Archives of Nethys

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Chapter 4: Running Starship Campaigns / Starship Campaign Arcs / Down On Their Luck

Another Day, Another Problem

Source Starship Operations Manual pg. 146
When they’re starting out, the PCs really need to feel hardship. Their ship may have been good in its day, but now it’s barely flying. It needs a lot of work, and the PCs need funds soon— especially if they want to eat next week. The group includes PCs with a disparate mix of personalities and values forced together by economic and social pressures, but if everyone can learn to tolerate their strange crewmates, there’s a promise of both riches and security.

The PCs spend their first few missions taking on various jobs—simple endeavors to get them started, like transporting cargo or desperate passengers, acting as guides or bodyguards, or procuring and delivering a difficult-to-acquire item. But taking jobs indiscriminately can get the PCs into trouble. Some of their jobs have unintended consequences: their desperate passengers are actually fugitives, their cargo is contraband, or the item to be procured needs to be stolen from its current owner. The PCs may be aware of these wrinkles before taking the job, allowing them to debate if the reward is worth the risk, but the revelation of additional danger can also come in the middle of their mission, raising the stakes. The PCs, intentionally or accidentally, find themselves on the shady side of the law and on the radar of governments and corporations who’ve oppressed them in the past. Over time the PCs figure out how their team functions; as they set up their new lives and pursue their fortunes, they struggle with inadequate equipment and question their morality.