Hello, and welcome to Guidance! I’m Alex Augunas, the Everyman Gamer, and today I’m continuing my series from last week where I investigate a What-If scenario regarding what the final seasons of Starfinder Society and Starfinder Adventure Paths could look like based on clues that we have sprinkled about in various Starfinder products. Last week I discussed the possibility of a 9-part Data Plague Adventure Path, and this week I’m going to talk about a potential season of Starfinder Society that could play into it: Year of Salvation’s Plague. Ready? Let’s get started!
But First, A Recap
Just in case you forgot, my initial pitch was basically that the entire Adventure Path center around this event that was foreshadowed in a Starfinder adventure called the Data Plague—it’s a mysterious computer virus that crippled Pact Worlds communications and ultimately led to the Veskarium engaging the Pact Worlds in military conflicts, ultimately defeating them, decommissioning Absalom Station, and relocating the Starstone Reactor to the Veskarium. This is important, because the Devestation Ark AP specifically involves this same reactor, which is one of the big pillars my theory is built on.
For more information about the SF AP side of my theory, use the above link to check out that article. For the SFS portion, let’s get started!
Year of Salvation’s Plague
So, if you’ve read through my article on the Data Plague AP, you’ll recognize the references from my SF AP article. Salvation’s End is a moon-like structure that the Starfinder Society currently has exploration rights to. It’s an artificial vault complex that apparently holds simulations of events from across the galaxy’s timeline—past, present, and future. The Plague refers to the Data Plague. Now, Books 5 and 6 in my proposed Adventure Path, To Seek Salvation and Escaping Salvation, both reference Salvation’s End because of its weird timey-wimey properties. Not that the moon meddles with time, but it appears to either exist outside of time or otherwise knows major events that will (or could) happen. The idea for this season completely exists in the periods between Book 5 and Book 6. In the Adventure Path, the PCs go out to Salvation’s End when it becomes clear that the Veskarium is treating there, but for the Pathfinder Society, the entire season’s metaplot (or the overarching story) is split into two arcs; we’ll call them subseasons.
Now, obviously, I can’t really predict or speculate on what non-meta scenarios could happen during this season, so I’m going to focus on major Metaplot beats. Ready? Let’s go!
- SFS X-00: Anarchy Aboard Absalom Station. So in Paizo’s organized play campaigns, the -00 scenario always kicks off the season, and thus far it’s always been a multi-table special. This would be no different, and it would basically be set during the events of SFS AP: Data Plague Book 3. While the PCs are stuck in Ringworld Amusement Parks, the Starfinder Society is returning home to Absalom Station, triumphant after some victory that happened in the -99 Scenario (also a multi-table special, but this one’s designed to close out a season; more on that later). In this scenario, the Starfinder Society agents find Absalom Station in complete disarray after the Data Plague has wiped out almost all computer systems aboard the station, and its up to SFS agents to help the Stewards restore order and figure out what’s going on before all the life support systems on the ship shut down. The scenario’s ending is designed to coincide with Data Plague 3’s ending, with the PCs doing something that helps the PCs of that other book ultimately purge the Data Plague from Absalom Station’s Starstone Reactor. For now.
- SFS MP1: Depths of Salvation. After -00, many of the early Starfinder Society scenarios become focused around rebuilding Absalom Station, with several Starship tagged scenarios featuring inexplicable skirmishes with Veskarium ships. However, in the first Metaplot scenario in the season, Depths of Salvation, the Starfinder Society is called back to Salvation’s End after receiving unusual readings from Salvation’s End. The PCs delve into the moon’s heart, and what they find ties the moon to the ancient alien race that built the Devastation Ark.
- SFS MP2&3: Into the Dragon’s Maw Parts 1 & 2. The next metaplot scenario takes an unexpected departure from the Salvation’s End storyline. The Veskarium have agreed to peace talks with the Pact Worlds in wake of the Data Plague and have invited the Starfinder Society to act as intermediaries. Part 1 is a delightful social scenario with only one, maybe zero, combats. The Thurston Hillman special. But what the PCs don’t know (or have an extremely low chance of discovering) is that the entire event was a ruse just so the Veskarium could lure high-ranking Starfinders to Vesk Prime in order to seize as much of their information as possible. The Veskarium end up capturing Venture-Captain Arvin and try to use him as ransom in exchange for the SFS’s Data. The PCs fight off the Veskarium and win, but what they don’t know is that a friendly skittermander they met during Part 1 decided to “help” himself to the Starfinder Society’s data codes, and ends up making a back door into Guidance’s databanks. (Guidance is a super computer/AI who has access to all of the society’s records). The Starfinders don’t know it, but they’ve already lost.
- SFS MP4: The Battle At Nightarch. The final Scenario in this part of the Starfinder Society plotline would be the Battle at Nightarch, a scenario where the Veskarium attack the drow city of Nightarch, where a SFS ally happens to be. The PCs rush out to defend the planet, engaging in Starship Combat and direct battle against Veskarium troops along the way. This battle is depicted in Data Plague as well, and the PCs win! This is the moment where the Veskarium flagship suddenly retreats. Straight to Salvation’s End.
- SFS MP5: Salvation’s War. This scenario would essentially be the -99 for the season. Essentially, the Starfinder Society (alongside the Stewards) race to Salvation’s End and try to fight the Veskarium out of the moon base while learning why they’re there in the first place. It turns out that Salvation’s End’s purpose is to act as a backup to reality and the timeline, and the Veskarium are currently hacking the system to try and rewrite the course of history. The Scenario ends on a climax of not really being clear on what happens, and that’s because the Scenario is written assuming that the events of the Data Plague AP happen. The Veskarium succeed and rewrite the Pact World’s history to their vision, but the PCs manage to stop the Veskarium’s emperor and correct the course of history. So the scenario ends with a weird outside of time experience, and any changes to the Starfinder timeline can be explained that way.
I hope y’all enjoyed this little what-if experment for what could happen in the penultimate SFS and SF AP seasons. What do you think? Are my ideas likely, unlikely, or just plan nuts? Tell me all about it on Discord, and I’ll catch you next week. I’m gonna try to do another 5 Likes and Dislikes on a different rules system, but a lot of that depends on how quickly I can digest the system I want to write about. But until then, stay safe!
Alexander “Alex” Augunas, the Everyman Gamer, has been playing Tabletop Roleplaying Games since 2007 after a friend pretended to be his father in order to smuggle him out of high school so his gaming group had enough people to run a module. Today, Alex is the owner and publisher of Everybody Games, a co-host on Know Direction: Beyond and RPG Design Club, and a player on Stellar. You can follow Alex’s exploits on Twitter (@AlJAug), on Facebook, or on Patreon. Know Direction fans are also welcome to “@Alex” him on the Know Direction discord server!