Starfinder Adventure Path #25: The Chimera Mystery (The Threefold Conspiracy 1 of 6)

4.70/5 (based on 3 ratings)
Starfinder Adventure Path #25: The Chimera Mystery (The Threefold Conspiracy 1 of 6)
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The security officer aboard a luxury space liner, the Chimera, goes missing after the heroes witness her arguing with a passenger. Soon after, the Chimera's engines fail and defy repair. A scholarly patron asks the heroes to investigate the disappearance, which involves murder, misdirection, and misapprehension. To unravel the murder mystery around them, the heroes must follow clues about more than one enigma aboard the Chimera. Secrets and unexpected foes abound. In the end, the investigators find that the whole whodunit is only part of a much larger conspiracy!

"The Chimera Mystery" is a Starfinder Roleplaying Game adventure for four 1st-level characters. This adventure begins the Threefold Conspiracy Adventure Path, a six-part, monthly campaign in which the heroes unravel the machinations of insidious aliens who have infiltrated galactic society. This volume also includes an article on running mystery scenarios, more on spies in the Pact Worlds and beyond, and a selection of new alien creatures!

Each monthly full-color softcover Starfinder Adventure Path volume contains a new installment of a series of interconnected science-fantasy quests that together create a fully developed plot of sweeping scale and epic challenges. Each 64-page volume of the Starfinder Adventure Path also contains in-depth articles that detail and expand the Starfinder campaign setting and provide new rules, a host of exciting new monsters and alien races, a new planet to explore and starship to pilot, and more!

ISBN: 978-1-64078-205-1

The Chimera Mystery is sanctioned for use in Starfinder Society Organized Play. The rules for running this Adventure Path and Chronicle sheets are available as a free download (6.7 MB PDF).

Note: This product is part of the Starfinder Adventure Path Subscription.

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4.70/5 (based on 3 ratings)

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Really Enjoyed This Mystery

5/5

Other than a SFS scenario I ran to test the waters, this was my first time running Starfinder (I had some experience with PF2e and Delta Green though). I thought it was fun and generally easy to run, although a natural 20 on a perception check near the mid point did sort of disrupt the intended flow of events. But that is on the dice. Overall I think it took my slightly indecisive PCs about 20 hours to complete.

The thing I enjoyed the most about this module was actually the NPCs, which I thought were well written and (mostly) had nice artwork. There were just enough of them that it wasn't that hard to prep and introduce them, but a large enough number that the PCs could pick a couple they enjoyed having conversations with or asking for help. Also the fact that they all had at least something to discover/uncover about them (even if it turned out to be unrelated to the mystery) was a nice touch I thought.

If I had any mild criticism, it would be that information for a particular character is often spread out over multiple chapters. I get that this is to put follow-up information closer to the events likely to trigger it coming out, but due to the non-linear nature of the module I think it would have been easier to run if everything was grouped together for each character (or at least summarized) in one place.


Agatha Christie in Space

5/5

I *loved* this book. I ran this for four (fairly casual) players on roll20 and you can read my summaries and notes on the experience on the messageboards right here. Spoilers galore, of course!

I really don't have anything negative to say about this. Given that there is only one other review so far, I feel compelled to address the negatives James pointed out:

I actually did not notice any poor editing, let alone any truly confusing mistakes. Maybe I am not reading thoroughly enough or my exocortex is properly autocorrecting, but there was nothing that bothered me at all. The only minor mistake I noticed is that a location is called out as being on the port side (the cargo hold for Event 4), but the map depicts the starboard side. Not that big of deal in my mind, though.

There was indeed not a lot of content in terms of crunch and encounters, but the module delivers in terms of atmosphere and plot. It took us about 15 hours to get through, but you could easily double that if you and your players like roleplaying out NPC interactions. There is everything you could possibly need and then some to bring each of the NPCs on board to life. So for the right groups, you would probably get way more playtime out of this than with your average dungeon crawl book.

One minor warning, though, to those who consider getting this book to just dip their toe or toe-like appendage into the AP with this book and then take it or leave it from there: It is very difficult to drop the AP after the finale of this one for numerous reasons. But I am almost certain you won't want to, anyway.

