Starfinder Society Scenario #2-16: A Scoured Home

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A Starfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 5-8 (subtiers 5-6 & 7-8).

In desperate need of medicinal goods due to an ongoing price hike, the Starfinder Society travels back to the world of Icefront, homeworld of the izalguuns. While waiting for their goods, the PCs assist the izalguuns with a mounting threat: one of the izalguun's buried starships appears to be powering up and leaking fatal radiation. To stop a planet-wide catastrophe, the Starfinders venture into the old izalguun starship to find the source of the danger and confront a hidden menace.

Written by: Christopher Wasko

Scenario tags: Faction (Second Seekers [Jadnura]), Faction (Wayfinders)

[Scenario Maps spoiler - click to reveal]

The following maps used in this scenario are also available for purchase here on paizo.com:

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

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4.00/5 (based on 2 ratings)

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Great Use of Research

4/5

NO SPOILERS

I played A Scoured Home via play-by-post with my skittermander Steward, Officer Swizzers. The game seemed really rushed and I didn’t enjoy it much at the time, but reading through the scenario for the purposes of this review, it looks pretty solid. It makes great use of the storyline established in previous Starfinder Society scenarios and adds even more depth to an interesting species. The encounters require some interesting tactics and the map layouts are pretty cool. I’m not saying it’s the best scenario ever, but it’s definitely better than my first impression.

SPOILERS!:

Venture-Captain Fitch’s kids are up to more hijinks as she delivers the briefing aboard the Master of Stars. It seems the inhabitants of several Pact Worlds colonies are coming down with virulent diseases, and Big Potion (what we would call “Big Pharma”) has been slow to respond and is charging prices that are out of the reach of many. But the Starfinder Society has an ace up its sleeve: the izalguuns of the planet Izalraan have extremely advanced medicinal synthesis techniques, and have agreed to help the Society for cost. But one of the izalguun elders, Naarma, has asked for a favour in return: it seems a particular region of the planet is suffering from low-level radiation poisoning, and they’d like Starfinder help in finding out the cause.

The izalguuns were first encountered by the Starfinder Society in # 1-13: On the Trail of History and then again in # 1-17: Reclaiming the Time-Lost Tear. There, the Society learned the izalguuns were once an extremely technologically advanced culture residing in the system that came to be known as the Scoured Stars. When the izalguuns escaped the clutches of their over-protective deity through a mass exodus to Izalraan, they decided to leave their technological ways behind and live in harmony with their surroundings. The PCs in those early session had, as a reporting condition, to decide whether to keep the existence of the izalguuns secret from the wider galaxy (as they desired). It seems like most groups did, though my drug-addicted character Troivayan was happy to exploit them for the associated boon discount on medicinals. Ah, good times!

Anyway, the PCs have no trouble getting to Izalraan and meeting with Naarma. As she takes the list of medicines that need to be manufactured, she points the group in the direction of the irradiated area. Radiation is pretty nasty in Starfinder, though armor can protect against low levels and the PCs have had a warning that they should be prepared for it. Later on, however, they might be exposed to more severe levels of radiation, and then things can get serious.

The first encounter in the game is against some native bovine megafauna called ovibovos. The ovibovos have suffered severely from radiation-induced cancer, and their bodies slough off mobile tumors that can latch onto PCs! It’s simultaneously gross, funny, and memorable. I do like that the scenario provides a way to resolve the situation peacefully in addition to the usual combat option. What surprises me the most is that one of the Chronicle boons for the scenario is the opportunity to select an ovibovo as an animal companion--these are Huge sized creatures! I hope the Society starts manufacturing larger starships.

Speaking of starships, the source of the radiation leak will quickly be discovered as one of the large transport vessels from the initial izalguun exodus from the Scoured Stars system. But although the izalguuns have abandoned technology, they knew what they were doing and built their vessels to last (or, at least, to degrade safely)—so there has to be another reason for the radiation leak. Before the PCs can figure out the answer, they’ll have to contend with some of the ship’s automated security robots (cleverly designed to resemble izalguuns, which makes perfect sense) and persuade the vessel’s artificial intelligence to help out. The latter obstacle was a smart addition, as it provides an extended role-playing opportunity in what might otherwise be a fairly straightforward combat-heavy scenario. The AI can also provide some interesting insight into the history of the izalguun, building further on what’s been learned previously.

