SFS #1-02 Fugitive on the Red Planet


GM Discussion

Shadow Lodge 5/5 5/5 RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 8 aka WalterGM

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In prepping this adventure, I found there wasn't much to do. No handouts, no mini-rules systems to learn. Nothing really except the option to add some spicy flavor for my players.

Anyone that's read the first page of this scenario has probably thought about that episode of Firefly called Jaynestown, where the population of a small town is convinced that a visiting criminal was actually their savior. In the show, they play a rather infamous folk song called "The Ballad of Jayne Cobb," also known as the "Hero of Canton" or "The Man they call Jayne." You can find that scene and specifically the song on Youtube.

Anyway, I had entirely too much time on my hands and decided that having a song in the same vein, but with Talbot, thasteron, and Tasch, as the focus would be a perfect addition to this scenario. What follows is my finalish draft of the "The Ballad of Reynald Talbot." The plan is to sing this to my players when they enter Digger's Dive. Feel free to embellish, include, or whatever with this at your tables!

A man sits in the corner, tuning an archaic stringed instrument of some sort. After a moment, the ysoki at the bar gives him a nod, to which he strums a chord. The patrons notice, and as he continues strumming, most begin to stomp their feet or clap in rhythm--obviously following the local tune. He begins to sing:

The Man they call Talbot:

(Sung to the tune of 'Man they call Jayne')

Talbot.. The man they call Talbot.

He turned dust into diamonds and soil into gold,
He saw what we had so he gave us some more.
If devils are real, Asmodeous is to blame,
but we have an angel and Talbot is his name.

The mega corps came and started mining,
looking for thasteron.
It was that mineral they used,
to make their fuel,
found right here on Akiton.
It was the blood of our world that made them rich,
and the hands of our men that dug the land,
But when Drift ships sailed, the mines failed,
and they left us to die in the sands.

He turned dust into diamonds and soil into gold,
He saw what we had so he gave us some more.
If devils are real, Asmodeous is to blame,
but we have an angel and Talbot is his name.

Now our town of Tasch ain't much,
it's humble, like you and I,
So we prayed and we prayed,
and one day were saved,
when Talbot came from the sky.
He heard the people lamenting,
And he offered his hand as a friend,
Then he entered the mines, and there he did find,
A way to make our ore good again.

He turned dust into diamonds and soil into gold,
He saw what we had so he gave us some more.
If devils are real, Asmodeous is to blame,
but we have an angel and Talbot is his name!

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/5

I'm not sure whether I should be disappointed or relieved that this was posted too late for me to see it before running this scenario earlier today :-).

Given my singing voice, I'm pretty sure that my players are relieved :-) :-)

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

I wanted so bad to make that reference at GenCon. :)

This is a nice, straightforward scenario, which made it a dream to run four times in a row. The last fight can be brutal, but unless every PC gets put down, he isn't escaping.

Dark Archive 4/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Upper Midwest aka Silbeg

Glad it is a good scenario as I am running it at SkålCon!

And in a slot 0.

Shadow Lodge 5/5 5/5 RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 8 aka WalterGM

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With the assistance of my father (on his banjo) I got this space-folk-song recorded. Here's "The Man they called Talbot", as a standalone track off Table Variation's podcast.

Feel free to download it use it in your games if you'd like!

Grand Lodge 3/5 5/55/55/5

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Are there typos to the tier 1-2 ysoki ambushers? EAC should definitely be higher than '1' and the attack bonuses seem really high compared to their stats... I feel like the slimmed down enemy design makes accounting for typos or errors more difficult.

4/5 5/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Thank you Walter Sheppard! I am so using your song in my session Thursday. One thing, Soundcloud is telling me it can't play the track. I will sing it if I must but I would much rather use the track.

Edit - it does work on my phone. So perfect!

Dataphiles 3/5 5/5

Anyone know what the miners add to their ranged attacks? It only states the weapon and its damage.

Sovereign Court 3/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Quote:
The ranged attack bonus of the miners should be +5

There are some other clarifications and errata in that thread, as well.

Shadow Lodge 5/5 5/55/5 Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka thistledown

The other good reference for anything on Akiton is Trigun. Planet Gunsmoke matches up quite nicely.

Or really, westerns in general.

Shadow Lodge 5/5 5/55/5 Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka thistledown

Ran this last week, took exactly 2 hours. When I played it at Pacificon, I think it took 3, but we had a volunteer GM running it cold, who I don't think had ever GM'd before.

Dataphiles 3/5 5/5

KingOfAnything wrote:
Quote:
The ranged attack bonus of the miners should be +5
There are some other clarifications and errata in that thread, as well.

Awesome thank you.

