Incident at Absalom Station (GM reference)


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GM Bugman wrote:

^ 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? :)

Definitely have a Barathu amalgam pilot (and maybe they lose cohesion in the interview and literally fall apart). You could throw a Haan at them as well, maybe some other of the more exotic races. Also, at least one core race pilot who's only experience is in flight simulators.


GM Bugman wrote:
"Any have fun NPC ideas for pilots looking for work?

I like them! Also, started a new thread as to not highjack this GM Reference.


I'll finally get to start running this in two weeks! I'll be running it for 5 players, so I'm planning on scaling up some encounters, not sure which ones yet, but definitely Clara-247. My plan is to give her an overeager "intern" from that one Armada colony where everyone is a clone of the same woman.


Starfinder Superscriber

Can anyone that's run this adventure give me an idea of about how many hours they spent running this AP? (Actual play time, not the BS that happens around play.) I know every group is different, I'm just trying to get an idea of how long this takes (like is it two 4 hour game sessions or is it ten of those)?


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

It will vary wildly for the initial investigation section.

It can be completed in 10 hours, but requires that the group remain focused and may require the GM calling a couple of battles early — when it is obvious that they have won but before the last HP is done.

I would say 12-15 hours is a good target.


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Hm... Let's see. We typically run 4-hour sessions, and we tend to "vacuum" APs for bonus objectives and extra loot. Near as I can remember, our run-through went like this:

Session 1: We met the contact, fought off the gangs in the initial fight, made contact with the level 21 crew, worked through the investigation, targeted the Kings.
Session 2: Attacked and cleared out the Fusion Queen, talked to ambassador Nor, first starship fight.
Session 3: Boarded and cleared the Acreon.
Session 4: Boarded and (mostly) cleared the Drift Rock.
Session 5: Did the final fight on the Drift Rock, claimed the Sunrise Maiden, second starship fight (book 2?).

We probably could have gone a bit faster but we have someone GM'ing for the first time, so we're setting aside time to stop and explain whenever he runs into anything he's unsure how to handle. :)


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

@Kudaku,

Looks like it took you slightly less than five sessions since you went slightly past the end of the first book.

End of Book 1:
It ends just before you take off in the Sunrise Maiden. The second Starship combat is mentioned as the next step in Book 1, but actually happens in Book 2.

I can easily see it running 20 hours if you don’t have a time constraint.


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That sounds about right, although looking back I'd say we spent slightly more than 4 sessions. The final encounter was fairly quick, but the starship combat, dealing with the stowaways, renegotiating our contract with Nor and enjoying our newfound fame took a while. My character's armor is now covered in armor manufacturer company logos! ;)

Adding it up in my head I'd say we spent about 16 hours in book 1. For a party that's less completionist and/or have a more experienced GM I agree with your estimate, 10 hours is definitely possible and 12-15 sounds about right.


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Starfinder Superscriber

Thanks guys. I really appreciate the info.


pithica42 wrote:
Thanks guys. I really appreciate the info.

Happy to help. :)

GM Bugman wrote:
^ 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?

I realize I'm replying to this a bit late but since we've only just finished book 1 I'm playing catch-up:

On Clara-12:
We had Clara join us and yes, I think the NPC statblocks get a little wonky when they fight other NPCs - high NPC attack and damage modifiers combined with low NPC AC suggests they'll beat the everloving crap out of one another with the PCs being a bit of a sideshow. Clara's certainly strong, she had by far the highest attack modifier and also the highest average damage in the party. We did some rough math after the final fight and concluded that Clara did just over 50% of the total damage the Garaggakal took. This is all based on a sample size of 1 though, so take it with a pinch of salt.

For us this wasn't strictly a bad thing: one of our PCs struggled badly with the void death disease so the character returned to the Acreon to rest, and the player ran Clara-12 instead. He certainly enjoyed playing her, but if I were to do it again I'd probably prepare an android operative PC sheet to avoid an NPC potentially stealing the spotlight.

On Void Death:
As I mentioned earlier we had a PC who was affected by Void Death and did not have a good time with it. The character was a melee oriented soldier and rolled badly on two fort saves, meaning she was Impaired when we started exploring the Drift Rock and spent most of the fights nauseated. The player did not have a good time and found the experience frustrating.

A diseased PC provides strong incentive to finish exploring the place so they can lift the quarantine and return to Absalom station to have the condition be treated. I like the idea of using Void Death as the "stick" to discourage the party from lollygagging and taking extended breaks after each fight.
I'm not crazy about the fact that Void Death kicks in immediately and both fatigues and sickens the target on the first failed save. Fatigue + Sickened is effectively a -3 on attack and damage rolls, which is more or less what the attack and damage values are for a level 1 PC. If you fail one more save you're Impaired, meaning you're fairly likely to be neutralized if you try to engage in combat.

