Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Scenario #1-20: Duskmire Accord 9

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A Starfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 1–4.

A vault opens inside the mysterious false moon of Salvation's End, and the Starfinder Society sends in a team of agents to investigate. Although it has discerned little about the vault"s interior, the Society has identified a powerful energy signature near the vault's center. Several factions within the vault clash for control of the area. If the PCs are to succeed at their mission, they'll need to choose a side.

Content in Duskmire Accord 9 is a continuation of the Starfinder Society special, Starfinder Society #1-00: Claim to Salvation and Starfinder Society #1-09: Live Exploration Extreme!; however, playing those previous scenarios is not required.

Written by Brian Duckwitz

Scenario Tags: None

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A Diplomancer's Dream

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NO SPOILERS

Duskmire Accord 9 is one of those scenarios that have a great premise but just don't quite come together because of some flaws in execution. I played through it at Subtier 1-2 with my "Stephen Hawking" PC and finding it rather boring. It's a very low (possibly no) combat scenario, so if you're looking for something RP-heavy, this could be a reasonable choice. It does advance the Salvation's End storyline and has some value from that perspective.

SPOILERS

Duskmire Accord 9 takes up the ball from Live Exploration Extreme!! and runs with it. In that scenario, Starfinders discovered that several vaults in the artificial moon of Salvation's End were self-contained experiments run by an unknown intelligence. In this scenario, the Society has established a new lodge on the moon run by a drow Venture-Captain named Kunoris Vex. I like how Vex's personality is established immediately (though it would have been even cooler if he had been foreshadowed in earlier scenarios). Vex's briefing explains that one of the vaults, labelled only "Duskmire Accord", is the source of strange energy readings and that neither technological nor magical means have allowed outside surveillance. Thus, a team has to be sent in, and that's of course where the PCs get to step up and shine.

Once they get inside, the PCs realize that this particular vault replicates a natural setting with a river, a waterfall, and swampland. A holographic projection immediately appears and tells the PCs that their goal is to "achieve dominance" over the other "resident powers" within the area and then "enter the temple and be released."

While exploring, the PCs will discover that the three "resident powers" are made up of gnolls, yetis, and (perhaps the most odd) a unicorn. But expectations of these races' behavior are dashed, because the gnolls are peaceful farmers, the yetis are lazy and intoxicated, and the unicorn is a vicious murderer of anything that trespasses into its swamp. The heart of this scenario is the PCs making contact with each of these races and either entering peaceful negotiations with them or combat. When I played through the scenario, we had a "Diplomancer" in the group with a Diplomacy score high enough that he couldn't realistically fail any of the DCs. This meant that we essentially watched as he worked out a treaty between the three groups, which was a fairly boring experience. The problem is that the DCs were too low, the consequences of failure (and subsequent retries) were either not severe or not spelled out, and there wasn't a lot that others could do besides Aid Another. The unicorn was the hardest to win over in a peaceful fashion, but even then I never felt any real risk or danger. (I will confess that a unicorn with a grenade launcher is an awesome idea!)

Other groups, of course, may have very different attitudes and start combat with some or all of the groups, which would lead to a very different experience. But for the session I was in, there was no combat at all except a quick one-round (optional) capture of a drone.

While the PCs are traipsing back and forth across the vault to make contact with the residents, they'll realize that a forcefield has sprung up across the entrance to the vault. This force field has the "power of plot", so the PCs aren't getting out until they succeed on the mission. In addition, the PCs will sooner or later find a large temple in the center of the vault. However, it's completely sealed from top to bottom, and there's no way in until the mysterious intelligence determines that "dominance" has occurred.

What's really going on here is an experiment to see which of the three different alien races brought into the vault (with no real memories of their prior lives) will kill or enslave the other two. Once that's done, the vault "resets"--and it's currently on the ninth iteration! I like high concept, classic science-fiction storylines like this one (it reminds me of a Star Trek episode). I just wish the PCs' role in the story had been more fun.

Anyway, when the PCs subdue or make peace between the groups, they gain admittance to the temple. There's a weird bit at the end where the temple exits seal and a countdown to "Duskmire sterilization protocols" starts. This is a final experiment that I guess is to see what the PCs will do if they think everyone they've just met is about to be murdered, but it falls flat because there's nothing for them *to* do. Unless they are *very* bad at skills, they'll realize it's a hoax and that everything will be fine. And from a metagame perspective, there are no consequences for anything the PCs say or do while in the temple. Again, an interesting idea (placing the PCs in some sort of dilemma to see what they'll do) that fails in execution.

I've been a bit harsh in this review, but that's only because I can see the potential just underneath the surface. Add in a couple of combat encounters to spice things up, require more PCs to participate in the negotiations in order for them to be successful, have something riding on what the PCs do at the end in the temple, and then there's an exciting, interesting scenario. But as it currently stands, Duskmire Accord 9 just doesn't get there. I am still looking forward, however, to seeing what's next in the Salvation's End storyline.


Bring your diplomats

****( )

Great flavorful scenario, if you can hold you itchy trigger finger your diplomancer will have a blast



1 person marked this as a favorite.

So the continuation of 1-00 and 1-09 is 1-20, and is still only 1-4? Correct me if I'm wrong, but won't most people who played 1-00 and 1-09 be well past level 4 by the time it comes out?

Paizo Employee Organized Play Lead Developer

3 people marked this as a favorite.

There are at least two philosophies of featuring a special character or location in scenarios.

1) Continually increase the level range of subsequent adventures so that a specific character can experience each of the adventures sequentially over the course of several seasons.
2) Present adventures in a variety of level ranges without following an ascending level progression.

Model 1 sure is nice for those who want to experience the entire story, and that's most appropriate when there's a very linear story to follow. From a design perspective, it makes it difficult to "backtrack" in levels, even when a lower tier is the better fit for the subject matter; if it isn't constantly increasing in level, some see that as denying individual characters that chance to play every one of those adventures.

Model 2's quite handy when there's not a precise, linear storyline or path through a site. In the case of Salvation's End we're looking at an adventure site that we hope to feature for years to come with new material appealing to a wide level range. That means you'll see some higher level scenarios set there in the future, and after those, we might include another Tier 1–4 because it's the best choice for the subject material, schedule, or both.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild 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?

Starfinder Society Developer

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Maps Appearing in Starfinder Society Scenario #1–20: Duskmire Accord 9:
-Pathfinder Flip-Mat Classics: Swamp
-Pathfinder Flip-Mat: Hamlet
-1 Custom Half-Page Map

Grand Lodge

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Fedor Checherov wrote:
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?

My assumption is that if Dead Suns was SFS legal, players would be able to attain level 9 before GenCon and thereby be unable to play Scoured Stars Invasion...

Just a guess thou.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Aren't anyone gonna' address

Spoiler:
the Unicorn with a friggin' grenade launcher on its head?!

Anyone?!

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Dandelo wrote:

Aren't anyone gonna' address

** spoiler omitted **

Anyone?!

Spoiler:
She is awesome!
Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
The Masked Ferret wrote:
Dandelo wrote:

Aren't anyone gonna' address

** spoiler omitted **

Anyone?!

** spoiler omitted **

Amen! Had a blast with [it]!

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