Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Scenario #1-09: Live Exploration Extreme! PDF

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A Starfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 1–4.

Although the Society was unaware of what existed within the false moon Salvation's End when it obtained exploration rights, Starfinders have since identified a vast, uncharted megacomplex within. The Society's ready to launch its first major expedition into the interior, yet there is one slight complication: in order to fund its initial survey missions, the Society accepted a grant that requires this first mission be televised by an Eoxian reality show. What is already be a momentous mission for the Society is only exacerbated by the mandatory presence of an unliving camera crew—not to mention the interference of the live studio audience in orbit! Can the PCs uncover the secrets of Salvation's End while upholding the Society's publicity deal (perhaps becoming celebrities in the process)?

Content in Live Exploration Extreme! is a continuation of the Starfinder Society special, Starfinder Society #1–00: Claim to Salvation.

Written by John Compton

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

PZOSFS0109E


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***** (based on 14 ratings)

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Wonderfully Written Scenario, but more than 4 hours needed

*****

I ran it last weekend, it was a lot of fun. My players did seem to get into it. It was fun to play the Camera Crew as annoying as possible. I had the head Camera Man named Micheal Bay. One of my players even did the Michael Bay "Model running through the explosions" scene for the camera crew.

Honestly one needs more than four hours to run it. We ran really late, and the Roleplay in the later half suffered since we were all tired (we are a group of players in their 30s and 40s, so we do not handle staying up later as well as we used to ) I really should of skipped the optional encounter or modified that encounter some way that would have been quicker and provided some continuity at the same time. Despite what others say, Combat still drags in Pathfinder/Starfinder, even though I realize running long is normal for a Role Play Intensive scenario. But all in all, it was one of the best-written scenarios I have seen and run in a long time and would run it again.

I give the scenario five stars.


Already a Legend...

*****

Truly a masterpiece and the best possible use of the Starfinder Organized Play Setting. It's a fun, bang up idea from the get go, with a lost tribe trapped in a simulation and a pushy, undead reality tv show producer who insists on filming your every move. The hook is believable and fits in perfectly with the season's meta plot, the scenario itself is weird but also totally believable, and the "hindrance" are annoying but never feel like they're in the way.

If I had to nit pick I would say that the extra mechanics are a real pain to track as a GM and that I would rather have not had to express them as a number value. But that's something that can be over come with planning.

Run it twice, run it a thousand times!


A Real Delight--Like Nothing You've Played Before

*****

NO SPOILERS

I ran this at Subtier 1-2 using the four-player adjustment. Live Exploration Extreme! was a blast to play, with lots of natural laughs provided by clever in-game elements. One of the things I liked best is that the scenario takes advantage of modern technology and culture to tell a story that would be impossible to replicate in traditional sword-and-sorcery fantasy. It has surprising depth, however, and unlocks an intriguing setting for countless scenarios in the future. If I had a complaint, it's that the combat encounters were too easy. Still, this is one of the best and most memorable scenarios of the season to date.

SPOILERS

The scenario starts in a very different way to most, and it was a fun and refreshing change. Instead of the standard mission briefing, the PCs are escorted aboard a luxury cruise ship orbiting the "false moon" Salvation's End from the very first Starfinder Society scenario (# 1-00 "Claim to Salvation"). There, they see a holocam (television) studio has been set up with room for a live audience. The First Seeker is present, as is Zo!, the famous media mogul and reality t.v. show host who just so happens to be undead (in nice foreshadowing, Zo! was first introduced in # 1-05 "The First Mandate"). The PCs learn that after the Scoured Stars incident, one of the few ways Luwazi could raise money to rebuild the Society was to accept funding and investments from outside sources--including Zo! The two had made a deal that Zo! would fund several initial expeditions of interesting sites if the SFS would give him the rights to film any subsequent exploration. So, to make a long-story short, the PCs are about to become reality show stars! They'll be followed on their exploration of the tunnels in the false moon by a film crew documenting their every move for a live broadcast.

