A starship can be one of the following five types: Ultralight, Light, Midweight, Heavy, or Dreadnought. A starship’s type determines how much space it occupies on the battle grid, as well as its game statistics.


A starship’s statistics and performance can be improved by upgrading its armor, shields, crew, sensor systems, defensive systems, and engines.

Each starship description includes the following statistics.

Type: The starship’s type (ultralight, light, midweight, heavy, or dreadnought) determines its fighting space on the battle grid.

Subtype: The starship’s subtype describes the ship’s primary function (for example, fighter or strike cruiser).

Defense: A starship’s Defense determines how hard the ship is to hit. A starship’s flat-footed Defense does not include the pilot’s Dexterity modifier. A starship’s autopilot Defense is used when the ship’s autopilot system is engaged.

Hardness: A ship’s hardness is determined by its armor. Hardness reduces the amount of damage the ship takes from weapon attacks. Better armor can improve a ship’s hardness.

Hit Dice: A ship’s Hit Dice (HD) determines how many hit points it has. Hit Dice are never rolled to determine a ship’s hit points; the ship always gets maximum hit points for each Hit Die.

Initiative Modifier: A starship’s initiative modifier is equal to the pilot’s Dexterity modifier, with a +4 bonus if the pilot has the Improved Initiative feat.

Pilot’s Class Bonus: The pilot’s class bonus to Defense applies to the starship’s normal and flat-footed Defense.

Pilot’s Dex Modifier: The pilot’s Dexterity modifier applies to the starship’s Defense, except when the ship is flat-footed or grappled.

Gunner’s Attack Bonus: The gunner’s attack bonus applies to ranged weapon attacks.

Size: The ship’s size affects its Defense, weapon attack rolls, and grapple modifier.

Tactical Speed: Tactical speed represents how far the starship can move as a move action using its thrusters. Speed is listed in meters and squares. Most starships have a base tactical speed of 900 meters. Better engines can improve a starship’s tactical speed (see Starship Engines), while heavier armor can reduce a ship’s tactical speed (see Starship Armor).

Length: The ship’s length in meters.

Weight: The ship’s weight in pounds or tons.

Targeting System Bonus: The ship’s computerized targeting system provides an equipment bonus on a gunner’s attack rolls and a similar equipment bonus on attack rolls made by the ship’s point-efense system (see Attack of Opportunity, below). This equipment bonus is already factored in to the ship’s attack statistics.

Crew: The ship’s standard crew complement is given here. A ship cannot operate with less than one-quarter of its standard crew complement. The crew’s quality is given in parentheses, along with the crew’s modifier to skill checks (including Piloting checks made to avoid hazards). The quality of the crew determines the pilot’s class bonus to Defense, the pilot’s Dexterity modifier, and the gunner’s attack bonus (see Table: Crew Quality for details).

Passenger Capacity: The maximum number of passengers that can be safely lodged aboard the ship.

Cargo Capacity: The maximum tonnage of cargo that the ship can store in its holds.

Grapple Modifier: The ship’s grapple check modifier is based on its size (Huge +8, Gargantuan +12, Colossal +16). Grapple checks come into play whenever grapplers and tractor beams are used (see Grappling Systems).

Base Purchase DC: The base purchase DC includes the ship’s hull and a trained crew, but not its engines, armor, shields, defensive systems, sensor systems, comm systems, weapons, or grappling systems (which must be purchased separately).

Restriction: The ship’s restriction rating.

Attack: This line shows the ranged weapon attacks a starship typically makes when it uses an attack action.

Attack of Opportunity: If the ship has a point-defense system installed, it threatens ships passing through its fighting space or adjacent squares. Use the line to resolve attacks of opportunity made by the ship.

Standard Design Specs: The ship’s engines, armor, defensive systems, sensors, communications, weapons, and grappling systems are listed here.

Alternative Methods: Heroes who cannot afford to buy their own starship can always borrow, requisition, rent, or steal one as the need arises.

Borrowing a Starship: A character with the favor talent can attempt a favor check (DC 30) to borrow a starship from a friendly contact, assuming that the contact has a ship available. The contact must have an attitude of helpful, and improving a contact’s attitude requires a Diplomacy check. The GM sets the terms of the favor.

Requisitioning a Starship: A character working for an agency can requisition a starship as “equipment,” using the rules for requisitioning equipment.

Renting a Starship: The issue of starship rental won’t come up in campaigns where space traffic is limited to military vessels. However, in campaigns featuring commercial and privately owned starships, heroes can rent a starship for much less than it costs to buy one. Only ultralight or light starships with a restriction rating of licensed (1) or restricted (2) can be rented, and the heroes must have the appropriate license to operate the vessel. Renting a starship for a day requires a successful Wealth check against one-quarter of the starship’s purchase DC. Increase the purchase DC by 2 if the ship is equipped for interstellar travel or if a trained crew is provided as part of the rental agreement. Renters must cover any damages sustained by the ship during the rental period.

Stealing a Starship: Characters can steal a starship only after disabling its security locks (Disable Device DC 40, one check per lock), overcoming any hostile crewmembers aboard, and defeating the ship’s onboard computer security system (Computer Use DC 40). A ship’s computer security system can be accessed from any onboard computer terminal, although using a bridge terminal reduces the DC by 5. For more information on defeating computer security, see the Computer Use skill description.

Starship Classes:

Space Stations:

Building a Starship


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