Starfinder Society Scenario #1-39: The Herald's War

***** (based on 3 ratings)

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A Starfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 7-10.

Having claimed the Scoured Stars system at their own, the dreaded and xenophobic jinsuls have declared a war of hostile reclamation against the other surviving species that fled the Scoured Stars long ago.

Led by First Seekers Jadnura and Luwazi Elsebo, the Starfinder Society rallies its fleet in defense of the jinsuls' primary target: the people of the Kreiholm Freehold. As part of the initial counterattack, the PCs find themselves in a key position to strike at the jinsuls' leader, change the course of the war, and set the stage for the final climactic showdown with the jinsuls.

Content in The Herald's War follows up on the events of Starfinder Society #1-99: The Scoured Stars Invasion, though playing the previous scenario is not required. Content in this scenario also contributes to the ongoing goals of the Second Seekers (Jadnura) faction, the Second Seeker (Luwazi Elsebo) faction, and to the ongoing year of the Scoured Stars storyline.

Written by Mikko Kallio

Scenario Tags Faction (Second Seekers [Jadnura]), Faction (Second Seekers [Luwazi Elsebo]), Starship

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

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***** (based on 3 ratings)

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A Terrific End to Season 1 Scenarios

*****

This is a terrific scenario to finish out season 1. There is a nice balance of starship combat, regular combats, social skills, and other skills. This scenario has it all. We played low-tier with a strong combat party (3 9th level, 3 8th level, and 1 7th level); 3 operatives, 2 soldiers, melee mystic, and technomancer.

The starship combat has the potential to be really challenging for the players if they roll poorly and the GM rolls well. I can see some tables losing this combat.

Details on Starship Combat:
If the player starship is caught in the forward arc of both jinsul starships, the jinsul could conceivably do a lot of damage in a single round. The jinsul gunners are competent and, if they use the computer bonuses, will hit at least 50% of the time. The jinsul have the potential to fire three weapons in their forward arc (with the captain acting as a gunner). Let’s assume that both masers hit (with above average luck), one linked coilgun hits, and one coilgun hit, that works out to 2*33 + 20 + 10 = 96 damage. That will punch through the 40 point shield and 56 of 100 hull points (for the tier 8 Drake).

The social encounter works well since it is a single round, although success seems to rely heavily on successful Sense Motive checks by the PCs. (My players were quite relieved that this social encounter wasn’t going to be like Siege of Civility.)

The section for approaching the command carrier was a lot of fun. The players spent a fair amount of time deciding on how best to allocate the PCs against each series of skill checks. Once they got the hang of it, this went smoothly. The only thing I would change is to lower the DCs for the gunnery checks; PCs can’t improve gunnery like they can other skills.

The first combat was really easy for the PCs (in part because my dice were cold). The PCs could have won even more quickly if the technomancer had dropped explosive blast spells on the grouped-up jinsul. This combat seemed designed for an easy victory by the PCs.

The various options for navigating to the command center were nicely set up. The group quickly decided on the stealthy option and then cast 5 invisibility spells.

Unfortunately, the command center room description doesn’t include the height of the platform; I assumed a height of 5 feet to allow the hierarch to see the PCs enter the room. (In the GM thread, the author stated a height of 15 feet, but then positions need to be modified so that the hierarch can see the PCs.)

The combat was entertaining, though the PCs easily won:

The PCs arrived at the command center with invisibility still up. I gave the PCs one round to move the invisible creatures and then gave the hierarch and his allies a Perception check. The hierarch easily recognized what was happening and combat was initiated.

The hierarch, unfortunately, went last in the initiative order and was killed before acting by 3 operative trick attacks and arcing surge from the technomancer. The praetorians were quickly dispatched as well. The players really enjoyed the fact that the encounter wasn’t over with the rise of Dhurus. That battle was slightly more challenging as Dhurus is fairly well built and can do a lot of damage.

