Starfinder Adventure Path #2: Temple of the Twelve (Dead Suns 2 of 6)

3.90/5 (based on 8 ratings)
Starfinder Adventure Path #2: Temple of the Twelve (Dead Suns 2 of 6)
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Welcome to the Jungle

Now members of the Starfinder Society and piloting their very own ship, the heroes head to the planet Castrovel, home of some of the best universities in the Pact Worlds, to research the clues they found on the mysterious asteroid called the Drift Rock. On Castrovel, the adventurers' findings point them toward an ancient elven temple-city called the Temple of the Twelve, lost deep within Castrovel's teeming wilderness. But in addition to the dangerous flora and fauna of the jungle, the heroes must contend with two other factions—the exiled Corpse Fleet of Eox and the Cult of the Devourer—who are also interested in the asteroid's secrets and have their own plans for the ancient alien technology behind it, if they can find it first!

This volume of Starfinder Adventure Path continues the Dead Suns Adventure Path and includes:

  • "Temple of the Twelve," a Starfinder adventure for 3rd-level characters, by John Compton.
  • A gazetteer of the wild planet of Castrovel, by John Compton and James L. Sutter.
  • Details on the destructive Cult of the Devourer, including a new mystic connection and new cult gear, by Owen K.C. Stephens.
  • An archive of strange new alien creatures, by John Compton, Jason Keeley, and Robert G. McCreary.
  • Statistics and deck plans for a new starship, by John Compton, plus details on a moon whose planet disappeared into a black hole in the Codex of Worlds, by Jason Keeley.

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-976-9

Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Sanctioned Content

Temple of the Twelve 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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3.90/5 (based on 8 ratings)

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Decent but generic, plus railroady

2/5

I remember so little about this book it might as well have been a page on tvtropes or a Pathfinder AP. C'mon Paizo, you can do better!


All Aboard the Ukulam Express!

3/5

Temple of the Twelve is a serviceable but disappointing continuation of the Dead Suns Adventure Path. While it has a few fun and engaging scenes and characters, far too much of the adventure revolves around a railroaded string of encounters that strips away all player agency. Where other adventures present a problem and leave it up to the PCs to figure out how they're going to solve it, Temple of the Twelve guides players by the nose and substitutes player engagement with dozens of pointless skill checks.

For those players happy to just roll dice and bash bad guys, its a fun romp (or maybe a guided tour) through a dangerous jungle setting with clear 'Jurassic Park' vibes. For other players, there's still some fun investigation and roleplay in the other sections of the book. And the larger plot of Dead Suns finally begins to swing into gear.

The Good (Spoilers):
  • Fun Investigation The investigation and roleplaying in Qabarat University is a lot of fun, with some flexibility on how to approach the different scenes and places for different types of PCs to shine.
  • Memorable Locales Uilee's cafe is an awesome and memorable scene, with humor as PCs are served her bizarre creations and action as the PCs negotiate and/or clash with Twonas.
  • Moral Questions Ralkawi is given just enough background to give the PCs something to wrestle with morally. This setup gave the players something to engage with in the middle of the jungle encounters.
  • Panellier encounter is always interesting Panellier is a cool encounter, especially if the PCs can converse with him first. There's a number of ways around him, but fighting through him is both deadly for the PCs and a tragic end for the ancient guardian.
    ---

  • The Bad (Spoilers):
  • Poor Motivators Much like Dead Suns Book 1, there's very little motivation for the player characters to pursue the adventure. The primary driver appears to be Chiskisk telling them they might become famous if they learn more about the Drift Rock. It relies on the PCs in the game being wide-eyed adventure-for-adventure's-sake types. This is a far cry from Pathfinder APs, where the AP often integrates PCs into the story and presents threats to both them and NPCs and locations they get attached to.
  • A Linear Romp Part 2 (the jungle trek) is a long linear segment with no significant choices for the PCs. There's no map for the trek, no real choices to be made regarding how the pursuit is attempted, and there's no narrative consequences to going quickly or slowly. Some groups might enjoy the Jurassic-parkian flavor just for the novelty, but its basically a couple of session's worth of turn-your-brain-off monster bashing and prompted skill checks.
  • Pointless Skill Checks Part 2 asks for dozens of skill checks to navigate the jungle, but provides no narrative consequences to success or failure. All those skill checks are pointless.
  • Brutal Diseases Diseases are brutal in Starfinder, and this adventure seems insistent on hitting you with as many as possible. Even prepared PCs may eventually succumb to one of them, after which there's nothing much to be done but cross your fingers and wait in game DAYS to elapse to get better. And while still suffering, the affected characters are close to useless - so heavily penalized that they practically don't get to act at all.
  • Insufficient Consideration for the Setting Several sections were written without consideration for how the new gameplay mechanics function. For example: It provides no guidance on how armor environmental protections can be maintained beyond the 24hr/level limit (if the PCs want to avoid the heat, for example). Nor does it give the GM any guidance on other travel relevant questions (can PCs hire animals? Rations weigh 1 bulk per person per week, so how do they transport them? etc)
  • Dull Combats So so combats. Most enemies are straight bruiser types, sometimes with poisons when attacking. Lots of minimally intelligent animal-type foes, and some cultists that fight to the death no matter what. None have particularly interesting tactics or motivation other than Panellier at the end.
  • Token Starship Combat The token starship combat comes out of the blue and has no relevance to this book.
  • Shallow Investigation The investigation in Qabarat (and the info dump in the Temple of the Twelve library) is far too obvious and unsubtle, not leaving room for players to engage their creative juices and speculate.
  • Silly Enemies The Devourer Cult are bland and uncompelling grunts whose suicidal nihilism is laughable rather than threatening. Tahomen is similarly bland, and the 'climactic' fight with him is a flash in the pan.
    ---

