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

Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Sanctioned Content

Incident at Absalom Station is sanctioned for use in Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild.
Download the Dead Suns Adventure Path rules and Chronicle sheets — (462 kb zip/PDF)

Note: This product is part of the Starfinder Adventure Path Subscription.

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Amazing adventure for starting a campaign

5/5

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


Decent but generic

3/5


Ring Side Report- RPG Review of Starfinder Adventure Path #1: Incident at Absalo

4/5

Originally posted at Throat Punch Games, a new idea everyday!

Product- Starfinder Adventure Path #1: Incident at Absalom Station (Dead Suns 1 of 6)
System- Starfinder
Producer-Paizo
Price- $23.00
TL; DR-Not the brightest star, but a decent start. 83%

Basics- ARE YOU READY FOR ADVENTURE!? Incident at Absalom Station kicks off the first Starfinder adventure path. Players step off the ship and into gangland warfare as their contact is gun downed within seconds of seeing him. Why? What dark secrets are at play? Who is involved? Also, this book contains a gazatier on Absolom station, several new monsters, and a whole new world for your players to play in.

Mechanics or Crunch-Ah the intro adventure! What can a level 1 nothing do on their first day? Not much, but LOTS OF SKILL CHECKS! Paizo has a history in their adventure paths of having players do lots of checks to get past those first few levels. This adventure is no different. It’s not bad, but once you get past the first fight, its checks. And, if your party doesn’t have the right checks, then its a slog. Past that its balanced and fun. After the checks, there are some simple space fights to get those mechanics out there, an exploration with some progressive fights to get those mechanics out there, and then we’re off to the next adventure book. Overall it’s balanced, but the standard paint by numbers of a new RPG needs to really get players into the system and teach them the rules can be a bit boring. 4.25/5

Theme or Fluff-Repeat after me-PLAYERS HATE FIGHTS WHERE THE ENEMIES SHOULD RUN AWAY. I’m not talking big bads, I’m talking regular grunts above the player’s level. Players want to KILL! This adventure starts with gang war above the players pay grade, and the players want everyone dead. It’s not supposed to happen, but my players are always EVIL, SPITE-FILLED MONSTERS who must kill EVERYONE! If that describes your players, then as written, they will be mad. For check section I mentioned above, the players need to talk to people, and if your party decides Charisma is for suckers, then that is a SUPER slog as my Cha 10 fighter attempts to talk to people as the -1 to -2 modifier other players hope for 20s to even get the middle of the ground information. Past that first fitful start, it’s a fun adventure as players can find the roles they need and better understand what they should do next. This adventure runs like a train-slow, clunky start but then smooth sailing the rest of the way. 4/5

Execution-PDF? Check! Hyperlinked? NOPE! Why not hyperlink this book? It’s 60+ pages! Next, Starfinder isn’t going to get the 64 page world building books that went with the Pathfinder line. That’s ok, but now my players don’t get as much world building as before as unless I print of sections and hand those out, they players either can read the book or spoil the adventure. The items are nice, the monsters are interesting and have great pictures, and the layout is well done. But, no new races! Part of the fun of Starfinder is if you want to be an intelligent mist, then we got stats for that baby! But, I’m not seeing that here. Throw me a new playable race each mod! There are a few other issues as some things just don’t fit well. The water world of Heicoron IV is ok, but there are no mentions of how I can play either of the races that live there. It feels thrown in. It’s not bad, but reference your other books or give me stats, so I can have a whole adventures with the fish people. This is a good but, but it has some flaws that do knock it down a bit 4.25/5

Summary-I’m ready for more, but I have some notes. Overall, I like what’s here. It’s done well, readable, and a good introduction to the mechanics of the system. The story itself has a few issues, but those issues are part of every adventure path’s start. I have more notes on the new execution of the Starfinder line. I want separate books and changes to how they are produced. New races, new tech in the books, and some focus will help improve this line. Will I get that? Most likely not. But, as a GM running a game, I think this is a good way to get your players rolling dice and understanding how to play Starfinder 83%


Good adventure ... if everyone doesn't die

3/5

There is a lot of good content in this adventure, but some major issues. It does a good job of introducing the setting and gives you a chance to uses some of the unique starfinder rules. The major down side is that there is one fight that is so incredibly hard that it almost guaranteed to kill a PC, if not all of them. Additionally, there is some major rail-roading (see spoiler for details).

