Starfinder Adventure Path #33: Dominion’s End (Devastation Ark 3 of 3)

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Starfinder Adventure Path #33: Dominion’s End (Devastation Ark 3 of 3)

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Upon gaining access to the hostile starship known as Ark Prime, the heroes find themselves immersed in propaganda designed to show the might and superiority of the ancient empire that launched the vessel eons ago. Once they break free of the brainwashing, they can fight past robots, holographic constructs, and alien supersoldiers awoken from stasis to confront Ark Prime's evil AI. In the end, the heroes must decide what to do with hundreds of other sleeping citizens of a formerly dangerous civilization. Their important decision could affect the future of the galaxy!

“Dominion's End” is a Starfinder Roleplaying Game adventure for four 18th-level characters. This adventure concludes 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 a catalog of technomagical relics from the ancient Sivv Dominion as well as a selection of ferocious alien threats.

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: 978-1-64078-275-4

Dominion's End 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

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Doesn't quite stick the landing

4/5

The first part of this AP is poorly placed and sucks all of the momentum out of the finale like an oxygen-starved fire.

First, it's a railroad. All it takes is one savvy player saying "Through the airlock? No, that's what they're expecting" and blowing a hole in the hull instead and you're suddenly answering questions if you pull this trick on them.

The unblockable "Sorry you all fall unconscious, are taken prisoner, and put in VR" thing in the intro also will rub players the wrong way.

Finally it's asking a lot of the players to pretend to be brainwashed Sivv who don't know who they are after 2 AP's worth of participation - this is the kind of mystery you create at the beginning of an AP arc (like Threefold Conspiracy), not at the end. I barely felt motivated to even PRETEND like they were all Sivv other than changing their icons.

Finally - the passage of time. The AP says that the party is captured for several days ---- What was the assembled Pact Worlds fleet doing this whole time, getting coffee?!?!

This AP appears to have been written in a complete vacuum, not even acknowledging what had transpired in the past. There's no contact with anyone on the outside! Did the fleet battle just last several days? Good question. This adventure doesn't even bother trying to answer it!

The vexatious part of all of this is that we already have a blueprint for how to board a super-colossal dreadnought class ship -- all the way back in Dead Suns 6!

In my opinion the whole thing should either be done as a series of narrative beats, no dice rolls, just roleplaying vignettes -- or skipped entirely.

The rest of the AP plays out pretty conventionally and is a suitable ending. But man, that first part is just a gigantic speedbump that breaks the perfect flow that the 2nd AP had.


4.5 probably, flip flopped between 4 and 5

4/5

So if my campaign hadn't turned to bi weekly and I didn't have few breaks even with bi weekly rhytmn, probably would have finished running this faster and giving this 5 stars :'D But because of breaks I did have extra time to think besides the hype and that bit lowers my impression.

I don't think its really fault of adventure itself, more of starfinder page amount restricting amount of details we can learn. Like this AP volume does good job at giving chance to learn about the big bad despite lack of backstory article, with the VR simulations being based on his memories. Main issue is that there is lot of what kinda feels like handwaving due to lack of details given.

Like first book of the AP mentions AI big bad is corrupted due to big bad dying from radiation poisoning in middle of upload, but this book kinda glosses over that detail what the corruption exactly causes. I had to read between line corruption is probably why VR simulations have weird glitches and details Sivvs shouldn't include as part of propaganda and why ship is mostly unguarded.

