The Ruined Clouds (GM Reference)


Dead Suns

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Liberty's Edge

Does anyone have a map of the Emerald Landing Pad? I am trying to build a VTT for Book 4 now, and it seems that we are limited on maps once again.

Liberty's Edge

I made a sloppy map for the Emerald Landing Pad in case anyone is interested.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=14l1VJvQte-W8qhzzQV_5th7sJAsg4wnO


Jason Keeley wrote:

*looks around in embarrassment*

Ok, wow. Wow! What *was* I thinking? What *was* I smoking?

For Hybeki, I bet my eyes slid down a row to give her the CR 9 EAC and KAC. She should be EAC 20 and KAC 22.

As for Xavra, well, this was actually still pretty early on, written before we had even really finished with Alien Archive. It looks like I gave him all the AC of his armor plus his Dex bonus and...oops!

I would change that to be EAC 24 and KAC 26, giving him the numbers from the array with an additional +1 due to solarian armor.

Hope that helps and sorry for any TPKs!

Aha, that makes sense. We just fought Xavra and boy howdy. My wife's mystic got him and two minions in a Slow spell round one and then we stacked up the Hit Special: Wisp Ally, Trick Attack Flat Feet, Get 'Em, and Flanking (before combat drone got killed) and still only my super-dexy operative was hitting with any regularity. Miracle worker shot critting and a mind thrust II getting not resisted were still key getting him down before our Solarian bit it.

The Solarian, my brother-in-law, did have a great last line. Before realizing that Xavra was an Armorlarion he saw the mote, gasped with glee, and yelled out "Lightsaber fight!" Active haste circuit and go to town.

So I'm saying...goofing on the armor made it awesome.
But wither credits Jason?

Paizo Employee Developer

Commodore_RB wrote:
Jason Keeley wrote:

*looks around in embarrassment*

Ok, wow. Wow! What *was* I thinking? What *was* I smoking?

For Hybeki, I bet my eyes slid down a row to give her the CR 9 EAC and KAC. She should be EAC 20 and KAC 22.

As for Xavra, well, this was actually still pretty early on, written before we had even really finished with Alien Archive. It looks like I gave him all the AC of his armor plus his Dex bonus and...oops!

I would change that to be EAC 24 and KAC 26, giving him the numbers from the array with an additional +1 due to solarian armor.

Hope that helps and sorry for any TPKs!

Aha, that makes sense. We just fought Xavra and boy howdy. My wife's mystic got him and two minions in a Slow spell round one and then we stacked up the Hit Special: Wisp Ally, Trick Attack Flat Feet, Get 'Em, and Flanking (before combat drone got killed) and still only my super-dexy operative was hitting with any regularity. Miracle worker shot critting and a mind thrust II getting not resisted were still key getting him down before our Solarian bit it.

The Solarian, my brother-in-law, did have a great last line. Before realizing that Xavra was an Armorlarion he saw the mote, gasped with glee, and yelled out "Lightsaber fight!" Active haste circuit and go to town.

So I'm saying...goofing on the armor made it awesome.
But wither credits Jason?

Well congrats!

As for credits, this ancient city that has existed long before the Azlanti were even a gleam in some boleti's eye isn't exactly going to have modern-day currency just lying around.

Besides, the real treasure is the friendships you made along the way.


Jason Keeley wrote:

As for credits, this ancient city that has existed long before the Azlanti were even a gleam in some boleti's eye isn't exactly going to have modern-day currency just lying around.

Besides, the real treasure is the friendships you made along the way.

But the friends are impoverished aboriginal people. Who I worry we might have taught a very bad lesson about trusting alien invaders.

If you included valuables, like enough of them to give a brother an ultra-thin cane sword, our GM missed it. Could you maybe send him a note about WBL?

Seriously, top notch adventure, was a blast to play, thanks man.

Paizo Employee Developer

Commodore_RB wrote:
Jason Keeley wrote:

As for credits, this ancient city that has existed long before the Azlanti were even a gleam in some boleti's eye isn't exactly going to have modern-day currency just lying around.

Besides, the real treasure is the friendships you made along the way.

But the friends are impoverished aboriginal people. Who I worry we might have taught a very bad lesson about trusting alien invaders.

If you included valuables, like enough of them to give a brother an ultra-thin cane sword, our GM missed it. Could you maybe send him a note about WBL?

Seriously, top notch adventure, was a blast to play, thanks man.

No, thank YOU!

I feel like I did ok seeding the city with treasure (though not credsticks). Maybe your group just missed a couple of stashes?


