Starfinder Society Scenario #1-33: Data Breach

3.60/5 (based on 5 ratings)

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A Starfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 3-6.

Following up on previous intelligence about a broad conspiracy against the Society, the PCs undertake a daring raid against a fortified complex near a city within the Pact Worlds. With only a limited amount of time to breach the site and retrieve valuable data before an automated system scrubs the files, the PCs need to use all their skills in order to complete this mission in a race against the clock.

Content in Data Breach also contributes to the ongoing goals of the Dataphiles faction.

Written by Jim Groves

Scenario Tags: Faction (Dataphiles)

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

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Quintessentially Inessential



Data Breach is a perfectly unremarkable scenario. There's nothing distinctively bad about it, but nor is there anything particularly memorable about it. It's a very simple, straightforward scenario that, with a few adjustments, could be the sort of thing that appears in a Starfinder starter box. Even taken as an instalment in a long-running story arc, the scenario only advances that plot in a very formal sense that will have very little relevance to the players at the table. Instead of stars, I would rate this with a shrug and a "meh."


Data Breach continues the "conspiracy" storyline begun in # 1-07 (The Solar Sortie) and # 1-14 (Star Sugar Heartlove!!!). A shadowy cabal hacked into the Starfinder Society's computers and deleted information that may have averted the Scoured Stars catastrophe. Now, Historia-7 is on their digital trail and trying to figure out the identities of the conspirators and why they targeted the Society. In the briefing for this scenario, Historia-7 explains that an agent of the conspiracy named Hira Lanzio (captured by the PCs in # 1-14) has finally revealed some useful information. The conspiracy has a heavily-shielded data storage center in a bunker on Verces. Historia-7 wants the PCs to interrogate Lanzio for any other useful information before travelling to the bunker and extracting whatever data is secured there. The scenario asks the GM to role-play Historia-7 slightly differently (presaging something revealed in a future scenario), but the differences are so subtle that I think most groups will just chalk it up to different GMs portraying the same NPC differently.

The interrogation encounter with Lanzio is set up well. It makes intelligent use of boons and skill checks, while explicitly making it clear that a "torture the prisoner" idea is not on. Depending on how persuasive they are, the Starfinders might learn from Lanzio that the data vault has only automated defences.

Verces is a really cool planet, but the PCs won't get any of its flavour (apart from the cool cover art) as their hand-waved trip has them arriving directly at the data vault. The rest of the scenario is your classic "high-tech dungeon crawl" that proceeds room by room with traps, secret doors, and enemies before reaching a (digital) treasure room. There is a *lot* for characters with skill in Computers and Engineering to do in this scenario. I'd say it's a chance for such characters to shine, but frankly those are overused and overpowered skills in Starfinder so I don't really think more time in the spotlight for them is necessary. Encounters include the usual security robots (with a cool add-on that they can magnetically disarm weapons at range!), magically-created constructs (which are apparently supposed to be fascinating to the Starfinders), a nasty "incineration tunnel" trap, and then a big showdown against a cool looking "Core Defender Robot". This last battle takes place while the PCs are trying to download the information they need from the central computer system. Hacker PCs will enjoy the multiple layers and countermeasures the computer has, and I like that there is a self-destruct countdown situation that could be started. If memory serves, when I played it one of the other PCs had an Operative that was, of course, good at pretty much every skill and trampled all of the hacking DCs.

And that's pretty much it. Assuming the PCs succeed, they'll have a huge cache of data to take back to Historia-7, but they won't learn anything about the conspiracy in the scenario itself (apart from, potentially, a reference to Lao Shu Po--the ysoki goddess of spies and thieves). This is becoming a recurring problem in SFS scenarios--having the PCs do something potentially very exciting but then providing no details or information on exactly what they've discovered. It turns a scenario goal into a classic MacGuffin. I do have to note that one of the boons (providing a discount on pharmaceuticals) was a home run for my drug-addled Solarion PC.

As I said at the beginning, there's nothing really wrong with Data Breach. It provides some opportunity for role-playing, some skill challenges, and some combats. It just falls flat to me, and is quintessentially inessential.

Kinda Shadowrun-lite


I liked the premise of the scenario, and it advances the story nicely. I mean, it's part of a series, but it doesn't feel like it's just obligatory connecting tissue. More like peeling back the next layer of the conspiracy and getting to see something new. (Definitely try to play this scenario in advance of season 2, or you may have been spoiled.)

The map had some interesting bits to it, but I feel it was needlessly huge. That just makes it harder to use at a physical table. It could have been smaller, or perhaps split into separate submaps for specific areas where something happens.

The encounters were a bit too easy, I think because the encounters' CR budget was diluted by using too many enemies that individually have trouble scratching the paint on the PCs. But the choice of monsters was interesting.

Computers are obviously important, so your group is going to need someone competent with them. But it's not crazy over the top high DCs or just only doing computers checks for the whole scenario, so good job on not becoming monotonous.

An excellent scenario, though shorter then I'd like


All in all this is an excellent scenario. Between the ongoing dataphiles plot (easily my favourite narrative of season 1), the heist nature of the mission, the seeds of a much deeper conspiracy and a great interrogate the traitor setup, theres a lot to love.

The only downsides are that the encounters are a little lacking in challenge, especially in low tier

Steal that Data, Shadowrunner!


<Played in Play-by-Post>

Interested in a proper heist scenario? Not satisfied with the awkward 'not-quite-a-heist' of SFS 1-06? Well, Data Breach does a much better job of serving some high-tech futuristic heist goodness. In 1-33, the Society needs some data stored in a secure bunker on Verces, and its up to the Starfinders to interrogate an informant and then infiltrate a facility and defeat its various security measures to secure their prize.

