Starfinder Society Scenario #5-08: Tarnished Legacy: Star Sugar Superstar!!!

4.40/5 (based on 5 ratings)

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A Starfinder Society Scenario designed for 1st- through 4th-level characters.

As Absalom Station becomes a hotspot for Drift Crisis refugees, the newly formed Advocates faction organizes a music competition to entertain the dispirited populace!

Welcome, to Star Sugar Superstar!!! This fast-paced battle of the bands is sure to excite fans of all musical genres! Expertly judged by celebrity musicians, including Abysshead, Strawberry Machine Cake, and Lita Starr, the winners of Star Sugar Superstar!!! will earn bragging rights and opening billing at the Drift Crisis Revue, a weekend-long music festival hosted by the Starfinder Society to raise funds for those displaced by the Drift Crisis!

Take on the role of Starfinders tasked with ensuring Star Sugar Superstar!!! goes off without a hitch! Manage the newly renovated theater, handle crowds and obsessive fans, tame raging egos, and mingle with music idols! Keep a sharp eye; this competition’s killer!

This is the second scenario in the two-part Tarnished Legacy story arc. The first scenario is Starfinder Society Scenario #5-06: Tarnished Legacy: Historia's Holdout.

Written by: Emily Parks

Scenario tags: Faction (Advocates)

[Scenario Maps spoiler - click to reveal]

The following maps used in this scenario are also available for purchase here on paizo.com:

  • Starfinder Flip-Mat: Stadium
  • Starfinder Flip-Mat: Spaceport
  • Note: This product is part of the Starfinder Society Scenario Subscription.

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    4.40/5 (based on 5 ratings)

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    Fun and Charming

    5/5

    I really like this one. As someone who has worked tech behind the scenes you can realy appreciate how this module is put together. It has some good intrigue and is very well handled. I strongly recomend it!


    Excellent Story, Excellent Experience; Caveats for Newer GMs

    5/5

    I played this once in low tier (APL 1.7) with a lodge virtually and ran this twice, both at virtual conventions (APL at 2.7 and >3 respectively). All tables had six players.

    Most of my players at both tables absolutely loved it although there was one player who complained on voice he “wanted to play Starfinder and not solve a murder mystery”. But that’s the beauty of Society and so if you are looking for a mini-dungeon crawl, this might not be the scenario for you. It’s different from most Starfinder scenarios I've played, and it was executed well.

    There are some gaps in the storyline (more on that later) but the overall execution on how this could play out put a different touch compared to most SFS scenarios (especially with the “whodunit” effect), although at the cost of significantly more prep work for the GM.

    As a GM, I can say that newer GMs - don’t be fooled by the fact this is a tier 1-4 - will absolutely need a flowchart for what happens when and as a result of what. Visuals of the different PCs are mandatory (if not on different panels/screens) for players to keep an easier track of what could be found and what is required. If in person, distribute flyers or a binder of dossiers at the table.

    Finally, you’ve got to put in a bit of work with voice acting and roleplay – there are a LOT of different PCs. This is something I greatly enjoyed, but can understand if this is a pain point for GMs that prefer out and out combat (although I still felt the balance between combat and skill checks vs roleplay was fine, especially as combat in high tier was pretty difficult) or just don't roleplay well or vibe with the setting.

    RussGreene had the same concern as I did regarding the lack of connection to 5-06. This was particularly acute for me as at the second of two conventions I ran this at, I ran 5-06 Tarnished Legacy Part 1 in the afternoon block RIGHT BEFORE I was running this scenario in the evening, and three of my players in 5-06 carried over from my Part 1 table into this Part 2 table. Two of them called me out on asking me to clarify “what this adventure had to do with what we did earlier in the day” so having to backpedal to make those connections on the fly was real borderline at best. There were two characters that barely made an appearance and that was really it.

    That said, I feel objectively this is the only flaw in the scenario.

    As a player I really enjoyed the “choose your own path” perspective of this, the skill checks were varied and had balance and you had choice. The dressing room skill check DC(s) stuck out as almost impossibly high but this is balanced by the other options you had, so no bother there and if someone had the notably high skill in question, it’s an extra cherry on top to cracking the case.

