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Military Vehicles

Vehicle Factors

Source Starfinder #24: The God-Host Ascends pg. 48
The following new rules expand on those found on page 228 of the Starfinder Core Rulebook and page 136 of Starfinder Armory. They are not exclusive to vehicles built and operated by military organizations.

Drawn Vehicles

Source Starfinder #24: The God-Host Ascends pg. 48
While most vehicles have their own means of propulsion, a handful of archaic designs harken to a time when the weight of civilization rested upon the backs of beasts. Such vehicles have no speed, and instead rely on creatures to pull them along by a specially designed harness. A drawn vehicle can be harnessed either to one creature of the same size category, or to two or more creatures one size category smaller than the vehicle. When a drawn vehicle is harnessed to creatures trained for the task, it gains a drive speed equal to the creatures’ walk speed, and a full speed equal to 3 ×the creatures’ walk speed. A pilot uses their Survival skill instead of their Piloting skill for checks to control a vehicle drawn by a creature, and drawn vehicles are always considered to have autocontrol.

Manipulators

Source Starfinder #24: The God-Host Ascends pg. 48
Some vehicles are fitted with appendages ending in manipulating mechanisms such as digits and pincers. Such a vehicle is treated as a tall creature of the same size category for the purpose of determining the reach of its manipulators, and each manipulator can hold up to 10 × the vehicle’s item level in bulk. Manipulators are generally too large and clumsy for delicate tasks such as operating equipment designed for Medium and smaller creatures.

A manipulator’s EAC is equal to 4 + the vehicle’s EAC and its KAC is equal to the 4 + the vehicle’s KAC. It has Hit Points equal to 3 × the item level of the vehicle and hardness equal to half the vehicle’s hardness. A manipulator that has lost at least half of its total Hit Points gains the broken condition, imposing a –2 penalty to Piloting checks to control the manipulator and to the DC of checks to escape the manipulator. Damage done to a vehicle’s manipulator doesn’t affect the vehicle’s Hit Point total.

A vehicle’s pilot (or one of its complement) can control a manipulator in the following ways, though only one person can control a manipulator in a round.

Crush

Source Starfinder #24: The God-Host Ascends pg. 48
As a standard action, you direct the manipulator to clamp tighter around a held creature or object (see Grab below), dealing half the vehicle’s collision damage. The creature or object can halve this damage by succeeding at a Fortitude saving throw (DC = 10 + the vehicle item level).

Grab

Source Starfinder #24: The God-Host Ascends pg. 48
As a standard action, you direct the manipulator to grab at a target within its reach by attempting a Piloting check (DC = 10 + the target’s KAC). On a success, the target is grappled by the manipulator. If the target is a creature, it gains soft cover and the grappled condition while held by the manipulator. If the result of your Piloting check exceeded the DC by 5 or more, the creature is instead pinned. A creature held by a manipulator can use the escape action to free itself by succeeding at an Acrobatics check (DC = 10 + the vehicle’s KAC), but it can’t grapple the vehicle in return.

If the target of a successful grab is another vehicle, both vehicles are considered to be connected by a rigid tether (see Tethered Vehicles below).

Slam

Source Starfinder #24: The God-Host Ascends pg. 49
As a standard action, you direct the manipulator to strike a target within its reach by attempting a Piloting check (DC = 5 + the target’s KAC). On a success, the manipulator deals half the vehicle’s collision damage to the target.

If the target of the slam action is a creature, it can attempt a Reflex saving throw against the vehicle’s collision DC to halve the damage. If the target of the slam action is another vehicle, the pilot of the defending vehicle can attempt a Piloting check to halve the damage, with a DC equal to the result of your Piloting check.

