SFS 1-28


GM Discussion


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

On the bottom of the left column of page 3, there is missing text. It ends with ".....Fitch has stepped" Looking at the top of the right column, it starts with a new heading (Summary) and paragraph. It may be one little word, "in", but thought I should bring this up in case there's more to that explanation.

Flyteach


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

At the top of page 10, the heading should be Subtier 3-4 as this is the higher level subtier description.

1/5 5/55/5

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Am I the only one who finds it odd that the navigator check is piloting, instead of survival during the travel between survey sites?

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HammerJack wrote:
Am I the only one who finds it odd that the navigator check is piloting, instead of survival during the travel between survey sites?

I don't know i missed my piloting chec.. ow ow ow kidding.

No.

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doh i mean yes, i did find that odd

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Running this on monday, and I can already anticipate this.
Me: I'll need a check for navigation.
Half the players: Yay! Our characters have been carrying navigator's tools in our backpacks, null-space chambers, and cheek pouches since day 1, and now we finally have a chance to use them!
Me: They apparently only work if you walk.

Edit: And in the tradition of PFS, there is an illegal item in the scenario and the chronicle. By rules, Reflecting Armor cannot be made into a spell amp: it only targets the spellcaster. The chronicle grants unrestricted access to this at Tier 3-4.

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

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Ran this one Sunday, with four players.
Mechanic, Envoy, Operative, and Mystic at 3-4.

Most of it went really well, but even with the sickened modifier the crest-eaters really did a number on them. 3 of them were dying at least once during the encounter. Two went down twice.

Other than that, we really enjoyed it. The cave-shrimp were particularly cool.

5/5

Starfinder Superscriber

I'm very curious what the wider consensus was for the final decision. Our group chose to neutralize the threat but I've heard other tables went with "this is above my paygrade".

Liberty's Edge 1/5 5/55/55/55/5 Venture-Captain, Illinois—Fairview Heights aka Freedom Snake

I have played this once and GMed it three times. 75% “Above my pay grade” and 25% “Let it live.” I’ve only had two players vote to lobotomize and one to kill outright. Almost half of the players seem to vote to let nature take its course, but end up outvoted by the people saying “Who am I to decide the fate of an entire planet’s worth of life?”

Dark Archive 4/5 5/55/55/55/5

Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

It has always felt to me like a bad choice to even consider making. The characters know (or can know) that it will take hundreds or thousands of years for the organism to finish consuming the planet; there is no need to make a hurried decision. Wouldn't it be much better to give scientists time to study both the planet and the organism instead of making a rash decision? The only good answer I see is to leave it alone (for now). Any other decision is simply reckless.

Dataphiles 5/55/55/5 Venture-Agent, Netherlands aka CptJames

GM'd once, my players chose lobotomise as they could save the creatures in the zone and the rest of the planet and didn't want to kill the creature outright.

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Gary D Norton wrote:
It has always felt to me like a bad choice to even consider making. The characters know (or can know) that it will take hundreds or thousands of years for the organism to finish consuming the planet; there is no need to make a hurried decision. Wouldn't it be much better to give scientists time to study both the planet and the organism instead of making a rash decision? The only good answer I see is to leave it alone (for now). Any other decision is simply reckless.

Depends on your group. If you have 5 vesk soldiers then yeah, going back 30 lightyears to fitch, hashing it out, and having her send a team of biologists 30 lightyears back to the planet, fly them out to the rock, have them rappel down into the cave, fight off the carrion crawlers, and then take out the pituitary is probably the best course of action.

But if you ARE the biologist they would send anyway , you've already flown 30 lightyears out, driven out to the rock, rappelled down the side of the cave, fought off the carrion crawlers .. you're already there you may as well finish the job rather than doing it twice.

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

When I ran this, it looked like the players were ready to go back and send the decision up the chain, but at the last minute the they decided to go with lobotomizing the creature.

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

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My table chose lobotomize, but due to poor skills and poorer luck, ended up killing the creature.

5/55/5 Venture-Lieutenant, California—Orangevale aka Harrowed Wizard

The group I GM'd for chose to lobotomize, and succeeded.

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the thing doesn't really have a brain taking out the pituitary is a more apt analogy...

Dark Archive 4/5 5/55/55/55/5

Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Gary D Norton wrote:
It has always felt to me like a bad choice to even consider making. The characters know (or can know) that it will take hundreds or thousands of years for the organism to finish consuming the planet; there is no need to make a hurried decision. Wouldn't it be much better to give scientists time to study both the planet and the organism instead of making a rash decision? The only good answer I see is to leave it alone (for now). Any other decision is simply reckless.