    Combats were fine, although the latter confrontation on the stage can be cruel in high tier so players need to exercise some caution particularly if they are soft on hp. I knocked two players down into dying if I recall correctly in both tables I ran, and had a few more on the ropes; in low tier, the stage confrontation felt way smoother even for a not optimally balanced party.

    To comment on length, even with extensive roleplay we had no issues respecting the con limits of the five-hour slots we were given.

    Again, caveats for newer GMs, considerations for a flowchart and keeping track of everything possible. But if you can do this, and/or are experienced enough, this scenario is fantastic in every sense of the word. My partner loved this so much, he bought his own copy and ran it for his friends.

    Overall, a 9/10 and only knocking a point off because not much a connection between Part 1 and Part 2 (and I was in an awkward spot at the one convention having to run those scenarios consecutively) but as a standalone, you could not ask for a better experience and the extended prep was absolutely worth it and made the NPCs come out alive.

    Honestly this is one of the best scenarios I have played or run in either system. Easily top 3 in either system. Please produce more scenarios like this; if the author was responsible for the storyline (choose your own path) design with varying consequences in catching the guilty party, I’d love to see more of her work here in the future.


    Absalom Station's Got Talent!

    4/5

    This one definitely feels like a call-back to the sort of shenanigans that players can get up to in #1-13, especially since Strawberry Machine Cake and all the various machinations surrounding the Pact Worlds' music scene are the focus here.

    This one has a lot of moving parts and putting all that intricacy on display for the players can be a challenge for a GM, but the flavor and lore of all the performers and cultures on display is a real treat. At the same time, that level of intricacy can make it even harder to adapt to creative solutions for the players. During the second half of the mission, I had to come up with a decent amount of stuff on the fly to give the players information that sensibly would be available in-universe:

    Spoiler:
    The players wanted to check camera logs and security data from inside the Ruby Theater, which the scenario doesn't have written. I was able to give them the same information they would have gotten by asking some of the backstage NPCs, but it was an on-the-spot improvisation.

    The skill checks were good and varied, and I do like that most of the tests had at least two ways to complete them. But there are a *ton* of these tests that have to be completed, and tracking where the party has and has not been, which tasks and events have been completed and which were failed, and where all the PCs are located within the Ruby Theater did call for some table aids to help everyone stay on track.

    A slight disappointment was that there's not a lot of call-backs to #5-06, despite taking place in the same location. There's not a tangible reward for playing these two in order or even on the same character. Only two NPCs recur between that scenario and this one, and their appearance is basically a cameo. It can give players a warm and fuzzy feeling, though.

    Running this scenario is a lot different than a dungeon crawl or a bug hunt, but it was a hell of a lot of fun to play and a hell of a lot of fun to run. Also, for GMs that like to add their own flavor and personal flourishes: not all of the 20 performers are given write-ups, so if your play group has a few icons in it or you want to come up with your own band, feel free to have them cameo!

    In summary, it's a lot of fun to run, especially if your crew gets in on the melodrama, but it does require a bit more preparation and plate-spinning on the GM's side compared to some more straightforward missions.


    Fun scenario, that is also appealing to those who are not into events like this

    4/5

    I just played it, and have a bunch of notes, but the short version is that this is worth your time, however... this can run longer, and I would recommend people schedule a longer slot for this. It might fit into a shorter slot of the GM and players focus less on roleplaying and more on fast successions of skill checks... but I would absolutely not suggest that approach, you have a lot of potential or RP... and I would suggest actually taking the time to experience that.

    The number of and names of NPCs and where they are coming from can be a touch overwhelming at the start, and my personal suggestion for situations like this would have been to give GMs a fake/custom band flyer, with headshots, character names, and the bands they are normally attached to/with. I feel like this sort of approach would have helped at the start.

    Good handouts matter and can make things more memorable, and possibly even leave GMs with something they could hand out as they do chronicle sheets. Something like this would have elevated the final product.

    Some sort of visualization for the various areas might have been a worthwhile idea, my GM got the visual representation from another GM, but some sort of included visual aid might help many beginner GMs.

    I enjoyed the way the story was told via and between skill challenges, and while the setup of "one roll per group with a lot of aids" is not a bad way to do this, I personally prefer skill challenges that require a certain number of successes with different DCs (often showcased in PFS2).

