Archives of Nethys

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

All Rules | Downtime Rules

Chapter 2: Starship Combat / Boarding / Resolving a Boarding Party

Resolving with Starship Actions

Source Starship Operations Manual pg. 40
Rather than making individual attack rolls or tracking their exact location on a starship, a boarding crew’s success and health is resolved with a special boarding attack roll at the start of the Engineering phase. This check includes several modifiers that are explained on page 41.

Boarding Attack = 1d20 + the boarding party’s tier (rounded down) + the boarding party’s complement modifier + the boarding party’s training modifier

Compare the result of the boarding attack to the target starship’s Boarding Resistance (BR), which represents the starship crew’s ability to repel invaders.

BR = the starship’s tier (rounded down) + the starship’s security modifier + the starship’s training modifier

If the boarding attack is successful, the boarding party locates and sabotages part of the starship, and the starship takes a critical damage effect to a random system. If the attack exceeds the BR by 5 or more, the boarding party also deals major damage to the defenders and incapacitates 10% of the boarded starship’s complement. If the attack fails by 5 or more, the boarding party instead sustains major damage, with one-third of the boarding party’s original members incapacitated in combat. If the attack fails by 10 or more, the boarding party experiences a catastrophic setback that incapacitates the entire team.
Incapacitated crew and boarding party members might be dead, seriously injured, unconscious, captured, or otherwise neutralized, but regardless of their condition, they are unable to contribute for the duration of the starship combat. When determining which creatures are incapacitated, a starship’s non‑officer crew members are incapacitated first. If a PC would be incapacitated while resolving a boarding event, it’s often best to have them captured; however, if a group refuses to yield, reduce that PC to 0 Hit Points, and the PC must spend enough Resolve Points to stabilize. If that PC does not have enough Resolve Points, they die.
As a guideline, half of the combatants incapacitated during a boarding event survive to recover after starship combat ends. This increases to 75% of the incapacitated defenders if their starship has a medical bay.

Complement Modifier

Source Starship Operations Manual pg. 41
The boarding party’s relative size plays a significant role in how quickly they can overcome defenders and inflict damage, represented by a modifier to the boarding attack. To calculate this modifier, compare the number of combatants in the boarding party to the defending ship’s complement, using the following table.
Boarding Party Size Complement Modifier
Less than 10% of the target’s complement –8
10–20% of the target’s complement –4
20–50% of the target’s complement +0
50–80% of the target’s complement +2
80–100% of the target’s complement +4
Larger than the target’s complement +8

Security Modifier

Source Starship Operations Manual pg. 41
Starships often incorporate security features that stymie invaders. A starship’s BR has a base security modifier of +0, modified by the following security features (rounded up). Antipersonnel weapons provide their BR modifier only against the first boarding attack attempted against the starship, after which the weapon exhausts its ammunition and must be reloaded as an open crew action.
Security Security Bonus
Antipersonnel weapon 1/3 × weapon level
Antipersonnel weapon, heavy 2 + 1/3 × weapon level
Biometric locks 1
Computer countermeasures 1/3 × number of countermeasures

Training Modifier

Source Starship Operations Manual pg. 41
A typical starship’s crew members have basic combat skills that help them fend off attackers, represented by the starship’s tier. However, well-trained combatants can quickly overpower unskilled foes. A starship that has a basic, specialized, or elite combat training facility as an expansion bay increases the crew’s military capabilities to skilled, specialized, or elite, respectively, each of which increases the starship’s BR. A starship benefits only from the most advanced combat training facility it has. For military starships published prior to this book, consider granting their crews the skilled or specialized benefits as appropriate.
Crew Skill Training Modifier
Skilled +2
Specialized +4
Elite +6

Multiple Boarding Parties

Source Starship Operations Manual pg. 41
If two or more allied boarding parties board the same starship, they can choose either to operate independently or combine forces. When operating independently, resolve each boarding party’s boarding attack separately.
When boarding parties combine forces, add their number of combatants together to calculate their complement bonus, and use the average of their training modifiers (rounded down). Combine the boarding parties’ combatants to determine how many combatants are incapacitated during the boarding event.