So go grab your ticket for the Chimera, it will be a trip to remember.


Very Good, but with poor editing

4/5

I was all set to start GMing one of the other APs for Starfinder when I took a look at this new one. I quickly dropped my previous plans in favor of The Threefold Conspiracy.

Positives:
1) Based on the first book, I've got high expectations for the story in the remaining parts of this AP. I really want to see where it goes from here.
2) I like how fluid this adventure feels. It's an investigation with some twists the PCs likely won't see.
3) It's got a lot of little secrets for them to ferret out, but still keeps them looking for more.
4) I like that it doesn't feel the need to add in an obligatory ship combat like almost every other AP book does.

Negatives:
1) The editing was pretty poor on this. I haven't seen Paizo's editing get this bad in a few years. There are lots of sentences that just get cut off without ending properly. And a few places where it tells you to look in the wrong location section for the details about a character.
2) I worry that there isn't enough actual content to make the adventure feel like a real AP book. Starfinder APs tend to be rather light on content compared to Pathfinder, but this one seems like it might be even lighter. I suppose that more word count was required to handle an investigation compared to a typical site-based adventure, so that's probably why. Since this should involve more role playing, it's entirely possible that it won't feel so light or short to the PCs, though. I'll have to see how this goes when I run this later this month for my group.


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Dark Archive

3 people marked this as a favorite.

While solving a murder on board of a luxuary space-liner seems like a great adventure, i don't want to play yet another six part campaign bringing characters from 1st to 13th level.

That's why this may be my last Starfinder AP (or not if the rest of the story is good).

The lack of adventure material for the levels 14-20 (coupled with having to try out Pathfinder Second Edition) is making me loose interest in Starfinder as a whole, though.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Ya know, I have to wonder if there is any other type of mystery you can start mystery APs with than "murder mystery" or "people in town vanish completely!" mystery

Contributor

9 people marked this as a favorite.

I am so stoked to play this adventure! I was a huge X-Files fan back in the day, so this is so up my alley.

Paizo Employee Developer

8 people marked this as a favorite.
CorvusMask wrote:
Ya know, I have to wonder if there is any other type of mystery you can start mystery APs with than "murder mystery" or "people in town vanish completely!" mystery

While the PCs are asked to discover what happened to the missing security officer, they'll be uncovering all sorts of other secrets along the way!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Love the adventure paths so far but I am also puzzled by the apparent disinterest in ANY adventure content for 14-20. I have a fairly dedicated group who would love to continue their characters to 20 and are used to being able to do this in Pathfinder Adventure paths. Odd that this doesn't seem to be a thing in Starfinder.


8 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Vexies wrote:
Love the adventure paths so far but I am also puzzled by the apparent disinterest in ANY adventure content for 14-20. I have a fairly dedicated group who would love to continue their characters to 20 and are used to being able to do this in Pathfinder Adventure paths. Odd that this doesn't seem to be a thing in Starfinder.

Starfinder team actually talked about this at Gen Con. Mentioned they recognized it was "a hole in their system," and were eager to explore high-level play. They just need to get more variety of Starfinder adventure material out there first.

Way I look at it, Starfinder's still a pretty fresh world. Pathfinder didn't get level 20 adventures until a good ways into its lifecycle, and when level 20 adventures happened, they tended to make big changes/bring big revelations about Golarion. We still don't know altogether that much about the Pact Worlds themselves, so it makes more sense to set them up and explore them more thoroughly before doing big things with them. If Marvel taught us anything, you want to make a bunch of low-level solo adventures setting up the universe first, before you even begin thinking about making Avengers.

That, and level 20 adventures are extremely rare for a good reason - they exceedingly rare in Golarion/Pact Worlds history. Taking on the Swarm's God-Host and turning back an invasion, or unveiling the Threefold Conspiracy are both 13th level adventures. Those are huge historical events. What would a 20 level adventure even look like, and how exceedingly rare would the adventurers have to be to undertake that sort of quest?


