A Starfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 1-4.
The PCs take part in an investigation after an Absalom Station pawnbroker tries to sell the Starfinder Society a lethal biotech augmentation. The search leads into the depths of the station's Freemarkets and into another investigation initiated by AbadarCorp. With rumors abound of mysterious disappearances near the Freemarkets and that those people using the augmentations are suffering from a mysterious illness, it falls to the PCs to piece together what's going on. Where is this never-before-seen biotech coming from, and what happens when the augmented dead don't stay dead?
Written by Mara Lynn Butler
Scenario Tags: None
Other Resources: This product is also available on the following platforms:
This tidy little mystery is great fun, and a has a bit of a horror vibe to it. It's got some fun combat encounters, but where it really shines is with it's NPCs. From major to minor NPCs, everyone is easy for GMs to run and enjoyable to interact with. Really well done! I particularly enjoyed seeing the return of Julzakama from Into the Unknown and Philt from Fugitive on the Red Planet.
An investigative scenario that lets you explore more of your home base, absalom station.
The investigation itself is fun, but will be better with an experienced GM, who can flesh out the parts a bit more.
Combat is fun and can be quite scary. Especially the end can get players sitting upright in their seats.
Good solid scenario, a really good intro for new players. It will be more fun with a more experienced GM who can add to the story, so 4 out of 5 stars.
I played this the other day and had a great time. It has a solid mix of encounter types and roleplaying with some investigation and a mix of skills needed. Overall, I recommend it. It's really good as a drop-in outside of the main meta-plot for season one.
Based on my experiences as a GM and then player at my local gaming store…
There’s a lot to like about SFS 1-10: The Half-Alive Streets. As other reviews have mentioned, the call backs to characters from other scenarios (SFS Quests 1-1 and 1-02, both) is a great touch that makes the SFS scenarios feel interconnected and like the PCs are participating as part of a living world. I also really enjoyed that this scenario, like 1-02, sort of feels like it could be dropped in anywhere without it being “out of order” in terms of a larger meta-plot. Don’t get me wrong – I really enjoy the SFS metaplot(s) so far – but for GMs that need to run a quick “catch up” scenario for new players, it’s useful to have a pretty straightforward mission without worrying about missing a ton if you don’t know what happened in a prior scenario.
I went back and forth on giving this scenario 4 or 5 stars. To me it’s not quite at the “amazing” level of other scenarios that I’ve rated 5 stars up to this point (The Commencement, The First Mandate, and Live Exploration Extreme!) but it’s a great story, well told, with a few twists and turns and a surprisingly tragic backstory that underpins the entire affair. In addition to the great story, In both games that I GM’d for this scenario there were a few minor issues came up that I wish were better addressed. Something to think about for scenarios in the future:
First, upon hearing about the various stores in Freemarkets, the first thing that the PCs wanted to do, twice, was do the infosphere equivalent of Google or Yelp the various cybernetic equipment dealers. While I told them the turbulent nature of the Freemarkets made it hard to get a handle on any specific shops, out-of-character I find it a little hard to believe that clinics essentially offering advanced surgery wouldn’t have a website that prospective clients could go to check out their work without having to trek over to see the store in person. PCs also wanted to check out “the best” stores, according to the infosphere reviews (which didn’t exist), so there was some fudging/”make it up” involved in the virtual part of their investigation. In the future, for scenarios on Absalom Station or within the Pact Worlds, it’d be nice to have a little boxed summary of “Available on the Infosphere” information for situations, like this one, where the PCs are probably going to think to turn on their computers and start typing in names. Maybe there’s one in game that I’m forgetting, but even allowing the PCs to make Computers checks instead of Culture or Diplomacy didn’t really cut it for learning about specific stores.
Second, while the explanation of all of the different shops in the Freemarkets’ second level is very detailed and makes for some great roleplaying opportunities, walking down a street and seeing relevant shops etc. during an investigation felt a little weird for both tables that I GMed. Both groups of PCs expected to go straight to the shop(s) of their choice from the directory, skipping the travel (as one would expect in basically any other scenario). As a result, the PCs had to be sort of lightly prodded (some picked up on the hints) into roleplaying/gathering information with various shop owners that, frankly, probably was just the PCs acting out what is normally covered by a “Diplomacy (Gather Information)” check. The idea of visiting the various small shops and kiosks was excellent, but the execution didn’t fit seamlessly into the scenario. Maybe there wasn’t a way to do it better, but it felt a little off for everyone.
All in all, though, a very good scenario and a blast to play through. If the biggest problems in SFS scenarios were those listed above, I wouldn’t have much to complain about.
Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Any Tags for this one?
As a related suggestion: Could something like "Starfinder Society Scenario Tags: None" be added to the listing for scenarios without tags? That would make it easier to tell if there are no tags vs the information has been added yet.
Do these have useful items or class options like the adventure paths in them?
The short answer is generally no. These $5 scenarios are just short adventures and they won't come with any classes/spells/etc like the APs do.
They do sometimes come with Boons, though. Boons are small little things your character gets for completing a scenario or meeting certain objectives. They are mostly designed to interact with Organized Play, but a few of them could potentially be relevant in a home game.
An example of a Boon might be a contact or ally that would grant you some benefit in a different scenario, or a black market contact that gives you a discount on a piece of equipment.