Next Campaign: Against the Giants

Playing Starfinder has been a lot of fun and I will treasure our time in the Dead Suns campaign forever. It is time to go back to our roots. I am adapting the Against the Giants series of adventures to Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition and I will be setting the campaign in the world of Midgard by Kobold Press. I know others have adapted this classic saga to D&D 5E but no one does it like I do and there is no group of players quite like mine.

Enjoy this teaser…

Dead Suns, Session 37

Admiral Serovox had employed his prodigious necromantic powers to wrestle control of the Stellar Degenerator from the Starfinders. Negative energy rippled across almost every surface of the ship and engulfed the control systems the PCs had previously been using to deploy the power of the starship against the surrounding Corpse Fleet ships.

Cypher quote, “That’s not good!”

Whenever they tried to touch the controls, spectral hands would reach out and grab them. Wesley wondered about the necrograph heart he had collected on the cultist’s asteroid. He pulled the heart out and when he got close to the controls, the heart began to glow and beat faster. This creeped him out and he decided he didn’t want to do that anymore. He pulled silver dust from the same asteroid and sprinkled it across the controls. The dust glowed and then disappeared. Although intriguing, Wesley decided to play with that later.

Stellar Degenerator Engineering

Nuil examined the energy field and identified it as a powerful necromancy ritual which enabled Admiral Serovox to take control of the ship. She knew there were a couple ways to counter the ritual. The first would be the easiest and the hardest would be to find where the ritual was being performed and disrupt it. The second would be to perform the same ritual using a more powerful energy source. In the immediate area, she could use the spell dispel magic to remove the effect but she did not have that spell.

Wesley wondered if he could use TIM-X to touch the controls and Nuil added she could always summon gremlins to play havoc with the ship. She also wondered about her psychokinetic hand and unseen servant spells but realized neither could manipulate the system.

Wesley yelled dramatically to his drone, “TIM-X, let’s meld!” The combat drone transformed into a mech suit and surrounded Wesley. He grabbed the controls and for a moment, nothing happened. Suddenly, the necromantic field crept up the arms of TIM-X and electrocuted Wesley. However, before he was shocked he was able to accomplish one task (because Michael rolled a crit on his engineering check). Wesley zeroed in on Admiral Serovox on the bridge and also identified that as the location where the ritual was being performed.

Wesley fled back from the controls and briefly lost consciousness. When he came to he told the group where they could find the admiral as well as where they would need to go to stop the ritual. He was also able to determine the Stellar Degenerator was slowly drifting out to join the remainder of the Corpse Fleet navy. He also noted the state of the defenses of the Gate of Twelve Suns. The Corpse Fleet definitely had the upper hand. Finally, he got a good layout of the ship and found an alternate route to the front of the ship using a maintenance rail system on the lower levels.

Wesley wondered if the group should contact the Starfinder Society but Cypher insisted they not do so. He pointed out he thought the Society would take control of the weapon and would use it for their purposes. The PCs decided not to contact them.

After some debate, the group decided the best way to reach the bridge would be to use the maintenance rail system. They descended into the lower levels of the engineering bay. Drez and Switch covered their egress from the upper levels.

They stumbled across some tech chests when they reached the lower levels. Nuil used her x-ray goggles to check them first and inside they found UPBs, 3 tier 3 healing serums, and an advanced laser crossbow for Nuil. Drez, Cypher, and Wesley all took one of the healing serums. They took a short break so Wesley could add an accuracy modification to Nuil’s new weapon.

A spooky laugh echoed through the lower levels of engineering.

Nuil turned her x-ray goggles on the areas beyond the east and west doors and saw no danger. The coast was clear. The group went through the eastern doors.

They moved into a circular room with tracks inlaid in the floor and an ancient vehicle which would have ridden the rails. Nuil recognized as similar in design to transports she had seen on her home planet. She and Wesley began repairs.

While the pair worked, the others scouted a short ways ahead through two tunnels leading north out of the room. Cypher heard some scraping noises coming from the darkness to the north. He quickly alerted the others and activated his cloaking field. The rest who weren’t working on the transport took cover. Ryder, Cypher, and TIM-X took aim and prepared to fire.

37.2

An amalgamation of robot and zombie parts came ambling out of the darkness. Those on guard fired and the three of them hit the necrograft robot. They blasted one of the arms from the creature but it kept coming. The battle begins at the 44-minute mark in the video. A second robot emerged from the darkness and shambled forward. The Starfinders quickly dismantled the first robot and turned their attention on the second one when their Geiger counters started ticking.

An ellicoth floated down from a hidden alcove above and flooded the chamber with radiation. Some of the PCs were protected by its radiation by their armor but a couple were not. When they last faced this type of creature, Wesley was nearly killed but this time they were prepared.