Shadow Lodge 5/5 5/55/55/55/5 Venture-Captain, Indiana—Southern aka CanisDirus

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Walter Sheppard wrote:

With the assistance of my father (on his banjo) I got this space-folk-song recorded. Here's "The Man they called Talbot", as a standalone track off Table Variation's podcast.

Feel free to download it use it in your games if you'd like!

As always, Walter, you are awesome! I'll be using this in a couple of days!

Shadow Lodge 5/5 5/55/55/55/5 Venture-Captain, Indiana—Southern aka CanisDirus

So, in my final read-through before running this tomorrow, I noticed an omission (that I'm hoping won't come up when running this, but since it's still a possibility...)

If the negotiations in location with AbadarCorp go well for the PCs, but Talbot escapes in the end (either with the stolen item or without it if the PCs offer him a "head start" in exchange for handing it over), how are GMs handling how that affects the chronicle sheet boons?

The Development section on page 17 suggests that it is covered in the Conclusion section, but it does not appear to be so.


Great stuff Walter Shepard. That song is definitely happening when I run this.

2/5 5/5

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Can anyone guess what the point of the energy field that separates the bar in half is? It must take energy to run, and I know it lends a little SF touch to a traditional Western setting, but I just don't fathom the purpose.

Unrelated: has anyone had Talbot make a run for it once he reaches the mine entrance? I'm trying to predict whether I'll have to keep in mind Survival checks to track him down, how long it would take him to escape Tasch, and when to just call it that he has escaped.

Shadow Lodge 5/5 5/55/5 Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka thistledown

Jhaeman wrote:

Can anyone guess what the point of the energy field that separates the bar in half is? It must take energy to run, and I know it lends a little SF touch to a traditional Western setting, but I just don't fathom the purpose.

Unrelated: has anyone had Talbot make a run for it once he reaches the mine entrance? I'm trying to predict whether I'll have to keep in mind Survival checks to track him down, how long it would take him to escape Tasch, and when to just call it that he has escaped.

He was about a round from that when I ran it. But then he's out of cover, and the party's guns finally brought him down. I also got a little sloppy on his movement & actions on that last round, as his tactics were mostly done.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

Jhaeman wrote:
Can anyone guess what the point of the energy field that separates the bar in half is? It must take energy to run, and I know it lends a little SF touch to a traditional Western setting, but I just don't fathom the purpose.

Ambiance, mostly. Maybe some sound dampening, like the glass or cloth dividers in some restaurants.

I did manage to get Talbot out of the cave on one run through, but without a meaningful way to escape they just ran him down.

Wayfinders 4/5 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Texas—Houston

For the Pitfalls mentioned in page 5, the Culture/Profession pitfall triggers if the PCs fail by 5 or less. The Diplomacy pitfall triggers if the PCs fail by 5 or more. Are both of these correct? Or is one of them in error?

2/5 5/5

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Jhaeman wrote:


Unrelated: has anyone had Talbot make a run for it once he reaches the mine entrance? I'm trying to predict whether I'll have to keep in mind Survival checks to track him down, how long it would take him to escape Tasch, and when to just call it that he has escaped.

Huh, he actually escaped in the game I just ran. Reached the mine exit and had a couple of rounds of head start on the PCs (and was completely unharmed thanks to holographic duplicates). They took a couple of long-range shots but missed due to range increment issues. I had to assume that the locals in Tasch would shield him or get in the way of pursuing PCs, and called it there. Fortunately, I have awesome players and they weren't too miffed that they lost out on the fame and reputation.

Shadow Lodge 5/5 5/55/55/55/5 Venture-Captain, Indiana—Southern aka CanisDirus

Aaron Reichgott wrote:
For the Pitfalls mentioned in page 5, the Culture/Profession pitfall triggers if the PCs fail by 5 or less. The Diplomacy pitfall triggers if the PCs fail by 5 or more. Are both of these correct? Or is one of them in error?

^ Bump.

Asked this in the "First Wave Clarifications" thread - still awaiting a reply.

Jhaeman wrote:
Can anyone guess what the point of the energy field that separates the bar in half is? It must take energy to run, and I know it lends a little SF touch to a traditional Western setting, but I just don't fathom the purpose.

I ran it as a sound barrier/ambience, and also threw in some flavor that the energy fields had scenes from Maro infosphere stations and "sportsball" games playing, even though everyone was ignoring them in favor of the banjo player and the drinking.

2/5 5/5

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Mike Bramnik wrote:


Jhaeman wrote:
Can anyone guess what the point of the energy field that separates the bar in half is? It must take energy to run, and I know it lends a little SF touch to a traditional Western setting, but I just don't fathom the purpose.
I ran it as a sound barrier/ambience, and also threw in some flavor that the energy fields had scenes from Maro infosphere stations and "sportsball" games playing, even though everyone was ignoring them in favor of the banjo player and the drinking.

