Empire of Bones (GM Reference)


Dead Suns

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The purpose of this thread is to clarify questions arising in this adventure.

This thread is a GM Reference thread for Part 6 of the Dead Suns Adventure Path. Links for the individual threads for each part are as follows:

Incident at Absalom Station (Part 1)
Temple of the Twelve (Part 2)
Splintered Worlds (Part 3)
The Ruined Clouds (Part 4)
The Thirteenth Gate (Part 5)
Empire of Bones (Part 6)

Liberty's Edge Contributor

Thanks for starting these, Rysky!

Liberty's Edge Contributor

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!


Starfinder Superscriber

Question about the trap in Area A2. The description says that the 'Death Ray' targets everyone in the 'marked areas on the map' but I'm looking at both the physical book and the PDF and I'll be darned if I can tell what's supposed to be marked, there. I'm hoping it's supposed to be the whole room, but clarification would be preferred if it's not.

Paizo Employee Developer

Yeah, that's a goof. It should be that 1 round after the "life sensors" detect someone stepping through a door to A2, they whole room of A2 is bathed in necromantic energy. Remember that this resets every 5 minutes!


Starfinder Superscriber

Thank you. I was wondering if I was going blind.


Starfinder Superscriber

Is there some reason why the Pale Strangers (both the monster entry and the NPC one) weren't built with the Operative Class Graft? That seems like it would compliment their other abilities well and make them much more potent combatants even at the same CR.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

As noted on Page 137 of the Alien Archive, abilities from a class graft replace abilities from array, and you use the adjustments line of either the type or the class (not both).

So if I bolted those on, I would need to remove at least some of the things that make pale strangers interesting and different.

As with all our creature creation rules the GM can deviate from these guidelines if desired, but I try to stick with the guidelines unless there's a really good reason not to.


Starfinder Superscriber

Okay, wait. Am I reading this wrong?

Page 137 under Class Graft wrote:
As mentioned in Step 2, you should use either the adjustments entry for the creature type graft or the adjustments entry for the class graft--not both.

Emphasis added.

I've been interpreting that to mean that you only change the adjustments from type, and specifically just the adjustments, not anything else. As long as your array matches the class grafts and template grafts, everything else (I thought) was bolt on.

So, in this case I thought you'd only lose the Undead adjustments (+2 Will Saving throws) and gain the Operative Class graft adjustments (Bonus to initiative...).

Further, isn't the stuff specific to Pale Strangers in a Template Graft that happens in Step 5 of monster creation after the class graft is applied in step 4? So wouldn't it still apply after the class graft is added?

So, I thought the flow was pick CR, pick array, pick type/subtype, pick class (if necessary), pick template (if necessary), finalize.

The question at this point is more general, because I'd like to know what I'm misunderstanding about generic monster creation. This stuff is really complicated and I'd appreciate the insight as to how to do it correctly, if you feel like sharing.

Shadow Lodge RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 8

So what if my players don't want to board the Empire of Bones and instead stick to the plan from book 5? Or board the Stellar Degenerator and try and use it to shoot down the Empire of Bones?

I understand that an AP can't account for everything, but a sidebar about these options would have been nice.

All that aside, seems like an epic ending to the story!

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!


A5. Suffocation Chamber Kreth's prep action is to ready to turn the atmosphere toxic. Considering that the Empire of Bones has no atmosphere (generally), it stands to reason that the PCs that need to breathe would have environmental protection active. Would that not protect them from the toxic atmosphere?


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A fair number of traps and assumptions in this game are bypassed by armor or lifebubble


Yeah, I've run into a couple of traps that seem to be solely aimed at star shaman mystics who aren't using environmental protections.


How good should the Sunrise Maiden be heading into AP6? Should they be up to as many build points as their level allows? I'm asking because it seems they haven't had enough downtime during the overall AP to do as many mods as their BPs would allow. On the other hand, for the last module I'd told them they hadn't had time to make as many modifications as they'd like, and they lost the starship combat in that one (but only by a little - it was very close.)

I'd like to be fair to them and also for the ship combat to be challenging in this final book. Thanks for any advice!


Starfinder Superscriber

I think the intent is for you to steer them into stealing the Corpse Fleet ship that lands at the beginning of DS6 and not the Sunrise Maiden. Then they pretend like they're just a bunch of corpses and sneak onto the EoB without combat (if possible).

They probably could try using the Sunrise Maiden to blast their way through, but I don't know that I'd want to do that as a player if it were me.

