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).

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5/5


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.


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David knott 242 wrote:

The timeline of the setting is important for judging the undead Eoxians.

41 AG: Absalom Pact is signed. At this point, the Eoxians become allied with all other races in their solar system.

291 AG: The Swarm attack both the Pact Worlds and the Veskarium. The Vesk (hostile since 36 AG) become allied with the Pact Worlds.

317 AG: Present day.

So the Eoxians have been reliable allies of the non-evil Pact Worlds races for over two (nearly three) centuries, while the Vesk have been allies for only a quarter century or so -- but nobody is talking about attacking Vesk on sight, even though there are probably more people in setting who are willing to do that than there are people who would smite Eoxians on sight.

As a point of comparison, I cannot think of any real world nations who have been allies for as long as the Eoxians and the other Pact Worlds planets have been.

Vesk aren't monsters though.

And we don't know all the events between the Pact signing and now so "reliable" allies could be debatable.

Dark Archive

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Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
Shisumo wrote:
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
Well until we get some examples or write ups of Undead not doing that, its a very safe bet.

Safe bets don't hold up well in a court of law.

This "problem," such as it is, isn't unique to Starfinder. Ever have a paladin go to Geb?

The problem here is that "it's evil, I smite it," is the easy way out. It doesn't take any thought. But Good isn't about taking the easy path. It's about taking the hard one. You can fiercely oppose the efforts of a law-abiding evil... but if you want to keep your paladin-hood, you have to do so lawfully yourself. (Or get proof that they aren't actually law-abiding. That works too.) Just smiting them for existing, though, is an effective way to fall. Not necessarily by committing an evil act, but by having your alignment shift to NG or even CG.

I haven't mentioned anything about Paladins, or Good for that matter.

I don't have a problem with Eoxians cause they're Evil, I have a problem with them cause they're Monsters.

And you don't have to abide an Evil nation's laws to stay a Paladin, there's multiple mentions in lore of Paladin strike teams going to Geb to slay Undead. A Paladin would not fall for slaying an Undead in Geb just because it happens to be illegal in Geb. A Paladin follows legitimate authority, not whatever authority or laws of the land they find themselves in.

** spoiler omitted **

I just wanted to say thanks for the review. It was short, but good. ;-)


Oh thank you, glad to be of assistance ^w^


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Technically, everything is a monster in Pathfinder. That's what spells like charm monster and dominate monster have taught me, anyways.


I never said kill them on sight cause the are Undead, I said it's safe bet they're involved in something Evil due to how Eox is.

And just because you can play something doesn't make it not be a monster.

*reads Haan entry*

Nothing really monstrous about them.


I mean I think it's fair to be suspicious of Eoxians in general but I'm saying that there's no reason to be any more suspicious of an Eoxian than there is to be suspicious of a Vesk. I'm also not saying that something being playable makes it not a monster, I'm saying that monsters aren't inherently bad. The Eoxians are untrustworthy because they're bad people not because they're undead. Saying you don't trust something because it's a monster in Starfinder is discounting a large number of the Pact Worlds races as untrustworthy which doesn't seem like a smart move in such a diverse setting.


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What kind of monster are we talking about here? Morally monstrous or physically monstrous?


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Puts on analogy cap.

How about this analogy, you wouldn't punch everyone walking down the street wearing a [redacted] 2016 pin, hat or shirt. You might want to, but wouldn't, because that's just not what good people do.

The trick is to get them to hit first. :-)


Robert G. McCreary wrote:

Regarding Ambassador Nor:

** spoiler omitted **

Rob,

Can you answer one thing about the good Ambassador:

SPOILER:
--Is removing him going to negatively affect future books in the AP? Does his initial relationship with the PCs in this volume play an important role after this point?]


Luke Spencer wrote:
What kind of monster are we talking about here? Morally monstrous or physically monstrous?

Morally. It's not what they look like, it's that they are a full on monster by being Undead.

They're not Humanoids or... okay how the f@$% are Haan Monstrous Humanoids?

Back to point, Eoxians are Monsters. Undead are Monsters. But beyond it's everything they do or approve of that makes them monsters.


Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
Luke Spencer wrote:
What kind of monster are we talking about here? Morally monstrous or physically monstrous?

Morally. It's not what they look like, it's that they are a full on monster by being Undead.

They're not Humanoids or... okay how the f$&* are Haan Monstrous Humanoids?

Back to point, Eoxians are Monsters. Undead are Monsters. But beyond it's everything they do or approve of that makes them monsters.

