Starfinder Adventure Path #32: The Starstone Blockade (The Devastation Ark 2 of 3)

4.80/5 (based on 4 ratings)
Starfinder Adventure Path #32: The Starstone Blockade (The Devastation Ark 2 of 3)

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The heroes travel to Absalom Station to warn the Pact Worlds government of a fast–approaching threat from beyond the stars! But before they are fully prepared, the titanic spacecraft arrives and shuts down the fabled Starstone Reactor, plunging the station into chaos. The heroes must find a way to bring the power back online, while rescuing citizens and dealing with Azlanti spies, angry outsiders, and confused spirits. Can they save the heart of the Pact Worlds and take the fight to the strange alien vessel?

"The Starstone Blockade" is a Starfinder Roleplaying Game adventure for four 16th-level characters. This adventure continues The Devastation Ark Adventure Path, a three-part, monthly campaign in which the players stop the threat of an ancient alien civilization in Starfinder's first high-level adventures! This volume also includes an examination of the church of Eloritu—the god of history, magic, and secrets—as well as a selection of ghastly new aliens!

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 13: 978-1-64078-265-5

The Starstone Blockade 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 (5.1 MB PDF).

Other Resources: This product is also available on the following platforms:

Fantasy Grounds Virtual Tabletop
Archives of Nethys

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

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4.80/5 (based on 4 ratings)

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No notes - a great AP

5/5

Much like the last one, I don't have much feedback on this one. It runs real smooth.

A few things:

1. The conference has a bit of jank to it. It acts like there's some complicated things you can do to suss out various delegates, but all you get for sussing them out is a +2 to a flat DC 29 check that you have to pass. Which, when you have skill bonuses in the mid-20's basically means it's 50/50 already. Ultimately the political conference comes down to a set of flat DC checks to encourage them to push forces where they need to go, and then a single set of 4 checks again to see if they get mauled again or not. I roleplayed things out a bit, having bickering delegates, and making the characters try and persuade rather than have flat checks like a real war council.

2. If they're called Contractor Devils in the statblock, don't write a "Summon Creature" spell that calls them Tchorugons. Confusing!

3. If the strategic battle layer seems janky, consider doing armada combat instead. (I thought it was pretty good)

4. The airlock at the end should be moved to the beginning of AP 3


One of best high level adventures I've read and run :O

5/5

So this one has LOT to talk about x'D Bit hard to organize this clearly so this will be rambling from me I suppose. Anyway, finished running this book yesterday and it was awesome.

Let's start with the biggest advantage of this book: Its high level adventure that feels like it expects players to be high level. Like problem with lot of high level starfinder society adventures is some encounters are written so that they would break down if all players have jetpack and infrared sensors(though to be fair, in society it happens surprisingly a lot that players don't bother buying items that would be easy to get and helpful :'D) without scenario even acknowledging it. Here adventure presents impossible situation for "normal" characters and pretty much expects high level scenarios to be able to solve it anyway due to their abilities.

Second thing is that this adventure really feels "epic" in scope. Like it DOES pretty much feel like what I imagine people thought ME 3's ending would be like :D There is even "all people of pact worlds(and vesks) united despite their past" moment.

Third minor general thing to note is that a) adventure has several relatively complicated skill challenges, they aren't REALLY that complicated, but it has lot of info so bit hard to explain them to players fast. Sometimes I wish that adventures came with handouts you could give to players to explain how challenge works. Though since I run games in roll20, I just posted all skill challenge mechanics visible there :'D I don't think that is most user friendly way to do it though.

and fourth general thing is also minor one: this adventure is bit heavier on Q&A "example questions and example answers" format. I honestly wish that adventures would switch more into "here is information the character will explain to characters over course of conversation and here is information they only share if asked or prompted" format because while it is handy to get examples of how to roleplay a character, I do think Q&A format feels less natural to roleplay out because I'm incentives to think like "does what players say fit one of these prompts" x'D

Okay here is my scene by scene commentary:
So first book starts with scene where players do presentation to Pact Council on how they should prepare their fleet defenses and assess which areas of concern need highest defense :D I fricking love this scene thematically and mechanically though soldier didn't have much to do with their skill choices in this one(doesn't help they didn't have max skill ranks in any of their skills) and I do think it has bit of problem of "well since influence is written to be character specific, you really only want to succeed at assess checks and one character get as many influence bonuses as possible".

