Archives of Nethys

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

All Rules | Downtime Rules

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


Source Starship Operations Manual pg. 136
Space is full of background radiation from stars, space stations, manufacturing platforms, and stellar novas from far-off star systems. Starship hulls protect against most of this radiation, as do sealed space suits. However, more massive cosmic events produce intense radiation capable of impacting even heavily fortified vessels.

Radiation is most often adjudicated like a damaging zone (page 135), but instead of dealing damage to the starship, it exposes crew members to radiation as if the ship were hit by a weapon with the irradiate property that lists low (for starship tiers 3 and below), medium (tiers 4–10), high (tiers 11–17), or severe (tiers 18 and up) radiation.

Gamma Ray Burst: These super-luminous events are some of the brightest electromagnetic phenomena known in the universe and often are the result of a high-mass star collapsing into a neutron star or black hole or, less frequently, occur during a nova or supernova. The area is washed in severe radiation for 1 round, followed by an afterglow that can that can last for several hours. Every 10 rounds, the affected space is exposed to radiation that starts at high and degrades to medium and then low radiation over the course of the event.

Solar Flare: A star occasionally experiences a sudden flash of brightness near its surface, followed by a coronal mass ejection that projects a stream of plasma and radiation away from the star. This threat can happen anytime a starship is traveling near a star, but it’s far more common around red dwarfs and other smaller, cooler stars.

Represent this hazard by performing a direct-fire attack against each starship during the gunnery phase every 1d4 rounds, originating from the star. A solar flare typically has an attack bonus equal to 1-1/2 × the PC starship’s tier, deals 1d12 damage per 2 tiers of the starship, and has the irradiate (high) weapon special property. During the helm phase, a science officer can take a crew action to analyze the star with the ship’s sensors (DC = 10 + 1-1/2 × the starship’s tier). If successful, they’re able to predict when the next flare will occur, granting the ship a +5 bonus to AC against the next solar flare attack. If they perform this analysis the same round the flare erupts, the science officer guides the pilot out of the path of the flare, avoiding the attack entirely.

Solar Storm: These eruptions of radioactive waves can cause electric disruptions and electromagnetic interference in nearby space. When a starship is hit by such a storm, the living occupants are exposed to medium or high radiation. These storms typically last 2 to 8 hours and affect a large area, exposing the entire grid to radiation for the duration of starship combat.