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm not sure should this comment be here or on general rules section but really, the SecuriTech building access explicitly says you CAN'T park a spaceship in the air. WTF, you can by a drone from a market that has the ability to stay in a spot and compensate for any wind automatically but the starship with AI-computer can't do this? :D

I was going to allow them to just station the ship above the building and go down with the rope, telling the AI to hold position if they decided to do this, but they got the climbing gear from the outcasts and went that way so no problem here. I was wondering about the motivation of the aberrations outside the SecuriTech building. They were fleeing the swarm and ran into the players. However, they can fly so why just not continue up or something. The poor things got slaughtered in 2 rounds because they decided to throw poop on the players :D

Fun adventure otherwise, when you just ignore the english/kish/kishalee -translation problems and the fact that there is a suprising amount of ancient stuff still around after millenia of looting and decay :) "Magic/SciFi/Don't ask" works just fine there :D

PS. The "microwave oven" in House of Renewal was brutal, the only really tech-savvy char went in and got cooked really bad. Just before going down she managed to remotely hack the machine since her friends could not shut it down :P Although I still can't believe she was dumb enough to go in there...


rixu wrote:
PS. The "microwave oven" in House of Renewal was brutal, the only really tech-savvy char went in and got cooked really bad. Just before going down she managed to remotely hack the machine since her friends could not shut it down :P Although I still can't believe she was dumb enough to go in there...

Our Ysoki envoy is about 90% bald due to radiation, thanks to that. Having two very tech-savvy characters does nothing when nobody can roll above a three.

Between that and Eox book 7 is going to be all about cancer.

Liberty's Edge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So maybe I have missed something flipping through the module, gazetteer and Codex of Worlds; but what is the atmosphere on Istamak like? Are environmental suits required or can the characters walk around unprotected? The landing pad is described as "mostly open to the sky"; is there oxygen here?

The kish seem to run around with archaic gear on, which specifically does not have environmental protection, so that points to breathable atmosphere. The razor grass stuff could definitely be problematic if atmosphere is an issue...


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Extrabonus: if a character is fatigued from the radiation sickness he most likely will get crushed by the Securitech building. Now we have no techies :P Oh, and they almost lost the access because she was the one who hacked the computers. She had a helper so I said he can also remember it, otherwise they would have probably shot the Foundry open with the starship weaponry...


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I have to add that the previous message was not a complaint, just a notice. Everyone thought the crashing building was a nice episode with some excitement and everyone else got out just fine, this one char just happened to be on 0 stamina and the house took HPs all at once.

If there was something strange in the Securitech building it was the fact that the computers were untouched by time and the mold. Since there was no power or magical reason that just sounded strange. If I would run the adventure now I'd probably change it so that the computers-rolls are to go through the servers hardware and find some static data crystals that have the info, might sound better than finding 1000 years old computers that just need to be plugged in :D

I also wondered what kind of preservatives were the Kishalee using if protein cubes lasted for almost a millenium until getting bad and evolving into the swarm :D

But these are small nyances, mostly the book was solid at least until now, we'll get to the foundry on Tuesday :)


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

So some more thoughts after finishing the book just 12 hours ago with my group. And I have to give a disclaimer, I'm trying to write in positive tone but us Finns tend to be blunt instruments even when not meaning to, don't take any offence :D

Anyway, when they were in the Foundry they got through it quite easily, the elementals might have been hard if they had more room, but since they are 4 large creatures they were restricted to 2 fighting and 2 standing behind the others so not real threat here. Hybeki managed to beat the team "tank" quite badly before the others got rid of the pets and slew her too. But the real deal was the fight with Xavra, everyone liked this since actually 2 chars needed to revive themselves with Resolve and he really made a number on third one too. Although the Time Dilation was "nerfed" by the fact that most had haste circuits it nicely took the circuits away from them (really powerful mods, I have to say. Especially to melee solarian). The only thing they wondered was that how in hell a Kish, who is defending his holy place, goes blasting with supernova in the holiest place they have. We did wonder how did the correct datapad even survive the two supernovas he unleashed :) This was not a technical problem and the fight was entertaining but did make a number on story immersion since even our own solarian, who realized Xavra was a solarian, was certain he would never use supernova in the library. Well, maybe he just was stupid and fanatic :) Anyway, nice ending and off to TTG we go next week :)

Paizo Employee Developer

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Sounds exciting!

Xavra is the kind of fanatic that doesn't really care about the texts of a religion, and merely wants to stop perceived "heretics" and "outsiders" from doing things he thinks are bad in the name of said religion. So all those "holy" texts, unfortunate collateral.


Hi there,

I'm a bit confused by the Temple Found map on p.29. Are areas D1 and D2 below D3? The stairs make me think they are but I'm not sure.

Thanks!

Richard

Paizo Employee Developer

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richgreen01 wrote:

Hi there,

I'm a bit confused by the Temple Found map on p.29. Are areas D1 and D2 below D3? The stairs make me think they are but I'm not sure.

Thanks!

Richard

Indeed they are!

Liberty's Edge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
dmchucky69 wrote:

So maybe I have missed something flipping through the module, gazetteer and Codex of Worlds; but what is the atmosphere on Istamak like? Are environmental suits required or can the characters walk around unprotected? The landing pad is described as "mostly open to the sky"; is there oxygen here?

