Starship Combat

The fathomless depths of space are dangerous to even the most experienced crews, but they can be deadly to those who wander the stars unprepared. Planet-crushing black holes, invisible radiation belts, and chaotic meteor storms are found in any system. But of all the hazards that you might encounter between the stars, hostile vessels are by far the most common. The following rules govern combat between starships—or in rare cases, between immense spacefaring creatures.


The actions crew members on a starship can take depend upon their roles. For most roles, multiple people can perform actions each round, but for other roles, only one person can fill that role and only one action for that role can be performed each round. Your role also determines when you act in combat. Starship combat uses the five roles below. You should declare your role when you board a ship (if you declare yourself a passenger, however, you take no special actions in combat unless you assume a role), though you can change your role in the heat of combat (see page 322). See Building Starships on page 292 for information on starship terminology, systems, and stat blocks.


Your role in combat is about encouraging the crew while taunting enemies into making critical mistakes. A starship can have only one captain, and a character can assume that role only if it is currently vacant. The captain alone can act in any phase of combat. The actions a captain can take are described starting on page 322


You work with your starship’s power core and engines to achieve maximum efficiency, grant extra power in times of need, and divert power to vital systems as necessary. You can also repair damaged systems. A starship can have any number of engineers. An engineer acts during the engineering phase (see page 317). The actions an engineer can take are described starting on page 323.


You operate your starship’s various weapon systems, using them to neutralize or destroy enemy vessels. A starship can have at most one gunner (or gunner team) per weapon mount. A gunner acts during the gunnery phase (see page 317). The actions a gunner can take are described on page 324.


You plot the course of the ship. Each starship has speed and maneuverability ratings, but you can push your starship beyond these boundaries with enough skill. A starship can have only one pilot, and a character can assume that role only if it is vacant. The pilot acts during the helm phase of combat (see page 317). The actions a pilot can take are described on page 324.

Science Officer

You use the starship’s computers, scanners, and other systems to identify threats, target foes, and navigate hazards. A starship can have any number of science officers. A science officer acts during the helm phase of combat (see page 317). The actions a science officer can take are described starting on page 324.

Large and Small Crews

A starship’s base frame determines the minimum and maximum number of crew members needed to operate that vessel. A starship without its minimum complement can’t be flown. However, when a large NPC starship with its full complement enters starship combat, each individual crew member doesn’t take a regular action—it would take hours to resolve a single round! In such cases, usually on Large or larger starships, most roles simulate entire teams of personnel. The number of crew members required to assist a single officer who wants to attempt a check in that role is listed after the role’s name in a starship stat block. This number varies between starships, and some vessels might have a crew large enough to allow multiple checks for a single role—for instance, a dreadnought might have several teams of engineers or gunners.

Preparing for Starship Combat

Starship combat is played on a grid of hexes with figures representing the starship combatants. Starfinder Flip-Mat: Basic Starfield and the starship pawns in Starfinder Core Rulebook Pawn Collection make perfect accessories for this portion of the game.

The hexes don’t represent a specific distance, as Starfinder’s portrayal of movement and combat in three-dimensional space is more fluid and narrative than realistic. Unless otherwise specified, each ship occupies 1 hex, regardless of its size.

Beginning Starship Combat

When the crew of a starship has hostile intentions toward another vessel, they go to their battle stations and activate their starship’s targeting systems. This is clearly obvious to all other starships in the vicinity with working sensors, though there could still be a chance a hostile vessel can be talked down, if the GM allows it.

In general, the GM decides when starship combat begins, where the combatants are, and which way their starships are facing. This might mean that both sides are facing each other from opposite sides of the grid. However, their relative positions and facing can also be established randomly. Roll 3d6+5 to determine how many hexes separate the opposing sides. If either side consists of more than one starship, this result is the distance between the highest-tier starship on one side of the battle and its counterpart on the other. Other starships should be placed within 3 hexes of an allied starship. Then, roll 1d6 for each group of starships to determine the facing of the starships in that group, with a 1 meaning the starships are facing the top edge of the grid, and with 2 through 6 proceeding clockwise around the hex.