That's clever--wish I'd thought of that. One of the things a PC Operative did for their Trick Attack (they could use the Computers skill) was get the energy field to strobe on and off to distract the enemy. It was a nice touch.

Wayfinders 4/5

"Sounds like what I did there... except I didn't just have it strobe. There was was nekkid flesh showing on every screen!"

2/5 5/5

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

In feedback, one of my players made a really good point that (depending on where the PCs are and what kind of weapons they're holding), Talbot might be a lot better off getting out of the cart. That way he could double-move to get out of the mine faster (instead of the 30' speed of the cart) or could move and do total defense (to move at the same speed of the cart but with a higher AC bonus). The real value of the cart is in running people over :)

2/5 5/5

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Did anyone else's PCs think the mining uniforms they found in the locker were a hint they should try to disguise themselves as miners? Mine tried it but got unceremoniously blasted when they approached Talbot. I'm not sure if it was an intentional red herring or not, but it was fun.


Jhaeman wrote:
Did anyone else's PCs think the mining uniforms they found in the locker were a hint they should try to disguise themselves as miners? Mine tried it but got unceremoniously blasted when they approached Talbot. I'm not sure if it was an intentional red herring or not, but it was fun.

My group did that - use the mining uniforms to disguise themselves - and we did it successfully.

But, then again, we also managed to disarm the Extremely Loud trap so they had no idea we were coming.

Sovereign Court 3/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Canada—Ontario—Toronto aka crashcanuck

Jhaeman wrote:
Did anyone else's PCs think the mining uniforms they found in the locker were a hint they should try to disguise themselves as miners? Mine tried it but got unceremoniously blasted when they approached Talbot. I'm not sure if it was an intentional red herring or not, but it was fun.

Mine were too busy looking through the MSDS paperwork in the locker to care about the uniforms.

Shadow Lodge 5/5 5/55/5 Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka thistledown

Graham Wilson wrote:
Jhaeman wrote:
Did anyone else's PCs think the mining uniforms they found in the locker were a hint they should try to disguise themselves as miners? Mine tried it but got unceremoniously blasted when they approached Talbot. I'm not sure if it was an intentional red herring or not, but it was fun.
Mine were too busy looking through the MSDS paperwork in the locker to care about the uniforms.

It's just called SDS now. And I totally missed those being in the lockers. Ah well...

Grand Lodge 4/5 5/5

Bongo BigBounce wrote:

Thank you Walter Sheppard! I am so using your song in my session Thursday. One thing, Soundcloud is telling me it can't play the track. I will sing it if I must but I would much rather use the track.

I have to agree with this sentiment. We will be playing this tomorrow and I am so using this little prop. Thanks Walter!

Venture-Agent, Canada—Ontario—Ottawa aka Mistwalker

Jhaeman wrote:
Can anyone guess what the point of the energy field that separates the bar in half is? It must take energy to run, and I know it lends a little SF touch to a traditional Western setting, but I just don't fathom the purpose.

When the Shobdan shouted from outside, I had all of the patrons of the bar run to the other side of the force field and close it behind themselves, before the players knew what was going on.

The patrons also started taking bets on who would win - and had one individual start to make popcorn.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Society Developer

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Recently, this scenario received an updated version. The email incorrectly matched the updates with another scenario we intend on updating in the near future. For clarity's sake, here's the compiled list of updates to this scenario.

Spoilers for #1-02: Fugitive on the Red Planet:

Page 5: Under the Pitfall for Diplomacy (Gather Information) updated the beginning of the text to read: "If the Diplomacy check failed by 5 or less..."

Page 11: Updated the Subtier 1-2 ysoki ambushers to include the correct EAC of 11.

Page 15: Updated the ranged attack bonus of the Subtier 1-2 miners to +3.

Page 16: Updated Subtier 1-2 Reynald Talbot's static arc pistol ranged attack bonus to +8 down from +10.

Page 16: Updated the ranged attack bonus of the Subtier 3-4 miners to +5.

Page 16: Updated Subtier 1-2 Reynald Talbot's thunderstrike pistol ranged attack bonus to +10 down from +15.

Grand Lodge

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What conclusion happen in the report and sheets if they make a deal with Abacorp, but Talbot died? I assume the deal goes through still, since the scenario earlier said Aba don't care if they get the corpse?

Shadow Lodge 5/5 5/55/55/55/5 Venture-Captain, Indiana—Southern aka CanisDirus

^ Seconded.

The Development section on page 17 suggests that this should be covered in the Conclusion section (along with what happens if the PCs make a god impression with Abadarcorp but Talbot escapes), but it does not. Many GMs would like an answer to this.