The kish seem to run around with archaic gear on, which specifically does not have environmental protection, so that points to breathable atmosphere. The razor grass stuff could definitely be problematic if atmosphere is an issue...

Still need an answer on this one. Any help would be appreciated.


Starfinder Superscriber

I think it says pretty early on in the adventure that the layer of atmosphere that Istamak is floating in is similar enough to Golarion normal that you don't need the environmental protections. But I'm AFB so I'm not 100% sure on that.

Paizo Employee Developer

Yeah, I wouldn't worry about environmental protections on Istamak. (I can't find where if anywhere we mentioned the atmosphere.) If the kish breathe the same type of air, then you can have one join your crew if you need without worrying too much about their environmental protections always being on!

The Exchange

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
rixu wrote:
The only thing they wondered was that how in hell a Kish, who is defending his holy place, goes blasting with supernova in the holiest place they have.

Supernova only damages creatures so all the relics would be fine.

Liberty's Edge

I have a serious technical complaint about the PDF which is available to all subscribers concerning Vol 4 of the Dead Suns AP. I have not checked yet as to whether the same problem is present in Vol 5. The problem is not present in Vols 1, 2 and 3 of the Dead Suns AP.

In previous PDFs published by Paizo -- virtually every single one of them going back to the very first PDF released for Pathfinder, the PDF security is set so that an end user can still use a software tool to extract the images from the PDF file.

In Vol 4 of Dead Suns, I can no longer do this with your PDF file. You have changed some setting within InDesign to prevent me from doing this. I expect this is unintentional -- but unintentional or not, the problem for your end users is significant.

I use the PDFs to create my adventures for use by my players on a VTT. I need to be able to access both the maps and character art within the PDFs to be able to do this. I can't access the character art in this volume and the Character art JPG and PNG image mask is not extractable.

Please appreciate that I subscribe to the Starfinder AP line so that I will have the PDF for the adventure from Paizo available to me to assist me in running my games via VTT. That is the principle reason why I do so. By locking the character images from being accessed and extracted in this fashion, a significant element of the reason I subscribe in the first place has been removed from the product. That's a MAJOR problem for your subscribers as it impacts on its value-in-use when using the product to play Starfinder.


Jason Keeley wrote:
Commodore_RB wrote:
Jason Keeley wrote:

As for credits, this ancient city that has existed long before the Azlanti were even a gleam in some boleti's eye isn't exactly going to have modern-day currency just lying around.

Besides, the real treasure is the friendships you made along the way.

But the friends are impoverished aboriginal people. Who I worry we might have taught a very bad lesson about trusting alien invaders.

If you included valuables, like enough of them to give a brother an ultra-thin cane sword, our GM missed it. Could you maybe send him a note about WBL?

Seriously, top notch adventure, was a blast to play, thanks man.

No, thank YOU!

I feel like I did ok seeding the city with treasure (though not credsticks). Maybe your group just missed a couple of stashes?

I did the math assuming the PC's sell everything. They got the gear off the Azlanti, stripped every Kish except for the Priest, and got all the stashes of loot. I didn't account for the ammo and batteries found in the adventure, as they'll be used in the combat encounters.

Assuming every piece of loot is sold, the total is 39,533.5 credits. That's 9,883 credits per PC. We could make it an even 40k to make up for anything I might've missed some equipment. That's a 12k deficit. The wealth by level is 22k credits total from level 7-9.

So either there is another grave misprint, or the designer only account for 1 level up worth of loot for everyone to get. Reminder that this is if the PC do not keep a single piece of gear. Even though there's a level 10 armor& weapon, 2 Haste Circuits, 2 Deflective Reinforcements, 2 Jetpacks, cool tech gear, and useful magic items PC's are unlikely to sell.

Paizo Employee Developer

Jesta wrote:
Jason Keeley wrote:
Commodore_RB wrote:
Jason Keeley wrote:

As for credits, this ancient city that has existed long before the Azlanti were even a gleam in some boleti's eye isn't exactly going to have modern-day currency just lying around.

Besides, the real treasure is the friendships you made along the way.

But the friends are impoverished aboriginal people. Who I worry we might have taught a very bad lesson about trusting alien invaders.

If you included valuables, like enough of them to give a brother an ultra-thin cane sword, our GM missed it. Could you maybe send him a note about WBL?

Seriously, top notch adventure, was a blast to play, thanks man.

No, thank YOU!

I feel like I did ok seeding the city with treasure (though not credsticks). Maybe your group just missed a couple of stashes?

I did the math assuming the PC's sell everything. They got the gear off the Azlanti, stripped every Kish except for the Priest, and got all the stashes of loot. I didn't account for the ammo and batteries found in the adventure, as they'll be used in the combat encounters.

Assuming every piece of loot is sold, the total is 39,533.5 credits. That's 9,883 credits per PC. We could make it an even 40k to make up for anything I might've missed some equipment. That's a 12k deficit. The wealth by level is 22k credits total from level 7-9.

