Archives of Nethys

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Chapter 4: Running Starship Campaigns / Starship Campaign Arcs / Invasion!

A Thousand Fronts

Source Starship Operations Manual pg. 148
The campaign begins with the Veskarian invasion, culminating in a landing on Triaxus and the Battle of Aledra. The PCs come from worlds throughout the system and serve as crew on several different starships. Each of these ships is caught in the Veskarian attack, with the PCs crashing on Triaxus in escape pods. There they meet each other, fend off local wildlife and Veskarium troops, and salvage a wrecked starship. Once they get it working, they arrive at the Battle of Aledra in time to lead a counterattack that brings temporary peace to the planet.

But now there’s a war on, and every ship is pressed into service. The PCs might be drafted, but after losing everything to the Veskarium they’re likely volunteers. What’s notable about their ship and crew is its diversity; most other ships defending the system are crewed by citizens of a single planet. Bretheda, Absalom Station, and the rest each have their own fleets, but no single planet or organization is calling the shots. There are interplanetary organizations like the Knights of Golarion, but there’s no structure within which they can work. It’s every world for itself.

The early phase of this campaign highlights the chaos of war; the Veskarium enjoys early success and the future Pact Worlds are left reeling. Competing interests among the factions make cooperation difficult and unreliable. When Veskarian forces cut off an Eox fleet, for example, other worlds refuse to help. Even noble organizations like the Stewards refuse to send help when it means exposing their home world to Veskarian attacks. There’s no one telling the PCs what to do—even if there should be. Instead, they’re left on their own to intercept invasion plans, scout hidden bases, and conduct guerrilla actions that deprive the Veskarium of vital resources. As the PCs travel from one world to another, they forge alliances among many cultures, put aside the demands of their home worlds in order to focus on the larger threat, and inspire other locals to organize. When the PCs encounter Veskarian warships, one of them is led by a vesk captain who becomes a recurring nemesis; the PCs get a chance to capture this captain in a rematch that forms the climax for this phase of the campaign.