While the AP makes it seem like the party never has time to do anything remotely downtimey, ship upgrades essentially only take as long as you want them to as the GM. So, you can have them be at max BP for their level if you want/expect them to fight their way through.


pithica42 wrote:

I think the intent is for you to steer them into stealing the Corpse Fleet ship that lands at the beginning of DS6 and not the Sunrise Maiden. Then they pretend like they're just a bunch of corpses and sneak onto the EoB without combat (if possible).

They probably could try using the Sunrise Maiden to blast their way through, but I don't know that I'd want to do that as a player if it were me.

While the AP makes it seem like the party never has time to do anything remotely downtimey, ship upgrades essentially only take as long as you want them to as the GM. So, you can have them be at max BP for their level if you want/expect them to fight their way through.

Thanks, pithica42! I hadn't read through the module yet when I posted that, and I do see now that this particular adventure doesn't have the more standard combat. Still, your advice is helpful for future reference - definitely gonna play more Starfinder after this!


dogsarethebest wrote:

How good should the Sunrise Maiden be heading into AP6? Should they be up to as many build points as their level allows? I'm asking because it seems they haven't had enough downtime during the overall AP to do as many mods as their BPs would allow. On the other hand, for the last module I'd told them they hadn't had time to make as many modifications as they'd like, and they lost the starship combat in that one (but only by a little - it was very close.)

I'd like to be fair to them and also for the ship combat to be challenging in this final book. Thanks for any advice!

Upgrading the PCs' ship with BP earned from leveling isn't supposed to be hard. The 1d4 days thing applies to refitting. The book states that upgrading the ship from BP gained through leveling shouldn't impact the campaign much, so I let the PCs have their full allotment of BP.


Starfinder Superscriber
dogsarethebest wrote:
Thanks, pithica42! I hadn't read through the module yet when I posted that, and I do see now that this particular adventure doesn't have the more standard combat. Still, your advice is helpful for future reference - definitely gonna play more Starfinder after this!

There is a more standard starship combat in this, it's just not in the Sunrise Maiden.


My players upgraded between AP 4 & 5, so their Sunrise Maiden is Tier 9. The starship combat in AP 5 was long, but they barely took any hull point damage, and were never in any serious danger of reducing shields to concerning levels.

I was just going to let it ride as is for the final chapter, whether they want to use their ship or steal the Corpse Fleet one. I assume it'll be fine either way.


Starfinder Superscriber

Personally, I'd still recommend going with the stealth method. Or at least discourage them from engaging the main ships directly. Those are two tier 14s and a 20.


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WalterGM wrote:

So what if my players don't want to board the Empire of Bones and instead stick to the plan from book 5? Or board the Stellar Degenerator and try and use it to shoot down the Empire of Bones?

I understand that an AP can't account for everything, but a sidebar about these options would have been nice.

All that aside, seems like an epic ending to the story!

We just played this moment last week. Many were thinking about boarding the Stellar Degenerator but I mentioned that the tech-savvy chars know the alien device is so huge they would probably take days, even weeks, to even find a way to power the engines, let alone fly with it. After this the players also did the math that they only have a few hours before the Corpse Fleet comes there too and even the portal might close and trap them there, so they ruled out that option.

Also, it's so massive that ramming with it would probably not work since even the supercolossal ship is faster and could probably evade them.

Just a few tips that helped me in the same situation :)


The interrogator in the hangar section would have been a lot more intimidating if a quick scan of his name didn't result in him being dubbed "Keith". Combined with his inability to roll above a 2 and a crazy-high roll on the 10d10 collision from the corridor-sized fighter we were given, that was the single most hilariously short and humiliating fight of the campaign.


Pathfinder Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

I've admittedly not started my preparations for this book yet (I still need to prepare book 5) but here's a question anyways. How's the final encounter with Admiral Serovox? Okay yes they're not technically the final encounter but it's victory over them or defeat by their hands that determine whether the PC's can enact their daring plan and so for all intents and purposes they are the final boss. Does Admiral Serovox pass muster as such?


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

We concluded Hangar Country last night and a few strange things were noted:
If there is no atmosphere and the comms directly vibrate on flesh/bones, how on earth do the Sensor suit machines click and beep? They're broadcasting it on all frequencies? :D

Same thing with Malakar discussing about the PCs actions. I guess she intrude their comm frequencies to be able to comment their actions. I'm not even going to go speculating how sonic weapons work without atmosphere since there is nothing to carry the soundwaves, let's just pull the "magic"-card here :)

Fun adventure anyway, the players already are voicing protests about the campaign ending so we'll probably continue with some homebrew mayhem after finishing the book.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Oh, and another thing that caught my eye in the Malakar encounter: Does she really carry a 20 bulk system-wide comm unit in her pocket? :D It was listed in her gear :)


BigNorseWolf wrote:
A fair number of traps and assumptions in this game are bypassed by armor or lifebubble

Same goes with radiaton, too.