Spoiler:
The ambassador gives the PCs a robot to record their exploits. The ambassador then broadcasts the robots footage to Absalom Station to make the PCs celebrities. Many of the PCs may not want to be celebrities, but they don’t get a choice. Even if they disabled the robot early on, the adventure says that the ambassador put a hidden tracking device on the PCs. A tracking device that the PCs never get any kind of check see being planted or find later. This would be forgivable if their celebrity status was a major plot point that needed to happen, but despite a little bit of mention in the beginning of book 2, this plot point is quickly dropped and forgotten.


Classically glamorous + mechanically ambitious = good fun!

5/5

This is a classic sci-fi adventure, with a modern twist towards the end, and perfectly crafted. We just started it and I am enjoying preparing it thoroughly as a GM. My players are loving it, will wait to hear their final impressions on it.
Starfinder is looking daaaam good.

P.s.: I've seen a number of low ratings... I don't understand most of them, they seem to have very weird unmet expectations.


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Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
Sooooooooooo, ** spoiler omitted **

Sounds to me a Player's Guide would have been very handy with this AP...I am starting to think with a lot of people leaving....they lost sight on why the Player's Guides are really important.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I've been thinking of the Core Rulebook as a really big player's guide. It has all the relevant rules and the setting description you need.

Liberty's Edge

3 people marked this as a favorite.
AnimatedPaper wrote:

You've summed up my feelings exactly. That's why I called it a failure point.

[Stuff Deleted]

You are being a little harsh here. Not entirely unfairly perhaps, but still, a little harsh.

Look, when it comes to the definition of "railroady" and its application in SciFi RPGs, you need to take a giant step back, sit on the stool and put your thumb in your mouth a moment and think abut this.

There's a problem with the common definition of "railroad" and its application to SF RPGs. It's this: there are TOO MANY OPTIONS for the PCs; WAY, WAY, WAY, TOO MANY.

This leads to more permissive railroading in the interests of actually playing a frikkin game.

Once you give the PCs a ship and a planet/system/galaxy to explore, there is no longer any horizon of reasonable anticipation that a GM has. If the PCs don't take the hook, the game breaks. Utterly. Into a kazillion pieces. Utterly irretrievably broken. So the game turns into Papers and Paycheques, Piracy in the space lanes, and then a session or three later "How about we just roll up a group of rogues instead?".

Like every other Space Opera game, ever.

This is, in fact, the Primary Rule of all SF Space Opera campaigns ever made since 1974:

THEY DO NOT LAST. EVER. **EVER**

They don't last because the PCs really DO have to take the hook. The social contract at the table over this is just too important in a SF campaign.

And of course it's even worse when there are very few published adventures written for any system. It's not like you have a trove of hundreds of adventures to re-purpose and throw 'em out there on the fly.

No, you've got FA to work with, basically.

So while some of this story-telling can be a little more elegantly managed and GM'd, give Rob McCreary a break. The PCs have to take this hook. There might be *another* hook presented that ends up leading to the same place -- but now we are talking colors of different lures all tied to the same fishing line. That's the hook and you just *got* to take it.

You need to go with it. Accept the premise and all else follows. If you don't? Go play your old Traveller game again.

How'd that work out for you, by the way? Lots of fun, everybody says they love it, yet nobody ever actually plays it? EXACTLY.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
KingOfAnything wrote:
I've been thinking of the Core Rulebook as a really big player's guide. It has all the relevant rules and the setting description you need.

Except for the part Rysky stated...like do not play a

:
undead hunter who really hates undead.

The player's guide are not so much about the mechanics but also the Role-playing as well...


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Stratagemini wrote:
AnimatedPaper wrote:


That's actually ANOTHER failure point that I didn't even think of. ** spoiler omitted **
A competent GM will talk to their players about character creation during Session 0. You don't actually need a Player's guide. They're nice, but not necessary. Like Maps. I wish Starfinder's APs came with Maps like Pathfinder's do...

Sure, but what about incompetent (or, more likely, just new) GMs? Or one on a PbP board?

And yes, the core rulebook is essentially one big players guide for this AP, but it would have been handy to have something small and easily digestible to set expectations, an APs tones, and what kinds of player roles they should be looking to fill.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Stratagemini wrote:
AnimatedPaper wrote:


That's actually ANOTHER failure point that I didn't even think of. ** spoiler omitted **
A competent GM will talk to their players about character creation during Session 0. You don't actually need a Player's guide. They're nice, but not necessary. Like Maps. I wish Starfinder's APs came with Maps like Pathfinder's do...

