Archives of Nethys

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Chapter 1: Building Starships

Starship Weapons

Source Starship Operations Manual pg. 12
A plasma torpedo or particle beam can get the job done, but clashes between the Pact Worlds, the Veskarium, the Swarm, and other factions have fueled unbridled innovation. Now, whether you delight in vaporizing enemy shields, tricking foes into entering your minefields, overriding other starships’ computers, or obliterating numerous targets with a single line of energy, you’ll find a plethora of devious new options on the following pages.

The new starship weapons in this chapter use the rules presented starting on page 303 of the Starfinder Core Rulebook. The weapons appear in tables on pages 18–19, grouped first by weapon class (light, heavy, capital, or spinal-mount weapons) and then by type (direct-fire, ECM, melee, or tracking). The new ECM and melee starship weapon types appear on this page, and new starship weapon special properties appear below. In addition, sidebars accompanying these new weapon types and properties detail new starship crew actions involved with these technologies.

Starship Weapon Types

Source Starship Operations Manual pg. 12
In addition to direct-fire and tracking weapons, this section introduces two new starship weapon types: ECM modules and melee weapons.

Electronic Countermeasure Modules

Source Starship Operations Manual pg. 12
Electronic countermeasure (ECM) modules are a type of powerful instrument designed to foil an enemy starship’s sensors, impair a starship’s systems, and in some cases alter the battlefield itself. ECM modules must be installed on weapon mounts, but they are activated by a science officer during the gunnery phase. ECM modules follow the same rules for range and quadrant targeting as conventional starship weapons.

When activating an ECM module, a science officer attempts a special gunnery check, adding their ranks in the Computers skill but adding neither their base attack bonus nor their ranks in the Piloting skill, and adding their Intelligence modifier in place of their Dexterity modifier; an NPC officer typically has a gunnery modifier equal to that of the gunner’s gunnery modifier. Compare the result of this gunnery check to the target’s Target Lock (TL). If the result equals or exceeds the target’s TL, the science officer hits and applies the ECM module’s effects. Due to the interference created by shields, starships with functioning shields in the targeted quadrant gain a +2 circumstance bonus to their TL against ECM modules. ECM modules do not deal critical damage.

Melee Weapons

Source Starship Operations Manual pg. 12
A melee weapon uses some part of the starship to induce a direct collision between the attacking and defending starships, targeting the opposing vessel’s AC. Melee starship weapons always have a range of 1 hex, even if a special property would otherwise change the weapon’s range.

Related Rules

Weapons (Source Starfinder Core Rulebook pg. 303)

Starship Weapon Class: Spinal-mount

Source Starship Operations Manual pg. 12
Any Supercolossal starship can mount multiple capital weapons, but the dreaded ultranought can support even larger ordinance, known as spinal-mount weapons. These immense devices of destruction are built along the vessel’s entire length and are integrated into its core, channeling the power of the ship’s engines and reactors into massive, direct-fire attacks that obliterate most targets. A Supercolossal starship can mount at most one spinal-mount weapon, and a spinal-mount weapon must be mounted in the front quadrant.

A spinal-mount weapon must charge before firing. The starship’s engineer can begin charging the weapon as an engineer action during the engineering phase if they succeed at an Engineering check (DC = 10 + 1-1/2 × the starship’s tier) to activate the weapon. The weapon charges for the duration of that round and continues charging during the subsequent round.

On the third round, during the gunnery phase, the spinal- mount weapon can be fired with the shoot gunner action. Because aiming a spinal-mount weapon requires moving the starship, the gunner gains a +2 bonus to their gunnery check when using their ranks in Piloting, instead of their base attack bonus, to calculate their gunnery bonus for the weapon. If the gunner wants to use their base attack bonus, they gain a +1 bonus to their gunnery check if they are trained in Piloting. Additionally, if the gunner fires no other weapons during the round when they fire the spinal-mount weapon, it deals an additional 1 damage per damage die. Once a spinal-mount weapon is fired, it cannot be activated or recharged again for 2d4 rounds.

If the gunner doesn’t fire a spinal-mount weapon on the first round that it is fully charged, a member of the crew must take an engineer or gunner action each round (requiring no skill check) to keep it on standby. If no member of the crew takes this action, the weapon’s energy dissipates as if it had been fired, and it cannot be activated again for 2d4 rounds.

Gunner Actions

Source Starship Operations Manual pg. 15
Gunners can use the following new actions to deploy drones and mines.