    We played down, but I really liked that the skill challenges allowed for a lot of skills, so many characters could feel like they contributed - I appreciate that point a lot, and appealing to many types of characters (and not just operatives etc.) is an important factor for me when I am choosing what to offer.

    Receiving an item as thank you (the aegis) felt like it drew the players a tiny bit out of the narrative, though the shape is certainly appealing. I suspect a set of limited edition pins, without a game effect would have been valued more, by the type of players I tend to encounter.

    I like the artwork in the scenario, (though I personally am not the biggest fan of the gnome art which might be intentional - and the vampire looks a tiny bit... alive). The eyeshadow breaking feels a little bit forced, as normally you could likely find some way to rescue it.

    It's a good scenario, and I can recommend it, but the length might be an issue for some groups.

    Since I have only played it, I will have to come back and update my review if/once I have read/GMed it, as that will give me more things to say regarding GM guidance, clarity etc.


    Wait did they avoid confirming whether Tsuchi-ko is a nagaji or not

    4/5

    Played this week, so figured out to read it and review it. Being honest that I'm feeling melancholy today so pretty subdued review as result.

    So tbh, I'm not super hyped by Strawberry Machine Cake scenarios just because I was never fan of concerts or band shenanigans, I just like to listen to music. I don't dislike them either and they have fun stuff to them, but I'm not one of people on forum being super excited when they come up. I do give it though, Tsuchi-ko is such a sweet danger noodle and anybody who wishes her harm needs to go to jail right now.

    Hmm mechanically this scenario has a lot of "Only single pc can try" skill challenges, but it works well because most check lead to different bonuses later on so you don't need to succeed them all. Scenario also has delicious amount of branching paths(though its nature as SFS adventure means all branches need to conjoin back together even if pcs mess up so that the finale happens which is bit unfortunate, but understandable). I do feel bit worried about if I was running this instead though because there are lot of details to remember(sidenote, it is fun to get list of minor npcs gm can have fun with), but presentation of them seem clear enough to me. Figuring out the mystery of who dun it was fun too, the red herrings work, players can go to multiple different directions or right directly to correct culprit and there are enough clues that you might figure it out even if you don't get all checks succeeded to spell it out

    So yeah, fun scenario, lot of roleplaying potentialities and fun mystery to solve.


    Paizo Employee Organized Play Coordinator

    2 people marked this as a favorite.

    Announced for September! Cover and product description are not final and are subject to change.


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

    Niiiiice

    Shadow Lodge

    Weee!!!

    Dataphiles

    ABSALOM STATION, ARE YOU READY TO ROCK?!


    3 people marked this as a favorite.

    Unless we have Neon & Noqual show up this jam is a bust.

    Grand Lodge

    Okay so is there a specific reward for playing with the same character through both parts of this arc?

    Dark Archive

    Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
    Dragon Prime wrote:
    Okay so is there a specific reward for playing with the same character through both parts of this arc?

    Probably not since paizo has been pretty good about tying chronicles to player rather than character lately.

    Exo-Guardians

    Have all the maps been picked out? I volunteered to run this at a con the weekend it comes out. Good to know early in case I need to order one.

    Exo-Guardians

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    Any chance I can make use of my Lego minifig of Animal with his drum kit in this scenario?

    Paizo Employee Organized Play Coordinator

    2 people marked this as a favorite.

    Cover and map list updated.

    Dark Archive

    2 people marked this as a favorite.
    Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

    oh hey its the snek band member we heard about :3 adorbs


    4 people marked this as a favorite.
    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

    I love that Tsuchi-ko's official illustration is so obviously based directly on Eleanor Ferron's own art of the character.


    A snake person on the cover with Star Sugar Super Star as the title?

    it's Hiss! She even has the tongue


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

    For GMs who might, somehow, be unfamiliar with #1-14: Star Sugar Heartlove!!!, a little Tsuchi-ko context:

    Spoiler, but not really:

    Although this scenario doesn't touch on the details, Tsuchi-ko is implied to be a nagaji, a species originally native to lost Golarion that hasn't yet been converted for Starfinder PCs. Aside from that, her visual appearance is likely enhanced--or possibly entirely--the product of proprietary holoavatar magitech. A highly advanced, realistic holoskin, in other words.


    Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

    I am watching like a hawk for any chance to catch an Author's Table on this one.

    I have some really, really fun ideas.

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