Second thing is that VR simulation is bit handwaved with "PCs have strong wills so the simulation glitches out" in a way that makes it bit hard to tell what is intended by Sivvs and what isn't. Also with simulations being based on big bad's memories, it creates lot of fascinating questions that page amount doesn't give time to get deeper into: Like hospital scene implies that what happened in reality was more grim, but hospital simulation's goal for pcs is to ignore cruciating waiting time and find out truth about how the hospital works, so PCs never find out implication that either mate or spawn or possibly both perished. This also leads to weird thing about education one: So is this completely fictional event with AI taking direct control of narrative or is this also based on memory? And if so, was Vheiransch the parent or child in the memory? Final kinda wonky memory is the Kishalee Torments one, like... Its really unclear of what part of simulation is real and isn't real. Like Kishalee in simulation are like "hah we are going to execute you later" but the thing that gives lucidity points is hearing sivvs be like "kill them all and let one of them go to spread terror". Like its really hard to tell if Kishalee are supposed to be made appeared as worse than they were, if sivvs are overreacting to what kishalee did or if point is just "kishalees were pragmatic, sivvs are overly cruel". Or if this is just war memory or what. (the degenerator memory is easy to explain as being important memory to big bad and thus not supposed to be part of propaganda)

I hope its clear what I mean: I love the adventure, but more I have time to think about it, more I think "ya know, this could be less vague".

There is also bit of pro/con of Sivv Dominion being portrayed as increasingly over the top evil x'D Mostly because at the end there is the moral question of "What to do with them?" but AP makes seemingly accidentally pretty good case for "Sivv Dominion indoctrinates all of its civilians to be blatantly sadistic, even the scientists worked slaves to death to cover up paternal leaves and such, so yes all of them are evil". On one hand it creates good deal of black comedy and such, but we don't really have any proof to contrary of whether there were any sivvs disagreeing with dominion due to info we get from VR simulation being pretty appalling. Though thankfully ap does remember to include victim perspective of the matter since its more effective way to raise stakes than just "look at how evil they were"

Oh about VR simulation stuff: my players were effective with high level spells so they skipped tracking through ice with teleport and wall of forced enemies outside from getting in the bunker :'D Robot in hospital they avoided with control machines. Later on they flew over walls and combined ALL encounters in kishalee simulation into one(so I can confirm that 4 level 18 characters with terrain advantage can take care of 8 cr 13, 1 cr 15 and 1 cr 17 at same time relatively easily)

But yeah about the dungeon part itself: its pretty decent and fun, I really love start of it and how there are couple roleplaying encounters included throughout entire book, though my party did make much more roleplay since the convinced frujai peacefully to let them go and ko'd Xiello and used psychic surgery on him :'D So they removed indoctrination from majority of deck inhabitants.

I do have one issue with dungeon design though: I do think as written, its bit too generous with resting. I did decide to add bonus CR 22 encounter for level 19 party to level them up and give them one rest to start level 20 at full resources, but level 20 area of book is easy enough that yeah they didn't need to spend much resources before final boss :'D

Final dungeon area has also little bit of problem with it: Since its loop shaped and players can start out at either end of loop, they might go from opposite end and miss the friendly npc completely. Which depending on party and gm means they might kill calecor first(I just warned them with sense motive check that calecor will attack them if they don't immediately close the door, as its clearly more interested in sivvs), meaning they will miss on pathos scene and have extra ally to make final boss fight much much easier :'D On the otherhand, if they go in the other order, they will recruit ally they will keep around for 0 combats (unless they for some reason turn around and go long way) which feels bit too fast time for heartfelt goodbye scene.

Final boss fight this time around is CR 20 foe with lot of CR 17 mooks. I think Paizo was bit being careful with their first level 20 combat and end result is... Decently tough. There isn't any real TPK risk, but CR 20 enemy is strong enough to feel threatening and mooks deal consistent damage. That said, none of the enemies have any real counter to casters, so whole party having greater invisibility meant that with blind sense all of attacks had 50% chance to fail. Though granted, if the didn't have it, I do think someone would have went unconscious, but it also meant big bad had to alone fly through floor with intangible step to attack invisible techomancer who separated computer with wall of force from rest of the room :p

(I also find nature of big bad itself confusing: so it appears to be corporeal hologram and not some sort of fleshy robot body? It's bit unclear of what AI avatar exactly is)

Anyway, that leads me to comment on my own CR 22 encounter vs level 19 party. Why I did that was that party killed only the sivvs (they used control undead on one of genesis wraiths) so they party had ENTIRE deck on their side(they still managed with clever wall of forces and healing prevent any npc casualties) My NPC sivv mech was straight up from melee array table, though looking at it afterwards I notice I accidentally had saves from CR 19 part and attack bonuses from CR 23(though damage, ac, hp, dcs and such were correct for CR 22) and had given it abilities to explode upon death, SR, rerolling will saves and forgot final one.

