Starfinder Society Scenario #2-02: Waking the Past

2.50/5 (based on 18 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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Average product rating:

2.50/5 (based on 18 ratings)

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Horror and Lethality done right.

4/5

First review got deleted by system, so this one will be a bit more brief.

I really like this scenario. The primary threat felt like it did a good job of communicating lethality, both through mechanics and description (GM matters here of course.) The other encounters were interesting, possibly one two many but otherwise fine. Only thing I find problematic is the loot component, which seems oddly tied to being picky about treasure while you're supposed to be prioritizing survival. Piecing a mystery together under duress, fun. Not getting credits because you played the way the scenario suggested, less fun. Also there is a stat check near the end that can be a problem for some parties, but creative interpretation (GM and Players) of an otherwise random item can get around that.


4/5

This has to be one of my favorites. Even knowing I have no plans to run it a second time! I ran this online.

This scenario does nothing to show just how dangerous the creature is, which will easily lead to players getting killed in like 2 hits. Also, all these little things scattered around that make the players think "hey maybe if I do this!", only for it to not work. Like the gas/nanite gun/ and useful weapons being around that are no use because hey guess what you're not hitting anyways. So it's so easy for this to go very badly, simply because players will see an enemy and, like all other scenarios, move to attack it.

I took the advice here and very plainly told my players ahead of time about how dangerous this scenario was, about how they need to think "survival horror", and even made sure to point out "hey you could hide. Hey, you wanna like to listen through the door or try to sneak a peek?" Describing them hearing the opening and closing of doors. Just doing whatever to make sure they were fully aware of what they were getting into, and doing my best to portray just how dangerous the creature is.

Because you have to. This scenario is such a cool idea, and I would love to see something similar to this in the future. Having such mean encounters (hey enjoy 2d6 damage no save) was so refreshing compared to a lot of other scenarios. I think it was maybe a little overkill with how strong the creature is.

I just wish SO MUCH that this scenario did something to portray how powerful this creature is. Or if those ideas the players are for sure going to think of (gas, gun) would actually work to slow it down. I want to reward them for clever thinking.

If you're GMing this, you have to go out of your way to tell your players how dangerous this scenario is, at least so they can get there heads in the right mindset of "SURVIVE" and not just "find the monster, kill the monster, loot place".

I really love this scenario, and it's easily one of my favorites. I hope we get something "similar" in the future, but with a bit better execution. This scenario is very easily doable, as long as you do what Starfinder so rarely do.

Hide and run.


I love the adventure this was trying to become

4/5

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

1/5

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:

Spoiler:

* 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.

2/5

(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.


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The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

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, Rulebook, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

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

Wayfinders

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?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I gotta agree this Scenario was a little gem, perfect for Halloween. I warned them at the start "This won't be like any other scenario we've done before. But I won't fudge dice or hold your hands. If you want to die I will assist in that mission"

I feel I ran it perfectly as it was written to be. Half the party may have died but everyone had a great time.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Society Developer

30-30 wrote:
When reporting this scenario it shows as repeatable. Is this accurate? It is not tagged as repeatable.

This should not be occurring. I'll raise it up the chain, as this scenario should not have the repeatable tag.

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