Archives of Nethys

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Chapter 4: Running Starship Campaigns / Designing Starship Encounters / Injecting Excitement

Enhanced Gameplay Descriptions

Source Starship Operations Manual pg. 140
Using more descriptive language to narrate otherwise routine events during gameplay can help make starship encounters more thrilling. This goes for GMs narrating gameplay as well as players narrating their character’s actions.

For example, say the PCs are battling another starship and are hit with a light plasma torpedo.

A minimal description from the GM might be, “The torpedo hits you for 15 damage. You have only 3 Shield Points remaining on your starboard side, so you take 12 damage to your Hull Points after that.”

But a more exciting description could be “The torpedo strikes your starboard side. Your ship lurches from the shattering impact and takes 12 Hull Points of damage as the torpedo smashes through your starboard shields and strikes the wall of your medical bay, sending the serums and supplies clattering to the floor in the fray.”

Or, if a player decides their captain wants to taunt the enemy gunner, providing a clever highlight for their character, a minimal description might be, “I roll an Intimidate check to taunt the gunner of the enemy ship.”

But a more dynamic description would be “I turn on the comm system and broadcast, ‘You call that a shot? Our pilot has evaded plasma shots close enough to fry an egg on the hull! If that’s all you’ve got, you might as well go home.”