So either there is another grave misprint, or the designer only account for 1 level up worth of loot for everyone to get. Reminder that this is if the PC do not keep a single piece of gear. Even though there's a level 10 armor& weapon, 2 Haste Circuits, 2 Deflective Reinforcements, 2 Jetpacks, cool tech gear, and useful magic items PC's are unlikely to sell.

Wealth by Level is meant to include the full price of the gear a character is wearing and wielding. When we populate an adventure with treasure, we assume the PCs will keep something like a suit of armor that is a few levels above their current level. It isn't a perfect science, so your mileage may vary!


Jason Keeley wrote:
Jesta wrote:
Jason Keeley wrote:
Commodore_RB wrote:
Jason Keeley wrote:

As for credits, this ancient city that has existed long before the Azlanti were even a gleam in some boleti's eye isn't exactly going to have modern-day currency just lying around.

Besides, the real treasure is the friendships you made along the way.

But the friends are impoverished aboriginal people. Who I worry we might have taught a very bad lesson about trusting alien invaders.

If you included valuables, like enough of them to give a brother an ultra-thin cane sword, our GM missed it. Could you maybe send him a note about WBL?

Seriously, top notch adventure, was a blast to play, thanks man.

No, thank YOU!

I feel like I did ok seeding the city with treasure (though not credsticks). Maybe your group just missed a couple of stashes?

I did the math assuming the PC's sell everything. They got the gear off the Azlanti, stripped every Kish except for the Priest, and got all the stashes of loot. I didn't account for the ammo and batteries found in the adventure, as they'll be used in the combat encounters.

Assuming every piece of loot is sold, the total is 39,533.5 credits. That's 9,883 credits per PC. We could make it an even 40k to make up for anything I might've missed some equipment. That's a 12k deficit. The wealth by level is 22k credits total from level 7-9.

So either there is another grave misprint, or the designer only account for 1 level up worth of loot for everyone to get. Reminder that this is if the PC do not keep a single piece of gear. Even though there's a level 10 armor& weapon, 2 Haste Circuits, 2 Deflective Reinforcements, 2 Jetpacks, cool tech gear, and useful magic items PC's are unlikely to sell.

Wealth by Level is meant to include the full price of the gear a character is wearing and wielding. When we populate an adventure with treasure, we assume the PCs will keep something like a suit of armor that is a few...

Oh, I thought it was the amount of liquid capital the party should have per level. So far my party has sold their loot and it came to equal the WBL or pretty close to it each time. Thanks for clarifying!

Liberty's Edge Contributor

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I finally got around to updating these. The shipsheets below include every ship involved in combat presented throughout the AP. The DCs are calculated based on the premise that the PCs' ship's tier will be equivalent to the APL recommended at that part of the campaign.

Dead Suns Shipsheets (DS 1-6).PDF

There are lots of numbers to juggle, here, so I may have made some errors. Please let me know if you find any mistakes.

Thanks!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

Hey all, thought I'd take a stab at making the landing pad too. This is a section of the landing pad that's heading toward the ramp and thus the ship isn't on-screen on this map but it should work for the encounter.

I hope this link works. Let me know if it doesn't.


Pathfinder Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

Sorry to double-post but I've hit on a problem while preparing my notes for this game (and my time-span to edit the last one's up). I can't find the Sharpwing's reach anywhere. I know it's a large animal but it doesn't tell me if it has a 5 foot or 10 foot reach.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

The Space/Reach line is indeed missing from its statblock, and it is missing in its Alien Archive as well. I'd go with a 5 ft. reach.


Hi guys, I know it’s been awhile since this came out, but we took a break to play a Cheliax campaign of evil, and now that I have book 6, we’re doing the last half of Dead Suns.

I was wondering about the building collapse. It seems deadly as hell, which is fine, but there is no XP reward at the end of it. This strikes me as odd, considering the amount of hazards they have to survive, and the last one out is 100% taking damage (unless the operative with evasion is last I guess).

Is this intentional?


Starfinder Superscriber
Xeall wrote:
I was wondering about the building collapse. It seems deadly as hell, which is fine, but there is no XP reward at the end of it.

Collapse is a CR 9 encounter, and as such should reward 6400 XP (to a party of four).

Paizo Employee Developer

Zaister wrote:
The Space/Reach line is indeed missing from its statblock, and it is missing in its Alien Archive as well. I'd go with a 5 ft. reach.

5-foot reach sounds about right to me!

Paizo Employee Developer

Berggen wrote:
Xeall wrote:
I was wondering about the building collapse. It seems deadly as hell, which is fine, but there is no XP reward at the end of it.
Collapse is a CR 9 encounter, and as such should reward 6400 XP (to a party of four).

Indeed, that should have a story award of 6,400 XP.


Jason Keeley wrote:
Berggen wrote:
Xeall wrote:
I was wondering about the building collapse. It seems deadly as hell, which is fine, but there is no XP reward at the end of it.
Collapse is a CR 9 encounter, and as such should reward 6400 XP (to a party of four).
Indeed, that should have a story award of 6,400 XP.

