Starfinder Society Scenario #1-02: Fugitive on the Red Planet

2.90/5 (based on 31 ratings)

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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.

Scenario Tags: None

Note: This product is part of the Starfinder Society Scenario Subscription.

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Are there errors or omissions in this product information? Got corrections? Let us know at store@paizo.com.

PZOSFS0102E


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Average product rating:

2.90/5 (based on 31 ratings)

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Flavorful Space Western With a Flaw...

4/5

I really, really, really wanted to give this scenario five stars. The mission was fun, we went off the rails a couple of times, and we had great fun playing throughout.

Why I can't give this five stars:
...I must be the only one that's reviewed this so far that saw an episode of a particular anime that has the plot and chain of this scenario almost to a 't'. I'm not going to reveal the anime, but the MacGuffin that the party was sent to fetch immediately turned my 'detect plot' sensors on, and then I was horribly disappointed to discover that yes, they were accurate and precise. The worse part was that I could see the encounters before the GM even mentioned them, and that impaired the fun of an otherwise amusing table romp through the backdusts of Akiton.


Flavorful space-western with lacking mechanics

3/5

I ran this for a group of 4 players with level 4 PCs in a (non-Organized Play) home game.

The scenario does a good job of invoking themes and tropes from classic Old West movies: a desolate, one-horse mining town, a traveling snakeoil salesman, a saloon fight, the slick business man from the city and so on. If you play this up a little bit (by for example using the excellent western-style audio ambience from tabletopaudio.com), your players will have a great, Firefly-style kind of time.

Unfortunately, the scenario lacks in other ways. There are no complicated subsystems to learn and there is no twisty-turny plotline to keep track of but there are a lot of blank spaces that you as the GM will have to fill in on the spot if you don't spot them before hand (which I did not). Some examples:

Spoiler:
Why is Philt just sitting around in the bar instead of going straight to the mine to grab Talbot?
How does the shobhad lady find out so quickly about the PCs' goals?
Why should the PCs not just sneak out the back door with the rest of the saloon guests?
In the final fight, what if the PCs decide to try and shoot the mine cart control unit?

All of these are not terribly hard to answer, but it would have been nice if those answers had been provided in the scenario, especially since there would have been plenty of page space.

But don't let all of these criticisms deter you from running this, the Old West flavor is just too good. However, there is nothing else to really make it stand out so it ends up being average. Would run it again!


Fun and Themey, Yet Railroady and Problematic

3/5

I'm not rewriting my review a third time (when are you going to fix your site, Paizo?). In short, the PCs are perfectly capable of keeping a subset of their antagonists from having any reason to be antagonists, yet the scenario forces a combat encounter with said subset of antagonists. There are other problems with the scenario, but this is the strangest one to me.


Not appropriate for 1st level characters

1/5

I was quite unhappy with some of the mechanics in the scenario, as they seemed exceptionally deadly for starting characters. Not a good way to draw new players into the game. Even as a long time PFS player, this scenario has me seriously questioning if I want to play Starfinder.

Spoiler:

There was an awful lot of insta-kill for 1st level characters. My android scholar character was hit twice for 15 points (of its 6 stamina and 9 hit points) without any way of being healed, save for the serums that the pregen Vesk had (which starting PCs are unlikely to have), rendering it virtually useless for most of the scenario.

Point 1) Traps should never be "undetectable" and automatically hit every member of the party without at least a saving throw. A ranged touch of +11 is going to hit pretty much everyone except on a 1 or 2.

Point 2) In the bar scene, having the BG automatically aim for the most vulnerable character (without having ever seen the PCs before) is a real stretch. For all the BG knew that "random android scholar" was unrelated to the people she was sent to look for. Even if she assumed that the strange new android was an opponent (not necessarily an enemy), why shoot the one LEAST likely to be able to hurt her or fight back over, say, one of the heavily armed Vesk soldiers?


Played, it, ran it, love it

4/5

So far, this is my second or third favorite scenario in SFS. My table was goofy and fun loving, but even they sobered to the emotions at Tasch. This was a great introduction to Akton.


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

So, is there any word yet on what all the Starfinder factions will be? I know we have been told about the Dataphiles, but what other factions are there?


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Sounds like "The Hero of Canton" episode of Firefly.

Paizo Employee Pathfinder Society Lead Developer

Maps Appearing in Starfinder Society Scenario #1–02: Fugitive on the Red Planet:

  • Starfinder Flip-Mat: Basic Terrain

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

    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?

    Liberty's Edge Contributor

    David knott 242 wrote:

    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?

    Spoiler:
    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.

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

    Thanks!

    Liberty's Edge Contributor

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    Some folks have mentioned they are having difficulty finding the SFS Guild Guide.

    Here's the link: Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Guide


    2 people marked this as a favorite.

    Just noticed a kinda big typo, the faction sheet on p. 19 says Starfinder Society Scenario #8-04 Wardens of Sulfur Gulch

    Dark Archive

    It seems to me that either the "monsters/NPCs are built different from PCs" rules are not as great as they were sold OR the developer didn´t use them correctly.

    Of course, with them not being out yet and only coming up in octobers "Alien Archive", it´s hard to say if the version used in here was the "right/final" one...


    Eh, looking over his statblock and another from Dead Suns it's about the same,

    Spoiler:
    they're both Operative builds and while he has +2 more attack Clara in Dead Suns does a lot more damage.

    Silver Crusade

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

    I guess it's the case of people theorycrafting and being upset that the theorycraft doesn't work they way it did in PF. Without checking out how this works in practice, of course.

    Liberty's Edge

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    So, Akiton is Mars meets Detroit?

    RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

    Paladinosaur wrote:
    So, Akiton is Mars meets Detroit?

    Pretty much.

    Silver Crusade

    Spoiler:
    Also the mooks in the last encounter possess ranged weapons but no ranged weapon bonus, even a 0.


    My boy and i enjoyed this adventure and have otherwise enjoyed the adventures so far. The Wild west was welcome.

    Shadow Lodge

    Dean HS Jones wrote:
    ** spoiler omitted **

    That omission was covered in this thread, I think somewhere on the second page.

    Liberty's Edge

    Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber

    Is it possible to get the scenario tags added to the preview blurb for these? It would make it easier to post these or for players to look and decide what they want to play.

    Paizo Employee Starfinder Society Developer

    3 people marked this as a favorite.

    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.

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