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."
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.
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.
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.
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!