Review: Paizo – The Chimera Mystery (Starfinder Adventure Path)


The Chimera Mystery
The Chimera Mystery is the first module of The Threefold Conspiracy Adventure Path for Starfinder, written by Jason Keeley and published by Paizo.
By Aaron T. Huss

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The Chimera Mystery is the first Adventure Path campaign module in The Threefold Conspiracy series for Starfinder. As the name implies, it is a mystery-based module and campaign where the PCs spend much time investigating and dealing with the interference that comes with that investigation. For players, it really only requires the core rulebook, but GMs will want some of the supplemental books, maybe just to understand some of the non-core species such as the vesk featured on the cover and any bestiary books, which is almost always a requirement.

* SPOILERS *

The Chimera Mystery is something of a breath of fresh air when it comes to my experience with Starfinder. Much of what I’ve consumed to date has been more fantasy than science, especially with the tendency to create fantasy-like encounters with a sci-fi overlay. This first module of The Threefold Conspiracy breaks away from that design by exploiting more of the science side of the science fantasy Starfinder. One of the big ones is the mystery and the conspiracy it is wrapped up in. There’s a lot of weird technology uses going on here, and I absolutely love it!

There’s another thing about this module… the conspiracy! It’s absolutely crazy!! The PCs are actually [REDACTED]! They don’t even know it though!! It’s crazy to me that you can go through conflict after conflict and investigation after investigation as a [REDACTED] and not learn the truth until the very end! Awesome; it’s absolutely awesome!

;-)

I do have a couple complaints to note here though. First, the damn title of this module and the entire friggin’ campaign literally provides way too much information! “Hey, we’re playing ‘The Threefold Conspiracy’ starting with ‘The Chimera Mystery.'” Well obviously you’ll be working through some type of mystery that is wrapped into some much larger, multi-layered conspiracy. Ugh… I realize the GM doesn’t have to announce what the name of the campaign is, but how hard is it for the player to see the book and know that there’s some type of conspiracy going on. It really takes away from some of the surprise the players might experience.

Second… I have a love-hate relationship with sci-fi fantasy. Conceptually I love it, but I hate when fantasy creatures are given a spacesuit and all of a sudden are sci-fi fantasy. One of the crew is a barghest squeezed into sci-fi armor. A fantasy horror creature such as a barghest does not belong on a spaceship with sci-fi armor and the desire to work as a crew member. It’s just awkward. Sorry…

All in all, I really like the way this module is designed and love the direction the campaign is taking. It really captures the essence of blending science and fantasy and provides greater opportunities outside of move-and-shoot, rinse and repeat. This type of design really allows players to flex their creativity when creating characters as they don’t have to solely focus on someone who is combat-oriented.

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