TIM-X attacked the second necrograft robot while Wesley threw a grenade at the ellicoth. Cypher distracted the ellicoth and blasted him with a powerful trick attack. He then retreated from the room and closed the door behind him. The ellicoth tried to attack the ysoki as he retreated but his tentacle smashed the floor instead.

37.1

Nuil summoned a wall of fire. She spiralled the wall around the center of the room, overlapping it so it did not harm her allies but built an inferno around the ellicoth and over the necrograft robot. The robot went up in flames but was left with 1 hit point. The One Hit Point Wonders strike again! The ellicoth drifted up to minimize the fire damage it sustained but it could not avoid the flames altogether.

Switch finally caught up with the group and rushed into the room. Without slowing, he charged into the ellicoth and slammed into it with his ultrathin longsword thin blade (rolling a crit) doing 74 points of damage (which is all the ellicoth had left). Electricity leapt off the blade and slammed into the robot. Both foes went down with the one attack.

Nuil and Wesley finished the repairs on the transport. Nuil then tended to her ally’s wounds. Wesley then grabbed enough scrap from the area to build a sledge so everyone would fit on the transport. Meanwhile, Nuil and Switch worked on repairing TIM-X. Switch completed what repairs he could and Nuil cast make whole to finish the job. Cypher and Ryder kept watch while the other worked.

The moved the transport onto the rails and zoomed through the maintenance tunnels. Fifteen minutes later, they were found themselves at the end of the tunnels and left the transport behind. The maintenance tunnels opened into a large storage facility with advanced medical tech. There were also three equipment storage units. Wesley examined them and discerned this was a high tech biological containment unit. They noticed writing on the floor which revealed this room to be a life pod. In fact, there were twenty maltur in suspended animation. Nuil gasped in surprise. Most of them were scientists and a few were ship crew and soldiers.

The PCs discussed whether they should wake up the maltur or wait until later when the ship was secured. They decided the maltur would be too vulnerable and decided to leave them where they were for now. They marked the location on their datapads so they could find their way back.

In the storage containers, they found equipment which was meant for the maltur in suspended animation. Including in storage was two pairs of kishaleen battle armor. Switch and Ryder took the armor and Ryder passed his previous armor to Wesley.

37.3Cypher, who was keeping watch again, heard what sounded like a liquid substance slapping against the floor and then a sliding sound. He called out to his comrades just as a pair of yellowish slimes with technology grafted to their tops slid into view. The battle begins at the 1-hour 30-minute mark in the video.

Wesley commented, “I thought it was a person coming down the hall but it’s not.” *drum roll*

Switch moved forward while the rest of the group retreated to high ground. The android engaged the scavenger slimes in melee combat to protect his allies.

Initially, the group used their usual tactics against the slimes but found some of them ineffective. The creatures possessed no sight and could not be distracted by anything which required it. They also quickly discovered the creatures were resistant to most types of damage. They quickly switched through their arsenals until they found attacks which could do the most damage and mowed them down.

END OF SESSION

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Dead Suns, Session 36

Watch the game session on YouTube at https://youtu.be/kTASmAJtoyM.

Corpse Fleet forces stormed the chokepoint through which the PCs had forced them to attack. Ryder, Drez, and Switch (accompanied by the two cyber-zombies) waited with tense anticipation to do everything they could to hold the line. The first wave consisted of a pair of bone trooper commandoes driving four baykok forward into the fray. The undead warriors wielded weapons crafted from the bones of their fallen foes and wasted no time against the PCs. The battle begins at the 2-minute mark in the video.

36.1

Ryder ordered one of the cyber-zombies to rush the baykoks along the southern platform. The skeletal baykok grew long, bony claws and slashed the cyber-zombie as it passed but the cyber-zombie was merely a distraction. Ryder jumped out and zeroed in on the baykok and blasted it into smithereens. Bones and necromantic ichor clattered down into the abyss below. Drez charged at the second baykok on the southern platform and tried to bullrush it over the edge. The baykok parried the attack, spun Drez around, and pushed the vesk soldier back. Switch moved forward along the southern platform and met the first bone trooper commando in melee combat as it zoomed across the gap with jumps jets. They traded vicious blows, Switch’s blade versus the commando’s charged gauntlet. The second bone trooper commando backed up from Drez (and avoided his attacks) and fired his rifle at the soldier.

On the northern platform, the third baykok charged the second cyber-zombie controlled by the PCs and slashed through it with his skeletal claws. Chunks of gore and necrograft components were torn free. The cyber-zombie survived the attack but only just barely. The battle continued unabated until finally, the stalwart PCs destroyed the attackers. They tended to their wounds and waited for the next wave.

