SFS 1-09: Live Exploration Extreme!


GM Discussion

Exo-Guardians

Do characters really get no items besides spell gem and lvl 2 armor in 1-09, unless they played 1-05? Based on "you only get it if you find it" guidelines

Paizo Employee Starfinder Society Developer

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Official Clarification:: Assume that the items are available on the Chronicle Sheet at the end of the scenario, regardless of whether or not one or more of the PCs possesses this boon. This balances out the relatively low treasure count in this scenario.

Obviously, the PCs still need the boon to benefit from this equipment DURING the scenario.

**** Venture-Lieutenant, Tennessee—Nashville aka Wolfspirit

Clearly "personas" are an important aspect of this scenario, but it's a little unclear how each character gets their persona and how much they're supposed to play to it. Is this supposed to be a player invented persona, or just what a GM observes and describes

My thought is to have Wazasha give a brief overview ("Remember, it's important to play to the audience! You're heroes, so make sure to be relatable!") Though I'm not sure if they should even know that the "anti-hero" option even exists.

Did anyone have any thoughts?

***** ⦵⦵⦵

Ran this yesterday. We were slightly rushed because the party did the thing and the solar sortie ran a little short, so we skipped the dinner break to fit this in in between slots.

The party was a little overwhelmed with the reality show to put together the bigger mystery

Not sure if they wanted the sequel, but when the party saw zo! in the first mandate immediately after this they were estatic, so they're probably up for it.

Beyond the first fight where they're mentioned with the light I'm not exactly sure where to put the camera crew for them to be in the way.

a P on the map for "party starts here" would help. it may be described in the scenario, but in the middle of the game you want that information fast.

The party really did have a lot of fun with this one.

Paizo Employee ***** Organized Play Lead Developer

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Michael Donley wrote:

Clearly "personas" are an important aspect of this scenario, but it's a little unclear how each character gets their persona and how much they're supposed to play to it. Is this supposed to be a player invented persona, or just what a GM observes and describes

My thought is to have Wazasha give a brief overview ("Remember, it's important to play to the audience! You're heroes, so make sure to be relatable!") Though I'm not sure if they should even know that the "anti-hero" option even exists.

Did anyone have any thoughts?

When I ran it a few weeks ago, I kept a sheet of paper on hand and wrote down a couple of words that applied to each PC’s behavior during the tunnels exploration and first encounter. I then asked soft but leading questions as a GM and as Wazasha to confirm the PC’s persona, like “Okay, seems like you’re going for kinda a wrestle-everything Steve Irwin vibe?” Or “Do you always tackle new creatures and try to lick them?”

It lets the GM observe and respond but offers the player a chance to course-correct in case something’s just not right.

Shadow Lodge Venture-Lieutenant, Ohio—Columbus aka Luke Woods - Columbus

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Ran this on Saturday. Didn't feel rushed, but also had two level 3 characters playing down on a table of 6.

The characters did not know if a sequel was a good idea, but the players are howling for more.

Throughout the adventure I was writing sticky notes and slapping them onto the front of my GM screen showing the audience's response to their actions ("Lame #LEE" "They have a mascot #LEE" "That explosion was fake, I know Holoshop so I know these things #LEE"), that seemed to help remind the players that the universe is watching. (I was careful to not let it slow things down and had several prepped before hand).

From my observations I would like a few more enemies involved in the final encounter, the run of the mill goblins didn't offer much challenge to a table of six, but the bbeg had them quaking as he came rocketing out of the mist.

I thought the scenario was great and would happily run a whole series of Live Exploration Extreme.

*****

I ran this this past weekend. It went over very well.

