Pathfinder Society Scenario #4-12: Negotiations for the Star Gun

2.70/5 (based on 10 ratings)

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

Within their vaults the Pathfinder Society has located a rare and mysterious star gun from the distant shores of Arcadia that, while broken, still holds a deep power within it. In order to ensure that past wrongs are made right, the Society must arrange for travel within the borders of Arcadia to repair and return the star gun to its rightful home, but to do so they must first convince the council of Segada to allow a team of Pathfinders entry.

A junior team of agents is dispatched to plead their case to the councilmembers, hopefully securing friends and allies of the Society for future exploration and contact. However, a villain lies in wait, aware of the power the agents are concealing and plotting for the exact moment to strike and catch them off guard.

This adventure is the first part of the two-part Star Gun metaplot arc in the Year of Boundless Wonder. This arc will conclude in Pathfinder Society Scenario #4-13: Within the Prairies.

Written by Mahpiya

Scenario tags: Metaplot (Boundless Wonder)

[Scenario Maps spoiler - click to reveal]

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

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    a waste of time


    I have been rather unimpressed (understatement...). I played it once (can't even remember high or low tier, but I think high).
    It was a slug. No challenge, no interest in the social encounters, the big bad guy is? Well, not really sure what it is, but I am sure of what it is not: a threat.
    I have GM'd 75 of the other 84 regular season 1-4 scenarios (and 33 of the 35 quests and bounties, all the one shots, 2 of the 3 specials)and I only voluntarily omitted one of the 9 regular season scenarios I have not run. It is the second I will pass on as a GM.

    Pathfinders are heroes and as such, should be challenged. They are not passersby who stroll in and out of a scenario, or a bartender cracking a couple of skulls. Maybe the challenges do not need to be extreme, but the scenarios need to offer the villains a chance of success of some sort.

    I resent having wasted my time as a player, and will not waste that of others with it. The blame rests on Paizo as well, for allowing this scenario to happen.

    A boring roleplay scenario


    Star gun is a boring roleplay scenario with some trivial combats thrown in.

    In this scenario, I liked traveling to a new location, Arcadia, and learning more of the lore that surrounds it. I didn’t see any pictures of Arcadia, but they would have enhanced this aspect of the scenario.

    The real failing of Star Gun is that the roleplaying interactions were long, and they were extremely boring. The NPCs weren’t interesting, almost all of the leaders were strong stoic female with almost no personality. In addition to that, we were forced to endure at least 4 rounds of conversation with these NPCs. Star Gun was trying to be a scenario, similar to “Bid for Alabastrine”, but didn’t have NPCs you wanted to speak to, or an interesting setting.

    ”I believe the interaction system in PF2 needs work”:

    The way our GM explained the system, you either spend your round convincing an NPC, or you spend it finding their motivations and secrets (to determine other skill checks you can use).

    We had limited rounds and the GM already let us know how many successes we needed, so it made no sense to learn their motivations, which might have been interesting? Anyway, only one of us sensed their motivations (and failed), so it stopped there.

    Instead of working like that, I think it would be better if sensing an NPCs motivations were done, for free, at the END of a round of conversation with that NPC. That means you can potentially open up more skills to use against a given NPC the more you speak to them.

    Despite my suggestions above, I don’t think it would have made this scenario any better, but it would have streamlined the process, and made the experience much faster (and possibly more interesting).

    The combats were also extremely easy and didn’t make a lot of sense considering we were supposed to be under protection.

    Lastly, I wish Starfinder would stop crossing over into Pathfinder. We don't want to play Starfinder, OK? Didn't Paizo get the message in PFS Season 6? Please, no more SF maps used in PF either. And not all SF authors should crossover into PF as well.

    Overall: Star Gun fails to deliver an interesting roleplay experience. (4/10)

    Lore with weak enemies


    This scenario has the weakest and boring encounters than I've GMed. Encounters that were hard to even hurt a PC felt like a waste of time. Skill checks also seem a little under-tuned (balance between number of successes and time given). Arcadia's lore in the scenario was good, but it wasn't enough to fully enjoy the table.

    Didn't particularly grab me


    I'm not entirely sure this lives up to the promise of involving a star gun? I think it's mechanically sound, but not as interesting as it could be narratively.

    I feel like there's a couple areas that could be improved on, some that other people have already mentioned.


