, and have hired the Starfinders to go check it out. This makes sense in universe (Starfinders ARE explorers, it makes sense to hire a team of experts). It is also GREAT setup for new players to learn what Starfinder-ing is all about.

Along the way they meet natives (which the GM gets to make up their own alien species, with special abilities from a random chart) and and fight a random magic storm, and whatnot. Even the ultimate fate of the outpost is different from time to time. So one playthrough you might be asked by the knights of Golarian to go to an idylic world and meet kind centaur-like creatures who thank you for destroying a great evil. Another time you might be on a nasty blasted hellscape for the Hellknights, and the aliens could be the Biker Mice from mars!

Really, the only major hiccup is that the storm that the PCs navigate is rather . . . tacked on and not entirely believable. There is a storm that the PCs must navigate in all tiers that just does damage, and it 'can last from hours to weeks' meaning the PCs can't just wait it out . . . And it just so happens to be centered over the outpost? And it's just randomly there, and not the mechanisms of the outpost, and presumably disapates after the PCs complete their mission because they don't have to navigate back OUT of the storm. It just . . . breaks suspension of disbelief. Additionally, that section of the adventure is just a slog to get through, as you just move, make a check, (maybe) take damage, then move again. There's no tactics and you are more or less moving in a straight line.

Other than that, though, fun scenario with a lot of replayability because of all the different types of planets, atmospheres, and aliens you can meet.


Our Price: $4.99

Add to Cart

Can I give this two and a half stars?

2/5

I hate to give this adventure such a low rating, because it really is a great adventure in principle. The PCs are finally given access to a super-exclusive library-planet that may have information on how to rescue people from the scoured stars incident. What follows is their Bizare trip in acquiring that info.

Unfortunately, the execution is where it falls apart. The scenario starts with an EXTREMELY suspect situation where the PCs are asked to share deeply personal stuff about themselves, and if enough PCs don't do this, they loose out on money. And it doesn't connect to anything really!

The first two encounters are rather forced and feel tacked-on. The last encounter has problems too, including some poor options on how to get to the second half of that fight.

But more than that, there are just large holes in the story. See, this library-planet is stocked entirely with the only copy in existence of any particular text within its walls. As such it is implied the curators will find and ASSASSINATE you if you copy any text within the walls, so how were the Starfinders to even use the information they got? I mean, it's all sorted out in a throwaway line at the end, but that is because of a strange set of circumstances that no one could have been counting on.

In the end, it is a scenario with a great bit of lore that leads to some exciting revelations about the scoured stars incident, but it is marred by just a really lackluster execution.


Our Price: $4.99

Add to Cart

Fun little mystery scenario, brought down by spoilers

4/5

So the scenario works well as a whodoneit. Starts off with the society chasing some new top-of-the-line biotech, nothing reality-breaking, but cool enough to be with the the society looking into. The reasons for investigating are solid, the checks make sense for the location, for detectives and bounty-hunter style characters, it’s great.

The big problem with the zombies is that it is ruined by the scenario title and the blurb. Because if the zombies weren’t advertised, then it would be a great jumpscare and make the scenario much more effective, but since we all knew it was coming, it was just kind of ‘When is the half-alive part going to show up?’

If they had just renamed the scenario to something like “The mystery of the perfect hand,” or something, so that it could come as a surprise. I realize that is metagaming, but knowing something is coming means you can’t be shocked by it, no matter how hard you try. As is, still a solid adventure.


1 to 25 of 39 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>