Sfs 2-02: Waking the Past


GM Discussion

1/5 ⦵⦵

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

A few things in this scenario seem like they are worth asking about, here.

If I am reading correctly, it seems like the nanite spray abilities have no attack roll, and no save that affects the actual damage. Am I misreading something, or is this intended? I want to double check, since it seems fairly nasty in a low tier adventure where the players will never be able to take a 10 minute rest without being interrupted due to the golem arriving when they've been in one place for 5 minutes.

1/5 ⦵⦵

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

So, from a couple of tables run yesterday, it seems like it is a fairly common player reaction to keep running forward, away from the nanotech cloud trap and nanotech golem, and never double back to try to loot that Armory. Unfortunately, the credits marked off for not taking the rifle from the armory seem to be about a third of the scenario.

The information that PCs can obtain about cold weapons being present in the facility and being effective against the golem don't provide much incentive to get back there, once a player has tried to attack the golem and realized that they aren't going to be able to hit it, regardless of the weapon they're using. If anyone has good ideas about other ways to make it seem like the Armory is important enough to worry about, I think the extra emphasis may be needed.

Scarab Sages 5/5 Venture-Captain, Texas—Austin aka SetonAlandel

My table didn't have that reaction - after identifying the monstrosity, they decided to continue waiting for the armory to open and watch it form. - It wasn't a very good night for them, overall.

Once they realized it was hostile (Tried to clue them in by the broken gas container being destroyed by it's whip), they unfortunitly attempted to run into the Dr.'s labratory, where the breath weapons wrecked their HP. Lv 5 Solarian down to 1 hp, broke the Engineer's combat drone. They managed to lock the door and avoid the combat while the monster was in the initiative order.

Splitting the party was rampant in this scenario as well, and not just because of the monster hunting the party - finding the side passage meant the two Medium sized soldiers in heavy armor weren't willing to brave sub-to-near freezing temperatures to traverse the passageway, resulting in them waiting in the elevator shaft while the light armor characters got into the optional encounter.

Thankfully, they were able to bring the drones to bear in the combat - which made the Mechanic ecstatic.

The nanite projector seems like it needed another editing pass. "Projector's ranged attack bonus equals the computer operator's BAB plus their Intelligence modifer and targets EAC" Had some trouble figuring this out. Is the weapon supposed to only miss on nat ones, or is it supposed to hit EAC? I interpreted it as the latter, as that made the most sense. This unfortunately gave the team hope they could defeat the creature at low tier / 5 people, and waited the five minutes for it to show up.

I was also unclear as to if the monstrosity was willing to leave the facility - thankfully my players didn't think to try to short rest in A1, so it wasn't an issue for me.

They did finally figure out that closing the doors to the room it was in and waiting would make it go away, so they got the door open by running in, trying to open for two rounds, then running out of the door on the 4th round.

An overly tense scenario, particularly with being given tips on fighting the thing and STILL having it vastly out of their league, and the party didn't seem to have much problem in agreeing to keep AbadarCorp's find secret from the planetside workers.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

Spoiler:
Quote:
the party didn't seem to have much problem in agreeing to keep AbadarCorp's find secret from the planetside workers.

I....HOW?

There is a monster down there that can cut through a heavily armed and armored pathfinder expedition like butter and make undead . John Q public is going to stick a drill into his house. He's going to come to the surface and mow through a city before some CR 10 adventurers get there to see the shakey cam version of the blair witch project meets night of the living dead.

Under what possible logic are people fine with that....????

1/5 ⦵⦵

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

My players were unanimous in leaking the information.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

The clean version of the map doesn't have doors on it. Thats a layer that someone's going to need to see

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

The undead soldiers trick attack. Are they supposed to use their claws?

1/5 ⦵⦵

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

That is how I read it. There's nothing else they could be trying to use when they trick attack when moving into melee, per their tactics.


Starfinder Superscriber

Our GM crew got into a debate about the golem's tactics. The tactics clearly state that it focuses its attacks on a target until they are dead. Does that mean it administers a coup-de-grace if a PC goes unconscious?

Option A: Yes. Dead has a specific mechanical definition in the CRB. The golem should continue to attack until that condition is achieved. This makes it infinitely more dangerous, but thematically appropriate.

Option B: No. The golem does not have lifesense, no Medicine or Life Science skill, and no intelligence, so it cannot perceive the difference between unconscious/dying and dead. Therefore when it knocks a target down, it assumes they're dealt with and moves on to the next closest target. This takes a bit of the edge off, but seems more in line with how other 'boss' monsters work.