Tethered Vehicles

Source Starfinder #24: The God-Host Ascends pg. 49
Whether lashed together by a grappler and cable line or held in the grip of a crane claw, vehicles can sometimes become affixed to each other. Regardless of the specifics, any item holding two vehicles together is referred to as a tether. Tethers can either be flexible, like a cable line, or rigid, like a manipulator arm. The pilot of the vehicle from which the tether originates is considered the controller, and the pilot of the vehicle ensnared by the tether is considered the defender.

Dragging A Tethered Vehicle

Source Starfinder #24: The God-Host Ascends pg. 49
If the defender wishes to move while held by a rigid tether, or if either pilot wishes to move beyond a tether’s reach, they must succeed at an opposed Piloting check. The checks of both controller and defender receive a bonus equal to half their respective vehicles’ item levels and an additional +5 bonus for each size category that their vehicle is larger than their opponent’s. The controller wins ties. If the pilot who initiated the check succeeds, they can move any remaining speed of their drive action, dragging the tethered vehicle with them. They can then use any remaining drive actions without an opposed check. Alternatively, if the pilot initiated this check while using a race action, they can move up to half their vehicle’s full speed. If the pilot who initiated the check fails, their vehicle’s speed becomes 0 until the start of their next turn. A pilot who wishes to be dragged can opt to automatically fail this check.

Driving While Tethered

Source Starfinder #24: The God-Host Ascends pg. 49
If two vehicles are held by a flexible tether, both pilots can drive freely within the tether’s reach. If the tether is rigid, only the controller can move freely, but see Dragging a Tethered Vehicle above.

Escaping A Tether

Source Starfinder #24: The God-Host Ascends pg. 49
As a standard action, the defender can attempt a Piloting check (DC = 10 + controlling vehicle’s KAC) to free their vehicle from the tether. The controller can release the tether at any time (this takes no action).

Tethers In Vehicle Chases

Source Starfinder #24: The God-Host Ascends pg. 49
Since vehicles involved in chases measure their movement relative to each other instead of to fixed points, two tethered vehicles can still participate normally in chases except as noted below. Generally, the two vehicles must be engaged in the chase before they can be tethered to one another.

Pilot Actions: The defender cannot take the break free action to disengage from the controller while tethered. If the controller takes the break free action to disengage with the defender, the defender is immediately freed of the tether. Piloting checks to attempt evade and trick actions with vehicles connected by a flexible tether take a –2 penalty. If the tether is rigid, this penalty increases to –4.

A pilot who wishes to take the speed up action while tethered must first succeed at an opposed Piloting check as if dragging a tethered vehicle (see above). If they succeed, they can attempt the action. If they move forward to a new zone, the vehicle tethered to them is immediately dragged to that zone as well. The pilot of the dragged vehicle cannot then attempt a speed up action until the start of the next round.

Chase Progress: During the chase progress phase, the GM advances vehicles as normal. Then, if the tethered vehicles are not in the same zone, the GM moves the defender’s vehicle one zone closer to the controller. If the vehicles are still in different zones, the GM moves the controller’s vehicle one zone closer to the defender. The GM continues moving the tethered vehicles in this fashion until they share the same zone.

Vehicles In Space

Source Starfinder #24: The God-Host Ascends pg. 49
Most vehicles are intended for use in planetary or atmospheric environments, but some can operate in the weightless vacuum of space. Such vehicles are often used to ferry troops and supplies between a planet and an orbiting vessel, or to travel the outer surfaces of asteroids, space stations, or starships on security or maintenance details.

Though these vehicles may be space-capable, they lack the powerful, sustainable thrusters that propel starships to the tremendous velocities necessary for true spaceflight. Should a vehicle be caught in the midst of starship combat, it is considered a stationary object incapable of moving from its hex under its own power. Objects outside of a vehicle’s hex are always beyond the range of vehicle-mounted weapons. Vehicles are small enough to occupy the same hex as other vehicles and starships, and a GM may decide that a target within the vehicle’s hex is in range of its weapons. For more information on the interaction between PC- and starship-scale weapons, see the page 292 of the Core Rulebook.