I also think it has issue of that... Well setup is awesome to me, but its hard to role play "we are giving presentation on what you should do while at same time rolling checks to assess your biases" with seven characters and all :'D So in my table's case, it mostly turned into dice rolling with barely any roleplaying.

Still anyway, its fun how Pact Council scene works as sequel to both stuff in Dead Suns and Threefold Conspiracy and I like consenquences of both succeeding at it and horribly failing at it :'D Like wow failing to defend Idari has massive consequences.

Second part of adventure is massive amount of incidents happening on Absalom Station as result of the attack :D Its extremely chaotic and horrifying (and good heroism opportunities). Thing I love about this part is that if PCs have no extra thing to make traveling faster, by time they reach one location, situation has already gotten twice worse to worst possible situation. Even if they have something like flying vehicle, halving traveling time still means situation has time to get bit worse before players arrive. Only way to solve problem as fast as possible before things get harder is through stuff like teleport magic. Hypothetical "martial only, only weapons and armor, no fancy travel items" parties would never have time to save everyone in time. Like even if they focus on solving problems before going to part 3 or 4, by time they arrive, lots of people can't be saved anymore.

Invididual incidents are great as well :D Void troll one is simplest, but kami one, devil one and "rich jerk with big guns vs the mob" are the highlights. There is bit of awkward stuff around in term of being bit confusing though.

Like its bit awkward how possibility that instead of having devils do less collateral damage, they can convince summmoner to recall them and summon fleet devils instead feels pretty... Well like, how would players know that was even option? They wouldn't. The gm can be like "well you convinced her to move devils to be in areas where less collateral damage would happen to civilians, but that doesn't mean none would happen. Do you want to try to convince her to stop after all?" and that is what I would recommend if you think players might need extra fleets. Second awkward thing is that while I love everything involving the rich jerk and mob, the stewards and biker angel and all, its bit confusingly written in how much stuff there is: okay so if I understood right, party can solve whole issue without ever talking to rich jerk(who would offer them money they don't have time to use to get rid of mob... Which is amount of money on his ship? So it kinda sounds like as written, if they don't talk to him at all, there is no money at his ship x'D) and thus get angel's both rewards for helping mob and solving problem in way everyone's happy(plus extra money if they talked to rich guy and took offer)? Text kinda makes it sound like some options are mutually exclusive when they aren't. Anyway, yeah, I do like there are multiple options to solve the evacuation ship problem(and that real problem isn't just to prevent two sides fighting, but convincing people not evacuate early.) In my table's case, they loaned sunrise maiden to them :D Also I don't think there is mentioned max size for ward to calm kami? I presumed max size is about the map there since that made sense enough to me :D

I could talk about part 2 forever that how much I like it, but I'm now moving to part 3: So this is bit.. Different chapter in great way. It does feel bit disconnected, but that seems to be on purpose. Point of chapter isn't technically "this is all result of the attack"(while it is), but more of "Attack on station caused weird side effects, and there are multiple parties caught in fray or wanting to take advantage of it". I also like that besides azlanti agents, players can skip every encounter if they are smart :D One with banishment and understanding situation, and rest with diplomacy. Oh and rescue baby skittermanders in danger oh no ;D But yeah, main boss for the area is weird character to roleplay(so my favorite kind to roleplay) since they think in alien way and speak in cryptic sentences, but I had fun roleplaying conversation with party trying to convince him to not detonate explosions :D And if boss fight had happened, holy crap that is one of most amazing mind bending boss fight mechanics I've seen.

...Ahem, anyway, after this is the starship combat(after rousing speech) with fleet phase pseudo armada combat :D And I like it, though players did notice that enemies can't really defeat Starbrand because Starbrand is just that tanky compared to damage enemies deal. Still nice for players to be able to shoot tiny drones in single x laser capital weapon attack :D The extra mechanic isn't too much complicated, but yeah I did think it was fun though I did shorten it down so that we were able to finish book in same session once it was clear players were winning fleet phase as well.