Thank you muchly. Felt mean not to reward the players last session when it happens. Especially as the Vesk Mechanic failed his last check to leave, got his leg trapped in the collapsing building and the Solarian knowing he didn’t have the time or serums to keep him going, took the radical decision to remove his leg and haul him out.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Hey folks, so I'm mapping out the Xavra fight, and it specifies that he begins on the balcony, but nowhere does it say how high the balcony is off the ground. I would like to assume 10-feet, since Xavra could jump that without injury, but I'd rather be sure if at all possible.


Paris Crenshaw wrote:
there's no reason a player couldn't replace her dead PC with a kish (at least, assuming you're not playing this under Starfinder Society rules). However, that PC would be severely limited... they would have no knowledge of advanced technology and the timeline of the adventure wouldn't give them time that would normally be required to learn that information. A kish soldier or mystic might be helpful, but the PC wouldn't be able to help much in starship combat or any other high-tech challenges.

I say bah to that (and I realise I'm responding to an old comment. At least it's from this calendar year). Teal'c from Stargate and Ronan from Stargate Atlantis had no issues with that. Yes they were both soldiers (so no advanced computer checks for them), but Ronan could still offer dumb insights into a problem that would happen to resolve it despite not understanding the technology involved.

It's a common sci-fi trope to recruit a native to your team and have them be able to do all sorts of things they need to in order to contribute to the story.


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John Lynch 106 wrote:
Paris Crenshaw wrote:
there's no reason a player couldn't replace her dead PC with a kish (at least, assuming you're not playing this under Starfinder Society rules). However, that PC would be severely limited... they would have no knowledge of advanced technology and the timeline of the adventure wouldn't give them time that would normally be required to learn that information. A kish soldier or mystic might be helpful, but the PC wouldn't be able to help much in starship combat or any other high-tech challenges.

I say bah to that (and I realise I'm responding to an old comment. At least it's from this calendar year). Teal'c from Stargate and Ronan from Stargate Atlantis had no issues with that. Yes they were both soldiers (so no advanced computer checks for them), but Ronan could still offer dumb insights into a problem that would happen to resolve it despite not understanding the technology involved.

It's a common sci-fi trope to recruit a native to your team and have them be able to do all sorts of things they need to in order to contribute to the story.

I have to agree. One of my players bit the bullet from Radiation Sickness, on their way from Eox to the Nejeor System, so I took him aside before we started part 4, and gave him the option to start as a Kish, which he took, playing a Kish Solarian.

It was great fun having him roleplay a species that was pretty much primitive compared to the rest of the party. We got past the whole language barrier eventually by having our envoy Xenoseeker use their Quick Pidgin ability, as well as our Mystic casting Share Language (Which Tzayl was able to cast as well, to help with spell per day loss). I gradually let him understand bits of Common, until they all gained a level, and allowed him to learn Common from a level in Culture.

He was still bound to gear only the Kish have on hand listed in the AP, but allowed that he could have non-Archaic versions, which we flavored as being made with alloy scavenged from Kishalee tech. Having a Dwarven Mechanic with UPBs to spare, didn't hurt either as she eventually built him some gear.

Overall, it actually worked out quite well for the story. I gave the Kish PC all the details of what was happening within the Kish society, and told him of the events which transpired before the Sunrise Maiden landed, and he was able to act as a guide, and eventually translator for the party. It really helped bridge the gap between the Kish and the party, and gave more urgency, and feeling to wanting to help the Kish out. I especially enjoyed his reactions to advanced technology, and all the universe had to hold. Our Mystic pretty much shattered his perception of reality daily, using Mindlink to teach him new things. Great fun!

Liberty's Edge

Nice story G-Prime

So something came up when our group met with the Kish. They asked how the Kish handled The Gap and why they thought so highly of their ancestors, if they couldn’t remember any of them … and I didn’t know what to tell them. One of my previous GMs had implied that The Gap only applied to races that had some contact with Golarion, but I don’t know if that is actually true or not. At the time, I told my players, “she gives your characters a satisfactory answer that your GM doesn’t have” and moved on, but I would actually like to give them an answer.

My players are very direct and believe they are under a time crunch so I suspect they will go straight to the Temple Found and try to pick the lock (thus bypassing half of the content). The Temple Found lock DC is really high … but this is the same group that got the DC 40 to disarm the Azlanti ship’s self-destruct so I know they can do it. I don’t mind if they roll really high and pick the lock, but I want to do something to stop them from just taking a 20. Does anyone have any ideas? I could just tell them that they only get one chance to pick it, but Starfinder tends to let people retry checks a couple of times and then something bad happens (like after two failed attempts to hack a computer the data is wiped) and I was hoping for something that matches that feel. Any ideas?