I'm going crazy because I can't entirely find out what a [death effect] on the trap in A2 is. Is this a holdover from Pathfinder or something? I saw a few things when I tried to google this but it's really unclear.
Is it instant death on a failed save, half of the listed damage on a success? But then why is the full damage listed. Is it just that, if you die to this trap, you can't be resurrected by mystic cure?

Please help.


Starfinder Superscriber

IIRC [Death] effect is just a tag, or descriptor, like [Mind Affecting] or [Fire] or [Evil]. Certain creatures/types are naturally immune to [Death] effects and certain spells, class abilities, and so on, give you resistances or immunity to [Death] effects. I don't remember seeing the tag in the CRB, but I'm away from book. Historically though, things that were [Death] effects were things like Energy Drain, Ability Drain, insta-death spells, negative levels, or the like.

Oh, wait, I think I found it in one of the SRDs...

Descriptors

At least, it's in the list.


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We started this today.

I made a few changes, but I want to share one, which might be helpful for other GMs.

Instead of Wraith 2.0 and Tombstone being something introduced by a jelous capitan, I made it be part of Embassador Nor's plan to infiltrate the Corpse Fleet. I made Captain Eskola, the corpse fleet double agent that the PC rescue in he Drift Rock in book 1, to be an officer in the Empire of Bones. Then she contacted them right before the marine assault (in my game, PCs bought necrografts, and I used those to tell them that they had some necromantic technomagic bug that allowed direct 1 way communication from the Empire of bones. But a simple radio call could work too). She told them that Embassador Nor had a plan to defeat the Empire of Bones and avoid the Corpse Fleet to grasp the Stellar Degenerator. And she had infiltrated the Empire of Bones with 2 viruses, Wraith and Tombstone, to help them.

This might or might not work in your campaign, depending on what happen in book 1 to the corpse fleet double agent. But if the PC side with Nor, and Nor trust them, this might be a nice "kaiser soze" moment. My players loved it, because they did not expect it.


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gustavo iglesias wrote:

We started this today.

I made a few changes, but I want to share one, which might be helpful for other GMs.

Instead of Wraith 2.0 and Tombstone being something introduced by a jelous capitan, I made it be part of Embassador Nor's plan to infiltrate the Corpse Fleet. I made Captain Eskola, the corpse fleet double agent that the PC rescue in he Drift Rock in book 1, to be an officer in the Empire of Bones. Then she contacted them right before the marine assault (in my game, PCs bought necrografts, and I used those to tell them that they had some necromantic technomagic bug that allowed direct 1 way communication from the Empire of bones. But a simple radio call could work too). She told them that Embassador Nor had a plan to defeat the Empire of Bones and avoid the Corpse Fleet to grasp the Stellar Degenerator. And she had infiltrated the Empire of Bones with 2 viruses, Wraith and Tombstone, to help them.

This might or might not work in your campaign, depending on what happen in book 1 to the corpse fleet double agent. But if the PC side with Nor, and Nor trust them, this might be a nice "kaiser soze" moment. My players loved it, because they did not expect it.

I'm personally going with the interpretation that Gevalarsk Nor doesn't care how Eox is cared for, whether by cooperating with the Absalom Pact or by the Corpse Fleet. Way I see his actions he's got a finger on the pulse of both legitimate figures in the Pact Worlds and the Corpse Fleet so he can be ready to position himself in the good graces of the victor for both Eox and himself. Of course... since my group never even opened his package this isn't ever going to be spelled out to my group.

But hey, your interpretation worked for your group so that's cool.

But do let me know how the confrontation with Serovox goes, that is what I'm most keen to hear about.


I'm trying to make Gevalarsk Nor a manipulative bastard, who do things for his own reasons that, coincidentaly, help the Pact.

Next season, once they talk to Eskola, they'll discover that Nor's plan to crash the Empire of Bones into the Degenerator does not include a way of escape for them. They have been "recruited" for a suicide mission, with the promise to honor their deaths.


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WalterGM wrote:

So what if my players don't want to board the Empire of Bones and instead stick to the plan from book 5? Or board the Stellar Degenerator and try and use it to shoot down the Empire of Bones?

I understand that an AP can't account for everything, but a sidebar about these options would have been nice.

