Incident at Absalom Station (GM reference)


Dead Suns

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Lord Fyre wrote:
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
For the last part of the AP you have to work for a specific Undead, you also get to kill a f~$& ton of undead.
Are the PCs able to decline this job?

Yes and no.

There's multiple ways to get them on the task. The standard way is to work for Eox. If the PCs decline, you can have the SFS assign them to the job.

If they didn't join the SFS, you can have which ever of the four factions involved in the dispute that they got along with the best offer the job.

If they decline or don't have one of those, you can have the family of the missing crew come to them for help.

If they still decline, then you can have the authorities arrest them for their involvement with the Fusion Queen or any firefight they've been in or illegal activities they've done so far. And then offer them a deal: explore the ship and we drop all charges.

If they decline it then, you can put the book away, because your players obviously don't want to play this AP. And you've also got all the PCs in jail now, so you can either make up new PCs it or have a prison break adventure.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber
Lord Fyre wrote:
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
For the last part of the AP you have to work for a specific Undead, you also get to kill a f~$& ton of undead.

Are the PCs able to decline this job?

I am shocked that Paizo hasn't stickied this thread yet!

It's also worth noting that in book 3 you've gotta go to Eox and work with the undead in quite close proximity so it's probably worth making your players aware that they shouldn't be too antagonistic towards undead in general.


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Adventure Path Player's Guides are good friends for this specific reason.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
Adventure Path Player's Guides are good friends for this specific reason.
Shaudius wrote:
Golurkcanfly wrote:
Why aren't Elebrians (Eoxians) among the playable races?
Non-undesd eoxians (Elebrians) have been confirmed as playable in Dead Suns 3 of 6. Undead Eoxians have been confirmed as playable in the Pact Worlds book.

This would have been interesting to put into a player's guide; that is if the non-undead Elebrians are good with the undead of their world.


Hi there,

I’m going to be running the adventure next Monday and wondered if anyone had created any NPCs for the investigation section on Absalom Station?

Cheers

Rich

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
GM 8574 - SFS wrote:

Thanks, Rob, for including Docking Bay 94. :)

I'm getting some notes together now for a PBP run at this. Looking forward to it!

Made me so happy.

This is why we love Starfinder.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

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This volume of Dead Suns makes a lot of assumptions.


  • The adventure presumes that all the PCs are looking to become Starfinders. (see the “Player’s Guide,” … oh wait).
  • The adventure assumes that the PCs are most likely to sympathize with the Hardscrabble Collective. (why?)
  • The adventure assumes that Mama Fats’ Bodega will not become a combat scene (hence not providing a map).
  • The adventure assumes that the Fusion Queen will become a combat scene. (Likely, due to the murder of Duravor Kreel, but not a given.) The Downside Kings so portrayed as belligerent as to guarantee a fight.
  • The adventure presumes that the PCs will accept the invitation to Eoxian embassy. (Just because they can’t kill every undead doesn’t mean they have to associate with one.)
  • Would the PCs be allowed to keep the Sunrise Maiden? Astral Extractions could reasonably claim that is was part of the asteroid find, and therefor company property.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Lord Fyre wrote:

This volume of Dead Suns makes a lot of assumptions.

  • The adventure presumes that all the PCs are looking to become Starfinders. (see the “Player’s Guide,” … oh wait).
  • From the product description: "When a brutal gang war breaks out on a docking bay in Absalom Station, the player characters are recruited by the Starfinder Society to investigate the unexpected bloodshed."

    Quote:
  • The adventure assumes that the PCs are most likely to sympathize with the Hardscrabble Collective. (why?)
  • Because they are more sympathetic? You do get notes on how to handle things if your players are narrative averse.

    Quote:
  • The adventure assumes that Mama Fats’ Bodega will not become a combat scene (hence not providing a map).
  • The adventure assumes that the Fusion Queen will become a combat scene. (Likely, due to the murder of Duravor Kreel, but not a given.)
  • Very reasonable assumptions.

    Quote:
  • The adventure presumes that the PCs will accept the invitation to Eoxian embassy. (Just because they can’t kill every undead doesn’t mean they have to associate with one.)
  • "If the players balk at working for an undead creature, Chiskisk can also remind them that Eoxians are not considered enemies, and are just as worthy of trust as any other sentient species in the Pact Worlds."

    Quote:
  • Would the PCs be allowed to keep the Sunrise Maiden? Astral Extractions could reasonably claim that is was part of the asteroid find, and therefor company property.[/list]
  • “This is my last will and testament. To whoever finds this recording, I leave the Sunrise Maiden to you."

    The company could make a claim, but the ship is not salvage. It was willed to the PCs by the deceased captain.

    RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

    KingOfAnything wrote:
    Lord Fyre wrote:

    This volume of Dead Suns makes a lot of assumptions.

  • The adventure presumes that all the PCs are looking to become Starfinders. (see the “Player’s Guide,” … oh wait).
  • From the product description: "When a brutal gang war breaks out on a docking bay in Absalom Station, the player characters are recruited by the Starfinder Society to investigate the unexpected bloodshed."

