Planetfall (1 of 6) GM's Reference


Horizons of the Vast


This is the Horizons of the Vast Module 1 Planetfall GM discussion thread. :)

Been walking a fine line as I am a player with 4 sessions in already but will be GMing this at the end of this week.

[url=https://paizo.com/threads/rzs43fje?Serpents-in-the-Cradle-GMs-Reference[/url].

I'll try the link to the 2nd module when I post that but I usually have the worst luck at that!!

Tom


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Question im reading and trying to re read this thing but first thing i notice right away ...How do PC's Earn Cash or UPBS sure some ....weird things happen to give pc's items but like ......What is it that can be done to get Cash Into the PC's Hands easier am i overlooking something?


No luck on the link , a little help please on what I missed before time expires to edit? :)

I noticed that as well DK

Crafting would help but I was thinking of selling alien skins, bark, leaves and exo skels to your colonists or perhaps the groups Charter Patron would buy it via their rep planet side good old Erizand.

For the group I will be GMing I am going to give extra credits (signing Bonus) depending on the specific Patron they pick, from as little as 500 extra to 1500 per character.

Session 1 I am adjusting so the party starts in the ship and has a meeting to decide all the basics of the charter before Eriz calls em up to the bridge for the hex pick home base deal.

That gives the PC's time to get the feel of their character, meet the others who were around but busy prepping for this unknown planet and a few select NPC's and they can see the nice inside map of the Burnished Dawn.

Not sure that helps any for ya.

Tom


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TRDG wrote:
No luck on the link , a little help please on what I missed before time expires to edit? :)

You missed the closing bracket on the first bit.

As far as money goes. I tend to figure the PCs getting paid by their sponsors over looting to win and give them a significant chunk of their wealth by level at every few level ups or so in one big payment (or found resources/loot). It lets them go on a shopping trip/crafting spree every 3 levels or so and typically means their new gear is a significant upgrade and not just 'woo, d8s instead of d6s, yay.'

So, I add more than written to pre-written paths based on how much of the found loot they are actually using.


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Garretmander wrote:
TRDG wrote:
No luck on the link , a little help please on what I missed before time expires to edit? :)

You missed the closing bracket on the first bit.

As far as money goes. I tend to figure the PCs getting paid by their sponsors over looting to win and give them a significant chunk of their wealth by level at every few level ups or so in one big payment (or found resources/loot). It lets them go on a shopping trip/crafting spree every 3 levels or so and typically means their new gear is a significant upgrade and not just 'woo, d8s instead of d6s, yay.'

So, I add more than written to pre-written paths based on how much of the found loot they are actually using.

good idea it makes sense most books are 3 level based or up 2 each level but yea .......if you do it at the end Pay off makes sense


GMed session 1 last nite and went pretty well having them in the ship almost in Obit. Only pre game thing I did was have 3 of the 6 PC's being visited in their sleeping bunks planting the 1 of 3 hex pic. And getting the Admin team together to hammer out the sponsor stuff lead to some good RP and getting to know each other.

Ended it when they got the 2 different calls for help at the Silo and then the Power plant. Naturally they wanted to split the team, just like in my other Player game, but in the end they choose wisely after refusing to hear their sponsor rep badger them not to risk the Admin team piece meal, LOL

One thing I have some concern about is what is everyone doing on the hex's that have nothing in them? Are you adding random or environmental Hazzards chance per hex or using GEM and their charts or doing something else?

Tom


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TRDG wrote:


One thing I have some concern about is what is everyone doing on the hex's that have nothing in them? Are you adding random or environmental Hazzards chance per hex or using GEM and their charts or doing something else?

Tom

i would run with GEM and some random encounters or events To spice it up ...thats when i run it

Scarab Sages

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

is there a hex map without the tags?


There is on the separate map PDF you can as usual toggle the tags and grids on and off.

Tom


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Demon Knight1434 wrote:
Question im reading and trying to re read this thing but first thing i notice right away ...How do PC's Earn Cash or UPBS sure some ....weird things happen to give pc's items but like ......What is it that can be done to get Cash Into the PC's Hands easier am i overlooking something?