All that aside, seems like an epic ending to the story!

Honestly I have a hard time believing that any party will decide on their own to try to board the Empire of Bones. It's such a ludicrous idea that I doubt most groups will even consider it, let alone actually decide to do it without heavy GM intervention. I ran this with my group last week, and they had planned on going through the gate to get to the Stellar Degenerator, which is by far the most reasonable thing to do. Perhaps figure out how to use the weapon to destroy the Empire of Bones, or stick with the original plan and crash it into a star.

Even if they don't want to do that (I told them the Corpse Fleet had managed to get between them and the gate somehow, which already stretched the bounds of believability) then why would they think it's safe for them to try to board the capital ship? And if they do, why would they believe that the five of them could even pilot a ship larger than Absalom Station?

In the end, I had to railroad them into boarding the Empire of Bones. They hadn't even mentioned it as a possibility, and I told them that's where the adventure wanted them to go. It was awkward and very disappointing.


Pathfinder Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber
DrSnooze wrote:

Honestly I have a hard time believing that any party will decide on their own to try to board the Empire of Bones. It's such a ludicrous idea that I doubt most groups will even consider it, let alone actually decide to do it without heavy GM intervention. I ran this with my group last week, and they had planned on going through the gate to get to the Stellar Degenerator, which is by far the most reasonable thing to do. Perhaps figure out how to use the weapon to destroy the Empire of Bones, or stick with the original plan and crash it into a star.

Even if they don't want to do that (I told them the Corpse Fleet had managed to get between them and the gate somehow, which already stretched the bounds of believability) then why would they think it's safe for them to try to board the capital ship? And if they do, why would they believe that the five of them could even pilot a ship larger than Absalom Station?

In the end, I had to railroad them into boarding the Empire of Bones. They hadn't even mentioned it as a possibility, and I told them that's where the adventure wanted them to go. It was awkward and very disappointing.

I haven't gotten this far with my group yet but I'd start with eliminating the other possibilities.
  • Attack the Stellar Degenerator? It is unlikely the PC's ship would have adequate firepower to do meaningful harm to destroy the ship. Plus since the Corpse Fleet tripped the system's defenses, it's now incredibly hazardous to fly that close to the now open gate, especially if a few Corpse Fleet ships slip through in pursuit. If the PC's aren't getting this fact, do what the book says and give them a Wisdom check (DC10) or just tell them.
  • Board the Stellar Dgenerator? Aside from the hazards of approaching it in the first place, there's the logistics of reactivating a massive super-weapon that's been inactive/standby for ages, presumably without the benefit of AI maintaining it like with the gate control centers. Someone earlier suggested this; I'd make it so the sensors in the command center, or even knowledge checks, could tell them that the weapon could take days or more of repairs and reactivation to power it up to blow it up or something to that effect, more than enough time for the Corpse Fleet to move in with an overwhelming numbers advantage.
Now as for why they would think they could board the Empire of Bones, the book does mention how the PC's can realize that the Corpse Fleet could be distracted by the sudden surge of activity in the system. I'd slightly alter the results of the DC24 Computers check or DC18 Profession (soldier) check to let them realize that all the activity would sufficiently distract the giant ship's sensory equipment to let a smaller ship slip in unnoticed.


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Nintendogeek01 wrote:
DrSnooze wrote:

Honestly I have a hard time believing that any party will decide on their own to try to board the Empire of Bones. It's such a ludicrous idea that I doubt most groups will even consider it, let alone actually decide to do it without heavy GM intervention. I ran this with my group last week, and they had planned on going through the gate to get to the Stellar Degenerator, which is by far the most reasonable thing to do. Perhaps figure out how to use the weapon to destroy the Empire of Bones, or stick with the original plan and crash it into a star.

Even if they don't want to do that (I told them the Corpse Fleet had managed to get between them and the gate somehow, which already stretched the bounds of believability) then why would they think it's safe for them to try to board the capital ship? And if they do, why would they believe that the five of them could even pilot a ship larger than Absalom Station?

In the end, I had to railroad them into boarding the Empire of Bones. They hadn't even mentioned it as a possibility, and I told them that's where the adventure wanted them to go. It was awkward and very disappointing.

I haven't gotten this far with my group yet but I'd start with eliminating the other possibilities.
  • Attack the Stellar Degenerator? It is unlikely the PC's ship would have adequate firepower to do meaningful harm to destroy the ship. Plus since the Corpse Fleet tripped the system's defenses, it's now incredibly hazardous to fly that close to the now open gate, especially if a few Corpse Fleet ships slip through in pursuit. If the PC's aren't getting this fact, do what the book says and give them a Wisdom check (DC10) or just tell them.
  • Board the Stellar Dgenerator? Aside from the hazards of approaching it in the first place, there's the logistics of reactivating a massive super-weapon that's been inactive/standby for ages, presumably without the benefit of AI maintaining it like with the gate control centers. Someone earlier
...

