Starfinder Society Scenario #1-30: Survivor's Salvation

4.20/5 (based on 6 ratings)

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A Starfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 1-4.

When a recently returned Exo-Guardian goes missing from their regular meetings at a survivor's clinic, the PCs get called in to assist. What begins as a routine investigation quickly leads into the depths of Absalom Station, where the PCs learn that there's much more than criminals to be afraid of.

Content in Survivor's Salvation also contributes to the ongoing goals of the Exo-Guardians faction.

Written by Kiel Howell

Scenario Tags: Faction (Exo-Guardians)

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

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PZOSFS0130E


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4.20/5 (based on 6 ratings)

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Had lot of fun running this

4/5

So hmm, what to say about the scenario... Well, it handles mental health issues much better than 1e scenarios, did that for sure. This scenario also provided lots of good serious and less serious roleplaying opportunities for the party :D Twist was also fun, though I guess it comes bit out of nowhere... Though it kinda has to do that.

On the twist...:
Plot is essentially about how mental health clinic's patients are being poached by shady illegal scam clinic, except it turns out scam was that scam was run by bodysnatchers. It was really big surprise for the party, in the fun and creepy way, especially the knowledge that the bodysnatchers are still out there...

Oh and I hope enough parties left Bargai alive, I think that npc has potential since deaf recurring npcs are really rare. Either way, Hurondo is definitely great npc, love his introduction scene when PCs finally meet him :D


Beware the Panacea for Weary Souls

3/5

<GM'd in Play by Post>

Survivor's Salvation suffers from a dreadfully wonky first act before it gets to its fun conclusion. The first act is narratively nonsensical, inconsistent in tone and content, and has multiple scenes that require GM intervention and interpretation to hold together. With a slightly inquisitive party, the GM will be hard pressed to deliver answers that make sense using the elements in the text. Other scenes in act 1 actively undermine player successes in an attempt to keep them firmly on the railroad. On the other hand, the final act delivers what I'd say is one of the most memorable series of encounters in SFS so far. Its a spotty experience, a 2 star scenario attached to a 4 star one.

Despite the problems with this scenario, I'd still recommend it, if only for the fun of players' reactions when they hit the last act.

The Good (spoilers):
  • Everything from the meetup with Hurondo onwards is great adventuring. Enough hints are dropped as to the true nature of the 'treatments' at the Open Collective that the PCs have their suspicions. And seeing those come to fruition is great!
  • The reactions from players when a slime sluuuuurps into the body of one of their allies. Awesome! And the sudden change in tactics needed is exciting and fun. Due to the damage threshold before the slime is kicked out, there's less risk of accidentally killing an ally than at first glance, but its still a big and scary moment.
  • Hurondo is a cool character, a kindly big brother to the others - even managing to pull one of his captors to his side. He gets some great characterization through the impressions of other NPCs, which feels very natural.
  • Fantastic set up for more bodysnatcher related adventures on Absalom Station.

