Archives of Nethys

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Chapter 4: Running Starship Campaigns / Space Hazards

Drift Phenomena

Source Starship Operations Manual pg. 137
In addition to the effects listed above, even stranger events can manifest in the Drift. Temporal rifts, wormholes, and proton storms are relatively common occurrences, and large sections of displaced planes often function similarly to asteroids and debris (pages 134–135). Creatures and forces loyal to Triune inhabit the Drift, and their intentions are often unclear; the strange encounters that travelers experience here do little to shed light on the tripartite god’s enigmatic plans.

Paraforan School: When crystalline paraforan fragments (Starfinder Alien Archive 3 76) congregate into a single paraforan in the Drift, they often follow behind starships to consume the energy given off by Drift engines. Sometimes these fragments become overly enthusiastic and slam into a starship while attempting to feed off its latent Drift engine energy. At the beginning of the engineering phase, a paraforan appears in a single hex within 2d4 hexes of a random starship. During the helm phase, the paraforan acts last and moves at a speed of 14 with perfect maneuverability (turn 0) toward the nearest ship with a Drift engine. During the gunnery phase, after all other ships have acted, a paraforan adjacent to a starship can siphon that starship’s Shield Points, reducing that quadrant’s Shield Points by 10.

If a paraforan is targeted by a starship weapon (requiring a gunnery action but no attack roll), or if a starship travels through a hex containing a paraforan, it immediately disperses into paraforan fragments that occupy 3 adjacent hexes. Paraforan fragments can’t deplete a ship’s shields, but they function as a stationary micrometeoroid cloud (page 134) for 1d4 rounds before re-forming into a paraforan.

Planar Energy Nebula: Planar energy nebulae populate the Drift, often dragged in with the displaced pieces of other planes. When a starship enters a planar energy nebula, roll 1d4 to determine the effects. On a 1, the starship is drained of half its shields in a random quadrant. On a 2, a random system gains a critical damage condition. On a 3, the starship is spun around and gains a new facing, determined randomly. On a 4, the starship’s shields are replenished as if an engineer succeeded at a divert action.

Time Eater Ganglion: This enormous colony of time eaters (Alien Archive 3 24) interlocks their tentacles together to form a massive web. The resulting ganglion can be anywhere from 1 to 3 hexes in size and slowly drifts toward the closest starship at a rate of 3 hexes per round at the start of the helm phase. If a starship ever shares a space or ends its movement adjacent to a ganglion, the time eaters attempt to grasp the ship to steal its temporal energy. The starship’s pilot must succeed at a Piloting check (DC = 15 + 1-1/2 × the starship’s tier) to avoid being grasped by the ganglion. If the ganglion grabs the starship, the ship loses all its shields in a random quadrant. If that quadrant’s shields were already depleted, the starship’s speed instead decreases by 2 for 1d4 rounds and the ganglion can move 1 additional hex for the same duration. These effects are cumulative, to a minimum starship speed of 0 and a maximum ganglion speed of 10 hexes, and the duration is refreshed each time a ganglion grabs a starship. A ganglion can be targeted by starship weapons and has an AC and TL of 15. If a ganglion takes a total of 20 damage per hex it occupies, it disperses into individual time eaters, which are generally inconsequential in starship combat.