My groups are beginning book 4 / middle of book 3, so I'm still a long way from doing. However, I anticipated these issues, and hopefully, I will work.

1) I know they would as ask for backup from the Stewarts, so a large scale assault from the Swarm mobilized almost all their troops (and those from the Veskarium). They cannot send ships for an unconfirmed danger.

2) As for boarding the EoB, the group's mystic / solarian (depending on which team) received a message from their church / order / whatever you want to call it, asking to meet. This is about a vision they received that in order to avoid the end of all things, the (mystic / solarian) will have to be at head of an empire. A bit heavy-handed, but it should give them the push required to board the EoB.

3) For the Stellar Degenerator, I'll just play with the physics. Opening up the portal created large fluctuation in space-time around it, making navigation impossible. The only way to access the SD is to wait for it to come out, at which point the Corpse Fleet would be done with the defenses, and would intercept easily the PCs according to the readings they have.

Hope that helps,


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DrSnooze wrote:
WalterGM wrote:

So what if my players don't want to board the Empire of Bones and instead stick to the plan from book 5? Or board the Stellar Degenerator and try and use it to shoot down the Empire of Bones?

I understand that an AP can't account for everything, but a sidebar about these options would have been nice.

All that aside, seems like an epic ending to the story!

Honestly I have a hard time believing that any party will decide on their own to try to board the Empire of Bones. It's such a ludicrous idea that I doubt most groups will even consider it, let alone actually decide to do it without heavy GM intervention. I ran this with my group last week, and they had planned on going through the gate to get to the Stellar Degenerator, which is by far the most reasonable thing to do. Perhaps figure out how to use the weapon to destroy the Empire of Bones, or stick with the original plan and crash it into a star.

Even if they don't want to do that (I told them the Corpse Fleet had managed to get between them and the gate somehow, which already stretched the bounds of believability) then why would they think it's safe for them to try to board the capital ship? And if they do, why would they believe that the five of them could even pilot a ship larger than Absalom Station?

In the end, I had to railroad them into boarding the Empire of Bones. They hadn't even mentioned it as a possibility, and I told them that's where the adventure wanted them to go. It was awkward and very disappointing.

This is exactly why I gave them the message from Eskola, telling them through some magic necromantic transmitter in their necrografts, that she is inside the Empire of Bones and Nor has a plan. Now it boils down to if they trust Nor (might or might not be true in your game), but at least they feel now "we go into EoB because someone has a plan" instead of "let's go there, and see what happens".

However I also made it clear that they had the option to go to the Stellar Degenerator or the Empire of Bones. With Starfinder's great Graft system for monster's, it's pretty easy to transform the infiltration in the Empire of Bones into an infiltration inside the Degenerator. You can still have pretty much the same encounters, just change the marines with some automated robotic defenses, and little bit of re-skinning with the bosses into some type of outsiders, or artificial intelligences with physical bodies, or such, it can be done. Even undeads might work, if you make them kishalee undead trapped inside the degenerator ages ago. Add the possibility to hack the system with a virus that work like Wraith if your PC pass a Computer check. You can still have robotic drones that work like crw if they control cybercore and the bridge, you can still have a grav train chase, etc. Then re-skin the necromantic stuff (like the rune-worm and other things) into something more akin to kishalee, and you are done.


Quick question: Assume the PCs use the command key to grant each of them authorized access. During Event 6 vs. Dusk Bade and Orphanmaker, can each PC control one "role" using the bonuses of the Empire of Bones' crew? Can they roll once for each officer in a role? For example, do they get 5 Engineer actions, 10 gunner actions, and 4 Science Officer actions?

Or...

Do they each serve as a single officer in whatever role they select, use their own skill modifier, and lean heavily on the four +10 bonuses the Empire of Bones allows?

Please advise.


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Definitely the latter. No question. The Bad Omens event makes a point of saying the PC's stats are not equal to that of a tier 20 ship's crew and neither the text in the event or the Electroenchephalon Command Key's text says anything about the PC's getting control over the other officers. The PC's get as many actions as they typically do.


