Starfinder Adventure Path #48: Masters of Time and Space (Drift Crashers 3 of 3)

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Starfinder Adventure Path #48: Masters of Time and Space (Drift Crashers 3 of 3)
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It’s all connected!

The crew of the Primorata have arrived at the Tesseract, a colossal four-dimensional structure built by mysterious aliens and hidden in the Drift. Somewhere deep inside this puzzling maze lies the secret to preventing galactic catastrophe. But the heroes aren't the only survivors who prowl the never-ending corridors and bizarre architecture of this ancient, ruined megastructure, and their nemesis Malacanta is hot on their heels… with a legion of soldiers straight from Hell itself!

Masters of Time and Space is a Starfinder adventure that brings the 3-volume Drift Crashers Adventure Path to an exciting conclusion. Written by Ron Lundeen for four 5th-level characters, Drift Crashers is part of the Drift Crisis, an event taking place across the entire Starfinder game line; in the Drift Crisis, faster-than-light travel breaks down and the galaxy is thrown into chaos. In addition to the adventure itself, this book includes support for continuing the campaign beyond the events of the Adventure Path, along with an Adventure Toolbox filled with new rule options and strange alien creatures.

ISBN-13: 978-1-64078-466-6

The Drift Crashers Adventure Path 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 (573.3 kb PDF).

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

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Can't Go Wrong With a Dungeon Crawl

4/5

Good dungeon crawl. Straight and to the point. I liked the dimensional maze in part 2.

A few criticisms -

- The Tesseract is designed to be Escherseque in its layout but the maps weren't able to communicate this very well. Some of the rooms were basically MMO "I kick you, you kick me" battles because they were fought in rooms that were 3x3 or 4x4 squares. With 4 party members, plus the tag-along drone, PLUS the enemies it can get cramped and limit your options.

- At level 5-6, a Kathrepi's Shade's Telekinetic Projectile has about a 1 in 4 chance to hit a properly armored opponent. Making them more nuisance than threat.

- A map for me to borrow for the final ship battle would have been nice. I improvised by googling a stock image of what the inside of a sphere would look like and used that, along with some lighting effects in Foundry for a miniature sun (and my players seemed to like it).

- Also the statblock for the Heart of the Tesseract is confusing. The text says that it can't maneuever so you have to choose somewhere for it to "face". Okay, well why does it have speed 4, turn 4 then?

- Malacantha's motivations seem like they got twisted between Book 1 and Book 3. Apparently if you fail she gets 'supercharged' by the Tesseract and goes tear-assing through Heaven and Hell. Interesting? But strange, because clearly Malacanta's motivation initially was both revenge and keeping you from causing a galaxy-destroying cataclysm, which is actually pretty noble for a Devil!

Probably should have been mentioned somewhere earlier in the text as a secondary motivation.

- The leaps of logic were convuluted and reminded me of Trek technobabble. The GM has to explain to the players "I can't explain why in layman's terms but your character gets the sense that this is a bad thing" to explain how they connect the professor's work with the Heart to the apocalyptic event they're trying to avert. Same with the "Well logically we have to jump the ship into the Heart Chamber" thing in part 3.

- the final ship battle is just a nickel and dime fest. Ugh, so boring. The Heart has too much HP.


Drift crashers has problems, but I really dig this book

5/5

PSA that after I finally get to run adventure, score might differ. This review is motivated by me loving several aspects of the book.

So there is one big problem with Drift Crashers in general. I haven't reviewed first two books yet because I didn't have much to comment on beyond this issue until I get chance to run them, but with this one I figured out "this is probably my last chance to mention it and devs to hear it before they move on" plus I like this book otherwise.

The problem with AP is same as with Jade Regent, the book doesn't provide much opportunity for roleplaying with npcs despite focus on them. In case of Jade Regent its hard to use caravan npcs meaningfully because you are given so little guidance on how to use them, but in case of Player created Key NPCs its even harder because only first book really provides mentions of "this is good spot to involve key npcs with" while latter two don't do even that and as you don't spend lot of time in starship in this ap, its really hard to give key npcs chance to shine when it feels like they are just sitting at starship waiting for pcs to return. Aka, gm has to do lot of work to involve the npcs. Which can be fun and is probably better handled by gm, but I feel like there could have been more guidance or written in opportunities or methods for involving them.

(technically there is also that Drift Crashers feels oddly epic for level 1-7 adventure, like it feels like it should be level 8-12 at very least, but it does add to gonzo feel of the ap)

Well anyway, enough of that, now to this book:
I love that secondary antagonist of the book is CG. That will make it less obvious for PCs to realize that in advance and try to stop them until they realize they need to be stopped.
The ap as other starfinder aps could really benefit from npc articles, but book like one certain against the swarm book really gives the npc lot of screen time to shine.