    Being told to keep the Star Gun secret and immediately after being more or less forced to talk about it feels very awkward. I think there need to be options that don't involve telling her, or have her just already know about it (I mean, there's already a leak somewhere)?

    The second thing is more general - the scenario introduces a lot of people right at the start and it feels hard to keep them straight. This isn't really unique to this scenario, but getting five names dropped on me at once quickly leads to me mentally filing them as just Person #1, #2, etc because there's no time to process them all. This isn't terribly uncommon in scenarios though, so...

    That said, I do think the back half of the scenario worked well (once the cultists bumble into the party). The dream trap bit was neat. The scenario feels like it has a lack of any actual "boss" encounter, but I don't think that should be required. Enemies redirecting damage was something that I don't know if I've ever seen come up (and becomes amusing when they die to it). I'd have liked to see that with a stronger enemy being protected, but that's not a strike against the scenario so much as it giving me ideas for interesting encounters.

    Largely uninteresting


    Ran this for a group of 6 at high tier.

    Social encounters:
    I recognize that there is a lot of ambiguity about the Influence system. This doesn't really bother me; there will be table variation, but it's fine. I didn't really care about any of the NPCs or their motivations which were largely one-note, but that was fine. Yes, there is some NPC art missing that would have been nice to have, but I can find art, so it is fine. It's by no means my favorite influence encounter in PF2 scenarios, but it isn't the worst.

    As others have said, the combats are extremely easy, and really undermine the idea that the forces working against the Society are at all competent. Several of my players were aghast at the end of the scenario over this. Would it be mean to say the combat feels a lot like the combat in an intro Starfinder adventure?

    This is one where the GM should really use their judgement and smooth over or elide some of the minor problems in the scenario, such as the silliness of the VC promising to escort the PCs and then appearing just after the combat to apologize for not being on time to escort the PCs. Why make such a bumbling fool of the VC? Especially in the light of how trivial the threat actually was? Another example: as Pirate Rob already mentioned, there's an assumption that the PCs would spill their guts to a random NPC they have no real reason to trust. GMs need to give them a reason to trust this NPC and make up some suitable dialog here.

    In the grand scheme of things I don't think this adventure deserves a one or two star rating but I doubt I would want to run this again.

    1 to 5 of 10 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
    Paizo Employee Organized Play Coordinator

    3 people marked this as a favorite.

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

    3 people marked this as a favorite.

    Oh, WOW!! An Arcadia scenario that isn't tied for Port Valen, a trip to Segada, and a star gun? I'm beside myself. And it comes out in my birthday month!


    Shadow Lodge

    A map of northeastern Arcadia, will it have?

    Paizo Employee Organized Play Coordinator

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    Map list updated.

    April truly snuck up on me! I cannot WAIT to hear about this one from folks.

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    Grabbed this one once midnight rolled around, which shouldn't surprise anyone... and it's a fun romp! A linear little scenario, but a lovely adventure around Segada, somewhere I'm obviously keen to see more of. It's fun to see a variety of Arcadian perspectives on Avistani folk, and to know that they hate the Chelish all the way over on this continent, too. Excited for #4-13, and more Arcadian good stuff after it!

    One very small thing: the Segada Protocol sidebar and other bits of this scenario seem to be acting like Canorus is still an active colony, but 1e canon was that it was an undead-haunted ruin, the survivors largely having fled to Anchor's End. Is it up and running again?

    Liberty's Edge

    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps, Rulebook, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber

    Overall, the scenario seems like it's going to be fun to GM, and I'm sure my players will enjoy playing it. And it uses maps that we don't see much anymore. I'm looking forward to Friday!

    Was there supposed to be artwork for a specific NPC?

    Tekawenda is on the council AND featured heavily in the second info check. She seems pretty important. So I'm curious as to why we got new artwork for Rahaksenwe, a recurring NPC, new art for a sidekick NPC, but no art for one of the council members that you're supposed to influence.
    That seems like an odd choice.

    BTW, How do I get my scenarios at midnight? I had to wait until I got the email this afternoon.

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    I’m not a subscriber; the sale button goes up at midnight on the West Coast, and I got it the old-fashioned way.

    Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

    Please don't allow this person to write a scenario again. It's horrible, your choices have no consequence, no matter what you do the end is the same.

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