Archives of Nethys

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Building the Swarm

Swarm Starships

Source Starfinder #43: Icebound pg. 52
Like most biological creatures, the Swarm must use starships to travel through the vacuum of space. While such starships are occasionally stolen from defeated races, more often they’re Swarm components bioengineered to an immense size. These living starships carry hordes of Swarm creatures from system to system, invading and devouring as they go.
Swarm starships should, like all Swarm creatures, have an organic and insectile appearance, with overlapping carapace plates as durable as starship bulkheads. The process for building spacefaring starship creatures is described on page 126 of the Starship Operations Manual, and you should keep the following points in mind when designing these creatures.
Creature Type Graft: Swarm starships, like smaller Swarm components, are always monstrous humanoids.
Special Abilities: All Swarm starships gain the living starship special ability and the void adaptation universal creature rule for free. Other special abilities you might choose include death throes, speed burst, and titanic slam (to represent a gnawing bite or ripping claw).
Swarm starships are part of the overarching hive mind, though the effects are different on a starship scale. All Swarm starships gain the following special ability for free.
  • Fleet Mind (Ex) Like individual Swarm components, Swarm starships are bound together into a singular hive mind through a blend of radio, quantum, and telepathic communication. All Swarm starships within 10 hexes of each other are in constant communication; if one is aware of a threat, all are. (Such awareness can spread along a chain of Swarm starships under appropriate circumstances, potentially alerting distant Swarm vessels.) Swarm vessels can also communicate telepathically with all Swarm creatures within 10 hexes.