Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Scenario #1-22: The Protectorate Petition

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A Starfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 1-4.

The alien copaxis have long inhabited their world in Near Space but only recently petitioned the Pact Wolds for protectorate status. Sent as part of a delegation to review the petition's virtues and validity, the PCs must explore the ancient copaxi ruins and learn about this applicant species' history. Will the PCs decide to vouch for the copaxis, or will the PCs discover something that casts the copaxis' petition into doubt?

Written by Mike Kimmel

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Fun scenario, few minor hiccups.


Just GMed this one:

So this was a fun scenario, but there are a few minor things that can cause problems. It's easy to miss out on certain bits of information that the scenario expects you to know.

The gist of the scenario is that there is a planet that is petitioning for protectorate status, and the Starfinders are hired to look into their archaeological record in order to see if there are any skeletons in their collective closet. Lo and behold, the archaeological record starts contradicting with stuff the government says, and the PCs have to figure out what to do with that information.

The big problem I have with the scenario (the thing that knocks off a star for me) is that there is one location that gives away, like 90% of the story. So if the PCs visit there first or early on, many of the other areas become superfluous.

**********SPOILER-MY GROUP'S RUN THROUGH SPOILER********
My players went counter clock-ways around the city, so they ended up at the observatory (with the journal) about halfway through the scenerio, which is when the government agent became friendly to them and spilled the beans. The Starfinders, being good starfinders, grilled him on what he knew, but surprisingly were nice and understanding. The universal thought was 'all governments lie, this is nothing new.'

There are a few things that the PCs didn't pick up on. They did notice the agent's control rig but did not identify it in game, and none of them were androids/SROs/drone mechanics so they didn't know about the taboo against AIs until they contacted the agent about Less-than-Three. They did know that the Copaxi USED to be dicks to robots, but figured their ideas had changed a while ago, not realizing that AI had been outlawed.

Also, bits of the lore had to be told to them after they had identified the stuff. So they didn't put together that it was odd that the Copaxi developed drift drive some 290 years AFTER Triune's signal, so they never learned about the government lie that the people got the signal, but couldn't interpret it for some time.

All in all, most of the players liked it, but I just wish there were some ways to feed some of the Copaxi government lies to the players earlier on, not tell them in retrospect 'BTW, government lied about that too."


Well-written, but look over character equipment beforehand

****( )

In The Protectorate Petition, a planet called Tabrid Minor has requested protectorate status with the Pact Worlds. Your player characters are tasked to visit the planet and visit one of its archaeological sites, gather data on the planet, and from there weigh in on whether the planet deserves inclusion in the Pact Worlds. All of this is done while under the scrutiny of some of the planet’s natives.

There are several things the author of the scenario has to be commended for, starting with the unique culture and race created for Tabrid Minor. Along with the ecosystem of the planet, it is unlike anything I’ve seen in science-fantasy gaming, and they’ve done a good job of creating a unique world while explaining why this scenario doesn’t have a dozen pages of unique rules to cover the society of Tabrid Minor.

Another nice touch is that, while not providing unique rules for Tabrid Minor, its backstory does give a chance for Solarians to shine, no pun intended. Such characters will find themselves with an advantage at one point in the scenario, said advantage increasing based upon the abilities they have picked. I enjoy when scenarios give a character class a chance to excel without overshadowing other characters, and this adventure achieves that.

Also, the scenario has a set of rules for tracking the effects the PCs actions have on the results of the scenario, which is very well done, and it is very much written so characters whose focus is on skills will shine as much as those who are combat-focused. This tracking also affects the flow of information the PCs receive during the course of the adventure. When I ran the scenario my players missed certain bits due to their actions, leaving them with a…unique view of the planet that I’m sure the writer didn’t intend, but which added to the fun of the scenario.

However, while the adventure has all of those good points, it is not without flaws. The main issue with the scenario comes with one of the success points in the scenario. It presupposes that at least one of the Starfinders will have a relatively common and cheap piece of gear. As written there is no way for the player characters to be aware of the need of the piece of gear beforehand, and there is no way to acquire it in the scenario. Lacking the item will result in the PCs being unable to achieve one of the success points for the adventure, and they’ll lose credits for it. It was just dumb luck that one of my players decided to buy the gear before they started the adventure, or else they would have had no chance to succeed. There’s also a bit of software given to the PCs at the beginning, and if you happen to have a tech-deficient party, it could result in them having to hit major numbers on Culture checks at certain points in the adventure to get clues to what is going on.

There is also a portion of the adventure where PCs may encounter individuals who will request money so they can achieve their goal. At the end of the adventure the main NPC of the scenario will make a request of the PCs that is exactly the same as the folks who wanted money to do the same thing. The author didn’t consider PCs might just offer the first group exactly what they want in lieu of giving them money.

A minor editing issue exists, with reference made to “Deception” being a skill all its own. The scenario also contains a nod to Transformers and a nod to Harry Potter, so you may encounter a breaking of immersion if players pick up on them.

Finally, the way the scenario deals with the PCs uncovering the history of a planet and choosing how to act on it is reminiscent of Yesteryear’s Truth. That having been the last Starfinder scenario I played, running this one had a bit of déjà vu about it.

Despite the length of my list of gripes, I honestly do recommend the scenario. The good outweighs the bad in it by a good margin. A GM would want to look over character sheets to make certain the players’ characters meet the tech and gear requirement for running it. It’s worth having in your collection, especially if you’re looking for a less combat-focused adventure.


Starfinder Society Developer

Maps Appearing in Starfinder Society Scenario #1–22: The Protectorate Petition:
-Pathfinder Map Pack: Ruined Village
-Pathfinder Map Pack: Secret Rooms
-Half-page Custom Map


Pathfinder Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

Calling it now: The Copaxi turn out to be a classic pathfinder race that we haven't seen in Starfinder

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

5 people marked this as a favorite.
thecursor wrote:
Calling it now: The Copaxi turn out to be a classic pathfinder race that we haven't seen in Starfinder

The following is a complete list of everything I can tell you about the copaxis at this time.

Spoiler:
1.


Starfinder Superscriber

Nicely done. I'm looking forward to this one.

Shadow Lodge

Half square. In the middle of the mapS.

FIFTY DKP MINUS. DON"T DO THAT

and going down the midline....

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