3 - The Rune Drive Gambit


Against the Aeon Throne

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This is a spoiler-filled resource thread for GMs running the Against the Aeon Throne Adventure Path, specifically for the third adventure, "The Rune Drive Gambit."


Hi everyone,

I am looking for the name of the "Azlanti noble man" who is in charge of the operation. I am working on a campaign with experimental weapons and drift-tech and a Azlanti mastermind in getting all this stuff would be great.

Perhaps I will adept the AP for SCs with level 4 and so the same archenemy would be super.

Thank you


Sardat Zolan Ulivestra. Sardat is a title, not part of his personal name.


Thanks a lot!

Liberty's Edge

Was browsing the 3rd book for the Aeon Throne series looking to get an Idea on a hybrid drive system, but found no stats for the drive! What and how does this drive work? Does it have anything special? what are the rules for making up a hybrid drive and such? I currently run a homebrew and was looking for ideas and thought that I would find it in this book. I am contemplating getting the series, but it seams to be lacking info.


Thorin_Ironwolf wrote:
Was browsing the 3rd book for the Aeon Throne series looking to get an Idea on a hybrid drive system, but found no stats for the drive! What and how does this drive work? Does it have anything special? what are the rules for making up a hybrid drive and such? I currently run a homebrew and was looking for ideas and thought that I would find it in this book. I am contemplating getting the series, but it seams to be lacking info.

I don't see any mention of a hybrid drive in the book. If you mean the plane shifting drive in Alien Archive 2, it does not have it. If you mean the Rune Drive, it allows instant travel between any two points by temporarily rewritting the rules of the universe so those two points are right next to each other.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

One thing that really bugged me here is the fact that the automated drones of Aurelos are not communicating with the facility or even reporting when spotting a hostile.
While I can understand storywise that it is nice for the characters to be able to surprise the facility it really does sound stupid. Why would there even be rune guardians guarding the entrance if they blindly believe that the drones can handle any intrusions? The characters should be able to stealth their way to the facility if the story wants it, not make it sound like the Azlanti are tactical idiots :P

This is an issue all the APs have shown, they tend to be "Pathfinder in Space" rather than Starfinder when considering facilities, their security and encounters there. Even modern security is highly automated, seems like Starfinder security is somewhat like the 80s or 90s standalone non-networked security cameras since even the camera feeds the characters find tend to be grainy even though with their technology the digital recordings would probably be quite sharp and clear. Of course, RPG designers can't be expected to know information security or facility security but even some realism would be nice :) You could have the realistic networked security system but that would make it more vulnerable to hacking so a good computers roll could disable all the cameras in the facility by accessing the network through one of them.

The drones did not even give any challenge for our groups tier 5 ship, only time they actually penetrated the shields was when I rolled TWO critical hits on the same round on the same side of the ship. Otherwise it was just scratching the shields if they even managed to hit.

We ended the session after the fight but I'm considering changing the adventure so that the asteroid knows someone is attacking it if I can adjust well enough for that.

EDIT: after reading my message it is (again) sounding way too negative, we've enjoyed most of the AP, I guess it's just in my nature to remember the negative parts and not the good ones :)


rixu wrote:

One thing that really bugged me here is the fact that the automated drones of Aurelos are not communicating with the facility or even reporting when spotting a hostile.

While I can understand storywise that it is nice for the characters to be able to surprise the facility it really does sound stupid. Why would there even be rune guardians guarding the entrance if they blindly believe that the drones can handle any intrusions? The characters should be able to stealth their way to the facility if the story wants it, not make it sound like the Azlanti are tactical idiots :P

This is an issue all the APs have shown, they tend to be "Pathfinder in Space" rather than Starfinder when considering facilities, their security and encounters there. Even modern security is highly automated, seems like Starfinder security is somewhat like the 80s or 90s standalone non-networked security cameras since even the camera feeds the characters find tend to be grainy even though with their technology the digital recordings would probably be quite sharp and clear. Of course, RPG designers can't be expected to know information security or facility security but even some realism would be nice :) You could have the realistic networked security system but that would make it more vulnerable to hacking so a good computers roll could disable all the cameras in the facility by accessing the network through one of them.

The drones did not even give any challenge for our groups tier 5 ship, only time they actually penetrated the shields was when I rolled TWO critical hits on the same round on the same side of the ship. Otherwise it was just scratching the shields if they even managed to hit.

We ended the session after the fight but I'm considering changing the adventure so that the asteroid knows someone is attacking it if I can adjust well enough for that.

EDIT: after reading my message it is (again) sounding way too negative, we've enjoyed most of the AP, I guess it's just in my nature to remember the negative parts and not...

Yeah, the "Pathfinder in space" is imo a huge problem for SF APs.

Someone should send the designers a collection of Shadowrun books.

Scarab Sages

I'm having problems with Aurelos. C10 is a 15 X 30 room and it is supposed to have 4 rune wardens and 1 AZ soldier in it awaiting the party to enter the room and are ready to fight. That just doesn't make any sense to me. I'm just going to have to spread them out throughout the upper level.