  • Might have been a good Pathfinder adventure, but a poor Starfinder one

    2/5

    This adventure starts with some fun open ending roleplaying, but quickly devolves into a tedious and boring jungle trek that involves horribly crunchy game mechanics. In a setting about starships and speeder bikes, this is an adventure about dying from diseases and heat in the jungle. Details in the spoiler.

    Spoiler:
    The players travel to an alien university and get caught up in some fun open ended roleplaying between feuding professors. Then then travel to a quirky and memorable café where they have to deal with a few more problems and finally they travel through a magical gateway to an alien jungle. This is all great content, but most players run through it all in a session. Once you get to the jungle things start to go downhill fast. The players are in a chase, but they are no longer allowed to use their starships or vehicles and the only explanation is that they are “not allowed by law” because the continent is a nature preserve. No opportunity is provided to smuggle in a vehicle or bride a customs official and the players are also not given any opportunity buy riding animals or tame native animals. They just have to walk.

    What is worse is that each hour of walking requires a dice roll from players to deal with damage from the heat. The DC changes and they will have to do this each hour for eight hours a day for approximately two weeks! To add even more complexity to this system, some of these heat rolls can be avoided by using the hours of environmental protection on the PC’s armor, but this becomes a resource the PCs have to manage. These are important dice rolls because the players are expected to have multiple combats on their trek and the adventure seems to assume that they will be at least partially weakened by the heat damage. The adventure tells the DM the day that the attacks should take place on, but not the hour, leaving the GM to have to come up with something. The adventure also doesn’t give a reason for why the PCs (most of which probably have a form of low light vision and/or darkvision) couldn’t just beat the heat by traveling at night. Many of the fights are not particularly challenging but risk giving the players a poison or a disease. This over all leads to a feeling of attrition on the PCs which quickly stops being fun for the players. Eventually, the PCs find an ancient city, get into some bland fights and can return home … if they aren’t killed by a disease they caught on the way there.


    Super Space Australia

    4/5

    This book has a lot of cool things but I had a few issues that I didnt catch until I GMed it.

    Spoiler Warning:

    Pro:
    Part one and part three are fun.
    Jungle temples are cool
    Awesome monsters (Sky fisher!)
    Cool Solarian NPC
    Interesting chase (Even if my PCs didnt seem super into it)

    Cons:
    Mechanics will likely be wondering why they came
    Part 2 is a rail road with no choices or stakes.
    The book fails to point out the wonders of ukalam and focuses on monster after monster. - yeah the monsters are cool but they could have been with interesting exploration or hazards.


    The Plot Thickens!

    5/5

    A very nice follow up to the first book.
    I do agree that this one is "better", but I feel that the first book was a little bit more general on purpose: to get people into the game system, and all the rules and such (it was very diverse).
    Three parts here, I will not talk much for they have been well explained: all different, and giving all PCs a moment to shine! Intellectuals, tree huggers, fighters!
    A very nice adventure.
    I cannot wait to move on to the next one...


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    Community & Digital Content Director

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    Announced for October! Image and description are not final and subject to change.

    Paizo Employee Pathfinder Society Lead Developer

    I'm excited to go to Castrovel!

    Silver Crusade

    Excited that John Compton wrote this! His Iblydos chapter in Distant Shores is still one of my favorite Pathfinder things ever.

    Interesting that this is for 3rd level characters. Wonder what that says about the story-to-back matter ratio in the 64-page books.

    Liberty's Edge

    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

    Only two levels in the whole first AP volume? That's going to be an interesting readjustment... I hope this doesn't turn out to be standard for the adventures.

    Dark Archive

    3 people marked this as a favorite.

    I kinda like that characters only advance 1 level in book 1 and that spellcasters now only have 6 spell-levels.
    In my over 30 years of roleplaying, higher level play is mostly not as good as lower level play and it becomes a nightmare to game-master.