Anyway yeah CR 22 mech was hardest enemy in entire book :'D I do think that while enemies in final book are capable of dealing damage, they didn't make party really spend resolve, my party was almost at full resolve at final encounter. That said, I do think paizo will likely for their next level 20 adventure(if that happens, whenever it happens) try out CR 21-23(maybe 24/25 there are mechs ;P) foes, though hopefully still some small fries included :D We have seen what equivalent level final boss is like so next time tougher one! That said higher CR foes do have bit of "well they are so tough that party might feel like they are doing nothing to it for couple rounds" thing.

Another thing about the book is that I'm not sure this book was as good as second book about feeling like it was designed around high level character abilities. Like even with greater invisibility, yeah enemies were able to deal decent damage to party in final boss, but they didn't have any counters to spells besides sr (btw, I assume planar barrier is supposed to work on teleportation effects and not just teleportation spells right? Didn't realize to question that in middle of session ;P) which is at same time good thing, technomancer felt useful, but at same time it does feel like final boss could have had bit more stronger abilities(though granted, move to teleport enemies to whenever you want IS really strong and they do have high damage. Immediately turning incorporeal with resolve to halve damage is decent too, though again bit confused of why AI avatar isn't incorporeal but holograms are)

(bonus: I did like the "almost every class has some special ability to learn in final dungeon thing even if it wasn't as useful for every character and envoy/operative ones were tied between failing trap save :P

Also bit sad they didn't think of "how about we use sivv's mindwipe technology to give them as clean state as bantrids had" :D)


51 to 90 of 90 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>

New critters:
Hoarboar - four eyed snowy boar

Aqlath - big three legged psychic boar people with a bal-I mean bullfrog chin ( I wonder if they ribbit?), has a cool spiky crown made of psychic energy)

Brood Sovereign - giant evil ass ocean slugs who is overflowing with rage and can make other's nervous system short out due to the sheer intensity of it. Sic Star Wolf and Co on it.

Genesis Wraith - an undead... POWERED BY LIFE... yeah I'm scratching my head on that one too. They make things grow.

Eclipse Giant - giant. Cool sword. Get's powered up be eclipsis and can infuse healing or destructive energy into things they throw.

Mahadatari - superpowered Kasathas, they can control sandstorms and can summon extra psychic arms for much punchy goodness.

Sivv Sage-Coffer - Sivv scientist brain stuck in Sivv robot body, Sivv scientist not complaining. HAs the Sivv species abilities and can force parts of opponents bodies into different realities/quantum realms/however that works.

Sivv Warmaster - Rambo Sivv, has an unsettling gaze. And Sivv stuff.


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FormerFiend wrote:
But the impression I got from John's (admittedly brief) answer is that sivv being "fairly powerful on an individual level" implies to me that they just have some natural, innate abilities that would put even a sivv civilian above, say, a level one soldier of an existing playable race. If that's the case then I have opinions about it but that's premature without having read their entry yet.

Hmm, I dunno, how's

Sivv stuff:
Fast Healing, incorporealness and Disintegrate at will, and free pocket dimensions storage among other stuff
sound?

So yeah, if they made Sivv into a playable species the abilities would be completely different than what the Sivv presented have.

Dark Archive

What is the flavor of presented sivvs? Like are they "genetically engineered super soldier" sivvs or are they "standard recruited sivv veteran"?


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more Sivv stuff:
We got holograms made from AIs and memories, scientists in robot bodies, and super soldiers.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
FormerFiend wrote:
John Mangrum wrote:
No. (They're fairly powerful on an individual level.)

