Starfinder Adventure Path #1: Incident at Absalom Station (Dead Suns 1 of 6)

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Starfinder Adventure Path #1: Incident at Absalom Station (Dead Suns 1 of 6)
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A Ship Without a Crew

When a brutal gang war breaks out on a docking bay in Absalom Station, the player characters are recruited by the Starfinder Society to investigate the unexpected bloodshed. Delving into the station’s seedy Spike neighborhoods, the heroes confront the gangs and discover that both were paid to start the riot and that the true conflict is between two rival mining companies battling over a new arrival in orbit around the station: a mysteriously deserted ship and the strange asteroid it recovered from the Drift. To head off further violence, the heroes are asked to investigate the ship and discover what happened to its crew, as well as the nature of the asteroid it tows. But what the players find there will set in motion events that could threaten the entirety of the Pact Worlds and change the face of the galaxy forever...

This volume of Starfinder Adventure Path launches the Dead Suns Adventure Path and includes:

  • "Incident at Absalom Station," a Starfinder adventure for 1st-level characters, by Robert G. McCreary.
  • A gazetteer of Absalom Station, by James L. Sutter.
  • Magical relics inspired by the lost planet Golarion, by Owen K.C. Stephens.
  • An archive of new alien creatures, by Jason Keeley and Robert G. McCreary.
  • Statistics and deck plans for a new starship designed just for the player characters, plus details on a new planet in the Codex of Worlds, by Robert G. McCreary.

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-961-5

The Dead Suns Adventure Path is sanctioned for use in Starfinder Society Organized Play. The rules for running this Adventure Path and Chronicle sheet are available as a free download (1.7 MB PDF).

Other Resources: This product is also available on the following platforms:

Hero Lab Online
Fantasy Grounds Virtual Tabletop
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Note: This product is part of the Starfinder Adventure Path Subscription.

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A serviceable start

3/5

There's been a lot of words written about the Dead Suns AP as a whole. I don't want to rehash what other people have written, but here are my thoughts:

1. Requires buy-in from the players, no players guide - As it starts out almost as abruptly as Abomination Vaults for PF2. You're here to meet a dwarf about joining the SF Society, he gets murked, you get drawn into a conspiracy. If the players are disinterested, then no amount of begging by the Shirren SF Society contact is going to make them care.

2. Red Herrings - There's several red herrings floating around involving corporate bureaucratic infighting between a mining guild and a corporation over who gets to claim the Drift Rock that's never really elaborated upon and is honestly just a time-waster as there's no payoff for the group at all. I think it's better to excise this part entirely.

3. Another Red Herring - There's a character that you meet who basically disappears and is never mentioned again, except that your choice to complete the job or not complete the job may affect whether you get somebody's away message in the third AP. Was kind of disappointed.

4. The Ship Is A Deathtrap - Part 2 takes place on a derelict. Really cool, really spooky, except the players are marooned on this ship with no choice but to go forward. Good to chase the players up a tree, bad in that they probably were not prepared for this. My suggestion? Have an unethical space goblin/Wytchwyrd merchant dock with the derelict and offer medical services or consumables to the group. They will need them, if most peoples accounts of playing this AP are to be believed.


Disappointing

2/5

NO SPOILERS

Ok, here we go! The first adventure path for Starfinder, Dead Suns. I got to play it in a campaign that took a couple of years of biweekly sessions. My starting PC was a hyper-caffienated energy drink loving barathu envoy, B'rll'blub. He was great fun to play, but proved startlingly ineffective in combat and died later in the campaign--but it was through his eyes I first experienced what I'm reviewing today, Chapter 1: Incident at Absalom Station. In the flagged section below, I discuss the adventure in detail. My general thoughts might be summed up as: it's okay, but nothing spectacular, and with some encounters that aren't really fair to the PCs. Here in the "No Spoilers" section, however, I'm going to discuss everything in volume one that's not part of the adventure--the front and back matter.

[Cut for space: my hatred of the cover, and my description of the inside front and back covers and the author's foreword.]