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Well, we finished the AP few weeks ago and everyone really enjoyed it. In the last book there were a few things that the players didn't enjoy, including the final Boss fight. I'll write our experiences so others may prepare for them better than I had :)

The players took the see invisible -spell ampoules which the boss dispelled. They had one left so basically the only one able to see the boss was their soldier. After killing the other creatures only two creatures were playing actively: the soldier, who was soaking around 75% of bosses damage with his Energy Resistance, who was shooting Serovox, and Serovox attacking him with Explosive blasts. Others were taking ready actions and trying to pinpoint Sevorox every time they attacked. This took ages since Sevorox could be invisible for 26 rounds (used 2 greater invisibilities) and got boring and repetitive quickly. Even a shirren can't see Serovox since they fly and there is no atmosphere so no vibrations to detect. Only reason Sevorox was killed in the end was because of lucky crit that took them under 40 HP which, according to tactics, made him get down and the team melee solarian hit him for around 100 damage.

After this they looted Serovox and found the Electroencephalon Command Key. I allowed a mysticism roll with DC40 which they made and realized what the item was. Instead of destroying it they threw Sevorox in Null Space Chamber and secured the key. After getting back to Absolom Station they gave the NSC and the Key to Ambassador Nor who was extremely happy about it.

The spaceship battle felt quite dull also, since the other ships barely got through EoBs shields and EoB did triple crits on pretty much every shot, disabling them in few rounds. With the +10 to rolls they pretty much hit automatically.

One noticable thing was also the fact they did not get any credits when getting back to the station. Maybe it was left for the GM to figure out but since they brought Serovox in I had a good reason to give them 50k from Eoxians, and also gave some from Starfinders since they had been paying them earlier in the AP. Luckily the group had looted pretty much everything (they even had a few kish warriors corpses from the landing platform for scientists) so after selling everything (for 10%, except for relics) they got around 160k. And no, they had not been to Absolom for the few last books since they thought they are pressured to get to the Stellar Degenerator.

So everything went well in the end and the group definitely wants to continue with these chars so homebrew it is from this forward and Azlanti Empire will have to wait for them to want a new start.


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rixu wrote:
Well, we finished the AP few weeks ago and everyone really enjoyed it. In the last book there were a few things that the players didn't enjoy, including the final Boss fight.

Yeah, Serovox was rough with the greater invisibility and wall of force. Locked down the android operative for most of the fight by trapping him in close quarters with a kurobozu in round 2 (per tactics). Since the vesk soldier and lashunta solarian couldn't see Serovox, they started trying to break the wall down. Once they had it down to about 100 hp, Serovox cast another wall of force, and layered it over the outside, just to toy with them.

I wasn't sure if each of the kurobozus in the trophy room were supposed to have all three spell ampoules, so I just figured there was only one of each. They didn't hear the party coming, so they didn't use them. The ysoki technomancer used the see invisibility ampoule early in the Serovox fight for himself but wasn't super effectual (aside from wall of fire: 5d6, no save, double damage to undead - woof), so the admiral didn't bother dispelling it. Later, the PCs remembered they had a spell gem of see invisibility from way back and used that on the solarian. Once he got a good hit in, Serovox dispelled that. Then it was Perception check, pray, jump, and swing. They eventually pulled it off.

Nintendogeek01 wrote:
Definitely the latter. No question. The Bad Omens event makes a point of saying the PC's stats are not equal to that of a tier 20 ship's crew and neither the text in the event or the Electroenchephalon Command Key's text says anything about the PC's getting control over the other officers. The PC's get as many actions as they typically do.

Cool, yeah. That's how I played it. They were fine.


Pathfinder Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

Finished my preparations for this book, barring any adjustments I'll need to make when my group actually gets here that is (since the game is bi-weekly it's gonna take some time yet).

Anyway, I've been thinking about what to do for an alternate scenario in which the PC's do decide to try to board the Stellar Degenerator; yes I still will support coming up with reasons why the PC's shouldn't board the Stellar Degenerator since not all GM's have the time or inclination to try to make up new encounters, but for those that like to be prepared I have a few suggestions for a quick-to-make alternate scenario.

As far as maps go, none of the maps presented in book 6 really scream "undead capital ship" to me, and thus could probably be recycled for the Stellar Degenerator's interior.

Then come the enemies. Sure we could go with Kishalee undead but to mix it up a bit I think perhaps outsiders might be a good fit as well. There's the Yarahkut Inevitable from Iron Gods, a type meant to keep dangerous technology out of unworthy hands, and the Stellar Degenerator would definitely be dangerous. Perhaps he is assisted by androids, robots, and elementals, or even other outsiders, swapping out the encounters as appropriate. Converting a Yarahkut to Starfinder would make for a great penultimate boss onboard the Stellar Degenerator.

