Starfinder Society Scenario #1-19: To Conquer the Dragon

****½ (based on 7 ratings)

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A Starfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 5-8.

After much negotiating, the Starfinder Society has reached an accord to work with leaders of the Drakelands and Skyfire Mandate on the world of Triaxus. To commemorate this historic achievement, the Society intends to open a new lodge in the settlement of Cumo. However, a recent enemy intends to disrupt the event, and only the PCs stand between this hidden threat and the Society's newest endeavor.

Content in To Conquer the Dragon builds on story elements established in Starfinder Society #1–13: On the Trail of History, however, playing that previous scenario is not required.

Written by Matt Duval

Scenario Tags: Starship

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

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PZOSFS0119E


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****½ (based on 7 ratings)

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Space Dragons

*****

Not wanting to spoil, this has a great opening that will most probably leave you frustrated somehow, but is great in that sense, that one cannot do all!

Then there is a great space battle and chase and fight.

And dragons!

Really a "must play"!


Great story! Shaky investigation mechanics

****( )

So there is a lot to love here. Shadowrun Deutschland style Dragon corporations run amok? You betcha!

Playing corporate counter-espionage was pretty cool, but this was a wickedly punishing section of the game. I am not sure if this was intended to be so difficult, but the DCs were so high that if it was a skill our Operative was not specialized in there was only a very low chance of success which didn't feel great.

The actual assault on the Dragon's lair was neat,

Spoiler:
though I question the lore of having a lot of ice dragon minions going around wielding powerful flame weapons!

The fight with the Dragon was appropriately epic while also being appropriately Starfinder. Would recommend.


Dragons!

*****

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

To Conquer the Dragon was, for me, the best SFS scenario to come out since 1-09 Live Exploration Extreme! While only the second tier 5-8 scenario to be published after 1-17, 1-19 did a good job mixing social, investigative, starship, and normal combat encounters so this scenario has something for everybody. The scenario also builds off developments uncovered in previous SFS scenarios, adding to SFS lore that is growing richer by the scenario. Detailed spoilers below. The scenario requires more prep work than one might expect in order to run properly, particularly the last combat, but the payoff is one of the best combats, and overall scenarios, in all of SFS’s season 1.

Spoiler:
SFS 1-19 starts off with the PCs traveling to Triaxus to attending the opening of the White Sands Lodge in Cumo under the brass dragon Zafeldrin. After some brief initial gimmicks from Zafeldrin to test the agents’ abilities (which I didn’t think were strictly necessary but didn’t mind), the Starfinders are charged with both impressing visiting dignitaries at an upcoming gala and doing security for the grounds via a series of skill challenges. Zafeldrin emphasizes he’d prefer the PCs focus on making a good impression (pg. 7), with potentially disastrous consequences if security is foregone. I enjoyed the skill challenges, and also enjoy the introduction of a SFS VC giving the wrong advice for what to focus on – PCs need to remember it’s their decisions that make the difference.

Spoiler:
After impressing the dignitaries and hopefully preventing the orbital bombardment of the lodge, I thought the ensuing starship combat was, like most starship combats, just okay. The rules on running the other civilian freighters were a bit confusing (particularly how the bad guys were controlling their ships), but overall it wasn’t a bad starship combat. Given the lack of many exceptional starship combats in SFS scenarios (my favorites probably being the ones in 1-04 and 1-13 up to 1-19), I don’t hold this against the scenario.

Spoiler:
Following the starship combat, the final part of the adventure exploring the crash site and ultimately facing off against Norys is one of the best in SFS. While the optional encounter felt very optional, the final combat against a huge white dragon operative in snowy mountains in a 3D combat environment is exactly the type of fight I envision Starfinder being made to produce. While understanding the terrain and Norys abilities and hit-and-run trick attack tactics took a few read throughs, the extra prep was worth it for a very memorable (and long) fight. Particularly for larger parties I’d almost recommend skipping the optional encounter entirely because of how long the dragon fight should last – this is an intelligent opponent with well over 100 hp at both subtiers, who practices self-preservation (a white dragon focusing on stealth in a snowstorm while carrying multiple healing serums), and should not be a two or three round fight in most instances. Hats off to Matt Duval for putting this one together!


***( )( )

To Conquer the Dragon sends your players to Triaxus for the grand opening of the White Sands Starfinder Lodge. This new lodge is located between the Drakelands and the Allied Territories, and its opening is a huge win for the Society! Your job is to get there, ensure the gala goes off without a hitch, and impress the many dignitaries that will be in attendance. Sound a little familiar? Yeah, it’s premise is a bit like #1-05: The First Mandate, which worried me a bit. You attend a gala and try to impress some guests. It gets violent. That said, this scenario is full of surprises, and didn’t go as I expected. You get to spend a lot of effort on patrolling and defending the gala, which can allow you to do some pretty helpful pre-emptive things which affect this adventure’s outcome and how the Starfinder Society is perceived on Triaxus. The attack is certainly different than I expected it to be, and the sections of the adventure that follows are unique.

The starship battle is a bit tricky and can really benefit from an awesome science officer, which is great to see. There’s a lot of fun social encounters, but honestly, where I think this scenario can most shine is its villain. She’s unique, driven, and has a grudge out for anyone whose played #1-13. This is personal, and she ensures your players know it. Of all the enemies I’ve seen so far in the Starfinder Society, she is BY FAR my favourite, and the most memorable. I highly recommend GMs play up this fierce opponent as much as possible!

All in all, I think this is a great (but very dense) scenario, that suffers a bit from its similarity to The First Mandate. That said, it’s considerably different, and makes excellent use of its side characters and main villain. Not my favourite, but fun.


*****

A very thematic scenario. Who wouldnt be exited to go to a planet full of dragons, to work with a dragon VC?!?!?!?!

The only issue I have with the scenario is that if you fail some skill checks, the transitions between some scenes can be a bit weird, but nothing a GM cant work with.

The fights can be pretty tough and the take on the starship combat is very cool!

5/5 would get eaten by a dragon again.


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Starfinder Superscriber

Since I haven't seen it yet, here are the maps used.

Maps Appearing in Starfinder Society Scenario #1–19: To Conquer the Dragon:

-Starfinder Flip-Mat: Urban Sprawl
-Starfinder Flip-Mat: Basic Starfield
-Half-Page Custom Map


Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Thanks, that's useful!

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 4

It was great getting to listen in to a few tables at GenCon and hear some feedback in person. I hope everyone had fun! :-)


The chronicle lists the awards for Subtier 3-4, while it should be Subtier 7-8


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I admire that the dragon from the cover of the Playtest has decided to upgrade because he's sick of Valeros beating on him. Where's your God(s) now, beatstick machine?


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Does anybody know if there is a boon to unlock Dragonkin as a playable race in Starfinder Society?

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