A Starfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 1-4.
Theft cannot be tolerated, especially when the culprit is a former Starfinder! The PCs travel to the red world of Akiton, hot on the heels of a deserting Starfinder who stole a magical relic from the vaults of the Lorespire Complex. Things get complicated when they discover what should be a dreary town in Akiton's wastelands is now positively jubilant. Could this revelry, not to mention the re-opening of town's formerly defunct mining operations, be related to the wayward Starfinder?
Written by Jim Groves.
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I GM’d Fugitive on the Red Planet on 4/19/2020, 4 PCs at Subtier 1-2 (1.75), using the Fantasy Grounds Classic (FGC) VTT platform.
SFS #1-02 Fugitive on the Red Planet has an excellent story where the PCs head to Akiton in search an artifact that that was stolen from the Starfinder Society (SFS). The PCs must track down a thief to locate and secure the artifact.
GMs & PCs typically report an average time of 2.5 to 3 hours. It took my group 5 hours! I think the extended time was due to comprehensive role-play and a lack of FGC competency, but as players learned the VTT system the faster and smoother actions (skill checks and combat) became.
Challenge Level - Medium:
Skill Checks were well balanced
PCs were given a run for their money and must use quick thinking to make the right decisions during combat. Note the party might be in trouble without a decent healer.
There was no space combat in this Scenario; good for new GMs (like me), so I didn’t have to prepare for the space combat sub-system.
> Important role-playing opportunities
> Tactical combat with unique elements (i.e a mining cart battering ram)
> Balanced with challenges
> Great ending to the adventure (if the PCs make good decisions)
Limited to no exploration of Maro City during the investigation, simply roll skill checks to gather information, but I understand the length constraints of Scenarios. One encounter with a map of the area could have made the investigation much more interesting, even if it was short and sweet.
The desert map can be rendered pointless depending on the PCs actions.
It would have been cool if there was a creature-based random encounter on the desert map (maybe a roll table to determine what exactly); however, I’m not sure of what creature(s) may reside in the deserts of Akiton, if any, and if Talbot escapes the mine, he could be devoured by a desert creature or natural disaster along with the artifact.
A map and an investigation encounter at Maro possibly, especially for setting immersion instead of an important but simple roll or two for gathering information.
Overall one of the most straight forward scenarios out there. It doesn’t push the main plot line of season one at all but that was fine with me. The GM has some freedom in allowing the party to roleplay the investigation portion of the adventure. I think I would of like more information included for the cities of Maro and Tasch that the players could have learn just to get the exploration feel for being in the Starfinders.
Time (Based on a 4-hour slot):
There are 3 maps in the game (2 custom) and the pre-made map may not come into play depending on the party’s actions. No matter which tier you run the game in it is likely not going to run long. I have seen the game take on average of two hours to complete.
There are 3 maps in the game (2 custom) and the pre-made map may not come into play depending on the party’s actions. No custom mechanics in the scenario that has to be learned and the enemies and traps are not complicated at all. This is a great scenario for a new GM especially at tier 1-2.
This is one of my few stand-by scenarios at a convention (that isn’t repeatable) for several reasons. If you have GM’ed this one before you know it is an easy adventure to run. As you can start and finish it within 2-2.5 hours it is easy to get late walk ins onto a table and going especially that it does not have a star ship encounter. I think this scenario gets a bad rap for its simplicity. I don’t want all the scenarios this simple but as it was one of the first ones out there, I find it perfect for my needs and another good scenario for new players to SFS.
If you're looking for something easy to run (or play) for an early game in your career, this is a 4 or 5 star scenario.
The game elements are straightforward, there are no weird systems to deal with (other than a fairly simple modification in the boss fight). The story is simple enough to follow. It's also a very short scenario, easily doable in 1-3 hours rather than the usual 3-5.
It doesn't, however, do anything really to advance the story of the main plot. It doesn't really introduce (beyond a single NPC) any of the story elements for later in the season. It's a simple one shot and it doesn't feel like it's breaking any new ground or setting up any important plot or sub-plot lines.
That doesn't mean it isn't fun, mind you. I quite enjoyed both playing and running it. It's definitely the kind of scenario they needed when the game first came out (KISS). However, it's not something I wish I could go back and replay or would fall all over myself to play once I had a few SFS games under my belt. That's why I'm giving it 3 stars.
This scenario has a very space-western feel to it, which I really adored. I like the encounters, both social and combat, but the scenario itself was very ‘on the rails.’ It didn't feel constraining to me, but it is worth noting. This is one of those scenarios that is really benefitted by a GM that's great with NPCs, as much of the information gathering in this scenario is unscripted and requires some improv on the GMs behalf to make exciting. The final battle was quite fun and dynamic. Despite it's flaws, I really enjoyed this scenario and had a great time playing it. I can't wait to run this for my kids. They're going to love it.
For anyone who has managed to acquire and download this scenario:
Does it give any rules about adjusting to and from the lower gravity and thinner atmosphere on Akiton, or is it simply assumed that everyone adjusts each way without difficulty?
The scenario assumes the PCs are not adapted to the planet's weak gravity and thinner atmosphere. They are advised at the very beginning to get light armor or some other means to deal with the atmosphere. There are also a few places where the ability to jump higher, etc., is taken into account.
Recently, this scenario received an updated version. The email incorrectly matched the updates with another scenario we intend on updating in the near future. For clarity's sake, here's the compiled list of updates to this scenario.
Spoilers for #1-02: Fugitive on the Red Planet:
Page 5: Under the Pitfall for Diplomacy (Gather Information) updated the beginning of the text to read: "If the Diplomacy check failed by 5 or less..."
Page 11: Updated the Subtier 1-2 ysoki ambushers to include the correct EAC of 11.
Page 15: Updated the ranged attack bonus of the Subtier 1-2 miners to +3.
Page 16: Updated Subtier 1-2 Reynald Talbot's static arc pistol ranged attack bonus to +8 down from +10.
Page 16: Updated the ranged attack bonus of the Subtier 3-4 miners to +5.
Page 16: Updated Subtier 1-2 Reynald Talbot's thunderstrike pistol ranged attack bonus to +10 down from +15.