That's... a massive disappointment. Like, sours my desire to buy this, level disappointment.

I'm still going to because I bought the other two volumes and I can only avoid the sunk cost fallacy in so many aspects of my life, but playable sivv stats was far and away my single most wanted thing from this AP.

If it's that much of a problem, go with the (incorrect) theory I tossed out when the AP was announced: The bantrids are the sivv. Or they were, until a failed slave riot on the Worldseed cost all the bantrids/sivv their memories.

The robots the PCs encounter throughout the AP based on sivv physiology? Based on a servitor race.

Puts a different spin on the final reveal: that there's been a population of several thousand sivv living in the Pact Worlds for a few years by the time the Ark emerges. Sivv, including sivv PCs, who may have *personally* helped exterminate sapient species. What to do with them? Are the "bantrid" sivv responsible for war crimes they can't remember?


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AnimatedPaper wrote:

For a less flippant answer, ** spoiler omitted **

But yeah, if all of that is too much to swallow, just change it for your table.

Of course I can change it at a table I GM, but I doubt that it will ever come up, partly because my interest in the AP is minimal because of the way it is written.

Still, I won't stop voicing my opinion that Paizo should stop to copy-paste Pathfinder plots into space and start to use common sense and realize with what kind of numbers they are dealing with.

A single ship conquering the Pact System is like an aircraft carrier conquering China. Not going to happen. And this of course not only applies to "what happens when the PCs fail", but to the entire storyline.

So instead of just doing stereotypical "Hero saves the world" Pathfinder plots I would like to see some original Starfinder APs which take the science fiction environment into account instead of ignoring it.
And that includes the Pact System having billions of inhabitants which also means a lot of level 15+ persons, near instant communication, fast travel, a huge industrial base and a big, powerful army.


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What Pathfinder plot is this copy pasted from???? Or any Starfinder AP for that matter?

Having the campaign focus on the PCs doing the cool stuff and saving the day isn’t a Pathfinder “thing”, it’s the entire point of the tabletop system where you have a GM telling a story with players.

What you’re asking for is to have the NPCs save the day instead of PCs, which absolutely no one wants but you. The PCs being the stars are the main point. People don’t come to the game to sit around doing nothing while the GM talks with themselves and does what they think is cool on their own. If you don’t like that then you need to find a different game, cause that ain’t going away, ever.


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Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:

What Pathfinder plot is this copy pasted from???? Or any Starfinder AP for that matter?

Having the campaign focus on the PCs doing the cool stuff and saving the day isn’t a Pathfinder “thing”, it’s the entire point of the tabletop system where you have a GM telling a story with players.

What you’re asking for is to have the NPCs save the day instead of PCs, which absolutely no one wants but you. The PCs being the stars are the main point. People don’t come to the game to sit around doing nothing while the GM talks with themselves and does what they think is cool on their own. If you don’t like that then you need to find a different game, cause that ain’t going away, ever.

Way to twist my words.

What I want is for the PCs to "save the day" (or some other goal. Constant world threatening plots get boring) in a way which makes sense within a setting like Starfinder instead of having the same kind of plots like in Pathfinder despite the huge differences between the settings, basically ignoring everything which makes Starfinder different than Pathfinder.


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The Sivv at the height of their power created a machine that *eats Stars*

The Starstone can turn you into a God and is an unlimited power source.

What do you think they could do if they got their freaky digits on that?

Also...if you have a problem with a small group saving the universe you'd hate a good portion of science fiction.

Dark Archive

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Also I think you are confusing both normal scifi and scifi fantasy with hard scifi <_<

Like, rag tag group of heroes beating big odds(such as entire alien invasion or big doom ship) is really common scifi plot line :p


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CorvusMask wrote:

Also I think you are confusing both normal scifi and scifi fantasy with hard scifi <_<

Like, rag tag group of heroes beating big odds(such as entire alien invasion or big doom ship) is really common scifi plot line :p

The "science fantasy" excuse has been overused already. Just because there are fantasy elements like magic, thus making it science fantasy, doesn't mean the internal setting logic should be ignored when writing adventures.

