Starfinder Society Scenario #1-15: Save the Renkrodas

3.70/5 (based on 7 ratings)

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A Starfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 3-6.

For decades, the feathered renkrodas of Castrovel have teetered on the brink of extinction. Sympathies have grown for species' plight, and thanks to contributions from Radaszam of the Acquisitives faction, a gala and pledge drive is scheduled in one of Castrovel's wilderness preserves. When the PCs attend the gala as Radaszam's escort, they quickly learn that a group of extremists have dangerous plans of their own to end to the renkrodas' plight. When these extremists launch a daring attack, it's up to the PCs to save the gala, save the attendees, and—most of all—save the renkrodas!

Content in Save the Renkrodas also contributes to the ongoing goals of the Acquisitives faction.

Written by Andrew Hoskins

Scenario Tags: Faction (Acquisitives), Vehicle

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.

PZOSFS0115E


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Average product rating:

3.70/5 (based on 7 ratings)

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Space Dinos

5/5

A very nice, rather simple (in a good way) storyline, with a lot of flavor!
I even got to ride a dino' as an ysoki!


A fun romp, but could have been better

3/5

It is an... interesting choice to have the Acquisitives faction leader be an ardent environmentalist. I definitely feel I have no real pule for what Radaszam is like as all information about him is a bit self-contradictory.

I liked this scenario - after First Mandate, I could feel the players settling in for what they thought would be an extended Influence section and used that to bait and switch them into something more interesting with the missing security guard.

There were perhaps one too many red herrings as even when the situation was resolved the players still strongly suspected the wildlife refuge people of foul play.

The Vehicle combat was fun but also seemed very difficult for the players to actually succeed at - it was fine because it provided a dramatic conclusion but I would have been miffed if they had missed out on rewards as a result.

My biggest complaints would be that the terrorist's plan makes no sense and neither does the Venture Captain's, and that the terrorist's demands are basically comical to the point of nonsense. It would have been better if there had been maybe a little more explanation of what they were even hoping to accomplish


4/5

It’s got a really fun premise and sees your PCs attend a gala to raise money for the conservation of the nearly extinct renkrodas. Their mission? Make the powerful people in attendance your pals, and ensure that you leave a good impression of the Starfinder Society. That’s it! At least on paper. Obviously, there’s much more that happens in this scenario, and to be honest it’s one heck of an exciting, whirlwind! Such a blast! A word of warning, though, it’s quite combat heavy. This scenario is the first to feature a vehicle chase, which I thought turned out really well. It was fun and exciting and played well for us at the table.


Strong concept with a couple of rough edges

4/5

Perspective: played it and ran it.

I liked this scenario; it's tough but not mean. There's good use of recognizable movie tropes and some properly scare moments. Some of the mechanics are a bit awkward to run though. Let's chalk that up to a new game system. Overall Hoskins shows the lessons learned in PFS on how to write an interesting and challenging scenario.


Good Ideas Poorly Executed

2/5

NO SPOILERS

I played Save the Renkrodas at low subtier with my favourite drug-addicted Solarian PC. This review is based on that experience and then reading the scenario afterwards. My overall feeling is that while the scenario has a strong premise and the seeds of a good adventure, it falls flat due to major plotting mistakes and mostly pedestrian encounters. It’s not a terrible scenario, but there are definitely better ones out there at this stage in Starfinder.

SPOILERS

The scenario takes place on the planet Castrovel in a wildlife reserve operated by the Esowath Conservancy. The Conservancy is holding a fund-raising gala to help save an endangered species: “feathered renkrodas” (essentially, T-Rexes with coats of rainbow-colored feathers). The scenario starts with the PCs on a ship headed toward the gala, with Radaszam (head of the Acquisitives faction) giving the briefing. In a bit of character development that kind of comes from left field, Radaszam turns out to be quite the philanthropist. He’s brought the PCs along with him to mingle and make a good impression on potential allies of the Society. In a bit of ironic foreshadowing, Radaszam tells the PCs they don’t need to worry about danger since there’s plenty of security already present—as if! And, oddly, there’s no mention of Radaszam’s prominent role in the *last* gala the Starfinders participated in: the attempted assassination of the First Seeker in # 1-05! Do *not* go to parties with this guy—he’s bad luck!

The next part of the scenario is the gala itself. Essentially, this is a role-playing opportunity where each PC has time for one conversation with an NPC at one of five different locations in the gala (the bar, the security checkpoint, etc.). Unlike a true social encounter, there’s nothing really riding on the outcome of these conversations, and limited intelligence to be gathered. I don’t mind though—role-playing is its own reward, and doesn’t always have to be tied to a substantive goal. The NPCs present aren’t as interesting or fleshed out as they were for the similar concept in # 1-05. On the other hand, the map of the gala is quite attractive.

