Starfinder Adventure: The Starfinder Four vs. The Hardlight Harlequin

4.50/5 (based on 2 ratings)
GameMastery Module D0: Hollow's Last Hope (OGL)
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Everyone across the galaxy enjoys the occasional diversion in a holographic amusement chamber, whether it's relaxing on a sandy beach or taking part in an action-packed adventure on a war-torn battlefield from the safety of home. But what happens when the digital settings and inhabitants of these recreations come to life and threaten a group of innocent fun seekers?

Thanks to some inadvertently malicious code created by a proud game designer, such a calamitous event has occurred on a small moon hosting an entertainment expo! The building is slowly but surely being digitized while the game designer's mind has been taken over by a comic-book villain. Only a group of newly recruited Starfinders can save the day!

In addition to this thrilling adventure, this book includes four pregenerated characters that are ready to play, with full stat blocks and backstories. The inside covers also include all of the maps needed for this adventure.

The Starfinder Four vs. The Hardlight Harlequin is a electrifying thrill ride written for the popular Starfinder Roleplaying Game. It's intended for four 4th-level members of the Starfinder Society who are looking to prove their mettle.

Written by Lyz Liddell and Landon Winkler

The Starfinder Four vs. The Hardlight Harlequin is sanctioned for use in Starfinder Society Organized Play. The rules for running this Adventure and Chronicle sheets are available as a free download (5.4 MB PDF).

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

Fantasy Grounds Virtual Tabletop

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Fun, Colorful Concept



The Starfinder Four vs. the Hardlight Harlequin is Paizo’s 2021 Free RPG Day release for Starfinder. Designed for new and experienced players alike, it features four memorable pre-gens with clever little tie-ins to the adventure. (My only complaint is that, unlike the Iconics, there’s no explanation of what the characters’ special abilities do—so a player would have to look stuff up as they play). The cover is fun and colourful, and sets the tone of the adventure well. I got a chance to play the adventure via play-by-post, running the android technomancer, Err0r. Overall, I enjoyed the original adventure concept and think it was a good choice to appeal to new players.


The four PCs are novice Starfinders returning via starship from a training mission when they receive a distress call from the very place they intended to visit: a comic book/video game convention! The adventure gives the GM some excellent guidance on how to handle the different reactions different groups may have (such as trying to call headquarters for instructions or seeing if other ships could respond). Assuming, sooner or later, the group responds to the distress call, they’ll first have to get past some video-game style asteroids that suddenly manifest to block their landing. It’s a mini-skills challenge, with real consequences for the PCs, as they’ll take damage to Stamina Points if they fail. (I wish more starship combats interacted with the PCs’ health so they don’t seem like two completely separate games).

Once they land, the PCs will quickly learn what’s going. In a suitably comic book backstory, the developer of new hardlight (quasi-real) virtual reality technology was caught up in a power surge with his equipment and has become a villain drawn from the game he was developing: the Hardlight Harlequin! As the PCs explore the convention site, rescuing attendees along the way, the Hardlight Harlequin mocks them and sends video game-style threats their way. Although there are plenty of traps and combats, there’s also good opportunities for role-playing with some of the trapped NPCs, as they’re given interesting personalities (and good artwork). The big climactic battle against the Hardlight Harlequin has some features that make it a bit complex to run, so GMs should make sure they’ve prepared carefully. (the boss isn’t actually so bad; earlier, there’s a much nastier turret-gun trap that could be positively lethal!)

As I said in the intro, the colourful comic book/video game theme is handled well and makes for a memorable experience. It’s not the “dark and gritty” or morally challenging adventure that I personally champion, but I had a good time and I think others will too. And, of course, it’s free! There’s no arguing with that.

If this was the pilot then I want the whole series!


A great change of pace from yet-another-skitter adventure.

This was a relatively short and snappy adventure with a memorable enemy and likable pre-gen characters.

From a GM perspective, it was a pretty easy to follow adventure and the encounters felt 'about right', and was easy to keep the thing going at an 'action movie' pace without having any funky mechanics or other issues to make it bog down.

The players all appeared to have fun, and the pregens had enough hooks in their backstories people were able to read through and get straight into it without any 'what is my motivation?' issues. The players quite liked the characters and they even kept the copies of the sheets I had printed out as souvenirs.

I hope to see the Starfinder Four again in upcoming releases.

Paizo Employee Webstore Coordinator

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Coming Friday!


Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Awesome! Just in time to add it to my sidecart for my December subscriptions :)

Clicking on the cover picture gives a "not found" error. Strangely, clicking on the cover picture works right in the blog post announcing this and the accompanying Pathfinder release (The Threshold of Knowledge).

Marketing & Media Manager

1 person marked this as a favorite.
UnArcaneElection wrote:

Clicking on the cover picture gives a "not found" error. Strangely, clicking on the cover picture works right in the blog post announcing this and the accompanying Pathfinder release (The Threshold of Knowledge).

Clicking on the cover picture works for me. We've got bugs. "It is known." We are chasing them. Thanks, have a good weekend!

^That's weird, now it works where it didn't work before (which is the opposite of the way things usually go in my life . . .).

Wayfinders Contributor

2 people marked this as a favorite.

This was such a great adventure from beginning to end, and it was a delight to see an adventure that was written to be so friendly and accessible to Deaf culture.


Good to have some free Starfinder 4 virtual-stuff out there. ;)

Hilary Moon Murphy wrote:
This was such a great adventure from beginning to end,

I agree - lots of fun to run!

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