Our campaign is on its third game month. I rationed a certain amount of supplies to the PCs in the beginning, and for now they've been relying more on survival and crafting to get by. Their credits have remaind stagnant, though they are awaiting payment from their patron, AbadarCorp, for a discovery they made. Outside of story rewards, I plan to let them sell back excess RU to AbadarCorp if they need supplies in a pinch. I also plan to let them set up trade with nearby charters, which could be a source of income for them in the future. As their economy grows they may recieve a paycheck for their work as charter administrators. For now though, its assumed that everyone in the charter (including them) is strapped for resources and still rationing, especially since their expansion and project strategy has left them with barely enough RU to pay upkeep.


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TRDG wrote:
Ended it when they got the 2 different calls for help at the Silo and then the Power plant. Naturally they wanted to split the team, just like in my other Player game, but in the end they choose wisely after refusing to hear their sponsor rep badger them not to risk the Admin team piece meal, LOL

My party ignored the warnings and split. I went with it, and the decision nearly got two of them killed by the joltvines at the powerplant. They realized they were outmatched and retreated, and had put in a call to the rest of the party to help. Since then I've dangled the carrot for a party split a couple times, but they've been very adamant to never split the party again lol. Lesson learned.


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TRDG wrote:
One thing I have some concern about is what is everyone doing on the hex's that have nothing in them? Are you adding random or environmental Hazzards chance per hex or using GEM and their charts or doing something else?

I've been pre-planning encounters and environmental hazards for the different biome types. I prep a a couple encounters for each biome they are likely to explore, which has just been forest and plains so far. Some hexes I dont plan anything other than "this is fertile farm land and would be a great place for a resource node." Other hexes have random encounters or challenges (How do you plan to cross this river?). I've also put in a few higher CR encounters that are obvious and intimidating, and the PCs have chosen to stay away from them so far. Weather has also been a fun factor (normally this hill wouldn't be a problem, but recent rain has made it difficult to climb. Do you want to try crossing it, or go around and cost you another day?).


JoBucket wrote:


I've been pre-planning encounters and environmental hazards for the different biome types. I prep a a couple encounters for each biome they are likely to explore, which has just been forest and plains so far. Some hexes I dont plan anything other than "this is fertile farm land and would be a great place for a resource node." Other hexes have random encounters or challenges (How do you plan to cross this river?). I've also put in a few higher CR encounters that are obvious and intimidating, and the PCs have chosen to stay away from them so far. Weather has also been a fun factor (normally this hill wouldn't be a problem, but recent rain has made it difficult to climb. Do you want to try crossing it, or go around and cost you another day?).

And then the PCs will eventually get a flying vehicle (which logically should already have been provided to the colony, but you know, level limits,...

Poof, most environment encounters won't matter any more.


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"So, uh, you said you scouted out Sector C-17."

"Yep, complete aerial survey."

"So, uh, when you were flying around, did you happen to spot the flesh beetles?"

"The what?"

"The flesh beetles. That's what me and Bob are calling them. Look kinda like beetles, eat flesh?"

"Uh..."

"I mean, like, all the flesh."

"...N-no?"

"Yeah. Look, long story short, the rec center didn't get built."


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Before discovering this < waves hands around, motioning at this Horizons of the Vast area >, I had decided that various equipment required the appropriate Advanced Project (Armory for weapons and such, Hospital for medicinals, etc), not unlike Jared Thaler over in Charter Rules Plus, but that didn't solve my problem of where the UPBs come from to create those items. Obviously RUs are massively powerful, in that you only need "a few" to create an Armory. But what is the conversion between RU to UPB? Is there loss, or waste, in the conversion?
This question finally came up in my game last night, where my players (who have yet to build more than the absolute basics of the Advanced Projects) wondered aloud where they might obtain more Credits. Obviously(?) they need a Bank, but this circled back around to where do the UPBs come from, to create credits?
I found myself in a similar situation a few years back, when some players couldn't wrap their head around starships being "free," and wanted to know how much would it cost, in Credits, to buy one? Working from the Vehicles provided in the Core Rulebook, and other mundane items (Flashlight = MagLight), I tossed a pile of numbers into a spreadsheet, and eventually arrived at an equation to convert through, to get me prices of various Tiered starships. (Spoiler Alert: They weren't happy.) I've already started to do the same for RUs to UPBs - but it's going to be "a few days," before I'm happy with the math. For example, a Recharging Station or Religious Institution will set you back 5 RU: What is the average real-world equivalent of millions of dollars for a gas station, in relation to those 5 RUs? Once I'm happy with that, across the board for the various projects, and build my equation, it's just a hop, skip, and a jump to 1 RU = X UPBs.
Another option is to simply ignore all of the spreadsheet nonsense, and arbitrarily decide that in your game, 1 RU = 50k UPBs, 1.3M UPBs, or whatever sounds reasonable to you.