36.2.pngMeanwhile… Nuil, Cypher, and Wesley successfully acquired control of the Stellar Degenerator. As the ship’s sensors came online they quickly realized the Gate of Twelve Sun’s defense systems had finally failed and the remainder of the Corpse Fleet vessels were closing on the Stellar Degenerator.

The various Corpse Fleet ships took evasive action and Cypher began maneuvering the ship so Nuil could make the most of the single, devastating weapon possessed by the Stellar Degenerator (represented by the Raza in the pic). She unleashed the full firepower of the ship and it tore through the side of the Blackwind Annihilator. The Corpse Fleet flagship immediately began to list while the rest of the enemy vessels opened fire. The smaller fighters charged in while the gunships opened fire. Their weapons store into the shields of the Stellar Degenerator but the ship’s defenses held true.

Back inside the Stellar Degenerator, the PCs holding the line found their rest had come to an end. A second wave of baykok attacked, this time led by a bone trooper commando, a corpsefolk marine and accompanied by a Denizen of Leng. The weary combatants threw themselves at the Corpse Fleet soldiers and wondered if they could hold out long enough for their allies to complete their task.

Cypher rammed two of the gunships (dropping the Stellar Degenerator’s shields to 40%). Wesley screamed, “I can fix this!” He then pulled the mighty ship around and lined up with the Blackwind Annihilator. Nuil fired the main gun again and the beam tore through the enemy vessel. It exploded and wreckage scattered across the system. The Blackwind Annihilator was gone!

36.3Drez and Switch formed a living defensive wall along the southern platform. Their foes momentarily were distracted from their goal and they threw themselves at the Starfinders. The Denizen of Leng reached into Drez’s mind and unlocked the vesk’s deepest and darkest fears. Drez fought off the mental attack but was shaken by the experience. Ryder had been watching the attackers closely and he identified a weakness in the corpsefolk marine’s armor. He carefully aimed, fired, and hit the weak spot in the marine’s armor. The corpsefolk collapsed in agony and fell off the balcony. The soldiers turned

Wesley worked furiously to restore the heavily damaged shields. Nuil realized the remaining Corpse Fleet vessels were going to ram them again to bring down the Stellar Degenerator so she abandoned the ship’s weapon system and rushed to further bolster the shields alongside Wesley. Cypher performed a flip and burn with the Stellar Degenerator and brought the ship around to face the remaining enemy ships.

The pair of soldiers were proving too much of a barrier to forward progress. The remaining baykok opened fire on Drez and Switch. They missed Drez but their aim was true on Switch. The android soldier spun his bone blade around and deflected the incoming projectiles. Drez used the opening to charge the Denizen of Leng and wailed on him with his kishaxe. Switch followed his ally and slashed through his target with his ultrathin longsword necroblade. Startled, the Denizen of Leng tried to back away and both warriors cut him down. Although two baykoks remained, the battle was won by the Starfinders and they fled.

Denizen of Leng

The Corpse Fleet technicians managed to reclaim their comm channels and Admiral Serovox came across the open line.

“Starfinders, I am sure you can hear me now. You’ve done… well. I commend your efforts in taking over the Stellar Degenerator and I lament the loss of the Blackwind Annihilator. I am in need of a new flagship and I think this one will serve quite well.” Then he commented to someone the Starfinders could not see, “Complete the ritual. Take control of the Stellar Degenerator.”

A strange humming and chanting filled the starship. Shadows begin to lengthen and darken. Spectral hands appear and disappeared like souls reached out from the walls around them. The ship shook as necromantic energy surged through the craft. Through Admiral Serovox, the Corpse Fleet stole control of the Stellar Degenerator from the Starfinders.

END OF SESSION

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Dead Suns, Session 35

Watch the game session on YouTube at https://youtu.be/SxMBD4juCQs.

The Starfinders began the session with a complete tactical advantage. Thanks to Wesley’s cloaking systems, the Raza had gone completely undetected as it flew by the surrounding Corpse Fleet and closed with the only open hangar bay on the Stellar Degenerator. As they approached the hangar, they spotted several starfighters and their pilots milling about the bay. Beyond them was a control room in which there were three cyber-zombies and a Corpse Fleet officer supervising them.

After some debate, the group decided to make the most of the Raza’s offenses and launched a torpedo into the hangar bay. The Corpse Fleet was caught completely off-guard as the weapon blasted into the bay and exploded. The starfighters and pilots were destroyed but much to everyone’s surprise, a Kishaleen energy field appeared and protected the control room. Wesley immediately began to hack the hangar bay’s systems and shut down the shield. The Corpse Fleet officer fled through an ancillary door and disappeared from view.