Rounds and Phases

Like combat between characters, starship combat occurs over a number of rounds until one side flees, surrenders, or is otherwise defeated. Unlike rounds in combat between characters, a round of starship combat doesn’t correlate to a specific amount of time. Each round of starship combat is divided up into three phases, resolved in order. Each character aboard a starship typically acts in only one of these phases, depending on her role on the starship.

Engineering Phase

The engineers on all ships (if present) each take an action to repair the starships’ systems or give them a boost. These actions occur simultaneously, so they can be resolved in any order.

Helm Phase

Each starship’s pilot attempts a Piloting check. The pilot with the lowest result must move his starship first, followed by the next lowest, until all starships have moved. This check is repeated each round during the helm phase, so the order of movement can change from round to round. If a starship has no one in the pilot role, that starship acts as if its pilot had rolled a 0. If there is a tie, the pilot with fewer ranks in the Piloting skill must move his starship first. If there is still a tie, the two pilots in question should each roll another Piloting check and compare the results; the pilot with the lowest result moves first.

As they move their starships, pilots can attempt additional skill checks to perform dangerous maneuvers or push their vessels beyond their specifications.

Also during this phase, any character taking on the role of science officer can use the starship’s systems to scan vessels or target foes. Science officers must act immediately before or after their starship’s pilot, but they can jointly decide the order they act

Gunnery Phase

During the gunnery phase, gunners fire their starships’ weapons. Starships fire in the same order in which their pilots acted during that round’s helm phase, but the effects of damage are not taken into account until the end of the phase, meaning that all starships can fire, even if they take enough damage to be disabled or destroyed during this phase.

Once all of the phases have been resolved, if there are still combatants engaged in the fight, the next round begins, starting with a new engineering phase.


The pilot of a starship has a variety of actions (see page 324) that allow her to guide her starship through the cold vastness of space. Unlike in battles between characters, starships face a specific direction, and this determines their firing arcs and shield quadrants, as well as their direction of movement.


A starship’s speed is the number of hexes it typically moves in a round. It can instead move fewer hexes than this amount, as determined by the pilot. This movement is in a straight line in the direction the starship is facing, though a starship’s facing can be altered while it moves by making turns (see below). A starship’s maximum speed modifies Piloting checks for that starship.

Speed Piloting Check Modifier
4 or less +2
6 +1
12 –1
14 or more –2


While moving, a starship can make turns, altering its forward movement direction, firing arcs, and shield quadrants. One turn changes a starship’s forward facing by 60 degrees, or one side of a hex. Every round in which a starship turns, it must move a certain number of hexes before each turn, determined by its maneuverability (see the table below). For example, a ship with average maneuverability making two turns in a round must move at least 2 hexes before its first turn, and at least 2 more hexes before its second turn. If a starship has perfect maneuverability (the distance between turns is 0), the ship can make two turns for each hex that it moves (allowing it to turn around a single point).

The number of turns per round a starship can take is limited only by its speed and maneuverability. Turns don’t count against a starship’s movement speed. If a ship with average maneuverability has a speed of 8, it can usually turn a total of four times during a single round.

A ship’s maneuverability also modifies Piloting checks for it.

Maneuverability Distance Between Turns Piloting Check Modifier
Clumsy 4 –2
Poor 3 –1
Average 2 0
Good 1 +1
Perfect 0 (see above) +2

Moving through Other Starships

Since the hexes in starship combat aren’t representative of three-dimensional distance, starships can move through hexes containing other starships, but they can’t end their movement there. If a starship moves through a hex containing an enemy starship, the enemy starship can fire any one of its direct-fire weapons from any arc at the moving starship, targeting its aft quadrant. This free attack doesn’t benefit from any bonuses or additional abilities from other actions taken aboard the enemy starship, such as divert or lock on. Any character currently in a gunner role can make this attack. If no one is designated as a gunner (often the case in starships with only one crew member), the enemy starship can’t make a free attack. A weapon used for this free attack can still be used as normal later in the round.


Instead of ordinary movement, pilots can attempt stunts with their starships (see Stunt on page 324), pushing them beyond their design specifications to enact daring moves. Several stunts affect your starship’s Armor Class (AC) and Target Lock (TL).

Back Off

The starship moves up to half its speed in the direction of the aft edge without changing facing. It can’t take any turns during this movement. To perform this stunt, you must succeed at a Piloting check (DC = 10 + 1½ × your starship’s tier). On a failed check, your starship moves backward only 1 hex. If you fail this check by 5 or more, your starship does not move at all and takes a –4 penalty to its AC and TL until the start of the next round.