    Ah, but hired to do a job is not the same as the PCs coming to the station to join the Society.

    KingOfAnything wrote:
    Lord Fyre wrote:
  • The adventure presumes that the PCs will accept the invitation to Eoxian embassy. (Just because they can’t kill every undead doesn’t mean they have to associate with one.)
  • "If the players balk at working for an undead creature, Chiskisk can also remind them that Eoxians are not considered enemies, and are just as worthy of trust as any other sentient species in the Pact Worlds."

    Why would non-members of the Society even mention it to the Shirren? Also if a group of PCs is reacting that way to the invitation, having Chiskisk take over as the patron might be wiser. Things will end badly for Eskolar, but the AP kind of assumes that too.

    KingOfAnything wrote:
    Lord Fyre wrote:
  • Would the PCs be allowed to keep the Sunrise Maiden? Astral Extractions could reasonably claim that is was part of the asteroid find, and therefor company property.[/list]
  • “This is my last will and testament. To whoever finds this recording, I leave the Sunrise Maiden to you."

    The company could make a claim, but the ship is not salvage. It was willed to the PCs by the deceased captain.

    It would be very much in character for Astral Extractions to make a claim.


    While a Player's Guide would be an immense help the premise of why they are coming to Absalom Station is something easily taken care of in a Session 0, aka "why are you all here? The AP runs with this presumption, is that something you all would even be interested in? etc"

    As stated above the Hardscrabble Collective are the sympathetic ones, but not siding with them is covered.

    Back to Nor, again this might not be a problem for everyone but it will be for some. In the game I'm playing in my Kasatha Soalrion, who is a Priest of Talavet, had absolutely no problem with Nor, or anything really as long as it isn't actively trying to kill her (she tried to pet one of the Akatas when she first saw one).

    Someone who is playing a Priest of Pharasma (a Core Deity) though, that's gonna cause some issues. Cause it doesn't matter if the person you're working for says they're the friendliest people around, your Goddess' opinion outweighs theirs. Again, something a Player's Guide would have been immensely helpful with. In the absence of that I would just advise any players wanting to worship Pharasma to pick another more appropriate Deity for this Adventure Path, or save that idea for a backup character that could be introduced later on when you're having to deal more with the Corpse Fleet.


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    Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

    I dunno about the need for a player's guide. I read the adventure before session 0 and let the players know that "the adventure starts with the PCs arriving at Absalom Station to apply for membership in the Starfinder society". I just did a light vetting on their character concepts, gently discouraging any concepts that included intolerance of any sentient species (since as Starfinders, they'll be jetting about the galaxy meeting all sorts).


    Fortunately, there is an "unofficial" player's guide, as pointed out earlier in this thread, that does a good job to help with these assumptions:

    https://www.pdf-archive.com/2017/09/03/unofficial-deadsunsplayersguide-1/

    It's worth passing on (although be warned that the hosting service that was used is a little ad-crazy...)

    Liberty's Edge Contributor

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    ENHenry wrote:


    Fortunately, there is an "unofficial" player's guide, as pointed out earlier in this thread, that does a good job to help with these assumptions:

    https://www.pdf-archive.com/2017/09/03/unofficial-deadsunsplayersguide-1/

    It's worth passing on (although be warned that the hosting service that was used is a little ad-crazy...)

    Here's a link to the file in my Google Drive folder. There is a prettier version out there that someone made using my original text, but this one avoids using Paizo art (since there isn't much information about Starfinder's place under the Community Use Policy, yet).

    Unofficial Dead Suns Player's Guide

    Sovereign Court

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    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

    I really like the suggested character backgrounds in the unofficial player's guide (especially how they incorporate themes :D).

    Liberty's Edge Contributor

    KingOfAnything wrote:

    I really like the suggested character backgrounds in the unofficial player's guide (especially how they incorporate themes :D).

    Thanks! I'm glad you like them. My players have had fun using them as the framework for their character backgrounds and coming up with details to fill them in.

    Shadow Lodge

    Lord Fyre wrote:
    KingOfAnything wrote:
    From the product description: "When a brutal gang war breaks out on a docking bay in Absalom Station, the player characters are recruited by the Starfinder Society to investigate the unexpected bloodshed."
    Ah, but hired to do a job is not the same as the PCs coming to the station to join the Society.

    "Recruitment" means that you're coming on a permanent basis. It doesn't mean "hired for a job" or any aspect of temporary hire.

    Just look at military recruitment, sports recruitment, heck even ISIS recruitment. It's all about bringing someone in to the organisation as a full member or supporter of the cause.

    So when the book says that the PCs are recruited by the SFS, then yes, it absolutely does mean that they're joining the Society. They are not being hired for a one-off job.

    Liberty's Edge Contributor

    bookrat wrote:
    Lord Fyre wrote:
    KingOfAnything wrote:
    From the product description: "When a brutal gang war breaks out on a docking bay in Absalom Station, the player characters are recruited by the Starfinder Society to investigate the unexpected bloodshed."
    Ah, but hired to do a job is not the same as the PCs coming to the station to join the Society.

    "Recruitment" means that you're coming on a permanent basis. It doesn't mean "hired for a job" or any aspect of temporary hire.