The starships are there, the planets are there, the armies and heavily armed organizations like the stewards and church of Iomedae are there. And the technology is there. So they also have to be there in the APs.


That doesn’t make it not be a science fantasy setting, nor not make the adventures focus on heroes.

Nothing that makes it Starfinder is being ignored like you claim, nor are they copying the plots.

Dark Archive

Ixal wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:

Also I think you are confusing both normal scifi and scifi fantasy with hard scifi <_<

Like, rag tag group of heroes beating big odds(such as entire alien invasion or big doom ship) is really common scifi plot line :p

The "science fantasy" excuse has been overused already. Just because there are fantasy elements like magic, thus making it science fantasy, doesn't mean the internal setting logic should be ignored when writing adventures.

The starships are there, the planets are there, the armies and heavily armed organizations like the stewards and church of Iomedae are there. And the technology is there. So they also have to be there in the APs.

Soooo you aren't recognizing familiar features from Star Wars?


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm a bit concerned that Birnam's Bubble, the planet in Codex of Worlds that is completely incased in an impenetrable energy shield that is completely devoid of animal life, looks so much like earth. I mean, I can clearly see Turkey and the Caspian Sea. Is this what our future holds?


Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
FormerFiend wrote:
But the impression I got from John's (admittedly brief) answer is that sivv being "fairly powerful on an individual level" implies to me that they just have some natural, innate abilities that would put even a sivv civilian above, say, a level one soldier of an existing playable race. If that's the case then I have opinions about it but that's premature without having read their entry yet.

Hmm, I dunno, how's ** spoiler omitted ** sound?

So yeah, if they made Sivv into a playable species the abilities would be completely different than what the Sivv presented have.

Yeah my opinion on that is that I wouldn't make something like that playable but I also wouldn't make something like that... period, really?

Basically I have strong but probably not widely held beliefs that a lot of creatures/monsters are just loaded with too many innate abilities and that they should be base something on par with playable races with class levels. Maybe give them unique racial spells/archetypes/feats/equipment/template/graft to represent them getting the power from some sort of experiment or engineering or magical ritual or technology.

But, and this is strictly a personal opinion, I just don't like the idea that they're all just this innately powerful. Especially given that one of the options is to apparently give them the option of integrating into pact worlds society.

Maybe I'll get lucky and we'll one day get a race that is to the sivv as kish are to the kishalee.


This stance confuses me.

You don’t like creatures of varying strengths existing in setting, or am I misunderstanding?


Ixal wrote:


A single ship conquering the Pact System is like an aircraft carrier conquering China.

It's more like a rogue, invulnerable SSBN not answerable to any deterabe country conquering China. Which is pretty doable for certain definitions of "conquer."

How to subject the surface inhabitants of a planet to the Sivv's will isn't the problem of the Sivv, it's the problem of the surviving inhabitants of that planet after each round of orbital bombardments wipes another few percent of the population away.


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Xenocrat wrote:
Ixal wrote:


A single ship conquering the Pact System is like an aircraft carrier conquering China.

It's more like a rogue, invulnerable SSBN not answerable to any deterabe country conquering China. Which is pretty doable for certain definitions of "conquer."

How to subject the surface inhabitants of a planet to the Sivv's will isn't the problem of the Sivv, it's the problem of the surviving inhabitants of that planet after each round of orbital bombardments wipes another few percent of the population away.

Not really. Do you realize how large planets are? How many weapons you can stash on them and how much of them you would need to bombard?

And even if you do that and somehow survive the thousands of nuclear missiles coming your way, what then? How do you intend to get anything out of the planet as long as your authority only exists while your single ship is in orbit while all the other planets in the Pact and the Veskarium are gearing up again?
You would need boots on the ground, but you don't have them. No matter how powerful a single Siv is supposed to be, its still a matter of numbers.