Perhaps the interactive maps will be sold separately at some point?


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

That or, if long term the market remains there for them, they'll consider making them. I totally get not wanting to wade into waters too deep right off the bat with a new line, but hopefully for next years AP they'll have more freedom.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
John Kretzer wrote:
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
Sooooooooooo, ** spoiler omitted **
Sounds to me a Player's Guide would have been very handy with this AP...I am starting to think with a lot of people leaving....they lost sight on why the Player's Guides are really important.

No, because they just made one for Ruins of Azlant.

It's just that this AP doesn't need one. You want to play an undead-hating undead hunter? Well, nice RP challenge of how does he hate undead 24/7 with Eoxians being civilised (if creepy) pillars of Pact Worlds. You get that in the Core Rulebook, no need for a separate guide.

And I would argue that somebody wanting to play such a character in this setting is a contrarian of the "I want to play a Paladin in Skulls and Shackles" sort and you shouldn't game with him/her :)


Steel_Wind wrote:

Eoxian Ambassador?

** spoiler omitted **...

Uh, not really sure what you were disagreeing with with the first bit, but I don't have a problem with how little or heavily railroaded the AP is. My concerns are what Kretz pointed out,

Spoiler:
working with Eoxians. Which, even if your character doesn't have anything all that against Undead, Eoxians are full on f+@#ing monsters.

Like it be like in Pathfinder if you were operating under the assumption of playing Heros... and then you have to work with people from Okeno.

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
John Kretzer wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
I've been thinking of the Core Rulebook as a really big player's guide. It has all the relevant rules and the setting description you need.

Except for the part Rysky stated...like do not play a ** spoiler omitted **

The player's guide are not so much about the mechanics but also the Role-playing as well...

Spoiler:
The Core Rulebook also says that Eox are full citizens and have representatives on Absalom Station. A character choosing to be a militant Pharasmin should be prepared for the possibility of encountering an undead they cannot kill, both legally and by CR.

Players should be prepared to play in the setting.

Liberty's Edge

Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
Steel_Wind wrote:

Eoxian Ambassador?

** spoiler omitted **...

Uh, not really sure what you were disagreeing with with the first bit, but I don't have a problem with how little or heavily railroaded the AP is. My concerns are what Kretz pointed out, ** spoiler omitted **

Like it be like in Pathfinder if you were operating under the assumption of playing Heros... and then you have to work with people from Okeno.

I'm more concerned with the plausibility of it. But, whatever the concerns, they end up in the same place if you go with my proposed alternate route:

Spoiler:

Your PCs end up on the Acreon, while your concern is avoided, too.

Win-win.


Gorbacz wrote:
John Kretzer wrote:
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
Sooooooooooo, ** spoiler omitted **
Sounds to me a Player's Guide would have been very handy with this AP...I am starting to think with a lot of people leaving....they lost sight on why the Player's Guides are really important.

No, because they just made one for Ruins of Azlant.

It's just that this AP doesn't need one. You want to play an undead-hating undead hunter? Well, nice RP challenge of how does he hate undead 24/7 with Eoxians being civilised (if creepy) pillars of Pact Worlds. You get that in the Core Rulebook, no need for a separate guide.

And I would argue that somebody wanting to play such a character in this setting is a contrarian of the "I want to play a Paladin in Skulls and Shackles" sort and you shouldn't game with him/her :)

Paladins aren't common in the Shackles though. Iomedae, Sarenrae, and Pharasma are core deities of the Pact worlds. That even discounting the Undead thing Eoxians are f#%@ing Evil. Like "broadcast horrific torture and snuff games throughout the Pact worlds" evil.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

@Rysky, I think you're reading a little more Evil into Eox than is presented.

Eox:
"A small number of glory seekers
look to enter the deadly games in the Halls of the Living, a
subterranean city designed specifically for living inhabitants,
where cruel reality shows and competitions are arranged as
entertainment and broadcast through the Pact Worlds."

More like Nidal or Cheliax than Okeno.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Gorbacz wrote:
John Kretzer wrote:
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
Sooooooooooo, ** spoiler omitted **
Sounds to me a Player's Guide would have been very handy with this AP...I am starting to think with a lot of people leaving....they lost sight on why the Player's Guides are really important.

No, because they just made one for Ruins of Azlant.

It's just that this AP doesn't need one. You want to play an undead-hating undead hunter? Well, nice RP challenge of how does he hate undead 24/7 with Eoxians being civilised (if creepy) pillars of Pact Worlds. You get that in the Core Rulebook, no need for a separate guide.

