Something Creates – An Adventure (Quest #4 Outline)


I almost want to start every one of these posts with “PHEW!”.  These blog posts are one of the few non-work things that is helping me keep track of my days of the week! For those that don’t know, I live in the Sacramento Valley in California, and the smoke here has been no joke.  The past two days have been particularly orange.  Hopefully the firefighters are staying as safe as they can in this heat.

This quest is markedly different from the rest of them because it uses the starship combat rule-set.  I know that I want to keep the combat interesting and a little bit more than two ships on the hex map.  I need to remember to balance this with really considering the GM’s mental load while handling a less used set of rules and still managing a dynamic and fun table of players.  I know there exists a portion of the Starfinder community that does not like starship combat.  Its been my experience that this can happen when fights drag on way past their point of useful storytelling. Not only that though, when participants (so GM & Players alike) focus so much on the rules of the combat that they sometime forget to actually roleplay their experience.  Some of the best sci-fi cinematic moments are starship combats. Lets try to get some of that cinematic energy at the table!

Adventure Requirements

Coming into this particular adventure, I know that I’ll have some space to add some additional rules for hazards and the like, as there feels like there is less dialogue and area descriptions in a Starship quest.  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as it will give me space to include near full text of any additional hazards I’d like to add that are not in the Starfinder Core Rulebook.   The requirements for this particular adventure, looking back at my initial outline are fairly broad as well so I have lots of leeway in the kind of encounter I can design. Here are those requirements:

  • Ensure that there is something to make this encounter more than just two ships fighting in the void of space
  • Write in some reason(s) that the enemy ship cannot be blown up on the off-chance that the PCs do enough damage on their last hit
    • Also include a possible Infamy/failure condition if the PCs continue firing after disabling.
      • Possibly allude to this in the mission briefing.

It is weird to me that I need to really right in the fail-safe of the enemy ship not blowing up, but I’ve been a player at a table (albeit a Tier 9-10 Special table) were we actually dealt enough Hull Point damage to blow up the enemy ship.  Add on to that the number of times I’ve had players (especially new players) ask if they can blow-up an enemy ship, I know I’d like to write something that will aid the GM in letting the players know it isn’t really possible. At least something beyond “because its relevant to the next Quest”.


This time, unlike for the Quest #3 Outline, I actually have my hand written notes to refer to! It is a lot more comforting knowing that I have some ideas already laid out and mulling in my head before I ever put my fingers on the keyboard to write out this blog.  I hope that seeing both versions of my outline and then the final products does help somebody see that writing these adventures, ideas do change, but are at least built upon a foundation of thought.

With how close this could have potentially been to the planet, I did consider using the Gravity Fields as presented in Starship Operations Manual, but I decided against it because it would’ve put a hard timer on Quest #5, that I did not want in a level 1-4 adventure meant to potentially introduce players to the game. If this were a level 3-4, and definitely in a level 5-8 adventure, I would more than likely utilize the gravity rules for Quest #4 and place some fun gravity based elements into Quest #5.


  • Give the history of a large fungal starship sized creature, that procreates by launching asteroid-sized spores out into space.  These spores leave trails of hull eating bacteria that can be dangerous to ships passing through an area that these spores had recently gone through.  One such spore storm is passing through the space that this combat take place.
    • Just discovered the Zoaphorix (SOM p. 131), I could likely use that creature’s write-up to build off of these Spores, possibly as a result of its Death Throes ability.
  • The enemy ship left just before the PCs arrived at the hangar bay, and is just about to leave the atmosphere.


  • PC are given a quick briefing by the Cosmic Captain
  • The party must start & take-off one of the nearby Sanguine Raider ships
    • Note: The ships will be the same, so the PCs will have the 1 ship-type to use for this encounter
  • Once in orbit, the PCs will encounter the enemy ship, in the midst of the spore storm

Getting Started

  • Cosmic-Captain Farasa tells the PCs they must hurry onto one of the nearby ships, hot-wire it and chase after the Sanguine Raider leader
    • Express local government want to capture at least some of the raiders alive to find other hideouts and cabals, so don’t blow-up ship
      • Note: Consider ways to easily allow PCs to do non-lethal damage for Quest #5. Possibly some stunning and non-lethal weapons on board.
  • Possible Questions from Party
    • Why can’t the local authorities chase after them: The thin space defenses of this planet are currently fending off a spore storm, making sure none of them enter the atmosphere
    • What is a spore storm: Explain information in the pre-summary, also warn PCs to watch out for the clouds, as the bacteria is known to eat through hulls

Lift Off!

  • Short skill challenge mostly using the technology skills. Might include a Bluff check to “fake” a voice scan as an option. Mysticism possible as well on these ships
  • Based on success rate, PCs will start either 1d6+6 hexes at the start of combat or 2d6+12 hexes away.

They’re Caught!

  • Describe the spores that are floating through space nearby as large green/yellow asteroids that leave a cloud in their trail.
  • Have  Iovita/Hiran speak with the PCs, enticing them with job offers, riches and power.
    • Consider letting it slip that she has ties to RakTech
  • Hazards
    • Explain the rules of the Space Spores (utilize the Asteroid & Debris rules at SOM p. 134)
      • Treat the Space Spores as a Comet, but instead of ice it leaves a cloud of Hull-Eating Bacteria
    • Decide where the Spore should start, at an edge or closer to the middle?
  • After disabling the ship, place the reason for why the ship will not explode in a Development paragraph


Starting the design process for this adventure turned out to be a lot more fun than I had originally expected. I think a lot of that comes from the myriad of ideas that the Starship Operations Manual helped spark.  The idea of the spores, started by just seeing the Hull-Eating Bacteria across the page from the Asteroids and I thought it was an fun idea that I have not seen in any of our adventures yet. I discovered the Zoaphorix, by accidently flipping to its page and realizing that its artwork is almost exactly what I was picturing in my head when I was originally thinking of a fungal starship-sized creature.  I’m really excited to expand upon the original write-up that it has and add just a teeny bit more information about what could happen after one of these enormous creatures are slain

Andrew Sturtevant

I have two bachelor degrees, one in Psychology, the other in Computer Science. I've been playing some version of D&D, Pathfinder or Starfinder since about 2000 when my Dad started teaching me. I've been GMing for most of that time as well. I am active in the Organized Play Foundation as a volunteer and organizer, along with volunteering to help my fellow military spouses as a Key Spouse.