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Chapter 8: Tactical Rules / Defining Effects

Abilities and Spell Effects on Large Vehicles

Source Starfinder Core Rulebook pg. 272
Most vehicles interact with abilities and spells normally; the effects of an explosive blast on an exploration buggy can be determined using the typical rules, for example.

However, if you are on an exceptionally large vehicle, such as a sizable aircraft or a starship, the vehicle effectively becomes a type of terrain, and it interacts with the effects of abilities and spells differently. The GM is the final arbiter of what type of vehicle classifies as terrain, but examples include airships, mobile factory crawlers, ocean liners, space stations, starships, trains, or any vehicle larger than a typical creature that is size Colossal or larger.

Consult the following guidelines when using abilities or casting spells on vehicles classified as terrain. For the purposes of abilities and spells, exceptionally large vehicles are not considered objects; instead, their various component parts (bulkheads, consoles, walls, etc.) are considered objects. In general, abilities or spells with a stationary or immovable effect (such as wall of force, zone of truth, or the entrance to an Akashic mystic’s memory palace) or spells that are anchored to a vehicle (such as wall of steel) move with a vehicle and are not fixed to the physical spot where they are used or cast. In this way, effects that originate from a character on a terrain-sized vehicle and target an area on that vehicle move with the vehicle, instead of manifesting in a static spot that the vehicle quickly outpaces.

Beyond these guidelines, the exact effects of an ability or spell that originates from a character on an exceptionally large vehicle are up to the GM.