I’ve noticed that folks seem to like the Starfinder book previews over the last year, and since I’ve got my digital copy of Drift Crisis, I thought I’d continue the series. It’s a different style of book than we’ve seen before in the Starfinder line, and maybe in any TTRPG book line frankly. Lots of interesting stuff here, so let’s get Drifty!
First off, the setup. Drift Crisis isn’t a traditional setting book in that it doesn’t cover one area or topic, but rather it provides all the tools you need to bring a Galaxy wide setting changing event to your table. FTL travel in the Starfinder setting depends on access to the Drift, an alternate plane of existence with different fundamental rules of space. The Drift Crisis is all about what happens when access to that plane and travel through it suddenly becomes unreliable to impossible. Chaos!
Establishing the New Norm
The first section of the book re-summarizes the nature and history of the Drift, Triune, and the situation in the Pact Worlds setting before the Crisis, then goes into the Crisis itself (as well as a host of possible causes) and how it is effecting multiple factions and civilizations. Also provided are new themes, class options, and gear, many of which are directly tied to the changing setting. I appreciate the detailed discussion of how the Crisis is effecting not only a lot of the major players in the setting but also expanding and introducing new players in the political landscape. The character options are great and flavorful too, though I’m particularly a fan of the level 14 Precog temporal anomaly Release the Hounds which allows a precog to mark a foe out for the Hounds of Tindalos (as the meme says “Bold strategy, Cotton, let’s see if it pays off for them.”) There’s also great stuff for Mystics, Solarians, Technomancers, Vanguards, and last but very much not least, Witchwarpers. The gear section features Thasteron based Thasphalt weapons that are really imaginative, and the incredibly evocatively named Mood Goo Emitter, among others.
Call to Arms
Chapter 2 is the adventure section and opens with a spoiler on the specific cause of the Crisis. I won’t spoil it, but will say it wasn’t the one I thought it would be. Presented here are multiple adventures and adventure seeds that span everything from opening the Ghost Levels on Absalom Station to Rebellion against the Vesk Imperium and Planar Adventures in the Drift and beyond. A host of great story seeds that span the gamut of party levels, with a smattering of character options fit in that are themed to the adventure seed they appear with.
Chapter 3 is the toolbox, full of mechanics, creatures, items, and more for GMs to craft their own adventures in this new Drift Crisis version of the Starfinder setting. This includes various different ways you can conclude the Crisis (if you even want to do so). I particularly like the introduction of the Drift Courier Network, a Pony Express like organization created to transport messages through a more dangerous Drift and Galaxy. Lots of adventure potential there. There is a miniature Alien Archive with new creatures and NPCs, with some neat concepts and the usual top notch art that is the Starfinder standard. Also of note here is a detailed write-up of fan favorite Zo!, the undead media mogul. The item section includes what might be the best set of random treasure tables I’ve ever seen, where each entry could be its own adventure seed. There is a selection of artifacts that are great reads, and you could build a whole campaign around the Leng Luminary. We finish with a section on how to incorporate the Drift Crisis into adventure paths, going from Dead Suns all the way to Fly Free or Die. This is a well thought out addition that can really add to the story of those APs in interesting ways. It’s also full of spoilers, so be aware before you start reading it.
All in all I’d recommend Drift Crisis, but with the caveat that this is more a GM book than a player book. Much of the content is devoted to creating new wrinkles in existing adventures, as well as bringing entirely new adventures to your table. There is also some great player content in gear and character options, but if you are a player in an ongoing Starfinder game definitely talk to your GM before perusing this book.
You can get your own copy of Drift Crisis from Paizo or your FLGS (Friendly Local Game Store)
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