ComicViolence wrote:

So something came up when our group met with the Kish. They asked how the Kish handled The Gap and why they thought so highly of their ancestors, if they couldn’t remember any of them … and I didn’t know what to tell them. One of my previous GMs had implied that The Gap only applied to races that had some contact with Golarion, but I don’t know if that is actually true or not. At the time, I told my players, “she gives your characters a satisfactory answer that your GM doesn’t have” and moved on, but I would actually like to give them an answer.

I brought that up in the Thirteenth Gate thread, but my question was unfortunately dismissed as a misunderstanding of the gap, even though I'm pretty sure I was right.

If the Kish were affected by the Gap, then yes, they should forget their ancestors. However, their influence was all around them, so it could explain why they lost the knowledge and started misinterpreting their environment; and started believing their (now unknown) ancestors were god-like.
While this works, it doesn't explain why the historical record in the foundry are still accurate. The lore states that the Gap altered historical record, so why the datapad with coordinates to the gate is still accurate? Here, as a GM, I would argue for 'gods-did-it', aka the Devourer wants the stellar degenerator to be found for the lulz.
Now, why are the AI still active with full memory of pre-gap events in the Thirteenth Gate? I cannot find a good answer for this one.


The Gap altered historical records of the Gap period itself. It didn't affect anything prior to that. Immortal beings that lived through the Gap remember (as well as they can something thousands of years ago) everything prior the Gap. Records inscribed prior the Gap also remain. Records inscribed during the Gap about events prior the Gap might remain, it's unclear.


So the Gap is inconsistent. It fluctuates from place to place by a few centuries (Core, p. 424). But more importantly, history before the Gap is still fine, it's just subject to the natural entropy of time that makes it hard to determine what happened before. The Kishalee were a preGap society, their records are just fine.


ComicViolence wrote:
My players are very direct and believe they are under a time crunch so I suspect they will go straight to the Temple Found and try to pick the lock (thus bypassing half of the content). The Temple Found lock DC is really high … but this is the same group that got the DC 40 to disarm the Azlanti ship’s self-destruct so I know they can do it. I don’t mind if they roll really high and pick the lock, but I want to do something to stop them from just taking a 20. Does anyone have any ideas? I could just tell them that they only get one chance to pick it, but Starfinder tends to let people retry checks a couple of times and then something bad happens (like after two failed attempts to hack a computer the data is wiped) and I was hoping for something that matches that feel. Any ideas?

The AP states "A PC can hack the keypad by succeeding at a DC 35 Computers check or bypass it by succeeding at a DC 38 Engineering check."

The rules of the Computers skill to Hack System automatically trigger any countermeasures if you Take 20 without first disabling them, so you could always just add some countermeasures to try to deter your PCs (letting them know the countermeasures exist, and then tell them of the option to seek out the security code in the Securitech Offices). You could also add a firewall to the computer that runs the keypad, which would increase the difficulty. Also, the Engineering skill to Disable Device prevents Taking 20 altogether.

"If you fail a Computers check to hack a system, you might trigger a countermeasure, if one has been installed. If you take 20 on a Computers check to hack a system with countermeasures without first disabling or destroying them, the countermeasures are automatically activated." CRB PG. 139.

"Due to the danger, you cannot take 20 on an Engineering check to disable a device." CRB PG. 141.


How the Gap worked is this:
Everyone forgot everything that happened in the years during the Gap (yet to be determined how many years that was). However I still knew my name, knew who my wife was, knew our kids, knew how to speak, do my job, which god I worshiped, etc.

If someone thought about something like "what's my name?" they might get stumped. But if someone said "Hello George" the person would respond "Hello, how are you?" before even thinking about it.

So in summation people knew their passwords, but they didn't know what they did yesterday.

ComicViolence wrote:
So something came up when our group met with the Kish. They asked how the Kish handled The Gap and why they thought so highly of their ancestors, if they couldn’t remember any of them … and I didn’t know what to tell them. One of my previous GMs had implied that The Gap only applied to races that had some contact with Golarion, but I don’t know if that is actually true or not. At the time, I told my players, “she gives your characters a satisfactory answer that your GM doesn’t have” and moved on, but I would actually like to give them an answer.

Regardless of what I said above, we can still have some fun with it:

Scenario #1: Mirror Universe
The Kishalee created a planet wide defense system that stops things like the Stellar Degenerator or powerful magic from targeting the world. What this does is it displaces the world from this universe with objects in the same space in the alternate universe for 1 year before switching them back.

In the mirror universe the Kishalee did not place the Stellar Degenerator into a pocket universe. They used it to create an interstellar empire with any who opposed them punished with the death of their sun. They were eventually punished with a strike against their worlds with several of them getting blown up by <death star equivalent>.

The Kish world returned to the prime universe automatically after 1 year. The Kish thmeselves recall the teleportation as the day the stars changed. It was seen as an omen at the time that the ancestors were angry and so the kish did <blah> to appease them. When the stars changed back the Kish were relieved and stopped doing <blah> as they had paid repentance for their sins.