Depends on your group. If you have 5 vesk soldiers then yeah, going back 30 lightyears to fitch, hashing it out, and having her send a team of biologists 30 lightyears back to the planet, fly them out to the rock, have them rappel down into the cave, fight off the carrion crawlers, and then take out the pituitary is probably the best course of action.

But if you ARE the biologist they would send anyway , you've already flown 30 lightyears out, driven out to the rock, rappelled down the side of the cave, fought off the carrion crawlers .. you're already there you may as well finish the job rather than doing it twice.

It sounds like you are justifying irreparable harm to a unique creature (the only one known to exist) that provides no immediate threat on the basis that is would be inconvenient to return later.

You are completely ignoring the scientific interest in learning more about this unique organism. (I'm aghast that Dr. Motressi would even suggest such a rush to judgment when ample time is available to make a more informed decision.)

While many Starfinder Society field agents have scientific training, they are adventurers and not scientists. A scientist would settle on Vabaimus with Dr. Motressi for years or decades to study this unique creature.

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Gary D Norton wrote:

It sounds like you are justifying irreparable harm to a unique creature (the only one known to exist) that provides no immediate threat on the basis that is would be inconvenient to return later.

It's not merely inconvenient. I know that it seems a bit skipped over because it's an every day occurrence to starfinders but between drift accidents, travel accidents, rapelling accidents, and monsters eating you doing the adventure twice is the kind of thing you want to avoid if you want to keep your field agents alive. Just because you went down here once and all you found were giant crayfish doesn't mean that the next field team isn't going to be eaten by whatever eats the giant crayfish if they have to come back.

That's to say nothing of the society's limited resources (especially post scoured stars).

It isn't binary. You can consider something as a downside and still decide it's worth it.

Quote:


You are completely ignoring the scientific interest in learning more about this unique organism. (I'm aghast that Dr. Motressi would even suggest such a rush to judgment when ample time is available to make a more informed decision.)

No. Just balancing it against the above risks and considerations and taking into account...

Quote:
While many Starfinder Society field agents have scientific training, they are adventurers and not scientists.

..that the entire point of the society is to have adventurer scientists specifically to DO this sort of thing. Yes. Many starfinder agents ARE in fact scientists doing field work. They are capable of and qualified to carry out these kinds of operations and thats why the society sends them along with the beatsticks.

Quote:
A scientist would settle on Vabaimus with Dr. Motressi for years or decades to study this unique creature.

and its a bit of a thing in fiction that studies and experiments are done much MUCH more quickly than in real life. (maybe the scanners are really good and the computers crank out better data.)

Scarab Sages 3/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Nebraska—Bellevue aka JohannVonUlm

Jack Brown wrote:
My table chose lobotomize, but due to poor skills and poorer luck, ended up killing the creature.

I ran this scenario last night. My group had three people (of 5) trapped in the crusting goo-slime at various times. Once at the surface and twice "underground". They weren't feeling particularly magnanimous, but settled on "lobotomize" as a middle ground choice.

So the player who argued hardest for not killing the creature had to make the Life Science check to plan the incision. Failed hard. He then asked to make a Medicine check to confirm his plan. Being a merciful GM, I said while you're pretty sure you have it all figured out, you can confirm with Medicine at a penalty to the DC. Failed hard again - before I had to decide on a penalty. He was the only guy at the table with either skill so no assists.

They got home from the mission only to be told about a week later that the beast died from complications.

The dice gods can be fickle.

Dark Archive 4/5 5/55/55/55/5

Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
BigNorseWolf wrote:

It's not merely inconvenient. I know that it seems a bit skipped over because it's an every day occurrence to starfinders but between drift accidents, travel accidents, rapelling accidents, and monsters eating you doing the adventure twice is the kind of thing you want to avoid if you want to keep your field agents alive. Just because you went down here once and all you found were giant crayfish doesn't mean that the next field team isn't going to be eaten by whatever eats the giant crayfish if they have to come back.

Now you are just making up data to support your conclusion. You're right that this is fiction and anything can happen. But you don't know that the situation will get worse on the return trip; the situation could remain fairly static for centuries. Two can play at this game (of making up data).

Imagine: The respiratory system begins collapsing. Suddenly, the PCs are in a race against time to escape before being permanently trapped inside (insert skill checks to escape).

Imagine: We discover the hard way that there was a unknown symbiosis between the planet and Big Mina. Now the planet is no longer hospitable to the natives and world is now doomed.

Taking action can often be worse than taking no action. Science Fiction plots are full of unintended consequences from ill-conceived actions.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Gary D Norton wrote:


While many Starfinder Society field agents have scientific training, they are adventurers and not scientists.