Okay I've misunderstood this whole thing. I still like the change because now intelligent undead aren't by definition monsters, though we've not seen it yet, it's now possible to have undead that are just nice, normal people (and if undead become playable at any point it's the first character I'm gonna make.)

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

Not every bone sage is a reality-show producer. You or I are not morally complicit for The Bachelor, and we shouldn't hold the dear ambassador as responsible for his planet's entertainment industry.


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Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
Luke Spencer wrote:
What kind of monster are we talking about here? Morally monstrous or physically monstrous?

Morally. It's not what they look like, it's that they are a full on monster by being Undead.

They're not Humanoids or... okay how the f%** are Haan Monstrous Humanoids?

Back to point, Eoxians are Monsters. Undead are Monsters. But beyond it's everything they do or approve of that makes them monsters.

Eoxians pay taxes.

Everything Eoxians do is evil.

Therefore, taxes = evil.

QED


KingOfAnything wrote:
Not every bone sage is a reality-show producer. You or I are not morally complicit for The Bachelor, and we shouldn't hold the dear ambassador as responsible for his planet's entertainment industry.

He's an ambassador, meaning he works for Eox' government and has their interests in mind.

Dead Suns spoilers:
And he's also most likely an antagonist later on, or related to them in some fashion.

Sovereign Court Starfinder Creative Lead

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Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
Luke Spencer wrote:
What kind of monster are we talking about here? Morally monstrous or physically monstrous?

Morally. It's not what they look like, it's that they are a full on monster by being Undead.

They're not Humanoids or... okay how the f%%& are Haan Monstrous Humanoids?

Back to point, Eoxians are Monsters. Undead are Monsters. But beyond it's everything they do or approve of that makes them monsters.

Except in Starfinder, they're not. Most Eoxians are undead. Most undead are monsters. But not all undead Eoxians are monsters. That is a core assumption of the default Starfinder setting. Of course, anyone can change whatever they want in their games, but in official sources, that's the story, so definitive statements that "Eoxians are monsters" is false.

Later Dead Suns AP Spoiler

Spoiler:
All of the undead in volume 1 may be evil, but when the PCs go to Eox in volume 3, they will most definitely meet some non-evil undead Eoxians. They also meet some undead monsters on Eox, but there are a number of undead bureaucrats, shopkeepers, factory workers, and the like who are just trying to make a(n) (un)living.

Sovereign Court Starfinder Creative Lead

ENHenry wrote:
Robert G. McCreary wrote:

Regarding Ambassador Nor:

** spoiler omitted **

Rob,

Can you answer one thing about the good Ambassador:

** spoiler omitted **

Spoiler:
Ambassador Nor does have a role to play later, but he doesn't appear in person again after the beginning of the second adventure. He's more of a background figure that arranges some plot points, and certain events can have different outcomes depending on how the PCs dealt with him at the beginning of the campaign.

He could likely be removed without too much trouble, but it would require some adjustments to the story.


Yeah I can't really defend the ambassador that much but I don't think it'd be unreasonable for there to be Eoxian undead who were just normal, non-evil people, probably a non-negligible number I'd imagine. At the end of the day any large enough sample of people is gonna have a mixed bag of personalities and I doubt the Eoxians are an exception to that.

EDIT: Ninja'd by the devs


Can we move the undead are evil discussion to another thread? Thanks!


Robert G. McCreary wrote:
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
Luke Spencer wrote:
What kind of monster are we talking about here? Morally monstrous or physically monstrous?

Morally. It's not what they look like, it's that they are a full on monster by being Undead.

They're not Humanoids or... okay how the f%%& are Haan Monstrous Humanoids?

Back to point, Eoxians are Monsters. Undead are Monsters. But beyond it's everything they do or approve of that makes them monsters.

Except in Starfinder, they're not. Most Eoxians are undead. Most undead are monsters. But not all undead Eoxians are monsters. That is a core assumption of the default Starfinder setting. Of course, anyone can change whatever they want in their games, but in official sources, that's the story, so definitive statements that "Eoxians are monsters" is false.

Later Dead Suns AP Spoiler
** spoiler omitted **

Thank you for commenting, actually showing non-monstrous/non-Evil Eoxians would go a long ways yes.

Scarab Sages

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
Shooting someone, because they most likely are involved in something evil, is never a good reason not even in Pathfinder with a more black and white look. Whats coming next, he looked evil?
Uh, yeah it is. There's several parts of APs where you are retaliating/preemptively going after Evil groups. This is the whole point of book 2 of Rise of the Runelords, going after the Skinsaw Cult.

Except there, You know that they were actively involved in Evil.