The Kish never received knowledge of the Drift as they were not in the universe when it occurred (while the Gap affected the material plane and the elemental planes, etc. It did not touch alternative universes).
---
I haven't thought of any satisfactory alternative explanations yet.

Liberty's Edge

I understand how the Gap works. I have read everything I can find that Paizo has officially said about it. But while people might remember their passwords, they don’t seem to know things like “my people used to have a great space empire before it crumbled”. As such, I have no really good explanation for why the Kish know so much about their ancestors. The book specifically says that the story of Lord’s Folly has changed over the centuries, but how can they still have this kind of story if they lost all of their historical memories and don’t know a written language. How do they even know their ancestors built the city (as opposed to found it)?

More and more I am starting to think that Jason Keeley either forgot about The Gap or intestinally didn’t make mention of it because it muddled the story he was trying to tell. In the spirit of that second theory, I am thinking of telling my players that these people just didn’t experience The Gap and leave it at that. The Gap is already mysterious and one planet not being affected by it would probably just add to that mystery.

So you can’t literally take 20 on a disable device check … but if there isn’t a countermeasure on the lock then the players can just keep trying until they succeed, effectively taking 20. I guess what I am asking is what are some good countermeasures for this lock. I was thinking maybe an alarm that alerts all of the Kish inside of the building and maybe if my players still stick around after the alarm goes off, the Kish start coming outside to fight them in two waves (essentially replicating the two fights inside) … but then I realized that those fights are already hard and putting them back to back might cause a TPK. Then I was thinking the locks stop working for a day to give the PCs time to explore the city before they come back … but it doesn’t make much sense for a military research area’s locks to have such a week deterrent against unauthorized access. What ideas do you guys have?


ComicViolence wrote:

I understand how the Gap works. I have read everything I can find that Paizo has officially said about it. But while people might remember their passwords, they don’t seem to know things like “my people used to have a great space empire before it crumbled”. As such, I have no really good explanation for why the Kish know so much about their ancestors. The book specifically says that the story of Lord’s Folly has changed over the centuries, but how can they still have this kind of story if they lost all of their historical memories and don’t know a written language. How do they even know their ancestors built the city (as opposed to found it)?

You don't understand how the Gap works.

Their oral tradition is that their ancestors built the city thousands of years ago, before the Gap. Therefore the day after the Gap ended, they retained their memories of the oral tradition that their ancestors built the city.

If Earth suffered a Gap that ate history from 4 BC to yesterday, I'd wake up knowing Christianity was a thing and that the Pope is in charge of the Catholics, but with no memory of where Christianity came from, why the Vatican is in Rome, when or how Protestants diverged. But I'd remember everything I learned about the Roman Republic just fine.

It's no mistake or oddity that the Starfinders and Hellknights exist in Starfinder - post-Gap everyone remembered ancient history legends of the Pathfinder and Hellknights, but couldn't remember any similar groups that might have risen and declined in the last several centuries.

Liberty's Edge

From page 424 of the core rulebook: “While these people retained all the knowledge, skills, and interpersonal connections from their lives, specific memories became difficult or impossible to retrieve”.

All memories were affected. It is highly unlikely you would remember the Roman Empire existed at all because all of your specific memories about it would be “difficult or impossible to retrieve”. You might be able to find out that the Roman Empire existed by reading about it in history books because it says later on page 424 that historical records “becoming reliable again only when referring to the dim and misty ages of the ancient past”, but you almost certainly wouldn’t remember it.

The Hellknights exist because The Gap did not interfere with either their skill at stabbing or their relationship to chaotic people (which is to stab them) :-p

The Starfinders only exist because of The Gap! Accordingly to the Starfinder Society Guild Guide the Starfinders were formed after The Gap and their “first mission was to map out the edges of the Gap in order to discover how the event happened and what occurred during its uncounted years”.

The Guild Guide does mention “incomplete tales of the Pathfinder Society”, so it is possible that some memories of the Pathfinder Society remain, but the use of the word “incomplete” always made me think that those memories were spotty at best and quite possibly the result of old Pathfinder Chronicles that were still lying around.


ComicViolence wrote:

From page 424 of the core rulebook: “While these people retained all the knowledge, skills, and interpersonal connections from their lives, specific memories became difficult or impossible to retrieve”.

All memories were affected.

All memories of the Gap were affected. Do you understand what a gap...is? It's space between two intact objects. Everything after the gap is recalled, and everything before the gap is recalled. A dragon who was a hatchling a century before the Gap and who found himself a Great Wyrm when the Gap ended remembers everything before the...gap...in his memories.

For those who were born during the gap, just as they know immediately after it ends that woman over there is their wife, although they can't remember how they met, the remember all the pre-Gap history they learned, even if they can't remember the context in which they originally learned it.