The underlying premise is fantastic fun, and it's implemented really well. The camera crew sometimes gets in the way of the action during battles, there are audience "insta-polls" giving opinions on what the PCs should do, and even "The Booth" where, periodically through the scenario, a PC is taken aside for a direct interview to give their true opinions on their companions and what's been happening. All of it ties together into a metric of how well each PCs plays to their established holocam persona and (ultimately) their favourability rating with the audience. In the session I ran, the players found great joy in dishing dirt in The Booth, asking what the audience thought they should do next in the insta-polls, and reading the "twitter feed" equivalent comments about them.

As for the adventure itself, the party's expedition into the tunnels soon leads them into a battle against some goblins and an interesting new monster whose iridescent hide can blind opponents if they shoot laser weapons at it. The goblins have just blasted a hole into a new chamber, and further exploration leads the PCs to a very strange sight: dwarves dressed in archaic armor and wielding archaic weapons. The dwarves don't speak Common, which is a really nice touch that made for a surprisingly important element in what happened in my session. Only one of the PCs (not one with much skill in Diplomacy) could communicate with the dwarves and was unable to persuade them that the PCs were friendly, so a fight broke out. I like to see languages, which usually are mostly forgotten about on a character sheet, make a difference.

One way or another, the PCs can follow the dwarves or their their tracks back to their camp where people are in a panic because a fissure has just opened up and part of the cavern ceiling has collapsed, trapping their priest inside the tribe's temple. Assuming the party is willing to help out, they have a battle against some mysterious synthetic oozes that seem to be leaking from a high-tech pipe that was burst in the collapse. The oddity of the dwarves' "Pathfinder-era" level of technology is exacerbated when the PCs have time for a full conversation with them and learn that they've been (or at least think they've been) on a millennia-long Quest for Sky as mandated by their god Torag (a deity known to have disappeared in the Gap) and that they think space goblins (whom they've clashed with recently) are their legendary enemies the orcs! Here's where there could be a lot of speculation about what's going on. Have the dwarves been kidnapped and brainwashed? Are they robots? Are they really remnants of missing Golarion somehow transported to Salvation's End? It's a great mystery hook. It fell flat in the game I ran because most of my players hadn't heard of the Quest for Sky, Torag's disappearance, etc., but in a game with players steeped in Pathfinder/Starfinder world lore, it should be really effective.

The rescued dwarf priest believes that his people have nearly achieved their Quest for Sky, but that their further passage is blocked by a cloud of poisonous gas in the tunnel above. Assuming the PCs assist him, they fight another encounter with space goblins, with this one featuring a fun boss with rocket-jets in his powered armor. They then come across a mysterious door and, on the other side, realize the stunning truth: the dwarves' "Quest for Sky" is an experiment/simulation that mechanically reproduced Golarion's Darklands (with live, unknowing participants), and that there are countless other simulations of different types operating in countless other chambers within Salvation's End! It's a great "what the heck!?!" twist ending that should get your players talking.

So overall, I thought the story for Live Exploration Extreme! was fantastic, and the reality show premise was implemented in a really clever way. The combats were a bit of a let-down as, frankly, space goblins just aren't very dangerous. The ease of the encounters was the one complaint voiced by my players. I'll also note that for the first couple of encounters, it's confusing to figure out where the PCs start on the map and there's not really room (or line of sight) for everything that's described in the set-up. On the whole though, this is a scenario to be savored and sets up a host of possibilities for future exploration of Salvation's End with (hopefully) more reality-show fun.


Innovative Play

*****

Hearing a lot of mixed reviews about Starfinder as a whole, but one thing I stand by is that the adventures thus far pretty innovative and garner some great role-playing at the table. Played this with my icon and had a terrific time!

I have to admit, I went in knowing the premise of the scenario and thinking I would own it, yet once in, this adventure was NOT what I expected. Kudos for surprising me, Paizo.


The funniest scenario I've ever read - bar none!

*****

I hope to write a more in-depth review in the not-too-distant future, but the title of my review will stand on its own for the time being.

Players - you are in for a real treat if your GM is prepared!

GMs - I found this scenario took a little bit longer to prep than previous Starfinder Society offerings. If you have the time to invest in a few sound bytes (even if it's just a short youtube playlist queued up on your phone), you can draw your players in even more! (Personal favorite for "Showtime" fanfare - Sure Promise from The Big O).

Again - absolutely amazingly fun. I would GM this every week if given the opportunity!


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Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

Several of my players with the icon theme on their characters should love this one!