Spoiler:
By the time you go after them, you know that they murdered a man just to turn him into and undead serial killer that murdered people in Sandpoint as part of a ritual for their cause, caused an outbreak of Ghouls and Ghasts, and stalked a PC. And that they helped someone cover up the murder of his wife.

Basically, you know that the Skinsaw cult is both super evil and committing horrific crimes by the time you go after them.

Compared to that? The Ambassador is basically a saint (at least in volume 1 anyway).


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Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Come to think of it, many humans (or humanoids) are monsters, too. And that probably includes PCs.


Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
Shisumo wrote:
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
Well until we get some examples or write ups of Undead not doing that, its a very safe bet.

Safe bets don't hold up well in a court of law.

This "problem," such as it is, isn't unique to Starfinder. Ever have a paladin go to Geb?

The problem here is that "it's evil, I smite it," is the easy way out. It doesn't take any thought. But Good isn't about taking the easy path. It's about taking the hard one. You can fiercely oppose the efforts of a law-abiding evil... but if you want to keep your paladin-hood, you have to do so lawfully yourself. (Or get proof that they aren't actually law-abiding. That works too.) Just smiting them for existing, though, is an effective way to fall. Not necessarily by committing an evil act, but by having your alignment shift to NG or even CG.

I haven't mentioned anything about Paladins, or Good for that matter.

I don't have a problem with Eoxians cause they're Evil, I have a problem with them cause they're Monsters.

And you don't have to abide an Evil nation's laws to stay a Paladin, there's multiple mentions in lore of Paladin strike teams going to Geb to slay Undead. A Paladin would not fall for slaying an Undead in Geb just because it happens to be illegal in Geb. A Paladin follows legitimate authority, not whatever authority or laws of the land they find themselves in.

** spoiler omitted **

It depends on the Paladin.

A Paladin of Abadar, or perhaps even Serenrae would likely be backhanded by their god for even thinking of doing that. One of Iomedae might be given more leniency simply because of factors involved with the undead that make them a hassle regardless of if they're good or not. (For example, being disease ridden and their hunger for the living. Or perhaps, the fact that they pervert some kind of celestial mandate for their final destination.)

There are of course, other factors considered for "godless" Paladins, especially if they're not explicitly undead hunters. Namely, if they're in a place of "legitimate authority" that says that ALL law abiding citizen's rights are to be respected within their boundaries; if not for the sake of the citizen, then for the sake of business, order and peace of mind for the other citizens present... Then the paladin would likely put some weight into those latter justifications for that law, even if they disagree with the law itself.

Overall, you need to consider whether the character you're playing is reasonable or not.

If they're reasonable, then even if they hate the guy's guts, or find his kind to be monsters... They're still going to do what he's asking, if not because he asked, then because it just HAPPENS to be the right thing to do regardless. (Assuming they're good.)

... Of course, even if they're Neutral (or evil), they may "pretend" to go along with what the ambassador is asking for, just to find out what they really want... So they can SMASH IT! And deprive them of whatever personal value they hoped to gain.

If they're unreasonable... Then they're going to be cuffed by the police/security the moment they make a move within the station... Or killed by the ambassador BECAUSE HE'S A CR 12 MONSTER!

(He said, having previously seen an OP party at Level 12 beat a CR 26 Kaiju.)

In a cyberpunk game... Taking out a Lich even with zero justification might be normal; even if they're otherwise good in all other circumstances.

That said... I've heard a lot of "GM/Player advice" channels not so subtly discouraging that behaviour. I'm not sure whether or not I agree with them, but its worth mentioning that not every group or GM will appreciate that behaviour.

Zaister wrote:
Come to think of it, many humans (or humanoids) are monsters, too. And that probably includes PCs.

"What is a human? A miserable bundle of secrets and lies!"

But seriously, sometimes things are called monsters even when they're literally angels.

In Digimon; Angemon, a "Digital Monster", who is a literal Angel, is a "monster".

Then there's monster hunters, monster tamers... What does monster mean again? Is it a moral judgement or just a statement of something being am abnormal supernatural entity?


Brother Fen wrote:
Sold out already? Well done, Paizo.

Agreed, Bravo. But will more be printed soon for those people who didn't preorder?


Quote:
Stratagemini wrote:
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
Shooting someone, because they most likely are involved in something evil, is never a good reason not even in Pathfinder with a more black and white look. Whats coming next, he looked evil?
Uh, yeah it is. There's several parts of APs where you are retaliating/preemptively going after Evil groups. This is the whole point of book 2 of Rise of the Runelords, going after the Skinsaw Cult.

Except there, You know that they were actively involved in Evil. ** spoiler omitted **

Basically, you know that the Skinsaw cult is both super evil and committing horrific crimes by the time you go after them.

