Starfinder One-Shot #3: System Takedown

4.80/5 (based on 4 ratings)

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A group of determined anti-establishment heroes seeks to broadcast the hidden secrets of a corrupt Veskarium consul to the galaxy! In order to achieve their goal, this ragtag team needs to infiltrate a nearby compound and hack into the mainframe to get the message out. Military patrols, technological defenses and magical creatures from other planes all stand in the way of this mission. However, even if the group succeeds, can they escape the consul’s inevitable reprisal?

This short Starfinder adventure written by Kendra Leigh Speedling is intended to be completed in a single session and includes four 5th-level pregenerated characters. Three of the characters have strong ties to various species conquered by the Veskarium and is perfectly complemented by Starfinder Near Space. This adventure can easily be incorporated into various virtual tabletops, run off of digital devices, or printed out and played at a table.

"System Takedown" is sanctioned for use in Starfinder Society Organized Play. The rules for running this Adventure and Chronicle Sheet are available as a free download (5.3 MB PDF).

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4.80/5 (based on 4 ratings)

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Can't Stop the Signal!

5/5

NO SPOILERS

System Takedown is the third of the “Starfinder One-Shot” series of short adventures designed to be ran in a single session. Although sanctioned for Starfinder Society play, the one-shots come with pre-gen characters and the story doesn’t involve the Starfinder Society. I ran System Takedown live for my kid’s birthday and thought it was a solid adventure with a couple of really fun elements. The Level 5 pre-gens have nice artwork and connections to the other party members to draw upon for role-playing, though I do find the earlier style of Iconic character sheets (with brief descriptions of how their class abilities, feats, and equipment work) much more useful in actual gameplay. I also think the listed playtime of 3-4 hours is probably optimistic, though of course, every group is different.

SPOILERS!:

System Takedown is set on the pahtra homeworld of Pulonis, known to the occupying Veskarium empire as Vesk-6. The PCs take on the role of rebels on a mission to bring down a corrupt and particularly brutal Veskarium regional consul named Shethris Nazriar. Although they’ve obtained evidence of his numerous crimes, the rebels know that anything they put on the planetary infosphere will be quickly scrubbed. Thus, the only way to get it out is to infiltrate a military communications facility in a remote jungle and use its emergency planetary broadcast system to send it directly to everyone! In other words, it’s a bit of a combination of Han Solo’s mission on Endor to capture the remote shield generator facility in Return of the Jedi and the crew’s mission to broadcast the Alliance’s crimes in Serenity (Can’t Stop the Signal!). In a fun twist, the entire mission is being live-streamed by the resistance and the GM is given scripted comments from the stream’s “audience” to share at particular points in the story; the PCs get minor bonuses if they follow the (randomly determined) suggestions of the audience. I didn’t do a great job with it, and it might be an idea that actually works better over a virtual tabletop or play-by-post, but I really liked the idea.

The adventure starts with the PCs approaching the outpost through the jungle and having to figure out a way to get inside. The approach is guarded by roving patrols of Vesk guards and automated defence turrets. A patient group can study the defences and learn the overlapping routes of the guards and area of coverage of the defence turrets, and sneak through the gaps to reach the entrance door. Or, they can do what my players did, and just attack! Either way, once at the door, there’s a challenging hack. In another nice addition, the PCs on the ground are supported by a remote communications/computer specialist who can aid with advice or even hacking (though it takes longer). Overall, it’s a detailed and well put together encounter.

The interior of the base consists of seven rooms. There’s the usual fight against robot guards (first “Incapacitator Robots” and later the much more common observer-class security robots), a trap (spinning force blades), a non-hostile NPC for a bit of role-playing, and an (optional based on time) fight against a shadow mastiff. The main encounter has a good premise: in the communications room, the PCs face an entire system shutdown and have to quickly achieve a certain number of Computers checks in a set timeframe while simultaneously battling the robots. I’m a big fan of time-sensitive encounters that combine combat and non-combat challenges and force the party to make strategic (and sometimes hard) decisions on where to focus their efforts. In another fun addition, Consul Nazriar has learned of the group’s intrusion and sends them mocking messages throughout their time in the facility (though the messages get more and more panicked as the PCs make progress).