For the climax, perhaps have the PC's have to fight their way through Corpse Fleet boarders, like the Baykoks from the escaping scenario, only for them to run into Admiral Serovox with their guard (as the bridge encounter, different location though), keen on personally inspecting the new weapon their armada just secured, just before the PC's reach their ship. Serovox is determined to kill the PC's for their interference, and unperturbed by the impending explosion since their Electroencephalon is safe back on the Empire of Bones.

Those are just some ideas I'd been tossing around.


Nintendogeek01 wrote:

Finished my preparations for this book, barring any adjustments I'll need to make when my group actually gets here that is (since the game is bi-weekly it's gonna take some time yet).

Anyway, I've been thinking about what to do for an alternate scenario in which the PC's do decide to try to board the Stellar Degenerator; yes I still will support coming up with reasons why the PC's shouldn't board the Stellar Degenerator since not all GM's have the time or inclination to try to make up new encounters, but for those that like to be prepared I have a few suggestions for a quick-to-make alternate scenario.

As far as maps go, none of the maps presented in book 6 really scream "undead capital ship" to me, and thus could probably be recycled for the Stellar Degenerator's interior.

Then come the enemies. Sure we could go with Kishalee undead but to mix it up a bit I think perhaps outsiders might be a good fit as well. There's the Yarahkut Inevitable from Iron Gods, a type meant to keep dangerous technology out of unworthy hands, and the Stellar Degenerator would definitely be dangerous. Perhaps he is assisted by androids, robots, and elementals, or even other outsiders, swapping out the encounters as appropriate. Converting a Yarahkut to Starfinder would make for a great penultimate boss onboard the Stellar Degenerator.

For the climax, perhaps have the PC's have to fight their way through Corpse Fleet boarders, like the Baykoks from the escaping scenario, only for them to run into Admiral Serovox with their guard (as the bridge encounter, different location though), keen on personally inspecting the new weapon their armada just secured, just before the PC's reach their ship. Serovox is determined to kill the PC's for their interference, and unperturbed by the impending explosion since their Electroencephalon is safe back on the Empire of Bones.

Those are just some ideas I'd been tossing around.

As far as tempting the PCs to the empire of bones, I was going to give the PCs a mysticism/engineering check to learn that big Eoxian ships use a lot of automation via mindless undead, and a culture check to learn that the Heart's Decay (it's sister ship, mentioned in description) was lost to a small group of Vesk commandos in the silent war when they took it's bridge and turned it's guns on it's own fleet.

That said, I'm not sure why you couldn't simply drop most of the encounters whole sale as written into the stellar degenerator. Just have the Corpse fleet drop out of the drift nearly on top of it, beating the PCs by several hours. That way the characters are coming in behind the boarders, and the Corpse fleet is doing the work starting the thing up for them. You'd have to change up the way the rooms work and are described, and you might want to change up an encounter or two for flavor, but it should mostly work.

Instead of a ramming for the final encounter, give them twelve shots with an absurdly powerful gun, if they don't wipe out the corpse fleet the last shot could be a self destruct. (in book 5 it's mentioned the stellar degenerator siphons off the energy of a sun, and that energy can be used later, in this case as a BFG using the twelve suns/gates as a power source)


We just finished the Serovox fight...

It was the least fun encounter I have ever had in Pathfinder, Starfinder, D&D, or any other game.

Just... What were they thinking?!?

Serovox is way above CR 13. Practically permanent 50% miss chance. Area blasts constantly. The only PC that literally wasn't nearly dead was the Operative (because of course, Operatives)... Due to his Reflex Save and Evasion... The boss couldn't touch him (He penned the rest of us in with Force Walls and blasted us all over and over again) it was a slog and a half.

We won, but it was worse than a yo-yo.

It just wasn't fun or interactive. It was literally "Hope the Operative can take him down because the rest of us are useless here."

Finally we won with a lucky hit from the Soldier, but it didn't feel like planning, tactics, skill, or even character build, it literally felt like total luck.

For GMs running this, I recommend changing that boss, not because he is too hard (he can be taken down) but because he just wasn't fun. Come up with something more interactive rather than just relying on luck, because, lets face it, that fight ramps difficulty up so high compared to everything else up until that point.

One other complaint here -

Our group didn't have a chance to buy anything since maybe the end of book 4. This also meant that we were forced to scavenge for resources and were well underprepared.

This. Sucked. Hard. For me as a Solarian, especially as I didn't get a decent crystal drop until the last dungeon/ship/thing.