Compared to that? The Ambassador is basically a saint (at least in volume 1 anyway).

You know he was in contact with them but you don't know they were behind his transformation, or at least our group didn't find out that piece of information.


Luna Protege wrote:
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
Shisumo wrote:
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
Well until we get some examples or write ups of Undead not doing that, its a very safe bet.

Safe bets don't hold up well in a court of law.

This "problem," such as it is, isn't unique to Starfinder. Ever have a paladin go to Geb?

The problem here is that "it's evil, I smite it," is the easy way out. It doesn't take any thought. But Good isn't about taking the easy path. It's about taking the hard one. You can fiercely oppose the efforts of a law-abiding evil... but if you want to keep your paladin-hood, you have to do so lawfully yourself. (Or get proof that they aren't actually law-abiding. That works too.) Just smiting them for existing, though, is an effective way to fall. Not necessarily by committing an evil act, but by having your alignment shift to NG or even CG.

I haven't mentioned anything about Paladins, or Good for that matter.

I don't have a problem with Eoxians cause they're Evil, I have a problem with them cause they're Monsters.

And you don't have to abide an Evil nation's laws to stay a Paladin, there's multiple mentions in lore of Paladin strike teams going to Geb to slay Undead. A Paladin would not fall for slaying an Undead in Geb just because it happens to be illegal in Geb. A Paladin follows legitimate authority, not whatever authority or laws of the land they find themselves in.

** spoiler omitted **

It depends on the Paladin.

A Paladin of Abadar, or perhaps even Serenrae would likely be backhanded by their god for even thinking of doing that. One of Iomedae might be given more leniency simply because of factors involved with the undead that make them a hassle regardless of if they're good or not. (For example, being disease ridden and their hunger for the living. Or perhaps, the fact that they pervert some kind of celestial mandate for their final destination.)

There are of course, other factors considered for "godless" Paladins,...

... Sarenrites are all about slaying Undead.

Liberty's Edge

Captain Kuro wrote:
Brother Fen wrote:
Sold out already? Well done, Paizo.
Agreed, Bravo. But will more be printed soon for those people who didn't preorder?

I don't remember if any has ever AP got a reprint (well, except for the hardcovers, that I believe won't be a thing in SF)

Liberty's Edge

Any info on the PC's ship?

Dark Archive

Paladinosaur wrote:
Captain Kuro wrote:
Brother Fen wrote:
Sold out already? Well done, Paizo.
Agreed, Bravo. But will more be printed soon for those people who didn't preorder?
I don't remember if any has ever AP got a reprint (well, except for the hardcovers, that I believe won't be a thing in SF)

There WILL be a reprint for AP #1 (called backorder), but it will probably arrive after AP #2 ships (october), so in november earliest.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Paladinosaur wrote:
Captain Kuro wrote:
Brother Fen wrote:
Sold out already? Well done, Paizo.
Agreed, Bravo. But will more be printed soon for those people who didn't preorder?
I don't remember if any has ever AP got a reprint (well, except for the hardcovers, that I believe won't be a thing in SF)

They've said that they plan to reprint them and have new stock ready in a matter of months. There's even a way for subscribers to get the cost of the PDF refunded, if they subscribe but don't want to wait for the shipment to get their PDF. Check the New Releases Thread of the Customer Service forums.


Paladinosaur wrote:
Any info on the PC's ship?

Not much to be said without spoiling the AP but you get a medium ship by the end of the 1st book.

Dark Archive

By the way: "Starfinder Flip-Mat: Basic Starfield" has sold out, but will be reprinted in a few months.


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Reg Shoe would have a lot of opinions about this thread

Community & Digital Content Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Removed an overly hyperbolic post. Jesting about physical harm or death of others really does not belong here.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
You know he was in contact with them but you don't know they were behind his transformation, or at least our group didn't find out that piece of information.

It's all in the note to him. They instructed him on the Murder ritual, and it's just shy of outright stated that they killed him and turned him into the Ghast he is.

Were you playing the collector's edition? That's what I was GMing. Might be a change there.

Anyway. We're getting a bit off topic. We should probably stick to Starfinder AP 1 Module one rather than Pathfinder AP 1 Module 2.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I would like to point out that Rysky's confusion about undead = monsters is very valid one :P I mean, apparently in Starfinder undead =/= automatically a monster, but Pathfinder does have that type of stuff in it so this brings another question about differences between Starfinder and Pathfinder that would have been nice to find out.