Starfinder Charter Superscriber

LOVE IT!!!


4 people marked this as a favorite.

Zo!

Starfinder Society Developer

12 people marked this as a favorite.

We've come full circle. John Compton is freelancing for ME now! BWAHAHAHAAHAHA! :)

Paizo Employee Organized Play Lead Developer

15 people marked this as a favorite.
Thurston Hillman wrote:
We've come full circle. John Compton is freelancing for ME now! BWAHAHAHAAHAHA! :)

Is that how this works? Huh. Time to press some random buttons.

*Assigns more work to Thursty*

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Starfinder Maps Subscriber

Oh, I am looking forward to Gming this one. It looks like an utter delight!

Hmm

Sovereign Court

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Class Deck, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

This is one of the best scenario blurbs I have ever read. I can't wait to see how this one comes out.

Wayfinders

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Can't wait to play this one with my iconic solarian

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Maps Subscriber

John and Thursty, you know you guys are distracting me in my march to 5 star? I’ll never get there by Paizo Con, if you keep tempting me with such delicious SFS scenarios. Aaaaarrgh!

Hmm


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

So let me get this straight: The Eoxians have reality shows?

Paizo Employee Organized Play Lead Developer

4 people marked this as a favorite.
thecursor wrote:
So let me get this straight: The Eoxians have reality shows?

Plural!

Grand Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I am so looking forward to this scenario! But first a word from our sponsors.

Are you tired of your enemies getting the drop on you? DrowTek has you covered with the latest in advanced cloaking technology that will give you the edge against friend and foes alike.

Starfinder was filmed in front of a living-impaired studio audience in orbit.

I just hope I get to ask them pesky questions in between fights.

Wayfinders

Keeping up with the Eoxians!

Dark Archive

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

Oh, good, something new to watch. I haven't found a good show to binge after Eoxian Idol went downhill in Season 7.


Stranger Beings


6 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber
John Compton wrote:
thecursor wrote:
So let me get this straight: The Eoxians have reality shows?
Plural!

So...they really are the most evil race in the Starfinder Universe.


Starfinder Superscriber

Any Scenario Tags for this one?

Liberty's Edge

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

What maps will this call for? I.e. Do I need to order any Pathfinder maps?


6 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Kadasbrass Loreweaver wrote:

I am so looking forward to this scenario! But first a word from our sponsors.

Are you tired of your enemies getting the drop on you? DrowTek has you covered with the latest in advanced cloaking technology that will give you the edge against friend and foes alike.

Starfinder was filmed in front of a living-impaired studio audience in orbit.

I just hope I get to ask them pesky questions in between fights.

I really want to see this played live over twitch, with John as GM and (ideally) Thursty as a player. And I want actual people watching the livestream to be able to act as the reality TV orbiting audience in some way.

You've got several weeks. MAKE THIS HAPPEN!!!!!


The minute we started playing SF about 2 months ago the icon pc started doing this very thing

It does feel very SF

Grand Lodge

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

So, pushed back a month and swapped with February Scenario? Guess I need to rethink the final slot at FlintCon 2018 now =/

Wayfinders

So since it has been pushed back a month, any chance we can get it to be 3-6 instead of 1-4? Those that played the First Mandate would really like a chance to play it. With 10 modules and two story arcs avialable, many people will have leveled out of range.

Starfinder Society Developer

Dr. Tomatoa wrote:
So since it has been pushed back a month, any chance we can get it to be 3-6 instead of 1-4? Those that played the First Mandate would really like a chance to play it. With 10 modules and two story arcs avialable, many people will have leveled out of range.

Even with the delay, the ability to change this scenario's Tier is entirely improbable with the time left. Also, as we've learned with Pathfinder Society, we want to keep a strong number of Tier 1-4 scenarios available at launch, to ensure that new players always have a chance to get a game in.

#1-05 Minor Bit:
If your concern is with regards to the Chronicle sheet bonus provided from this scenario, no worries. We'll be using that specific boon (and this specific NPC) in various different situations. So this won't be a "one and done" use of the influence boons.

Wayfinders

Thurston Hillman wrote:
Dr. Tomatoa wrote:
So since it has been pushed back a month, any chance we can get it to be 3-6 instead of 1-4? Those that played the First Mandate would really like a chance to play it. With 10 modules and two story arcs avialable, many people will have leveled out of range.