So what is behind the radiation leak? Sabotage--by jinsuls! Although they were conclusively defeated in # 1-99: The Scoured Stars Invasion, a small band led by a zealot mystic named Dvimnix escaped and have come to Izalraan for revenge on their ancient enemy. They’ve been working for weeks to break down the ship’s reactor in the hopes of poisoning the planet. I think it was clever to see the jinsul again, and to remember that an enemy defeated isn’t an enemy vanquished forever. It’s a nice tie-in to the Season 1 storyline. The main battle against the jinsul takes place in an encounter in which they can direct radiation leaks at the PCs, the PCs can try to shut down the reactor, and there’s plenty of combat to give everyone a role to play in the group’s success.

Assuming the PCs are successful in stopping the jinsul and curtailing the radiation leak, they can return to Naarma and will learn that the new medicinals are ready to go (izalguun work fast!). There’s a hint in the epilogue that Big Potion may be intentionally slow-walking their response to the disease outbreaks, and I suspect this will tie into Season 2’s overall storyline.

In reading the scenario, there’s very little that I didn’t like. The artwork for Dvimnix (the jinsul leader) was pretty poor, but the rest of the artwork is strong. There’s an unconvincing rationale for why the PCs can’t just take a shuttle to the source of the radiation and have to go on foot, but that’s par for the course for Starfinder encounter design which has never really grappled with the increased mobility of a futuristic setting. One would think the ship’s AI would have previously detected the jinsul incursion and done something about it. The Starfinder Society seems more interested in getting good publicity then in actually saving lives. And yeah, I’m not sure about Huge-sized animal companions that can be ridden as mounts and trample foes.

But those are all pretty small nit-picks in what’s overall a really strong scenario that shows the value of deep research into previous scenarios. I think most groups will enjoy it—just bring radiation buffers!


Robo-guuns were a funny decision

4/5

It's always nice to return to the scene of the crime. This scenario was weird in that the meta-plot is at the beginning and end and the middle has nothing to do with it.

It was pretty fun to return to the old scoured stars plot but I think the way in which the threat from the [REDACTED] is so randomly presented is worthy of follow-up because its taken in by the NPCs in stride in ways I wasn't expecting.

Spoiler:

I think in general, the scenario may have been better next year some time when the conflict with Jinsuls isn't still feeling quite so played out after a two year long run with them.

That said, A-1 was the NPC return I never knew I wanted. This discussion with A-1 was a real roleplaying highlight and I hate so much that it had to be over VTT because it would have been a delight in a more organic setting.

I also really enjoyed that there was an entire encounter circumventable by stealth, that sort of thing really validates certain build decisions and I think that's cool.

The final fight was a bit of a letdown - CR1 mooks simply aren't even an obstacle, let alone a challenge at this level between the omni-present DR and the now-inflated ACs that vanguard and shields make possible.

Still a couple things here made players make the "oh s&$&" comment and that's always a good time. Overall well-done, well-recommended but not an instant classic


Paizo Employee Webstore Coordinator

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Coming this month!


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Radiation! My favorite...


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Boon question...

Boon Spoilers!:
Re: the staff of nuclear vengeance, can we apply weapon fusions to it as with any weapon?

Paizo Employee Starfinder Society Developer

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Jeff_Barnes wrote:

Boon question...

** spoiler omitted **

Yes! You sure can.


Thurston Hillman wrote:
Jeff_Barnes wrote:

Boon question...

** spoiler omitted **

Yes! You sure can.

More questions for ya, Thursty-

Boon spoiler!:
if you spend the 3 fame to work with an izalguun starfinder, does the character in possession of the staff have to also have 11 ranks in engineering?
Media Specialist, SmiteWorks USA (Fantasy Grounds)

Hello everyone! This is now available for purchase to play on Fantasy Grounds or on Steam.

Starfinder RPG - Starfinder Society Scenario #2-16: A Scoured Home
Publisher: Paizo Inc.
System: Starfinder
Type: Adventure
Get it on Steam


Im GMing this on saturday. What's the lighting like in each area.

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