    Just look at military recruitment, sports recruitment, heck even ISIS recruitment. It's all about bringing someone in to the organisation as a full member or supporter of the cause.

    So when the book says that the PCs are recruited by the SFS, then yes, it absolutely does mean that they're joining the Society. They are not being hired for a one-off job.

    It depends on the connotation. Another meaning of "recruit" is "to secure the services of." One can be recruited on a temporary basis.

    The way this AP is written, it is assumed that the PCs will be doing work for, or at least with, the Starfinder Society, but it doesn't mean that they have to be considered Starfinder Society members. Players will get the most out of the AP if their characters are either members or if they are positively inclined toward the Society.

    Similarly, players will get the most out of the AP if their characters are willing to accept certain notions of Pact World society. In particular, Eox is considered an ally, but the Corpse Fleet is an enemy.

    I don't have a problem with adventures or campaigns making assumptions about some aspects of characters' backgrounds or motivations, as long as everyone is aware of those expectations and the players get to decide if they want to play in that kind of campaign. Players who say they want to participate in a campaign, but then choose to play characters with an outlook that consistently derails the story make it difficult for anyone at the table to have fun.

    That's kind of why I wrote the unofficial player's guide. I didn't want the players to have false expectations about the story. In the guide, I point out that:

    "Although the adventure path does not assume the PCs have any specific alignment, the PCs will be part of or closely associated with the Starfinder Society. The Society is made up of 'adventuring scholars' who seek to 'advance the cause of knowledge.' The Starfinder Society is 'one of the most cosmopolitan and egalitarian organizations' in the Pact Worlds system. Player characters’ motivations and outlook should be aligned with the Society’s goals of making discoveries and gathering and disseminating knowledge, both ancient and modern, for the benefit of all. At a minimum, they shouldn’t actively try to behave in a way that will make the Society look bad. The Society’s administration 'frowns on outright theft, wars of aggression, and, especially, the exploitation of previously uncontacted cultures' as their agents carry out the organization’s mission (Starfinder Core Rulebook 479)."

    Shadow Lodge

    Paris Crenshaw wrote:

    It depends on the connotation. Another meaning of "recruit" is "to secure the services of." One can be recruited on a temporary basis.

    Ok. I can agree that you're technically correct and that some off-hand usage of the word sometimes doesn't mean what the word typically means.

    In context, we're talking about a single sentence on the back of the module. Which means that we should maybe look a little further.

    Like, maybe reading the first few pages of the book itself, as every DM should.

    Page 6, in the campaign outline, the second sentence relating to this book: "The PCs come to Absalom Station to join the Starfinder Society..."

    Page 7, the opening scene, opening paragraph: "The player characters should have some sort of connection with the Starfinder Society, either as new members or as prospective applicants (at the very least, the PCs should have a good reason to ally themselves with the Society), and have come to Absalom Station to find work."

    The book does blatantly tell you that the PCs should be looking to be members of the society. And then just after the opening scene, in a large section titled "Starfinder Society" is flat out tells you that the SFS is actively trying to recruit them to be full members. And Part 1 wraps up with the SFS officially giving the PCs membership.

    It's all right there in the book. It doesn't take a genius to figure it out.

    From there, it's your responsibility as a DM to actually talk with your players and your group about this. That's part of being a DM and playing in a social game where communication is required.

    The idea that we *need* a players guide to figure this stuff out is sad. I mean, this is just so blatantly obvious that I'm surprised anyone is complaining that we don't have a players guide, as if a DM is completely unable to figure it out without that extra help. It's said, over and over and over again, and all you have to do is read. It doesn't even require critical thinking.

    It's nice that you wrote one up. Lots of people have thanked you for it. But the absolute barest minimum that a GM needs to be doing to prepare for this game is enough to give them the info needed to tell their players, "Hey, your PC wants to join the SFS. Build your character around that concept. Read more about them in the CRB."

    Silver Crusade

    Lord Fyre wrote:


    It would be very much in character for Astral Extractions to make a claim.

    So what? Either they don't or they lose the case and do so sufficiently quickly that it doesn't affect the story. Pick one. And move along.

    To me its plausible enough that they'd lose that I have absolutely no problem just going with the plot.

    Now, if you think it would be cool to make this a problem then go for it.


    pauljathome wrote:
    Lord Fyre wrote:


    It would be very much in character for Astral Extractions to make a claim.

    So what? Either they don't or they lose the case and do so sufficiently quickly that it doesn't affect the story. Pick one. And move along.

    To me its plausible enough that they'd lose that I have absolutely no problem just going with the plot.

    Now, if you think it would be cool to make this a problem then go for it.

    I would expect a statute on salvage rights to make everything on the rock one bundle of property. One of the parties to the dispute would own the ship.

    There’s also going to be a principal/agent issue preventing the PCs from taking ownership. The ship goes to those who found it? Fine, duly designated agents of another party found it in the scope of their employment, and that party owns it. And was the owner of the ship even legally entitled to give away 100%? She wouldn’t be in most civil law jurisdictions.