If I were to run it again I'd raise the save DC for the disease (DC 14 or so) but have it work more slowly - make it a looming threat over the PCs but don't let it incapacitate them immediately. I'd add the latent stage, potentially break Weakened into two stages that goes sickened-->sickened & fatigued --> Impaired, then continue the normal track. I'd also emphasize that while the disease is debilitating and ultimately terminal, both the Starfinder Society and Nor can provide access to medical facilities that have excellent chances of curing it immediately once the party returns to Absalom station.

The Party
Luckily for us we haven't had any deaths or incapacitations. My party currently looks like this:
A Vesk Soldier 1/Envoy 2 using heavy weapons. (my character)
An Ysoki Mechanic 3 with a stealth drone using Longarms.
An Android Technomancer 3 using Longarms and blast spells.
A Human Blitz Soldier 3 using primarily melee weapons.


Since I’m not sure what the “necessary” roles (equivalent of fighter, rogue, wizard, cleric) are in starfinder, and the group I’m running is not very optimized, I was wondering what to do. We have an android technomancer, a shirren exocortex mechanic, a kasatha operative (daredevil IIRC) and a DMPC korasha lashunta melee solarion. They’ve just beaten Ferani by the skins of their teeth, so when level-up time comes, I was considering level-dipping envoy for the DMPC. As a solarion, he’s got good charisma, but I don’t know if the buffs are worth it.


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Good points there, @Kudaku. Thanks.


Starfinder Superscriber
GM MacShack wrote:
Since I’m not sure what the “necessary” roles (equivalent of fighter, rogue, wizard, cleric) are in starfinder, and the group I’m running is not very optimized, I was wondering what to do. We have an android technomancer, a shirren exocortex mechanic, a kasatha operative (daredevil IIRC) and a DMPC korasha lashunta melee solarion. They’ve just beaten Ferani by the skins of their teeth, so when level-up time comes, I was considering level-dipping envoy for the DMPC. As a solarion, he’s got good charisma, but I don’t know if the buffs are worth it.

The roles in this game look to be all kinds of weird, to me. I think you still need DPR (Glass Cannon), Tank, Helper/Healer, and BFC in combat, but it looks like basically everyone is a secondary DPR/secondary something else. The soldier looks to be good at primary tanking and the solarion looks to be good at primary DPR. Everyone else is like secondary DPR/secondary healer or something.

In my 3.x/PF games, we typically have fights that last only one or two rounds. From everything I'm reading on the boards and how the math looks from the NPC rules, it looks like fights in this game end up being more in the 5-7 round range. Since the monsters are so beefy, I think DPR is the better way to go and you should stick with Solarion. However, I'm still coming at this from a purely theoretical standpoint just from reading the abilities and the various guides. So ignore me if this isn't matching what you're seeing in play.


Schoon wrote:
Good points there, @Kudaku. Thanks.

Anytime! :)

GM MacShack wrote:
Since I’m not sure what the “necessary” roles (equivalent of fighter, rogue, wizard, cleric) are in starfinder (...) , and the group I’m running is not very optimized, I was wondering what to do.

Out of combat so far we've found that the problem-solving in Starfinder puts much more of an emphasis on skills over spells (although I suspect that will change a bit in the late-game when spells like Plane Shift and Teleport are options) than Pathfinder does. That loosens up the requirements for a party considerably, since you can potentially get by just fine with no spellcasters at all. It's a good idea to have someone trained in tech skills (computers, engineering, medicine), someone trained in knowledge skills (culture, life science, mysticism, physical science), and someone trained in social skills (bluff, diplomacy, intimidate, sense motive). You'll typically want at least one trained Pilot. Survival is a bit of a niche skill but it can definitely be useful to have one person trained in it. Perception is still the God-tier skill that it's always been, so ideally you want as many people trained in it as possible.

GM MacShack wrote:
We have an android technomancer, a shirren exocortex mechanic, a kasatha operative (daredevil IIRC) and a DMPC korasha lashunta melee solarion. They’ve just beaten Ferani by the skins of their teeth

I don't see anything inherently wrong with your party composition, it's odd that they're having such a hard time. Then again they're likely level 1-2, the RNG gods rule the low levels - maybe they're just getting unlucky with their dice rolls. Are they taking cover in ranged combats? Did the technomancer take longarm proficiency? Are they investing in decent armor? How does their attack bonuses hold up?

GM MacShack wrote:
, so when level-up time comes, I was considering level-dipping envoy for the DMPC. As a solarion, he’s got good charisma, but I don’t know if the buffs are worth it.

