Archives of Nethys

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Chapter 4: Running Starship Campaigns / Starship Adventure Seeds

Solve the Mystery

Source Starship Operations Manual pg. 143
The following adventure seeds involve embroiling the PCs in a central mystery that involves starships, whether it’s investigating a monstrous starship-scale creature, tracking down a famous ship from hundreds of years ago, investigating a strange crash, or unraveling a starship-focused pyramid scheme.

Murders Most Foul

Source Starship Operations Manual pg. 143
For years, interstellar archaeologists have debated the fate of the body of famed android and Drift explorer Aleksana Guryari. Some believe that her body never underwent the renewal process, while others believe that it is still in use with a new soul today. Two androids have recently come forth claiming to inhabit the former body of the famous pilot, one on Apostae’s Nightarch and one on Absalom Station. When both androids are murdered within a few days of each other, their bodies dismembered to prevent renewal, the public outcry to find the culprit is intense. The Pact Council offers a large reward to anyone who can gather information about the suspicious circumstances, and the PCs have their own reasons to want to find the killer—or killers. If the culprit is a lone murderer with a motive, the PCs may have to immerse themselves in the seedy underbelly of anti-android hate groups. If a government conspiracy is to blame, those seeking the truth might find themselves accused as scapegoats. Answers may be hidden on the remains of the Chaos Wyrm, Guryari’s original starship, though locating it could prove even more difficult than finding the androids’ killer.

The Swallowed Starship and an Alien Horror

Source Starship Operations Manual pg. 143
Spacefaring vessels passing by the Riven Shroud in Near Space have observed a ghoulish form lurking among the wreckage. Witnesses describe a mysterious-looking ship that’s been invariably described as alien. Estimates indicate the vessel is a behemoth, with a hulking skeletal frame and long, tendril-like phalanges that sweep behind the posterior vents. No visible thrusters can be seen, but the ship appears very much operational—moving under its own power, with a brilliant blue light pulsing beneath its hull. Speculation abounds. Is this ship an automated defense drone for the Shroud? A long-dormant entity suddenly awakened? Or something else?

Efforts to communicate with the ship have proven fruitless, save one: the Eoxian destroyer Venophage moved into the phantom’s path and was engulfed—and presumably vaporized—by a wave of blinding magical energy. Whispers of a shakeup on Eox are now spreading, as the heir of an influential bone sage was rumored to be aboard the Venophage, which transmitted one last broadcast into open space before it was swallowed whole. The Eternal Convocation also claims to be receiving strange transmissions from inside the Riven Shroud’s central star, fueling hope that the Venophage and its crew could be rescued. Days ago, Eoxian agents issued a lucrative open contract to any starship willing to investigate and, if possible, confront the mysterious alien craft. Between this reward and the PCs’ personal ties to Eox—or their need to learn more about the Riven Shroud—this is a prime mystery for them to solve.

A Starship without a Crew

Source Starship Operations Manual pg. 143
When a starship called the Nomaren crashes into a wealthy section of Absalom Station, a preliminary investigation finds no one on board. The team who once piloted the starship has gone missing, and all communications with them ceased near Aucturn. The PCs get involved as investigators working on behalf of the Pact Council or the Starfinder Society, and they must launch a mission to travel to Aucturn and find the missing crew or, at the very least, clues about what might have happened on the starship between Aucturn and Absalom Station.

When they arrive on Aucturn, it becomes clear to the PCs that cultists tied to the Dominion of the Black do not want their investigation to continue. The PCs must outsmart the cultists and find out what happened to the Nomaren on a planet where human experimentation, genetic manipulation, and twisted games played for sport are the norm.

A Tangled Pyramid Scheme

Source Starship Operations Manual pg. 144
Ten years ago, a young ysoki named Vrabel had an idea: designing proprietary starship modifications and selling them to a group of buyers who would then sell to others, over and over again. Soon, Vrabel ended up running an enormous pyramid scheme that spanned the Pact Worlds. Business boomed at first, as he designed modifications that were high-quality and often unique. Over time, however, the quality waned, and in the past year, over a dozen starships with Vrabel’s modifications installed have experienced fatal errors midflight. Representatives from Vrabel’s business—now styled Pinnacle Starship Innovations—blame user error, much to the dismay of those who have lost loved ones. These same representatives have disappeared without a trace, leaving no legal ties back to Vrabel himself and technically absolving the ysoki of blame. When a pushy seller low on the pyramid approaches the PCs, they begin the long climb to the top of the scheme in search of the original seller. Along the way, the PCs discover that the corruption runs deep, with devout worshippers of Lao Shu Po all clamoring to sell and connive and even more unscrupulous characters involved than they could have ever anticipated.