    The odds of the PCs winning are not a slam dunk. If they do, I hope they can afford the delays and fees associated with probate and then registration, plus any inheritance taxes or debts against the owner or liens against the ship they have to clear.

    Shadow Lodge

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    Xenocrat wrote:
    pauljathome wrote:
    Lord Fyre wrote:


    It would be very much in character for Astral Extractions to make a claim.

    So what? Either they don't or they lose the case and do so sufficiently quickly that it doesn't affect the story. Pick one. And move along.

    To me its plausible enough that they'd lose that I have absolutely no problem just going with the plot.

    Now, if you think it would be cool to make this a problem then go for it.

    I would expect a statute on salvage rights to make everything on the rock one bundle of property. One of the parties to the dispute would own the ship.

    There’s also going to be a principal/agent issue preventing the PCs from taking ownership. The ship goes to those who found it? Fine, duly designated agents of another party found it in the scope of their employment, and that party owns it. And was the owner of the ship even legally entitled to give away 100%? She wouldn’t be in most civil law jurisdictions.

    The odds of the PCs winning are not a slam dunk. If they do, I hope they can afford the delays and fees associated with probate and then registration, plus any inheritance taxes or debts against the owner or liens against the ship they have to clear.

    Then let them dispute in court. Meanwhile, one of their other allies gives them a ship so the adventure can continue.

    Or, barring that, you say, "2 years pass while it's disputed in court. You've finally won the case and the ship is yours. The SFS covers the fees."

    Either way, spend no more than 10 seconds on the issue and move the story along.

    I mean, if you *really* want to spend multiple session jabbering about a court case in a fictional game just to screw over your PCs and Players (either with losing a ship or burdening with with fictional taxes and fees or what have you), more power to you. But I wouldn't be surprised if all your players quit and found a new GM to play with.

    The Exchange

    Xenocrat wrote:
    pauljathome wrote:
    Lord Fyre wrote:


    It would be very much in character for Astral Extractions to make a claim.

    So what? Either they don't or they lose the case and do so sufficiently quickly that it doesn't affect the story. Pick one. And move along.

    To me its plausible enough that they'd lose that I have absolutely no problem just going with the plot.

    Now, if you think it would be cool to make this a problem then go for it.

    I would expect a statute on salvage rights to make everything on the rock one bundle of property. One of the parties to the dispute would own the ship.

    There’s also going to be a principal/agent issue preventing the PCs from taking ownership. The ship goes to those who found it? Fine, duly designated agents of another party found it in the scope of their employment, and that party owns it. And was the owner of the ship even legally entitled to give away 100%? She wouldn’t be in most civil law jurisdictions.

    The odds of the PCs winning are not a slam dunk. If they do, I hope they can afford the delays and fees associated with probate and then registration, plus any inheritance taxes or debts against the owner or liens against the ship they have to clear.

    So you're applying Earth based salvage laws to a system set in a different galaxy and a few thousand years in the future?

    Probably best to leave all that stuff behind and just run with the space opera style game. Since the setting hasn't gone into any details about what the salvage laws are, and the module specifically covers the ownership of the vessel with a last will and testament, and since it's an official Paizo sanctioned module (even for SFS use), then you can very safely assume the PCs will get the ship without trouble.


    Has anyone reading this played or run the last encounter? I have some concerns about the difficulty of the monster... How did it go? How did you group fare?

    The Exchange

    FiddlersGreen wrote:
    Has anyone reading this played or run the last encounter? I have some concerns about the difficulty of the monster... How did it go? How did you group fare?

    Theres a whole thread on it

    So far mixed levels of success and ideas on how to tackle it.


    Wrath wrote:
    FiddlersGreen wrote:
    Has anyone reading this played or run the last encounter? I have some concerns about the difficulty of the monster... How did it go? How did you group fare?

    Theres a whole thread on it

    So far mixed levels of success and ideas on how to tackle it.

    Cheers mate. Will check it out.


    The book only mentions using its life drain once, so I ran it as it seemed to be written, try to get a taste of everyone (spread out damage) life drain once when taken sufficient damage, eventually focus on people using electricity.

    I had a group of four. They WOULD have won outright if they played to the best of their ability and got a bit luckier with the saves. They ended up winning while unconscious because the creature kept failing its reflex saves against the critical laser blasts they made.

    Things that went wrong:
    The mechanic failed the relatively easy fort save vs. its life drain. Sometimes that happens but that basically adds another turn to the fight if not outright KO-ing a party member.

    The technomancer completely forgot about their cache spell. No real excuse there.

    The party collectively forgot about all of the grenades they've gotten. No excuse there.

    The party burned spells on Identify and Comprehend Language to learn about the tech. I really wish there was some sort of material reward for doing that because that's a massive amount of firepower lost.

    The operative took a lot of unnecessary damage earlier.

    I'm not calling it a good fight, but its doable. It's still pretty much a faceroll whether you win or lose.


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    bookrat wrote:
    Xenocrat wrote:
    pauljathome wrote:
    Lord Fyre wrote:


    It would be very much in character for Astral Extractions to make a claim.

    So what? Either they don't or they lose the case and do so sufficiently quickly that it doesn't affect the story. Pick one. And move along.