Hm... Normally I'd say Solarian and Envoy are not the most intuitive match because of the action economy issues - Solarians typically want to spend move actions (or Stellar rush) to get into combat and then make full attacks, and envoys want to use some of their move actions to buff their allies. What are you looking to get out of the Envoy dip?

pithica42 wrote:
The roles in this game look to be all kinds of weird, to me. I think you still need DPR (Glass Cannon), Tank, Helper/Healer, and BFC in combat, but it looks like basically everyone is a secondary DPR/secondary something else. The soldier looks to be good at primary tanking and the solarion looks to be good at primary DPR. Everyone else is like secondary DPR/secondary healer or something.

Tanks in Starfinder are interesting - since on average fewer people want to be in melee range than in Pathfinder it's much easier for a melee tank to draw attention to himself, but because of the way healing works in Starfinder (Stamina being very easy to heal, HP being fairly hard to heal) we've found it's actually pretty handy to spread the damage out rather than have one person soak up everything. It's better for us to have three PCs lose stamina, spend a resolve point and catch their breath for 10 minutes than to have one PC lose stamina and HP, then spend a day in the infirmary getting patched back together. This is probably influenced by our party composition - we don't have a mystic and we're not high enough level to reliably use Deadly Wound treatment, so HP damage is primarily healed by serums and resting.


I think the difficulty may just have been bad dice. I was considering envoy for the get ‘em and minor healing, but I had forgotten about the action economy problems. I don’t believe the technomancer took longarms proficiency, but they were fighting almost solely with pistols. The guards at the entrance meant that they had to leave some weapons behind (e.g. the mechanic took a grenade but had to leave his gun) since none of them have very good sleight of hand. In Ferani’s office, there was t a lot of cover for them to get, and they didn’t think to get in a position where she was t covered by the desk until the end of the fight. As for armour, since two of them are primarily ranged, they bought fairly basic armour (second skin, I think) except for the mechanic who bought kasatha microcord.


Get 'Em is a decent option but the action economy will be tricky for a solarian, Inspiring Boost would be rather bad since it only scales with Envoy level - you'd be healing 2 + charisma (so ~6 stamina points?) with a standard action, that's going to get outpaced very quickly.

It kind of sounds like your party was caught out of position by agreeing to the guard's demands, that and a bad dice roll streak will absolutely murder at low levels.

We picked a fight with the guards outside (Headbutts are vesk diplomacy, as the party mechanic likes to say), once they were incapacitated we sent in a stealth drone armed with a smoke grenade to fake a fire and clear out any innocent bystanders. Once the place had cleared out, we went in loaded for bear. That fight would be a lot harder if you go in armed only with sidearms.


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Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Dragonchess Player wrote:

One issue I found: In room C8 of the Acreon, the disruptive fusion seal (5th) is almost useless.

I understand the probable intent (to help fight the void zombies and driftdead on the Drift Rock), but by RAW the fusion seal can only be applied to a level 3 (minimum to apply a level 3 fusion), level 4, or level 5 weapon (cannot apply a fusion seal to a weapon of higher level than the seal) that does bludgeoning damage (per the disruptive fusion description on pg. 193 of the Core Rulebook). This makes the only possible weapon that can benefit from the fusion seal a Tactical Swoop Hammer (level 5, 3,360 cr) or possibly a soldier with the Armor Storm fighting style using the Hammer Fist technique; no Tactical Swoop Hammers appear in the adventure and the PCs can't afford one until sometime during the next adventure.

The disruptive fusion seal (5th) should probably be replaced with a holy fusion seal (5th).

I wonder if disruptive was a level 1 fusion at some point in the non-final rules.

Even that won't help agains void zombies or the driftdead. Neither one has DR nor Energy Resistance.

Only the Bone Trooper has DR, and you would have run into it on the Acreon.

The Ghostkiller fusion would work, but it's a bit high level, 5th.


Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Singularity wrote:
Dragonchess Player wrote:

One issue I found: In room C8 of the Acreon, the disruptive fusion seal (5th) is almost useless.

I understand the probable intent (to help fight the void zombies and driftdead on the Drift Rock), but by RAW the fusion seal can only be applied to a level 3 (minimum to apply a level 3 fusion), level 4, or level 5 weapon (cannot apply a fusion seal to a weapon of higher level than the seal) that does bludgeoning damage (per the disruptive fusion description on pg. 193 of the Core Rulebook). This makes the only possible weapon that can benefit from the fusion seal a Tactical Swoop Hammer (level 5, 3,360 cr) or possibly a soldier with the Armor Storm fighting style using the Hammer Fist technique; no Tactical Swoop Hammers appear in the adventure and the PCs can't afford one until sometime during the next adventure.