And I would argue that somebody wanting to play such a character in this setting is a contrarian of the "I want to play a Paladin in Skulls and Shackles" sort and you shouldn't game with him/her :)

Yes...because they viewed The Ruins of Azlant player's guide as important because of the mechanics and not the Role-Playing. That is a change of view.

Apparently the Eoxians have game shows where innocent people are killed...I do not know about your definition of civilized is but it is not mine. What if the player is a survivor of Eoxians 'civilization'? That would be a great character concept...just not for this AP.

Sure if after reading the Player's Guide of Skull & Shackles and the player still wants to play a Paladin...boot him/her...but how is a player suppose to know?

There is also the fact that not all players( in the various groups I play with it is about 5%) not going to but the CRB...or any gaming book.


KingOfAnything wrote:

@Rysky, I think you're reading a little more Evil into Eox than is presented.

** spoiler omitted **

My reading of that was that there's a few thrill seekers that willingly go there, but the people living there don't get a choice.

Going back to your other post, does the Core book cover how to deal with them when playing a follower of one of the aforementioned Goddesses and encountering one? Feels like Lethal weapon 2...


2 people marked this as a favorite.
KingOfAnything wrote:
John Kretzer wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
I've been thinking of the Core Rulebook as a really big player's guide. It has all the relevant rules and the setting description you need.

Except for the part Rysky stated...like do not play a ** spoiler omitted **

The player's guide are not so much about the mechanics but also the Role-playing as well...

** spoiler omitted **

Sure...

:
Not killing them and helping them is two different things. I imagine the Undead Hunter would be like a Paladin....they do not go just killing every undead they see...but working with them? That is pushing it.

I mean it could work...but a Player's Guide would have been useful so a player could be at least a little prepared.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
John Kretzer wrote:

Sure...

** spoiler omitted **

I mean it could work...but a Player's Guide would have been useful so a player could be at least a little prepared.

Spoiler:
Working for the appointed ambassador in a matter of diplomacy.

The matter of the small favor is... optional. Worst case, encourage the player to investigate what this shady ambassador is up to in order to discredit them and make the Worlds a less undead place.

From my reading, an undead hunter is a great choice for the rest of the AP, and the inciting incident could be a strong motivation.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
KingOfAnything wrote:
John Kretzer wrote:

Sure...

** spoiler omitted **

I mean it could work...but a Player's Guide would have been useful so a player could be at least a little prepared.

** spoiler omitted **

I do not disagree...I just think this...and probably other things are making me wish they just took the time to do a Player's Guide. I can not stress how those Player's Guides have saved me from a campaign of nothing but frustration as I played a concept that did not work.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
John Kretzer wrote:


Sure if after reading the Player's Guide of Skull & Shackles and the player still wants to play a Paladin...boot him/her...but how is a player suppose to know?

Because it's a campaign about pirates. Law-breaking, unruly criminals. Who kill and torture because they can. Or don't, because they can, too. You cannot imagine a less welcoming non-Evil campaign for a Paladin than one where he is supposed to be part of a criminal gang, work with other criminals and tolerate an almost lawless society of criminals letting other criminals be criminals.

It's obvious. To try make a Paladin in such campaign is to be either utterly clueless as to how humans work or to try and sabotage the game. Neither is something I like at my table.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Gorbacz wrote:
John Kretzer wrote:


Sure if after reading the Player's Guide of Skull & Shackles and the player still wants to play a Paladin...boot him/her...but how is a player suppose to know?

Because it's a campaign about pirates. Law-breaking, unruly criminals. Who kill and torture because they can. Or don't, because they can, too. You cannot imagine a less welcoming non-Evil campaign for a Paladin than one where he is supposed to be part of a criminal gang, work with other criminals and tolerate an almost lawless society of criminals letting other criminals be criminals.

It's obvious. To try make a Paladin in such campaign is to be either utterly clueless as to how humans work or to try and sabotage the game. Neither is something I like at my table.

Okay that is a easy one ...and what about this AP that shouts that somebody who is anti-undead should not be playing? Or at least something to tell them it could cause issues?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
John Kretzer wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
John Kretzer wrote:

Sure...

** spoiler omitted **

I mean it could work...but a Player's Guide would have been useful so a player could be at least a little prepared.

** spoiler omitted **

I do not disagree...I just think this...and probably other things are making me wish they just took the time to do a Player's Guide. I can not stress how those Player's Guides have saved me from a campaign of nothing but frustration as I played a concept that did not work.