..that the entire point of the society is to have adventurer scientists specifically to DO this sort of thing. Yes. Many starfinder agents ARE in fact scientists doing field work. They are capable of and qualified to carry out these kinds of operations and thats why the society sends them along with the beatsticks.

Quote:
A scientist would settle on Vabaimus with Dr. Motressi for years or decades to study this unique creature.
and its a bit of a thing in fiction that studies and experiments are done much MUCH more quickly than in real life. (maybe the scanners are really good...

It is a common SF trope that the heroes apply science to solve an urgent and critical crisis. However, that is not the case here; nothing is urgent. Applying scientific knowledge in a crunch doesn't mean you are performing good science.

Conversely, Starfinder Society scenarios have shown multiple instances of real scientists performing the slow hard work of real science (as opposed to adventurer science that needs to be completed within an episode). We already have evil scientists (Frozen Trove), archeologists on Eox, and Dr. Montressi's team.

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Gary D Norton wrote:

[QUOTE="Bi

Now you are just making up data to support your conclusion.

Adventuring is dangerous and resources are not infinite is not making anything up. Accusing me of dishonesty for saying that is neither sensible, acceptable, or a reasonable counterpoint. Taking the time to deal with it is a reasonable decision. Telling players that their scientist characters are not scientists is not.

Dark Archive 4/5 5/55/55/55/5

Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
BigNorseWolf wrote:


Adventuring is dangerous and resources are not infinite is not making anything up. Accusing me of dishonesty for saying that is neither sensible, acceptable, or a reasonable counterpoint. Taking the time to deal with it is a reasonable decision. Telling players that their scientist characters are not scientists is not.

I agree that adventuring can be dangerous and resources are not infinite. My argument is that making a decision now is not warranted based on the current known facts.

If no decision is made now, then relevant scientific organizations can decide if they want to send some of their finite resources to study this unique organism. It is certainly possible that no one has those resources. Even if the scientific community decides that the greater good is to euthanize or inhibit the organism, then there are decades to find appropriate resources to send in a team.

If the decision is made now, then the Starfinder team has made the decision for the rest of the Pact Worlds. Making this decision now assumes that the team has all of the relevant information to make an informed decision. However, this isn't a straight-forward choice (like replacing additional parts while you are repairing an engine).

Your argument appears to be that because something bad could possibly occur (without any specific facts to support that assertion) that action must be taken now. I don't see any evidence to support that position; I'm certainly willing to entertain any evidence that you wish to supply. [It is not my intention to call you dishonest. But, perhaps, you are a bit zealous in defending that viewpoint.]

Regarding scientific characters, I am saying that there is a distinction between exercising scientific knowledge (occurring in every SFS scenario) and performing the hard slow work of scientific research (which does not make for compelling storytelling). The Star Trek franchise, for example, has had a number of very smart science officers who are often called upon to make quick decisions that matter. While they are not engaged in long-term scientific inquiry, their actions are still important and meaningful. If a character wants to take Profession: Scientist (or similar field), then I'm happy to consider their character to be a scientist.

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

Folks, we need to look at this for what it is.... a game with a delimma.

No one has said that taking time to make an informed decision after a couple of decades of study wouldn’t be the ideal. However, what we have is a decision for the PCs to make. They have the right to decide to wait, or to defer. They also have the choice to decide. This is the crux of the situation. This is what makes this all interesting.

Let’s take a step back and realize we are all in it to have fun, and that for some, moral dilemmas like this can be fun.

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Gary D Norton wrote:


Your argument appears to be that because something bad could possibly occur (without any specific facts to support that assertion)

"I agree that adventuring can be dangerous"

Tell me, what exactly is the difference between adventuring can be dangerous and "something bad could possibly occur" because they seem like pretty much the same idea to me.

Something bad happening because you left and sent in another team is a legitimate worry for a character to CONSIDER when deciding what to do here. Wasting resources to do the job twice when you were this close to getting it done the first time is something to consider when deciding what to do here.

It doesn't automatically drop to use the knife, but those are legitimate concerns a character might have that could easily warrant finishing the job while you're there. Or not. It's a decision. That's the point of it.

Quote:
It is not my intention to call you dishonest. But, perhaps, you are a bit zealous in defending that viewpoint.

I said either point was reasonable. It's hard to get less zealous than that.

You are calling one idea without merit. And going so far as to accuse someone disagreeing with you of dishonesty and not addressing the point at all.

Not cool.