The disruptive fusion seal (5th) should probably be replaced with a holy fusion seal (5th).

I wonder if disruptive was a level 1 fusion at some point in the non-final rules.

Even that won't help agains void zombies or the driftdead. Neither one has DR nor Energy Resistance.

Only the Bone Trooper has DR, and you would have run into it on the Acreon.

The Ghostkiller fusion would work, but it's a bit high level, 5th.

OK, I can see how the Disruptive Weapon Fusion Seal can work against the Driftdead, even though the Driftdead has no DR nor Energy Res.

SFCore p. 264 says incorporeal creatures are immune to all non-magical kinetic attacks. A weapon fusion makes the weapon magical, SFCore p. 191.

I'm going to lower the level down to 1st and allow it to work on all kinetic weapon types, B, S, and P.

Any comments?

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Something I noticed that seems a bit odd..

On page 30, describing the general conditions aboard the Drift Rock, it says "There is no gravity in areas D1-D5 or the tunnels connecting those chambers."

But the room descriptions seem to imply an environment with gravity. In fact, the very first room described, area D1, immediately following the general conditions, says "Large chunks of rubble are scattered across this cavern. A large boulder lies to the west." In fact, Clara-247 is, in fact, hiding behind that boulder, waiting to ambush the players, a feat made more difficult (but probably not impossible) if that boulder is free floating in the middle of the chamber.

Later, in the description of area D4, it reads "The northern passage ends after about 50 feet, where the ceiling has collapsed in a wall of fallen rock." In zero gravity, of course, a pile of boulders blocking a passageway becomes something more akin to a free-floating collection of rocks, and clearing the debris enough to allow passage becomes much less problematic.

I'm curious how other groups have handled this. Did you assume normal gravity inside the Drift Rock? To be honest, the idea of running a 3D tactical fight in zero gravity sounds both really cool and really daunting. Do the PCs require surfaces to push off from in order to move around, or is everyone assumed to have some kind of maneuvering thrusters? How do you keep track of everyone's elevation, relative to each other?

Liberty's Edge Contributor

Steel Horse wrote:

Something I noticed that seems a bit odd..

On page 30, describing the general conditions aboard the Drift Rock, it says "There is no gravity in areas D1-D5 or the tunnels connecting those chambers."

But the room descriptions seem to imply an environment with gravity. In fact, the very first room described, area D1, immediately following the general conditions, says "Large chunks of rubble are scattered across this cavern. A large boulder lies to the west." In fact, Clara-247 is, in fact, hiding behind that boulder, waiting to ambush the players, a feat made more difficult (but probably not impossible) if that boulder is free floating in the middle of the chamber.

Later, in the description of area D4, it reads "The northern passage ends after about 50 feet, where the ceiling has collapsed in a wall of fallen rock." In zero gravity, of course, a pile of boulders blocking a passageway becomes something more akin to a free-floating collection of rocks, and clearing the debris enough to allow passage becomes much less problematic.

I'm curious how other groups have handled this. Did you assume normal gravity inside the Drift Rock? To be honest, the idea of running a 3D tactical fight in zero gravity sounds both really cool and really daunting. Do the PCs require surfaces to push off from in order to move around, or is everyone assumed to have some kind of maneuvering thrusters? How do you keep track of everyone's elevation, relative to each other?

Good questions. Since I want to play around with the zero gravity rules, I plan on running those chambers without gravity. Here are my suggestions:

D1: Change the description so that the chamber has "Numerous stalagmites and stalactites scattered across the floor and ceiling, with a particularly large formation jutting up from the floor to the west." Clara-247 is wedge in behind that stalagmite, waiting to strike.

D4: Instead of a collapsed ceiling with rubble, the passage is blocked by a blast door. The door is severely damaged and no longer functions. It can't be opened, though it could be blasted out or cut, given time and the proper equipment. A transparent section in the door reveals the emptiness of space beyond. (That window prevents the players from spending a bunch of time trying to figure out how to open it.)

As for fights in Zero G, check out the rules on page 402 of the Core Rulebook. Spacesuits, armor, etc. don't automatically provide the ability to move in freefall. Creatures adjacent to the floor, a wall, the ceiling, or an object can push off of it to move at half their land speed. (Creatures that use any form of atmosphere-powered flight can't fly in a vacuum, either.) As for how to keep track of peoples' elevation, I have two of the Combat Tiers Base Sets to help me with that.

Liberty's Edge Contributor

Here are some questions I came up with, myself, about handling the exploration of the Acreon.