Barrel Roll

The starship moves up to half its speed and flips along its central axis. For the next gunnery phase, the starship’s port shields and weapons function as if they were in the starboard firing arc and vice versa. The starship reverts to normal at the beginning of the next round. To perform this stunt, your starship must be Large or smaller and you must succeed at a Piloting check (DC = 10 + 1½ × your starship’s tier). On a failed check, the starship moves half its speed but doesn’t roll. If you fail by 5 or more, your starship moves half its speed, doesn’t roll, and takes a –4 penalty to its AC and TL until the start of the next round.


The ship moves up to its speed and can turn as normal, but it gains a +2 circumstance bonus to its AC and TL until the start of the next round. To perform this stunt, you must succeed at a Piloting check (DC = 10 + 1½ × your starship’s tier). If you fail, the starship moves as normal. If you fail the check by 5 or more, the starship moves as normal, but it also takes a –2 penalty to its AC and TL until the start of the next round.

Flip and Burn

The ship moves forward up to half its speed (without turning) and rotates 180 degrees to face the aft edge at the end of the movement. To perform this stunt, you must succeed at a Piloting check (DC = 15 + 1½ × your ship’s tier). If you fail this check, your starship moves forward half its speed but doesn’t rotate.


The ship moves as normal, but it can move through 1 hex occupied by an enemy starship without provoking a free attack (as described in Moving through Other Starships). During the following gunnery phase, you can select one arc of your starship’s weapons to fire at the enemy vessel as if the vessel were in close range (treat the range as 1 hex), against any quadrant of the enemy starship. To perform this stunt, you must succeed at a Piloting check (DC = 15 + 1½ × the tier of the enemy starship). If you fail this check, your starship still moves as described above, but you follow the normal rules for attacking (based on your starship’s final position and distance), and the movement provokes a free attack from that starship as normal.


The starship moves up to its speed in the direction of either the forward-port or forward-starboard edge without changing its facing. To perform this stunt, you must succeed at a Piloting check (DC = 10 + 1½ × your ship’s tier). If you fail this check, the ship moves forward up to half its speed and can’t make any turns.

Turn in Place

The ship does not move but instead can turn to face any direction. If the ship has a maneuverability of clumsy, it takes a –4 penalty to its AC and TL until the start of the next round. If it has a maneuverability of poor, it instead takes a –2 penalty to its AC and TL until the start of the next round. Ships with a maneuverability of average or better do not take a penalty. This stunt doesn’t require a skill check.


Whenever one starship fires a weapon at another starship, that action is resolved with a gunnery check. Attacks are made during the gunnery phase of combat, in the order determined during the helm phase, but the damage and critical damage effects (see page 321) are applied after all of the attacks have been made (meaning every starship gets to attack, even if it would be destroyed or crippled by an attack that happened during the same gunnery phase). With only very rare exceptions, each of a starship’s weapons can be fired only once per round. You make an attack using the following procedure.

Range and Arc

First, determine the range between the two starships (counted in hexes) and the arc of attack. For every range increment beyond the first, the gunnery check takes a cumulative –2 penalty. The attacking starship can fire a weapon against only ships in the same arc as that weapon; see the diagram on page 318. If the targeted starship is in a hex that lies in two arcs (the shaded hexes in the diagram), the gunner decides which arc’s weapons target it; it can’t be targeted by weapons in two arcs.

Gunnery Check

Attempt a gunnery check for each weapon fired against a target (except for linked weapons, which are resolved using one action and a single gunnery check; see the sidebar on page 301).

Gunnery Check = 1d20 + the gunner’s base attack bonus or the gunner’s ranks in the Piloting skill + the gunner’s Dexterity modifier + bonuses from computer systems + bonuses from the captain and science officers + range penalty

Determining the Outcome

Compare the result of the gunnery check to the target’s Armor Class (AC) or Target Lock (TL), depending on the weapon used. If you attack with a direct-fire weapon (see page 303) and the result of the gunnery check equals or exceeds the target’s AC, you hit the target and damage is determined as normal (see Damage below). A target’s AC is determined using the following formula.

