Archives of Nethys

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

A Jaded Affront

Source Starship Operations Manual pg. 147
Eventually, enough is enough. The personal losses the PCs have faced and the horrors that they’ve endured make it clear that they will never truly be safe, secure, and prosperous until they confront the forces that have plagued their lives. The PCs are an experienced crew now, and together they have what it takes to succeed where they unfortunately failed before.

In a previous job, the PCs attracted the attention of an authority figure in their nemesis organization. This individual may have hired them in the past or may be an antagonist who came after the heroes when they sabotaged a job for ethical reasons. Now the PCs can investigate this individual, turning up evidence of extensive corruption and crime. These crimes have a personal connection to one or more PCs, a connection no one knew about until now. For example, the rotten rations that sickened a whole colony world and cost a PC their family could be revealed to have been mass-produced by the same corporation the PCs have been running from, and the signature on the bottom of the form is that of the same person the PCs already hate.

Up until now, the PCs have been merchants first and warriors second, but all that changes. They take on a new, more difficult, kind of job with lucrative payouts so they can outfit their ship to become a weapon of war. But simply killing this nemesis individual won’t do the job—that person will simply be replaced by another tool of the bureaucracy. Instead, the PCs need to amass enough evidence to delegitimize the organization itself. This requires subtlety and subterfuge as the PCs sabotage the career of the individual who’s become their nemesis, recruit allies within the organization itself, and gather evidence they can use to expose the organization’s nefarious deeds to the galaxy at large. The campaign might end with the PCs achieving a final victory over the organization that has tried to keep them down and out for so long—or it might continue, with a new organization filling the power vacuum resulting from the PCs’ victory.