The first piece of proper back matter is a twelve-page gazetteer of Absalom Station, the center for humanity in the Pact Worlds solar system (the main campaign setting for Starfinder). An interesting history is provided for the station, and I like how it cleverly integrates some concepts from Pathfinder (like the Starstone, some neighborhood names) while making it its own thing. Absalom Station is perhaps the most important location in the setting, as it holds the headquarters for the Pact Worlds government, the Starfinder Society, the Stalwarts (intergalactic peacekeepers), and more. It also serves as a natural starting location for adventures, and a probable home for PCs since it's a pretty multicultural place--a bit like Babylon 5. Although much of this information is probably replicated in the Pact Worlds hardcover, the gazetteer does a good job describing the different areas of the station and leaves a lot of room for GMs to customise as necessary for the adventure they want to tell. There are some "feel and flavour" elements that I think are missing--how do people get around (elevators? trams? vehicles?); what's it like for newcomers when they arrive (visas? security inspections? customs taxes?); and what laws are in place regarding weapons (frowned upon? side-arms only? everyone's got a rocket launcher?). This last issue in particular has proven problematic for a lot of gamers as it goes to varying real-world conceptions of what's normal for urban communities. As a complete aside, I can't help but note that the artwork of the dude on page 43 is *clearly* an intentional likeness of Jon Bernthal from Netflix's The Punisher!

Next up is "Relics of Golarion", a four-page-long collection of new magical items that have historical links to the now-missing planet. The writer clearly knew their Pathfinder lore, as there's a rich evocation of setting elements in the backstory to each item. In terms of actual usefulness, many of the items are too expensive or too high-level to be useful for most PCs, but I liked the falcon boots (allowing a PC to make a sort of personal gravity field so they can walk on walls or ceilings, even in Zero-G) and the (perhaps overpowered) chained weapon fusion which gives any melee weapon the reach property! I liked the section, though as a timing matter I think it was probably too soon and the space should have been devoted to making Starfinder more its own thing instead of tying it so closely to Pathfinder. New readers can be turned off if they feel they can't get the full story without playing an entirely different game.

A bestiary-style "Alien Archives" introduces 7 new creatures, with each receiving a page. The line-up is: akatas, bone troopers, driftdead, garaggakal, rauzhant, vracinea, and void zombies. The artwork is really strong here, though I don't see much in the way of creative ideas here (and a couple of just updates of Pathfinder monsters). Five of the seven appear in the adventure proper, which is a nice way to save word count there.

Finally, there's the "Codex of Worlds", a one-page description of a planet ripe for adventure that's located somewhere outside of the Pact Worlds system. This issue's entry is "Heicoron IV", an ocean planet with rival civilizations. Although they share a common ancestry, one has adopted to living on floating cities while the other has made the depths their home. There's a "first/early contact" situation for explorers. A classic SF concept that could have appeared (budget-willing) on Star Trek. It's not easy to design a world in one-page, but I liked what I saw with Heicoron IV.

The pattern established in this first issue of the AP persists in subsequent issues, with each including a setting element, a bestiary section, some player-facing character options, and a one-page new world. It's worth noting these volumes are also much shorter (just 64 pages each) compared to first edition Pathfinder APs, making them less of a value for the budget-conscious.

SPOILERS! (for the whole AP):

On to the adventure! This starts with a two-page campaign outline that offers the GM a rough idea of what's in store for the entire AP. In short, Dead Suns is going to be a planet-hopping adventure. The PCs start on Absalom Station in Chapter 1, head to Castrovel in Chapter 2, on to the Diaspora in Chapter 3, a gas giant in the Vast in Chapter 4, an artificial moon in Chapter 5, and then a massive Corpse Fleet flagship in Chapter 6. This is an AP meant to show off themes of space travel and exploration, not one about laying down roots or deep involvement with NPCs and communities. The plot itself concerns the lurking danger of an epic superweapon called the Death St--I mean, the Stellar Degenerator--capable of destroying entire worlds. I'll get more into that in reviews of later chapters.

Part 1 of Incident at Absalom Station is "Absalom Gang War." All of the PCs are meant to be new (or returning) visitors to Absalom Station interested in joining the Starfinder Society (an organisation devoted to exploration, scholarship, and first contact). That's a reasonable premise, but I *really* wish Starfinder did AP Player's Guides like Pathfinder does--they make great advertising tools and help players better immerse themselves in a campaign's premise.