So on the adventure itself: Its super cool precursor facility dungeon crawl :D I love the newly introduced precursor specie(in this case, people who used to live in drift long before drift signal and have now faded away from there) and I like that book demonstrates understanding that starship combat is more interesting when there is objective to achieve besides "shoot down enemy". There are lot of cool seeming encounters and memorable moments(like avoiding fighting with certain horrifying creatures by offering them eggs), but I don't know yet how they would work in practice as adventure as I haven't run this. I'm also amused by art of Embri holding a weapon since it really feels like even artist isn't sure of how its supposed to work.

Both of the campaign continue articles are really good and so are the articles and tooblox. In general I think this book is really good at setting up fun new mysteries in support material which is something starfinder always needs more of :3


Paizo Employee Sales & eCommerce Assistant

2 people marked this as a favorite.

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

Dark Archive

I am curious if this essentially ends the drift crisis or is more of "and if you don't succeed, it gets even worse!"


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

Well, there's another Drift Crisis AP to follow this one...


Can't wait til they announce that next one and hopefully a 6 parter that will end the crisis. As they said this is a full year event so this summer til next summer perhaps??

Tom

Pathfinder Development Manager

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Hooray! I'm excited to see this one announced, it was fantastic fun to write.

Second Seekers (Jadnura)

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Man this Lundeen guy sure writes a lot of Starfinder for a Pathfinder Development Manager!

Contributor

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Yayayayayay


*screeches in awesome*

Acquisitives

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

really looking forward to this AP. I'd like to run it, but we have ATTACK OF THE SWARM up next... and I gotta have some giant bugs gruesomely dismember and consume some PCs...

Pathfinder Development Manager

7 people marked this as a favorite.
CorvusMask wrote:
I am curious if this essentially ends the drift crisis or is more of "and if you don't succeed, it gets even worse!"

It doesn't solve it; this AP is not really about, "Here is a galaxy-wide threat that you wrap up!" it's about "You're victims of this galaxy-wide disaster and you are just trying to get home." If you succeed at this one--maybe you get home!

Dark Archive

Looking at updated cover, that does look like face of someone pressing a wrong button for SCIENCE :D


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

It looks like Dick Nubbler from Metalocalypse to me.


Does anyone have this? If so, mind sharing what new monsters are in it?

Paizo Employee Director of Marketing

5 people marked this as a favorite.

New monsters:
DAEMON, PALIOXODAEMON
DEVIL, GAMBLING (MAGADAZ)
DEVIL, MANNEQUIN (OIDRANOTH)
KATHREPI SHADE
SIKTEMPORA, WANDERLUST
TALREPI RECOMBINATOR
TALREPI WARDEN
VELSTRAC, PRIOR

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Cool to get siktempora in starfinder (an return of gambling devil :D)

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Okay, I love how this one introduces new precursor species :D Its nice to have third one, more of that delicious feel from stellaris I like x'D


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

My read of this adventure leads me to believe that the Drift definitely...

Spoiler:
...existed before Triune revealed it to the galaxy, as opposed to the alternative theory that Triune created it themselves.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
CorvusMask wrote:
I am curious if this essentially ends the drift crisis or is more of "and if you don't succeed, it gets even worse!"

I think the Drift Crisis was a permanent change to the way the Drift works, so regardless of what the PCs do, everyone will have to adjust to the "new normal" as hinted at in the Drift Crisis book.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
David knott 242 wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:
I am curious if this essentially ends the drift crisis or is more of "and if you don't succeed, it gets even worse!"
I think the Drift Crisis was a permanent change to the way the Drift works, so regardless of what the PCs do, everyone will have to adjust to the "new normal" as hinted at in the Drift Crisis book.

The Drift Hackers blurbs already kind of revealed how the Crisis "resolves" I think.

Paizo Employee Director of Marketing

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Paizo has a canonical end to the Drift Crisis, but many options are presented in the Drift Crisis hardcover for your campaign.


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

This AP actually works effectively as a stand-alone for anyone who's looking for a Drift Crash-related adventure for levels 5-7 and I would recommend it even if you have no interest in Books 1 and 2.

Quote:
I am curious if this essentially ends the drift crisis or is more of "and if you don't succeed, it gets even worse!"
Quote:

I think the Drift Crisis was a permanent change to the way the Drift works, so regardless of what the PCs do, everyone will have to adjust to the "new normal" as hinted at in the Drift Crisis book.

Drift Crashers is about averting something even worse than the Drift Crash, basically.

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