Archives of Nethys

Pathfinder RPG (1st Edition) Starfinder RPG Pathfinder RPG (2nd Edition)

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Cargo / Galactic Trade Basics

Find Cargo

Source Ports of Call pg. 166
Cargo in the Starfinder setting is standardized into lots, each massing 25 tons; a single lot of cargo fits into one of a starship’s cargo holds. The PCs can easily tell the maximum number of lots they can transport by counting the number of cargo holds on their vessel. Finding cargo to buy is a downtime activity as detailed in the sidebar on page 168. For more on downtime activities, see page 150 of the Starfinder Character Operations Manual.

Cargo Type

Source Ports of Call pg. 166
When the PCs successfully find a cargo to purchase, you determine the type of cargo, usually for the needs of your campaign. Alternatively, you can randomly determine the type of cargo by rolling a d20 on the table below.

Table 3-1:Cargo Types

1Art or antiques
2Base metals
3Ceramics or glassware
6Hides or leather
7Live animals or animal products
8Machinery, electronics, or appliances
9Minerals or mineral products
10Paper products or books
12Precision equipment
13Precious metals, including starmetals, or semiprecious stones
14Prepared food
15Textiles, including clothing
16Toys, games, or sporting equipment
17Vegetable products
19Weapons or ammunition
20Wood or wood articles

Shipping or Speculation?

Source Ports of Call pg. 167
Player characters are usually more than simple delivery drivers, hired to move bulk cargo along well-established routes for a flat fee. Instead, when the PCs purchase cargo, it will generally be up to them to find a place to sell it. However, at your discretion, the seller can give the PCs a tip as to where they might offload the cargo they just bought. This is a good tactic for players who are only just starting to interact with this system or for groups who only want to dip their toes into the trading game. In such a case, the PCs don’t need to use the find buyer downtime activity (page 169) and receive an amount of BP per cargo lot chosen by you.


Source Ports of Call pg. 167
If you’ve decided that the cargo’s seller gives the PCs an idea of where to sell those goods, you can choose that destination based on the needs of your campaign (especially if the players have expressed interest in going to a specific place). Alternatively, you can randomly determine the general destination by rolling a d10 on the table below.

Table 3-2: Destinations

1Absalom Station. If the PCs are already on Absalom Station, reroll.
2–4A different world in the same star system where the PCs bought the cargo.
5–7A world in Near Space.
8–10A world in the Vast.