Anyway, I think starting a campaign off with some drama and action is a wise choice, and that's what we get here, because the moment the PCs step off their shuttle and into the docking bay, they're caught in a firefight between two rival gangs! The Starfinder agent meant to show the group around (a dwarf named Duravor Kreel) is killed in the crossfire. I joked with my GM for months after because this is done in a heavy-handed way. Instead of Kreel being killed in the opening descriptive text (before the PCs can do anything), he's required to be killed in the first round of Initiative (no matter what the PCs do, and with no attack or damage roll required). But my PC had a rescue plan! Oh well . . .

With Kreel dead and the gang members dispatched (or fled), the PCs will eventually come into contact with the shirren Chiskisk, a higher-ranking member of the Starfinder Society. Chiskisk is concerned that perhaps Kreel's death wasn't simply a "wrong place at the wrong time" situation, and asks the group to investigate his death as a sort of audition to become members of the group. The investigation aspect is handled pretty well, I think, with five different columns for Gather Information results on different topics and lots of room for creative GMs to flavour how (or from whom) the PCs are getting the info. The PCs will quickly understand that the two gangs fighting in the docking bay (the "Downside Kings" and the "Level 21 Crew") were essentially proxies hired by two rival mining companies (the "Hardscrabble Collective" and "Astral Extractions"). The mining companies are enmeshed in a legal dispute over who gets to claim ownership of an asteroid-sized chunk of rock found in the Drift that had been towed back to Absalom Station by a mining survey ship named the Acreon. As all of the crew of the ship were dead on arrival, Absalom Station's authorities have placed the ship and the Drift rock into quarantine some distance from the station.

That info reveals what the gangs (and their mining company employers) were fighting over, but it doesn't yet explain the nature of Duravor Kreel's death. To get more answers, the PCs need to visit each gang's headquarters and see their leader. The adventure handles this part well, with diplomatic and violent approaches accounted for, and some good characterisation of the NPCs. Busting up gang members isn't exactly intergalactic SF action, but every Starfinder has to start somewhere! Assuming their investigation goes well, the PCs should learn that, in fact, Kreel was an intended victim by one of the gangs--he was a board member of the Hardscrabble Collective and so a hit was put out on him by Astral Extractions out of fear he would also get the Starfinder Society involved in the legal dispute. It's a mystery that has a satisfying conclusion, and gives the PCs an early sense of accomplishment.

Part 2 is "Ghost Ship." The PCs have a few days of downtime to explore and establish themselves on Absalom Station--something that's good for role-playing, even if the GM knows they won't be staying there long. They're then invited to a meeting with Ambassador Gevalarsk Nor, the necrovite (a type of undead) ambassador from Eox! Friendly chatting with evil undead is something some players will have difficulty swallowing, but the premise of Starfinder is that Eox is a full member of the Pact Worlds and that although some people find them distasteful or suspicious, they're generally treated decently. It definitely makes for an interesting meeting, as the PCs learn that the ambassador has an offer for them: he wants them to investigate the Acreon and the Drift rock, and report what they find. It turns out that Ambassador Nor is the mediator between the ongoing dispute over who should get to claim the rock. He's willing to pay well, and he offers additional payment if the PCs bring back to him personally a particular container in the ship's hold--though he won't reveal what's in it! I can't argue with a "What's in the box? Don't open the box!" mystery.

Assuming the PCs agree, they'll get their first taste of the game's starship combat rules. The shuttle they've been loaned is attacked by a single-seat interceptor piloted by an android assassin (hired by whichever mining company the PCs seemed most adverse to). I'm on the record as loathing starship combat in Starfinder, but at least this one is quick and easy, and serves as a straightforward introduction of the rules to players new to the game. As is often the case, I am annoyed that whether the PCs win or lose this starship combat, there are no real consequences, as the adventure assumes that the PCs take lifeboats to get on to the Drift rock (I have no idea why this "professional assassin" wouldn't just shoot down their lifeboats, and the adventure provides no explanation either).