I feel ya Morham, for me in my 3 games, 2 I GM and 1 as a player we use Erizand Shyre the charter rep as "Bank" for Administrator credits and UPB's.

Going by the per level of wealth as a base, now if they do outstanding missions, work or info that really reflects their specific Patron then the Admin team gets a bonus.

As for the RU, well it all depends on those dice rolls and we have had mixed results so far. But one thing that has been done to spice it up a bit is in some empty hexes they might find a lost or misdropped RU pallet of supplies they can add to their total number in and seems to work well as an extra helping hand.

What I have noticed so far is that they really needed to add in more hex set encounters and maybe a fuller list of random ones. I'm just not the best, even with the GEM book charts and such to do really cool and engaging random and extra set encounters sadly.

What I think I am missing the most is Module II and the other charters planet side where I can think of some cool foreshadowing encounters. Now that I could do but with the delays it won't be out til mid month sadly.

Next I'm trying to figure out how to add Mechs into the game, mod 2 or 3 perhaps as that should be very interesting for the party to play with and plan for. But just not sure when and where to intro them and when as I don't want them to break the game.

So any ideas for extra random or set encounters and thoughts on mech introductions would be a big help to me and my groups

:)

Tom


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I'm having a lot of fun with Balco. Obviously, I don't know what future books have in store, but I'm using him for foreshadowing. If you've ever seen the movie "Event Horizon," one of the characters has visions/nightmares - and warnings of - "the dark." It's got them really uneasy, after his disappearing Thali's body, and the enveloping cloud of darkness, during that encounter.
Definitely could have used more hex encounters; I'm mixing-and-matching some of them as I recycle them - and the mole beetles as well. I'm trying to keep with the apparent theme of electrical creatures, and taking hints from the random encounter table, too.
My math was a bust. I gave them too many UPBs for 1 RU, but the built-in item level restrictions saved me. Scaling down UPB generation (even more!), by Advanced Projects built, looks like my way out of what I've already done. Granted they have "unlimited" RU, but I'm having Deirdrik question them about the "missing" RU(s).
I'm looking at having fun with mechs, too! Not necessarily in this first book, but eventually. They need more completed projects (Factory? Research Institute? AI?), before that's an option.
I'm using my other group as a guide for other charters, and just winging-it. Some will be friendly; others, not so much. I'm keeping away from the ones in the book, expecting something published later. Mine are stolen from across sci-fi history: Weyland-Yutani, Blue Sun, Umbrella Corporation, etc.
I've got a lot of first-time Starfinder players, and they're showing up with copies of the Core Rulebook! So, I think things are going pretty well(?), considering how many mistakes I know I've made with this one. Good thing my players don't! :D


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Oh, right. Encounter ideas. The skill check event from "Dead Suns: Temple of the Twelve" (page 16), modified for the terrain they're in, with some large/huge herd animals, spooked into a stampede by lynxicoots. Some dormant Akatas, in a deep cave in the mountains might be fun too! Also, following on the mole beetles, boom slugs, and asteroid louse: more bugs! There's plenty of bugs available, after "Attack of The Swarm." I might throw some Kaukarikis at them, the next time they're in forests, too.

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TRDG wrote:
What I think I am missing the most is Module II and the other charters planet side where I can think of some cool foreshadowing encounters.

Now that Module II has dropped, I am hoping that you have found some of those cool foreshadowing encounters.

As for filling up empty hexes... I tend to have my players tell me a set of hexes that they are exploring rather than go through each hex one by one. That way you can narrate them through several hexes saying things like, "You travel for three days through an area full of plains. The weather is rainy, and you trod for in the distance you see evidence of a large herd. This area could be well-suited for farming." Sometimes I mention them scaring off a young creature from the random encounter section, and then have them encounter the pack later. This narration continues until the party hits a full random encounter or a pre-written set piece.