    To me its plausible enough that they'd lose that I have absolutely no problem just going with the plot.

    Now, if you think it would be cool to make this a problem then go for it.

    I would expect a statute on salvage rights to make everything on the rock one bundle of property. One of the parties to the dispute would own the ship.

    There’s also going to be a principal/agent issue preventing the PCs from taking ownership. The ship goes to those who found it? Fine, duly designated agents of another party found it in the scope of their employment, and that party owns it. And was the owner of the ship even legally entitled to give away 100%? She wouldn’t be in most civil law jurisdictions.

    The odds of the PCs winning are not a slam dunk. If they do, I hope they can afford the delays and fees associated with probate and then registration, plus any inheritance taxes or debts against the owner or liens against the ship they have to clear.

    Then let them dispute in court. Meanwhile, one of their other allies gives them a ship so the adventure can continue.

    Or, barring that, you say, "2 years pass while it's disputed in court. You've finally won the case and the ship is yours. The SFS covers the fees."

    Either way, spend no more than 10 seconds on the issue and move the story along.

    I mean, if you *really* want to spend multiple session jabbering about a court case in a fictional game just to screw over your PCs and Players (either with losing a ship or burdening with with fictional taxes and fees or what have you), more power to you. But I wouldn't be surprised if all your players quit and found a new GM to play with.

    I prefer to use the opportunity to turn it into a story element.

    Do Astral Extractions make the claim against the ship? Of COURSE they do!

    However, due to the players owning an unfalsified copy of the last will and testament, complete with date stamps that far precede AE's or Hardscrabble's claim to the Drift rock, and video footage courtesy of Gevelarsk Nor that prove they were first to find it, their ownership claim is almost ironclad -- especially if the Starfinders get involved because it's their people getting harrassed and it turns into a case tried in the court of public opinion.

    And THEREFORE, Astral Extractions (and Ms. Joss in particular, whom the party has made look like a fool to her superiors) has ANOTHER reason to be pissed off at the new Starfinder troublemakers, and more willing to cause grief for them at a later date. BAM! instant enemy for side-quests of the party, even if Astral Extractions were to play no more role in the AP from this point on.

    Shadow Lodge

    ENHenry wrote:

    prefer to use the opportunity to turn it into a story element.

    Do Astral Extractions make the claim against the ship? Of COURSE they do!
    However, due to the players owning an unfalsified copy of the last will and testament, complete with date stamps that far precede AE's or Hardscrabble's claim to the Drift rock, and video footage courtesy of Gevelarsk Nor that prove they were first to find it, their ownership claim is almost ironclad -- especially if the Starfinders get involved because it's their people getting harrassed and it turns into a case tried in the court of public opinion.

    And THEREFORE, Astral Extractions (and Ms. Joss in particular, whom the party has made look like a fool to her superiors) has ANOTHER reason to be pissed off at the new Starfinder troublemakers, and more willing to cause grief for them at a later date. BAM! instant enemy for side-quests of the party, even if Astral Extractions were to play no more role in the AP from this point on.

    I absolutely love your idea. And I'm totally going to steal it. :)


    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber
    Lord Fyre wrote:
    Shaudius wrote:
    Golurkcanfly wrote:
    Why aren't Elebrians (Eoxians) among the playable races?
    Non-undesd eoxians (Elebrians) have been confirmed as playable in Dead Suns 3 of 6. Undead Eoxians have been confirmed as playable in the Pact Worlds book.
    This would have been interesting to put into a player's guide; that is if the non-undead Elebrians are good with the undead of their world.

    My intention is to open these races up as options in cases of player deaths, starting in the book the race is detailed in. So a reroll in book 2 and on has the option of Woioko, book 3 opens up Elebrian, etc.


    Just found this thread and, as a first time GM (first session slated for Thursday) it's a godsend.

    Quick question: do you think I can spool out some of the "Adventure Background" (the preamble immediately before the start of Part 1; on page 7 of the Dead Suns AP)? I feel like it would be really helpful (particularly the ancient warfare stuff) for my players (as I think the AP is pretty light on exposition), but I'm not sure if it's...not cheating, but sort of contrary to the spirit of the game.

    Thoughts appreciated. Love, love, love this site.


    Also: did anyone ever come across a photo of Duravor Kreel? Seems like an odd omission!

    Liberty's Edge Contributor

    kwasko wrote:
    Also: did anyone ever come across a photo of Duravor Kreel? Seems like an odd omission!

    Unless you are running a game in which the PCs get a chance to meet him prior to the beginning of the adventure, they won't be talking to him very much. They likely chose to save that portion of the art budget for a character the PCs would spend more time interacting with.


    Really excited for my group to reach the Acreon, so I can refluff the akatas as

    Stranger Things S2E6 minor spoiler:
    the quadrupedal form that Dart turns into.

    Shadow Lodge

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    kwasko wrote:

    Just found this thread and, as a first time GM (first session slated for Thursday) it's a godsend.

