SFS 2-10: Corporate Interests


GM Discussion

Dataphiles 1/5 ⦵⦵

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

In prepping this to run later this week, I ran into a question for Karezen's tactics/spells in Area B9.

Tactics state that he casts Holographic Image on himself on his first turn, then stays back and casts at foes.

Based on the wording, I feel like this should have been Mirror Image but that's not in his spell list, and is also Lv2 so it's not a straight forward swap. Casting Lv1 Holographic Image on one's self doesn't seem to have any tactical use especially given the Concentration duration at lv1 of the spell.

Logic Bomb is specifically used so that would leave Caustic Conversion to trade out for Mirror Image. He would be down to Jolting Surge and Magic Missile to use offensively.

Thoughts?

Dataphiles 1/5 ⦵⦵

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Couple minor ship stat block issues:
In both tiers the stat block for the Remorhaz states a Tetranode computer, but the Modifiers section lists +x to any 3 checks per round.

I think the stats ended up mixed. Based on BP costs I'm going to run as:
Tier 4 - Mk1 Tetranode
Tier 6 - Mk2 Trinode

There should also be a +2 computers bonus noted from the basic sensors.

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

In addition to seconding AshenShade's questions from above...a couple of questions for the Arabani Arms quest and the chronicle sheet:

Arabani Arms:
- If a PC detects a weapon (or force field) malfunction in advance, what can they do about it? Can they fix/disable the malfunction? Can Crax? If the answer is no, I can already foresee some PCs not being willing to use those weapons, and have some ideas in mind as to how to handle that from the GM chair.

- If one or more PCs are rendered blind for 1 hour prior to the robot test and refuse to take part as a result, any recommendations from on-high? I'd be inclined to just let them just so long as their fellow players were okay with it.

- For those of us who like to add more descriptors to things that just appear as "robot" in scenarios, are "tyrant-class supremacy robots" bipedal, wheeled, treaded, etc.?

Chronicle Sheet:
- How does the "One-Time Stipend" boon work for PCs receiving out of subtier rewards?

One-Time Stipend wrote:
You gain a number of credits depending on the subtier that you earned credit for this scenario with.

Thanks in advance!

Dataphiles 1/5 ⦵⦵

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Mike Bramnik wrote:

In addition to seconding AshenShade's questions from above...a couple of questions for the Arabani Arms quest and the chronicle sheet:

Arabani Arms:
- If a PC detects a weapon (or force field) malfunction in advance, what can they do about it? Can they fix/disable the malfunction? Can Crax? If the answer is no, I can already foresee some PCs not being willing to use those weapons, and have some ideas in mind as to how to handle that from the GM chair.

I played Crax as a script-bound corporate rep with canned-feeling responses like "to ensure testing integrity, weapons must be tested as-is." In 3 tables, I didn't have anyone balk at performing the test.

Quote:
- If one or more PCs are rendered blind for 1 hour prior to the robot test and refuse to take part as a result, any recommendations from on-high? I'd be inclined to just let them just so long as their fellow players were okay with it.

The 1 hour of blindness is pretty painful, it hit 2 of my tables. One 4-player table nearly had 2 blind... No good suggestion here other than maybe suggest that they take the Swarm Zapper in to accelerate the section.

Quote:
- For those of us who like to add more descriptors to things that just appear as "robot" in scenarios, are "tyrant-class supremacy robots" bipedal, wheeled, treaded, etc.?

Chronicle Sheet:

Quote:

- How does the "One-Time Stipend" boon work for PCs receiving out of subtier rewards?

One-Time Stipend wrote:
You gain a number of credits depending on the subtier that you earned credit for this scenario with.

I don't think I had this come up, but in the moment I would have gone with the tier played, a la item lists.

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

Yea, I have a few ideas as well for how to handle Arabani issues if they come up, and that's also probably how I'll handle the chronicle sheet, too. Thanks for the thoughts on those. I'm surprised no one other than the two of us are talking about this scenario on here so far.

