Starfinder Society Special #4-99: A Time of Crisis

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A Starfinder Society Special designed for 1st- through 6th-level characters (subtiers 1-2, 3-4 & 5-6).

While traveling to a distant star system as part of an archeological mission, a Starfinder Society fleet is forcibly ejected from the Drift. Seemingly stranded on an unknown world, the surviving Starfinders must band together to survive the various threats mounting around them. Can they thrive in this new home, or will they become just another casualty at the start of the Drift Crisis?

This adventure can be played for credit twice, each time with a different PC, regardless of level range. Likewise, a GM can apply credit for running this adventure up to two times to a different PC in a level range of their choice.

Written by Dennis Muldoon

Scenario tags: Drift Crisis, Exclusive, Nova, Repeatable (Limited)

Note: Due to the special nature of this product, it is NOT part of the Starfinder Society Scenario Subscription. It will be made available upon request to conventions with event support after Gen Con 2022 (August 4-7) and will go on sale to the general public in May of 2023.

[Scenario Maps spoiler - click to reveal]

The following maps used in this scenario are also available for purchase here on

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Sweet and Streamlined



A Time of Crisis is a multi-table Starfinder Society Special for characters leveled 1-6. I experienced it at the high-subtier with my embri Mystic of Pharasma, Speaker for the Dead, though because that was a year ago and my memory is fuzzy (time creates crises in all of us . . .), this review is primarily based on reading the adventure afterwards (and for whatever reason, I read the low-subtier version of the scenario--I'm not sure if there are changes in substance or just encounters between them). Anyway, awkward introduction aside, I think there's a lot to like in this Special. It starts out with a bang (and a classic sci-fi premise), makes good use of teamwork with a variety of mission types, and (perhaps refreshingly, even though I love continuity) serves well as a standalone adventure that doesn't require anything in the way of storyline lore knowledge to enjoy. It's more streamlined than some past PFS/SFS specials that got pretty bloated with detail.

Also--cool cover!


As the title hints at, A Time of Crisis officially introduces the Drift Crisis event to Starfinder Society. I'm not a big fan of the Drift Crisis concept, but it works out in a cool way here as the Special starts with the PCs aboard a ship about to crash planetside! I have long advocated for some different and more original ways for scenarios to start (instead of the traditional exposition- and question- heavy briefing), and we certainly get that here. The premise is that the PCs are aboard a ship that's part of a fleet under the command of a veteran Starfinder named Bennock Gunstrel. The fleet is on its way toward a planned archaeological dig in the Vast, but when the Drift Crisis occurs, it shunts the fleet out of the Drift and towards a crash landing. In essence, the fleet is stranded on an unknown planet in the uncharted Rucabi system and the Starfinders have to survive for as long as they can until (hopefully) help arrives.

Unlike many past Specials, there aren't set Mustering activities--just role-playing as people get seated.

In Part 1, the adventure itself really kicks off with everyone planetside and Gunstrel handing out tasks the survivors of the crash need to complete urgently. These are called "Recovery Missions", and there are four of them. If a table finishes one before it's time to transition to Part 2, they can move on to another one. The missions include "We're Going Down" (trying to keep a freighter with a decaying orbit from crashing hard; essentially a very easy skill challenge with no actual danger); "What's Out There" (a basic combat against a "dromaeosaurid" on the verdant planet the fleet crashed on), "Stuck and Sinking" (a more intensive mission to rescue the crew of a ship sinking in thick mud--again, no real danger), and "We're Not Alone" (the longest mission, involving exploration of a crashed ship that is not one of the Starfinder fleet!).

Part 2 starts after an hour, and assumes the Starfinders have weathered the immediate crisis, established a base camp, and have spent some days getting to know their local area. The premise of this part is that the PCs need to improve their camp and secure it for the long haul. These are called "Build Missions", and there are six options. "Improve the Camp" is very open form, and allows PCs to use pretty much any skill they can justify. "Gather Supplies" has a battle with the multi-armed monsters on the cover, "hepongols". "Transport Materials" has the PCs sent out to gather a mineral called mekerite (something that can be processed into fuel) but attacked by crest-eaters. "Guard Duty" has the PCs manning fixed turret emplacements (fun!) during an attack by ravenous drakes. "Repair Work" has the PCs trying to scale communication towers to fix them but having to fend off aerial devils at the same time (the complications of three-dimensional combat likely arises here). "Making Friends" is the role-playing mission of the bunch, as the mysterious crashed ship from Part I turns out to be a Weydanite ship, and the survivors are located and can be interacted with for help.

Part 3 is "Defend the Camp!" The "Defend" missions are premised on the idea that the buildup of planar energy on the planet's crust from the Drift Crisis manifests as openings to the Plane of Elemental Earth, spilling forth threats like "earthtouched hepongols" ("Defend Mission # 1: Intruders!"), earth elementals ("Defend Mission # 2: Planar Incursion"), and thoqquas ("Defend Mission # 3: Good Neighbors").

100 minutes after Part 3 begins, the Special ends with a Conclusion that has a rescue fleet arrive to take everyone back to the Pact Worlds. There's thus no big "boss battle" like in most previous Specials, and so the ending might feel a little anti-climactic. Because the transitions between each Part occur based on (real-world) time even if no missions are completed successfully, there are really no consequences for failure, either. It would be interesting to see a Special with very real stakes, where future storylines really do depend on how events are resolved. All in all though, I think A Time of Crisis was a fun, solid experience and especially well-suited for players who are new or unfamiliar with the history of the Starfinder Society.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Coordinator

4 people marked this as a favorite.

Now announced! Please note that this interactive special will premiere at PaizoCon 2022 (May 27-30). It will be made available upon request to conventions with event support after Gen Con 2022 and will go on sale to the general public in May of 2023.

Grand Lodge




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


Wayfinders Contributor

I am so excited for this. Congratulations, Dennis!


Dark Archive

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Sad that survival tag doesn't seem to be returning xD Well I guess that makes sense enough, its not like sniper is a tag

Paizo Employee Organized Play Coordinator

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Cover, map list and tags updated.

Grand Lodge

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

Woo, cover art! Don't worry everyone, I'm sure that nice person on the cover just wants to tell you a joke!

Is it a funny joke?

Paizo Employee Organized Play Coordinator

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Jacob W. Michaels wrote:
Is it a funny joke?

It's to die for.

Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Alex Speidel wrote:
Jacob W. Michaels wrote:
Is it a funny joke?
It's to die for.

I see a lawsuit from Monty Python coming....

What will be the mininmum table count for this special?

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