Exploring the Acreon plays up to the classic science fiction "ghost ship" trope. The crew are either dead or vanished, and the PCs need to figure out what happened to them. Their investigation is hampered by the fact that some space goblins from Absalom Station broke into the quarantined ship earlier; I like how they can be simple foes to neutralize or made short-term hirelings (my group chose the latter option, because we needed all the help we could get!). The answer to what befell the ship's crew comes pretty quickly: the movie Alien. Here, they're "akatas", but they look and act very similar to Ripley's foes, complete with the egg-laying-in-human-host bit. Frankly, I wouldn't have minded an answer that was more creative and original. On the other hand, the "what's in the box?!" mystery has a great reveal. When I played, our group didn't open it because the Ambassador said not to and we wanted to get paid. But if a group does, they see there's a dead body inside--and the body opens its eyes and speaks! In short, the container contains an undead "bone trooper" who was being smuggled into Absalom Station by Ambassador Nor. This can turn into a combat or a role-playing encounter, but either way I think it's a creepy-fun answer.

Part 3 is "Phantoms of the Drift" and sees the PCs exploring the Drift rock itself. A well-concealed cave leads to a hidden complex of chambers with technology far in advance of what the Pact Worlds has. The PCs won't know this now (and even as a player, I never realised it until preparing this review), but the Drift rock is actually a small sheared-off portion of the Stellar Degenerator itself! While exploring, the PCs have to survive the android assassin who comes after them in person, some zombies (crew members from the Acreon infected by the akatas), a security robot, and more. They'll also be attacked by a driftdead (a new creature from the back matter's bestiary) that was once a space explorer named Moriko Nash--who died 75 years ago! It turns out Nash was the captain of a starship called the Sunrise Maiden that encountered the Drift rock decades before the Acreon. In a touching bit, the PCs find Nash's last recording that details her fate and gives an ominous warning that something is hunting her.

The PCs probably won't have realised it, but once they landed on the Drift rock and started exploring, their shuttle is remotely activated and flies back to Absalom Station, leading them stranded. This is a contrived (and to my mind execrable) excuse to force the PCs to find another way home. Of course, they'll find the Sunrise Maiden in a hangar bay, the ship intended to be their real home for the rest of the campaign (and the subject of the inside front and back cover). But first, they have to deal with what killed the ship's former captain.

The big boss of Incident at Absalom Station is a new monster called a garaggakal. It's a CR5 monster with a bite attack that does 2d6+9 damage, a special "Leech Life" attack that it can use (a limited number of times per day) to instantly do 5d6 damage that it then gains as temporary hit points, and an EAC/KAC high enough that PCs will probably hit it only 25% of the time. Oh, and if PCs barricade themselves in a room somewhere to rest and heal, it can pass through walls to get them! In short, it's a TPK waiting to happen, as evidenced by several posts in the forum. My experience as a player was exactly the same, although the GM took pity on us and had it act in ways that allowed us to eventually beat it. Frankly, I'd rather suffer a TPK than get a pity win. But in any event, placing the garaggakal there was a terrible decision idea by the adventure writer. I guess I can chalk it up to the difficulties with appropriately scaling difficulty in a brand new game, but I feel like just eyeballing what it can do versus what four average Level 2 PCs can do shows it's likely to be a big problem that leaves a sour taste in the mouth moving forward. And that's where the adventure concludes--there's not an epilogue, because the action starts up immediately in the next volume of the AP, right when the PCs leave the Drift rock.

Overall, both as a player and a reader, I felt some disappointment with Incident at Absalom Station. There were some bits I really enjoyed (the investigation and dealing with the ambassador, for example), but the plot afterwards was pretty basic: a ghost ship followed by a space-dungeon crawl that I've seen a million times, in Starfinder Society scenarios and elsewhere. I was hoping that the first AP for the game would really hit things out of the park (like Rise of the Runelords) did for Pathfinder, but that just isn't the case. And the big boss encounter made it clear that the writers' expectations of what an average group can do is not realistic.


Good starting adventure, but not that good intro

3/5

So I'm having bit of problem with these reviews because I'm doing them while running the final book, so by now players' reactions and such isn't super fresh in my mind :p But at least my impressions have had time to age.

The adventures premise of "your contact got killed that ropes you into plot between two factions competing for same thing" and gags involved in it IS interesting.... But have no relevance to rest of the plot at all, so it all feels kind of... Irrelevant?

If Dead Suns is structured like a scifi action adventure movie, this book is essentially pre credit roll intro thing. Like Indiana Jones stea- err finding that golden idol and having it stolen by his evil counterpart. Except instead of lasting 5-10 minutes, it lasts for one sixth of the story.