Even with the delay, the ability to change this scenario's Tier is entirely improbable with the time left. Also, as we've learned with Pathfinder Society, we want to keep a strong number of Tier 1-4 scenarios available at launch, to ensure that new players always have a chance to get a game in.

** spoiler omitted **

Thanks for the response. REALLY looking forward to the module.

Grand Lodge

Please by released in time for Con of the North. I scheduled to run this one multiple times.

Also, no scenario tags?

Starfinder Society Developer

No scenario tags on this one, though it's suggested the PCs have played Starfinder Society #1–00: Claim to Salvation, first!

As for Con of the North, I believe this scenario is scheduled to be released shortly after that event, due to our reshuffling of this and Sanctuary of Drowned Delight. Sorry for the inconvenience!

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

I can't wait to play this one with my Vidcaster Icon! :-D

Starfinder Society Developer

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Just so everyone's aware, here's a list of the maps you'll need for this scenario:

#1–09 Live Exploration Extreme! Maps:
There's no custom maps for this scenario. This scenario does use the following existing Paizo map products:

•Pathfinder Flip-Mat: Elemental Dungeon Multi-Pack
•Pathfinder Flip-Mat: Flooded Dungeon
•Pathfinder Flip-Mat: Tech Dungeon


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Thurston Hillman wrote:

Just so everyone's aware, here's a list of the maps you'll need for this scenario:

** spoiler omitted **

Map query:
Hello Thurston--Is the "Elemental Dungeon Multi-Pack" you listed the "Elemental Planes Multi-Pack"? Yes, apparently I am now one of those people who buys flip-mats just because they're coming up in an upcoming SFS scenario . . .
Starfinder Society Developer

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Ah!

Map Answer:
Yes, it should, be the Pathfinder Flip-Mat: Elemental Planes Multi-Pack, specifically the Earthy section.

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

ZO! Signed a group of explorers for dancing with the starfinders, extreme sudden death edition.

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Darn. My PC with Salvation's End credit will be *6th* level after this next weekend =(

Luckily my Icon Cosplayer is still 1st level ^_^

Dark Archive

Preorder expected March 2018 - hoping its not a long delay on this one! need some camera action...


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

OMG!
Just downloaded this.
So amazing!
Can't wait to GM it!
Seriously, this takes everything I loved about X-Crawl, got rid of the 'meh' bits, then made it all 110% cooler.
OMGWTFBBQ!

Erm. I mean. This looks very nice.

Grand Lodge

Nefreet wrote:

Darn. My PC with Salvation's End credit will be *6th* level after this next weekend =(

Luckily my Icon Cosplayer is still 1st level ^_^

You realize that you can bring the Salvation's End chronicle sheet even if it's not assigned to that Icon and garner the benefit from it, right? Says so right on the Chronicle sheet.


I'm totally new to Pathfinder/Starfinder, and to organized play in general, and I'm interested in trying Starfinder in particular because it's still in its first season and I'm kind of a completionist, but with this specific scenario being a sequel it doesn't really seem like an ideal jumping on point. If I skip it for now, am I likely to find opportunities to play 1-00 to catch up and then play this one in the future, or should I just look for standalones to play and new plots to begin and not worry about this one?

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

Star finder in particular, thus far, has been phenomenal at alluding to future scenarios with past ones. I would not suggest starting with this one. Opportunities for play depend heavily one where and with whom you play so, can't give advice there.


I'd check out your local Society branch for play opportunities and activity. Usually the Venture Captains are running a facebook group where they announce all the public scenarios.

I'll probably play this without having played 1-00 but my character knows Zo! from First Mandate as well.


Dot. So much dot.


This is purchased but is not showing up in my downloads?


Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I've just posted my full review, but I'll add my plea for more reality show action.

Minor Spoiler:
I hope the reporting conditions persuade Luwazi to undertake more joint ventures with Zo!


Pathfinder Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber
Jhaeman wrote:
I've just posted my full review, but I'll add my plea for more reality show action. ** spoiler omitted **

Not really but it seems that after the Scoured Stars, the Starfinders are still strapped for cash. We may have no choice but to do it again...

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