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Chapter 11: Game Mastering / Environment


Source Starfinder Core Rulebook pg. 405
Any place where sentient life gathers, lives, and works on a regular basis is referred to as a settlement, and they are just as varied as the types of life-forms that occupy them. Presented on the following pages is a streamlined way to refer to settlements in the Starfinder RPG—stat blocks that quickly list the vital data for a settlement.

For particularly large inhabited places, multiple settlement stat blocks can be used to represent distinct districts or neighborhoods. GMs should feel free to add new qualities to create the settlements they desire.

Settlement Stat Blocks

A settlement stat block usually begins with a brief description, often noting where it is located. A settlement stat block is organized as follows.
  • Name: The settlement’s name is presented first.
  • Alignment and Type: A settlement’s alignment is the general alignment of its citizens and government, though individuals who dwell therein can still be of any alignment. A settlement’s type is a term that generally classifies the settlement, such as “space station” or “trading post.”
  • Population: This number represents the settlement’s average population; the exact number is flexible. In addition, a breakdown of the settlement’s racial mix is listed in parentheses after the population.
  • Government: This entry lists how the settlement is governed and ruled.
  • Qualities: This entry lists the unusual qualities that make the settlement unique.
  • Maximum Item Level: Items of this level or lower are generally available for purchase in this settlement. Maximum item level isn’t always directly related to a settlement’s size, as even a small city can be home to a black market or gifted engineers.

Examples Of Settlement Governments

The following are just a few of the ways a settlement might be governed.
  • Anarchy: A lack of structured government or laws leads to a settlement where nearly anything goes.
  • Autocracy: A single individual has complete control over the community.
  • Council: A group of councilors, sometimes elected, sometimes self-appointed, leads the settlement.
  • Magocracy: An individual or group with potent magical power holds sway over the citizens.
  • Military: A military force controls the settlement, whether it’s a regular settlement that has come under martial law or a base built to house soldiers.
  • Oligarchy: The settlement is ruled by a small group or particular class of citizen.
  • Secret Syndicate: An unofficial or illegal group rules the settlement, often behind the scenes while a puppet ruler appears to have nominal control.
  • Plutocracy: The wealthiest and most influential individuals rule the settlement, often while the poor are derided.
  • Utopia: The settlement was founded on a particular set of lofty ideals, and all members of the community usually have a voice in its government.

Examples Of Settlement Qualities

The following are just a few of the possible qualities a settlement might have.
  • Academic: It is often easier to do research in this settlement, which is home to a large school, research facility, or great repository of knowledge.
  • Bureaucratic: The settlement is a nightmarish, confusing, and frustrating maze of red tape and official paperwork.
  • Cultured: The settlement is well known for being a place where artistry thrives, such as a community of actors and musicians.
  • Devout: The settlement is devoted to a deity (which must be of the same alignment as the community) or follows a religious creed.
  • Financial Center: This settlement is home to large banks, trading houses, currency exchanges and other powerful financial and mercantile organizations.
  • Insular: The settlement is isolated, perhaps physically. Its citizens are fiercely loyal to one another, often making it difficult to learn secrets about them.
  • Notorious: The settlement has a reputation (deserved or not) for being a den of iniquity. It is usually easier to procure illegal goods and services.
  • Polluted: The settlement’s magical or high-tech industry has filled the ground and sky with disgusting pollution.
  • Technologically Advanced: The settlement produces and uses a level of technology that isn’t widely seen elsewhere.
  • Technologically Average: The level of technology used by the settlement is similar to that found in the majority of other settlements.
  • Technologically Underdeveloped: The technology used by the settlement is less advanced than that found elsewhere.

Sample Settlements

Two sample settlements that exist within the Pact Worlds are presented below.


Once a bustling space station orbiting Aballon, 01 was built by the native anacites right after the Gap, in order to facilitate trade with life-forms from other worlds. These days, most of Aballon’s major trading ports have districts catering to organic life-forms, as well as localized atmosphere generators, yet 01 might still have remained a vital trading hub had it not been infected with a peculiar virus. The virus, dubbed the Bureaucratic Subroutine, seems tailored to make the machines incredibly inefficient and desirous of elaborate layers of hierarchy and ritual. While traffic to 01 quickly tapered off as a result of a complete quarantine for mechanical organisms, Aballon’s government continues to let the station exist due to the strange discoveries coming out of its labs, and some brave traders from other worlds still come to purchase its advanced tech.

LN space station
Population 26,013 (33% android, 32% human, 35% other)
Government oligarchy
Qualities bureaucratic, technologically advanced
Maximum Item Level 16th


Located at the edge of the southern ice cap of Akiton, this small town was founded to collect water from the melting ice and sell it to the planet’s desert dwellers. Estuar has no law enforcement to speak of, so it also attracts a wide variety of underhanded dealings.

CN trading post
Population 2,340 (48% human, 19% ysoki, 33% other)
Government secret syndicate
Qualities notorious, technologically average
Maximum Item Level 4th

Settlement Technology

Most urban areas are centers of commerce and entertainment bustling with activity. The amenities of city living are usually made possible by technology, whether it’s cutting-edge devices or barely functioning older models. Technology is used in just about everything, from high-end security systems to simple signs and vending machines. Most technology found in settlements can be broken down into the following four categories.


Civil technology includes anything installed by a government to be part of an area’s infrastructure. Streetlights, public transportation, mail-delivery drones, automated street sweepers, and more make up this category of technology. As a great number of people usually rely on the services this kind of technology provides, it is often better protected. The DC to disable or hack into an average piece of civil technology with the Computers or Engineering skill is 23.


Commercial technology is often mass-produced and is used by private citizens and most businesses. This category includes personal communication devices, game consoles, most security cameras and electronic door controls, and much more. The DC to disable or hack into an average piece of commercial technology with the Computers or Engineering skill is 18.


Whether owned by the military or a massive corporation, restricted technology is some of the most advanced and hardest to hack. This category includes private servers, weapon prototypes, high-end security systems and alarms, and much more. The DC to disable or hack into an average piece of restricted technology with the Computers or Engineering skill is 30.


The pervasiveness of technology goes hand in hand with the ability to tweak and alter that technology. Engineers build custom refits for vehicles, and hackers jailbreak personal communication devices to do things the original creators never intended. Custom technology can be any piece of technology described above but with numerous modifications that make hacking or disabling it much trickier. The DC to disable or hack into an average piece of custom technology with the Computers or Survival skill varies, but it might be as high as 40.