Plot Craziness (Major Spoilers)


Dead Suns


This is our first Starfinder campaign and overall we've been having a good time.

I feel I have a legitimate complaint about the go-go nature of the latter part of this AP that's prevented us from taking a proper break, selling stuff and getting better gear (most of us have weapons/armor that is 4+ levels behind).

What's really bugging me though is the overall plot. I know it's an adventure path, and they tend to be railroady by nature but usually the railroad makes logical sense and we just follow the thread and enjoy the ride. But on this AP we've wasted almost entire sessions because the railroad is pushing us down a stupid or nonsensical path.

I'm a player this time and have not read the books so it's possible that the DM has messed something up but usually he's really good so I'm thinking not. So we finally track down the location of the doomsday weapon. Instead of destroying the gateway so it can't re-enter our dimension, we're supposed to open the gateway and bring the stellar degenerator through.... Right, because that seems like a great idea.

Oh and suprise, surpise, as soon as we do, the Corpsefleet shows up with an entire armada. Rather than head for the emerging stellar degenerator and try and sabotage it before the corpse fleet can get it, we're suppose to infiltrate the Empire of Bones, (a super star destroyer) and try and fly that into the Stellar Degenerator (the Death Star). What?

After spending hours arguing about what to do about the corpse fleet armada, the DM finally told us what the adventure wants us to do because we had assumed he was just joking with the hints he was dropping. Trying to infiltrate and take over the Empire of Bones is Gonzo. Ridiculous. Preposterous. And yet here we are.

I admit there's an element of awesomeness to it. Trying to do what should not be done. But I feel that's more acceptable when it's our idiotic idea that will likely fail spectacularly and not the only option written into an AP.

Another lame element is the mag train. We stumble our way into the station but can't use the train because we don't know where to go. We have to recover some stupid security keys to access the security station because even a 41 computer check was not good enough to access the system. Instead, we have to roam around randomly checking rooms until we find the missing security keys so we can get the +25 circumstance bonus to computers (giving me a 65 check) and finally being able to figure out where to go. Oh, and again we can't rest because there's a massive space battle going on outside that's acting as a distraction. As soon as its over, the Corpsefleet will board the super weapon, and it's game over. That battle isn't going to last forever.

I haven't seen any other complaints about this so maybe it's just my group but we've played over a dozen APs, including 3.5 and pathfinder and this is probably the rail-roadiest of them all and the later parts are stretching the limits of my suspension of disbelief. The encounters are still interesting but the plot /eye-roll.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

There is a way to rest, if you are at a train then you likely have it already.

I think all options in this situation are bad. the book assumes you take the best choice with the information known.


The gear problem is basically unavoidable after book 4. I think it's assuming you loot the needed weapons and armor from defeated enemies, but that might not match what your characters need. Remember that an engineering check (10+2x Item level) adjusts armor to fit different sizes and non-standard body types. I'm not seeing a time frame for doing so.

GeneticDrift wrote:
There is a way to rest, if you are at a train then you likely have it already.

Yep.

Vaellen wrote:
Oh and suprise, surpise, as soon as we do, the Corpsefleet shows up with an entire armada. Rather than head for the emerging stellar degenerator and try and sabotage it before the corpse fleet can get it, we're suppose to infiltrate the Empire of Bones, (a super star destroyer) and try and fly that into the Stellar Degenerator (the Death Star). What?

Yes, the part of the book that details what you should do if your players don't decide to board the biggest ship with the largest crew in the entire corpse fleet and take it over with only a four man team boils down to 'railroad them into it at all costs'.

I thought it was a major weak spot in the adventure.


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It's not like the 12 stars gate is the only way into the pocket dimension - the AP pretty much starts with a whole piece of the degenerator just found inside the drift.

The race is to get to the macguffin first, not trying to hide it even better - the PCs don't expect an entire armada to show up (it's quite a twist compared to the smaller units faced in previous books), so bringing the degenerator into the open isn't that crazy.

The idea of the party taking over the ancient sivv superweapon and managing to find the auto-destruct button before the fleet arrives seems more ludicrous - isn't this the first time they stumble upon sivv tech?


The Ragi wrote:

It's not like the 12 stars gate is the only way into the pocket dimension - the AP pretty much starts with a whole piece of the degenerator just found inside the drift.

The race is to get to the macguffin first, not trying to hide it even better - the PCs don't expect an entire armada to show up (it's quite a twist compared to the smaller units faced in previous books), so bringing the degenerator into the open isn't that crazy.

The idea of the party taking over the ancient sivv superweapon and managing to find the auto-destruct button before the fleet arrives seems more ludicrous - isn't this the first time they stumble upon sivv tech?

Second time, technically.