After that is final skill challenge which is... Not actually as complicated in practice as it sounded, but took while to explain :'D And final boss fight was fun (note: I love the propaganda lives, again reminds me of ME xD)

...I want to go into further detail but let's face it, I already talked a lot and I'm exhausted writing this x'D And I shouldn't spoil everything anyway, soo yeah. Great adventure :3


Best SF Adventure

5/5

This is without a doubt the best starfinder adventure I've read, and running it was wonderful.

Gives the players a feel of something like what we wanted out of the ending of mass effect 3.


Great entry to this product line

4/5

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this adventure. High level play is notoriously difficult to write well, but this author managed it. I can’t wait to read the next adventure, and also her next work for Paizo.

1 star off for some of the other choices made though. The in character text is very difficult to read on my iPad, and the file size is unacceptably large.


Paizo Employee Webstore Coordinator

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Announced for September! Product image and description are not final and may be subject to change.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.

So part one starts with 13th level characters and part 2 with 16th level characters.

That means characters should hit level 20!
Hopefull,they can continue to play a little while while being at their peak power level.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

*I’m sorry*

IT SHUTS DOWN THE STARSTONE REACTOR?

How in the Hells can it do that?

What is the Ark?

What built it...how do they even have the power to do that!!!

Why are the Azlanti involved!

I...I want this NOW!

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Azlanti spies were probably on the station already, but yeah apparently dat advanced super aggressive species is aware of starstone? :O


4 people marked this as a favorite.

Amezmen breaking back into reality on a mad quest for revenge or to somehow restore Acavna?

Or it could be Aboleths in giant fishbowls in the ships?

Dark Archive

5 people marked this as a favorite.

Ah, so bantrids are actually another aboleth creation/species enslaved in them during gap? ;D

...In retrospect that WOULD make sense actually. Aboleths haven't shown up in Starfinder at all despite them seeding themselves on multiple planets, so they would definitely fit into category of "Aggressive advanced ancient species thought to be extinct that was really prevalent back in the ancient days"


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Oh, wow, we really go up to level 20? :) Sounds awesome! :D


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I was slow to discover that this adventure is being written by Eleanor Ferron. The Commencement and Star Sugar Heartlove!!! have been big "tentpole" adventures in my home campaign so far, and I'm pumped that if all goes to plan, we'll come back around to another of her adventures toward the end of the road.

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Can't wait for this series!


To the subscribers with your PDF copies: which are the monsters that show up in the alien archives (name, type, subtypes, size and CR)?

Dark Archive

Void dragons on cover yay :3


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
HTD wrote:
To the subscribers with your PDF copies: which are the monsters that show up in the alien archives (name, type, subtypes, size and CR)?

Exodus Angel, NG Medium outsider (angel, good, extraplanar). CR 17. They ride motorcycles.

Meteorite Drake, N Small magical beast (earth). CR 16.

Exhaust Ooze, N Large ooze (air). CR 18. This is basically exactly what it sounds like.

Kami, Toshigami, NG Medium outsider (kami, native). CR 13.

Limina, N Medium fey. CR 16.

Spectra, Nacrea, N Medium outsider (extraplanar, spectra). CR 16.

Tapestry Moth, NE Medium magical beast. CR 16.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

Have to say Eleanor knocked it out of the arena with this one!

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
CorvusMask wrote:

Ah, so bantrids are actually another aboleth creation/species enslaved in them during gap? ;D

...In retrospect that WOULD make sense actually. Aboleths haven't shown up in Starfinder at all despite them seeding themselves on multiple planets, so they would definitely fit into category of "Aggressive advanced ancient species thought to be extinct that was really prevalent back in the ancient days"

Is that in this volume and I missed it??


Anorak wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:

Ah, so bantrids are actually another aboleth creation/species enslaved in them during gap? ;D

...In retrospect that WOULD make sense actually. Aboleths haven't shown up in Starfinder at all despite them seeding themselves on multiple planets, so they would definitely fit into category of "Aggressive advanced ancient species thought to be extinct that was really prevalent back in the ancient days"

Is that in this volume and I missed it??