ComicViolence wrote:


The Starfinders only exist because of The Gap! Accordingly to the Starfinder Society Guild Guide the Starfinders were formed after The Gap and their “first mission was to map out the edges of the Gap in order to discover how the event happened and what occurred during its uncounted years”.

The Starfinders exist with the name Starfinders because memories of the Pathfinders survived the Gap. Why? Because they existed prior to the Gap. Similarly, no one knows how, when, or why Absalom station was built, but they know it was probably named after the city of Abasalom and that the energy source inside is probably the Starstone, because the city of Abasalom and the Starstone existed in historical record before the Gap, and therefore were remembered after the Gap.

Liberty's Edge

Xenocrat, please provide references. I am not saying you are wrong, but you are making a rather large assertion and I am not finding anything that supports your view of The Gap.


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No, thanks. You just need to read all of the Pact Worlds entries and have a certain minimal reasoning capability. I'm not going to do your homework for you on the former, and I can't provide you with the latter.

The answer to how the Kish know about their pre-Gap ancestors is the same as why the Aballonians know about their pre-Gap First Ones myths, the Castrovelians know the Lashunta have "always" been at war with formians, Absalom Station knows it's probably named after a Golarion city of the same name and that the Starstone was associated with a dead god called Aroden, Sarcesians remember that Eoxians blew up their homeworlds, many Exoian bonesages remember blowing up the Sarcesians homeworlds, Triaxians know the human and dragon dominated haves have "always" been at war, the Pact Worlds and the Azlanti Empire remember that the Azlantians originated on Golarian, magical scholars know a particular artifact has partial origins in ancient Thassilon and other magic items originate in ancient lands of Cheliax and Nex, and much else - memory and historic record from before the Gap still exists. The Core book doesn't dwell on it because they're focused on a system reset and setting up a mystery of what happened during the Gap.


ComicViolence wrote:
So you can’t literally take 20 on a disable device check … but if there isn’t a countermeasure on the lock then the players can just keep trying until they succeed, effectively taking 20. I guess what I am asking is what are some good countermeasures for this lock. I was thinking maybe an alarm that alerts all of the Kish inside of the building and maybe if my players still stick around after the alarm goes off, the Kish start coming outside to fight them in two waves (essentially replicating the two fights inside) … but then I realized that those fights are already hard and putting them back to back might cause a TPK. Then I was thinking the locks stop working for a day to give the PCs time to explore the city before they come back … but it doesn’t make much sense for a military research area’s locks to have such a week deterrent against unauthorized access. What ideas do you guys have?

The CRB states "The amount of time this takes depends on the complexity of the device but typically requires at least one Full Action." No, they can't Take 20 on the Engineering Check to Disable Device, but if they constantly retry, someone is bound to notice them. Remember, this is a heavily guarded building during a time of civil conflict, as well as a recent encounter with a hostile alien force. They are going to be on high-alert. It's pretty unreasonable to assume the players have unlimited tries to hack or disable a keypad, especially in the given circumstances. Anyways, checks to Disable Device or Hack are rolled in secret by the GM, so they should have no idea of how well they are doing for their checks, or if it's even possible for them to make those checks. Also, the CRB states "If you fail the check by 5 or more, something goes wrong.", so that's always a possibility.

The 'Alarm' countermeasure states "One of simplest countermeasures, this program sends an alert to a specific individual or station if someone attempts to breach the system. If the computer has a control module connected to an actual alarm, this countermeasure can trigger that alarm. If the computer controls a robot, trap, or weapon, an alarm can also activate them. The alarm countermeasure costs 10 credits."

You could have some sort of weapons set up that would be activated, to try and scare your players off along with the alarm, as well as activating a lockout countermeasure.

Also, you are the GM. You could just straight up not give them the option to enter the Temple Found until after they've explored.

Liberty's Edge

*raises eyebrow* Xenocrat, you are trying to convince me of something, remember?

You are welcome to your own head-canon, but as I have provided reference to actual Paizo material and you have chosen to insult me instead of providing anything to defend your assertion, I feel rather confident in dismissing your argument.

I am going to move forward with telling my players that The Gap just didn’t affect the Kish. It seems like the simplest answer that keeps the story moving.

Thanks G-Prime. I forgot that Disable Device and Hack checks were supposed to be rolled by the GM (because we usually don’t do it that way). I like the idea of rolling for them and then using how many checks it took them to reach the DC to determine how long it would take them to pick the lock. Then I can slowly escalate time and see how long they are willing to wait for that one PC to try and pick the lock. I will say things like, “20 minutes pass and he still can’t pick it, are you going to keep trying?” If they are willing to wait as long as it would take to the PC to pick the lock, then they can get in … but depending on how well I rolled, they might encounter a Kish patrol or something before then. I might even throw in some bogus perception checks periodically to see if I can build an air of tension and danger.


ComicViolence wrote:

*raises eyebrow* Xenocrat, you are trying to convince me of something, remember?

No, I'm telling you how it is, mostly for the benefit of lurkers. You've proved yourself incapable of understanding this.

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