The fun thing about kitchen sink settings is that 90% of time you can play any character in any campaign. You can play a desert fire sorcerer in Reign of Winter. A technophobe Barbarian in Iron Gods. A comic character in Strange Aeons. You can play pretty much anything in, say, Shattered Star or Kingmaker.

I'd even argue that for some people, the suggested class/race/archetype advice in Player's Guides are BAD, because they straitjacket these people into playing ONLY the kind of characters that PERFECTLY fit the theme and these people end up FRUSTRATED since they aren't playing a Human Ranger in Ironfang Invasion because they want to, but because they are obsessed with playing a PC that fits the campaign theme, other considerations be damned. I had such people at my table.

If Dead Suns was a campaign where some kind of character was a bad fit, I'm sure that would be telegraphed way ahead and highlighted in the first adventure.

Dark Archive

The AP is obviously not playable as easily with some character concepts as with others.
I think EVERY SINGLE AP needs a players guide to clarify what players can expect and what they should avoid.

But to me personally, it is also clear that everybody working on Starfinder (AND Pathfinder) was under immense deadline pressure and considering that, it is unlucky but very understandable that we didn't get one for this first AP.
I'm hoping and expecting one for the next one though.

Paizo Employee Senior Developer, Starfinder Team

11 people marked this as a favorite.

Regarding Ambassador Nor:

Spoiler:
The primary purpose of the encounter with the Eoxian ambassador is to show that in the Pact Worlds (the assumed setting of Starfinder and therefore, this AP) there are undead creatures who are not automatically "monsters" just because they are undead. In Starfinder, not all undead are evil, and it's much harder to tell if someone, living or undead, is actually, definitively evil. Eoxian citizens, living or undead, have the same rights as any other citizen of the Pact Worlds (as stated in the AP), and if the PCs were able to somehow kill Ambassador Nor, they would be immediately arrested by the Stewards for assassinating a representative to the Pact Council.

If an undead hunter, Pharasmin, or another character has qualms about working with an undead creature, that's a roleplaying consideration that the GM and player will have toe work out. In my opinion, it's the difficult choices that make for the most interesting roleplaying.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
John Kretzer wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
John Kretzer wrote:


Sure if after reading the Player's Guide of Skull & Shackles and the player still wants to play a Paladin...boot him/her...but how is a player suppose to know?

Because it's a campaign about pirates. Law-breaking, unruly criminals. Who kill and torture because they can. Or don't, because they can, too. You cannot imagine a less welcoming non-Evil campaign for a Paladin than one where he is supposed to be part of a criminal gang, work with other criminals and tolerate an almost lawless society of criminals letting other criminals be criminals.

It's obvious. To try make a Paladin in such campaign is to be either utterly clueless as to how humans work or to try and sabotage the game. Neither is something I like at my table.

Okay that is a easy one ...and what about this AP that shouts that somebody who is anti-undead should not be playing? Or at least something to tell them it could cause issues?

Because there's a core assumption of the setting. Look, you don't need a player's guide to tell you that playing a tiefling-slayer character in a vanilla fantasy campaign that has tieflings as a civilised race is something that will be a challenge. Does any Paizo Player's Guide state that playing a tiefling-slayer PC is a risky idea? No. Is it going to be a problem? Well, depends how far are you taking that slaying, is that a professional thing or a personal thing for the PC and how you work out with your GM. If this PC will limit him/herself to snarling at tieflings, refusing to talk to them and gleefully engaging in every combat against tieflings - sure, fine, if she or he will go KILLMAIMBURN the moment they see a N tiefling barkeep - well, you won't go far.

Sovereign Court

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John Kretzer wrote:

Okay that is a easy one ...and what about this AP that shouts that somebody who is anti-undead should not be playing?

I don't think that is necessarily true. In fact, the concept should work pretty well for anyone who is not literally a paladin.

Quote:

Or at least something to tell them it could cause issues?

Players that are inclined to murder sentient creatures on sight are going to cause issues no matter the concept they play.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Robert G. McCreary wrote:

Regarding Ambassador Nor:

** spoiler omitted **

That's rather disconcerting :(

Why was that decided? Or to phrase more accurately

Spoiler:
When did Undead suddenly have the ability to not be Evil?