The climax is great and foreshadowed well through the “livestream chat”. Having realised his career is over, Consul Nazriar steals a freaking mech and tromps down to the base to confront the PCs as they emerge! A Huge-sized mech is a memorable boss fight, and Nazriar is given enough of a personality that there’s plenty to work with in terms of threatening banter. Despite its threatening appearance, the mech actually isn’t that tough, but it does have some cinematic abilities like firing volleys of missiles or grabbing creatures and hurling them into the air.

The epilogue is written well: the rebels still have a long way to go, but have improved things in one area of the planet. I’m also happy the PCs got to be rebels, after some of those Starfinder Society adventures where the PCs are expected to take the Veskarium’s side! Anyway, I thought System Takedown was a well-written adventure and would provide a good experience to new and experience players alike.


Surprisingly great

5/5

So it's been while since I run it so I don't sadly remember things in detail anymore, but this oneshot is surprisingly good :D Like the livestream premise is amusing(even if it raises questions of "how is this good idea"), but the optional stealth mission, the bunker, the boss fight, all of it worked out really great for memorable oneshot game.


fun Saturday morning cartoon

4/5

Nice experience, slightly let down by the included map/quality and one aspect of it, and honestly, the pregens likely could benefit from players adjusting them a bit (like the adventure suggests.)

One of the reasons, why I can't give this a better score, is that one of my players had a really bad time with the mystic (that might be based on the spell list, or other factors, but I would suggest updating the spell list a bit).

What I really appreciate, is that the pregens are actually rather simple so you could use this to introduce the system to new players (though I would alter the pregens a tiny bit more, particularly the feats as some of them can lead inexperienced players into a bit of a trap).

Without going into spoilers, the streamable nature of this adventure was a great fit, even without an active chat.

Thus far I have only GMed this, and I plan to do so again ^^


Fun romp with some surprises

5/5

Great fun and good intro to Starfinder. Lots of fun abilities with level 5 Envoy and the Operative. Soldier is also very strong. Mystic is good support but maybe a little boring if a player expected to deal damage with that one (he does have a pistol with a merciful fusion, but is a pacifist there for heals and daze/wisp).

Livestream chat was a fun aspect of the scenario and helped fill players in on what was happening next. Especially the big finale.


Paizo Employee Webstore Coordinator

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Coming in March!

Grand Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.

The hype for March is healing.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Coordinator

5 people marked this as a favorite.

Before anybody asks: yes, we will be sanctioning this for SFS credit as with previous One-Shots; no, there will not be a Double AcP weekend for this product's release. We hope you enjoy it, I just read through this yesterday and it looks like a lot of fun!


Interesting

Tom


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Does this have something to do with a particular High Despot on Vesk-8? Asking for a friend.

Liberty's Edge

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

Must have!

BTW Aaron or Alex, will these one-shots be available on Starfinder Infinite as Print on Demand?

Marketing & Media Manager

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Anorak wrote:

Must have!

BTW Aaron or Alex, will these one-shots be available on Starfinder Infinite as Print on Demand?

We have no plans to do so at this time.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Just bought this. The story seems pretty cool, but the artwork is aboslutely horrible. And I don't mean the map, that looks ok, it's the illustrations. They are abominable. I'm very disappointed by that.
I bought the Bounty n. 2 together with that and it has much much better artwork.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Ah I realized I forgot this was released, probably because I was expecting roll20 version or something but that never happened :'D Welp time to get it


Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

Am I missing something with the pregens? I don't see where their skill points go, but it looks like the operative uses more skill points than they have, and the soldier has points to spare.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Ya know, I'm kinda sad how ignores the last two starfinder oneshots are. Because both of them are really great, like among greatest of all 8 2e and starfinder oneshots

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