Starfinder Adventure: Skitter Warp

2.40/5 (based on 5 ratings)
GameMastery Module D0: Hollow's Last Hope (OGL)
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Angels and Demons

When an unprecedented cosmic storm engulfs a world of peaceful scientists, the inhabitants are transformed by planar energies to become either the best or worst versions of themselves. The crew of Nakonechkin Salvage are the only ones close enough to stop an army of demons besieging the capital city, but this mission is personal: one of their own was planetside when the storm hit!

In addition to a rollicking adventure, this book includes four pregenerated characters that are ready to play, with full stat blocks and backstories. The inside front cover includes all of the maps needed for this adventure.

Skitter Warp is written for the popular Starfinder Roleplaying Game. It's intended for 5th-level characters who are ready to lend some helping hands to friends in crisis!

Skitter Warp is sanctioned for use in Starfinder Society Organized Play. The rules for running this Adventure and Chronicle sheets are available as a free download (5.1 MB PDF).



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2.40/5 (based on 5 ratings)

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Long and Hard but Fun

4/5

NO SPOILERS

Skitter Warp was Paizo’s Free RPG Day 2022 release for Starfinder. It continues featuring the skittermander crew of the salvage vessel Clutch, with pre-gen PCs at Level 5. I ran it live tabletop for my son’s birthday. The adventure features some excellent artwork, the return of some familiar settings and NPCs from previous Free RPG Day offerings, and solid writing. There’s actually a lot packed in it, which means (depending on how much role-playing occurs) a group might be harried to complete it in a normal 4-5 hour slot. If you liked the previous adventures in the serious, you’ll like Skitter Warp too.

SPOILERS!:

In some ways, Skitter Warp is a sequel to Skitter Crash, as it’s also set on the osharu planet of Varkulon 4 and features a return of the Helix Lyceum and NPCs like Ponatia. At the same time, it’s also a tie-in to the “Drift Crisis” event. In an interesting twist, one of the normal group of Skittermanders--Nako--isn’t a playable PC, and is instead replaced by her namesake Nakonechkin (their vesk boss). As we’ll see, the reason for the swap is a fun one that might be a good surprise to the players.

Part 1 (“Into the Danger Zone”) starts with a little freeform role-playing, as each PC is aboard the Clutch and gets a chance to describe the fun little memento they picked up from Varkulon 4 during their latest salvage job (Nako is still planetside helping to gather the last of it). But then it’s right into the action, as the Drift Crash strikes, hurtling the planet and the orbiting Clutch into a strange miasma. The Drift Crash threatens to become a literal starship crash, and the PCs have to make some skill checks to keep their ship aloft. If they fail too many of the checks, their ship will have reduced shields for another threat posed by the miasma: a type of ghost ship called a derelict shade. It’s a cool foe for a starship combat, but again Paizo doesn’t have the courage of its convictions and even if the good guys lose, all it means is the PCs take some damage to stamina points (which they can promptly regain with a 10-minute rest and the trivial expenditure of a resolve point). Having played Starfinder since its beginning, I really do think one of its weaknesses is a demonstrated reluctance to let genuinely bad things happen to PCs. Anyway, after the battle, the PCs get a transmission from Headmaster Kiodea at the Helix Lyceum request an urgent visit.

Part 2 (“Golden Siege”) has the Clutch descending to the surface of Varkulon 4 and its crew realising that the effect of the strange cosmic storm has been radical! Planar energy has surged randomly throughout, changing the landscape, building, and even inhabitants. The area around the Helix Lyceum was struck by good-aligned planar energy, and its residents have become quasi-angelic beings! However, those in some of the surrounding areas were struck by infernal or umbral energy and altered accordingly. Upon landing, the PCs have to fight off an “infernal nilothera” (a good call back to Skitter Crash where they fought a normal one) before meeting with Headteacher Kiodea. He explains that the city-university has received a threatening transmission, and plays it for the group: on screen is Ponatia, but his head now bears curled ram’s horns and his face is twisted with rage as he vows “vengeance” on the Lyceum. Hundreds of wrath-filled foes soon surround it, and the PCs are tasked with three missions to aid in its defence. They can do the missions in any order, with the one they choose to do last altered to be a little bit harder. One mission involves escorting civilians to safety past some corrupted umbral-infused osharus. I liked how stealth (instead of combat) was a legitimate option for success. Another mission, fortifying the Lyceum’s defenses, is purely skills based. A third mission is a straight-up fight against some undead (bone trooper) osharus. Once the missions are over, Headteacher Kiodea say he may have a true solution to the problem: he’s identified the precise source of the planar contamination, and if the PCs douse it with a mystical cleansing oil, the corruption should abate.