I just caught another couple of scenario errors:

In AbadarCorp, at low tier, the mercs are listed as carrying ember flame doshkos (1d6+X F), but that doshko appears to be listed in the rules as doing 1d8+X F.

In Frozen Trove, at the high tier, the plasma pistol is listed doing only Electricity damage, where it should be E & F.

Both relatively minor issues, but as I'm doing my prep-workflow, I caught them and wanted to share to benefit other GMs.

Second Seekers (Jadnura) 4/5 ⦵⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Lieutenant, Ohio—Cincinnati aka Doctor Mono

AshenShade wrote:

In prepping this to run later this week, I ran into a question for Karezen's tactics/spells in Area B9.

Tactics state that he casts Holographic Image on himself on his first turn, then stays back and casts at foes.

Based on the wording, I feel like this should have been Mirror Image but that's not in his spell list, and is also Lv2 so it's not a straight forward swap. Casting Lv1 Holographic Image on one's self doesn't seem to have any tactical use especially given the Concentration duration at lv1 of the spell.

Logic Bomb is specifically used so that would leave Caustic Conversion to trade out for Mirror Image. He would be down to Jolting Surge and Magic Missile to use offensively.

Thoughts?

Karezen is a coward, so he's really looking for an opportune moment to attack from far away. His use of Holographic image is to make it easier for him to plan for a better spell when given the time. So yeah, it does drop. In a perfect world, he'd have mirror image, or more optimized spells. But really, he's a far better scientist than technomancer, so it's really not his main focus.

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

I have what feels like a stupid question since it's ~5am...but maybe not?
(It also occurs to me that this question can also apply to #2-03: The Withering World)

If the PCs play through a Quest but fail the objective (example: Tharsa is abducted or killed in AbadarCorp), there is nothing indicating that the PCs should lose credits/rewards. The chronicle sheet only indicates that the rewards are based on the number of quests completed, not succeeded. Is that intentional? Does a party that fails in one or more of these missions get the same rewards (credits/boons) as a party that has a perfect run-through?

Thanks for any thoughts on this!

Second Seekers (Jadnura) 4/5 ⦵⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Lieutenant, Ohio—Cincinnati aka Doctor Mono

I can only say how I run them. In those cases, I treat completed as win or lose. For the most part, I use Quests to introduce new players to the material.

I kinda think it's bad form to leave a bad taste in new players' mouths by saying "none of that counted."

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

For "Into the Unknown" or even most of the tier 1-4 quest packs, I wholeheartedly agree. That said, stores/sites in my area don't usually schedule tier 3-6 games (even repeatable/quests) as introductory material, which might have contributed to why I only thought of the question with this one.

Second Seekers (Jadnura) 4/5 ⦵⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Lieutenant, Ohio—Cincinnati aka Doctor Mono

Fair

Grand Lodge 2/5

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Important safety tip: In the Resurgent Technologies quest (high tier) if the daemon goes first the party is still in fireball formation. If there are any pregens, they will fail DC 20 Reflex.

I had a table of 3 (+ the new Vanguard pregen). Two 6's (Technomancer and Operative/Mystic) and two 4's(Velloro and Keskodai) meant high tier, 4 play adjustment. Due to some low rolls the we ran a bit long. It may be burned into my brain now that CR 4 = 50 hp.

AbadarCorp wasn't too bad. The party made 3 of the 4 agents in time, demoralized one and broke the smoke goggles. By the time the Stewards arrived, one merc was a smear on the ground (Velloro crit), two others were down, and one ran. Our level 6 technomancer made Tharsa invisible for the entire encounter.

When the party learned they got to steal from Frozen Trove they got excited. When the technomancer set off the shock trap alerting Karezen that there's a problem it went down hill fast. He ran to the room with the drakecats and locked the doors. All three at once was almost too much. Velloro soaked full attacks like a champ, but a few AoO and a caustic conversion dropped our mystic (Keskodai pregen). Even with no breath weapon those cats are tough. THEY HAVE REACH and are only medium. Not sure if an error, but it gave the party fits.

