SFS #2-07: Four for the First


GM Discussion

Dataphiles 4/5 ⦵⦵⦵⦵

Please note that the word "repeatable" is misspelled on the product page.

Grand Lodge 1/5 ⦵⦵

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

Getting ready to run this next week. Since the candidates are PCs, at least one of whom (Calder Soren) seems to be active here on the boards, there is a unique opportunity for GMs to be given some guidance on how these Candidate (N)PCs could be portrayed. Of course GM Fiat, Table Variation, etc., but - it'd be super cool to have a few points on how to roleplay the candidates! Like, given that GMs are the conduit through which PCs will meet and interact with these Candidate (N)PCs, how do their players intend for them to be portrayed? Like, throw out a handful of adjectives, or any accents / mannerisms that the Candidate's Player uses while playing that Candidate, and so on. What's "canon" for these (N)PCs :D

(That said, as Paizo staff have mentioned in various Twitch streams and comments, I think it's important that we GMs don't want to colour players' impressions unduly; each candidate should have an equal shot to make a good impression.)

So, Candidates / their players: any tips?

Acquisitives 4/5 ⦵⦵⦵⦵

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Feel free to contact me, and I will gladly publish the guidance above, if you wish to have more privacy, First Seeker candidates.

Wayfinders

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As the question was posed about how to portray Calder, and I did respond in a PM, the suggestion was that I post it where any could see, and that in doing so, it could afford all the other candidates the opportunity to do the same.

This is the description I sent to Paizo in my 75 word submission with respect to his look and his personality:

Calder Soren has multi-colored skin (green, blue, and black with yellow patches, similarly colored whiskers, and runes carved into his tusks which are also brightly colored. He quickly assesses both situations and people, delivering his messages very directly and bluntly. He is also a musician, playing bass in an all Morlamaw metal band with a somewhat large following.

I gave him the Icon theme on creation.

When I was given a request for a description for the art order, what I gave was this:

I envision him to be mainly a deep blue in color, but also not solely deep blue, having patches of color ranging from nearly a teal to a purple across his body (more so on his back and torso than his face). Since he is an icon and a rock star, I kind of pictured, during the day and on land, him wearing John Lennon style glasses, tinted to be more the color of the sea on Arniselle, though that would likely not come up so much in a mission briefing unless it were to be taking place outdoors and in bright sunlight. His clothes would be considered bordering on flashy, though not gaudy. He wears his whiskers long, and his tusks are carved with both musical notes and runes or glyphs, each filled with a different color to make them stand out. Beyond just the bust portion, he carries an assault hammer and a tactical semi-automatic pistol (when he's not performing on stage, carrying his guitar). He has his solar mote orbiting his head most of the time, just in case it's needed, and that mote is as dark as a black hole.

I basically looked at him as being very similar to Naiaj in personality, temperament, and delivery. In part, it's him getting used to dealing with people, as the Morlamaws communication style is less verbal than visual, so speaking to people was not something where he was necessarily comfortable. Music became that means of expression and of getting more at ease with that style of communication.

If you need any more detail, feel free to let me know.

Second Seekers (Luwazi Elsbo) 1/5

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This one time I was dismissing a class and saw Royo sitting in the back, eating a smoked snerdle and reading a treatise about our predecessors. He was holding back laughter, so of course I had to ask him what was so funny. He told me my bearing and appearance reminded him of a prominent Pathfinder leader of the old, but I had one major advantage over that worthy; my face was red even before I started shouting at people. He then fled chuckling like madrat. I later asked Celita who Royo meant. She trawled the information and condensed it, "You are like Ambrus Valsin, but balder."

Later, I got Royo's book in my hands—I won't say what I paid for the privilege—and skimmed through the past leaders. While Valsin served his order dutifully through great difficulties, I felt greater kinship with another well-bearded worthy who went by the name Marcos Farabellus. He was a man who would have been at home on Akiton, ready to dare any danger with a blade and a smile. Again I found myself at Celita's doorstep, asking if more was written of a leader of such magnitude. As she began the trawl, I mused how she would describe me in one sentence. Her answer was, "The loud old doctor who earned great renown for standing stoutly in a line to get a Strawberry Machine Cake record with a thousand kids." I am not old.

I teach a lot. Mostly I deal with etiquette, linguistics, medicine, and basic survival techniques. While science interests me, lately there has been little time to devote to it. I firmly believe that a leader should dabble in all fields to understand how they work. The trick is not to get proud, but to know when a specialist is required.