    Quick question: do you think I can spool out some of the "Adventure Background" (the preamble immediately before the start of Part 1; on page 7 of the Dead Suns AP)? I feel like it would be really helpful (particularly the ancient warfare stuff) for my players (as I think the AP is pretty light on exposition), but I'm not sure if it's...not cheating, but sort of contrary to the spirit of the game.

    Thoughts appreciated. Love, love, love this site.

    You can absolutely do that. As the GM, you control much of the narrative, and you can give your players as much info as you like.

    For my own personal GM style, I love giving out information, especially background info on the world and the setting. I actively encourage my players to read up on the background stuff. I have them read the setting material in the CRB and gave them the setting info in the back of the AP book (edited where appropriate).

    Also, when a knowledge check is needed to move the story forward (Paizo tends to put important info behind knowledge checks - and what happens if all PCs fail?), I break it apart into multiple checks under general categories and let me players decide if their PC would have that knowledge.

    For example, when getting info on the cocoons of the Akata, I broke apart the knowledge into Mining, Drift Space, and Biology - and then let my players decide which skill was most appropriate for them to use for that category of knowledge.


    Awesome. Thanks!

    Liberty's Edge Contributor

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    I'm one session away from starting this campaign (we started with Into the Unknown as a warm-up and I'm kicking off Dead Suns as the PCs are returning from that mission.

    I had the players give me at least 2 contacts their PCs would have, and I'm reworking the initial motivating plot to allow them to use their contacts during the investigation. I thought I'd share my version of the plan:

    Spoiler:
    Astral Extractions (AE) has manipulated both gangs into carrying out the assassination of Duravor Kreel. They want him dead for the same reasons stated in the module, but they achieve that end in a much more convoluted way to avoid drawing specific attention to themselves.

    Playing on the tension between the two gangs, an agent of AE paid an attractive and "popular" club goer, Varsin Glaed, to manipulate a member of each gang into fighting over him. In the ensuing fight, the Downside Kings member killed the Level 21 Crew member. That was the event that caused things to really flare up between the two gangs.

    The AE secret agent then went to a Downside Kings member and offered to hire the gang to do a job at a specific place and time, to be named later. The place and time was a location where they could easily get Kreel caught in the crossfire of a gang shootout. That turned out to be Docking Bay 94, where Kreel was planning on meeting the PCs when they arrived.

    When AE agent informed the Downside Kings member of the time and location, she said the job was just to cause some mayhem and violence in the docking bay. The disruption was meant to cause strife among the dock workers or something. However, she also paid him extra to specifically target Kreel and to not tell his other gang members about that aspect of the job. He complied.

    The agent later tipped off the Level 21 Crew about the Downside Kings' planned "event" and informed them that the murderer of their friend would be part of the group, ensuring the gang would show up, looking for revenge.

    Lastly, AE hired Clara-247 to kill the gang member who shoots Kreel during the shootout, removing him as a loose end. Their assumption is that it will look like the gang member was just killed in the rest of the violence. Unfortunately, Kreel's death and his bad relationship with AE along with the "almost professional" shots that kill the gang member help spur the PCs' investigation.

    They have the opportunity to use contacts in Station Security, the Arms' coroner's office, an inter-species dating site, the dock workers' guild, and other places to piece together the events. The trail will go cold when they try to identify Astral Extractions' agent. The evidence against AE will end up being circumstantial, at best, but the work should provide more opportunities for some fun roleplaying.


    One thing which I just realized is important for my group, who are just finishing off the Downside Kings, is about the Acreon.

    Incident at Absalom Station p. 24 wrote:
    Flickering emergency lights do little to dispel the darkness

    Is there supposed to be low lighting on the ship, maybe until the PCs restore main lights from the bridge? On the one hand, the only thing that suggests it is in the fluff text. On the other hand, though, it seems weird to have that line and then have it be normal light levels.

    Paizo Employee Creative Director, Starfinder

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    GM MacShack wrote:

    One thing which I just realized is important for my group, who are just finishing off the Downside Kings, is about the Acreon.

    Incident at Absalom Station p. 24 wrote:
    Flickering emergency lights do little to dispel the darkness
    Is there supposed to be low lighting on the ship, maybe until the PCs restore main lights from the bridge? On the one hand, the only thing that suggests it is in the fluff text. On the other hand, though, it seems weird to have that line and then have it be normal light levels.

    There is dim light throughout the entire ship (this is stated on page 24 a few paragraphs above your quote, in the paragraph starting, "The PCs can dock the Hippocampus...").

    Shadow Lodge

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    So my players just got Clara to surrender and they're interrogating her.

    So I had her know who she was hired by: a shell company named "Twenty-one, Inc." She knows it's a fake company, but she doesn't know who created it.

    Who ever it is, they must be rich and have access to some dang good lawyers, because they paper trail disappeared quickly and she was unable to trace who made it.

    With that info, my players immediately connected the name with the Level 21 Crew, and now they are *convinced* that HSC tried to kill them. I'm sitting back watching them argue over it right now. :)


    My players made a point of blowing up her ship (after crippling it) so there's no way for her to reach the drift rock. On the plus side, it means they will have more resources for the final encounter.