First, is there any reason that the PCs shouldn't be able to get a layout of the ship prior to docking with it? This is a fairly common, commercially-made vessel. While there might be some modifications, I think it should be a fairly low-DC Computers check to get a schematic of the Acreon. I don't think it will ruin any of the encounters.

Second, the description says that the PCs have to get to the bridge (C9) to restore the atmosphere. From a story standpoint, I guess that makes things more exciting, but I don't see why they wouldn't be able to do the same thing from Engineering (C4). In modern marine vessels, engineering is where electricity and water are produced, waste is managed, and propulsion is generated. In my view, those same systems, as well as environmental systems, will most likely be controlled from engineering, as well.

If the PCs come in via one of the side airlocks, they will still have to move forward or aft to restore environmental controls. I see this as most likely, since they can't dock with the aft airlock. They might try some spacewalking, but probably not. Anyway, is there a good reason that the PCs shouldn't be able to restore atmosphere from there as well as the bridge? Obviously, they'll have to deal with a couple of stow-aways, first.


Starfinder Superscriber

Personally, I'd absolutely let the PC's get a layout, either with a computers check, or as part of the interaction with the Collective or Corporate operatives if either went well (or they used Diplomacy well).

I also would let them do anything "engineering" related from the engineering section of the ship.


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Absolutely give them a map if the PCs are clever enough to find a reasonable way to get one. The map in itself, like you said, doesn't really ruin any encounters.

As for the atmosphere, this got my brain going. You're absolutely right. Engineering is, if anything, more logical a place to restore the atmosphere. So what if, when given the map of the Acreon, the PCs are instructed that to restore the atmosphere, they need to go to Engineering...
Only to find that the Akatas have ruined the necessary terminal?

Liberty's Edge Contributor

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Ralphrius wrote:

Absolutely give them a map if the PCs are clever enough to find a reasonable way to get one. The map in itself, like you said, doesn't really ruin any encounters.

As for the atmosphere, this got my brain going. You're absolutely right. Engineering is, if anything, more logical a place to restore the atmosphere. So what if, when given the map of the Acreon, the PCs are instructed that to restore the atmosphere, they need to go to Engineering...
Only to find that the Akatas have ruined the necessary terminal?

Okay. I like that option. Normally, you can do it from engineering or the bridge. But things don't always work out the way they're supposed to. I'm definitely going this route. Thanks!


I'm kind of surprised reading this that nobody else did what our group did with Clara-247; once we disabled her ship we made a point to pull alongside to investigate. Which lead to a great encounter in vacuum as she waited until the Solarian hopped on top of her little coffin ship and then she popped out and engaged. Zero-g, vacuum, two ships with nothing but the void in between...that was a memorable fight. Meant that she was able to help us on the Aceton but she and the goblin prisoners where not keen on entering the Drift Rock proper after she got herself knocked up with some Void Death.


Commodore_RB wrote:
I'm kind of surprised reading this that nobody else did what our group did with Clara-247; once we disabled her ship we made a point to pull alongside to investigate. Which lead to a great encounter in vacuum as she waited until the Solarian hopped on top of her little coffin ship and then she popped out and engaged. Zero-g, vacuum, two ships with nothing but the void in between...that was a memorable fight. Meant that she was able to help us on the Aceton but she and the goblin prisoners where not keen on entering the Drift Rock proper after she got herself knocked up with some Void Death.

I was pretty worried that my players would do that too, sounds like an utterly epic fight though! You find yourself spinning out of control into the void of space... Some pretty scary repercussions there...

To avoid it I mentioned on the disabling shot that her ship careened out of control into the drift rock, seeming to get lodged there. That kind of made then think, "Meh, ok that thing isn't going anywhere. We'll get to it in our own time."

Liberty's Edge Contributor

GM Bugman wrote:
Commodore_RB wrote:
I'm kind of surprised reading this that nobody else did what our group did with Clara-247; once we disabled her ship we made a point to pull alongside to investigate. Which lead to a great encounter in vacuum as she waited until the Solarian hopped on top of her little coffin ship and then she popped out and engaged. Zero-g, vacuum, two ships with nothing but the void in between...that was a memorable fight. Meant that she was able to help us on the Aceton but she and the goblin prisoners where not keen on entering the Drift Rock proper after she got herself knocked up with some Void Death.

I was pretty worried that my players would do that too, sounds like an utterly epic fight though! You find yourself spinning out of control into the void of space... Some pretty scary repercussions there...

To avoid it I mentioned on the disabling shot that her ship careened out of control into the drift rock, seeming to get lodged there. That kind of made then think, "Meh, ok that thing isn't going anywhere. We'll get to it in our own time."