Cyber Zombie

The Cyber-Zombies were jacked into the ship’s computers systems and were oblivious to the actions of the PCs. Cypher jacked into the computers and used them as a backdoor to hack into the three zombies and took control of them. The first one was trying to hack into the surrounding star system’s defensive weaponry in an attempt to shut them down. Cypher ended that process. The second was monitoring the security systems around the hangar bay (including video feeds). The third was monitoring Corpse Fleet communications and their forces moving throughout the Stellar Degenerator.

Cypher decided to use the third zombie to bluff the Corpse Fleet. He announced the Stellar Degenerator had grown unstable and ordered a full retreat. This caused immediate chaos. One of the “young” Corpse Fleet officers responded, “Admiral Serovox, this order confuses us. Why should we leave the Stellar Degenerator when we just claimed it?” A gravelly voice responds, “That is the Starfinders, you fool. Go back to your original orders and complete your mission.” Not all of the Corpse Fleet heard this exchange and while some returned to their missions, others began retreating.

Using the second cyber-zombie, Cypher located the Corpse Fleet officer who had fled from the control room. He hadn’t gotten far before he reunited with another unit. That unit opened a teleportation portal and the officer disappeared through it alone. The Starfinders had one trail to follow if they chose to do so.

The group debated what to do next and they wondered if they could use the controls here to destroy the Stellar Degenerator to deal with the Corpse Fleet swarming it. Cypher reminded the group if they did that, Wesley’s parents and the other Starfinders in the Scoured Stars system might be lost.

The group decided to leave one cyber-zombie behind to interfere with Corpse Fleet comms and took the other two with them. Wesley took out the laser trap he had scavenged from the cultist asteroid and set it up to defend the cyber-zombie they were leaving behind. They decided not to follow the Corpse Officer who fled but instead they would head to the Stellar Degenerator’s engineering section where they intended to take control of the ship. They also schemed to use their holoskins to disguise themselves as members of the Corpse Fleet. Only Drez did not disguise himself and instead posed as a prisoner.

The vessel was enormous and labyrinthine and it took all of Wesley’s engineering skills (with an assist from Nuil) to navigate the ship as quickly as they could. They noted as they moved most of the ship was not Kishaleen but Kishaleen technology had been merged with the control systems of the ship. They recalled the ship had originally been created by the Sivv before the Kishaleen had claimed it.

Malakar

On the way to engineering, they happened across a second Corpse Fleet officer, a female human pale stranger, wielding twin pistols constructed of bone. She was in command of three “marooned ones” undead which were busy unloading crates. She turned to the PCs and with a disinterested demeanor, commented on how quickly they had captured one of the Starfinders. Cypher forgets himself and responds with a thick ysoki accent. The officer did not react and the group could not tell if she had noticed. She then commented on how pleased Admiral Serovox would be they had captured one of the breathers. She ordered to bring the prisoner to the nihili (marooned ones) who had not been fed yet that day.

Cypher pushed Drez forced and then the group broke apart and launched a surprise attack. The battle begins at the 58-minute mark in the video.

Cypher ducked behind some medical supplies for cover. Nuil scaled a nearby pillar. Drez burst into a run and tossed a grenade to land between the pale stranger and two of the marooned ones. Much to his surprise, the pale stranger’s eyes tracked him through the pillar and she was not surprised by the attack. Perhaps she had caught Cypher’s accent? She taunted, “You think I can’t see you wherever you are?” She fired on the vesk soldier just as the grenade landed near her feet. She could not avoid the blast and was sent reeling. Electricity and fire danced along the line of her attack and slammed into Drez with the round from her pistol.

Although outnumbered, the Corpse Fleet soldiers put up a good fight. The pale stranger, who revealed her name was Malakar, demonstrated the uncanny ability to enhance her attacks with her pistols with various energy types and the attacks passed through cover as if it did not exist. The PCs were defenseless against her attacks and quickly realized they needed to commit to an overwhelming offense. Drez activated his haste circuit and charged her which is when he discovered her defense mechanism, an aura which caused irrational fear in those it affected. The effect was too much for the vesk and he fled in fear before he could attack.

The rest of the group rushed the marooned ones while keeping their distance from Malakar as much as they could. They unleashed unholy hell on the undead threat and Malakar died with a snarl on her face.

The group finished their trek to the engineering section. There Nuil and Cypher hacked into the ship’s computers. Corpse Fleet technicians managed to briefly retake control of their communications and Admiral Serovox sent the Starfinders an ominous message. He was sending his forces to claim them but he was not going to kill them, he intended to transform them into undead and add them to his forces. Nuil and Cypher closed down as many passages as they could to force the approaching threat to come through a single route.

Nuil, Cypher, and Wesley began taking control of the Stellar Degenerator while Drez, Ryder, and Switch rushed off to set up defenses along the route the Corpse Fleet would take. The techies were able to quickly take control of the ship while the others steeled themselves for the inevitable attack.

END OF SESSION

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