I get along well with Naiaj. I appreciate her ability to oversee the Society's supply chain, and she appreciates that I teach others to use those supplies responsibly. Also, "you pack a lot of volume in that thin body of yours." I noted that I had never heard her raise her voice, to which Naiaj simply stated, "With your bellowing and Radaszam's glaring I don't have to anymore." She's practical. I like it.

Radaszam called me in to analyze jinsul tactics. I stated they were an undisciplined mob who attacked heedlessly and fought with bloody-minded lack of self-preservation. He grumped and asked, "like you?"

I love fencing. In the clash of blades I hear the call of a thousand generations and feel my blood quickening. I am proud of my accomplishments with the art, but make no mistake, there are many fighters far better than myself. Never let pride blind you to the fact that sometimes an ice launcher is the tool you need, not the blade.

I've heard it said that I have fought fiercely against the jinsul. The story about "my glorious stand" against their horde is widely circulated. That being said, if you take your attention away from the shouting swordsman in the middle of the bridge, you'll notice Nissa and her pets sniping at their flanks, 701 gunning down the ones who attempted to flank me, Boron making sure the actual job got done, and Evdaroko punching the jinsul commander with the full glory of the sun. All Starfinder operations are team operations. I just happened to yell so loudly the jinsul took me for a leader, so they swamped me. I suppose it's a compliment of a sort. They had to pry the sword from my hands afterwards. Zigvigix said he understands what that felt like.

Know your people and respect their talents. Also respect their choices; Starfinders often need to act far from a chain of command, and think fast. A failure in the field is often a failure in training.

Some call the Society a dumping ground for malcontents and miscreants. Mostly, they are right. We have a dozen media stars, twenty former mercenaries, pirates, or assassins, at least one Eoxian psychologist (overworked), death-priests, a ysoki grandmother who joined after a grandchild told her how interesting it was to work for Starfinders (ask for the preserved sandbrute!), a quartet of dwarves who hate computers and are not entirely sure about the differences between goblins and orcs, a vesk solarian wrestler, skittermanders up to my armpits (probably just three, but the yellow one is louder than me), and a morlamaw who can outrun an elf, and that's just my class yesterday.

Keep an eye on Triaxus. Everyone says Eox or Aucturn are the most hostile places in the Pact Worlds. They are mistaken.

Zigvigix asked me why I don't like hats. I once spent months on Castrovel walking home. If you don't wear a hat in the jungle, you'll be eaten by tiny things. If you wear a hat, the bigger things in the canopy will pounce on you. Tiny things were more aggravating, so I wore the hat for months. I get sick just from holding a hat.

People ask me why I have a reputation for shouting. I prefer talking. But my team has a very specific style of operation. Evdaroko and I make a lot of noise and draw everyone's attention, while the others do the delicate work. There's only so many times you can shout "DIVE, MY SOLARIAN FRIEND!", "FOR AKITON," or "KEEP FIGHTING, MY BURLY FRIEND" before you get a reputation for being loud. I kind of enjoy it, to be honest. It is an honored Akitonian tradition to fight shouting the glories of your allies, both to encourage them and discourage the enemy. That, or the cool detachment of a professional, but shouting upsets my opponents more.

I don't have cybernetic implants. I don't like the idea of machines inside me, but that's about it. Biotechnology is fine.

If there's one leader in the Society who can outshout me, it's Fitch. I respect her deeply, and am somewhat envious of her ability to combine career and family.

Green and gold are my favorite colors. They are not too common on Akiton, so they seem exotic to me. Even after Castrovel.

People keep asking me what's my plan. There is no plan. We have been running on the edge of a blade for two years, and there is a limit to how long your luck can hold. Desna knows that luck is good, but only a fool relies on it. Luwazi has reunited us, but we are still in a sorry state. We need to regroup, take stock, and draw a deep breath before committing to a new grand project. It will come. And I'll make sure we are ready when it comes.

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

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I had my first chance to run this earlier today, and my players really enjoyed it. They relished in an adventure where the fate of worlds/civilizations wasn't (immediately) at stake, for one. They also liked the simplicity - meet each candidate, chat with them for a bit, then see what kind of mission each had in the forefront of their minds.

In Avor's mission, my players came up with a novel idea that we just didn't have time to figure out exact mechanics for (started the game session a little late). None of the PCs had great social skills, but after talking to Pave-5 and Wazasha, they wanted to "hire a lawyer" to come down and help deal with things. I immediately turned to the RPG Guild Guide to see if any of the Hireling packages allowed the Profession skill and was saddened to find that they did not. Instead, I resolved to make a post on this thread to mention it for future boon ideas.

The PCs, instead, used the threat of calling in the Society's lawyers as part of their RP, so I gave them a bonus on using Bluff with Wazasha, which ended up making a tangible difference.