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

The thing about the Eoxians is that even though they're undead, they're still just people. It's like if all the people of Earth were turned into zombies, sure some are evil but most are just people, do they deserve to be killed just because they're undead? In Pathfinder there was a lot more black and white but as civilization progressed there are more and more grey areas opened up where it's not as straightforward. It probably also has to do with the fact that in PF undead were usually created by evil gods whereas here Eoxians became undead because they had no other choice, so there's an element of intent involved there.

EDIT: We also know that many planets sell their dead to be re-animated on Eox so by the Pathfinder logic any government involved with this should be considered evil, which just shows that the definitions of evil have changed somewhat.

Dark Archive

Good & evil alignments make a lot of sense in a fantasy setting.
In a Sci-Fi setting not so much.
In a Science-Fantasy setting like Starfinder they should probably still exist, but play a lesser role, as most people are neutral, doing some good things and some bad ones in their lives without becoming one or the other irrevocably.


Luke Spencer wrote:

The thing about the Eoxians is that even though they're undead, they're still just people. It's like if all the people of Earth were turned into zombies, sure some are evil but most are just people, do they deserve to be killed just because they're undead? In Pathfinder there was a lot more black and white but as civilization progressed there are more and more grey areas opened up where it's not as straightforward. It probably also has to do with the fact that in PF undead were usually created by evil gods whereas here Eoxians became undead because they had no other choice, so there's an element of intent involved there.

EDIT: We also know that many planets sell their dead to be re-animated on Eox so by the Pathfinder logic any government involved with this should be considered evil, which just shows that the definitions of evil have changed somewhat.

It's not entirely fair to say that they had no choice. I mean, if you gave most paladins a choice between becoming undead or dying, they would choose the latter option.

There's also this.

From Distant Worlds:
It is true that the bone sages of Eox did mostly choose to turn to necromancy for the sake of survival. But a small portion of Eox's inhabitants managed to survive the calamity that took place eons ago by taking shelter in a bunker with it's own atmosphere- the halls of the living (which the friendly bone sages then decided to use for horrible genetic experiments).

Besides, I think it's mentioned that a lot of the bone sages were the same people that made the weapon that destroyed two entire planets and Eox's atmosphere in the same blast. So other options did exist.

For the record, I do like the idea that undead can be non evil aligned. I just think that it really should be the exception rather than the norm, and that the magic of necromancy should still be evil.

Basically, if Pally Dan gets slain by a lich and then gets raised as a wight, I think it makes for an interesting story for someone trying to struggle against a whole slew of foul temptations and desires. Just because he became what he is because of evil doesn't mean that his future actions must be evil.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm very happy that Starfinder puts the "undead = always evil" assumption in the past.


Robert G. McCreary wrote:

Regarding Ambassador Nor:

** spoiler omitted **

Sounds great. Reminds me of one of my favorite settings Eberron. And even in Pathfinder with a lot more black and white it was not always wise to attack any evil person that crossed the path of the group^^


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Gorbacz wrote:
I'm very happy that Starfinder puts the "undead = always evil" assumption in the past.

That's just the problem. In the past Undead were always Evil. And now they're suddenly not.

So either A) something happened on a cosmological scale that caused this to occur, something to do with the Gap?

Or B) Undead have always been able to not be Evil, which it a retcon that has an uncountable amount of implications and repercussions for the entirety of the Golarion universe and timelines.


Sara Marie wrote:
If you preordered AP #1 and are now (after July 27th) subscribing, ping customer service.

This describes me, unsure what 'ping' means!


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Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
jack ferencz wrote:
Sara Marie wrote:
If you preordered AP #1 and are now (after July 27th) subscribing, ping customer service.
This describes me, unsure what 'ping' means!

Either e-mail customer service at the address at the bottom of the page, or make a new thread in the Customer Service forum asking them to mark your preorder copy as a subscription.

Grand Lodge

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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Undead are people, too.

-Skeld


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Skeld wrote:

Undead are people, too.

-Skeld

People are monsters, too.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Aboleths did it.


Joana wrote:
jack ferencz wrote:
Sara Marie wrote:
If you preordered AP #1 and are now (after July 27th) subscribing, ping customer service.
This describes me, unsure what 'ping' means!
Either e-mail customer service at the address at the bottom of the page, or make a new thread in the Customer Service forum asking them to mark your preorder copy as a subscription.

thanks :)


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Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
I'm very happy that Starfinder puts the "undead = always evil" assumption in the past.

That's just the problem. In the past Undead were always Evil. And now they're suddenly not.

So either A) something happened on a cosmological scale that caused this to occur, something to do with the Gap?