That's how I handled it, too. After taking the final points of damage it struggled until it crashed on the far side of the rock. We ended the session there and no one has mentioned the possible fate of the pilot since then. We have long waits between game sessions, so they may not even think to check on the crash site by the time they get over to the rock.


Paris Crenshaw wrote:
...We have long waits between game sessions,..

I hear ya. I've been lucky and this group has been able to do every other week lately but my weekend group is easily once a month. Stay strong.

@Kudaku
To follow up on Clara-247 as an ally (who we lovingly call "Clara 24-7"), this is how I modified the level 2 Clara-247 to balance being with the PCs. She explicitly negotiated in the contract that she wasn't interested in adventuring work so she just stays in the ship, and because of such I haven't leveled her up with the group. I like having her in my back pocket for in case the dice are brutal and the PCs deserve help, Clara swoops in with the Millennium Falcon. Anyways:

SP 12; HP 16; RP 5
EAC 16; KAC 17
Fort +0; Ref +7; Will +4
Melee: survival knife (+2)(1d4 S)
Ranged: Tactical shirren-eye rifle (+5)(1d10 P)
Ranged: laser pistol (+5)(1d4 F, Burn 1d4)
Trick Attack: Acrobatics or Stealth (+9)(1d4)
No Jump Jets or Precise Shot


Paris Crenshaw wrote:
GM Bugman wrote:
Commodore_RB wrote:
I'm kind of surprised reading this that nobody else did what our group did with Clara-247; once we disabled her ship we made a point to pull alongside to investigate. Which lead to a great encounter in vacuum as she waited until the Solarian hopped on top of her little coffin ship and then she popped out and engaged. Zero-g, vacuum, two ships with nothing but the void in between...that was a memorable fight. Meant that she was able to help us on the Aceton but she and the goblin prisoners where not keen on entering the Drift Rock proper after she got herself knocked up with some Void Death.

I was pretty worried that my players would do that too, sounds like an utterly epic fight though! You find yourself spinning out of control into the void of space... Some pretty scary repercussions there...

To avoid it I mentioned on the disabling shot that her ship careened out of control into the drift rock, seeming to get lodged there. That kind of made then think, "Meh, ok that thing isn't going anywhere. We'll get to it in our own time."

That's how I handled it, too. After taking the final points of damage it struggled until it crashed on the far side of the rock. We ended the session there and no one has mentioned the possible fate of the pilot since then. We have long waits between game sessions, so they may not even think to check on the crash site by the time they get over to the rock.

More's the pity. With her jump jets, she seemed practically designed for the fight in the void like that; it was only our GM's back-and-forth flipping that clued us in she was supposed to be fought later. Made for the most cinematic fight of the book, particularly when our solarian stellar rushed her, failed to catch her, and went Dutchman. Which led to frantic attempts to grapple him by the envoy and mechanic while my operative and the mystic kept fighting her. I'd encourage GMs reading this to let the players poke at her ship if they want.

Liberty's Edge Contributor

Commodore_RB wrote:
Paris Crenshaw wrote:
That's how I handled it, too. After taking the final points of damage it struggled until it crashed on the far side of the rock. We ended the session there and no one has mentioned the possible fate of the pilot since then. We have long waits between game sessions, so they may not even think to check on the crash site by the time they get over to the rock.
More's the pity. With her jump jets, she seemed practically designed for the fight in the void like that; it was only our GM's back-and-forth flipping that clued us in she was supposed to be fought later. Made for the most cinematic fight of the book, particularly when our solarian stellar rushed her, failed to catch her, and went Dutchman. Which led to frantic attempts to grapple him by the envoy and mechanic while my operative and the mystic kept fighting her. I'd encourage GMs reading this to let the players...

Sounds like a fun, memorable fight. I think it works just as well for her to duke it out with them right after the ship-to-ship combat. As long as she gets her "shot" at taking the PCs out, then she serves her purpose.

Liberty's Edge

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My group avoided the encounter entirely and she escaped. I am going to use her in book 3 somewhere. The microgravity aspect I used mainly because I wanted to try out the rules. It was an experience, and I recommend using them 100% raw. It made the players squirm.


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A group for which I am running Incident At Absalom Station had an interesting approach to the first section of the book:

Spoiler:

The party engaged full with the investigation into Kreel's death. In the chaotic moments following the firefight they stole Kreel's personal computer and hacked it to gain information on Kreel. That hack check, and every key culture, diplomacy, or profession check that came about, were all absurdly good rolls (17+). As the characters were hitting every 30+ roll, they were able to learn of Astral Extraction's ordering the death of Kreel. They also got in good with the Hardscrabble Collective.

