FROM BEYOND: Distress Call is running up on Kickstarter with several days to go at the time of this review. I received a copy to review and play through with a crew of player characters. The Adventure Path takes the crew from level 1 to 3, it’s published by Angry Golem and written by Davide Tramma. The book is 33 pages including covers, with adventure background, some notes for the GM, the two chapters of the AP and some hooks, and hints at the incoming episode 2. The Book wraps up with an appendix that lists all the things and stuff players will come across like NPC, loot and ships. I read through it all once but I want to give it the ol’ voracious treatment sans spoilers. I’ll do a second article when the Kickstarter ends that’ll contain more spoilers and results of my groups play through.
Starting with the background let’s paint a picture here. It breaks down some of the major players in the story and details the main arena for the players. In a nutshell, a new system has been discovered with a massive asteroid belt, operations have been established to start mining the resources and a few shipments have been made already. The story revolves around the Sawshark, an Ice Mining ship that sent a distress call to Cerberus station and hasn’t been heard from since both in the newly discovered system. The main antagonist is described as well as the major plot line of the adventure path which you’ll have to back for or wait patiently to find out about, it’s good I promise! After that there are some notes about adventure hooks to get your group to this point in a homebrew campaign or start up a fresh one.
The next two chapters detail the adventure path itself in a familiar format it breaks down what the PCs are up to and mixes in some notes to the GM on behind the scenes aspects as well as recommended skill checks and equipment descriptions when necessary. The ship itself if highly detailed with three wonderful maps and each room and corridor has a description, most have a link to the story or to the investigation. Some great notes are made for the GM to increase the sense of mystery and fear that I think will really get the job done. Let’s jump back to the ship detail again, it’s top notch and the best I’ve seen in a third-party supplement so far. It’s got a hard-science feel to it but everything still flows well.
We’ll go into way more detail on the appendix once the Kickstarter finishes and I get a chance to play it but there are some interesting notes on NPC hostility and Environmental radiation as well as a few new trade goods, some new equipment bits a creature or two and an NPC to add to the mix as well as two kick ass ships! The Sawshark is fully detailed and will be making it into my games without a doubt and the second ship included will see a lot of time on the table as well, the Farseer is a basic shuttle, nothing fancy but it’s the kind of ubiquitous ship I need readily available in cities and on spaceports for things and stuff. The last few pages consist of a map of the new system and the detailed floor plans of the ship, all three decks of the Sawshark!
There’s a suggested ending for chapter two but we all know how player characters like to go off the rails so it’s left with a few options to conclude on as well as some hooks to bite on for continuing this mission and believe me, in this story there is a reason why aspects of this AP will stick around in your homebrew campaign. It’s also highly modular, I feel like it’s a great AP to own and be familiar with as it can be thrown in when you need more time to prepare for something homebrewed or used to start the beginning of a massive campaign to own the newly discovered system and the Sawshark itself!
Ha, really the options are unlimited, the main enemy in this story is unorthodox but drives the space vibes home so well. It’s sure to be a memorable session or two for your group, I’m looking forward to running it for mine and perhaps some random groups from the Starfinder discord as a one shot. It’s an investigation type mission that really shows what Starfinder can do. It’s got my wheels spinning for sure as I think about ways to incorporate and build from it. I think that’s the best aspect of adventure paths like this, they’re whole stories that can be tacked into your current one or something all their own. If you GM you know that feeling of being unprepared? Well with an adventure path like this up your sleeve you could run your homebrew and if anything goes awry just start this story up. With some modifications and additional story this AP could scale in level all the way to 20. Go check it out, they’ve got it up at a very reasonable price for the hours of entertainment you can get from it.
I’ll be posting up on the Starfinder discord and twitter to find a group to play through this with me. I’ve worked it into my current homebrew game but I’m not sure when my players will get to it, they’re tied up in a Laser fight for the time being.