It's always a balancing act deciding how many random encounters to include, particularly for those groups who level with XP rather than by Waypoints. Too many encounters and groups might level too quickly.

Hmm


Thanks Morham326 and Hilary

Things are a LOT easier now I have the great mod 2 I can work and plan ahead from

In my player game group, 10 sessions in (6 charter turns in) for mod 1 and then finally got to level 2, made a GM switch so things are working out way better!!

Of my 2 other groups I GM

5 sessions in, level 2, 3 charters turns in, then a bad survival check or two, 2 nat ones in a row got em lost. So I randomly rolled to see where they ended up :)

And for the other one

3 sessions in, level 1 still, 4 charter turns and have reconned quite a bit of the area

Tom

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JoBucket wrote:
TRDG wrote:
Ended it when they got the 2 different calls for help at the Silo and then the Power plant. Naturally they wanted to split the team, just like in my other Player game, but in the end they choose wisely after refusing to hear their sponsor rep badger them not to risk the Admin team piece meal, LOL
My party ignored the warnings and split. I went with it, and the decision nearly got two of them killed by the joltvines at the powerplant. They realized they were outmatched and retreated, and had put in a call to the rest of the party to help. Since then I've dangled the carrot for a party split a couple times, but they've been very adamant to never split the party again lol. Lesson learned.

I advised my guys not to split, they split anyway, and managed to barely defeat both threats. The half of the team that finished first rushed across the settlement to help out the other team. Kudos to them, they got both benefits...and haven't had a colony event yet.

Dark Archive

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Demon Knight1434 wrote:
Question im reading and trying to re read this thing but first thing i notice right away ...How do PC's Earn Cash or UPBS sure some ....weird things happen to give pc's items but like ......What is it that can be done to get Cash Into the PC's Hands easier am i overlooking something?

Given that at least one character needs to spend a week a month administering the claim, the other characters could potentially Earn Income via Profession skills. One of my players has Profession (Contractor) and a plasma welder - he's been making small amounts of cash regularly.

There are also a few events that reward cash, and enterprising characters might use Survival to turn defeated enemies into resources via Survival.


Yep the downtime earn income, I've showed all the downtime stuff from the CRB as well as GEM but only a couple of players have taken advantage of it sadly. Esrand has also given some extra pay for missions and new info discovered from time to time as well.

Then I grabbed a neat trick from a now former Starfinder GM of one of my games and I have seeded "lost pallets of supplies" in some of the empty hexes. Some have hi or med or low Perception or survival checks to find them. Some are just misdrops from other charters, and now I know more about mod 2, they were misdrops intended for that stealth charter set up.

Have not had any creatures of yet added to this but thinking one might have some, a weapons and armor drop with the emblem of a certain charter on it to give a little hint about mod 2, but might be a bit to on the nose unless I have other charter emblems in other drops as well.

But this drop will have 1 item for each character as well as some more general supplies, but they are going to have to fight for it!! :0

Just hav'nt built it yet.

Tom


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I noticed something about the character Threl Rustos when reading Book 3

Spoiler:
In Planetfall, the character is listed as a female human envoy, but in Whispers of the Eclipse it is now a male human envoy, artwork included

I was just about to introduce the character for the first time when I read this and have adjusted accordingly and thought I would let other GMs know about this change


To late as I already into'ed HER, LOL Not a big deal and mistakes like these are a non issue for me, does she/he have a new picture somewhere in there by chance?

Thanks for the heads up regardless bud

Tom


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TRDG wrote:

To late as I already into'ed HER, LOL Not a big deal and mistakes like these are a non issue for me, does she/he have a new picture somewhere in there by chance?

Thanks for the heads up regardless bud

Tom

There is art and she has a nice bushy mustache and a beard.

Agreed it is a complete non-issue, but just letting people be aware in case they want to use the art with the character


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Cheap serum of sex change exist. Problem solved.

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Obviously, the serum was to help her get over the loss of her husband...

Really wish I'd seen this post BEFORE I ran that meeting yesterday...

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Though this was a consistency error on our part, we've decided that it's official canon now that Threl Rustos is a trans male. Thanks for spotting this one!

