“Dawn of Flame sees the heroes peeling back the layers of a story about a mysterious force operating within the Pact Worlds’ sun while diving through the layers of the star itself. The narrative starts outside the sun, moves into events in a city in the star’s upper atmosphere, and leads to the heroes traveling into the sun’s depths. If flying a starship deep into stellar plasma to explore places few mortals have seen isn’t science fantasy, I don’t know what is.” Chris Sims, lead developer for the Dawn of Flame Adventure Path.
The adventure begins on a space station near Mataras, the sun of the Pact Worlds, where the heroes watch a magical portal to the Plane of Fire disappear into the sun just after creatures exit it for the first time in recorded history. An overwhelming telepathic burst from within the star quickly follows, and a scientist recruits the heroes to help her find out what’s going on.
Warning: spoilers ahead. Soldiers of Brass, the second module in the Dawn of Flame Adventure Path was released on March 27, 2019. Dawn of Flame is the fourth Starfinder Adventure Path campaign. Fire Starters (Part 1) released February 27, 2019, and the six-part series is expected to run until July 2019, and is designed to take your player characters from level 1 to through level 13. Soldiers of Brass, an adventure geared for 3rd-level characters, by Crystal Frasier, picks up where Firestarters left off. Like its predecessors, this 63-page Adventure Path boasts new adventures, full-color maps, a new ship, six new creatures, a new world, new NPCs for your player characters to meet, and much more.
Soldiers of Brass consists of three acts. During Part 1, the heroes respond to a robbery only to discover that a gang is looting sensitive computer equipment. Next (Part 2), the heroes track the gang back to their hideout where they uncover the “higher-ups” in charge. In the final act, the heroes raid a stronghold, where they confront a boss, in order to retrieve the stolen data. As I have mentioned in previous reviews of Paizo Starfinder modules, one thing Paizo has proven that they do well is building adventure paths in block modules that follow a linear, clear, and chronological storyline. Interspersed between lore and rich story-building, each module contains maps, NPCs, creatures, and stat blocks as you proceed through the adventure. Like Fire Starters, Soldiers of Brass does make reference, here or there, to the Starfinder core book set (typical for generally all tabletop RPGs), there is little need to stray from this module.
One exciting aspect about this second module of the Dawn of Flame Adventure Path is that it will take your player characters to a variety of interesting new places. Part 1 takes place primarily in the Museum of Endosolar Sciences – a portion of the Deep Cultures Institute (DCI) open to the public in the hope of generating interest in and support of solar research. The module includes a full-color map and detailed room information for each area within the museum. One notable detail is a CR rating for each room to help the GM gauge encounters for player characters.
Part 2 requires the player characters to travel from Stellacuna and the DCI headquarters to the The Brass Bazaar in the bubble of Corona. Another highlight of this module is an article covering The Brass Bazaar which can be used to provide some local flavor to your player characters. This article provides world-building details about the marketplace and provides the GM with an NPC and shop details.
The Brass Bazaar at the center of Corona is a chaotic riot of floating platforms that bob up and down in the heat and radiation leaking through the bubble city’s weak top and bottom. Connected by a series of stationary streets, enclosed tunnels, and attached bridges that move with them, these platforms hold a variety of stores and restaurants, all of which do a brisk business despite the bubble’s dangers.
By Part 3, the player characters will have learned that the Brass Dragons hired the Bloodshots gang to steal to the data. These mercenaries’ lair lies in the Eos Athletics Club. In order to retrieve the data and learn why the heist took place, the player characters must raid the Brass Dragons’ stronghold.
This module continues the trend of well-thought-out, highly detailed modules forming pieces of entertaining sagas in multipart Paizo Adventure Paths. Aside from a typo here or there (fairly common in most RPG literature), this module contains everything that Starfinder GMs and PCs have come to expect, new ships on the inside covers, a handful of intriguing new creatures to add to the Alien Archives, new locations, magical items, treasure drop details, lore, and more. If purchased through Paizo’s subscription, both GMs and PCs have new adventures to look forward to each month. At $22.99 for the print version ($15.99 for .PDF), this module is an affordable purchase. The only downside is that it is one of six parts of the overall story. If you have already begun to travel down this road, you know that it is a quality, rewarding adventure.