Is there a easy way to level up existing content? For example, when we finish Aeon Throne I think our group will be level 6, would it work to take another AP and crank up the content level initially until they catch up to the proper level in the AP? Hope that made sense.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Arevus Kael wrote:
Is there a easy way to level up existing content? For example, when we finish Aeon Throne I think our group will be level 6, would it work to take another AP and crank up the content level initially until they catch up to the proper level in the AP? Hope that made sense.

It's not the definition of easy, but I've found success with switching out printed creature stats with the NPC stats found in the Alien Archive 1 appendix. You can make them any tier you'd like that way. Only issue is somethings are just meaningless at high levels, like lower levels of radiation, so some encounters can fall flat. For the most part it's pretty smooth though.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Arevus Kael wrote:
Is there a easy way to level up existing content? For example, when we finish Aeon Throne I think our group will be level 6, would it work to take another AP and crank up the content level initially until they catch up to the proper level in the AP? Hope that made sense.

Signal of Screams is designed to follow Against the Aeon Throne, that way no adjustment is needed.


Yep, get a good base of different AP themes then go for the "big gun" AP stuff for higher levels, no problem with that, unlike some who keep "having problems" with it.......... SIGH

Tom


Marco Massoudi wrote:


The lack of adventure material for the levels 14-20 (coupled with having to try out Pathfinder Second Edition) is making me loose interest in Starfinder as a whole, though.

This. I will be canceling my Starfinder AP subscription until I see something for high level play. I have enough low level material for a few years currently.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
gailedon wrote:
Marco Massoudi wrote:


The lack of adventure material for the levels 14-20 (coupled with having to try out Pathfinder Second Edition) is making me loose interest in Starfinder as a whole, though.

This. I will be canceling my Starfinder AP subscription until I see something for high level play. I have enough low level material for a few years currently.

You might be waiting a little while sadly, high level stuff doesn't sell that well from what last I knew.

Scarab Sages

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

At last, full size final art! I want to believe.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Aaand didn't expect yellow and gray color scheme, but I do like it :D


Ooo like the leaf like design for the (elf?) ears.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

They don't have huge iris so half elf maybe?


*nods*


2 people marked this as a favorite.

They’re a half-ryphorian/half-Elf.

The first we’ve seen drawn I believe.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
VerBeeker wrote:

They’re a half-ryphorian/half-Elf.

The first we’ve seen drawn I believe.

Hair comes from the elf parent?


Likely. It’s stated that they looked oddly similar to Human Horn Half-Elves, but there are some differences which appear to be the ear structure.

Paizo Employee Developer

6 people marked this as a favorite.

The cover figure is a transitional (neither winterborn nor summerborn) ryphorian, which indeed we have never illustrated before. We've mainly shown the furry winterborn ryphorians and our one or two summerborn illustrations have depicted them as basically being bald, but there's nothing saying a transitional ryphorian can't grow a nice head of hair. Or maybe she's wearing a wig...


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Neat!

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hair bio augmentations clearly


I am really excited for this AP. And the art!! Looks absolutely awesome!


"The Threefold Conspiracy"
ILLUMINATI CONFIRMED

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So I've kinda realized that since I have read all 1-12 six part aps so far, I don't have any of them unspoiled I could play in .-. So I'm probably gonna avoid buying these books for few months just so there is at least one ap I could play in (aka I need to figure out if I want to play or run this one)


You could just read the backmatter articles for cool character options if they have them :3

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
You could just read the backmatter articles for cool character options if they have them :3

But temptation to read the whole thing would be high, plus I might need to save bit on money in future depending on things :'D

Paizo Employee

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Are we expecting there to be any sort of Player's Guide for this one, either within the book itself or posted separately?

Dark Archive

Xalxe wrote:
Are we expecting there to be any sort of Player's Guide for this one, either within the book itself or posted separately?

Good question.

We had one inside the first volume of the last AP "Attack of the Swarm".

Also, the 2nd Pathfinder AP for Second Edition has a PDF players Guide.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

I am so excited to get this book!
(Just got my first pre-authorisation email, so only a few short weeks away!). :)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Man, I am really a fan of what this adventure is going for, plot and mood wise. This looks really fun.
Also, Pistol Pirouette is very stylish. Pew-pew indeed.