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Ixal wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
Ixal wrote:


A single ship conquering the Pact System is like an aircraft carrier conquering China.

It's more like a rogue, invulnerable SSBN not answerable to any deterabe country conquering China. Which is pretty doable for certain definitions of "conquer."

How to subject the surface inhabitants of a planet to the Sivv's will isn't the problem of the Sivv, it's the problem of the surviving inhabitants of that planet after each round of orbital bombardments wipes another few percent of the population away.

Not really. Do you realize how large planets are? How many weapons you can stash on them and how much of them you would need to bombard?

And even if you do that and somehow survive the thousands of nuclear missiles coming your way, what then? numbers.

SOM has Pact Worlds-level technology beam weapons that can blow up cities from orbit. Devastation Ark 2 makes it clear that Pact Worlds technology and fleets are insufficient to destroy this one Sivv ship and can only hope to temporarily make a gap in the shields for the PCs to board and hopefully destroy it from within. It's invulnerable and it surely has the capacity to destroy planetary population and industrial centers without limit or required resources until some quisling forces surrender and start obeying.

Bro, it's like you've never seen Independence Day. It's that, but without genocide as the goal, just the result of refusing to obey orders and send up your planetary leaders to kiss the ring.

Or it's Persepolis Rising, but with aliens using their own technology rather than humans using alien technology.


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Xenocrat wrote:


SOM has Pact Worlds-level technology beam weapons that can blow up cities from orbit. Devastation Ark 2 makes it clear that Pact Worlds technology and fleets are insufficient to destroy this one Sivv ship and can only hope to temporarily make a gap in the shields for the PCs to board and hopefully destroy it from within. It's invulnerable and it surely has the capacity to destroy planetary population and industrial centers without limit or required resources until some quisling forces surrender and start obeying.

Bro, it's like you've never seen Independence Day. It's that, but without genocide as the goal, just the result of refusing to obey orders and send up your planetary leaders to kiss the ring.

Or it's Persepolis Rising, but with aliens using their own technology rather than humans using alien technology.

And yet the PCs can defeat them showing that they are far from invulnerable as you pretend them to be. Not to mention when the Pact can shoot the shield open to let the PCs pass they can also do the same for other troops or WMDs.


Uh, it takes the entire Armada focus firing on one spot to let the PCs slip in quickly, and they suffer heavy losses in the battle.

And the PCs heroes. Doing the impossible is their thing.


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

It's kind of subtle, but the "bad ending" also reveals that the armada battle that begins in DevArk 2 is actually still underway throughout DevArk 3.

Dark Archive

Ixal wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:


SOM has Pact Worlds-level technology beam weapons that can blow up cities from orbit. Devastation Ark 2 makes it clear that Pact Worlds technology and fleets are insufficient to destroy this one Sivv ship and can only hope to temporarily make a gap in the shields for the PCs to board and hopefully destroy it from within. It's invulnerable and it surely has the capacity to destroy planetary population and industrial centers without limit or required resources until some quisling forces surrender and start obeying.

Bro, it's like you've never seen Independence Day. It's that, but without genocide as the goal, just the result of refusing to obey orders and send up your planetary leaders to kiss the ring.

Or it's Persepolis Rising, but with aliens using their own technology rather than humans using alien technology.

And yet the PCs can defeat them showing that they are far from invulnerable as you pretend them to be. Not to mention when the Pact can shoot the shield open to let the PCs pass they can also do the same for other troops or WMDs.

I do think you should probably wait to read this book first since apparently this is already taken in account based on above posts?