All in all, this is great. We made the checks to get the information into interesting set of roleplaying encounters (including becoming indebted to some shady elements to get inside dirt on Astral Extractions), and it was a satisfying investigation for the PCs (Mama Fats and Jabaxa are the first memorable NPCs of the campaign).

But this means they had all the information they needed for Chiskesk from their checks, and didn't engage with the Downside Kings. Chiskesk mentioned that Astral Extractions was too powerful for the Starfinders to retaliate, but if the Downside Kings suffered a setback it would send a message. The PCs were (reasonably) unwilling to storm a gang hideout and start shooting. Instead they're surveilling the Kings, biding their time, and perhaps planning to ambush the leaders outside of the Fusion Queen.

From a story perspective, I'm fine with all of that. They have still come to the attention of Ambassador Nor, and what they do with the Downside Kings is up to them. I'll have to figure out how to keep them caught up on XP and cash - I don't think they missed out on all that much.

All in all, I'm pretty impressed with it. The PCs and Players are fully engaged with Absalom Station, and while I had no way to predict their course of action, the module had plenty of information to let me fill in the details.

I figured I'd post this here in case other groups have similar results.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I let the PCs save Kreel (twice)and its been good so far. We just finished part 1 of book 1. I had him hire the pcs to investigate AE but switch to figuring out if someone was trying to murder him. Now the PCs want to investigate the rock as they think it is involved.

I have Kreel looking for a way to get them over to the Acreon right now.


My pbp group was split - first wave was 5 PCs (2 unfortunately dropped out) - they witnessed Kreel's death, and began an investigation...

Second wave was 3 replacement PCs who were wards/previous recruits of Kreel's. One was an android named as his next-of-kin, all 3 bore witness to the RIProtocols of Kreel's funeral (including his final wish to have his ashes compressed and the resultant mineral to join The Diaspora).

The group's converged at the Starfinders (thanks in part to original trio having Kreel's data pad and the Duravor Three tracking it down).

They have joined forces - increasingly suspect foul play and Astral Extractions motivations. The party have reached out to the Hardscrabble but nothing thus far. An underworld fixer contact brokered a sit-down with the Level21Crew and they are currently sipping on Kamasake at Mama Fats'.

So far so good... been a slow burn with lots of world building - real 2000AD/Cyber-punk feel at the moment.

Will keep you all updated :)


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About to run this in two weeks. Looking forward to SF and this AP. Just had an idea for an Envoy "Director" NPC who is filming the party's progress after their fame on the Drift Rock.

All of his buffs will be themed on trying to make their fights more exciting for the film. "We need more explosions!" "How about a headshot on that monster?" "This is a bad angle for the camera, move over there!"


I'm running this for my two kids, so I lowered all npcs array down one step - only until they level up, which should happen twice as fast as normally.

So far they destroyed the kings on the first encounter without breaking a sweat... maybe I nerfed the goons too much.


I am running this in a PbP and it has been going well. The biggest hurdle so far is getting them to go to the Downside King's place. They have made the valid argument that a level one group shouldn't be able to take out a notorious gang. I think they have accepted that all leads point them here and I wouldn't do that to just kill them. It sucks that they needed to meta game to make this decision but I understand why they think this is a bad way to go.


LoreMaster GM wrote:
I am running this in a PbP and it has been going well. The biggest hurdle so far is getting them to go to the Downside King's place. They have made the valid argument that a level one group shouldn't be able to take out a notorious gang. I think they have accepted that all leads point them here and I wouldn't do that to just kill them. It sucks that they needed to meta game to make this decision but I understand why they think this is a bad way to go.

My players made the same decision in a less-meta fashion: They didn't want to tangle with a gang in the gang's hide-out. Not a bad choice, honestly. The story progresses without it being necessary.

Dark Archive

My group was in a similar position, so I "motivated" them to act quickly. They had made friends with "Jubby" the boss of the Level 21 gang and had a secondary meeting with him. When they arrived, they found the place on fire and Jubby missing, reports being he had been dragged off by the Kings. That spurred them into action and they stormed the place.


I let the PCs save Kreel and his family (oh yeah and I gave him a family).

I also had the astral extractions pay both gangs to make the assassination more like a one sided set up.

I let the PCs change the deed of the fusion queen and now we’re playing Barfinder.


Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I started running Incident at Absalom Station last night with my group, which is made up of a drow operative (currently disguised as a human), an android technomancer, and a ysoki technomancer. They made it through the gang fight, mainly by running and trying to drag Kreel away. I allowed them to get Kreel to a medical facility (as two of the players desperately wanted to save him) but then had him mysteriously killed with an unknown poison while in the back, whispering to them to see Chiskisk as his final words.

