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Infinite Worlds


Source Galaxy Exploration Manual pg. 80
Whether it manifests as a barren asteroid, its horizon filled with alien suns half a system away, or the utter isolation of an abandoned, airless space structure, space can provide both environmental hazards and dramatic settings for adventures.
No science fantasy game would be complete without high-stakes drama set in the endless possibility of space. Fantastical technology and reality-warping magic means explorers can find themselves probing the hearts of suns or discovering the mysteries of black holes—and facing people and creatures that have the power or knowledge to survive in such unforgiving ecosystems.
Space presents the rare biome where the primary feature is not what it contains, but what it lacks. Space by default threatens terrestrial life with its lack of atmosphere, and it complicates conventional locomotion by removing gravity. These challenges make for naturally epic moments, as the perils of space mean that even a small miscalculation or mistake has dire consequences.
Surrounded by such danger, any life that exists in space has an element of the fantastic to it, and with magical influences, the possibilities are endless. Creatures in space have either evolved to exist without the need for respiration or have a supernatural alternative to breathing; many also have specialized means of getting nourishment from the scarce resources of space, or else have some way to survive long periods without food. With no atmosphere, the means of locomotion in space are either technological or supernatural. Many space creatures utilize the environmental dangers of space to their own advantage, whether it’s an apex predator hunting within the mysterious darkness of a nebula or a sentient saboteur staging an extraplanar ambush from beyond the event horizon of a black hole. With magic and technology pushing the limits of what’s possible, space becomes even more exciting and dangerous.
Civilizations that exist in space can vary wildly. Mining colonies and fuel depots on the fringes of society may get by on pure grit and whatever scraps trickle in from the hub worlds, while research stations or orbital depots may receive regular visits delivering supplies and checking on the progress of their intended operations. Asteroid miners may struggle with boredom in their ships as they try to pass the time between shifts, while space pirates may find themselves living adventure to adventure with no meaningful peace in between. In the furthest reaches of space, society gets even stranger; you may meet scavenger collectives that leap fearlessly from asteroid to asteroid in rings comprised of former planets, magical beings that congregate in shielded sanctuaries on the surfaces of stars or hide depraved deeds in the dark of derelict freighters. Space is truly the largest, greatest wilderness, and those that set out to face it need resilience, ingenuity, and more than a little luck to keep flying.

Space Adventurers

Source Galaxy Exploration Manual pg. 80
Even the most pedestrian life in space presents plenty of opportunity for adventure. Merchants, miners, explorers, scientists, researchers, soldiers, pirates, and scavengers are equally at home in the depths of space and make great backgrounds for those who take up the adventurer’s life. The importance of gear and equipment in deep space means that the Engineering skill becomes especially critical, and many advanced systems of life support also rely on a working knowledge of Computers to maintain or a masterful grasp of Computers to repair. When floating in zero gravity, Acrobatics or Athletics makes the difference between careful navigation and out-of-control careening. Piloting is, of course, a necessity when it comes to the handling of spacecraft. A number of Profession skills, such as archaeologist, miner, or smuggler, may also align particularly well with spacefaring cultures.

Space Worlds

Source Galaxy Exploration Manual pg. 80
Celestial bodies offer extraordinary variety in their composition and feel. Asteroids, comets, and other pieces of space debris can be large enough to present years of exploration. Proximity to a source of cosmic power, like a star or a black hole, might expose a world to immense amounts of energy, supernatural or otherwise, which can allow inhabiting creatures to evolve into unique niches over immense stretches of time, creating strange exceptions well beyond the norms of terrestrial life.
Technologically or magically advanced species use specialized means to generate artificial gravity and atmosphere, allowing orbital platforms, asteroid bunkers, or floating super-structures to operate in relative normalcy. Any interruption can mean catastrophe for unprepared inhabitants, so the defense and maintenance of these systems is top priority for the crews. If something goes wrong in these remote habitats, the results can be devastating, but the rewards can be immense for those willing and able to explore such ruins and lay claim to their resources.
Absent of the erosive forces of a natural atmosphere, the remains of spacefaring civilizations can exist in the vacuum for millennia. The structure may present a readily apparent purpose, like industrial construction or population resettlement; or it may provide more questions than answers, like a fortress built for containment of a mysterious power. Discoveries from the far reaches of space or the distant ages of the galaxy may be impossible to truly understand, leaving explorers to operate under well-educated hypotheses that may be disastrously incorrect. Well-maintained or carefully preserved defenses may remain intact to fend off interlopers centuries later, or the original inhabitants may have preserved themselves—naturally or artificially, ready to wake the moment new visitors arrive. Such places may host a number of different species over the centuries, with each new group interpreting the mysteries of the previous owners differently, modifying the environment to their own needs, and further obfuscating the purpose of the originators.