AC = 10 + the pilot’s ranks in the Piloting skill + the ship’s armor bonus + modifier based on the ship’s size + bonuses and penalties from successful or failed stunts and actions

If the attack is made with a tracking weapon such as a missile launcher (see page 303) and the result of the gunnery check equals or exceeds the target’s TL, the tracking weapon’s projectile moves its speed toward the target, making turns during this movement as needed (a projectile from a tracking weapon has perfect maneuverability). If it intercepts the target before it reaches the end of its movement, it explodes and deals damage as normal (see Damage below). If not, attempt a new gunnery check at the start of the next gunnery phase to determine whether the projectile continues to move toward the target; you don’t receive any bonuses from computer systems or actions by your fellow crew members from previous rounds or the current round, but you can take penalties, such as from an enemy science officer’s improve countermeasures action (see page 325). If the result of a gunnery check for a tracking weapon is ever less than the target’s TL, the weapon’s projectile is destroyed and removed from play. A target’s TL is determined using the following formula.

TL = 10 + the pilot’s ranks in the Piloting skill + the ship’s bonus from defensive countermeasures + modifier based on the ship’s size + bonuses and penalties from successful or failed stunts and actions


Combat in space can be highly dangerous to the vessel and its crew. Once a starship has been damaged, critical systems might malfunction or shut down altogether, leaving its passengers without electricity, gravity, or even air. Such damage might also cause a starship to lose its sensors, propulsion, or weapons systems, which could spell defeat during an active engagement.

When a gunner hits with an attack, she rolls the damage dealt by the weapon she is using and determines which quadrant of the targeted starship she hits. A starship’s shield quadrants are the same as its firing arcs (see the diagram on page 318). Damage is first applied to any shields the target starship has in the quadrant hit by the attack, depleting a number of Shield Points equal to the amount of damage dealt. If that quadrant’s Shield Points reach 0, that shield is entirely depleted and any excess damage is applied to the target starship’s Hull Points. If the ship doesn’t have shields or if its shields in that quadrant have already been depleted, apply all damage directly to the target’s Hull Points.

If a starship has a Damage Threshold (see page 292), any attack that would deal damage to its Hull Points equal to or less than this Damage Threshold fails to damage the ship’s Hull Points. If the damage is greater than the Damage Threshold, the full amount of damage is dealt to the ship’s Hull Points.

If a ship is reduced to 0 or fewer Hull Points, it is disabled and it floats in its current direction of travel at a rate of half its speed until it is repaired, rescued, or destroyed. Crew members aboard such ships are not in immediate danger unless their life- support system is wrecked, but they might eventually die from starvation and thirst if they have no way to repair the ship.

If a ship ever takes damage that exceeds twice its Hull Points, it is destroyed and can’t be repaired. All systems stop functioning, and the hull is compromised. The crew might initially survive, but without protection, they won’t live very long.

Critical Damage

Starship systems can take critical damage, causing them to become less functional and eventually stop working altogether. Critical damage is scored whenever a gunnery check results in a natural 20 on the die and damage is dealt to the target ship’s hull. The critical range is expanded to a natural 19 or 20 on the die if the target starship was the subject of a successful target system science officer action (see page 325).

Critical damage is also scored whenever the target starship’s hull takes damage that causes its total amount of damage to exceed its Critical Threshold (see page 292) or a multiple of that threshold. For example, a starship with 100 Hull Points and a Critical Threshold of 20 takes critical damage each time its total amount of Hull Point damage exceeds 20, 40, 60, 80, and 100 points (and so on). An individual attack does not need to deal more than 20 damage to score critical damage against this starship; it just needs to be the attack that pushes the starship’s total damage above a multiple of its Critical Threshold.

A starship can take critical damage even when its total Hull Points are below 0.


A starship takes critical damage from an attack only if that attack deals damage to the ship’s Hull Points, even if the result of the gunnery check is a natural 20. If the attack’s damage only reduces a starship’s Shield Points, no critical damage occurs.

Critical Damage Effect

When critical damage is scored, the attacking PC should roll on the table below to randomly determine which of the target starship’s key systems is hit; that system gains a critical damage condition (see below), with the effect listed on the table. If the system isn’t currently critically damaged, it gains the glitching condition. If it is critically damaged again, its critical condition changes by one step of severity (glitching becomes malfunctioning; malfunctioning becomes wrecked). These conditions and their effects on crew actions are explained in Critical Damage Conditions.