(that said, actual adventure is fun, I like use of akata and stuff in the drift rock in itself, but its weak overall plotwise when you look at the ap as whole. It does have interesting stuff like potential enemy you can turn to friend and I do like idea of drift rock's discovery setting you up on grand journey. Though this book has several moments of straight up railroading that feels unnecessary or like if it could have been written around differently)

P.S. Gevalarsk Nor is the best npc of this ap. I do find it bit of mixed bag in how its kept secret for gm what his subplot is actually about, but I do like it you can reasonable figure it out by paying close attention through entire ap.


I expected so much more from Paizo then this...

2/5

While I generally do not play published adventures, Incident at Absalom Station is exactly WHY I don't play published adventures.

Without spoiling too much of the plot, IaAS is a railroady, contrived adventure that tries to be a murder-mystery but was written by someone who clearly had no idea how to write a murder-mystery.

The book kicks off with the players being newly recruited Starfinder Society members that arrive only to see their Society contact get gunned down in front of them. What follows is a paint-by-numbers story of corporate intrigue that drags on for much longer then it needs to be. Five minutes of dice rolling and roleplaying, and most intelligent players will have found both the main suspect and the motive. But because the writing is contrived, the party still has to trudge through largely pointless filler and no, you cannot call on the Starfinder Society to help speed things up (remind me why we joined these guys again?)

After the initial mystery resolves itself with an unsatisfying bit of Deus Ex Machina, we get to the second half of the adventure, a fairly standard dungeon crawl. Other then the fact that the encounters as written are not balanced for a standard party of four level two adventurers, this actually isn't all that bad. And yes, there is errata available that makes the dungeon encounters more manageable. That one was on us.

I will not elaborate on the ending other then it is fittingly unsatisfying for an adventure that had little player agency and was horribly contrived almost from the get-go. For a company that had been writing adventures for 14 years before Dead Suns dropped, Paizo's first outing into the Pact Worlds should have been better then this.


Amazing adventure for starting a campaign

5/5

My party and I really loved this module, so far, the best in all the campaign!


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Community & Digital Content Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Now available for preorder! Cover image and description are not final and may vary before release!


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Don't go on the asteroid!


It's real. Quite cool.

Scarab Sages Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Legendary Games

3 people marked this as a favorite.

DANGER, WILL ROBINSON!!!

Sczarni

Bimonthly?

Liberty's Edge

psionichamster wrote:
Bimonthly?

Yeah, what they said. Bimonthly?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

woot

Dark Archive

bimothly = 2/month or every 2 months?

Community & Digital Content Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.

To clear this up: when we say "bi-monthly" on paizo.com, we are referring to "every other month."


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Also only 64 pages instead of 96 apparently.

Owner - Gator Games & Hobby

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Do we know if the 64 pages indicates a lesser page count for adventure or for supplementary info? (or both)

Scarab Sages

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Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Technically, Paizo could shorten the APs. Much of what is being covered after the adventure ends is now being taken care of in the Campaign Settings, Player's Companions and Pathfinder Tales.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Hmm, this AP will have the same "ancient alien weapon" plot as my Starfinder homebrew.

My setting will be called the Alpha Sector. It's divided between three distinct regions: the Core worlds, ruled by the militarist and authoritarian Federation, the Mid-worlds ruled by the democratic and prosperous Republic, and the Outer worlds, an anarchic territory ruled by warlords, pirates, and smugglers. Basically, the players will have to race across the Alpha Sector trying to find components of the alien weapon before the evil Federation admiral Joseph Cain can find them.

Hopefully this campaign will be different enough to where people don't accuse me of ripping it off.

Contributor

Classic scifi scenario, good start!


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Will this be part of a subscription, or do we have to order all Starfinder products individually?


3 people marked this as a favorite.

So hope there will be subscriptions to these also.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

And it's written by Rob McCreary!!

Can't wait!!


THIS IS AWESOME


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wasn't there a new playable alien race supposed to be introduced in every other issue? or did I dream that? 64 pages seems very short


Somewhat interested.


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Leviathan Rising, anyone?


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I would be really happy if the Starfinder Adventure Path subscription turns out to grant Pathfinder Advantage as the Pathfinder Adventure Path subscription does.