Space Rules And Reference

Source Galaxy Exploration Manual pg. 81
Starfinder contains many rules and systems specifically for use in space and space-related situations. The Core Rulebook contains some basic information on space, cosmic rays and vacuum (including decompression) on page 394, as well as information on astronomical objects that may fit into forays that go beyond atmosphere. Rules for movement in zero gravity (Core Rulebook 402) and the dangers of radiation and suffocation (Core Rulebook 403–405) are all especially useful in space environments. As the majority of characters wear armor, being familiar with environmental protections (Core Rulebook 196–199) also comes in handy. Unless otherwise specified, the boots included with a set of armor can anchor the wearer’s feet to a solid surface in a zero-gravity environment (Core Rulebook 196). You can find examples and inspiration for your own space locales in the Diaspora (Pact Worlds 78), the rings of Preluria (Near Space 100), or even outside stations and worldships such as Absalom Station (Pact Worlds 38), the Idari (Pact Worlds 68), or Conqueror’s Forge (Near Space 62).

Space Toolbox

Source Galaxy Exploration Manual pg. 82
See Biome Subsections on page 46 for advice on how to use the following tables.

Space Inhabitants

5–8Azata, tritidairAsteray
13–16Dragon, voidColour out of space
17–20Dragon, vortexDeh-nolo
21–24EquinoxianDevil, endbringer
25–28Giant, moonFerrofluid ooze
29–32Goblin, spaceGremlin, ship glitch
41–44Mi-goMordagast butcher
53–56ParaforanPlasma ooze
65–68RavaiSolar wisp
77–80SeprevoiTroll, void
89–92ValnarumVermin, space
93–96VarculakVoid ooze

Space Adventure Hooks

D20Adventure Hook
1 A mining station has stopped sending regular status and inventory updates and is instead broadcasting the same cryptic message on automated repeat. Several corporate interests are looking for freelance contractors to investigate the matter, each offering rich rewards of credits and privilege.
2 An exploration start-up has developed new methods of survival in space and is requesting volunteers to serve as test subjects onboard their research vessel. They promise competitive compensation and first access to the cutting-edge technology— should the test subjects survive, of course.
3 A vortex dragon has taken over an unsurveyed asteroid and announced that it will speak only with the strongest representatives of the region. Many have attempted to parlay with it, from prominent diplomats to renowned soldiers, but none have yet returned.
4 Years ago, a colony ship was attacked by pirates and left derelict in space. A family member of one of the pirates’ victims wants to reclaim a family heirloom they believe may still be aboard the wreckage.
5 Every 13 years, a mysterious collective hosts an open meeting on a comet that passes through the solar system. The most important conditions: no spaceships are allowed on the comet’s surface, and attendance must be in person.
6 The occupants of a lunar base report that their food supplies taste odd and have unappetizing odors. Records and scans indicate that the food is not expired or contaminated, but the complaints keep growing in number.
7 A coronal mass ejection has collided with a nearby space station and flooded it with excess energy. The victims of the blast have requested outside assistance, citing that their station’s automated defenses are acting erratically.
8 A notorious conspiracy theorist insists that the planet is directly in the path of a dangerous cosmic entity. Their warnings were largely ignored until recently, when a flock of shantaks landed on the planet and confirmed the coming danger.
9 A local scavenging crew is hired to do a survey job on a distant moon. When all but one of the team suddenly vanishes, the remaining crew member pleads for help to seal the temple they opened during the mission.
10 A private military organization is seeking contractors to bring a new orbital facility online—under the strict requirement that they must do everything possible to avoid detection by the populace on the world below.
11 A startup holovid studio wants to pilot a new zero-gravity sporting experience in deep space. The studio is hiring private security to ensure that the inaugural games go smoothly.
12 An artificial intelligence has designed its own upgraded housing and is seeking adventurers to install the final firmware into a remote lunar uplink facility from which it can control its new and enhanced form.
13 Two corporations recently laid claim to an already-occupied, starmetal-rich asteroid. Each has hired mercenaries to remove the rival claim, leaving the resident sapient creatures to call for outside assistance.
14 A huge burst of energy has sent a moon careening out of orbit at high velocity, leaving precious little time to rescue the lunar station’s inhabitants before the entire moon enters a nearby black hole’s event horizon. Locals also need to discover the cause before another moon is affected.
15 A signal has begun to broadcast from a nebula, purporting to originate from a ship reported missing centuries ago. The message requests immediate assistance in containing a dangerous outsider before it escapes and wreaks havoc.
16 A popular science program needs footage for an upcoming episode documenting a cosmic phenomenon and is paying handsomely for footage—and first contact with the mysterious lifeforms that accompany the event.
17 A patch of cosmic radiation seems to be moving through space with intent, irradiating lone starships and remote space stations with unknown purpose. A fringe scientist has claimed to have derived a pattern to the attacks and is asking for help in preventing the next calamity.
18 A ship of unknown origin and made of organic materials is discovered drifting across major shipping lanes. Attempts at communication go unanswered, but scans show signs of life inside.
19 A large portion of another plane floats in space, seemingly ripped from its home and deposited there. Early reports compare this to the planar chunks encountered in the Drift, but this is on the Material Plane.
20 A creature in a space suit, near death, is found floating in space with no memory of how they got there or who they are. Indecipherable words are scrawled across their suit—is it protection? Or a warning?