    That being said, maybe only the first AP is taking it slow (players would finish the AP at level 11 or 12 if this advancement-speed would continue) and the second one is a direct follow-up?


    Castrovel, interesting.


    Shisumo wrote:
    Only two levels in the whole first AP volume? That's going to be an interesting readjustment... I hope this doesn't turn out to be standard for the adventures.

    Remember, Council of Thieves was pretty low level AP as well, so I imagine that Dead Suns, being a fellow first AP for a new system, might also be a bit more low level than usual.


    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
    Shisumo wrote:
    Only two levels in the whole first AP volume? That's going to be an interesting readjustment... I hope this doesn't turn out to be standard for the adventures.

    We don't even know enough to really make assumptions like this. Maybe Starfinder works differently from Pathfinder, maybe it only goes to 12th level, for example.

    Also, note that these AP volumes are only 64 pages, so it might very well be that the adventures are shorter than typical Parhfinder AP adventures.


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

    The product description mentions two articles of backmatter plus the bestiary, so I think it's a reasonable guess to say that we're going to see 32 pages of adventure and 32 pages of backmatter (as Pathfinder APs similarly have two articles plus bestiary and have 32 pages of backmatter). This would, by necessity, limit the amount of adventure content. If each AP does only 2 levels, that ends up at level 12. I think it's likely that a couple of them would give 3 levels, so my guess is that this AP will wrap up around level 14-15.

    Dark Archive

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    Nice that first Starfinder AP involves players being Starfinders :D

    RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

    The Product Description needs clean up.


    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Lord Fyre wrote:
    The Product Description needs clean up.

    Indeed.

    Anyway, no one is curious to know who is the Devourer? What if it is one of the new Core Deities? Or maybe something else from the dark corners of the universe...


    8 people marked this as a favorite.

    It's a mystery, that's for sure.

    whistles innocently.

    Dark Archive

    Castrovel gazeteer? Be still, my beating, elf-gated heart! This is precisely the level of crossover material I was hoping for!

    Liberty's Edge

    Velr-Fex wrote:
    Lord Fyre wrote:
    The Product Description needs clean up.

    Indeed.

    Anyway, no one is curious to know who is the Devourer? What if it is one of the new Core Deities? Or maybe something else from the dark corners of the universe...

    I would be rad if Nocticula is in the core pantheon as a CN goddess


    So, spoilers to people who don't read up on the lore of Pathfinder.

    Castrovel is Golarion, it is named Cage everywhere else because it houses the imprisoned god Rovagug. And I'm willing to bet money that the devourer is the god sealed inside the planet, Rovagug.

    Paizo Employee Pathfinder Society Lead Developer

    5 people marked this as a favorite.
    GwentheGeemer wrote:

    So, spoilers to people who don't read up on the lore of Pathfinder.

    Castrovel is Golarion, it is named Cage everywhere else because it houses the imprisoned god Rovagug. And I'm willing to bet money that the devourer is the god sealed inside the planet, Rovagug.

    Errr, Golarion and Castrovel are very different planets, with Castrovel being the planet next closest to the Sun.


    Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
    John Compton wrote:
    GwentheGeemer wrote:

    So, spoilers to people who don't read up on the lore of Pathfinder.

    Castrovel is Golarion, it is named Cage everywhere else because it houses the imprisoned god Rovagug. And I'm willing to bet money that the devourer is the god sealed inside the planet, Rovagug.

    Errr, Golarion and Castrovel are very different planets, with Castrovel being the planet next closest to the Sun.

    Also, those of us at PaizoCon were straight up told by Rob McCreary at one of the panels that Rovagug and Torag are just gone, period; no where to be found.


    Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

    Sounds awesome!

    Community & Digital Content Director

    Updated with final product description and image!

    Dark Archive

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    To me the race against two evil other groups sounds great.
    I'm especially looking forward to Owen's article on the Cult of the Devourer, because his stuff is always so well functioning mechanically.
    And i'm also curious about the cult background story-wise.

    Dark Archive

    I'm also curious about how the (assumed 10 page) article on Castrovel updates & expands the original 4 page one from "Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Distant Worlds".

    Dark Archive

    By the way the Ksarik attack looks great, who's the artist?

    Paizo Employee Senior Developer, Starfinder Team

    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Marco Massoudi wrote:
    By the way the Ksarik attack looks great, who's the artist?

    David Alvarez.


    Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber

    Okay so now that I know what the Cult of the Devourer looks like, I do NOT want those guys to get anything new from mysterious old ruins.

    Scarab Sages

    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

    Will there be any new Player Options in the bestiary? My favorite entries in the Pathfinder Adventure Path bestiaries were when we got to see new Familiars and Animal Companions. Will we get to see new Drone Chassis Types? Or Playable races?