I was very transparent about the show mechanics, more than I normally am about side mechanics in scenarios, and that seemed rather important. I didn't tell them exactly how much they needed and how many they currently had at a given point, just how the system worked and that this was something to work toward. I even explained the anti-hero/reality show villain path and its consequences and just the explanation of it gave the players some entertainment value.
I have never watched a reality show of any kind, so my only frame of reference for how such thing work is unfriendly parody, which I think was also the case for my players (I don't know how much overlap there is between TTRPG nerds and reality show audience), so the way I ran it was not too deep of a send up/parody of reality shows. I don't think anyone minded.
I didn't have the players officially declare personas, resulting in everyone RPing basically the same way - a cocky, self-assured/centered, attention seeker. I played up the "divisive" questions in the talking head segments, and they all loved that.
I skipped the optional encounter, causing a noticeable "hole" in the scenario. Optional encounters in most scenarios feel disconnected from what's supposed to be going on and come and go as like combats that were rolled on a random encounter table. In this scenario, removing the optional encounter was jarring. It made the whole rush to save Holsim feel less urgent and the effort to make their way through the fissure pointless (just forcing half the party to make acrobatics checks to move in the final combat). I'm not sure the players noticed.

Overall, this was a very good scenario that the players loved. It got even the quieter/low-key players to RP a lot more than they normally would, and they had fun doing so.

*****

One thing that did greatly bother me, though, and this is Paizo-wide: the consent disclaimers.

I saw this in a couple of APs, and it's in this scenario as well. I get that a pre-written adventure can warrant a disclaimer for "make sure everyone is on the same page" or "make sure everyone understands table drama is not the same as RL inter-player drama" but framing it as consent is really stupid. Having an awkward or unpleasant experience at a gaming table is not even close to the same thing as being raped, which is specifically what is evoked by the terminology the company has been using for these things.

***** ⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Germany—Rhein-Main aka GreyYeti

I have a question regarding the price of the red star plasma kukri.

On the chronicle sheet it has a price of 2,450 credits in the description, but in the items found list its price is 3,200 credits.

Which one of these is the right one?

Paizo Employee Starfinder Society Developer

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Nils Janson wrote:

I have a question regarding the price of the red star plasma kukri.

On the chronicle sheet it has a price of 2,450 credits in the description, but in the items found list its price is 3,200 credits.

Which one of these is the right one?

The higher price and higher item level are the correct values. I'll be seeing about updating this as soon as we can.

Sovereign Court **** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

TheFlyingPhoton wrote:

One thing that did greatly bother me, though, and this is Paizo-wide: the consent disclaimers.

I saw this in a couple of APs, and it's in this scenario as well. I get that a pre-written adventure can warrant a disclaimer for "make sure everyone is on the same page" or "make sure everyone understands table drama is not the same as RL inter-player drama" but framing it as consent is really stupid. Having an awkward or unpleasant experience at a gaming table is not even close to the same thing as being raped, which is specifically what is evoked by the terminology the company has been using for these things.

Well, yes and no.

I agree that the terminology might sound a bit dramatic.

However, I also think quite a few roleplayers may remember being picked on in high school ("nerds"), and the Booth experience might not be fun for everyone. Especially if multiple players all pile on to the same person, because he happened to make himself an easy target in the last scene. So I think it's a good idea to sharpen the GM's mind about this.

Sovereign Court **** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

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Scene A is all about the PCs discovering stuff and telling the audience. The GM first reading aloud to a player what he discovered kind of steals the scoop, so I made discovery cards. On one side the skill needed; on the other hand what you learn.

So when the players are exploring, put them down on the table with the skill-side up. The first player to pass the check gets to flip it and do the big reveal.

Uploaded to PFSPREP :)

Sovereign Court **** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

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Does anyone have nice logos for those gear sponsoring companies?

Paizo Employee ***** Organized Play Lead Developer

As with all products, I encourage folks to post reviews on the adventure's product page.

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

To meet the secondary success condition a PC has to “meet two of the following three conditions.” But there are four conditions listed. Should it be two of the four or three of the four?

Sovereign Court **** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

This was clarified before. 2/4 is sufficient.

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

Lau Bannenberg wrote:
This was clarified before. 2/4 is sufficient.

Let me guess: there’s another thread somewhere?

Edit: found it. It was in general discussion.

Link to the clarification in case anyone else comes to GM discussion with the same question.