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    Jimbles the Mediocre wrote:

    In the final encounter of Incident at Absalom Station, the PCs fight a Garaggakal. The Garaggakal's stat block on pg. 36 indicates that it will attempt to flee if reduced to a certain number of hit points, and later in the Development section of that encounter, it says

    Incident at Absalom Station > Part 3: Phantom of the Drift > D9: Starship Grotto wrote:
    If the garaggakal managed to escape the PCs, it might stow away on the Sunrise Maiden, hoping the ship eventually returns to the Drift. The next time the ship enters the Drift, the garaggakal can emerge from hiding to attack the PCs — this time in its corporeal form — when they least expect it.

    (Emphasis mine.) Is the garaggakal ever established to have an incorporeal form? I know it has the Phase Through ability, but that only lasts for a few seconds. Perhaps this is a bit of confusion related to the driftdead from encounter D4, which is incorporeal in the material plane and corporeal in the Drift.

    If my PCs have a difficult time with the garaggakal, I would love to surprise them with it during a quiet moment during Drift travel after they've gained a level, just so they can feel good blasting it to pieces. I just want to make sure I'm not missing anything about how its abilities may change between one plane and the next.

    (As an aside, the garaggakal reminds me strongly of the "demigorgon" from Stranger Things, which is some cyclical referencing if I've ever seen it)

    Did anybody ever provide an answer to this? Sorry, not a forum expert, but I haven’t seen anybody address this question yet and I’m about to run that part of the Adventure!


    Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    I think someone got the garaggakal and the drift dead confused when writing that sentence.

    RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

    bookrat wrote:

    So my players just got Clara to surrender and they're interrogating her.

    So I had her know who she was hired by: a shell company named "Twenty-one, Inc." She knows it's a fake company, but she doesn't know who created it.

    Who ever it is, they must be rich and have access to some dang good lawyers, because they paper trail disappeared quickly and she was unable to trace who made it.

    With that info, my players immediately connected the name with the Level 21 Crew, and now they are *convinced* that HSC tried to kill them. I'm sitting back watching them argue over it right now. :)

    Really? I wouldn't have connected "rich" and the HSC. ;)


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    My ever-growing list of refluffs:
    • Akatas are now demodogs from stranger things season 2
    • Eskolar is now frozen in metal à la Han Solo
    • The garragakal now looks like the Demogorgon (the stranger things monster, not the DnD Demogorgon)

    Liberty's Edge Contributor

    Our first session of the campaign on Saturday went pretty well. The several-hour session covered the entire investigation and ended with the adventure's first starship battle. Drawing on the PCs' backgrounds and NPC contacts allowed me to expand the investigation and add in a number of roleplaying encounters with different people on the station.

    As I prep for the next session, I'm curious how other GMs are looking at one aspect that will likely carry through a big portion of the AP.

    Spoiler:
    What artificial personality are you giving the Sunrise Maiden?

    My players tend toward the silly side on some things. For example, during campaign planning we somehow got into talking about the movie Office Space, so I changed Sunrise Maiden to Redd Staepler.

    I've decided the ship's personality will basically be Mrs. Doubtfire...an old matron with a bad Scottish accent. She tends to be a bit smothering and bossy to the PCs but can be one tough cookie when her crew is threatened.

    I just love the idea of stuff like, "If yer goin' outside ta fix ma hull, make sure yer space suits're sealed up tight," and "Alright, my dears, weapons systems're still online, but Ah'm afraid our shields've taken quite a beatin'."


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    Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
    Paris Crenshaw wrote:

    As I prep for the next session, I'm curious how other GMs are looking at one aspect that will likely carry through a big portion of the AP.

    ** spoiler omitted **

    Great question and I'm happy with the way it worked out. Since none of the party members are androids, I didn't get any pushback to this idea from players explaining that androids can just get another body and live on.

    One of my players was an outlaw running with a group called The Jackals, inspired by Leverage and complete with a mastermind, a grifter, a crazy one, a techie (the PC), and the muscle (an android named Zee). The group fell apart due to an incident

    Spoiler for books 2 and 3:
    caused by a run-in with an Atrocity from the Cult of the Devourer
    that caused the android to perish gruesomely. All they could get was the personality chip.

    When the outlaw PC reunited with the grifter NPC, she swiftly loaded his personality chip into the bridge (which due to the luck of the dice and murder-hobo syndrome almost started a war within the party involving grenades on the bridge of their own ship...) and Zee's jovial voice boomed through the corridors.

    Spoiler for Book 6:
    Later his chip will either be loaded into The Jackals' replacement ship or loaded into a new android body. I'm working toward an epic moment where the Sunrise Maiden, the Anubis II (Jackal ship), and the Aquila, another PC's previous ship take on the final mission against the Empire of Bones. With Zee gone, the AI voice will go back to default so they can decide what to replace it with, and I'll probably suggest they change the name of the ship to make it their own.

    Liberty's Edge Contributor

    Galactic Swashbuckler wrote:
    Great question and I'm happy with the way it worked out. Since none of the party members are androids, I didn't get any pushback to this idea from players explaining that androids can just get another body and live on.