Liberty's Edge

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm hopeful that the 64 page mark is an indicator that there is no need to slog through unnecessary filler encounters just to gain experience in order to be an appropriate level. Cut the fat and leave us clean, crisp story with exciting challenges.


Could the "alien weapon" mentioned in the description possibly be the superweapon from Eox?


4 people marked this as a favorite.

64 pages seems very bad and a serious area of concern. When Starfinder was announced the APs were supposed to be using the backmatter to fill in for the lack of a separate campaign setting or player companion line. Now they're shorter than a Pathfinder AP?

Dark Archive

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When can I sign up for a subscription to this?


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Finally, an Absolam based adventure path!!

Heh.

Grand Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Bimonthly.

64 pages.

This feels very tentative.

-Skeld


Was it ever confirmed that Starfinder APs will only be six issues long like the PF APs? Maybe they are trying a different model.

Grand Lodge

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Cthulhudrew wrote:
Was it ever confirmed that Starfinder APs will only be six issues long like the PF APs? Maybe they are trying a different model.

I'm assuming six issues, since it says, "Dead Suns 1of 6" in the page title.

I'm ok with one AP/year for this.

-Skeld


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Skeld wrote:

Bimonthly.

64 pages.

This feels very tentative.

-Skeld

The number of support products makes me lean towards realistic rather than tentative in describing the rate of release.

I'd prefer they err on the side of caution rather than promising the moon and finding themselves falling behind. I daresay the incidence of hysterical giggling/sobbing coming out of Sutter's office has gone up markedly in the last few months.

The Exchange

I need to figure out if this part of the AP subscription or if I will have to wait for the new sub to come out


I'd bet any money there will be a new subscription. It definitely won't be part of the Pathfinder AP.

The safest thing to do is to preorder. In general, if you add a preorder and then a subscription comes out down the track, their system is clever enough to realise that you probably want to cancel your preorder so you won't get it twice.

Grand Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Steve Geddes wrote:
Skeld wrote:

Bimonthly.

64 pages.

This feels very tentative.

-Skeld

The number of support products makes me lean towards realistic rather than tentative in describing the rate of release.

I'd prefer they err on the side of caution rather than promising the moon and finding themselves falling behind. I daresay the incidence of hysterical giggling/sobbing coming out of Sutter's office has gone up markedly in the last few months.

Nah, I get that. It's just a slower delivery model than what they've done with PF.

I'm a little disappointed it isn't 96 pages though, especially given the price tag. Less ambitious page count and lower print volume, I guess.

-Skeld


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No doubt. It did seem to me that intitially they were only going to do the core book and then expand the universe via APs. Now there are books like The Alien Archive (the bestiary-equivalent, I believe) I wonder if they've rejigged the idea and scaled back the AP size accordingly to save content for other products.


Wait, is Robert G McCreary a Space Fantasy pseudonym? Doesn't he usually just use Rob McCreary?

Dark Archive

Cult of Devourer huh. I wonder if thats different from Rovagug... But considering Paizo still keeps using word nihilistic(as nihilist I'm offended xP Well joking aside) it probably is Cult of Rovagug

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Please excuse my incoming skeptical post, I'm incredibly excited about the first Starfinder AP, and am really chomping at the bit to get to know the story and universe that's being built. I do have some concerns and thought I might voice them.

Disclaimer: I don't know about the economy of these products, and the costs involved, nor am I asking Paizo to defend any pricing decisions they have made. /disclaimer

I'd be fine with bimonthly 64 page adventure, but the cost of this book is only about 8% cheaper than the cost of a 94 page book. While being roughly 30% smaller. Then when you consider that there's a bunch of backmatter content, it's not really a 64 page adventure. Looking at the most recent Pathfinder Module "Seers of the Drowned City", the "Appendices" or backmatter start on Page 46, the adventure starts on page 4. Leaving roughly 42 pages of adventure content, and 18 pages of backmatter.

I'm not worried about being shorted adventure content (I'm confident that I can pad and expand adventures myself), I'm worried I'm not going to get enough backmatter! Since it's been stated that the Adventure Paths will be the primary method of delivering new lore, rules and monsters to the setting only 18 pages of backmatter might not be enough to get the job done.

