Archives of Nethys

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Chapter 1: Building Starships / Alternate Armors

Deflector Shields

Source Starship Operations Manual pg. 20
Whereas conventional starship shields absorb attacks entirely until they are depleted, some engineers insist that shields are most effective when deflecting attacks, blunting their force or causing them to miss entirely. Deflector shield technology reduces damage from incoming attacks and increases a starship’s AC and TL, though each successive attack depletes the shields’ defensive potential. Deflector shields and conventional shields create fields that interfere with each other, so only one of these two defenses can be installed on a starship.

Fully functioning deflector shields provide a starship the defense value (DV) listed in Table 1–5 to each quadrant. Whenever the starship would take damage, it ignores an amount of that damage equal to its defense value in that quadrant. Deflector shields are twice as effective against attacks from melee, ramming, and ripper starship weapons, so the starship ignores double the amount of damage from such attacks. Any attack that would ignore a fraction or all of a target’s shields instead reduces the amount of damage the deflector shields ignore by an equal amount, rounded in the defender’s favor (e.g., deflector shields with a defense value of 5 would reduce damage from a burrowing weapon [Pact Worlds 153] by 3). While the deflector shields’ defense value in a quadrant is 1 or higher, the shields increase the starship’s AC and TL against attacks in that quadrant by the listed amount.

Whenever an attack or effect damages a starship’s Hull Points, the deflector shields’ defense value in that quadrant also decreases by 1, reducing the amount of damage they can ignore. Weapons with the array or line special property that damage a starship’s Hull Points overwhelm its deflector shields, reducing their defense value in that quadrant by 2, whereas vortex weapons that deal Hull Point damage reduce the target’s deflector shields’ defense value in each quadrant by 1d4. Any successful attack by a weapon with the buster special property (or another special property that deals reduced damage to Hull Points) reduces the deflector shields’ defense value in the struck quadrant by 2, whether or not the attack damaged the target’s Hull Points. When a gunnery check results in a natural 20, any decrease to the target’s deflector shield’s defense value from the attack is 1 greater.

When an engineer uses the divert action to send power to shields, they increase the defense value of a single quadrant by 2, or the defense value of each quadrant by 1, up to the deflector shields’ maximum defense value per quadrant. For every 150 PCU provided by a starship’s power core, increase the defense value restored to one quadrant by 1. When a science officer uses the balance action, they can adjust their deflector shields’ defense values in the same way as they would shift or distribute Shield Points, though each quadrant must have a defense value of at least 1 afterward. When a starship is not engaged in combat or otherwise taking damage, the defense value for each quadrant regenerates at a rate of 1 per minute.

Related Rules

Shields (Source Starfinder Core Rulebook pg. 302)