A trial one shot

General Discussion

Me and my friends play pathfinder often, and they are interested in star finder. However, no one wanted to GM it and because I wanted to play it so bad, I volunteered to do it. I have never GM'd anything in my life. They insist they want to just one trial one-shot before committing to the dead suns campaign, which I personally like from what I have read. So I need help, I want somthing that grabs their attention and opens them up to this new galaxy. I want them to see it and want more. Any ideas on a one shot? These guys are more experienced than I, so I would like somthing not so typical either.
Thanks guys!

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Sure, I've got one I was working on! I got the idea from a Shadowrun short story, with influences from the first Resident Evil movie and the Trench Mist enemy from Pathfinder. It is a bit of a horror game, obviously, so I hope that's cool with your players.

Basically, a generic shady corporation got their hands on a very old and powerful cursed item. Doesn't really matter what item it was, because they decided to grind it down into microscopic pieces, add in nanobots to carry the pieces, and form it into a curse-bomb.

Such is the nature of curses, it managed to get released into the research base. Everyone except the Chief of Security died horribly and violently as the curse spread through the base. He managed to send an SOS to the corp before the main power went offline. That was three days ago.

Cue your players. They are hired as deniable assets to go and investigate the base. The base itself could be under an ocean, deep in a mountain, on an asteroid, doesn't matter. It should just make your players feel isolated and alone when they are dropped off there by the corp.

They are given a basic generator and override codes for the entrance. After that, it's up to them to make their way through the base, dealing with cursed zombies, insane workers, and strange accidents that seem to happen just at the right time to cause issues.

The base itself can be as big as you need it to be for your play time. But it should be full of dark, foggy, tight hallways, odd noises, and blood splatters.

Their first order of business should be to reactivate the generator. Once that happens, the lights come back on and the Chief of Security contacts them from his office, where he holed up. He is a little off his rocker, but some successful Charisma checks can lead him to help the party by telling them where they need to go to find the scientists with the cards to open other doors.

They eventually will get to the main testing area of the curse-bomb and find that it has become self-aware, using the nanites that carries the pieces as a sort of collective AI. There are several ways to deal with it.

They can fight it. It is nearly immune to solid weapons, weak to sonic damage, and will mainly debuff the player characters while it calls in cursed minions to do damage. If the minions die, it can revive them as undead.

They can hack it. Pretty much the same as fighting it, but one character will be attempting to hack it until they succeed a certain amount of times at a DC 20. Once successfully hacked, it will no longer be self-aware, and the nanites can be controlled.

Or they can reason with it and let it go. If they do this, the Chief of Security will harass the players while leaving. Locking doors, forcing them into fights with crazy scientists, releasing test subjects, and finally forcing a fight between the the players and the Chief before they can leave.

In the end, with the problem "dealt with," the players are rewarded, and may have some potential allies and enemies in future sessions.

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The long and the short of it, the party wakes up to find they've been abducted, strapped with explosives, placed in the docking airlock and told to murder their way through a disabled spaceship.

Players can go with it, or use their abilities to turn the tide on their abducties. Perhaps using Engineering to disable the explosives, or Computers to block the signal. Maybe they use diplomacy and convince the disabled vessel's Head Engineer to help them (if they lack the afore mentioned skills.) Regardless they'll likely have to take over their captors ship (or help restore functionality to the disabled ship) so you'll see some of the combat mechanics which ever way they go.

Finally if they go along with the pirates plan have "space cops" show up in order to try out the ship combat at the end of the one shot. If they rebel and take over the pirate ship/restore the functionality of the disabled vessel they can then have space combat with the pirates instead. Either way if they survive that combat you've ended the session with some plot hooks and have given the players a ship with which to pursue them.

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

If you have never GMed before, you may want to start with something like the Into the Unknown quest or a very simple scenario like Fugitive on the Red Planet.

The quest takes about 5 hours, but is easy to break up into small chunks. Fugitive runs about 2-3 hours (which is short for a scenario) and lacks any space combat, but is easier to run as a GM.

Building your own can be very time consuming and frustrating as nothing goes quite the way you anticipate.

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Via reddit, I think this little homebrewed thingamajig looks like a bit of fun, and the sort of thing you could do in one session. The only potential issue being the isometric maps, which I don't personally care for.

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I'll second the Into The Unknown quest. As BretI mentions, it consists of short chunks, and each one is designed to introduce rules concepts as you go; the first one introduces combat rules, the second introduces starship rules, etc.

I have some experience as a GM, but one of my players is brand new to RPGs, and we're all new to Starfinder. We're having a great time playing the quest.

CeeJay wrote:
Via reddit, I think this little homebrewed thingamajig looks like a bit of fun, and the sort of thing you could do in one session. The only potential issue being the isometric maps, which I don't personally care for.

Good to have some free gold stations and Gunbot! stuff out there for SF. ;)

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