  • The Bad (spoilers):
  • Wherein the adventure gets short circuited from minute 1: This adventure is up there as one of the least solidly plotted scenarios yet for SFS. In the briefing, the PCs are asked to talk to Jiwalla. So... why don't they just call her? She already has exactly the lead the PCs need to bypass the entire Respite complex and start heading down into the Spike to follow in Hurondo's footsteps. But, the adventure is absolutely not designed for this eventuality. The PCs miss a third of the adventure if they think to take advantage of modern technology. (Plus, why hasn't Ziggy given her a call?)
  • Where's the time pressure?: Hurondo is missing, but there's no urgency in looking for him. The adventure assumes you're happy to faff about around the Respite learning nothing of value and participating in activities.
  • Events in front of the Respite: As opposed to every other information gathering situation so far in SFS, here you're expected to arbitrarily head up to individual groups of people that you have no reason to believe know anything about Hurondo and ask questions. What happened to using Diplomacy to Gather Information? Furthermore, the Vesk 'argument' is incredibly obtuse in how its described. In essence, Razda is having some kind of mental episode and Svata is trying to convince him to go to the Respite. But there's nothing other than mechanical subtext to tell you that Razda doesn't want to go. Why wouldn't he want to? What exactly is the argument about anyway? The GM is left grasping at straws as the scene's underpinnings unravel.
  • Events inside the Respite: 1) It only gets worse inside the Respite as the character most concerned for Hurondo's well being intentionally delays the PCs to offer them to do some physical competitions rather than go looking for her missing friend (not to mention that they need a Diplomacy check to even get her to talk about Hurondo in the first place). Plus, Jiwalla only decides to help the party look for her best friend if they beat her at athletic competitions? Baffling. My players immediately assumed she was the villain with how little she seemed to care. 2) The scenario is silent on what Bygones-B might know of Hurondo's status. Instead, we're to believe that the PCs will sit down in the middle of their investigation to talk about their feelings and traumas? 3) Hurondo's office is a gigantic dead end where Jiwalla smacks the hands of any PCs trying to find critical information to locate her best friend. Because data privacy is a hot topic.
  • And none of the investigation matters: During the investigation, the PCs have gotten half a dozen copies of the same lead: that Hurondo was last seen investigating the homes of his patients in the Spike. BUT WAIT. Nothing in the Respite matters because, holy deus ex machina, the gang that kidnapped Hurondo literally shows up to lead the PCs back to their HQ.
  • Wherein Uniter recruits drive the locomotive railroading the plot: So the Uniter recruits are currently advertising for a new medical clinic. But when the PCs catch them, the adventure doesn't assume that the PCs will ask about the Clinic. No, that would, you know, make sense. Instead, the adventure assumes that the two recruits will, UNPROMPTED, blurt out that the Uniters have someone that the Society would want to trade for. Oh, and the recruits otherwise know absolutely nothing about the Uniters and its association with the Open Collective. Oh, and if the PCs fail to capture the Uniters recruits, the adventure has this to say: "If the PCs failed to obtain the necessary information, they can return to the Respite to continue questioning other visitors who will eventually reveal Hurondo’s location, though this takes more time." So, uh, someone just randomly remembers "Oh yeah, Hurondo was kidnapped by the Uniters".

  • Descriptive text is lacking: There are a number of places where the descriptive text or scene setting for an area misses key details. Hints as to who you can talk to outside the Respite are entirely absent. What does the Respite look like? Etc
  • Many many editing mistakes: So many that the adventure is difficult to read at times. Sentences cut off early, some paragraphs are duplicated with minor changes (see pg 4 and Razda's double explanation of the medical clinic in the Spike), the same info shows up in multiple places while other info is missing.
  • Maps are in the wrong places: Both are about two pages ahead of their associated text, requiring flipping around.

  • Space Slime

    5/5

    Great scenario!
    Nice encounters, where the bad guys might not be, and the person you are seeking is seeking himself and changing... and then a creepy end exploration/fight.
    Quite "different" and original.
    I liked it a lot (both as player and GM).


    Good Effort but a major bummer

    3/5

    This is another of the scenarios in the recent realm of scenarios exploring serious ideas like Post Traumatic Stress disorder.

    My issue with this is that the issues at play are largely played for laughs and the main character of interest here has a very thin story that is on rails and it's sort of dissatisfying.

    The plot ends up feeling a bit chunky as it starts off sort of dark and goes I think far too light by the end only for the epilogue to bring things back down. This scenario is just sort of a bummer for that reason.

    There is a fun fight scenario towards the end but the investigation was a bit difficult to portray in ways that were engaging for the players - especially in my case I ran it for a few players who had no real frame of reference for psychology and therapy and had true difficulty trying to figure out how to engage with the material. This made the material educational but -- it turned the whole issue of Post Traumatic Stress into funny material for those players and that strikes me as tricky.


    Save the starfinders, save the station

    5/5

    Starts off a little dark and serious but quickly becomes a very fun investigation and even more fun fights. I love how the scenario takes the events of the previous scenarios and deals with the fallout in far more depth than "and then they live happily ever after..."

    The NPCs have fairly detailed and believable backgrounds, not just that guy you shoot.

    If you're running this, be prepared for the party to run certain points of the scenario in either order.


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    RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32

    Hey its releasing on my birthday no less!

    Paizo Employee Starfinder Society Developer

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    Maps appearing in this adventure:

    Two custom half-page maps.


    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber

    A missing vet, a tour of the city's underworld, a long trip into seedy darkness? Did Kiel Howell watch a bunch of Film Noir before writing this?

    RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32

    thecursor wrote:

    A missing vet, a tour of the city's underworld, a long trip into seedy darkness? Did Kiel Howell watch a bunch of Film Noir before writing this?

    I definitely have an appreciation for the genre!

    RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    First review 5 stars?! Hooray!

    Sovereign Court

    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    theheadkase wrote:
    First review 5 stars?! Hooray!

    Nicely done!

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