Starfinder Society Scenario #1-26: Truth of the Seeker

2.60/5 (based on 9 ratings)

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A Starfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 3-6.

A prominent Starfinder Society leader that was only just rescued from a year of imprisonment has gone into hiding. Brought together to find this leader, the PCs must explore the kasatha colony ship, Idari, for information on where their target has hidden. From the heart of the Pact Worlds to the very edge of a dangerous stellar phenomena, it's up to the PCs to learn the history of the lost leader and return him safely to the Society.

Truth of the Seeker directly follows-up on the events of Starfinder Society #1-99: The Scoured Stars Invasion, though playing the previous scenario is not required.

Written by Shahreena Shahrani

Scenario Tags: Faction (Second Seekers [Jadnura])

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

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2.60/5 (based on 9 ratings)

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Great Story and Use of Lore, Some Mundane Encounters

4/5

NO SPOILERS

I played through this scenario a few months back, and enjoyed it (I've now read it for the purposes of this review). It's an excellent scenario that tells a strong story that will interest players who have an investment in this season's storyline and the future of the leadership of the Starfinder Society. I have some minor quibbles, but nothing that keeps it from being an excellent experience.

SPOILERS!:

Truth of the Seeker is an important scenario for understanding the backstory behind the Scoured Stars incident, as well as insights into the major new figure of Jadnura. In addition, it advances the season meta-plot of what the Society will do with *two* First Seekers. The premise of the scenario is that Jadnura, upon his return from the Scoured Stars, has found himself lost (spiritually) and has thus taken an opportunity to travel and observe a remote stellar phenomenon to meditate about his past failures and future direction.

The PCs get involved in the story when an old friend of Jadnura, a memorable skittermander named Eshki, brings them together at a fancy restaurant on Absalom Station. Eshki asks the PCs to track down Jadnura and persuade him to return to Absalom Station before the drama caused by his return and then sudden disappearance again create permanent damage to the Starfinder Society. Eshki doesn't know where Jadnura is, but does know he was seen heading to the Idari, the planet-ship that brought the kasatha into the Pact Worlds system. It's a strong hook and I liked the personality and artwork for Eshki, though I did wonder when reading the scenario: who is this dude and why does he think he can order us around? He's not a Venture-Captain or faction leader or anything else of the type, as far as I can tell, but he's clearly giving commands and not asking for a favour. A minor note, but it did strike me as odd.

The scenario then moves to the PCs arriving on the Idari. This is the first Starfinder Society scenario that makes significant use of the location, and the writer did a really good job highlighting some of its distinctive features. Specifically, the idea of a ship so large that it can contain distinctive geographical features and terrain, the particular kasathan notions of etiquette and honour, and the strong connection the people have to understanding cosmic notions of balance and change. Information from the Pact Worlds sourcebook is integrated well, with visits to multiple locations named within.

The PCs start out at the Outland Markets, and need to do a gather information check to get their first lead. This one of those exercises that is really for appearances sake only, as they'll still get the information (with only the most minor of penalties) even if they're all terrible at Diplomacy and fail all the checks.

The next scene is better, however, as the PCs find themselves in a tea shop run by Alsuka, an old friend of Jadnura. Alsuka cleverly tests the PCs' patience and politeness by seeing how long they can make irrelevant small talk before they press for information on the missing leader. I found it a bit odd that PCs are allowed to use pretty much any skill check in this social encounter (rather than just Diplomacy or Culture, the most obvious appropriate ones). But again, the skill checks aren't really that important, as the PCs will get the next lead even if they fail them (something that's hard to do, as there are multiple opportunities for rerolls). Mechanics aside, I really like the concept of the scene and the reminder that sometimes even Starfinders need to slow down and pay attention to contextual clues on how to best relate to people.

The lead from Alsuka's Tea House takes the PCs to the Pradulex Monastery, home to Jadnura's former mentor in solarian philosophy, Master Boojan. Master Boojan also tests the PCs' respect for kasathan etiquette. Once satisfied, he explains that Jadnura spent some time within the monastery but found even the peace within its walls could not assuage his troubled spirit. When a visiting starship captain, Kahir of the Void Scholar, arrived to report on the discovery of a strange stellar phenomenon, Jadnura asked to be taken there. As the PCs leave the monastery, they're accosted by a trio of kasathan solarian initiates from the monastery who have a beef with the Starfinder Society because of relatives' death in the Scoured Stars debacle. This is the first combat encounter of the scenario, and I found it a bit forced and inconsistent with the portrayal of kasathan behaviour and culture in the rest of the adventure.

The PCs have no trouble finding Kahir and getting a trip aboard his ship to the stellar anomaly where Jadnura was dropped off (there's a rogue asteroid orbiting the anomaly, and it contains an ancient structure that makes an ideal observation point). As is the developing trope for these scenarios, the ship can't land exactly at its destination due to rough terrain, and has to drop the PCs some distance away to walk. This, of course, presages a combat encounter--this time against solar wisps from Alien Archive 2. It's a fairly forgettable encounter, that again seems like the sort of thing inserted so there'd be some mid-point action.

The structure on the rogue asteroid is an ancient temple dedicated to Ibra, the god of secrets and mysteries. There's a discrepancy in having an old-fashioned stone building as the observation point, as it's sitting on an asteroid that, explicitly, has no atmosphere! And although we're told Jadnura borrowed some oxygen tanks, how long was he planning to hang out? Oh well, the flip-mat is cool anyway. There are some really interesting traps/hazards around the structure, with my favourite one the "Endless Stair Hazard" that has the PCs stuck in a trance for hours and emerging exhausted. The rooms have some randomly placed treasure in gems and magic items--I wish scenarios would abandon the notion that monetary rewards like this have to appear in the scenario itself. They often appear clunky and forced, and are usually irrelevant (since the PCs can't do much with them). I know they're designed for people who purchase scenarios for use outside of organised play, but I'd rather these items appear in a separate appendix at the end for optional insertion by GMs who really need them.