Also, as an Icon, I literally had no ability to use my Theme's special abilities. Which meant, basically, they were wasted and I should have selected something else.

All in all that needs work.


Pathfinder Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber
HWalsh wrote:
Our group didn't have a chance to buy anything since maybe the end of book 4. This also meant that we were forced to scavenge for resources and were well underprepared.

I know this is late for your group but for anyone else reading this there's an easy solution for updating your equipment. Crafting (Page 235 of the core book). Windows of time to do so might seem impossible at first glance of Book 6 but if the group activates Security Chief's virus they can make a window of time to rest, which they can use to craft updated equipment.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Nintendogeek01 wrote:


I know this is late for your group but for anyone else reading this there's an easy solution for updating your equipment. Crafting (Page 235 of the core book). Windows of time to do so might seem impossible at first glance of Book 6 but if the group activates Security Chief's virus they can make a window of time to rest, which they can use to craft updated equipment.

The problem is you need UPBs for that, there's no reason to think you need to convert your credits to UPBs going into book 5.

Additionally, if you only get 8 hours for the security's chiefs virus you need to avoid sleeping since crafting of items of your level-5(I believe) take 4 hours.


Pathfinder Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber
Shaudius wrote:
Nintendogeek01 wrote:


I know this is late for your group but for anyone else reading this there's an easy solution for updating your equipment. Crafting (Page 235 of the core book). Windows of time to do so might seem impossible at first glance of Book 6 but if the group activates Security Chief's virus they can make a window of time to rest, which they can use to craft updated equipment.

The problem is you need UPBs for that, there's no reason to think you need to convert your credits to UPBs going into book 5.

Additionally, if you only get 8 hours for the security's chiefs virus you need to avoid sleeping since crafting of items of your level-5(I believe) take 4 hours.

Still not a problem.

The TombRobber doesn't specify exactly how much time it buys per use, GM discretion for how much time is too much time of course, but it could still give the PC's the required time.

As for UPB's, I'd do what Jason Keeley and others in the GM Reference for The Thirteenth Gate suggested; turn the credsticks the PC's would get into UPB's. It's not such a stretch for enemies to have it since they're aware they're going to be a ways away from civilization.


HWalsh wrote:


Our group didn't have a chance to buy anything since maybe the end of book 4. This also meant that we were forced to scavenge for resources and were well underprepared.

This. Sucked. Hard. For me as a Solarian, especially as I didn't get a decent crystal drop until the last dungeon/ship/thing.

I had by players run into a before arriving in book 5, a Drow Noble ship which had engine issues. For fixing it he offered wares that were “above board. He could also set his “voluntary free workers” on adjusting the Sunrise Maiden as “the Starfinder will foot the cost I give them”.

The man is not nice, and is out here to avoid the matriarchy of home, being ruder to female players to subtly express his frustration at his role in life.

However, he is exactly what the party need.


I increased dramatically the challenge of the starship fight, adding several cruisers, 8 destroyers, and other escort ships, and changing the 2 thaums for 1 dreadnought. It ended pretty well, with the PC defeating the last destroyer with only a few dozens of hull points remaining, right before they entered the point of no return against the Stellar.

About being able to buy things, remember that going back to Absalom adds 1d6 days of travel, or 1d6/2 if they took the really important upgrade for a time sensitive mission of buying drift 2 to their ships. That's not much. It's less than the variance of 5d6 (or 5d6/2) roll to go to the Vast.

Silver Crusade

gustavo iglesias wrote:


About being able to buy things, remember that going back to Absalom adds 1d6 days of travel, or 1d6/2 if they took the really important upgrade for a time sensitive mission of buying drift 2 to their ships. That's not much. It's less than the variance of 5d6 (or 5d6/2) roll to go to the Vast.

My group went to Absalom and upgraded their drive. 1d6 + 1d4 + 1/2 x 5d6 is very likely less than 5d6 so they GAINED time by doing so

Liberty's Edge

My group came up with the awesome idea to disguise their ship using the IFF codes from the last Kish transport that serviced the station. They then rolled awesome computer, engineer and physical science rolls to board the Stellar Degenerator, manage to steer it into one of the stars. Singe they had a command over the Kish language, kept rolling good skill checks, I saw no need for them to be railroaded into a really bah idea to Han Solo the Empire of Bones. With a team of four and no GM prodding there was just no reason to assume this was the best course of action. Good thing it was in campaign mode SFS because making them do the boarding action seems pretty silly. There needs to be a better compelling reason to board the ship.

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