Though I'm kinda getting feeling you have so strong opinions on this that you won't be convinced in anyway ^^;


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
CorvusMask wrote:
Ixal wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:


SOM has Pact Worlds-level technology beam weapons that can blow up cities from orbit. Devastation Ark 2 makes it clear that Pact Worlds technology and fleets are insufficient to destroy this one Sivv ship and can only hope to temporarily make a gap in the shields for the PCs to board and hopefully destroy it from within. It's invulnerable and it surely has the capacity to destroy planetary population and industrial centers without limit or required resources until some quisling forces surrender and start obeying.

Bro, it's like you've never seen Independence Day. It's that, but without genocide as the goal, just the result of refusing to obey orders and send up your planetary leaders to kiss the ring.

Or it's Persepolis Rising, but with aliens using their own technology rather than humans using alien technology.

And yet the PCs can defeat them showing that they are far from invulnerable as you pretend them to be. Not to mention when the Pact can shoot the shield open to let the PCs pass they can also do the same for other troops or WMDs.

I do think you should probably wait to read this book first since apparently this is already taken in account based on above posts?

Though I'm kinda getting feeling you have so strong opinions on this that you won't be convinced in anyway ^^;

Must not a be fan of the strain of hard Sci-Fi where "if you can hold the orbitals, the planet is yours." This is often hand in hand with "weapons that can penetrate the kind of particle and radiation shielding space craft need to just fly through space at high velocity will do...things to unshielded planetary surfaces and population centers. Terrible things."


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AnimatedPaper wrote:


Must not a be fan of the strain of hard Sci-Fi where "if you can hold the orbitals, the planet is yours." This is often hand in hand with "weapons that can penetrate the kind of particle and radiation shielding space craft need to just fly through space at high velocity will do...things to unshielded planetary surfaces and population centers. Terrible things."

Most of those hard sci-fis massively overstate the advantage the gravity gauge gives you while ignoring the defensive capability of planets. Feel free to read through Atomic Rockets, especially the planetary attack (for the gravity gauge) and planetary defense part.

http://www.projectrho.com/public_html/rocket/

And with Starfinder technology like easy spaceflight and anti gravity technology being in orbit offers even less of an advantage. In the end it comes down to numbers, something Paizo has constantly gotten wrong and shows no signs of improvement. And that results in a setting and adventures that is downright silly. The Ark is just a single ship. No matter how massive, its smaller than some cities on whatever planet it wants to attack. It does not have the manpower to control even a continent, let alone a planet and once there are boots on the ground they are vulnerable.

You can of course, like you do, close your eyes and follow the railroad, but an adventure that requires that from you and removes all player agency as it is impossible to determine the effect their unconventional, or rather unplanned, actions have on a completely unrealistic system is at best average.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

They are also operating off different numbers than you are. You don't see it as possible that a single ship, no matter how capable, can pose a threat to the entire Pact Worlds. They do. A discrepancy that large effectively puts you into a different setting than the writers, as the core assumptions you are operating off of are simply not the same ones they are.

So really, it does come down to how you need to modify it for your own table. As written, the Ark Prime is the smaller of the two ships. Perhaps reverse that, make the Ark Prime larger than the Worldseed, while leaving the colony ship at its current size.


Ixal wrote:


Most of those hard sci-fis massively overstate the advantage the gravity gauge gives you while ignoring the defensive capability of planets. Feel free to read through Atomic Rockets, especially the planetary attack (for the gravity gauge) and planetary defense part.
http://www.projectrho.com/public_html/rocket/

Neither atomic rockets nor even their obvious time travel capabilities back to 1998 web design seem sufficient to me to defeat the described Sivv technological advances, but YMMV.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
AnimatedPaper wrote:
So really, it does come down to how you need to modify it for your own table. As written, the Ark Prime is the smaller of the two ships. Perhaps reverse that, make the Ark Prime larger than the Worldseed, while leaving the colony ship at its current size.

On rereading, I think I come off as meaner and "badwrongfun" than I intend to be, and if it reads that way, I apologize. I'm just trying to make the point that the writers really can't set it up in a way that will satisfy you, because of the core assumptions you prefer. Your table is in no way wrong, it is just different.


