Archives of Nethys

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Chapter 4: Running Starship Campaigns / Starship Campaign Arcs / Lost In The Vast

Just Another Day in the Vast

Source Starship Operations Manual pg. 150
Mid-level PCs have the experience necessary to face the bizarre and unknown elements beyond the ship. Anything the crew encounters in these remote places should be completely unfamiliar, so let your creativity run rampant. Nothing is too strange for the depths of space!

When initial supplies run low, the PCs scout planets, asteroids, and salvageable wrecks to harvest and process suitable materials—but these strange otherworldly devices and substances may have side effects on the ship and crew. These missions offer unique, unusual environments and mini-plots as the PCs negotiate harsh terrain, bizarre flora and fauna, and unknown and mysterious civilizations.

This could be the first contact the denizens of these isolated places have had with citizens of the Pact Worlds— although it’s also intriguing if inhabitants of the Pact Worlds have made contact in the distant past. These societies may be fascinating allies, or they may want to imprison and subjugate the crew. Whether these cultures are a small collective or a vast technological empire, they present a host of intriguing story opportunities for you and your players to explore.

Stories at this level also begin to illuminate the factors that caused the PCs to become lost, enabling the heroes to develop a plan that deals with their situation—though they may not have the power to enact that plan just yet. The PCs acquire this information directly through their travels and interactions with other creatures, as well as through long-term investigation that confirms their growing suspicions. Ultimately, the PCs figure out how to save themselves: discovering how to cross a vast distance far faster than they first thought or repairing their Drift engine so that it no longer sends them to random destinations.