Hi all,

I am trying to tie Against the Aeon Throne into a game, and I was hoping I could get more info about the Rune Drive from someone who has all three books. How does the Rune Drive work? Does it have limitations, costs?


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Stiletto wrote:

I'm having problems with Aurelos. C10 is a 15 X 30 room and it is supposed to have 4 rune wardens and 1 AZ soldier in it awaiting the party to enter the room and are ready to fight. That just doesn't make any sense to me. I'm just going to have to spread them out throughout the upper level.

We played this last week and it was quite crowded (we even have 2 large PCs) but I think it was just fine. I like it that the space stations and ships are quite confined since you would probably want to minimize the size for cost and environmental system reasons.

And when you think about the room it's not that crowded when they are not fighting since normal person does not take a full 5 foot square when just standing or sitting.

I did notice another strangeness here: The adventure states that Evadrian knows of the PCs right after landing AND the guards in this room check the cameras. Still, the Rune Wardens in room C5 don't know anything? Why on earth would the guards in here or Evadrian not inform the other guards of the intruders if they are aware of them?
Or maybe the Pathfinder in Space just happened again and they decided to send them a letter or maybe a carrier pidgeon XD

Have not read SoS or DoF APs yet but I really hope they are a bit more believable in these things.

Liberty's Edge

I think a large point is that the Rune Drive Project and its associated things are not really public. It is a "black project" and is compartmentalized. As a result, there is a large desire to NOT have things blast information around the electromagnetic spectrum.

Scarab Sages

Well, I just finished running this a couple of days ago. The last fight with Evandarin and Zolan was super difficult, right on the edge of a TPK. On the fly, I removed the DR from Zolan, Evandarin was pretty tough himself. I also had the bridge retracted, forcing the players to spend time (3 rounds) for it to finish extending so they could run across; I'm not sure it was a great idea, they could have just spent the time shooting until the BBEG was dead. Fortunately, one of the players had jump jets and jumped across after using his Solarian powers to pull Zolan off the bridge. I had the two Aeon Guards throw down a rope for him. The players were shocked that Zolan was deflecting their shots, calling it unfair, until after he deflected his 4th one and I explained that he was using resolve points for that; "there is a reason, but I'm not going to metagame it for you".

Also, up until then, every starship battle the whole AP was a cakewalk for the party. Being able to build whatever weapons on their ship they wanted (that works on a ship that size) when the rune drive was activated was going to make it even worse, so I told them, "Whatever big weapon you put on your ship, Zolan's will have the same one." They won by some really bad gunnery rolls from me. It was a close one, though. Linked particle beams on a turret (16d6) is just wrong.

The fight against Oliviana was super memorable. I added two jolting surges (lightning bolt) to her spells because my party was so strong. I used the scientists to block charges down the hallway where she retreated to. Just before they surrounded her, she got off her last invisibility spell, but being smart players, they surrounded her where she cast that spell ready to try their luck with a 50% miss chance. The Ghost Sound spell worked perfectly and they ran back to where they thought she had run off to; the players were confused how she could have passed them blocking the hallway, but I said there was a reason. When she cast her last lightning bolt from her original location (and becoming visible again), catching 3 of them (lightning bolt formation for the win!), was awesome to see the player's reactions! Also, I made Oliviana and the other scientist very single-minded on completing their work before Zolan returned.

I handwaved the fight in E4 - Field Stability Lab since the two battle robots there would pose no real threat to the party.

The fight against the greys in E1 - Bend Travel Lab was really great, with the greys being able to hide on the other side of the portals and be unseen - I got a couple of deep slumbers off that way that actually worked! I did have to add another grey to the fight so that the party wouldn't wipe them out before they could cast spells from their hidden location. The group didn't look into the tank to see the dead Twinsoul before they attacked the other one, so I made the live one fight while trying to open the tank to extract the body. Once the body was out, my party's mechanic realized what was going on and reactivated the portal; the twinsoul retreated into the portal. I thought that would be a neat end.

I wanted to make the Rune Drive strangely exotic so I had a great time describing strange phenomena happening around the Rune Drive harness where they were testing it. "Emanating from the harness is the color of a young girl writing into her journal" "You feel the presence of the color plum" "You can taste the mathematical equations for black hole radiation" "You see the emotions of a potted petunia and a whale falling from a great height" "You suddenly want to find out what the taste of broken glass is" "You get the feeling that The Gap is just a conspiracy theory specifically made to keep the information from you; everyone is in on it" "You realize that you left the toaster on back on your ship"

In the end, I'm very happy with the whole AP. It did seem very short. Also, with them going up a level after like two or three fights, they didn't really seem to get a chance to explore all they could do. Their reward from the Stewards (5,000 credits) was lackluster, so I bumped it up to 15,000 credits since it was the end of the adventure and they wouldn't be spending it anyway.

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