But... really, is infiltrating a six kilometer long ultranought, with a minimum effecttive crew to operate of at least a 100 individuals (really 250, but a PC should only be familiar with the core rulebook), with a group of four or so people, and expecting to be able to operate the ship at all reasonable to anyone who is familiar with starship rules? No it is not.

The only reason PCs would expect it to even be possible at all is if you tell them it is.

adventure background, not necessarily what PCs might learn:
Especially when you consider that when the Kishalee used the weapon, they used the energy siphoned off to create the gate of the twelve suns in the first place. If your PCs know that tidbit, it's entirely reasonable they might think the stellar degenerator could be used as a weapon against the corpse fleet.

In fact, that's my backup (primary?) plan for what my PCs will likely do, transplant the encounters as a boarding action, count the special circumstances the PCs can pick up as a default, and let them pilot the stellar degenerator, ultranought vs ultranought, with exactly 12 staggered shots from a super cannon before the systems overload from extreme age and the whole thing starts exploding under their feet.

Edit: with the railroad/secondary plan being an easy culture check to learn that a vesk commando team won a major victory during the silent war by doing exactly what the PCs are planning, killing the empire of bone's sister ship in the process. Shoving the horrible centralization weakness of corpse fleet ships into the PC's faces

The Exchange

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Garretmander wrote:
The Ragi wrote:

It's not like the 12 stars gate is the only way into the pocket dimension - the AP pretty much starts with a whole piece of the degenerator just found inside the drift.

The race is to get to the macguffin first, not trying to hide it even better - the PCs don't expect an entire armada to show up (it's quite a twist compared to the smaller units faced in previous books), so bringing the degenerator into the open isn't that crazy.

The idea of the party taking over the ancient sivv superweapon and managing to find the auto-destruct button before the fleet arrives seems more ludicrous - isn't this the first time they stumble upon sivv tech?

Second time, technically.

But... really, is infiltrating a six kilometer long ultranought, with a minimum effecttive crew to operate of at least a 100 individuals (really 250, but a PC should only be familiar with the core rulebook), with a group of four or so people, and expecting to be able to operate the ship at all reasonable to anyone who is familiar with starship rules? No it is not.

The only reason PCs would expect it to even be possible at all is if you tell them it is.

** spoiler omitted **...

Not to defend it too much, this is done in pathfinder all the time. PCs infiltrate castles, dungeons, ships, lairs, towers, kingdoms, cities... all the time.


GeneticDrift wrote:
Not to defend it too much, this is done in pathfinder all the time. PCs infiltrate castles, dungeons, ships, lairs, towers, kingdoms, cities... all the time.

Typically to assassinate the BBEG. They also tend to have all the tools necessary, invisibility, flight, an ungodly stealth modifier, etc. They know it might be difficult, but they know their objective is going to basically boil down to combat, or some skill checks, things they can do.

So, not knowing where the rails are taking them, which sounds more like what the adventure path wants you to do?

Taking over an entire dreadnought from the bridge, and just expecting the rest of the hundreds to thousands of crew to follow their orders.

Or racing the corpse fleet's huge numbers to getting into the super weapon they've been trying to find this whole time, stumble through the activation while battling corpse fleet marines who are trying to preserve the weapon and stop them. Maybe a big bad from the corpse fleet tries to stop them, maybe the super weapon runs on a sealed evil in a can and that's the final boss.

Yes, you can make the default option sound plausible. The adventure writing just assumes it's obvious, when default PC knowledge tells them it's impossible, but there's a super weapon that eats suns right there at the center of twelve suns, and the corpse fleet is currently distracted.


Let's see.

Four under-geared adventurers with low ammunition remaining are given a choice between infiltrating the Corpse Fleet Ultranought flagship with a full troop complement (and probably some high level commanders) or a likely deserted super weapon that's been sitting a pocket dimension for eons.

Doesn't seem like a difficult choice to me.

Yes, in Pathfinder we are willing to do crazy stuff because by level 10 we're super heroes. We can simultanously smash 2 or 3 encounters at once and walk away with only a few scratches. Even if things do go wrong there's always a few ways we can escape and regroup. We've thrown down with deities and won.

This is our first Starfinder campaign and from what I've seen there's just not as many optimizing options and so combats are always closer and we usually come out of most battered and bruised. We play a lot more cautiously as a result.

Would I rush the Ultranought with a high level Pathfinder group? Heck yeah and I'd be laughing hysterically as I kick the door open. Would I do it with Starfinder group? No way! Similar as they are they're still different games and different play styles.


I'd disagree with the effectiveness in combat, but my PCs are five badass dudes made for kicking ass and taking names.

Still, when the rules disagree with the assumed course of action, there should be some sort of pre-written hint, or something to suggest that way of doing things.

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