Diaspora Strain impressions (should be sans spoilers)


Signal of Screams

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I ran this for a group of four as an intense two day game. Ten hours the first day and probably ten the second day.

We hadn’t played Aeon Throne so have only compared it to Dead Suns... and we super enjoyed it.

In session zero we discussed the type of horror we wanted and agreed that we wanted less Saw and more psychological horror and the adventure paid in spades. As the judge I was able to amp up the psychological stuff and the first day my players were incredibly creeped out. Personally, I couldn’t get over how well it was designed in that we spent hours without any big combat scenes and everyone had a blast. It was crazy good.

So kudos to the author. Literally some of the most fun I have had running a game in ages.

Only two things I would have liked to see.

1. More horror in the last bit that could be spun by the judge into situations that didn’t involve combat.
2. My players continually asked if there was a list at the back of the book of things that inspired the author. They wanted a list of fiction the could then go and consume.

Seriously though, well done. I owe the author a beer.


Starfinder Superscriber

There are some horror media references at the back of the Starfinder Core Rulebook, though it is mixed in with your regular Scifi/Fantasy stuff.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

We have seen the influences at the end of the core book. That was why they asked to see if there were more at the end of the AP book.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Horror Adventures for Pathfinder has a super comprehensive list of horror inspiration, I'm pretty sure there's a lot of crossover between the two.


For influence, I might guess Videodrome and Existenz (Cronenberg), and the Hellraiser series (Clive Barker). Perhaps also the movie Event Horizon (one of my favorite sci-fi/horror films).

Paizo Employee Developer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
xmiyux wrote:

I ran this for a group of four as an intense two day game. Ten hours the first day and probably ten the second day.

We hadn’t played Aeon Throne so have only compared it to Dead Suns... and we super enjoyed it.

In session zero we discussed the type of horror we wanted and agreed that we wanted less Saw and more psychological horror and the adventure paid in spades. As the judge I was able to amp up the psychological stuff and the first day my players were incredibly creeped out. Personally, I couldn’t get over how well it was designed in that we spent hours without any big combat scenes and everyone had a blast. It was crazy good.

So kudos to the author. Literally some of the most fun I have had running a game in ages.

Only two things I would have liked to see.

1. More horror in the last bit that could be spun by the judge into situations that didn’t involve combat.
2. My players continually asked if there was a list at the back of the book of things that inspired the author. They wanted a list of fiction the could then go and consume.

Seriously though, well done. I owe the author a beer.

I just saw this thread and will pass the kudos along to author Chris Sims. Since he sits right next to me, we had a good talk about what kind of horror "The Diaspora Strain" would emulate. In addition to all the other movies noted above, I would recommend the movie Oculus. While it isn't a perfect movie, it does give you some idea what we were thinking about when it comes to the effects of the signal on New Elysium's guests (and the PCs!)

Oh, and also Poltergeist for some of that.


I have a quick question I hope someone can help me with - I'm a relatively new GM, getting ready to run my 3rd session of Diaspora Strain tomorrow.

I'm a bit confused about the tortured apparitions that appear in area G of the mines. I understand the sequence of events around their appearance: the concealing fog, screams, doors lock, the Will save against being shaken and the Fort save against negative energy damage. I'm just not sure how exactly it's supposed to play out after that. What does the trap do in subsequent rounds of combat? I know it has a combined HP pool of 120, Mysticism checks can harm it as well as other attacks. But after the first round, what "actions", if any, does the trap take? The flavour text says the apparitions claw at the PCs but there's no info on melee attacks or anything in the stat block.

Am I missing something?

Paizo Employee Developer

TheLiamur wrote:

I have a quick question I hope someone can help me with - I'm a relatively new GM, getting ready to run my 3rd session of Diaspora Strain tomorrow.

I'm a bit confused about the tortured apparitions that appear in area G of the mines. I understand the sequence of events around their appearance: the concealing fog, screams, doors lock, the Will save against being shaken and the Fort save against negative energy damage. I'm just not sure how exactly it's supposed to play out after that. What does the trap do in subsequent rounds of combat? I know it has a combined HP pool of 120, Mysticism checks can harm it as well as other attacks. But after the first round, what "actions", if any, does the trap take? The flavour text says the apparitions claw at the PCs but there's no info on melee attacks or anything in the stat block.

Am I missing something?

The secondary effect of the fog of ghosts (which deals 4d12 negative energy each round to everyone in the room; Fort for half) happens every round until the apparitions have been destroyed.


Jason Keeley wrote:


The secondary effect of the fog of ghosts (which deals 4d12 negative energy each round to everyone in the room; Fort for half) happens every round until the apparitions have been destroyed.

Ah, I see where I was confused - I'd lumped that effect in with the "initial" effect of the Will save. That makes perfect sense now, thank you!

Shadow Lodge

So, I've got a small con coming up that this feels like a great fit for, but my time slot is limited. I need to strip it down to around 6 hours. My first step is cutting out the ship combat at the beginning and end.

This is a non-pfs game, so I can change as needed. Any suggestions?

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