Starfinder Society Scenario #2-02: Waking the Past

2.30/5 (based on 16 ratings)

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A Starfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 3–6.

Summoned to investigate a new, exciting find near a frontier AbadarCorp colony, a group of Starfinder Society agents finds themselves exploring deep below the surface to inspect a recently uncovered set of ruins. However, they're not alone. The PCs soon discover not only that something is waking up, but also that there are some secrets best left undisturbed.

Written by Tom Philips

Scenario Tags: None

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

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2.30/5 (based on 16 ratings)

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I love the adventure this was trying to become


I feel that this adventure was basically perfect and so adventurous in terms of tone!

But having run it several times, nothing short of straight up INFORMING the players that this is a horror adventure out of character tends to get things through to the player that this is not your standard adventure.

And after mulling it over, I say go ahead and warn them. This Starfinder monster movie stuff is super fun if everyones on board, so get them on board!

Needs [horror] tag


I'm conflicted on what score to give this scenario. As a horror scenario, it was okay. But getting dumped into a "you can't fight this, you can only run" scenario without warning when you thought you were going to do a typical dungeoncrawl, is absolutely miserable. When it became clear what kind of scenario we were in, I was counting my Fame points wondering if I could just walk away and say "here's enough for body recovery and raise dead, I don't want to play this".

As for the actual setup of the horror scenario, it's mostly good but there are some things that I found rather spiteful:


* Includes hard to find traps but punishes you for spending time searching for them. Apparently you're supposed to find them with your hit points.

* Treasure depends on meticulously greyhawking the place while pursued by an unstoppable monster.

* Adventure is full of red herrings about possible ways to solve your problems, but they're useless.

* CR 1/2 monsters with abilities that would have been considered strong on even a high-CR creature because they're nasty even on a succesful save. But because they're only CR 1/2 the writer got to put a lot of them into the encounter. This cheating with encounter math is just really spiteful.

* Adventure includes instructions to have the unstoppable monster "make a swipe or two at the PCs to create tension" but it can only miss on a 1 and hits for about your entire HP or Stamina. You never got to rest in between encounters either. This is close to "make sure at least one PC dies in this adventure, to create tension".

* Large characters are likely to get backed into a corner and slaughtered. Large PCs aren't that rare in PFS anymore, this is mean.

I might have enjoyed this adventure a bit more if there had been some warning, like a [horror] tag in the blurb. Just like it's not okay to send someone expecting some nice PG 13 entertainment to a brutal horror movie without warning, this is also not okay.

Not that bad if you're forewarned, but still not great.


(I played this.)

In all honesty, I can see why people are divided about this scenario. It has many feel-bad moments in it. I like what the scenario's trying to do, but not how it's doing it. I need to go into spoiler territory, I'm afraid.

Many spoilers:
First off, I'm not a big fan of the mechanics of the monster. It appears without warning, and the scenario doesn't hint at how to handle it. Right now, only identifying it (and one datapad) will give information, but identifying it in the first place is nearly impossible. There certainly are some tricks to level the playing field, but those aren't telegraphed properly. A good scary monster should have identifiable weaknesses to exploit. Here they're present, but only through specific actions you can get to know them. Actions that aren't necessarily obvious.
I like that it has some advantages over the players. It gives it some extra scare, without directly cheating. But some abilities just make it feel like an unwinnable situation.
I dislike how the dungeon can be a death-trap for several characters, without it it being their fault. Okay, I can get behind death through sheer bad luck, but I can imagine how some characters will die through no fault of their own. There is a way to loop around the dungeon, but that's only available to small creatures and lightly armoured characters. While the game system encourages, heavy armour. Right now Soldiers are the only class who are naturally proficient with heavy armour, but I see a lot of them running around. Chances are, they'll get driven into a corner and pounded to a pulp. That just feels unfair.

Someone at my table said it best. This scenario could work in a home game where the GM is aware of their party's capabilities and can tweak where necessary. But in a Society game, that's impossible. I can guarantee that even in a best-case scenario, it'll leave some players with a sour taste in their mouth afterwards.

I'm not as down on this scenario as other people, but I still don't like this very much. Only play this one if you know what you're getting into.

Videogame tropes that don't work in tabletop RPGs...


Spoiler-tagged just in case.


Hopeless boss fights only work in video games because you have the option of loading a save and trying again until you figure out the 'run' button is the only option.

Worse, the scenario adds a deadly trap for running in the wrong direction, when you have no clear indicator of the 'correct' way to flee the hopeless boss.

I'd give it zero stars if I could. Not enjoyable at all.

Worst scenario ever


Where should i start, the gameplay mechanics are way to bad some enemies that deal auto damage, doors not in the map, waiting for 3 seconds to open a door. What is 3 seconds in starfinder a move, standard action no clear way to rule it out, the Boss that can really kill characters in low tier, or the ending which has no impact in the future storyline. The only advice i can give is to never run this scenario ever, this is by far the worst experience i have ever encountered in (PFS/SFS)

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The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Any info on the maps yet?

Paizo Employee Organized Play Lead Developer

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Maps in #2-02:

This adventure uses only a full-page custom map.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Thanks John!

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Hmm, was curious about the low reviews and I have a question

about the one thing both of them complain:
Isn't it GM's job to make it clear when a monster is too powerful for the group? Like either just stating it directly or otherwise describing to them they realize its too strong for them in character? Unless creature looks really harmless I guess. Though I agree that it'd probably be better if scenario itself made it obvious how deadly the creature is, I think too many GMs in general have mentality of "If text doesn't say this aloud then PCs can't be allowed figure it out"

Corvus, I like the fact that it didn't pander to the lowest common denominator, and it let the GM be the GM and unwrap this like the true gift it is.

Shadow Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I had fun. Some nice lines that came up in game.

If you've read the reviews, not really spoilers:

(On finding some other bad guys)
Player: "Maybe the security bot will show up and... murder them all."
GM: "Oh... he did already."

Name for monster based on memory: Nanite Goldfish


1 person marked this as a favorite.

When reporting this scenario it shows as repeatable. Is this accurate? It is not tagged as repeatable.

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Arvin says, that he served in his "first few years in society" on Alazdra last mission.

Alazdra says that it was 30 years ago.

Lashunta mature at 20 years.

So, considering joining Society at 20 years and "first few years" be at leas 2 years - Arvin was at least 22 during Alazdra last mission and now Arvin is no less than 52 years (look at his picture)! Is that so - or there is some mistake?

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