Dhurus won initiative and opened with the ichor spray catching three PCs in the attack. The PCs responded by inflicting over half of Dhurus’s hit points in their first round. Then Dhurus used his bonus action to bite one melee combatant and reposition her away (negating that character’s ability to full attack) and then used multiattack on the remaining melee combatant. The multiattack could really do serious damage and take PCs out of the fight (a nice touch in a boss fight), but my dice went cold again. Dhurus was then easily killed before acting again.

The players enjoyed the wrap-up. The arrival of reinforcements played out well and is a wonder lead-in to the season 2 special.


High stakes excitement

*****

This scenario continues the ongoing Scoured Stars storyline, involving both the jinsul and the Kreiholm Freehold. I highly recommend you play #1-29: Honorbound Emissarries before playing this scenario (although there’s a ton of other Scoured Stars scenarios that would also be great to play beforehand). Players who take the time to do so will get more enjoyment out of this adventure. Of course, chances are if you're in tier for this scenario you've already played a lot of the Scoured Stars so that shouldn't be an issue. This scenario is the conclusion of the Year of Scoured Stars for the Starfinder Society, and leads into the events of the interactive special #2-00: Fate of the Scoured God.

This scenario involves a ton of different characters, plot lines, and events all coming together into one absolutely awesome scenario. It’s fast-paced, exciting, and dynamic. It’s definitely long, though, so GMs will need to keep a brisk pace to fit it all into a single timeslot. The encounters cover a variety of types –– combat, skills, social, starship, and so on –– and most challenges allow for multiple methods to overcome them. It’s action-packed and epic, but a bit manic and disjointed. To be fair, that actually fits the adventure really well. All in all, this is a really satisfying scenario with a great pay-off.

Really great job!


Great Finish to Year 1

*****

I played this scenario in the low-tier with 6 PCs. Since it's a pretty important meta-plot scenario, I then went back to re-read the scenario. What a blast!

No Spoiler One-Liner: a satisfying conclusion to Year 1 that builds hype to Year 2, with some time management needed to fit it all in.

Mild Spoilers Below!

I overall found the flow of the scenario to be fast-paced, and very slightly jarring, but crazy epic and full of high drama. The flow goes something like space encounter -> social encounter -> skill challenge in space -> fight -> skill challenge -> fight -> boss fight. It's a lot, for one scenario; we managed it all in just under 4.5 hours, which I expect is probably pretty good, all things considered. Good time management will be useful for this one. That said, the scenario really excels at highlighting all of the great things you can do Starfinder, and there's no "Bring X to Win" going on here - all of the encounters have multiple paths to victory.

The end to this scenario is very satisfying - a real treat, especially for those who've been playing along with the year's Scoured Stars meta-plot.


Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Tales Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Huzzah!

Couldn't put anything up without leaving that first huzzah there first, but holey moley am I excited. This sounds awesome!!


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Having just done Honorbound Emissaries, seeing some payoff this quickly is fantastic, especially in the same level range.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Will this be the final Season 1 scenario? I know this comes out not long before Origins. Regardless, this is one I am excited for!

Paizo Employee Starfinder Society Developer

MaraquoiOperative wrote:
Will this be the final Season 1 scenario? I know this comes out not long before Origins. Regardless, this is one I am excited for!

This is the final scenario for Season 1 and directly leads into the events of #2-00, which is our interactive special debuting at Origins!

Paizo Employee Starfinder Society Developer

Maps Appearing in this Adventure:
-Starfinder Flip-Mat: Basic Starfield
-Two Custom Half-Page Maps

Silver Crusade

Thurston Hillman wrote:
** spoiler omitted **

Of which I'm hoping I can produce both as 3D terrain in time for Gen Con this year!


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Last boss Other Ability question:

Spoiler:
pg.18 Action Boost (Su) Dhurus can spend 1 Resolve Point to take an additional move action, standard action, or swift action at its initiative count –10.
===
Question is: can he spent all his 6 RPs in one turn to take 6 Action Boost standard action (attacks) in one go?

Grand Lodge Contributor

Fedor Checherov wrote:

Last boss Other Ability question:

** spoiler omitted **

Spoiler:
No, the idea is that it can be used once per round.
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