It hits all the right beats! Absolutely worth playing with your Hacker, Engineering expert or Spy character. It's a solid adventure - but the short duration leaves it feeling a little shallow. You're definitely left wanting more :)

The Good (Spoilers):
  • Loved the integration with the ongoing plot! From Hira Lanzio being your informant to Historia-7 mysteriously being unavailable at the end, the plot certainly has thickened!
  • The interrogation was excellent - it felt like it mattered, you get real and useful information on a success, and there's real penalties for failure. Lanzio's motivations make sense and make this a wonderful RP opportunity.
  • The multi-layered defenses fit together logically, from the alarms that help prepare the defense drones deeper in the complex, to security cameras that record the PC's presence. I especially liked how every encounter has guidance on adjustments if the PCs are slower or clumsier in their explorations.
  • The most fully fleshed out hacking experience thus far! Computers with multiple layers of protection, lockouts, firewalls, and plenty of useful info to be gleaned.
  • The 'boss' is a cool set piece encounter.

  • The Bad (Spoilers):
  • The encounters, particularly the last one, are definitely on the easy side. For a low-tier group, defeating the 'boss' in a single round would not be unusual. The non-combat encounters are significantly more challenging.
  • The facility is very basic and mostly empty. This seems appropriate in retrospect, but it was a little disappointing on the way through.
  • There's disappointingly no time pressure to the scenario other than a vague implication that the bad guys will eventually notice. I would have loved a final fight with a security force if your group takes too long.
  • There's a secret passage mid way through that hurts more than it helps, as it causes you to bypass a lot of useful info and some scenario credits unless you backtrack later. While I don't like this normally, I particular hate it here, as you're inclined to get in and get out quickly.

  • Exceptionally well done!


    Data Breach continues an ongoing storyline that began in #1-07: The Solar Sortie and continued in #1-14: Star Sugar Heartlove!!! I highly recommend playing those two scenarios before this one, although it’s not necessary. It’s also assumed that #1-99: The Scoured Stars Invasion has taken place, although that has little effect on this scenario for players. The events in this ongoing storyline are sure to continue on in future scenarios, including the upcoming #1-38: The Many Minds of Historia.

    It should be noted that Computer and Engineering skills are integral to this scenario, so players will want to select their characters wisely. It’s important to ensure your team has at least one tech-savvy character (preferably more than one!). If you don’t, slot one of the ‘Hireling Access’ boons. You’re gonna need it.

    Data Breach tasks players with breaking into a secure facility on Verces and obtaining all the information they can from the site. Although there’s good reason for this heist, I won’t get into the details of it here, as it involves mild spoilers from some previous scenarios. Rest assured: it’s important!

    Before heading off on their mission the Starfinders have a chance to question a prisoner being detained by the Stewards, potentially uncovering more information on the facility and its defences -- which was a really nice touch.

    Admittedly, computers and hacking aren’t my favourite parts of Starfinder. But, that said, I love a good heist. So I wasn’t sure how much I would enjoy this scenario. Turns out, I loved it! I really like the mission premise and its importance to the overarching events of this season. I like the complex itself, it’s set up, and it’s defences. The battles were complex and layered, particularly the final combat, which is going to be a really nice challenge.

    I really enjoyed that many of your actions as players can have consequences in this scenario (including past the end of the scenario), which aren’t always immediately obvious. It was nice subtlety.

    All in all, I think Data Breach is a great, guilt-free romp that a lot of players are going to enjoy. It's exceptionally well-executed. I give it four out of five stars. (Although, if you particularly enjoy computers, hacking, and intel-themed missions, consider it a five!).


    Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    I'm going to call it right now, we're going to Blue Rise Towers, yes?

    Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber

    I smell snakes.

    Paizo Employee Starfinder Society Developer

    6 people marked this as a favorite.

    Maps Appearing in this Adventure:
    One custom full-page map included with this scenario.

    NOTE: We'll be including a version of the map that includes smaller sized squares to provide smaller 5 ft. squares to handle the main map being 1 square = 10 ft. This is an experiment to see if it helps our GMs.



    Thank you, Thursty!

    We love you!


    I love this, @Thursty! Thanks!

    Grand Lodge

    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    BigNorseWolf wrote:

    The way the map shows, it makes the 1 = 10 out to be 1 = 20 on the 1 = 5 map...

    Dark Archive

    Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

    Hi Thursty, can you clarify that the map you say is 1 square = 10 feet is really 1 square = 20 feet? It would seem that way based on the map with the smaller squares (16 small squares in each big square). I want to make sure I have the proportions right before I start making jumbo maps! Thank you.

    Scarab Sages

    Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
    Thurston Hillman wrote:
    NOTE: We'll be including a version of the map that includes smaller sized squares to provide smaller 5 ft. squares to handle the main map being 1 square = 10 ft. This is an experiment to see if it helps our GMs.

    The map with the extra squares is messed up. You quadrupled the number of squares. I was so confused when I was reading this to prep the scenario. Luckily I decided to come here to see what people where saying about the map.

    Based on the text description of area A1, the scale appears to be correct.

    The entrance bunker is said to be 30 feet wide, which matches up with six 5-foot squares. The base is big. Unless the text description is flawed.


    Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

    Page 14 - "See page XX".

    I don't have my 1st Edition of Werewolf:The Apocalypse (nor Clanbook: Malkavian). Where else should I look?

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