Roll20 Review – The Reach of Empire (Against the Aeon Throne 1)

Help a colony rebel against the oppressive Azlanti Star Empire in the first module for Starfinder’s Against the Aeon Throne.

A review copy of the module was provided. Read more Roll20 Reviews and watch the video reviews on my YouTube channel.

Support my video work via Patreon.

Starfinder‘s second ever Adventure Path, Against the Aeon Throne is being officially adapted into Roll20, starting with the introductory module, “The Reach of Empire.” It’s not the most exciting adventure but the maps are well done and it’s an easy introduction into Starfinder.

MAJOR SPOILERS – DM’s only!

The following content is included in the $22.99 Against the Aeon Throne – AP1: The Reach of Empire

  • Level 1-2 Adventure, divided into 3 parts
  • 4 5-ft battle maps with tokens and dynamic lighting (Plus/Pro sub required)
  • 2 non-gridded maps of Nakondis Colony and Madelon’s Landing
  • 1 black hexagonal space map
  • 1 Alphabetized token page.
  • 13 NPC character sheets with matching tokens and handouts
  • 2 Unique Named NPC character sheets with tokens and handouts
  • 10 starships with tokens and handouts.
  • 7 Magic Items.
  • 8 pre-generated level 1 player characters.
  • Supplemental rules, including building a starship.

An android named Cedona ties all the new player characters together. Regardless of theme, they should all have interacted wtih Cedona in their lives and count her as a friend. So when they have a chance to take a job escorting goods to a colony where she happens to live, they jump at the chance.

Little do they know the colony has recently become occupied by the Azlanti Star Empire, who are searching for a rune drive from an ancient crashed ship. The PCs arrive and soon become embroiled in helping the people of Madelon’s Landing rise up against their space-fascist oppressors.

Part 1 and 2 are mostly a series of scripted encounters, though Part 2 gives the PCs a bit more choice in which events to tackle and how best to sabotage the occupying force. Most of them come down to combat encounters with Aeon Cadets, essentially low level stormtroopers.

The maps help elevate this entire adventure. By including a collage of small encounter maps on a single page, we get proper battle maps for every single hostile encounter, which is quite a few, from shootouts in a cemetery to storming the garrison.

The third act begins with the PCs traveling out to the crashed starship, where Cedona was last seen. She’s already been captured and sent off-world, however, as our heroes explore the mini-dungoen crawl of zombies, electro-worms, and more Aeon guards, culminating in a big space battle when an Azlanti ship returns.

Once again the excellent maps raise the quality of the adventure. The crashed ship isn’t the most exiting dungeon crawl, yet is a darn fun map design as it’s crunched and wedged into the side of a mountain.

With much of the adventure spent engaging in small battles against troopers in a forest colony, “The Reach of Empire” lacks a lot of the cool sci-fi flavoring I was hoping to see. Yet I was impressed with the map quality and ease of running the adventure, from the low amount of named NPCs to the well annotated maps. Hopefully the plot and action pick up a bit more in future modules.

Pros:

  • Full color battle maps for every single encounter.
  • Fun theme of joining a rebellion and instigating guerrilla tactics.
  • Dungeon crawl through a crashed ancient ship.

Cons:

  • Lacks alien exoticism.
  • Relatively few monsters and magic items.

The Verdict: “The Reach of Empire” is a solid, easy to run starting adventure module and a decent introduction to Starfinder.

A review copy of the module was provided. Read more Roll20 Reviews and watch the video reviews on my YouTube channel.

Support my video work via Patreon.

Author: roguewatson

Freelance Writer

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