* ⦵⦵⦵⦵

Starfinder Superscriber
TheFlyingPhoton wrote:
One thing that did greatly bother me, though, and this is Paizo-wide: the consent disclaimers.

Consent applies to a much broader range of situations than rape.

If my character flirts with another player's PC and it makes that PC's player uncomfortable, I would be engaging in sexual harassment. It doesn't matter that we're role playing, I as a player made the choice in how to act.

Now if I ask that other player if they consent to PC-PC flirting or they consent through roleplay (eg, flirting back), and this doesn't make anyone else at the table uncomfortable, its fine.

Harassment already happens in PFS/SFS from a small number of players, a scenario that encourages players to emulate the behavior of reality show actors amplifies the potential for it.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Exactly what Arc said. Reality shows are all about petty sniping, oneupsmanship, and backstabbing. Players that aren't comfortable with that sort of social dynamic shouldn't be forced to deal with it, so if someone has a problem with it, the GM should work to adjudicate around the problem.

I would suggest you make your peace with the consent disclaimers. They aren't going anywhere.

***** ⦵⦵⦵

Okay, i thought it was because i was in a hurry and not really planning to run this but as I'm prepping this for online play.. no. The layout on this is absolutely horrible and confusing.

The four player adjustment for encounter D (final fight with the goblins and Big genius) , is after the map before encounter D which is before the description of encounter C.

The goblin scrappers stat block is broken up over three pages with a map in the middle

the map for encounter D is before fight C (i have no idea why those pages aren't just switched)

Absolutely love the scenario, but the layout results in a lot of confused flipping back and forth

*****

Misroi wrote:
I would suggest you make your peace with the consent disclaimers. They aren't going anywhere.

I don't consent to consent disclaimers.

Paizo Employee ***** Organized Play Lead Developer

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Arc Riley wrote:
TheFlyingPhoton wrote:
One thing that did greatly bother me, though, and this is Paizo-wide: the consent disclaimers.

Consent applies to a much broader range of situations than rape.

If my character flirts with another player's PC and it makes that PC's player uncomfortable, I would be engaging in sexual harassment. It doesn't matter that we're role playing, I as a player made the choice in how to act.

Now if I ask that other player if they consent to PC-PC flirting or they consent through roleplay (eg, flirting back), and this doesn't make anyone else at the table uncomfortable, its fine.

Harassment already happens in PFS/SFS from a small number of players, a scenario that encourages players to emulate the behavior of reality show actors amplifies the potential for it.

This. Consent is also a significant part of the social contract—the same one in which we might agree on house rules or character creation standards—to running a horror game. We’re ultimately here to have fun, even if that means being made somewhat uncomfortable by spooky themes or social conflict in the name of narrative. Consent informs everyone where the red line is so that everyone can respect personal boundaries and keep roleplaying situations from becoming outright distressing.

TheFlyingPhoton wrote:
Misroi wrote:
I would suggest you make your peace with the consent disclaimers. They aren't going anywhere.
I don't consent to consent disclaimers.

Alternatively, we could just add a Consent tag so that those who don’t consent to respecting the consent of others can make an informed consent decision and run a different scenario to which they do consent. Of course, for that you would need to respect consent in the first place so that you could exercise it in the first place.

Which is my snarky way of saying that consent sidebars aren’t going to show up in every scenario, but when they do, it’s for an important reason. If consent in non-rape contexts isn’t something you as a GM can respect for the sake of your players, there are many other great adventures for you to enjoy together.

*****

I'm not arguing for dropping disclaimers for any of the situations where I've seen them pop up. I'm just saying you should call them something else.

Paizo Employee ***** Organized Play Lead Developer

TheFlyingPhoton wrote:
I'm not arguing for dropping disclaimers for any of the situations where I've seen them pop up. I'm just saying you should call them something else.

