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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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.


Fine but hope it gets better

3/5

Nice adventure, if you set aside the fact that level 1 PCs are recruted for this crucial task.

The end is the weak part. It's a space dungeon. Fine with that. But it's horribly designed, as if casting aside decades of dungeon design. The rooms are barren, minuscule (go fit a sniper in a 25' room!), and often bypassable. Also, it's just fight after fight with no interesting way to affect them - eventhough some are ripe for social, mystical or technical interaction; would have been a good way to mitigate their difficulty.

Also, as usual, zero effort put to mitigate repeated rests. There's basically nothing that prevents the heroes from sleeping it out after each encounter.

Loot is also very weird. There's salvageable stuff in unexpected places (e.g. a bar), and none in others (a filled cargo hold).


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Community & Digital Content Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.

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


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Don't go on the asteroid!


It's real. Quite cool.

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

3 people marked this as a favorite.

DANGER, WILL ROBINSON!!!

Sczarni

Bimonthly?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
psionichamster wrote:
Bimonthly?

Yeah, what they said. Bimonthly?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

woot

Dark Archive

bimothly = 2/month or every 2 months?

Community & Digital Content Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.

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


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

Also only 64 pages instead of 96 apparently.

Owner - Gator Games & Hobby

1 person marked this as a favorite.

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

Scarab Sages

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

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


2 people marked this as a favorite.

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

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

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

Contributor

Classic scifi scenario, good start!


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

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


3 people marked this as a favorite.

So hope there will be subscriptions to these also.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

And it's written by Rob McCreary!!

Can't wait!!


THIS IS AWESOME


1 person marked this as a favorite.

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


Somewhat interested.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Leviathan Rising, anyone?


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

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

Liberty's Edge

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

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


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


4 people marked this as a favorite.

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

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Starfinder Superscriber

When can I sign up for a subscription to this?


13 people marked this as a favorite.

Finally, an Absolam based adventure path!!

Heh.

Grand Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Bimonthly.

64 pages.

This feels very tentative.

-Skeld


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

Grand Lodge

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

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

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

-Skeld


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Skeld wrote:

Bimonthly.

64 pages.

This feels very tentative.

-Skeld

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

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

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

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


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

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

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

Grand Lodge

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

Bimonthly.

64 pages.

This feels very tentative.

-Skeld

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

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

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

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

-Skeld


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

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


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

Dark Archive

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

Silver Crusade

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Ha, ha! Alternative facts.

<.< >.>

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

Dark Archive

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Marco Massoudi wrote:
The decision to remove the creatures from the AP Bestiary (if true) and put them in "The Alien Archive" (where did you hear that, Steve?) ...

There was a lot of speculation in my comment above.

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

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

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


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Troodos wrote:
Leviathan Rising, anyone?

Leviathan Wakes!


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

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

Grand Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Marco Massoudi wrote:

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

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

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

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

-Skeld


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

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


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

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

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


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

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

Just saying.


captain yesterday wrote:

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

Just saying.

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


Just telling it how it is.

Silver Crusade

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

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