    Phantasm shout out!


    When exactly does this one come out? The store says the PDF comes out on the 18th, but the page said per-order the other day and now it just says add to cart?


    It does that when they start shipping for Subscribers I believe.


    Oh, I mean when can I go to my game store and purchase it? I don't see an official release date anywhere. Just trying to judge how many sessions I have to try and squeeze into the AP before the book comes out.


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

    Usually the PDF is available the same day as the official street / release date. My guess would be the book would be available for sale on the 18th


    Yep.


    2 people marked this as a favorite.

    The Codex of Worlds is my favorite part about the Adventure Path line.


    Same.

    Dark Archive

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    So something I haven't seen anyone mention, this book's bestiary has two creatures with PC racial statblocks included. First one being Ferrans who are also focus of this book's codex of the worlds, while second one is the woiokos mentioned in first book's codex of the worlds.


    CorvusMask wrote:
    So something I haven't seen anyone mention, this book's bestiary has two creatures with PC racial statblocks included. First one being Ferrans who are also focus of this book's codex of the worlds, while second one is the woiokos mentioned in first book's codex of the worlds.

    Two?! That means this month we go from 13 playable races to 35. Color me excited.

    Liberty's Edge

    What are the creatures in this one?

    Liberty's Edge

    Steven "Troll" O'Neal wrote:
    CorvusMask wrote:
    So something I haven't seen anyone mention, this book's bestiary has two creatures with PC racial statblocks included. First one being Ferrans who are also focus of this book's codex of the worlds, while second one is the woiokos mentioned in first book's codex of the worlds.
    Two?! That means this month we go from 13 playable races to 35. Color me excited.

    I think it's 37.


    Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
    Paladinosaur wrote:
    Steven "Troll" O'Neal wrote:
    CorvusMask wrote:
    So something I haven't seen anyone mention, this book's bestiary has two creatures with PC racial statblocks included. First one being Ferrans who are also focus of this book's codex of the worlds, while second one is the woiokos mentioned in first book's codex of the worlds.
    Two?! That means this month we go from 13 playable races to 35. Color me excited.
    I think it's 37.

    Correct. I counted 22 playable races in Alien Archive.

    Dark Archive

    Paladinosaur wrote:

    What are the creatures in this one?

    They are all, besides two new races, Castrovellian creatures that show up during the adventure, so that'd be a little of spoiler.

    Dark Archive

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    Hmm, I'm in kind of bind here what to do. I feel like I wanna do a review on this book, but I have standard of not reviewing adventures before I have run them. I kind of want to give feedback on the adventure, but I don't want to color other people's opinions before they have had chance to read the adventure .-.

    Let's just say that I'm getting increasingly feeling that player's guide for player expectations would have been nice <_< Even if its released after all six parts have been released. I mean, by that time more starfinder core books have been released, so that would be good excuse to do player's guide to mention which of them are suitable.


    Anyone want to disclose some general info on the two new races for those not subscribed? Appearance and gimmick would be lovely.

    Dark Archive

    Well, okay, sure.

    Ferrans are small humanoid yellow skinned aliens, kind of like yellow hairless dwarves in appearance. Their thing is that their high gravity homeplanet got blackhole'd so they are surviving instead on their moonbase in their homeplanet's moon. They are scientific and agnostic/atheist, sturdy and radiation resistant.

    Woioko is race of eel skinned humanoids split into two subspecies when their planet's sea level raised and destroyed their terrestial civilization: floatborn who live in floating cities on the sea divided into dozens of nations and deepborn who modified themselves to be closer to their aquatic ancestors and moved to live under the sea. Deepborn have a lot of domination war with each other for territory. There is no contact between two subspecies since they don't share the same living space.


    Cool thank you. Can't wait to get this one later this month.


    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

    If anyone has this yet, what is the new Mystic connection given?


    The Devastator Connection is related to the Cult of the Devourer.


    Well, my group chewed through the first book in two sessions so the last session I ran them through one of the modules. Lets hope the second one lasts a little longer. Hoping to be able to generate some random encounters now that we have the Alien races book. Has anyone posted their own tables yet, both space and ground/station?

    Dark Archive

    Congratulations to selling out again!

    I managed to get two copies of AP #1, i hope i´ll get this one by thursday from my local flagstore.


    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    Yeah, okay. Too bad that the decision was made to make the first AP for their new product line only go to about level twelve. That makes it an automatic non-buy for me. :/


    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
    magnuskn wrote:
    Yeah, okay. Too bad that the decision was made to make the first AP for their new product line only go to about level twelve. That makes it an automatic non-buy for me. :/

    Seriously? Is an adventure only fun if you go to level 17-20? Why? Please enlighten us. (and how many times are you going to post this complaint?)

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