Starfinder Society Scenario #2-04: Future's Fall

4.00/5 (based on 4 ratings)

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A Starfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 7-10.

A mysterious signal from within the false moon of Salvation's End requires further investigation from a Starfinder team. Inside a newly opened vault, the PCs uncover a gateway into a potential future—a future where the Pact Worlds has fallen into disarray. Meanwhile, an ongoing invasion from an outside force threatens the stability of the entire vault. Only by learning about this theoretical future before the vault falls to ruin can the Starfinder Society hope to alter a future catastrophe.

Written by Matt Duval

Scenario Tags: None

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

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4.00/5 (based on 4 ratings)

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Great, but for Experienced GMs

4/5

NO SPOILERS

I ran Future's Fall via play-by-post at subtier 7-8, using the four-player adjustment. It's really a whopper of a scenario, with a densely-written text full of skill checks, conditional events, lots of things to track, and a big, complicated encounter (which is really cinematic!). It continues and develops a long-running SFS storyline. I really liked the scenario, but it tested me to the limits when it came to preparation and keeping everything in order. I wouldn't recommend it for the inexperienced.

SPOILERS!:

The scenario starts on Salvation's End, the mysterious artificial moon that has been the subject of Starfinder exploration since the campaign's very first scenario. In a cool and completely sensible idea, the Society has decided to open a new lodge there from which to launch missions. Kunoris Vex, a drow, makes his first appearance as a new Venture-Captain. Vex explains to the PCs that some encrypted Pact Worlds and Veskarium signals have been detected in one of Salvation's Ends myriad vaults, and that he wants an experienced team to investigate. In a nice twist (that makes perfect sense given technology), Vex will stay on comms during the whole mission in case the agents need advice (and mechanically, he can help with certain skill checks, and is also a good GM tool in case the PCs need some help getting back on track).

Once the PCs get into the vault, they'll see it's a simulation of Akiton--but not necessarily the one they're familiar with. This is an Akiton that has undergone decades of terraforming for atmospheric regeneration. Another oddity will strike them quickly, when they're almost immediately attacked by predators native only to a distant world in the Vast! These "Arquand drychens" are interesting and reasonably-tough foes.

The group will soon come to a nearby settlement named Buyer's Remorse (excellent map!). Buyer's Remorse is an old mining town that was once used to extract thasteron, a pre-Drift travel starship fuel. But in the vault simulation, Buyer's Remorse is in full operation and occupied by a Veskarium garrison! In this part of the scenario, PCs are expected to visit various locations in Buyer's Remorse and talk to NPCs to figure out what's going on. Mechanically, this occurs throughout a couple of phases where each PC can make one skill check in order to gather "Data Points"; but they want to avoid standing out too much and earning "Suspicion Points." PCs can stick together or, for much more efficient coverage, split up to cover more ground quickly (one of many rebukes in gaming I've found to the "never split the party" mantra). One challenge though is that some of the locations have a *lot* of content and other locations have very little, and sometimes what it takes to earn Data Points is fairly non-intuitive. There are some fun little anomalies, like Vesk warriors wearing costumes from a children's safari show, or a VR headset that flashes "Exciting Experience" over and over. In a fun twist, one of the locations holds a "Starfinder" who actually is a Starfinder--an agent lost on a previous mission in Salvation's End, and now with completely different memories.

What all the information collection will reveal is that this vault simulates a future where the Pact Worlds has collapsed due to an event called the Data Plague, which completely wiped out all hi-tech devices in the system. But because the plague was isolated to the system, other forces--like the Veskarium--stayed at full military power and moved in to take over. In this simulation, after the Veskarium took over the system, they outlawed any other race from using Drift travel--thus, the resumption of thasteron mining. But in the past few weeks, mysterious invaders have been attacking Buyer's Remorse, proclaiming themselves agents of the "Vault Lord." Obviously, the simulation wasn't designed for this! The important thing to remember about the vaults in Salvation's End is that they may involve simulated environments, but that the people involved are very, very real--even if they've been kidnapped from who-knows-where and brainwashed. The PCs need to figure out how to help the inhabitants of Buyer's Remorse. It's a great plot, and I appreciate the richness of detail the writer put into the scenario (even if it can be a little overwhelming at times).

In the middle of a meeting with the local Veskarium military governor of Buyer's Remorse (in which the PCs may or may not be successful in convincing her she's in a simulation and needs to evacuate), the army of the Vault Lord attacks in force. This is a complicated battle, as there's a lot going on. Attackers arrive in different waves, the PCs are expected to continue gathering Data Points (weird!), fixed events can happen in certain rounds depending on what happened in previous rounds, and more. There's some really exciting things that can happen, like siege tanks appearing, buildings exploding, and more. The PCs can even call in artillery strikes, which is awesome! I had to make a round-by-round list and populate it with the various things to remember, as the scenario has stuff happening all the way up to Round 15 (wherein the town collapses and everyone who hasn't evacuated dies instantly!). Running this all through play-by-post was a big undertaking, but fortunately my players were great and stuck with it.

