Archives of Nethys

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Chapter 2: Starship Combat / Squadron Combat

Squadron Systems

Source Starship Operations Manual pg. 56
The following new systems function only if the PCs spend the BP to acquire the systems for two or more of squadron ships, per Table 2–13 below.

Auto-Flight Module

Source Starship Operations Manual pg. 56
An auto-flight module leverages a squadron’s data link (see below) to keep multiple starships in formation with minimal effort, with subordinate starships mimicking the maneuvers of a primary pilot. Each participating squadron starship must have its own auto-flight module and a data link system. Whenever two or more squadron starships with auto-flight modules begin a round adjacent to at least one other participating starship and facing the same direction, they are considered to be in formation, and one of the starships is designated the primary starship (the others are referred to as secondary starships).

When starships would attempt Piloting checks to determine the order in which starships move during the helm phase, starships in formation can choose to have the primary pilot attempt a Piloting check with a cumulative –2 penalty for each participating secondary starship; each starship in the formation uses that result to determine the order in which they move. When the primary pilot takes an action to move (such as fly or stunt), they can temporarily reduce their maneuverability and speed to match the worst maneuverability and speed of ships in the formation. If they do so, each secondary starship can use the glide minor crew action to mirror the primary starship’s exact movement and turns, including any special movement as a result of the primary starship’s successful stunts. However, secondary starships don’t also perform any stunts that apply to a specific enemy starship, such as flyby. Secondary starships gain only half the normal bonus to AC and TL when mirroring the evade stunt.

An auto-flight module’s cost depends on the starship’s size. For the purpose of this calculation, Tiny = 1, Small = 2, etc.

Data Link

Source Starship Operations Manual pg. 56
A data link enables the rapid exchange of data between squadron ships. When two or more starships in the same squadron have this system and are within 20 hexes of each other, those starships’ computers automatically sync. Any starship in this network can calculate its sensors’ distance to a target using the distance of the starship in the network closest to the target.

In addition, if a crew member aboard a starship in the network successfully takes the scan action against an enemy vessel, all vessels in the network automatically receive the information. Any crew member that takes the target system or lock on science officer actions can choose to apply the action’s effects to a networked starship’s attacks, rather than its own. A science officer can also apply the effects of these actions to one or more additional starships by increasing the DC of the Computers check by 2 per additional starship (e.g. increase the DC by 6 to grant the bonus to four starships in the network).

Focus-Fire Algorithm

Source Starship Operations Manual pg. 56
A focus-fire algorithm coordinates a squadron’s attacks, helping the ships amplify their weapons’ destructive potential. A starship can purchase and install this system only if it also has a data link.

At the start of the gunnery phase, the squadron designates one squadron starship as the primary attacker (any other starships with focus-fire algorithms are secondary starships), as well as an enemy starship as the target. If the primary gunner hits the selected target with a starship weapon that round, they grant the first secondary gunner who hits the same target before the end of the round a bonus to damage equal to the minimum damage of the primary gunner’s weapon (e.g. a primary gunner who hits with a particle beam and deals 8d6 damage grants a secondary gunner a +8 bonus to damage).

Unification Matrix

Source Starship Operations Manual pg. 57
A unification matrix enables several (component) starships with this matrix to combine into a larger, more powerful (composite) starship. Starships with a unification matrix can combine and split apart only once each per combat and typically begin combat in either their component or composite forms.

Design the composite starship, whose tier equals that of a squadron starship plus 1 for each additional component ship. If at least two of the largest component starships are the same size, the composite ship must be one size category larger than those ships. Otherwise, the composite starship is the same size as the largest component starship or one size category larger, as desired.

During the engineering phase, if all of the component starships are adjacent to at least one other component starship and no more than 2 hexes away from each other, a crew member on each starship can expend a minor crew action, causing the starships to fuse and form the composite starship. Remove the component starships from the encounter. Place the composite starship in any one hex that a component starship previously occupied, facing in any direction. Add together the total Hull Point damage each of the component starships has taken, and apply that damage to the composite starship (applying critical damage as appropriate). If this would reduce its Hull Points to 0, the transformation automatically fails, returning the component starships to their original positions. Likewise, if some of the component starships don’t participate in the fusion, the process automatically fails.

Add together the component starship’s Shield Points and distribute these evenly among its four quadrants, up to the starship’s maximum SP value. The officers of the component starships can immediately reassign their roles aboard the composite starship. Finally, if any of the component starships had ongoing effects (such as the effects of taunt) or incoming tracking weapon attacks, those effects and attacks redirect and apply to the composite starship and its crew. Then proceed with the engineering phase, including the actions of the composite starship’s engineer.

At the beginning of the engineering phase, the composite starship’s engineer can use their crew action to decouple the vessel, breaking it into the component starships. One of these appears in the composite starship’s hex, and the other component starships appear in adjacent unoccupied hexes, with each starship facing the same direction as the composite starship. Apply any HP damage that the composite starship has taken evenly to the component starships (with a minimum of 1 HP remaining per starship) and split the composite starship’s Shield Points evenly between them. If the composite starship is reduced to 0 Hull Points, it automatically splits into component starships at the end of the current phase; if the composite starship would be destroyed, split the total damage evenly between the component starships, ignoring the HP minimum above.

Table 2–13: Squadron Systems

Auto-flight module 3 × size category
Data link 2
Focus-fire algorithm 3
Unification matrix 10% of composite starship’s total BP