There's an entire universe to explore in Starfinder, and as a GM I thrive on having more content to build and expand on for my players. To make the universe feel lived in rather than roughly scribbled as we go.

So understand that my issues are only coming from a place of being a bit greedy for content and worrying that I won't feel satisfied with the morsels being delivered when I'm hoping for a feast.


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Skeld wrote:
I'm assuming six issues, since it says, "Dead Suns 1of 6" in the page title.

Ha, ha! Alternative facts.

<.< >.>

(Okay, so reading is fundamental. D'OH!)

Dark Archive

My initial reaction to 64 pages for 22.99 was: "No thanks."
But i will definetly buy issue #1 and look how it is.
Lots of previews will be necessary to build up interest and let people know what to expect of this.

The print run will obviously be lower than the one for an established product like Pathfinder (which is in the low quadruple digit numbers - 2,000 minimum, but i estimate it to be around 3,000 for most APs).
For Starfinder it could be 1,000-2,000 for issue #1, definetly lower for issue #6 (1,000 maybe), so a quick sell-out for issue #1 is a possibility.

I think the page count for a 2nd AP (if there will be one) will rise IF the first one sells enough copies.

The price likely won´t go down, but will more likely go up to 24.99 along with the page count from 64 to 96.

To me it is obvious, that this is an experiment which depends on sales numbers.

The decision to remove the creatures from the AP Bestiary (if true) and put them in "The Alien Archive" (where did you hear that, Steve?) would be a mistake imo, as a Bestiary style book should be available earliest after the first AP, even if these books tend to sell very well.

I´m looking forward to Starfinder, even if i strongly doubt it will unseat Pathfinder as my #1 roleplaying game. ;-)


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Marco Massoudi wrote:
The decision to remove the creatures from the AP Bestiary (if true) and put them in "The Alien Archive" (where did you hear that, Steve?) ...

There was a lot of speculation in my comment above.

This was where I first saw James Sutter reference the Alien Archive which I understand to be the bestiary equivalent.

When Starfinder first came out, my impression was we were going to get a CRB plus monthly APs (which would include setting material). Now that APs are going to be bimonthly and 64 pages i was speculating that perhaps that indicated a shift in approach to APs+setting books.

I haven't heard anything official confirming that though - I'm just trying to read the tea leaves.


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Troodos wrote:
Leviathan Rising, anyone?

Leviathan Wakes!


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Here's my two scents on the size of the adventure path. The originals were made so long because they were adding more info that they couldn't fit into the original core rule book. Hopefully they feel they have streamlined the Startin der core rule book to the point where they fit the fluff in there like info on the world's and the gods. All the knowledge that was held in the back of the adventure paths is probably now compacted into the core rules

Grand Lodge

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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Marco Massoudi wrote:

The print run will obviously be lower than the one for an established product like Pathfinder (which is in the low quadruple digit numbers - 2,000 minimum, but i estimate it to be around 3,000 for most APs).

For Starfinder it could be 1,000-2,000 for issue #1, definetly lower for issue #6 (1,000 maybe), so a quick sell-out for issue #1 is a possibility.

Not to drag this off-topic, but...

Spoiler:
It's been stated, in the last year or so, that there are still between 500-1000 charter PF AP subscribers. I think your print run estimate for the PF AP is low.

-Skeld


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

An evil ancient item able to cause death and terror?
Being chased by death cults and undead?
So... its Mummy's Mask in space?


Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

How is it possible that you have a woman with purple hair on the front cover? Isn't Golarion's moon gone with Golarion?

(For anyone who does not understand the questions above: Reference the early 1970s TV show UFO.)


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

It should be noted people already pay 22.99 for campaign setting books, and the module line is 24.99 and also has 64 pages.

Just saying.


captain yesterday wrote:

It should be noted people already pay 22.99 for campaign setting books, and the module line is 24.99 and also has 64 pages.

Just saying.

How dare you use facts and reason, sir?! Do you not know that this is the Internet, where such things have no place? I am most disappointed, especially from a fellow of such exalted rank, most disappointed indeed.


Just telling it how it is.

Silver Crusade

I wonder what this is going to mean for high level Starfinder play. Since they've indicated that all casters are now 6-level casters, I assume that means play will still go to 20th level. But 64-page adventures won't even get to the level 17 of the 96-page Pathfinder adventures.

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