And then, when the big battle is over and the players probably think they're pretty much done, there's a whole additional encounter waiting for them. They need to escort civilians across a wasteland to the vault's exit as the landscape is being gradually swallowed by incinerators! Again, a pretty cool and cinematic example of encounter design.

Assuming the PCs live to tell the tale, it's clear this Vault Lord is going to be a major problem for further exploration of Salvation's End. I for one am really looking forward to experiencing what happens next.

My overall thoughts on Future's Fall is that it's a great scenario, but one that needs to be run by an experienced GM and in a setting that doesn't have strict time constraints. It could easily have been modified to be a two-part scenario. Still, it's definitely memorable and worth playing.


A great experience you do not want to miss

3/5

preliminary review (will be expanded at a later point):

I have run a played this one, and you are likely going to have a nice time on both sides of the screen. Though it is a pretty complicated scenario.

Unfortunately the information inside is not super well presented for the GM, and the scaling is a bit rough in some places.

The setting and ideas presented are welcome, but some of the mechanical implementations are not as solid as the GM needs, this really is one of those scenarios, that takes a worksheet and plenty of notes to run smoothly.

If you are scheduling this one, plan at least 5 hours, more if your players are known tho enjoy somewhat longer RP parts of the scenario.


Great premise, poor secondary success condition.

4/5

This should be a scenario that is more fun than it is. It starts off strong, with a return to Salvation’s end and an investigation of another testing chamber. It’s fun infiltrating the area, trying to play along while still trying to figure out what’s going on, and find out what the big issues is. It's a fun to try to slowly piece together what the 'puzzle' is that has led to this particular simulation.

The second half is also fun, but becomes supremely problematic. All the sudden everything comes crashing down around your ears and it’s a mad dash to save people, gather as much data as possible, and get out. This also makes the secondary success condition problematic.

Mild Spoilers:
Unfortunately, there is an invisible counter between how much data you need to gather and how many people you need to save. And there is absolutely NO indication of how much of each you need. When we played through this, being generally good-aligned characters, our party saved a bunch of people, and got data when we could. Apparently, that was the wrong choice because we only got half credit for the scenario, as we saved way more people than we needed, but didn’t get enough data. With no indication of how much of each you need, it seems difficult to psychically intuit the right amount of people saved to data collected to get full credit for this scenario.


Masterpiece

5/5

This was really, really good. It's possible that it was also due to the player's characters (vesk/solarian, ysoki/operative, human/envoy-ex steward, kasatha/solarian and shirren/mystic (Hylax)), but all players enjoyed the game incredibly.
Heavy roleplay session, strong tension between players, lots of fun... we played six hours in a row, and even so I had to shorten the last encounter because of the upcoming time. Another great mission at Salvation’s End and one of the best SFS sessions ever.
Thanks Matt, great job!


Dataphiles

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Wait, what?? Vaults with "time travel"?!? Oh man, this is going to be good.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Surely my police box mini will see use during the scenario.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Society Developer

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Maps!!!

Maps in #2-04:
-Pathfinder Flip-Mat: Wasteland
-Pathfinder Flip-Mat Classics: Battlefield
-Custom Full-Page Map

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Thanks Thursty!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

My future self had better have a mohawk, a badass eyepatch, and ripped abbs that's all I'm saying.

I mean, no one else will be able to see the ripped abbs under all the fur, but I'll KNOW they're there!


I played this last night and I really liked it.

But, here is another season 2 scenario that can't fit in a 4 hour time slot. What is going on with Season 2 scenarios? Now 2 of 4 can't be played in 4 hours. (2-01 is the other one I'm referring too).

Contributor

Salvation's End stuff is awesome, and this is one of my favorites.

Acquisitives

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Played through this this week.

It's a good scenario, with a fun hook, some interesting exploration, and a big ole' battle.

It's a tad long though, and took the group I was playing with online 5 hours to get through.

Wayfinders

I had a great time playing this scenario! But my goodness did it run long. I was playing with a roleplay-heavy group, which I understand can make scenarios run longer in Society play. That shouldn't mean that the scenario takes us *7 hours to finish.*

With the amount of combat included in this scenario (each one was a long one, two of which had special rules), combined with a huge amount of social encounter stuff to uncover information, this scenario felt more like an AP volume at times.

It was all good content. But certainly not one scenario's worth of content. I feel like this one should've been broken into two scenarios, a la The Stumbling Society.

Kudos to the author for writing a mountain of varied and interesting content; I enjoyed all of it, as did the rest of the table. But when the expectation for society play is anywhere from 4-6 hours, with 6 being unusually long, this scenario felt humongous.

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