Consent applies to far more than sexual violence, and I say that with no intention of downplaying the impact of sexual violence. Consent is also the term I've seen most commonly used when it comes to issues of advertising questionable content and seeking the emotional buy-in of participants for a tabletop roleplaying game. If there's a larger controversy about using "consent" to describe anything outside of sexual situations, I've missed it (as have others at Paizo, considering we use the term extensively in Horror Adventures) and am open to being pointed to articles or other discussions.

Is there some other word you expect to see here?

Sovereign Court **** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

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I just ran this, had a great time. Got a barstool and put it in front of a spot of blank wall to use as The Booth. There's something about sitting on a barstool with nothing in front of your legs that makes people squirm a bit. Everyone was dreading their turn in the Booth but nobody wanted to be left out either so I think I got the right amount of squirm.

I didn't put the disclaimer in terms of consent so much as "keep it nice, and when you don't know the other person that well, be a bit more careful", and that worked out fine.

Paizo Employee ***** Organized Play Lead Developer

Lau Bannenberg wrote:
I just ran this, had a great time. Got a barstool and put it in front of a spot of blank wall to use as The Booth. There's something about sitting on a barstool with nothing in front of your legs that makes people squirm a bit. Everyone was dreading their turn in the Booth but nobody wanted to be left out either so I think I got the right amount of squirm.

Oooooh! Nice.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Luke Woods wrote:


Throughout the adventure I was writing sticky notes and slapping them onto the front of my GM screen showing the audience's response to their actions ("Lame #LEE" "They have a mascot #LEE" "That explosion was fake, I know Holoshop so I know these things #LEE"), that seemed to help remind the players that the universe is watching. (I was careful to not let it slow things down and had several prepped before hand).

Can I just say that I totally stole this idea with the sticky notes when running it myself. Made up some semi-amusing usernames and used them to act as feedback and to keep the pace going.

Worked really well...........stroke of genius from you I think.

** Venture-Agent, Indiana—Lafayette aka Poison Dusk

Ran this yesterday. We had a great time! Everyone just laughed off the consent warning, as everyone at the table are friends and are quick to tease each other as is. The camera crew was interesting, though both my players and I wish I had used them to get in the way a little more. If I run this again I will definitely do so. The goblin mascot I also feel I underused, though. Perhaps the best part was the meeting of the dwarves. It through everyone for a loop, and watching their confusion made for great TV!

Sovereign Court **** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

I think it's fine if the camera crew isn't too annoying. I used 6 ghoul minis and kept moving them up a bit behind front-row PCs trying to get good shots of the action. Occasionally that made it tricky for someone else to get close to the front line, which was just annoying enough.

And when they realized the camera crew's bright lighting was interacting with the spicodranth there was a momentary "of COURSE!" groan.

I had the camera crew talk about how eating goblins is basically mystery meat junk food - you don't know what it's eaten. And zoom in lustfully any time a PC got hurt. When I pulled the Pharasmin priest soldier into the Booth he kept talking while the camera focused on his wounds from the recent fight; kind of an "eyes up here" moment.

**

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

For the first encounter (using the Tech Dungeon flip-mat), where do the PCs start? There's a few places that seem plausible (such as that tunnel on the left and that staircase in the center), and with so many walls it'll make a difference.

Edit: I'm guessing the staircase in the center of the map represents the ladder of rebar the PCs are supposed to climb? It'll be crowded in that small room (especially with the camera crew!) and there wouldn't be line of sight to the spicodranth so I thought I'd better double check.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

It is a bit confusing, but I believe your read is right - based on the way the narrative plays out the PCs are exploring a tunnel, fight some goblins, climb up to the habitat, and encounter dwarves. Since the ruins beneath and above have similar structure, it's safe to assume that the center bit is what they climb up, which means the only other way onto the map is the western tunnel.

**

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Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Just for fun, here's a few of the social media (Twitter-equivalent) messages I wrote on notecards for the PCs to see if they examine the holo-feed.

LOL, this holo sux. What is Starfinder? Wish Envar Tamm were on it! #LEE!

This holo is RAD-7 to the X-Treme!!! What's in that moon?!?! #LEE!

