Archives of Nethys

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Chapter 1: Building Starships / Starship Weapons

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.