Starfinder Society Scenario #1-18: The Blackmoon Survey

3.60/5 (based on 7 ratings)

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A Starfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 1-4.

Eox's Blackmoon region contains countless forgotten Eoxian ruins, leftovers from an apocalyptic assault on the planet. Few are allowed to dig up these sites, yet the Starfinder Society and undead bone sages maintain a joint academic venture known as the Blackmoon Excavation. When Starfinder archaeologists and undead workers begin disappearing from the site the Society sends in a team of agents to uncover why—a secret that resides in the nearby ruins!

Written by Jesse Benner

Scenario Tags: None

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

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PZOSFS0118E


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Average product rating:

3.60/5 (based on 7 ratings)

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2/5

Sorry, but I have to give this 2 stars. Was going to give only 1, but I actually liked the plot.

The plot was really interesting to me both when I played and GM'd this, it was interesting to see more of Eox and the relationship between eoxians and sarcesians. However, there are MAJOR problems with how the scenario was planned, especially in the middle sniper encounter.

On its own, it's not a bad encounter. But the fact that this is a tier 1-4 scenario really affects how this encounter... Doesn't fit.

Snipers with more than 600 ft. between them and the party, not a whole lot of places to hide, and the fact that this is a tier 1-4 scenario. When I played this, we had a party of 2nd level characters, and whe barely survived this encounter with our two longarm using characters. Today I ran this scenario to four 1st level characters, and it ended in a TPK. There was no way they'd make it close enough to shoot any of the snipers before all of them were down.

Considering the tier, the encounter was badly scaled and planned. Characters with few resources are totally at the snipers' mercy. It wasn't fun or enjoyable tactical encounter for them, it was a massacre. I firmly think this should've either been a tier 3-6 scenario, or the encounter should've been different, perhaps with a much smaller map.

Better luck next time.


Space Snipers

5/5

A nice scenario, with a cool investigation, Alien Races, important choices to make.

It is nice to have "different" tactical situations (seeing how to avoid & approach snipers).

Very nice!


An interesting scenario overshadowed by a slog of a fight

2/5

I can't even really remember what this one is about because all I can remember is taking endless double moves closing in on a sniper's nest.

There might be an interesting way to realize this idea for a fight, but this wasn't it.


Great use of lore, interesting choices

4/5

Based on my experiences GMing and playing at my local gaming store…

This scenario was really hard for me to rate. It’s been several months since I played through 1-18, so I went back and skimmed the scenario again and checked out the other reviews (Jhaeman’s was excellent, as always) to remember my feel for this scenario. Spoilers galore follow.

Good news

Spoiler:
I really enjoyed the scenario’s integration of the lore of Eox into the mission with the bone sages and sarcesians, enjoyed the extreme long-range combat (not every scenario should involve know what your weapon’s range increment is, but I think it should happen more than once per year and this was a great start), and was immensely pleased by the end of the scenario where the PCs get to make choices involving the Wings of Damiar that affect the scenario’s outcome and the Starfinder Society.

Room for improvement

Spoiler:
So then, why not a full 5-star review? The boons from this scenario left a less-than great taste in my mouth and influenced player actions in multiple subsequent scenarios trying to fulfil the conditions for the Borai boon. To start, the two race boons were great. What I disliked is linking them specifically to different outcomes for the scenario, especially for the chance to play a rare undead-ish borai. Inevitably in my local group once one table played and found out only choice B led to a borai, (including one player in the first group begging to change his vote once he found his character made the “wrong” choice), the choice at the end of the scenario wasn’t about which ally was best for the Starfinder Society, it was about a player picking a race boon.

Spoiler:
To make matters worse, the borai boon requires character death – something actually pretty difficult to pull of in Season 1 of SFS. This has led to characters deliberately jumping into traps, or, in one table I was running, creating a literal explosive vest to detonate to ensure their demise (they succeeded, which also made the final encounter trivial). The perverse incentive created by the borai boon is to encourage player-based decision making (I want to play a borai) over character-based decision making (I don’t want to blow myself up all of a sudden). Maybe the flavor wouldn’t have been the same, but a boon saying create a level 1 borai character would’ve solved this aspect of the problem. Even though I love choices for PCs, in the future it might be best to stick to choices that aren’t tied to race boon access to avoid this situation going forward.


4/5

This scenario takes place on Eox, a planet with a thin and toxic atmosphere that is run and populated by undead. More specifically it stops in the city of Zinhew, before heading out to the Blackmoon excavation site, and into the barren wastes of the planet. GMs will need to familiarize themselves with the poison rules, while players will need to ensure they have armour, which can protect them from many of the environmental hazards of Eox.

The scenario makes excellent use of Pact Worlds history and current politics, which I thought was wonderful. Not only does it involve the history of Eox, but it also touches on the history of the Diaspora, Damiar, Iovo, as well as the Magefire Rebellion of 7AG, and the Thousand Moons trap. Although learning this history and background information isn’t necessary, knowledgable PCs will get extra enjoyment from doing so. It’s a great scenario to crack out your know-it-alls!

The mystery and investigation itself has multiple avenues of inquiry, and accounts for a wide array of skills that can be used to gain information. Players who find themselves stumped need not worry, as the scenario keeps moving even if you’re stuck. That said, uncovering as much as you can has benefits, so good investigation is rewarded. It provides some unique roleplaying encounters, mechanically interesting battles, and environmental hazards. One of these battles could be particularly challenging for some groups, but I rather enjoyed it.

This scenario also strongly gives the PCs agency. There are multiple resolutions to this adventure, and your actions have a direct impact on which boons you receive and how various groups perceive you and the Starfinder Society as a whole.


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Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Any map updates? Sorry to be a pest, but shipping flip-mats to Australia takes longer than 1d6 days of Drift travel :)


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Scenario is yet to come, but in event reporting form there is its option - and there are still no such options for Dead Suns IV and V. How is that?

Paizo Employee Starfinder Society Developer

Maps Appearing in Starfinder Society Scenario #1–18: The Blackmoon Survey:
This product uses two half-page custom maps. No other maps are required.


What time? I would like to know. Is it a online game? If so I will play with my vesk character. Does it cost to play?


Starfinder Charter Superscriber
jehir9 wrote:
What time? I would like to know. Is it a online game? If so I will play with my vesk character. Does it cost to play?

This is just the product page that tells people about the scenario in general. Are you looking to get into a game? There are some other forum threads on paizo.com that can help you.


I have a question about a boon on the sheet, To avoid spoilers I'll be vague. How long does it last? It isn't specified.

Grand Lodge

Bigguyinblack wrote:
I have a question about a boon on the sheet, To avoid spoilers I'll be vague. How long does it last? It isn't specified.

last paragraph says that it is now permanent as it takes up a certain slot permanently

Sczarni

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

More interestingly, in that same boon there appears to be a (-) where there should be a (+). I'm guessing it's a typo and we should go with the real source info?


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Boon Question:

Spoiler:
Borai boon must be used only on that same character who got this chronicle - or any other this player character? It is written that you do not have to slot it - that is why I am in doubt

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