It would have been nice having a compass on the map for Tara Nova's mission, but it worked out okay after my second read-through. Also, in Ehu's mission, the PCs slaughtered the enemies (high tier) without much effort - their starting positions left them open to devastating ranged attacks.

All in all, as a GM, I really enjoyed preparing and running this scenario. I'm still not sure how much variability I can give it if players want to replay it to make it feel "different" beyond the opening and briefing (and maybe what sound bite I use for Calder's guitar solo in my #2-07 soundtrack).

In case anybody cares, my game soundtrack for #2-07:

All tracks from the anime Witch Hunter Robin OST 1 & 2 (Except 04)
(Sometimes I like to challenge myself by limiting how many sources I use to make game soundtracks. Four for the First didn't start out that way, but when I realized I had 11/17 tracks from WHR, I decided to just run with it!)

01 - Pre-Game - WHR OST - Robin
02 - Briefing / Harcoló - WHR OST 2 - Lie *
---
03 - Meeting Calder Soren - WHR OST - Kyrie
04 - Guitar Solo - Yngwie Malmsteen - Op.4 Opening (~0:53) #
05 - Haunted Lodge - WHR OST 2 - Genetic *
06 - Gremlin Fight - WHR OST - Dragnet *
---
07 - Meeting Avor Stelek - WHR OST 2 - Decision
08 - Media Relations - WHR OST - Discord *
09 - Creature Fight - WHR OST 2 - Surprise Attack *
---
10 - Meeting Tara Nova - WHR OST 2 - Look Back
11 - Ship Infiltration - WHR OST 2 - Assassinator *
12 - Jinsul Fight - WHR OST 2 - Witch *
---
13 - Meeting Ehu Hadif - WHR OST - Silence
14 - Tough Reading - WHR OST 2 - Solomon
15 - Equation Storm Fight - WHR OST 2 - Desperate Struggle *
---
16 - Debriefing - WHR OST - Open Your Eyes *
17 - Post-Game - WHR OST - Shell (Instrumental)

* = Removed dead space before/after the track
# = Part of the beginning of "Icarus' Dream Suite Op. 4"

Best of luck to all four candidates!

Wayfinders 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Texas—Houston North

On the nyssholora’s stat block on page 23, the bite damage is listed as 1d6+9 for the regular attack, and 2d6+9 when part of a multiattack. The same difference in damage is also reflected in Alien Archive 2. Is this correct?

Second Seekers (Luwazi Elsbo) 5/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Lieutenant, North Carolina—Charlotte aka eddv

I would echo that - Mike.

It may be repeatable, but its not written like one at all.

I would have liked it a lot more if the Avor mission weren't basically predetermined to end in combat as players basically try and try and try to get there with skills and without the SUPER SPECIFIC ones called for by the scenario they dont have a good in.

The Library fight is a whole lot of fun if you can get it to last long enough for the math terrain to matter. Not challenging, but fun .


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Aaron Reichgott wrote:
On the nyssholora’s stat block on page 23, the bite damage is listed as 1d6+9 for the regular attack, and 2d6+9 when part of a multiattack. The same difference in damage is also reflected in Alien Archive 2. Is this correct?

I think it is a typo in AA2 that got copied into the scenario. Compare the same lines in the Adult Nyssholora entry.

You could run as written, or sidestep the issue and use the single attacks that have the lower number and thus favor the players.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
eddv wrote:

I would echo that - Mike.

It may be repeatable, but its not written like one at all.

I would have liked it a lot more if the Avor mission weren't basically predetermined to end in combat as players basically try and try and try to get there with skills and without the SUPER SPECIFIC ones called for by the scenario they dont have a good in.

The Library fight is a whole lot of fun if you can get it to last long enough for the math terrain to matter. Not challenging, but fun .

I've run this scenario twice now, at two different venues (there were 2 tables running it the same time the second week). At all three tables, we had someone with either Profession (Lawyer) or Profession (Video Personality), resulting in no combat at any of the tables for the second part.

Second Seekers (Luwazi Elsbo) 5/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Lieutenant, North Carolina—Charlotte aka eddv

Good for you?

Like not trying to neg you, but that's still a pair of pretty niche skills going for a pretty high DC.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Society Developer

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Douglas Edwards wrote:

Good for you?

Like not trying to neg you, but that's still a pair of pretty niche skills going for a pretty high DC.

It's a tough balance. Sometimes it can be very rewarding for players to have that moment where their one "niche skill" has a moment to really impact a scenario beyond just "oh, I learned some information that another skill would tell me at a higher DC."

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