The climax of the scenario is with a parasitic, incorporeal entity called a "void hantu." The void hantu has drained Jadnura and left him comatose. The creature is a real challenge to defeat, as it will almost certainly hit when it attacks (and thus has no reason not to full attack), and each hit does anywhere from 1 to 1d4+1 points of ability score damage. And as an incorporeal creature, PCs who are unprepared could find themselves in a really bad situation. I remember we were lucky to survive when I played through it.

With the void hantu defeated, Jandura can be awakened. There's a satisfying scene with him, and I especially like the bit that he remembers PCs who played through the Scoured Stars Invasion special. Jadnura agrees to return to Absalom Station and start to deal with the ramifications of everything that has happened to the Society in the last two years.

Overall, Truth of the Seeker was a strong scenario. It makes great use (and advancement) of the season meta-plot, reveals some important insights about Jadnura, and serves as a good introduction to kasathan culture and the Idari. The combat encounters are sometimes a bit forced, but that's not unusual in scenarios and I consider it a forgivable sin. I'd definitely recommend this one to players and GMs.


Space Tough

5/5

I played and DMed this scenario, and enjoyed both (as did my players when I was the DM).
I know the last fight is tough, but, for once it is nice to not just roll through everything, and to have a challenge, that makes you think and see what tactics and attacks to use.
Anyhow: it is a very nice scenario, where you discover the Kasatha culture, a cool space captain, and old monastery with some harsh enemies...
I know that the last event (when Jadnura does not thank the people that much) is a bit harsh, but I hope he will come back later to this.
In any event, I enjoyed finally not having an easy fight.
Very nice.


First Seeker leads to First Dud

1/5

This is ostensibly a scenario in which you get to explore the Idari, learn about Kasathan Culture, and learn about our intrepid First Seeker.

The issue is that while you START off learning a bit about Kasathan Culture with the tea house and the temple, you learn next to nothing about the Idari and things look like they're headed in an overall positive direction.

Onlythe clues cause you to LEAVE the Idari and go on this WEIRD tangent to go rescue the first Seeker and that's where this thing comes off the rails. You go to this haunted area that as far as I can tell has no relation to anything else and exists ONLY to justify that horrendously difficult boss fight and in the end I feel like I still have little to no idea about the character of Jadnura, and only a little bit more about the Kasatha most of which I had to force myself to remember after a brutal and meandering boss fight that came out of left field.

Only play this scenario if you care deeply about all of the Scoured Stars Boon, because that's the only thing of value here.


1/5

Spoiler:
the last encounter spoil all.


So much potential unused (and then brutalizing)

2/5

I played this at a 5-player table on Tier 3-4.

The scenario had so much potential--an opportunity to learn about the kasatha, solarians, the Idari, and Jadnura? Yes, please!--but it flopped at the end.

The tea house was fun, even playing a -2 Charisma penalty dwarf.

The temple was underwhelming. It seemed to simply serve as a sign post saying, 'Keep going that way.'

The lost ruin was interesting and eerie.

The boss battle was way too much and didn't fit the story that was billed nor the story that was being set up during the scenario.

Epic does not just mean more HP:

Incorporeal essentially doubles a creatures HP, so we were slogging away at ~260 HP with an EAC of 19 and an even higher KAC with a +18 attack bonus (+14 x 2 when full attacking) and a +11 damage bonus PLUS stat drain

Then when you get to Jadnura, the scenario ends with, "Thank you for rescuing me. I will return."

I would have better enjoyed the tea house as it was, a more fleshed out and pertinent temple encounter, the creepy ruined temple in outer space with its psychic traps, meet Jadnura, use the lessons learned at the tea house and temple to convince him that he needed to return to the Society, and then be attacked by a rogue faction within the Society that believes it would be better for the Society for Jadnura to never have returned and used the PCs to track him down.

EDIT: I did not explore the Idari as billed in the product description. I did not learn the history of Jadnura as billed in the product description.


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Scoured Stars spoiler:
Oh man, I have got to play this one as my Scoured Stars Survivor character!
I am psyched.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Society Developer

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Maps Appearing in Starfinder Society Scenario #1–26: Truth of the Seeker:

-Pathfinder Flip-Mat: Asylum
-Pathfinder Flip-Mat: Desert Ruins
-Starfinder Flip-Mat: Asteroid


Uhh this looks veeeeery exciting, I am tempted to make a detour for my party just about to finish the first book of Dead Suns. I only hope there's not too much information needed from previous Society scenarios (we are all new to everything)! :D

The Exchange

I've got questions about part B and C.

Spoiler:
In the optional encounter part B, is there no four player adjustment for the solar wisp fight?

In part C, is it assumed the interior of the temple has atmosphere? I can't imagine that Jadnura's plan was to meditate at the temple for a few weeks while residing entirely in his environment suit.


Pathfinder Adventure, Card Game, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
JERRY WAYNE 073 wrote:

I've got questions about part B and C.

** spoiler omitted **

You might want to ask those kinds of questions in the GM discussion thread.

The Exchange

Elinnea wrote:

You might want to ask those kinds of questions in the GM discussion thread.

Thank you for the direction and the link, it's much appreciated.

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