Jhaeman wrote:
Huh, he actually escaped in the game I just ran. Reached the mine exit and had a couple of rounds of head start on the PCs (and was completely unharmed thanks to holographic duplicates). They took a couple of long-range shots but missed due to range increment issues. I had to assume that the locals in Tasch would shield him or get in the way of pursuing PCs, and called it there. Fortunately, I have awesome players and they weren't too miffed that they lost out on the fame and reputation.

Talbot escaped when I ran this, too. The PCs didn't hit him until all (4!) of the duplicates got taken down. Talbot took out the PC Operative in the second round, while the sharpshooter soldier (played by a 12-year-old) jumped in the cart with him. The other three PCs got fixated on the miners for some reason. Talbot jumped off the cart when he got to the trapped zone and made a break for it with his speed. The soldier in the cart biffed a couple of rolls to get out of the cart. The PC Mystic revived the PC Operative, who chased Talbot down but was dropped again moments before Talbot stole their ride and drove off.

To their credit, the PCs called the AbadarCorp agents to report Talbot's escape and I gave the NPCs a chance to catch him before he got back to Tasch. Rolled high, so I said they got him, but weren't willing to give the Starfinders the McGuffin (after a failed Diplomacy check).


Is anyone else confused about Talbot's escape? It says if he's alerted he get's in the mine cart and rides it to the entrance. The rail system isn't set up for a strait shot out of the mine. He'll have to stop at several intersections and switch the track direction.

The Exchange 5/5 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Belafon

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limelizard wrote:
Is anyone else confused about Talbot's escape? It says if he's alerted he get's in the mine cart and rides it to the entrance. The rail system isn't set up for a strait shot out of the mine. He'll have to stop at several intersections and switch the track direction.

Presume that these futuristic mine cart systems have an electronic routing capability that automatically switches the rails to the proper orientation as the cart nears.

1/5

Keldin wrote:
But, then again, we also managed to disarm the Extremely Loud trap so they had no idea we were coming.

Spoilers for #1-02: Fugitive on the Red Planet:
I'm running it this weekend, and I'm not sure my group will get the idea that there might be traps. So they'll probably just blunder into it. We'll see. I didn't see anything in the box text that telegraphed the idea that Talbot might have prepared for any unwanted visitors.
1/5

Has anyone actually had Talbot use the Charlatan's Stone in game? It seems to be pretty powerful, if you used it correctly. But there's nothing in the scenario to indicate that Talbot uses it either offensively or defensively. Are there stats somewhere for that artifact?

Or is it just a MacGuffin? "Beyond the scope of this adventure?"

1/5

The artwork for Maarbadvae definitely doesn't match the new shobad "look." She's the old-style Pathfinder shobad.

Sorry for the multiple posts. I'm prepping to run this scenario, so it's kind of on my mind right now.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, Texas—Houston aka Arutema

TheBigBlueFrog wrote:

Has anyone actually had Talbot use the Charlatan's Stone in game? It seems to be pretty powerful, if you used it correctly. But there's nothing in the scenario to indicate that Talbot uses it either offensively or defensively. Are there stats somewhere for that artifact?

Or is it just a MacGuffin? "Beyond the scope of this adventure?"

Spoiler:
If you get the details from Philt, it's strongly implied Talbot's been using the Stone to sell Abadarcorp a load of worthless dirt as Drift engine fuel.

That said, the Stone doesn't have any impact in combat.

5/5 5/55/55/5

I'm gonna assume it takes too long to use like that, otherwise just turning your space suits into mercury or something would be a one touch one kill option.

1/5

BigNorseWolf wrote:
I'm gonna assume it takes too long to use like that, otherwise just turning your space suits into mercury or something would be a one touch one kill option.

Spoiler:
I was thinking more along the lines of turning the thin rock wall in his office into marshmallow fluff, thus creating a back way out of the mine. :)
1/5

The encounter in Digger's Dive says:

Quote:
Spoiler:
If the PCs fail to negotiate a deal with Philt and fail to defeat the AbadarCorp representatives in the subsequent combat...

I assume by "fail to defeat" they mean one of the following:

1: TPK
2: PCs surrender
3: NPCs escape

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, Texas—Houston aka Arutema

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TheBigBlueFrog wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
I'm gonna assume it takes too long to use like that, otherwise just turning your space suits into mercury or something would be a one touch one kill option.
** spoiler omitted **

Spoiler:
The stone's effects are illusions, so that would just produce a solid rock wall that looks like marshmallow fluff.
5/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

Spoiler:
It is also possible to find tracks to the mine with a successful DC 14 Survival check, since foot traffic and vehicles have gone back and forth from there in recent days

Does anybody encounter situation when PCs use Survival check and do not enter Digger's Dive and meet Philt? PCs can meet him in another place but two fight in a raw can be too difficult and more important Philt don't have clue that PCs looking for Talbot.

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