OMG, that android is so nova-hot! I'd like to lube his piston! #LEE!

This is so FAKE! Those dwarves are obvs actors. A prank on Starfinders? They're so dumb! #LEE!

Grand Lodge *

The social media and playing to the audience parts of this were a lot of fun, but as a GM, I had some serious issues with this scenario.

1) When are the PCs supposed to realize they are in a simulation chamber? It's one of the potential questions to ask the dwarves about. There's no direction for skill checks or descriptions of the areas that I can find that would lead to this conclusion until they find the terminal in area D.

2) Some read aloud descriptive text of each area would have gone a long way. I was tempted to just read what's written, but it slides into spoiler territory for the players immediately.

3) The layout for this scenario is really bad. The map placement in relation to the encounter details and stat blocks. The scaling sidebars being on a different page than the stat blocks. Art of an NPC next to the stat block of a different creature from a completely different area. This encounter was extremely difficult to run from the digital source.

***** ⦵⦵⦵

1) Well, you see a bunch of dwarves in old fashioned armor it's a possible guess.

2) definitely

3) <3

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

1. The only way the party would know for sure that they're in a simulation chamber is at the end, but savvy party members might put things together. After all, there are a lot of things that don't line up, and the characters know they're exploring an artificial moon. However, the dwarves have no idea what the characters are talking about - the simulation is their existence, after all.

2 & 3. Can't disagree here.

**

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Regarding what the PCs think is happening, that's a major theme of it being a live reality show. The production assistant subtly prompts them them to narrate their thoughts, and asks them direct questions in the Booth. Fan theories over the infosphere should add to the range of possibilities: Are these real dwarves from someplace who have been kidnapped, brainwashed, and taken here? Is the whole show a hoax/prank, and these are actors? Have the Starfinders somehow crossed a dimensional nexus into Old Golarion? Maybe the goblins and dwarves are robots! Etc, etc.

***** ⦵⦵⦵

Dwarfbots. Must be dwarfbots

Dataphiles

Thurston Hillman wrote:
Nils Janson wrote:

I have a question regarding the price of the red star plasma kukri.

On the chronicle sheet it has a price of 2,450 credits in the description, but in the items found list its price is 3,200 credits.

Which one of these is the right one?

The higher price and higher item level are the correct values. I'll be seeing about updating this as soon as we can.

I hope you reconsider this. As a Level 5 weapon that only does 1d4 damage, even if it is two damage types (because it is a plasma weapon with electric and fire damage), and costs 3200 creds is whack. Consider the lackluster amount of credits that are awarded for each scenario as it is. It would take at least three scenarios for a level 3-4 character to purchase a basic melee weapon - a knife. I, personally, would never pay that much. The lower level and cost is more reasonable, in my opinion. As a level 5, it is 4 levels higher than the survival knife at 1d4 damage, and only 2 away from a level 7 that does 2d4 damage. With the extra damage type, having it as a level 4 puts it more in line with a logical progression of knives specifically, and basic melee weapons in general. Also consider the fact that it is a powered weapon.

As an alternative, if you want to keep it as a level 5 weapon at 3200 credits, then perhaps consider increasing the damage to 1d6.

In fact, a better weapon that would make more sense would be a vibroblade, or buzzblade, to put it into league as a knife version of the buzzblade dueling sword. It would maintain the powered and operative special features, and due to the vibrating action, a slight damage increase (maybe 1d4+2) would be in line.


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Vertasi wrote:
Thurston Hillman wrote:
Nils Janson wrote:

I have a question regarding the price of the red star plasma kukri.

On the chronicle sheet it has a price of 2,450 credits in the description, but in the items found list its price is 3,200 credits.

Which one of these is the right one?

The higher price and higher item level are the correct values. I'll be seeing about updating this as soon as we can.

