SFS 4-01: Intro: Year of the Data Scourge


GM Discussion

Dark Archive 4/5

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While preparing this scenario I noticed that some things are missing in several stat-blocks:

1. The Reflex DC for the grenades in encounter A (both subtiers). An educated guess makes me believe it should be DC 10 or 11 at low tier, DC 11 or 12 in high tier.
2. The ranged "to hit" modifier for encounter D (subtier 3-4 only). Yet again, educated guess would make it +5 (as the bonus on melee attacks is also raised by 1).

Other than those errors, I didn't spot anything confusing or strange. The story is good and I can't wait to run it.


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The only concept that caught me off-guard was the idea that the uppermost level of the Ring (called the "surface" here) has an actual skyline that lets someone standing in a street intersection look up and see, not a ceiling several stories up, but the dome of the Eye rising in the distance (perhaps a mile away) above the rooftops.

I mean, I suppose that would finally explain why both illustrations we've seen of the Lorespire Complex so far shows it under open skies, but man, it really makes me yearn for an Absalom Station sourcebook just so we finally get some of the station's fundamental geography nailed down.

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Hammertime (Ex) Once every 1d4 rounds as a swift action, the prototype configures its hammerfist from a solid gauntlet into a weapon crackling with electricity for 1 round. In this form, the hammerfist gains the reach and first arc AR special weapon properties; it also gains the stagger critical hit effect, and deals a combination of bludgeoning and electricity damage.

Problem - It doesn't list how much damage the Arc does anywhere.

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I'd call it a d4 or a d6 for low/high tier. That would put it in line with the arc weapons for that level.

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Seems reasonable.

I have to say, I didn't find this a particularly slick scenario from a writing perspective, I felt like I was running the beta test.

2/5 *

Shifty, I push this. I needed to read it a few times to understand the trajectory of the adventure. We didn't know where the baddies and pcs start (The first battle encounter, i was wondering if it was before or after the investigation.)

As written, (since it is a secondary objective) I was wondering if the last encounter would be optional.

But the storywise it is perfect. And the last encounter #tactical mode was a blast for my player who i was saying i wasn't pulling any punches.

As the first arc weapon property, i had estimate it would do the same damage as the attack. Also i took the same educated guess.

And i love the ooze.

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The ooze was a blast Our party actually avoided most of the fighting.

My Vanguard figured out they were heading towards the sound, so just ran PAST them screaming her head off as loud as she could (...and confusing the heck out of the rest of the party) that had two following her, she got ahead of them, set up some windchimes in a room, and shut the door.

The rest of the party Had one climb on their head, and someone else found the original packaging they came in and some salad tongs and started putting them back.

Scarab Sages 4/5 5/5 *

So I'm prepping this for a group this Sunday and I'm a bit confused.

So there is the starting bit with the train and the abandoned train station, I get that. Then the PCs have a chance to hoof it or take the Taxis.

If the PCs take the Taxis do they skip the bit with the free market? If they hoof it do they skip the traffic accident? I played this at Paizocon 2021, but that was almost a year ago and I obviously didn't get a behind-the-scenes look at what the GM was doing.

From what I'm seeing taking the taxis just bypasses part of the adventure, potential treasure, but there is no way for the PCs to know that when they make the choice.

5/55/55/55/5 ***** Venture-Captain, Washington—Seattle

From Page 6:

If the PCs decide to travel along the tracks using the service cars, proceed immediately to Event 2: Traffic Glitch. If PCs decide to travel using this option, they can navigate to either the Freemarkets or the Security Resources Pavilion, but they must overcome the obstacles in Event 2 first. Though the track runs all the way to Drifter’s End, a barrier of twisted metal too heavy to remove without specialized equipment prevents PCs from skipping ahead to this location.

The PCs can choose to skip the Freemarkets, but they do not have to. There is more than enough time to run all the content in a 4-hour slot so unless they really want to skip a location, you can encourage them not to.