The first encounter starts with the PCs being summoned by Radaszam. He explains that there’s been a potential security breach, with one of the guards on the outer perimeter failing to report back in. Despite his earlier statement that the PCs needn’t worry about security, Radaszam quickly volunteers the PCs to go investigate. When they arrive, they find the corpse of the guard, the corpse of the assailant (an eco-terrorist), and a swarm of tiny carnivorous venomous dinosaurs that attack! It’s a good chance for players to be exposed to both swarms and poison, neither of which has been prominent in Starfinder Society scenarios.

When the PCs get (almost) back to the gala, they find they’ve missed all the important stuff--Radaszam (and the security chief) have narrowly escaped an attack by terrorists who have taken over the place and are holding hostages! Now, here’s the part where I had the biggest beef with the scenario as both a player and a reader. Radaszam wants the PCs to help him get to an emergency communications bunker several kilometres away so they can summon reinforcements. In character, I kept trying to figure out how many terrorists there were, because unless there’s a *lot*, it’s not likely to be worth a long journey to send a message, wait for reinforcements to arrive at the isolated campsite, and then figure out whether to negotiate or try to forcefully free the hostages. But Radaszam is insistent.

So, the PCs have to fight their way past some Formian (ant-people) mercenaries in a forgettable encounter to get into an equipment shed to liberate a couple of jeeps, drive to the communications bunker, send the message, learn that any help is hours away at best (duh!), and *then* hear Radaszam “seize upon the opportunity” for the Starfinders to “eliminate [the terrorists] before they execute any hostages.” I told him that an hour ago!

So then the PCs have to drive all the way back to the gala and (on the way) try to subdue a renkroda that the terrorists are mind-controlling with some sort of electric collar. I didn’t participate in this encounter (my PC decided to stay behind at the gala), but it’s pretty interesting in concept. It’s the first SFS scenario to use the vehicle chase rules from the Core Rulebook. It turned out a bit clunky and forced during actual play, but that’s probably more of an artefact of everyone trying to figure out the rules for the first time (vehicle rules aren’t quite like normal tactical rules and aren’t much like starship combat, so there’s a learning curve). Still, the idea of having a Jurassic World style "Jeep vs. Dinosaur" chase was a good one.

Anyway, after all of that, the PCs return to the gala to confront the legions of terrorists that must have invaded to take over the place. Turns out there’s only four of them (or three if the four-player adjustment is in place). In other words, the PCs (along with Radaszam and the security chief) outnumber the terrorists and *have always* outnumbered the terrorists (!), so what was the point in going for reinforcements? Nor is there any need for overwhelming force to subdue the terrorists quickly before they can execute any of the hostages. Despite what should be a tense encounter requiring careful, split-second timing, the hostages are never at any risk. It’s just a standard battle against a terrorist leader and a couple of his mooks.

I think what frustrates me so much about Save the Renkrodas is that it has the elements of being a dramatic, memorable scenario but then mishandles things in order to coddle the PCs. Instead of Radaszam *telling* the PCs they need to retreat and get reinforcements, the scenario should *show* the PCs an overwhelming number of assailants and make it quite clear that it’s a choice between retreat or death (and let them go out in a blaze of glory if they insist and refuse the obvious). Similarly, the scenario should have set up a mechanism for the terrorists to start executing hostages round-by-round on a bungled attempt to liberate them—force the PCs to come up with a *good* plan that makes the most of whatever skill-sets they have (snipers, disguise, distractions, etc.) or face tragic consequences. Because the scenario in its present form lets the PCs just walk up and duke it out with the terrorists, it makes both the original need for retreat and the concern about the hostages into threats that are proven to have always been false—and thus undermines future scenarios where the writers want the players to react “realistically” to perceived dangers. Players need a fair chance to fail if they’re going to be proud when they succeed.


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Paizo Employee Starfinder Society Developer

4 people marked this as a favorite.

Please be aware, the Vehicle tag is a new tag that will be introduced in future iterations of the Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Guide. As you might expect, this tag indicates that the scenario incorporates some vehicle combat.

Grand Lodge Contributor

Thurston Hillman wrote:
Please be aware, the Vehicle tag is a new tag that will be introduced in future iterations of the Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Guide. As you might expect, this tag indicates that the scenario incorporates some vehicle combat.

What?! That's crazy. How does that even work?

