Archives of Nethys

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

At a Crossroads

Source Starship Operations Manual pg. 147
With money flowing and opportunities to improve their ship and gear, the PCs have established themselves as a reliable, multi-skilled crew capable of handling challenging jobs. Their previous actions have earned them a reputation, good or bad, and that reputation precedes them; more prominent clients seek them out, and their services are in greater demand.

The PCs’ latest job is exceptionally shady, but also promises to be very rewarding. This may be a simple escort mission with an excessive reward or a mercenary gig that pits the PCs against defenseless combatants. Regardless, the PCs realize they’ve been asked to do something immoral, unethical, or simply wrong. Perhaps they’ve been hired to traffic in sapient beings or squash a rebellion with which the PCs are sympathetic. This job challenges the PCs to choose a side: their morality or material wealth. If the PCs abandon the job or actively sabotage it, they’re regularly challenged to uphold this decision, damaging their reputation and costing them additional work. They also make an enemy of their former employer. But if the PCs carry out this controversial job at the expense of their moral sensibilities, the resulting wealth comes at great personal cost. Important NPCs walk away from the crew, refusing to associate with such mercenaries; something precious to the PCs is stolen (perhaps even their ship); or their patrons turn on them after the job is completed. Naturally, their employers insist this betrayal isn’t personal— it’s just good business.