Things seemed like they'd be fine and back on the path after that except the Drow player is for some reason very suspicious of Chiskisk and thinks the whole thing was an inside job from within the Starfinder Society. She decided to go investigate the gangs on her own and is now heading to the Fusion Queen, alone and unarmed (because she snuck out while the others were sleeping/researching Chiskisk and Kreel). I'm not sure if she'll survive past the start of the next session, depending on how things go there.


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Splitting the party is usually a bad idea, specially in a small group like this. Just have the bouncers knock her unconscious and kick her outside in a garbage pile, right as the other players arrive.

Liberty's Edge Contributor

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Hey, Folks!

I put together shipsheets for the ships used in the campaign. I'll add pages to it when parts 5 and 6 come out, as well. The stats and DCs for some of the offensive actions on the enemy ships' sheets are based on fighting the Sunrise Maiden as she is presented in the first book.

Dead Suns Shipsheets.PDF

Enjoy!

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

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pfresh85 wrote:
Things seemed like they'd be fine and back on the path after that except the Drow player is for some reason very suspicious of Chiskisk and thinks the whole thing was an inside job from within the Starfinder Society. She decided to go investigate the gangs on her own and is now heading to the Fusion Queen, alone and unarmed (because she snuck out while the others were sleeping/researching Chiskisk and Kreel). I'm not sure if she'll survive past the start of the next session, depending on how things go there.

To the Dark Elf's credit, this kind of "inside job" likely does happen frequently in Drow society.


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Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Lord Fyre wrote:


To the Dark Elf's credit, this kind of "inside job" likely does happen frequently in Drow society.

The guy playing the drow is actually really good at getting into character, so the suspicion fits. I'm just worried he'll get his character killed or ruffed up too much before the other players can figure out the drow's whereabouts.


Fusion Queen is a busy club, so no reason why the drow PC couldn't get in and out after gathering some basic intel - layout and info on the Kings.

If they arouse suspicion from Kings gangers or worse yet actually get captured, then you could have them held/questioned/Interrogated in the Fusion Queen by Ferani & Hatchbuster. Having them a captive/bargaining chip would make for an interesting dynamic when the rest of the party come knocking...

If they are captured could be they hear the Kings leadership mention AE's involvement or have them chase the final downpayment of their deal from Ms Joss?

My group are just planning how to take on the Kings and have made a "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" type alliance with the Level 21 Crew...

@Paris: Cheers for the ship sheets - great resource :)


wow.. make absolutely sure the party is level 2 like the module says. That last boss is lethal....


Question about the Acreon:

Spoiler:

How do folks handle the passage of time on board the ship? My party cleared most of the ship, but locked themselves on the bridge for a long rest before going to the Drift Rock (the shuttle had previously departed when three party members contracted void death).

I have no problem with this, as they were exhausted and reasonably in a place of safety. But do the Akata just stay locked in their respective rooms? I don't see any way for them to get out.

It also doesn't make sense for Clara-247 to stay put at this point. She has a job to do. Any suggestions on how she would act? I was thinking she'd set-up an ambush at the airlocks to try to get the PCs when they were off-guard.

Suggestions appreciated.


Brother Willi wrote:

Question about the Acreon:

** spoiler omitted **

Suggestions appreciated.

There are really no wrong answers here, but personally when I'm uncertain how something would react, I leave it up to the dice. Roll a d20 and 1-2 = phase through a wall or door and attack, 3-5 = scratching on the walls, 6-20 = nothing. Maybe modify the numbers if they don't set a watch to incentivize watches in the future. The fun part about setting a watch is that the rest would take longer for everyone to get 8 hours, which allows for more rolls for void death.

As for Clara-247, think about her position. There's likely no way for her to know when they will come out of the Acreon, so crawling up the tow cable seems risky. She would be a sitting duck if they opened the airlock while she's halfway up. I should think she would hunker down on the Drift Rock out of sight, waiting in ambush. Maybe even approach the tow cable and take a few shots while the party navigates the cable, hoping to get them to let go and drift into space if they don't pass a (low) reflex save. If the party takes the Hippocampus to the Drift Rock instead of traversing the cable, then she could slink away to avoid detection and ambush the party in the regular location.


Clara should definitely steal the hippocampus and take off - maybe wait in hiding to strike at them alongside the corpse fleet, or take pot shots while they travel to and explore the drift rock.

Maybe she tries to steal it but sets off an alarm on a PC com unit and they fight her at the hippo, while it rolls on itself, dangerously out of control.

If the akata know they are inside the ship (if they came within 10 ft while in vacuum or 60 ft if they restored atmosphere), they should wait for them just outside the bridge, maybe even scratch the door a little. Otherwise, they seem pretty used to waiting in place doing nothing.

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