Scarab Sages 4/5 5/5 *

logsig wrote:

From Page 6:

If the PCs decide to travel along the tracks using the service cars, proceed immediately to Event 2: Traffic Glitch. If PCs decide to travel using this option, they can navigate to either the Freemarkets or the Security Resources Pavilion, but they must overcome the obstacles in Event 2 first. Though the track runs all the way to Drifter’s End, a barrier of twisted metal too heavy to remove without specialized equipment prevents PCs from skipping ahead to this location.

The PCs can choose to skip the Freemarkets, but they do not have to. There is more than enough time to run all the content in a 4-hour slot so unless they really want to skip a location, you can encourage them not to.

Thanks! Dunno how I missed that.

The Exchange

The treasure in the Abandoned Train station is loot "stolen" from vending machines. What if the party is too LG to steal their treasure?

Do I cross it off the chronicle?

Also the Hammerfist does arc damage equal to its level (per Nethy's achive). What is its level?

Running this at con on Saturday!! My first sfs gm!

Is there an sfs prep board?

The Exchange

Shifty wrote:

Hammertime (Ex) Once every 1d4 rounds as a swift action, the prototype configures its hammerfist from a solid gauntlet into a weapon crackling with electricity for 1 round. In this form, the hammerfist gains the reach and first arc AR special weapon properties; it also gains the stagger critical hit effect, and deals a combination of bludgeoning and electricity damage.

Problem - It doesn't list how much damage the Arc does anywhere.

Also the Hammertime does arc damage equal to its level (per Nethy's achive). What is its level?

Running this at con on Saturday!! My first sfs gm!

The Exchange

logsig wrote:

From Page 6:

If the PCs decide to travel along the tracks using the service cars, proceed immediately to Event 2: Traffic Glitch. If PCs decide to travel using this option, they can navigate to either the Freemarkets or the Security Resources Pavilion, but they must overcome the obstacles in Event 2 first. Though the track runs all the way to Drifter’s End, a barrier of twisted metal too heavy to remove without specialized equipment prevents PCs from skipping ahead to this location.

The PCs can choose to skip the Freemarkets, but they do not have to. There is more than enough time to run all the content in a 4-hour slot so unless they really want to skip a location, you can encourage them not to.

The treasure in the Abandoned Train station is loot "stolen" from vending machines. What if the party is too LG to steal their treasure?

Do I cross it off the chronicle?

Running this at con on Saturday!! My first sfs gm!

1/5 5/5

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As a GM, if I had a table that was law-abiding and respectful of boundaries like that -- well, there IS a lot of chaos going on, technology not working right, just have the machines dispense the items in question when the party makes a Computers/Engineering check to 'clear a door' or something similar?

Alternatively, if you have someone try to pay, you could 'deduct' the credits they pay for the item(s) only for it to get 'stuck'. (Happens to vending machines a lot IRL)

Of course, they *didn't* pay for it because the system is down, so let the banks sort it out later?

That's just my seat-of-the-pants thought.

I think a lot of folks would go "Hey, emergency, they can bill me for it later if it's an issue."


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Hubie Marston wrote:
Also the Hammertime does arc damage equal to its level (per Nethy's achive). What is its level?

Hmm. Digging into Tech Revolution to try to suss this out. Okay, so, to start with, the item level of a mech's weapons cap out at CR +1. So the CR 3 mech's hammerfist can't be more than level 4, and the CR 5 mech can't go higher than 6.

The CR 3 mech's hammerfist deals 1d6 base damage; the CR 5 deals 1d8. The hammerfist deals low damage, so according to Table 4-5 (both on Tech Revolution pg. 104), that means...

CR 3 hammerfist (1d6): Level 2.
CR 5 hammerfist (1d8): Level... uh, well, there is no low damage bracket that deals 1d8 base damage. But level 2 medium damage deals 1d8, so I guess the intention is that the hammerfist is an item level 2 weapon in both cases? (This may be an artifact of presumably working with an early version of the mech rules.)

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