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AnimatedPaper wrote:

They are also operating off different numbers than you are. You don't see it as possible that a single ship, no matter how capable, can pose a threat to the entire Pact Worlds. They do. A discrepancy that large effectively puts you into a different setting than the writers, as the core assumptions you are operating off of are simply not the same ones they are.

So really, it does come down to how you need to modify it for your own table. As written, the Ark Prime is the smaller of the two ships. Perhaps reverse that, make the Ark Prime larger than the Worldseed, while leaving the colony ship at its current size.

I really doubt that the writers have spend any thought about that and just said "Hey, we need some Pact World threatening thing. How about some ancient powerful thing awakening, that worked for Pathfinder".

And thats the problem. They do not think about the stuff they add so there will always be a huge disconnect between their APs and the fluff they put into other books.


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That feels like both a jump and an assumption.

And I believe we all know about that saying about assumptions.

Developer

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Dimity wrote:
I'm a bit concerned that Birnam's Bubble, the planet in Codex of Worlds that is completely incased in an impenetrable energy shield that is completely devoid of animal life, looks so much like earth. I mean, I can clearly see Turkey and the Caspian Sea. Is this what our future holds?

I was wondering if that was still coming across! Let's just say that in sketch form the correlation was far more obvious.

But that's neither a confirmation nor a denial of your theory!


I just noticed that Ron Lundeen wrote this and the Pathfinder adventure for this month.

So, does he invite you all over to swim in his new Scrooge McDuck money vault.

Developer

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captain yesterday wrote:

I just noticed that Ron Lundeen wrote this and the Pathfinder adventure for this month.

So, does he invite you all over to swim in his new Scrooge McDuck money vault.

Yep, everyone's invited! :-)


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Is anyone else having trouble with the file size of the PDF? Wow, a Gigabyte just for these three APs? My hard drive is going to fill up fast. That's about 10 to 15 times larger than previous APs except 3FC which seemed to jump to about 100 Mb per adventure, which is still large compared to all the previous ones. I haven't noticed any special difference in content or quality of the art or resolution of the document. The whole Third Printing of the CRB is less than 150 Mb
Flyteach

Dark Archive

FormerFiend wrote:
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
FormerFiend wrote:
But the impression I got from John's (admittedly brief) answer is that sivv being "fairly powerful on an individual level" implies to me that they just have some natural, innate abilities that would put even a sivv civilian above, say, a level one soldier of an existing playable race. If that's the case then I have opinions about it but that's premature without having read their entry yet.

Hmm, I dunno, how's ** spoiler omitted ** sound?

So yeah, if they made Sivv into a playable species the abilities would be completely different than what the Sivv presented have.

Yeah my opinion on that is that I wouldn't make something like that playable but I also wouldn't make something like that... period, really?

Basically I have strong but probably not widely held beliefs that a lot of creatures/monsters are just loaded with too many innate abilities and that they should be base something on par with playable races with class levels. Maybe give them unique racial spells/archetypes/feats/equipment/template/graft to represent them getting the power from some sort of experiment or engineering or magical ritual or technology.

But, and this is strictly a personal opinion, I just don't like the idea that they're all just this innately powerful. Especially given that one of the options is to apparently give them the option of integrating into pact worlds society.

Maybe I'll get lucky and we'll one day get a race that is to the sivv as kish are to the kishalee.

Umm. I'm not sure if adventure's beginning is something you'd like or not, but it could at least give advice on how to handle something like that. But yeah, the spoilery thing is very absurd


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Resolved: 4.1 is the best NPC in the history of Paizo APs.

Developer

Xenocrat wrote:
Resolved: 4.1 is the best NPC in the history of Paizo APs.

Just because the fate of the Pact Worlds (and beyond) is at stake doesn't mean you everything needs to be all doom and gloom!

Paizo Employee Webstore Coordinator

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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.


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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

Finally run and reviewed :'D Run this for soldier, envoy, mystic and technomancer

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