Spoiler:
Just kidding, it's going to be super cool!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Enjoyed the teaser to this in 1-08 Sanctuary of Drowned Delight, looking forward to returning to Castrovel after the Temple of the Twelve!

When you say vehicle..:
I'm imagining a Jurassic Park homage of fighting off a Renkroda stampede in off-road buggies.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Society Developer

3 people marked this as a favorite.
McBugman wrote:

Enjoyed the teaser to this in 1-08 Sanctuary of Drowned Delight, looking forward to returning to Castrovel after the Temple of the Twelve!

** spoiler omitted **

I'm glad that people are so receptive to these tidbits! It's one of the neat things we can work in when starting up a new campaign.

As for the spoiler... well, be sure to play this scenario when it gets released :)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Thurston Hillman wrote:
I'm glad that people are so receptive to these tidbits! It's one of the neat things we can work in when starting up a new campaign.

Absolutely! I'm one of those people who loves to theorize the different "perfect" paths for a single character to level through the scenarios. The cross story seeds and shoutouts really gives the campaign that cool larger story feel I'm sure you're going for.

Thurston Hillman wrote:
As for the spoiler... well, be sure to play this scenario when it gets released :)

*Fist Pump* Excited to run it! Thanks!

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
Thurston Hillman wrote:
I'm glad that people are so receptive to these tidbits! It's one of the neat things we can work in when starting up a new campaign.

Those are definitely one of best things about the SFS scenarios. You all are doing a fantastic job. Thank you.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
Saashaa wrote:
Thurston Hillman wrote:
I'm glad that people are so receptive to these tidbits! It's one of the neat things we can work in when starting up a new campaign.
Those are definitely one of best things about the SFS scenarios. You all are doing a fantastic job. Thank you.

I want to echo this SO HARD. These little loyalty bonuses make the whole campaign so much more engaging than it would otherwise be, and it is already written so well.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Society Developer

2 people marked this as a favorite.

And here's the map list!

Maps Appearing in Starfinder Society Scenario #1–15: Save the Renkrodas:

-Pathfinder Flip-Mat Classics: Forest
-Pathfinder Flip-Mat: Basic Terrain Multi-Pack (Green Map)
-Full-Page Custom Map


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

What size (in squares on a map) are the vehicles?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
BretI wrote:

What size (in squares on a map) are the vehicles?

Also, for those of us wanting to find/make special minis, do these vehicles have representation in the Core pawn set (It seems unlikely)? Can you share the basic structure of the vehicles, as well as their size: map squares?

Motorcycle frame perhaps? Dune buggys? Minivans? Forklifts?
:-)

Second Seekers (Luwazi Elsbo)

Lets give the xenodruids baleful polymorph they said.

Whats the worse thing that could happen they said.

SQUAWK.


#SaveTheRenkrodas

I am interested to see the new vehicle mechanic being implemented for society play as well as a chance to wear space leather pants to get my Space Jeff Goldblum on.


There's quite a bit to like here, but there are parts of the adventure that feel rushed.

I also see an oddity with the second battle's rewards - or penalties rather. It reads "If the PCs do defeat the ________, reduce each PC’s credits earned by the following amount. If you skip this encounter for lack of time, ignore these reductions." But there's no reason why the PCs should be rewarded for losing.

Grand Lodge Contributor

Mr Frost wrote:

There's quite a bit to like here, but there are parts of the adventure that feel rushed.

I also see an oddity with the second battle's rewards - or penalties rather. It reads "If the PCs do defeat the ________, reduce each PC’s credits earned by the following amount. If you skip this encounter for lack of time, ignore these reductions." But there's no reason why the PCs should be rewarded for losing.

It should probably read:

"If the PCs face the [REDACTED] but do not defeat them, reduce each PC's credits earned by the following amount. If you skip this encounter for lack of time, ignore these reductions."

Second Seekers (Jadnura)

This scenario has some nice highlights, but I am wondering what a Compsikania is? There seems to be absolutely 0 descriptor outside of tiny animal which seems like an oversight. I could not find these creatures in Dead Suns 2, Alien Archive, nor Pact Worlds. Are they just meant to be Compsognathus?

Grand Lodge Contributor

Gygax Chitters wrote:
This scenario has some nice highlights, but I am wondering what a Compsikania is? There seems to be absolutely 0 descriptor outside of tiny animal which seems like an oversight. I could not find these creatures in Dead Suns 2, Alien Archive, nor Pact Worlds. Are they just meant to be Compsognathus?

Oh goodness! The mistake is entirely mine. I've added the description to the GM thread so a player doesn't get spoiled.

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