Archives of Nethys

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Charter Development / Charter Creation Steps

Step 2: Select Patron Type

Source Starfinder #40: Planetfall pg. 41
Starting a new settlement on a distant planet presents a daunting challenge, requiring significant amounts of money and support. By selecting a patron or sponsor, the charter gains that much-needed initial funding. Your patron increases the score for two of your charter traits, but another trait score is reduced to represent your debt to an outside party. Rather than include every possible organization that might serve as patron to a charter, the list below groups patrons into types based on their priorities and what the patron wants from the colony they’re supporting. Once you’ve chosen your patron type, apply the listed trait adjustments to your charter.

The method by which the PCs secure a patron can vary from campaign to campaign at the GM’s discretion; they could have a patron assigned to them at 1st level, recruit one by spreading the word of their intent to travel to a distant planet, or earn their patron after doing a big favor for a powerful NPC. In the Horizons of the Vast Adventure Path, the PCs choose from one of several specific patrons found on page 53.

After you’ve chosen a patron type, you can’t change it later. Over time, your charter might grow more independent, or you could secure additional aid and support from other charters, but none of those developments will replace or adjust the important initial increases and decreases derived from your initial choice of patron type.


Your patron wants a settlement that uses magic to preserve harmony with the natural environment, which hampers your technological development.
Trait Adjustments: +1 Magic, +1 free, –1 Technology


Your patron is part of a large empire that wants to gain a foothold on your charter’s planet or even include the planet within its borders. Your settlers are particularly devoted to this cause, and they have little time for arcane theory.
Trait Adjustments: +1 Accord, +1 free, –1 Magic


Your patron has put out a call for great minds to work together on a scientific project of great import. Your patron helps to secure the charter’s initial research facilities and supplies at the cost of incurring considerable debt.
Trait Adjustments: +1 Technology, +1 free, –1 Economy


Your sponsor wants you to survey the wilderness around your charter for relics of the past and other interesting discoveries. This focus brings in settlers interested in cultural knowledge, but their differing methods and results often clash.
Trait Adjustments: +1 Culture, +1 free, –1 Accord


Your patron grants you a large amount of funds and resources and has no real expectations concerning how you develop your charter. However, they demand final say over the list of settlers allowed to join the charter, and many of these settlers just want to get rich.
Trait Adjustments: +1 Economy, +1 free, –1 Culture


While patronage offers a simple in-universe explanation for how and why the PCs establish their charter, it also ties them—for better or worse—to an outside authority. If the PCs would prefer to be truly free agents and trailblazers staking their own claim, they can simply choose an open charter with no restrictions—and no direct support.
Trait Adjustments: +1 free