Starship Operation


The chart below outlines the different officer duties one can undertake when serving aboard a starship. During starship exploration and combat each character is responsible for performing the tasks detailed in their row. Which actions they perform are ultimately their own to decide, but a ship’s internal communication system allows a team of highly trained officers to consult each other before a character’s action is decided each round.

Full-Round Actions Standard Actions Move Actions Limits and Notes
Commander Inspire Crew,

Tactical Orders
Aid Other - one per ship,
requires interstellar-sized ship
Pilot Activate Afterburners,

Jump to Cruising Speed1,


Perform Evasive Maneuvers
Move at Tactical Speed/Turn,

one per ship,
500-Foot Shift
Copilot - - Aid Pilot one per ship,
may additionally serve as
Gunner or Sensor Operator
Gunner Provide Cover Fire Fire Weapons - one per weapon system
Sensor Operator Jam Transmissions1 Activate Grappler,

Alert With Sensors1,

Jam Targeting Data1,

Pinpoint With Sensors1
Aid Pilot

Perform Sensor Sweep
one per sensor system
Engineer Reroute Power1,

Restore System1
Restore Shields1 Angle Shield,

Damage Control
one per ship plus one for each of the following systems installed;
life support, sensors and defensive
Medic - Stabilize Dying Character - one per medical kit,
may additionally serve as
Gunner or Sensor Operator

1 A Mechalus computer link can reduce the time these tasks require by one step.

500-Foot Shift: If a starship uses both of its move actions to perform other tasks (such as damage repair), it can make a 500-foot shift into an adjacent square as a free action. However. It cannot take a 500-foot shift if it moves any other distance.

Activate Afterburners: A starship can use its afterburners to surge forward as a full-round action. When a starship surges forward, it can move up to four times its tactical speed in a straight line. (It does not get a 500-foot shift.) It loses its pilot’s Dexteflty bonus to Defense and any dodge bonuses to Defense since it can’t avoid attacks.

A starship can surge forward for as many rounds as tile pilot likes.

Attacks of Opportunity: A starship that surges forward provokes attads of opportunity from threatening enemy ships armed with point-defense systems.

Activate Grappler: For more rules with grapplers see d20 Future page 143-144.

Aid Other: In some situations, characters can cooperate to accomplish a given task. One character is designated as the leader in the effort, while the others try to aid him in his efforts. You aid another by making a skill check (DC 10). This is an attack action (see Action Types, page 134). and you can’t take 10 on this check. If your check succeeds, your ally gains a + 2 circumstance bonus to apply to his skill check to complete the task

Aid Pilot: As above, but only with skills the Pilot makes.

Alert With Sensors: A good sensor operator provides valuable data on incoming attacks to the pilot or copilot. As an attack action, the sensor operator can make a DC 15 Computer Use check to provide the ship with a + 1 bonus to Defense for 1 round.

Angle Shield: An engineer can reinforce a ship’s shields (if present) to more effectively ward off attacks. By making a DC 15 Computer Use check, the engineer can shift shielding from one side of the ship to another. The engineer selects one side of the ship (fore, aft, port, or starboard) to take shielding away from, and one side to gain the benefits of angling the shields in that direction. Any attacks targeting the side of the ship where the shields were taken from bypass shields entirely and apply damage directly to the starship’s hit points. Any attacks targeting the side of the shield to which the shielding was angled have their damage halved. As a move action, the shields can be restored to their normal coverage.

Damage Control: A starship equipped with a damage control system can perform damage control as a move action (see Starship Defense Systems. page 134).

Damage control cannot be performed if the ship has been reduced to negative hit points

Feint: With a wccessful Bluff check, you mislead another starship so that It can’t dodge your attack effectively. This check is opposed by the farget pilot’s Sense Motive check. If you succeed, the next attack your starship makes against the target ignores its pilot’s Dexterity bonus to Defense (if it has one). thus lowering the target’s Defense score.

You cannot use this tactic against a starship that’s flying on autopilot Using Bluff as a feint in starship combat is an attack action.

Fire Weapons: Attack a target or targets with a ships current weapons.

1d20 + gunner’s ranged attack bonus + range penalty + starship’s attack bonus (this already includes the size modifier and targeting equipment bonus)

Inspire Crew: A commander can direct the actions of an entire ship’s crew and provide valuable insight to help get the job done faster. As a full-round action, the commander can select a number of crewmembers equal to his Charisma bonus; the commander then makes a DC 15 Charisma check, and if successful, provides a +2 competence bonus on any skill checks (but not attack rolls) by those designated members of the crew.

Jam Targeting Data: Using the communications systems aboard a starship, the sensor operator is able to send out confusing signals and static that causes targeting systems to fail. As an attack action, the sensor operator can make a DC 15 Computer Use check to negate any attacking ship’s targeting computer bonus on attack rolls.

Jam Transmissions: Similar to the methods used to jam targeting data, a sensor operator can make it impossible for a starship to send a transmission. As a full-round action, the sensor operator can select a single starship within sensor range to jam; if that target ship wishes to send a transmission, its sensor operator must make an opposed Computer Use check against the jamming ship’s sensor operator to break through the interference.

Jump to Cruising Speed: As a full-round action. a starship can leave the battlefield by jumping to cruising speed. Doing so effectively takes the ship out of the fight, although enemy ships can pursue the fleeing ship if they wish.

A starship cannot jump to cruising speed if it has 0 or fewer hit points.

Attacks of Opportunity: A starship that jumps to cruising speed provokes attacks of opportunity from threatening enemy ships armed with point defense systems.