So the Daemon. My group accidentally skipped the social network hacking and went into the tunnels after Ex-Maintenance 22 pointed them out. Plus side, casting explosive blast broke the invisibility. But two characters full cast magic missile in response. This left them in arcing surge formation. Keskodai ran out of spells using Mind Thrust. The 4 player adjustment reduced its HP and gave it a -2 to attacks, but it kept out of melee (mostly).

The starship test went well. There was a bit of confusion over who had shields when, my fault mostly. A few good hits to the front took out the drone. With a little encouraging Velloro was able to hit. I had ice cold dice for this encounter, I maybe hit them once.

The weapons testing started off rough, everyone only had small arms proficiency. The heavy weapon "bug" could have been a feature with a better battery. I played Crax as very enthusiastic about all the guns, he had to be reminded more than once that guns that blow up when used are bad for business. The shield testing went quick, no one failed a save. Which left the robots... Without Mind Thrust to carry the day, the party had to actually shoot. Its good that one robot is dropped for the 4 player adjustment. Nearly lost Keskodai again (heavy laser crit), people had to reload weapons due to several misses, Velloro could not hit but they couldn't hit him in melee either.

At one point a player was complaining about how expensive grenades are. That same player was surprised (and happy to see) the Purchasing Power boon and large number of credits on this one.

Dataphiles 1/5 ⦵⦵

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
wolaberry wrote:

Important safety tip: In the Resurgent Technologies quest (high tier) if the daemon goes first the party is still in fireball formation. If there are any pregens, they will fail DC 20 Reflex.

...

So the Daemon. My group accidentally skipped the social network hacking and went into the tunnels after Ex-Maintenance 22 pointed them out. Plus side, casting explosive blast broke the invisibility. But two characters full cast magic missile in response. This left them in arcing surge formation. Keskodai ran out of spells using Mind Thrust. The 4 player adjustment reduced its HP and gave it a -2 to attacks, but it kept out of melee (mostly).

...

Opening with Explosive Blast doesn't follow the printed tactics of Supercharge tentacles and ambush the squishy. I didn't find that it ever managed to leave melee after that step, so Jolting Surge until death. (all tables were low-tier, so no renewing invisibility)

For my tables it usually ended up being 2-3 rounds of PCs fanning out trying to find it while it flew invisibly towards them.

Quote:

AbadarCorp wasn't too bad. The party made 3 of the 4 agents in time, demoralized one and broke the smoke goggles. By the time the Stewards arrived, one merc was a smear on the ground (Velloro crit), two others were down, and one ran. Our level 6 technomancer made Tharsa invisible for the entire encounter.

Had mixed results with diffusing the mercs. Some creativity from a xenodruid/Prof(Herbalist) incessantly pestering the "plant caretaker" to teach them the correct way to do their job (made the check to see they were doing it wrong, failed to detect the false uniform). Another party polymorphed Tharsa and then also made her invisible while Obozaya escorted her out with the casters spamming Hold Person/Grease/Daze on the mercs.

In heavy pre-gen groups they tended not to manage both disabling the visor and the pickpocket since it relied on Iseph for both.

Re: Drakecats, that's another conflict within stat blocks. They are stated as Medium, but have Space & Reach listed as 10ft. I realized that mid-combat so I didn't play the reach after representing them as Medium (only 1 of 3 tables actually went to combat) since Claws don't typically reach.

Second Seekers (Jadnura) 4/5 ⦵⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Lieutenant, Ohio—Cincinnati aka Doctor Mono

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Originally, the Drakecats were Large, and therefore incrementally more powerful. There was some more that you could do with K-BLD that could turn them off to help balance it, but it wasn't really necessary or obvious so it would have made the encounter MUCH more difficult.

In the end they were made smaller to balance the encounter as a whole, and K-BLD removed as a tactic, which was the better plan. In the editing pass, their reach should have been removed.

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