Starfinder Society Scenario #2-14: Data Purge

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A Starfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 9-12 (subtiers 9-10 & 11-12).

There's a data leak somewhere inside the heart of the Starfinder Society, somewhere in the Lorespire Complex. Assembled for what was supposed to be an ordinary mission, the PCs find themselves sent to break into to the Society's central hub of operations. Travelling through ancient accessways, it's up to this group of dedicated Starfinders to plug the data leak and stop the Society's most precious secrets from ending up in the hands of their mysterious foes.

Written by: Cole Kronewitter

Scenario tags: Faction (Dataphiles), Faction (Second Seekers [Luwazi Elsebo])

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Red Team vs. Dungeon Crawl

4/5

I GM'ed this in high tier (11-12).

Data Purge begins with an interesting premise. Opposed by a mysterious foe, and compromised from the inside, Starfinder leadership assembles a secret mission team to break into the Lorespire Complex and remove the enemy's intelligence-gathering apparatus. The mission might be thought of as a red team exercise--probing the defenses of the Society to determine its flaws and vulnerabilities. Like all missions, however, there is a twist--and quite a twist at that.

But beneath the pages of this four-to-five hour scenario (five, in my case) what we get is a series of vingettes rather than a fully fleshed-out infiltration. The scenes oscillate between fun and interesting combats to social encounters that feel a touch forced. The bigger problem here is a lack of perceived direction. I felt like I was leading my players by the nose for most of the scenario, telling them that "OK, here's where the map says to go next." An actual, physical map handout would have gone a long way to alleviate this, as the players could say "OK, we've reached Point B, how do we get to Point C?"

This is not to say the adventure is not without its charm. Part C has some particularly humorous moments, especially what I could only assume was a subtle nod to some of the more memorable droids from Star Wars. Part C was also interesting tactically, since it provided the players a lot of freedom with how to resolve the scene. My group opted for a stealthy option, which worked surprisingly well given that one of them was riding a huge dragon (a huge dragon that was unfortunately good at sneaking).

However, even Part C was not without its flaws. A lack of an apparent exit condition makes non-violent resolutions of the scene difficult, as I have no concept of where the players need to get to on the map in order to succeed. Actually, let's talk about maps for a second:

Map Issues:
This scenario, for all of Cole Kronewitter's delicate attention to detail, suffers for its maps. In Part A, the computer to disable the magnet is indicated as being "on the southern wall, marked by an X" but there is no X on the map. In Part C, there is no "sneak here to escape" information. I decided if the PCs reached the Western edge of the map they'd win, but I would have appreciated more guidance there. In Part D one of the major hazards of the mission is betrayed by a dashed line on the ground. I lied and told my players it was an indication of authorized vs. unauthorized areas, and then had the glass panels descend from the ceiling rather than rise from the floor.

The final battle the PCs face is indeed an epic one, and one that really forced my players to get creative with their tactics and thinking. The fight itself ran over an hour in length, but the players never appeared bored during it. I would say that some threats during the encountered didn't exactly pan-out the way I'm sure Mr. Kronewitter intended, but others did their job admirably.

Hazard Sidebar:
The nerve agent was effectively neutralized by the mystic's use of life bubble at the start of the mission. I suppose I could have used dispel magic when Guidance moved into its spellcaster form, but at that point the corrupted AI had other things to worry about, like being put in the "time out" bubble (Resilient Sphere) by the technomancer.

Overall, I think Data Purge is an admirable first entry into regular season 9-12 tier content. It both challenges and delights, but also drags and confuses. I would like to see future scenarios have a clearer sense of progression between scenes, but I think Data Purge is pointed in the right direction.


Dataphiles

I get to play again! AND Dataphiles AND Luwazi Ellsebo!? This sounds awesome!

Dataphiles

Ah I see, I too will be perfectly positioned for this, Mr. Cupi.

Grand Lodge

Running this at Con of the North. Excited for high tier content, but I have a map question.

Area A:
Are these supposed to be 10 ft squares? The description of A2 and range of the hazard in A1 lean in that direction.

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