Quote:
While they are not engaged in long-term scientific inquiry, their actions are still important and meaningful. If a character wants to take Profession: Scientist (or similar field), then I'm happy to consider their character to be a scientist.

Absolutely not.

A Profession skill should not overlap with existing skills.
For example, if you want to play a scientist, you should put
ranks into Life Science or Physical Science rather than create
a Profession (scientist) skill.

Someone that has ranks in life science or physical science (the kind of check the scenario calls for) IS a scientist. They don't need ranks in profession scientist (that the book specifically advises against making a thing), a lab coat, a degree, or to lack proficiency with a laser blaster in order to be a "real"scientist. They have the ranks, they know their stuff.

There is every possibility that a group of starfinders has a character or two perfectly capable of deciding how the situation should be handled, reasonably deciding on a course of action, and following it out without having to check back and home. It's also perfectly reasonable that they wait. Starfinder hires exceptional individuals with diverse talents specifically so that when they need a scientist to make a decision in the field they can and do make it and finish the job. The society already HAS a team of non adventuring scientists on the beach. Why aren't they down the hole with you? Because you might get eaten down there.

Dark Archive 4/5 5/55/55/55/5

Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I am taking Jack's cue and withdrawing from this discussion.

It was never my intent to call your honesty into question. I apologize for my poor choice of words that led to that conclusion.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Developer

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I just want to say that I'm glad there has been some debate over the fate of Big Mina. Thank you all for writing about your experiences! It's fun to create an adventure like this, but it's all for nothing if no one plays it.

Y'all are my heroes.

Sovereign Court 4/5 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

I played this today, had a good time with it. I liked the cohesive theme of the encounters. When it came to the choice though we discussed for a bit and a majority of the party wanted to not rush to a decision. I personally wanted a SMAC-style project to eventually contact the creature (it might not be sentient now, but that could change..).

The choice isn't obviously urgent, so the "further study" majority got their way.

I think it was a very good design move not to put the outcome of this decision on the chronicle sheet (as a boon/reputation thing), because that'd get too close to saying "who's right".

Grand Lodge 2/5 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, California—North Coast

So outside of the deliberations on how to handle Big Mina I have a question regarding one the Boons present on the chronicle and wonder what the general consensus is on granting it.

Boon in Question:
Souvenir Cestus (Slotless Boon; Limited Use)

In the Scenario on page 12 under Treasure it Reads

It Rests Beneath wrote:

If the PCs kill one or both crest-eaters, they can fashion parts of their shells into bone cestuses (Starfinder Alien

Archive 31). This is reflected on this scenario’s Chronicle sheet.

RAW in me thinks that if they do not kill *Omitted* they do not gain access to this Boon and item.

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If you solve a problem another way besides making with the zappy lasers you still get the thing you would have gotten if you'd made with the zappy lasers. In this case maybe they find some shed horns or something

If, for example, your players manage to
roleplay their way through a combat and successfully accomplish
the goal of that encounter without killing the antagonist, give
the PCs the same reward they would have gained had they
defeated their opponent in combat. If that scene specifcally
calls for the PCs to receive a credits reward based on the gear
collected from the defeated combatants, instead allow the PCs
to fnd a credstick (or something similar) that gives them the
same rewards.

1/5

Yeah, I interpreted it as if they kill the redacted, they can use the redacted in game, but everyone who completes that portion of the scenario gets the boon. As BNW suggested, I figure there were other items from older critters there to be found.

In the three times (to date) running this, I have yet to have a table kill the redacted.

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

Flyteach wrote:
On the bottom of the left column of page 3, there is missing text. It ends with ".....Fitch has stepped" Looking at the top of the right column, it starts with a new heading (Summary) and paragraph. It may be one little word, "in", but thought I should bring this up in case there's more to that explanation.

Has this ever been clarified? Thanks.

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

Naal wrote:
there is an illegal item in the scenario and the chronicle. By rules, Reflecting Armor cannot be made into a spell amp: it only targets the spellcaster. The chronicle grants unrestricted access to this at Tier 3-4.

Until/unless a clarification is posted by a developer, I'd say that falls under the "specific rule/item trumps general rule/item" (paraphrasing) rulings that have been made in the past.


I have a question I would like input on. The Idari arrived in the Pact Worlds in 240AG, at which point probably the big cultural exchange began and Common became one of the main languages under Kasathas. The ship on Vabaimus is several centuries old, according to Mora. The is no reason the recording the PCs find would be in Common - in fact, Exu Jana Onorab probably didn't even have the ability to speak Common. The recording would most likely be in Kasatha.

The scenario says nothing about this, but in my opinion it would make sense to only let PCs that speak Kasatha understand it. What do you think?

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