Deploy Drone (Gunnery Phase)

Source Starship Operations Manual pg. 15
You activate a starship weapon with the deployed special property, deploying a drone into a hex adjacent to your starship at the beginning of the next round.

Lay Mines (Helm Phase)

Source Starship Operations Manual pg. 15
You activate one of your ship’s weapons with the mine special property and place a number of mines up to the value listed with this special property. Each mine must occupy a different hex through which your starship traveled during its movement this round. Any of the listed number of mines not deployed with this action are wasted. You must use this action before the pilot begins moving the starship during the helm phase.

Science Officer Actions

Source Starship Operations Manual pg. 15
Science officers can use the following new actions to interact with ECM modules.

Activate ECM Module (Gunnery Phase)

Source Starship Operations Manual pg. 15
You can activate one of your starship’s ECM modules. If you use an ECM module mounted on a turret, you can target a ship in any arc.

Rapid Jam (Gunnery Phase, Push)

Source Starship Operations Manual pg. 15
You can activate any two of your starship’s ECM modules, regardless of their arc. Each check attempted with these modules this round takes a –4 penalty.

Recall Beacon (Helm Phase)

Source Starship Operations Manual pg. 15
You configure your starship’s coordinates to one of your starship’s active warp pucks. If you succeed at a Computers check (DC = 15 + 1-1/2 × your starship’s tier) before your starship’s movement for the round, your starship instantly moves to the warp puck’s hex while maintaining its facing. For every 5 by which you exceed the check, you can either increase your starship’s size modifier by 1 for the purpose of determining the maximum distance your starship can teleport to the puck, or you can turn your starship once. If you attempt to teleport your starship to a warp puck that is beyond the module’s maximum range, your starship does not move and the puck is destroyed.

Insidious Electronics (Gunnery Phase, Push)

Source Starship Operations Manual pg. 15
At 6th level, you can spend 1 Resolve Point to activate any one of your ECM modules that targets a starship. If you succeed, you gain the benefits of either the scan (one piece of information) or target system science officer action, in addition to the effects of the ECM module.

Pilot Action

Source Starship Operations Manual pg. 17
A starship’s pilot can perform the following stunt.

Ramming Speed (Stunt)

Source Starship Operations Manual pg. 17
The starship increases its distance between turns by 2 (to a maximum of 4) and moves up to its speed, but it can move through 1 hex occupied by an enemy starship that has already moved during this helm phase. To perform this stunt, you must first succeed at a Piloting check (DC = 15 + 1/1-2 × your starship’s tier). If you succeed, you then attempt a gunnery check against the enemy starship’s AC upon entering that starship’s hex.
If the gunnery check succeeds, your starship collides with the enemy starship, dealing collision damage to each based on your starship’s speed and the sizes of the two starships. The base collision damage equals 1d4 × half your starship’s speed, plus an additional 1d4 damage × a value based on your starship’s size (for the purpose of this calculation, Tiny = 1, Small = 2, Medium = 3, etc.). The enemy starship takes the full damage to the struck quadrant, and your starship takes half this damage to its forward quadrant, after which your movement ends. If your starship has a ramming weapon, add the ramming weapon’s damage to the damage to the enemy starship. If your starship is one size category smaller than the enemy ship or larger, you push the ship 1 hex in the direction your ship is facing. If this would push the ship into an occupied hex, the ship does not move but instead takes additional damage equal to your starship’s tier. If your starship is more than one size category smaller than the enemy starship, your starship returns to the hex from which it entered the enemy ship’s hex, facing that starship.
If the initial Piloting check fails, your starship still moves as described and doesn’t attempt the gunnery check, but the movement provokes a free attack from that starship as normal. If the Piloting check is successful yet the gunnery check fails, your starship still moves as described, but the movement doesn’t provoke a free attack from that starship.

Upgrading Weapons

Source Starship Operations Manual pg. 17
Starship weaponry can accommodate considerable modification, whether from corporate innovators or independent mechanics. A starship’s crew can incorporate one or more of the following upgrades to a weapon by multiplying the weapon’s BP cost by the listed value. Any restrictions on the types of weapons to which an upgrade can be applied are listed in the upgrade’s entry.

Table 1-2: Weapon Upgrade Costs

SPECIAL PROPERTYBP COST MULTIPLIER
Array×1
Automated×1.5
Deployed×2
Line×1.75
Mystical×1.25
Smart×1.5