Or B) Undead have always been able to not be Evil, which it a retcon that has an uncountable amount of implications and repercussions for the entirety of the Golarion universe and timelines.

I've checked the rules for the undead creature type in the Pathfinder RPG Bestiary. Nothing in there says undead have to be evil. In fact non-evil undead have been explicitly featured in Paizo products, such as Ordelia Whilwren, a chaotic good ghost cleric of Desna (Undead Unleashed, p. 37).


Zaister wrote:
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
I'm very happy that Starfinder puts the "undead = always evil" assumption in the past.

That's just the problem. In the past Undead were always Evil. And now they're suddenly not.

So either A) something happened on a cosmological scale that caused this to occur, something to do with the Gap?

Or B) Undead have always been able to not be Evil, which it a retcon that has an uncountable amount of implications and repercussions for the entirety of the Golarion universe and timelines.

I've checked the rules for the undead creature type in the Pathfinder RPG Bestiary. Nothing in there says undead have to be evil. In fact non-evil undead have been explicitly featured in Paizo products, such as Ordelia Whilwren, a chaotic good ghost cleric of Desna (Undead Unleashed, p. 37).

Ghosts are the exception, not the standard.

Also while Bestiary 1 is setting Neutral in the universe of Golarion Undead are Evil, out of all the Undead published compare how many that are Evil to how many are not.

I'm wanting to know how/why they are suddenly have more freedom in their alignment.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
[...] in the universe of Golarion Undead are Evil [...]

Can you cite a rules text that actually says that?

Sovereign Court

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Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
I'm very happy that Starfinder puts the "undead = always evil" assumption in the past.

That's just the problem. In the past Undead were always Evil. And now they're suddenly not.

So either A) something happened on a cosmological scale that caused this to occur, something to do with the Gap?

Or B) Undead have always been able to not be Evil, which it a retcon that has an uncountable amount of implications and repercussions for the entirety of the Golarion universe and timelines.

My guess is that what we consider undead has expanded to include creatures that were previously impossible. A blend of technology and magic that can attract a soul into an otherwise lifeless body without damaging said soul? Some undead might be closer to a bio-magical construct than skeletons and zombies of yesteryear.

@Zaister, it is setting text, not rules text that affirms undead are evil on Golarion.

Dark Archive

Zaister wrote:
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
I'm very happy that Starfinder puts the "undead = always evil" assumption in the past.

That's just the problem. In the past Undead were always Evil. And now they're suddenly not.

So either A) something happened on a cosmological scale that caused this to occur, something to do with the Gap?

Or B) Undead have always been able to not be Evil, which it a retcon that has an uncountable amount of implications and repercussions for the entirety of the Golarion universe and timelines.

I've checked the rules for the undead creature type in the Pathfinder RPG Bestiary. Nothing in there says undead have to be evil. In fact non-evil undead have been explicitly featured in Paizo products, such as Ordelia Whilwren, a chaotic good ghost cleric of Desna (Undead Unleashed, p. 37).

The fact that the only "creature type" in the Bestiary that has an Alignment entry is "animal" (always neutral), supports that all others (with the exception of mindless creatures) can be of any alignment.

On the other hand, all 15 sample creature undead (even ghost) are evil...


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
KingOfAnything wrote:
@Zaister, it is setting text, not rules text that affirms undead are evil on Golarion.

But where does it actually say that? Maybe we're just inferring that.


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Zaister wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
@Zaister, it is setting text, not rules text that affirms undead are evil on Golarion.
But where does it actually say that? Maybe we're just inferring that.

I don't know a specific book of the top of my head, but James Jacobs, the creative director of the original setting, has repeatedly confirmed that Undead are always Evil in the universe of Golarion barring few exceptions.


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This is a quote from Owen from the Q&A currently happening on Reddit.

Quote:

Me: Is necromancy (specifically, creating zombies, skeletons, or other forms of undead) still an evil act in Starfinder?

Owen: Not automatically. It certainly can be, and lots and lots of undead are evil. But it's not universal, and there might well be gray-area cases where there's a non-evil justification for creating undead. It's just not the way to place your bets.

I have mixed thoughts on it, but in general it's something I can work with in my games.


Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
I'm very happy that Starfinder puts the "undead = always evil" assumption in the past.

That's just the problem. In the past Undead were always Evil. And now they're suddenly not.

So either A) something happened on a cosmological scale that caused this to occur, something to do with the Gap?

Or B) Undead have always been able to not be Evil, which it a retcon that has an uncountable amount of implications and repercussions for the entirety of the Golarion universe and timelines.