I chose option B, as for my players, losing their characters in the first room of this map would have been the opposite of fun, and especially frustrating as they really hadn't had a chance to fully figure out what the hell was going on yet by the time I took one of them down. However I could see the argument for option A, RAW, if you're an especially malicious GM.


Starfinder Superscriber

Question 2: Doors within the facility.

Quote:

Unless locked, the doors slide swiftly into the wall to the right

when a Small or larger creature stands within 1 foot of them for
more than three seconds. These doors remain open as long as their
doorways remain blocked, then swiftly close three seconds later.

I took this to mean the doors have no actual panel to allow opening them manually. Basically I ruled that the door opened if you ended your turn in front of it, and it would close at the end of the turn of the last creature to trigger the door (I.E. stand in front of it or walk through it). This made for some really interesting tactical decisions while the team tried to escape the golem and still loot everything they could without leaving anyone trapped behind an automatic closing door. Took a bit of headache to keep track of which door opened/closed when, but it was fun.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

I'd Go with B, definitely the first time. The monster really doesn't scream "i can kill you all puny peons" until it takes out a PC (the one weakness in the scecnario but it's a pretty big keystone). If it keeps hacking apart the same person it may eventually notice and then finish them. But be sure to let the party learn their lesson ... once.

The Exchange 4/5 Venture-Agent aka JERRY WAYNE 073

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On the eve of hitting the road for Gencon, I thought I would share my Dr. Hsiung and Nanotech Golem custom minis. I'm looking forward to running this one in Indy this weekend, it is dark and creepy.

Waking the Past custom minis

3/5

So... I ran this at Gencon. Bit of a rant/background. I'm a bit of a oldschool GM, how the Dice falls is how it happens. I don't want you to die, but I ain't gonna save you, and risk is a part of the game. You should sit down with the understanding that your character may die, and if you don't want that to happen, there are a LOT of better systems out their for that kind of gameplay than pathfinder.

With that said? This scenario was a bloody massacre. I had 2 TPKs, 2 tables where at least 3 people died, and the other half ONLY survived because pre-gen players where willing to throw themselves in the way to buy the actual players time to escape. One table just flat out quit before starting when i gave them the warning.

Don't get me wrong. I LOVE the scenario itself. But it unfortunately has a few... conflicting problems. First off, the society play has trained to many people to think things are safe and always to level. While this scenario may demonstrate EMPHATICALLY that this is not the case, the fact that the Golem can murder death kill everyone makes it a more feel bad than a demonstration. The same goes for his "No AOO's" handycap. Unless the GM explicitly states that it can't, no one is willing to risk the possibility of a AOO against this thing, and they hamstring themselves horribly trying to not provoke. Only one group of 5 figured it out at gen, because he "Succeeded" at a acrobatics check, then "Failed" With a much higher acrobatics check later. He called BS and I told him to "Think back to what happened last time". It was a light bulb moment, but unfortunately to much of the team was slaughtered at that point to have a hope.

Secondly, without fail, every group triggered the mini-boss battle with Dr. Hsiung and ended up having to fight on two fronts. The only time someone managed to find the tunnel, a bad timing roll on the computer's check meant he was trapped in a tiny room with a very angry golem.

Third, that stupid rifle. It meant the death of more players this weekend because people kept finding the tablet, realizing it was "Important" and trying to get past the golem into the armory (Or had already gotten into the armory) and split the party, leaving some trapped in the armory to be mushed. Others would inevitably get killed trying to save them.

Fourth, that stupid bloody door. All your beefcakes dead? Guess you lose, cause your gonna take a lot of time trying to nat-18+ to get that thing open. Still have your beefcakes but no techies? Good luck getting the 22+ by yourself. Even working together people had trouble making that check, and 3 of them? Was just mean.

Fifth, I read it as it said on the tactics. "Until Dead". It has no medicine to know if your proper dead or not, but the thing eliminated all sapient life on the planet. It surely understands the concept of a double tap. Few times this actually was the only reason people got out is that it would waste time to crush a downed PC even if it didn't need to.

Basically, this would be a great home game where I could come up with a way to bring them all back after a slaughter, but for PFS? This should have come with a bonekeep-esque warning, which is what i ended up giving every team that sat down after the first night to let them know how dangerous this mission was. Everybody had fun, but unless your willing to fudge numbers in the players direction, spoil things, or do other things to hamstring the scenario, the chances of it all going sideways are HUGE.

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