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Chapter 2: Starship Combat / Additional Starship Options / Starship Damage and Repair

Hull Ruptures

Source Starship Operations Manual pg. 50
Hull ruptures occur when enemy fire or breaching weapons break through a section of hull, exposing the interior of a ship to the void of space. In game terms, this could occur anytime a starship takes critical damage to its life support system. A hull could also rupture as a result of an environmental hazard (page 134) that damages the ship enough to trigger a critical threshold.
To determine where the hull breach occurs, roll randomly among the rooms that border the side of the ship that was hit. The hull is breached in that room, with its space-facing side exposed to a vacuum. If characters are in the room, they suffer the effect of atmospheric decompression (see below). If no characters are in the room, roll randomly for potential loss of cargo or anything that isn’t bolted down.

Atmospheric Decompression

Source Starship Operations Manual pg. 50
The first effects of a ruptured hull are dropping room pressure and massive winds that buffet the characters. All characters in a room with a ruptured hull, regardless of whether they have personal environmental protections, immediately take 3d6 bludgeoning damage as the air in the room pours into the void of space. Next, each creature must prevent itself from being swept out into space. They must attempt a DC 15 Reflex save to either engage the magnetic locks on their armor’s boots or grab on to a bolted piece of furniture. Jump jets, jet packs, flight, or anything else that enables characters to maneuver in zero gravity provide a +1 circumstance bonus to this save.
The dropping room pressure causes immediate exposure to the environmental hazards of being in a vacuum (Starfinder Core Rulebook 394). Characters with armor, void adaptation, or any other ability that enables them to survive in a vacuum are unaffected. Instances of crew being trapped unarmored during a hull breach are relatively rare. Proximity alarms warn of incoming ships, asteroids, and other environmental hazards, so most crew get the opportunity to engage armor seals long before hull ruptures happen.
A bigger problem for some characters is dealing with their ship’s safety protocols that trap them in harm’s way. Automated systems on many starships immediately seal off rooms that have a hull breach in order to protect the environment of the rest of the ship. Seals can usually be overridden with a successful DC 10 Computers or Engineering check at the doors or from the bridge, but this often requires first sealing off rooms deeper within the ship to create a makeshift airlock into which the trapped crew members can escape.

Repairing Hull Ruptures

Source Starship Operations Manual pg. 50
Some ships have automated repair drones that can repair bulkheads or other systems. Repairing or reallocating shields in a quadrant that has suffered a hull breach stops the loss of cabin pressure and exposure to vacuum long enough for repair drones to provide a temporary fix.

Loss of Cargo

Source Starship Operations Manual pg. 50
Most ship crews stow the majority of their items and cargo securely, and furnishings tend to be bolted or built into the ship. Still, anything that causes a hull rupture can also cause those precautions to be undone. To see if cargo or items are lost, roll on the following table. If items are lost to decompression, a starship’s crew can perform a normal scan to find them again so long as the ship stays near where the breach occurred. The DC for such a check is 15, though it may be higher or lower at the GM’s discretion to account for mitigating factors or complications. If the ship moved after the breach, scans to find lost items take a –5 penalty; if the pilot performed stunts like a barrel roll or a flip and burn, the penalty increases to –10. Most recovered cargo is still safe in its container. GMs can rule that certain types of cargo (fragile items, live plants, and the like) are irreparably damaged.

Table 2–6: Cargo Loss Table

D% Extent of Cargo Loss
1–25 No effect
26–50 1d4 items of an item level lower than 5 are broken.
51–75 One item of item level 5 or higher is broken.
76–100 Complete loss of one container of cargo.