I hope you reconsider this. As a Level 5 weapon that only does 1d4 damage, even if it is two damage types (because it is a plasma weapon with electric and fire damage), and costs 3200 creds is whack. Consider the lackluster amount of credits that are awarded for each scenario as it is. It would take at least three scenarios for a level 3-4 character to purchase a basic melee weapon - a knife. I, personally, would never pay that much. The lower level and cost is more reasonable, in my opinion. As a level 5, it is 4 levels higher than the survival knife at 1d4 damage, and only 2 away from a level 7 that does 2d4 damage. With the extra damage type, having it as a level 4 puts it more in line with a logical progression of knives specifically, and basic melee weapons in general. Also consider the fact that it is a powered weapon.

As an alternative, if you want to keep it as a level 5 weapon at 3200 credits, then perhaps consider increasing the damage to 1d6.

In fact, a better weapon that would make more sense would be a vibroblade, or buzzblade, to put it into league as a knife version of the buzzblade dueling sword. It would maintain the powered and operative special features, and due to the vibrating action, a slight damage increase (maybe 1d4+2) would be in line.

Isn't it an operative weapon that targets EAC? None of the other operative weapons do that right now. The amount of damage that it does, base, is pretty inconsequential when you're adding trick attack damage and have an average of +10% to hit (+20% if you add trick attack).

I would definitely count that as worth an investment for an Operative or anyone with a high Dex who needs a melee weapon.


I'm running this this coming Thursday, and have a question regarding infamy. The text on page 8 says:

"A PC who ends the scenario with a negative Fan Favor total earns 1 point of Infamy, but he qualifies for all credits rewards and boons on the Chronicle sheet tied to a high Fan Favor score."

Then page 22 says:

"Finally, any PC who ended the scenario with at least 3 Fan Favor earns the Budding Media Celebrity boon; remember that a PC who received Infamy and had 0 Fan Favor also earns this boon."

And:

"Remember that a PC who received Infamy and had 0 Fan Favor should lose no credits."

So, my question should be fairly obvious. Well, the first one, at least. If they are getting infamy, they have a non-zero (because they have negative) fan favor. These two conditions seem mutually exclusive.

My second question has to do with the credits earned. Say they fail to defeat the goblins in area A. Does a PC with infamy get full credits for that encounter while any other PC does not? Or is that only a reference to the final credit distribution in the conclusion?

(This is likely to be a fairly moot point -- I don't think I've had a party yet that failed to defeat all the parts of the scenario. Always a chance for the first time, though.)

Dataphiles

Quote:


Isn't it an operative weapon that targets EAC? None of the other operative weapons do that right now. The amount of damage that it does, base, is pretty inconsequential when you're adding trick attack damage and have an average of +10% to hit (+20% if you add trick attack).

as a melee weapon, yes. however, trick attack also works with small arms, and there are many of those that target EAC. in fact, that even bolsters my argument because in that same level range the small arms do anywhere from 1d6 to 1d8 damage.

from a metagaming standpoint, most players are going to want to have characters that are optimized for damage - why would anyone at that level use a melee weapon that does only 1d4 base damage if you can stand back out of harm's way and shoot someone for 1d6 or better base damage?

there is no incentive to do melee combat at fifth level with a fancy knitting needle. fighters that choose to do melee have both more hit points to take the brunt of close quarter combat as well as skill with heavier damage weapons that make closing with an enemy worthwhile.

Scarab Sages ⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Agent, Netherlands aka CptJames

Jhaeman wrote:

Just for fun, here's a few of the social media (Twitter-equivalent) messages I wrote on notecards for the PCs to see if they examine the holo-feed.

LOL, this holo sux. What is Starfinder? Wish Envar Tamm were on it! #LEE!

This holo is RAD-7 to the X-Treme!!! What's in that moon?!?! #LEE!

OMG, that android is so nova-hot! I'd like to lube his piston! #LEE!

This is so FAKE! Those dwarves are obvs actors. A prank on Starfinders? They're so dumb! #LEE!

Ohhhh this sounds awesome! I am definitely going to borrow the idea, especially making reference to the first one as some of my PC's will have encountered Envar (complete with backwards baseball cap and reflective aviators!)

Great idea! Kudos :)

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