That was just wild speculation.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Anorak wrote:
Have to say Eleanor knocked it out of the arena with this one!

I'm taking my first pass through this now and... yeah! Waking the Worldseed was the long wind-up; this is where the story goes nuts.

Dark Archive

Is pdf really available tomorrow or is that just website bug?


Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
CorvusMask wrote:
Is pdf really available tomorrow or is that just website bug?

Depends on what time zone you are in. In the eastern hemisphere, it is Tuesday. The PDF is supposed to become available at the stroke of midnight going into Wednesday Pacific Time (about 29.5 hours from when I am posting this), assuming that they are sticking to their past usual practice.

I am in a time zone where it is still Monday, so I am not seeing this PDF as available tomorrow (yet).


Started playing through the first part with my group, so far really enjoying this arc... can't wait for part 2 (just a little over a day)

Dark Archive

David knott 242 wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:
Is pdf really available tomorrow or is that just website bug?

Depends on what time zone you are in. In the eastern hemisphere, it is Tuesday. The PDF is supposed to become available at the stroke of midnight going into Wednesday Pacific Time (about 29.5 hours from when I am posting this), assuming that they are sticking to their past usual practice.

I am in a time zone where it is still Monday, so I am not seeing this PDF as available tomorrow (yet).

Don't pdfs usually become available in final wednesday of the month?


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

They've pushed releases earlier in the month for now to handle the upcoming holiday season.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

331 MB? What the heck went wrong in there?


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
John Mangrum wrote:
Anorak wrote:
Have to say Eleanor knocked it out of the arena with this one!
I'm taking my first pass through this now and... yeah! Waking the Worldseed was the long wind-up; this is where the story goes nuts.

Just a sheer pleasure to read. Even the descriptions were awesome. Dialogue is sometimes hit or miss, but I genuinely laughed out loud at times, and audibly gasped as stuff started to go very wrong.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
AnimatedPaper wrote:
Dialogue is sometimes hit or miss

To clarify, I meant dialogue is hit or miss in general. This adventure is solid throughout.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

What's up with the huge file sizes?
Flyteach


Zmar wrote:
331 MB? What the heck went wrong in there?

I would like to know this as well. I flipped through it and it reads amazing. I have no doubt it's going to be a great adventure as usual, however I am getting VERY frustrated by the usual crappy resolution of the maps. This is even more frustrating given the redunculous size of the PDF .... Paizo, what gives?

Paizo Employee Webstore Coordinator

As a result of some unexpected file size issues on Starfinder APs beginning with volume #31 (The Devastation Ark part 1), we have released interactive map PDFs so that GMs can extract the maps from that PDF instead. We will continue releasing interactive maps for the entire run of Fly Free or Die and beyond.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

This PDF is unfortunately affected by the same problem as the "We're No Heroes" PDF. All images and maps contained in the PDF are cut up into small tiles, which makes it nearly impossible to use in a VTT.

I assume this is an error that occurred when creating the PDF since the current Pathfinder Adventure Path PDFs are not affected by this issue (and neither was the previous version of this PDF before it was pared down in size).

Paizo, could you please recreate this PDF with images intact? That would be super helpful for anyone wanting to use this adventure with a VTT. Thank you!

Dark Archive

So already mentioned this in other product thread, but pretty interested to see how sanctioning this will be handled and whether this gets sanctioned before fly free or die :O Since I'm starting to run it and all I do hope its earlier than later but I do think sanctioning this one is potentially bit hard ^^;

But yeah, bit sad Fly free or die didn't get threefold conspiracy treatment of "first three book sanctioned early" since that was fun for me even if I didn't run threefold conspiracy so wasn't topical for me yet :D

Dark Archive

I keep checking pages for all three books each day frequently in hopes sanctioning document is on different one than usual x'D Yeah I know thats bit silly

Dark Archive

I'm super hyped for running third book and finishing it, I wanna know what mystery book is and this has been great ap x'D

I did forget to mention in review comparison to first book that had silly excuse "you can't fly and land on top of tower because its too narrow" but I guess I include that mention here x'D

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