Like, for example, goblins, kobolds, etc, are treated as monsters/pest you normal town guards would kill without giving a crap. Do goblins have more of "person" rights in Starfinder? Is killing a space goblin now a murder?

BTW, speaking of space goblins :
I find it hilarious you get more exp for getting successfully those two goblins off station alive. I dunno if it meant to be "your good deed of the day" award, but I want to assume its only because its much harder to get them out alive than killing them because they are likely to kill themselves accidentally. Also, I noticed those two goblins genuinely try to help PCs out(in their destructive way), so apparently Space Goblins are less "lol kill everything CE" even though they are still E?


CorvusMask wrote:

I would like to point out that Rysky's confusion about undead = monsters is very valid one :P I mean, apparently in Starfinder undead =/= automatically a monster, but Pathfinder does have that type of stuff in it so this brings another question about differences between Starfinder and Pathfinder that would have been nice to find out.

Like, for example, goblins, kobolds, etc, are treated as monsters/pest you normal town guards would kill without giving a crap. Do goblins have more of "person" rights in Starfinder? Is killing a space goblin now a murder?

** spoiler omitted **

From First Contact it seems likely that goblins have at least some basic rights, enough to not be enslaved or killed on sight at least. Though they do seem to still be troublemakers and I don't think anyone would ask too much if a goblin got shot.


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

That reminds me of a basic mistake that I think people in the Starfinder setting are likely to make: thinking that Goblins have a type of "Vermin" instead of the correct "Humanoid".


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Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:

I don't have a problem with Eoxians cause they're Evil, I have a problem with them cause they're Monsters.

Direct quote from Incident at Absalom Station:
"Although many sentient species find them disturbing, the elebrians are not considered “monsters,” at least in polite society. Eox is a full signatory to the Pact, and its undead inhabitants are equal citizens of the Pact Worlds."

The setting is the setting. Personally, this is how I've always run Golarion, so I love all this added Eox lore. If it doesn't work for your table, just adjust for what works for your group.


Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:


They're not Humanoids or... okay how the f@## are Haan Monstrous Humanoids?.

Have you seen The Fly?


Xenocrat wrote:
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:


They're not Humanoids or... okay how the f@## are Haan Monstrous Humanoids?.
Have you seen The Fly?

That thing was made from a human.


The Sunrise Maiden Starship map has an inconsistent grid (at least the PDF version does), just like other Starfinder maps I have received in PDF format. This will hopefully change on future products, as my Pathfinder products do not have this problem.

Why does it matter? It GREATLY increases my prep time for setting up maps for my online tabletop format if I can't just line up a grid over the map due to pixel increases/decreases for each row/column.


Joseph Wilson wrote:
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:

I don't have a problem with Eoxians cause they're Evil, I have a problem with them cause they're Monsters.

** spoiler omitted **

The setting is the setting. Personally, this is how I've always run Golarion, so I love all this added Eox lore. If it doesn't work for your table, just adjust for what works for your group.

When I say Monster I don't mean wild beast out of a Bestiary, I mean someone or thing that is monstrous in actions or thought. Hopefully part 3 alleviates that concern.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

They abide by the Pact Worlds' list of universal rights for sentient creatures. So, I still don't see how they qualify as monstrous.

CRB, Entertainment:
The most popular of these latter are inevitably Eox’s blood-soaked reality broadcasts, constantly decried by censors but never actually crossing the line into illegality.


KingOfAnything wrote:
They abide by the Pact Worlds' list of universal rights for sentient creatures. So, I still don't see how they qualify as monstrous.

How they came to be, what they did to the Twins, the torture games they broadcast throughout the Pact worlds.


KingOfAnything wrote:

They abide by the Pact Worlds' list of universal rights for sentient creatures. So, I still don't see how they qualify as monstrous.

** spoiler omitted **

Then that shows how messed up the definition of what all is "legal" in the Pact Worlds is.


Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:

They abide by the Pact Worlds' list of universal rights for sentient creatures. So, I still don't see how they qualify as monstrous.

** spoiler omitted **
Then that shows how messed up the definition of what all is "legal" in the Pact Worlds is.

I imagine consentual bloodsports are still consentual and therefore not illegal.

Joseph Wilson wrote:
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:

I don't have a problem with Eoxians cause they're Evil, I have a problem with them cause they're Monsters.

** spoiler omitted **

The setting is the setting. Personally, this is how I've always run Golarion, so I love all this added Eox lore. If it doesn't work for your table, just adjust for what works for your group.

Spoiler:
What's an Elebrian?

Elebrian is the actual species name for Eoxians, like the Brethedans, their actual name is the Barathu.


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Just because something is legal does not make it okay, is what I was getting at.

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