Part 3 (“Spring of Evil”) has the PCs travelling to the source of the contamination (the Acavo River), fighting a warmonger devil and (hopefully) avoiding a sinkhole trap before the big climax. Not only must they face “Evil Ponatia” (a fiendish mystic) their friend Nako is present as well--but she’s full of hate and immediately attacks! I love the artwork they gave for her. Smart PCs will have one of the group who’s trained in Mysticism immediately attempt the ritual to reverse the corruption, because otherwise they’ll have a knock-down fight on their hands. Once the corruption is reversed, Nako and Ponatia return to normal, and the crew of the Clutch can head off to another adventure.

Playing these Free RPG Day adventures on my son’s birthdays over the years has been a happy and memorable experience, and I should thank Paizo and the author (Jason Keeley) for the opportunity. With Second Edition Starfinder in the works, I’m not sure whether or not the crew of the Clutch will return. I think they’ve got a lot of adventuring left in them, so I hope so!


Not as bad as the other reviews say

5/5

A lot of the reviews here give the entire module a 1 star review for one of their issues with it, but I think overall the module is fine.

Few issues with the characters not being fully optimized for the adventure (the mechanic really shouldn't have a weapon that deals cold damage, most enemies in this are immune to or resist cold damage) but that can be pretty easily fixed by just letting that player choose a different weapon. And the soldier should have more ranks in piloting to help with the starship combat in this (I'd probably take some from survival and sense motive). Both are super easy fixes. I'm not gonna just overlook oversights like that, but honestly rating the entire module 1 star over that is kind of silly.

The story and art is really good in this book. I like that we learn about what our favoirte skittermanders are up to in the midst of the drift crisis and how it affects them.


Nonsense mechanics

1/5

I'm used to Organized Play scenarios have their own internal "house rules", but what in the name of Damoritosh is going on in this adventure?

Whoever came up with the mechanics of...

Spoiler:
...the whole fortification BS where you just lose mass amounts of Resolve Points for failure?! Not good!!!!

This is bad.


Poor balancing

1/5

Another slog of a starship combat. You should not need a 12 plus with your best gunners and starship bonuses to hit in a pregen adventure, you know what characters will be playing.


Pregens are equipped badly for this

1/5

Whoever equipped the mechanic for this scenario did not consider the enemies.

Having over half the enemies resist or being immune to your main weapon is great and "fun".

Pregens should not be that missequipped for a scenario and feel useless in a lot of cases.


Dataphiles

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Hmm, the Chronicle Sheet download marks this as between able to credit levels 3-6. The description does mention they are set for level 5 though. Which is perfectly fine, since I got a Skittermander in that level range to work with.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Nice, another Drift Crisis product!!

Tom


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I see that the product description says that the map list is in the front cover for this scenario. However, I am running this for Free RPG Day next weekend, and the store's product is currently not available. Can you list the flip mats that are needed for this so that I can prepare for this?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

A new Skitterventure? Yay!!!

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.
JamesH wrote:
I see that the product description says that the map list is in the front cover for this scenario. However, I am running this for Free RPG Day next weekend, and the store's product is currently not available. Can you list the flip mats that are needed for this so that I can prepare for this?

Free RPG Day adventures typically use only custom maps.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

When will this be in print so I can buy it? I can't make it to your games.......

Marketing & Media Manager

1 person marked this as a favorite.
K.mathiowetz wrote:

When will this be in print so I can buy it? I can't make it to your games.......

For more information read the blog: Prepare for Free RPG Day 2022!

Copies will also be for sale and free PDF download at paizo.com approximately 30 days after the event. Look for them here on July 23rd.

Marketing & Media Manager

2 people marked this as a favorite.

This event is all about retail stores. We encourage GMs who want to create a better player experience to go into the store and ask for early copies to more fully prep for the event. Use the event to build relationships.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Aaron Shanks wrote:
This event is all about retail stores. We encourage GMs who want to create a better player experience to go into the store and ask for early copies to more fully prep for the event. Use the event to build relationships.

I'm just waiting for Red Raccoon Games in Bloomington, IL, to get their stock for Free RPG Day. There's a bit of delay for this, but I am in contact with them to make sure that I can snag a copy before Saturday.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I was unfortunately unable to pick this up on free rpg day. Will this be available in print again?

Paizo Employee Organized Play Coordinator

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Opsylum wrote:
I was unfortunately unable to pick this up on free rpg day. Will this be available in print again?

I believe that we should be putting our leftover copies on sale later this month when the PDF goes live.

Marketing & Media Manager

4 people marked this as a favorite.

I believe our webstore has this product set to go live on Wednesday with the other new releases. The PDF will be a free download and the print version will be available for purchase.


Good to has some free rpgday 2022 skitter adventuring stuff out there for SF. ;)

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