Move at Tactical Speed / Turn: A starship can move its tactical speed as a move action. If it takes this kind of move action during Its turn. It cannot also take a 500-foot shift.
Attacks of Opportunity: Moving through a threatened square provokes an attack of opportunity if the enemy ship has a point-defense system.

Perform Evasive Maneuvers: Instead of attacking, a ship can use its attack action to defend itself by performing complex evasive maneuvers. This is called a total defense action. A ship that uses the total defense action doesn’t get to attack, but it grants a +4 dodge bonus to its Defense for 1 round. The ship’s Defense Improves at the start of this action, so it helps against any attacks of opportunity the ship is subject to during its move action.
Fighting Defensively: Instead of diverting all of its attention to defending Itself, a starship can choose to fight defensively while taking a regular attack action. If it does so. it takes a -4 penalty on its attacks in a round to gain a +2 dodge bonus to Defense during the same round.

Perform Sensor Sweep: Until a Sensor System Operator identifies the threats on a battlefield a starship is flying blind. As a move action the Sensor System Operator may attempt a Computer Use skill check (DC 15) to identify one criteria the starship’s sensor system can detect.

Pinpoint With Sensors: Sensor operators can use the ship’s sensors to enhance the targeting computer’s effectiveness. As an attack action, the sensor operator can make a DC 15 Repair check to increase the targeting computer’s bonus on attack rolls by 2. Any equipment that would negate the targeting computer’s bonus on attack rolls also negates this bonus.

Provide Cover Fire: Talented gunners can ward off enemy attacks by laying down heavy cover fire in strategic patterns so that opponents shy away instead of focusing on their target. As a full-round action, the gunner can provide a + 2 bonus to her starship’s Defense against attacks made by enemies within range of that gunner’s weapon or weapons.

Ram: Ramming is considered part of a move action.

A pilot can use her starshlp to ram an object. Including another starship. First, the pilot must enter the target’s square to fighting space and declare her attempt to ram the target. If the target has point-defense systems. it can make an attack of opportunity against the ramming starship. Second, the pilot must make a Pilot check (DC = 5 + the target’s Defense}. If the Pilot check fails, the ship misses the target and may finish its move. If the check succeeds, the starship collides with the intended target, dealing damage both to itself and the target (reduced by hardness. if applicable).

A pilot cannot ram the same ship or object more than once during a given round. However, a pilot that fails to ram a target may attempt to ram a different target if her starship has efficient movement left to reach the new target.

The table below shows the amount of damage dealt to both colliding forces, based on the size of the smaller of the two colliding objects.

Size of Smaller Ship or Object Collision Damage
Multiversal 18d6 x 10
Hypercosmic 16d6 x 10
Cosmic 14d6 x 10
Intergalactic 12d6 x 10
Galactic 10d6 x 10
Interstellar 8d6 x 10
Stellar 6d6 x 10
Colossal 4d6 x 10
Gargantuan 2d6 x 10
Huge 1d6 x 10
Large-size or smaller

Reroute Power: As a full-round action, an engineer can reroute power from one system to another. The engineer makes a DC 15 Computer Use check to perform this action. First. the engineer selects one of the following systems from which power will be rerouted:

Defense Systems: Disable one of the starship’s defense systems.

Engines: Reduce the ship’s tactical speed by 500 feet (1 square).

FTL: Disable the ship’s faster-than-light travel capabilities.

Minor Systems: Disable one minor internal system (communications, life support, or artificial gravity, for example).

Sensors: Disable the ship’s sensors or targeting computer.

Shields: Reduce shield power by half its remaining HD (minimum 1 HD), if the starship has shields.

Weapons: Disable one weapons system (weapon batteries count as one weapons system, though fire-linked weapons do not).

Once the power has been drained from one of the above systems, the power can be rerouted to a single other system. Select one of the following systems and related effects from the list below:

Engines: Increase the ship’s tactical speed by 500 feet (1 square).

Shields: Increase the shield power by half its remaining HD (minimum 1 HD), if the starship has shields.

Weapons: Increase the damage of an energy-based weapon by one-half its base damage (for example, an energy weapon that deals 6d12 points of damage now does 9d12). Fire-linked weapons gain an increase equal to half the base damage of the linked weapons, not half of the linked damage dice (for example, two fire-linked weapons that deal 6d12 points of base damage and 9d12 linked deal 12d12 points of damage when benefiting from this action).

Restore Shields: A starship’s engineer must be adept at keeping the ship’s shields working at all times. As an attack action, the engineer can make a DC 15 Repair check to restore a number of HD to shields equal to her Intelligence bonus. The ship’s shields can never exceed its normal maximum amount.

Restore System: Restore one system deactivated in a previous power-rerouting attempt.

Stabilize Dying Character: With a medical kit, you can tend to a character who is dying. As an attack action, a successful DC 15 Treat Injury check stabilizes another character. The character regains no hit points, but he or she stops losing them. You must have a medical kit to stabilize a dying character.

Tactical Orders: A commander’s grasp of tactics can mean the difference between life and death in the midst of combat. By coordinating the efforts of both pilots and gunners, the commander can maneuver the ship into a position where it has a tactical advantage over its enemies. A commander can take a full-round action to provide a + 1 bonus to the ship’s Defense, or a + 1 bonus on the attack rolls of all gunners aboard the ship.

Withdraw: Withdrawing from combat is a full-round action. When a starship withdraws, it can move up to twice its tactical speed. (It doesn’t also get a 500-foot shift.) The square it starts from is not considered threatened for purposes of withdrawing. and therefore enemies with point-defense systems do not get attacks of opportunity against it when it moves from that square.

If, during the process of withdrawing. the starship moves through another threatened square (other than the one it started in) without stopping, enemies get attacks of opportumty as normal.

Starship Operation

Star☀Drive MorganWilliams