Hmm

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Excellent to see you guys embracing mistakes, and making the most of them. Sounds great :)


On session 20 for my player game, almost done with mod 1, going through the election now and did'nt do the first debate to well at all, great RP but the checks, not so much!!

Sadly my other Vast games I am GMing is on hold as I got work schedule reshift......AARRGG!!

Tom


And my Party and I completed module 1!! Ha Ha, took 23, 3 hour sessions and 2 GM's but its in the books over the weekend.

Now onto Mod 2 this weekend, can't wait!!

Tom

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Wow, you guys are taking your time. We finished book 1 in about 6 4-hour sessions or so.


LOL, ya most of the players but I are new players to the system as well as both of the GM's we have had.

In all honesty if more knew what they were doing and the rules, well then that would knock off probably 10 sessions I beleave :)

Otherwise its been a heavier RP and getting the feel and the life of an Admin explorer flavor character for most of us.

All in all it did drag at times due to lack of system knowledge and lore, especially for the first GM, then the 5 out of 6 players, but overall it was a fun most of the time.

How did your crew work out for mod 1?

I hear ya on the it only took us X time/sessions as Starfinder AP's are way shorter and less levels than PF II, but it is what it is and the crew seems happy overall in what they went through to get to mod 2.

Tom

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We had a few hairy moments with random encounters, but they were pretty ok with the scripted events. I have 4 players, most of whom are fairly experienced gamers in general, and Starfinder in particular (one guy new to Starfinder, but experienced with 5e).

The toughest fights so far have been the Vracinea and Glass Serpent. They encountered the Vracinea at level 2 (I think?), and managed to run away from it the first time. They then went back and hunted it down once they were tougher, although it was still a little dicey.

They got ambushed by the Glass Serpent right at the start of the second book, while they were repairing vehicles. It was VERY close to a TPK, and ended with three characters unconscious. But they are still basically the lowest level, fighting the toughest random encounter. Had I realised how tough it was, I'd have rerolled.


Getting to the end of module 1 with one of the groups I GM, session 10 and they have hit most everything, except for really building up their settlement sadly.

They don't seem super interested in that sub system so should I just hand wave it a bit so they have at least more than 2 buildings up by the end of mod 1, or go into mod 2 as is?

Thoughts anyone?

Thanks, I'm 50/50 myself at the moment

Tom

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I honestly don't see much impact of the Colony subsystem on the overall plot. I know there's a mandated upgrade at some point (book 3 or 4 I think?), but other than that, you could just about ignore it if the players aren't interested, with no real effect.


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Hey y'all. After GMing another campaign from another system for the last 2 and half years, while excitedly reading through the Starfinder core rulebooks, I am finally getting a chance to GM Starfinder! My group is starting out with HotV and we are beyond excited. We have our session 0 next week.

I am enjoying reading everyone's posts until then.


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Hey everyone, my group finally had our long awaited session 1 of Starfinder! It was a lot of fun to run. Naturally the players are experiencing some growing pains due to switching systems. They managed to get through the first 3 events, so a very action filled session. As others mentioned, they were very keen to split the party between the Silo and Power Station, but thankfully they did not.

Our Khizar Biohacker is having an especially tough time dealing with all of the options for his class and the limitations of his race. Question for you all - Does a character need to naturally have a specific sense/body part to make use of augmentations? For example, could the Khizar receive Darkvision Capacitors to receive eyes?

Thanks all.


There are a numer of threads on this. I would guess that 60% of people arguing say no.


Its your game so what you do decide should work as long as you remember that other players will probably try to grab stuff as well. And check if everyone is fine with this

1 of the groups I GM for this is halfway through exploring the final map, been quite an experience so far, quite fun everyone has said.

2nd group about halfway through and such a great international group they are, a real joy to GM them through this I have to say :)

Tom


Module 1 complete last nite for one of my groups!!

I ended up doing 6 months out of game turns to catch up with their settlement building (for mod 2 coming up), skipping the downtime and doing events every other month as each Admin took their turn in chat on discord between the last session.

I leveled then up to 4 as I don't (and my players really don't like the end level point in the AP's) So I try to add an extra level in every other module so adds 3 levels give or take by the end of the AP, works great!!

Tom

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