But in my PDF I do not see any of the envoy icons to define the new improvisation's traits, even though it says they use the icons on p.47.
From reading them I guess they are neither language-, sense-dependant or mind-affecting, but I am a bit uncertain. Hmm.


Mimski wrote:

Man, I am really a fan of what this adventure is going for, plot and mood wise. This looks really fun.

Also, Pistol Pirouette is very stylish. Pew-pew indeed.

But in my PDF I do not see any of the envoy icons to define the new improvisation's traits, even though it says they use the icons on p.47.
From reading them I guess they are neither language-, sense-dependant or mind-affecting, but I am a bit uncertain. Hmm.

What kind of mechanical options are in the book?


What are the new monsters (name, type, subtypes, CR, size)?


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Xenocrat wrote:
What kind of mechanical options are in the book?

There are four new feats, skill-oriented ones. Seven new spells.

The envoy gets three new improvisations and and two new expertise talents. The mechanic gets three tricks and three drone mods. The soldier gets two gear boosts and two fighting styles. Five magic hacks for the technomancer.

HTD wrote:

What are the new monsters (name, type, subtypes, CR, size)?

Aanung-An, Undead, 4+ (it's a template graft), medium

Aerial Devil, Animal, 2, small
Barghest, Outsider (evil, extraplanar, lawful, shapechanger), 4, medium
Cargo Creep, Aberration, 4, medium
Spirit Oni, Outsider (native, oni), 2, tiny
Proog, Ooze, 1/2, tiny (and amazing, I love the proog)
Incapacitator Robot, Construct (technological), 3, medium

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

On side note, I did come to conclusion that I'm probably gonna get this book anyway since I can while agaisnt the aeon throne and signal of screams are technically two different campaigns, its not much different than playing one adventure from level 1 to level 12 and playing two campaigns with same levels. Plus I do know some details of this one that might help me make too accurate conspiracy theories ;P

But yeah, is cargo creep related to that cargo devil crab thing?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
CorvusMask wrote:


But yeah, is cargo creep related to that cargo devil crab thing?

No, I don't think so.

Paizo Employee Developer

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Mimski wrote:

Man, I am really a fan of what this adventure is going for, plot and mood wise. This looks really fun.

Also, Pistol Pirouette is very stylish. Pew-pew indeed.

But in my PDF I do not see any of the envoy icons to define the new improvisation's traits, even though it says they use the icons on p.47.
From reading them I guess they are neither language-, sense-dependant or mind-affecting, but I am a bit uncertain. Hmm.

Infuriating Target was meant to be mind-affecting, but I guess we lost the icon somewhere along the line! Oops!

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

cannot get a pdf right now. there is an error stopping me. hopefully it gets fixed soon

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

:O Well this adventure is awesome

I love intrigue and mystery stuff and skim read says this is pressing all my buttons :3 Pity I can't now play this ;-; But yeah, maybe next time ;D

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

...the store isn't working for me for some reason.
i cannot purchase it. it keeps giving me an error.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

finally got me pdf. apparently i needed to turn it to private mode. apparently because of some pending order stuck in limbo and now messing up the system. still, hope to see what this book has in store. :D

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I have to say, the main reason I am an AP subscriber is the articles we get in the back of the books and this was not disappointing!

I loved not only the lore bits for espionage themed characters and organizations but the character options/mechanical bits were also super enjoyable! I have to say I *really* hope they get sanctioned for Starfinder Society use too, they look fun as heck :D

Second Seekers (Luwazi Elsbo)

Anyone else still waiting for their book and PDF?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Yes to both. :-)


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Subscribers should have their PDFs by now, even if their orders haven't shipped, per the February 2020 subcriptions thread in the Customer Service forum.

And has anyone else noticed that this PDF is three times the size of the PDFs for the Gamemastery Guide and the PF2 adventure path module?


There’s only been one issue released.

This one in particular is a mystery thriller, not a straight shoot em up, so not for everyone.

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