    Neat. That's similar to something we have going. I have one player whose PC is an early-model android that has somehow managed to maintain its body, but not all of its original memories. He looks more like a robot than a human and is constantly trying to "perfect" his form and become even more like a robot. One of his contacts is actually the AI of a ship...basically, the consciousness of an android that decided it didn't want its humanoid body anymore. The ship's job is to place drift beacons, so it's not always around and has a legitimate reason for showing up nearly anywhere.


    bluemoosy wrote:
    Jimbles the Mediocre wrote:

    In the final encounter of Incident at Absalom Station, the PCs fight a Garaggakal. The Garaggakal's stat block on pg. 36 indicates that it will attempt to flee if reduced to a certain number of hit points, and later in the Development section of that encounter, it says

    Incident at Absalom Station > Part 3: Phantom of the Drift > D9: Starship Grotto wrote:
    If the garaggakal managed to escape the PCs, it might stow away on the Sunrise Maiden, hoping the ship eventually returns to the Drift. The next time the ship enters the Drift, the garaggakal can emerge from hiding to attack the PCs — this time in its corporeal form — when they least expect it.
    (Emphasis mine.) Is the garaggakal ever established to have an incorporeal form? I know it has the Phase Through ability, but that only lasts for a few seconds. Perhaps this is a bit of confusion related to the driftdead from encounter D4, which is incorporeal in the material plane and corporeal in the Drift.
    Did anybody ever provide an answer to this? Sorry, not a forum expert, but I haven’t seen anybody address this question yet and I’m about to run that part of the Adventure!

    I'm curious what people think about this as well. My game is facing the Garaggakal tonight and I've decided that it'll act in reverse of the Drift Dead. Where the Drift Dead is corporeal in the Drift and Incorporeal in the Material plane, the Garaggakal will return as Incorporeal if they fail to defeat it and it reemerges during their Drift Jaunt to Castrovel. I've come to this decision because simply "being confused" doesn't sit right for me. This was written with some sort of intent and a typo of missing the 'In' to 'incorporeal' makes more since as without it 'corporeal' will still pass spellcheck and some editors.

    Speaking of corporeality, did that Drift Dead throw anyone else's group for a loop? With gaining level 2 while entering the Acreon, they haven't had time to buy/craft any fusions yet. It was a great time scaring them a little and could see this encounter killing a PC. The way initiative rolled out, the Drift Dead caught them funneled in a corridor and the Solarion was doing zero-g acrobatics maneuvers around the room trying to stay conscious with half their HP, while the others were either fighting each other confused or failing to shoot through soft cover. Equipping the Seeking fusion is going to really help them out when moving on to Book 2 in the second half of tonight!


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    ^ Update: Garaggakal part 2 ends up being a moot point for this game as they were able to dispatch it. They were pretty determined to prove they are not evil as well (after having no hesitation in mowing down the goblins) and put some serious energy and RP into Clara-247. The reality that there isn't another way off the rock set in for her and she deleted the hit-order on them after some "friendly" skirmish-talking. I bring it up because she was present at the end fight. I kept her in places with bad shooting lanes the whole time but it was pretty apparent that NPC vs NPC combat is definitely not intended. Did anyone else have to deal with Clara aiding the group?

    For those yet to run this: If you have a non-murderhobo group I recommend taking her ability modifiers and gear, and stating up a simple sheet under the PC rules. NPC vs NPC is too skewed, too easy to hit and too much damage dealt.

    I have a great opportunity here, they're a group of 4 and desire to hire a pilot so they can focus on other roles in combat. Essentially running the NPC pilot as a group in order to free up a set of hands for secondary gunnery, Science, or Engineering. So! I'm pumped to make a list of NPC applicants for this position, due to the PCs recent fame with the Drift Rock a whole slew of folks will be drawn to the job. Yes, Clara-247 is the perfect NPC in the story to slip into this roll, but the idea of them going through an interview process with whatever wacky NPCs I can throw together is too good to pass up too. I'm thinking she'll need time to get back to them, in the meantime they can interview and then decide among the pool after Clara-247 gets back to them. Only detail I need to resolve for Clara is how to keep her out of combat and exploring. I suppose a simple statement from her is enough, "I'll fly your ship for a wage, but I'm not interested in taking on the full risk of these silly missions you and the Society are so eager to get into."

    Any have fun NPC ideas for pilots looking for work? :)


    Starfinder Superscriber
    GM Bugman wrote:
    Any have fun NPC ideas for pilots looking for work? :)

    One of the first PC's I'd like to play is an Ace Pilot Goblin Operative with Skill Focus: Pilot as his first level feat. I plan on playing him as a hyper arrogant stick-jockey from the diaspora with all the normal Goblin (in)sanity. He makes his living running miners around the asteroid belt with a side gig of posting videos of his antics/stunts on the Infosphere for internet fame/extra cash. He has a reputation for always taking the most stupidly dangerous route and would focus on stunt pilot checks in starship combat. I think it'd make a good option for an NPC hireling that only focuses on piloting the ship for the PC's. His total bonus would be 12 (1 Rank + 3 Class Skill + 4 Dex + 3 Skill Focus + 1 Ace Pilot), which is pretty solid at 1st level for most of what a pilot does.

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