Archives of Nethys

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Chapter 4: Running Starship Campaigns / Space Hazards / Stellar Phenomenon

Gravity Fields

Source Starship Operations Manual pg. 136
Black holes, nearby planetary bodies, unstable magical effects, and neutron stars can create powerful gravity fields that make starship combat challenging.

Choose a side of the grid to represent the direction of the gravitational pull. At the start of each round, move all starships, tracking weapons, mines, and other relevant objects 1 hex closer to the source of the gravity. If an object starts within 6 hexes of the edge, move it 2 hexes toward the edge. While a starship is moving toward the gravitational source, each hex of movement moves the object an additional hex. While a starship is moving away from the gravitational source, each hex of movement costs 2 hexes instead. Tracking weapons follow the same rules for starships and have their effective speed ratings doubled or halved, as appropriate.

Starships that move past the edge of the grid where the gravitational pull originates are out of the combat and might be destroyed or disabled, crash-land, or something similar. A ship removed from the grid by a black hole is almost certainly destroyed, for instance, while a starship pulled toward a planetary body might crash on its surface or even burn up in any extant atmosphere.

For especially strong gravitational fields, the rate at which the hazard pulls could exceed 2 hexes per round. However, starships with a speed of 4 can’t escape such forces, even with a successful divert crew action. Generally, use gravitational pulls of 3 hexes per round or more only if the vessels involved in the starship combat can escape the gravity field.