While I do not like it necessary...there is also

C) This is not the same universe as PF Golarion...it is alternate universe with some changes to things...

That is what I am telling myself at any rate when in the past undead were Always Evil...and you could wear more the two magic items...etc.

Liberty's Edge

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Zaister wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
@Zaister, it is setting text, not rules text that affirms undead are evil on Golarion.
But where does it actually say that? Maybe we're just inferring that.

By the combination of these two effects:

Firstly

To cast the spell animate undead or create undead, the descriptor for the spell is always School necromancy [evil].

The rules of the game say that no matter the intent of the caster, the casting of the spell itself blights the aura of the caster, such that his or her alignment always shifts towards evil by casting it. It is an intrinsically evil act, no matter the intent.

You can find millions of pixels on EnWorld, the Paizo Message Boards and Facebook -- (not to mention rec.games.advocacy.frpg) discussing this or variants thereof, going back to the origins of the game and the Internet itself. It is not without controversy, but that's the basic effect. It's evil to do it, no matter the ends one is attempting to justify with those means. That's the orthodox, majority view. There has been (and is now) a spirited, more nuanced dissent from this gameist ruling.

Secondly,

Detect Evil operates differently on Undead and Outsiders. Undead are tied to the Negative Plane and they may be detected as intrinsically evil, no matter what they are thinking or contemplating:

Aura Power

An evil aura’s power depends on the type of evil creature or object that you’re detecting and its HD, caster level, or (in the case of a cleric) class level; see the table below. If an aura falls into more than one strength category, the spell indicates the stronger of the two.

Creature/Object Aura Power
None Faint Moderate Strong Overwhelming

Aligned Undead (HD) — 2 or lower 3-8 9-20 21 or higher

This suggests that undead are invariably evil. And in the Bestiary, they are.

Now, this may suit the purposes of a black/white FRPG rather well. It is perhaps of less utility in discussing the more sophisticated moral theories and ethical approaches of a future advanced society.

It is also possible that the future advanced society has re-evaluated its approach to defining "evil", whereas the spell might not have changed at all. So that the gods might have a different interpretation of this than humanity now does.

Moral relativism where humans have the last word? Perhaps.

But the Starfinder Core Rulebook goes further than this. And it allows us to escape from the Pathfinder world view with another method.

Detect Evil no longer is present within the Starfinder Core Rulebook as a spell. It's GONE. No ability for it either that I can see. It's GONE too.

Similarly, for example, animate dead no longer has the evil spell descriptor.

I suggest to you that this is not an accident and in it lies the heart of the concern - and how Starfinder resolves it. Yes, the game HAS been changed so that Undead are no longer necessarily evil.

Are the Undead still all evil? Maybe. But how would you know, for sure? There is no spell for it anymore. Just the ravings of some priest and the rantings of another. Who is right? Ask the philosophers, they each have different answers.

Nobody really knows any more. There is no objective answer.

That's why the spell has been removed from the game. Time to think about this with a bit more of a grown-up and nuanced world view. There is no objective answer to this anymore. That is a deliberate change.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So there's an easy way to explain as to why Undead are not always evil anymore.

You're the GM and you decide why.

All that is known, is that in the assumed setting of Starfinder undead are not always evil, and Eox and its citizens have the same rights as any other free people in the Pact Worlds.

So if your player has a prejudice against the undead, take a page from Terry Pratchett's book: "Undead yes! Un-people no!"

There's plenty of people that assume Androids are going to rise-up and overthrow their non-synthetic oppressors.

There's undead who believe that Pharasmins are zealots who would see all undead destroyed simply for existing. Even though said Eoxian is a humble asteroid miner, who's undead necrology allows him to mine asteroids without so much expensive life-support.

By moving alignment to a descriptor based on the individual attitude of any free-thinking being is good. Because Science Fantasy should allow for a wider scope of philosophical difference.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

Hmm an interesting take on undead for sure and id be on board however they make exceptions in the form of planar beings. Pg 25 states so. Beings from Hell are indeed evil because they literally are manifestations of evil. So either the power of animate dead no longer pulls from the negative energy / shadow plane or they are indeed evil.. kind of a strange. Eox can still be a evil society and still be part of the pact world. Governments make exceptions all the time in the interest of peace. it would be interesting to hear if non evil undead was the actual intent or is it the case that they are simply tolerated because whatever pacts / treaties created in the interest of peace require that they are tolerated in most circumstances.

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