To determine which system is affected, roll d% and consult the table below. If a system already has the wrecked condition (or in the case of the weapons array, if all weapon arcs have the wrecked condition), apply its critical damage to the next system down on the chart. If you reach the bottom of the chart, instead deal damage to one of the crew (as described below).

d% System Effect
1–10 Life support Condition applies to all captain actions
11–30 Sensors Condition applies to all science officer actions
31–60 Weapons array Randomly determine one arc containing weapons; condition applies to all gunner actions using weapons in that arc (a turret counts as being in all arcs)
61–80 Engines Condition applies to all pilot actions
81–100 Power core Condition applies to all Engineer actions except hold it together and patch; a malfunctioning or wrecked power core affects other crew members’ actions (see Critical Damage Conditions below)

Crew Damage

If the starship’s core has the wrecked condition and further critical damage is dealt to the core, no critical damage conditions are applied to the ship. Instead, one of the crew (determined randomly) is injured, taking an amount of Hit Point damage equal to the Hull Point damage dealt by the attack (without the increase for starship weapons against humanoid targets; see Shooting Starships on page 292). That crew member can attempt a DC 20 Reflex save to take only half damage.

Critical Damage Conditions

The following are the critical damage conditions and their effects, ordered by severity. These effects apply primarily to starship combat and rarely impact noncombat play (wrecked engines can still be used to get a starship to a safe place to repair, for example— though the GM might rule that it takes longer than normal).


A glitching system isn’t operating at peak performance. Crew actions involving the system (except the hold it together and patch engineer actions; see page 323) take a –2 penalty.


A malfunctioning system is difficult to control. Crew actions involving the system (except the hold it together and patch engineer actions) take a –4 penalty. Also, crew members can’t take push actions (see page 322) using that system. If the power core is malfunctioning, all actions aboard the starship not involving the power core take a –2 penalty; this penalty stacks with penalties from critical damage conditions affecting other systems.


A wrecked system is minimally functional. Crew actions involving the system (except the hold it together and patch engineer actions and minor crew actions; see page 326) automatically fail. If the power core is wrecked, all crew actions aboard the starship not involving the power core take a –4 penalty; this penalty stacks with penalties from critical damage conditions affecting other systems.

Restoring Shields and Repairing Damage

When a starship combat encounter is over, the crew members can repair damage done to their starship, provided it hasn’t been destroyed and they haven’t been captured! Shields regenerate Shield Points at a set rate (depending on the type of shield; see page 302) as long as the starship’s power core isn’t wrecked. You can double this recharge rate for 10 minutes by taking 1 minute and succeeding at an Engineering check (DC = 15 + 1½ × the starship’s tier). Any penalties from critical damage conditions apply to this check.

You can remove the critical damage condition from a system by taking 10 minutes and succeeding at an Engineering check. The DC depends on the severity of the condition (DC 15 for glitching, DC 20 for malfunctioning, and DC 25 for wrecked). The system is no longer critically damaged (it has no critical damage conditions) and can function as normal.

Repairing damage to the hull (restoring lost Hull Points) is more difficult. You must first stop the starship completely, usually at a safe location (for instance, a world with a nonhostile atmosphere or a dock on a space station), and the repairing character or characters must have access to the outside of the hull. On most of the Pact Worlds, the crew can pay mechanics to repair the starship; the cost and time needed are up to the GM. If the crew is on its own in uncharted territory, it can still repair the starship’s hull. Doing so costs 10 UPBs (see page 233) per point of damage to be repaired and requires 5 hours of work regardless of the number of points repaired. A character who succeeds at an Engineering check (DC = 15 + 1½ × the starship’s tier) can cut either the cost or the time in half. For every 10 points by which she exceeds the DC, she can reduce one of these factors by half (or by half again), to a minimum of 1 UPB per point of damage and 1 hour. Any number of allies can use the aid another action (see page 133) to assist with this Engineering check. Failing the check to reduce the time or cost instead increases the cost by 5 UPBs per point of damage.

Crew Actions

As starship combat progresses, the various crew members aboard each vessel can take the actions their roles allow.


You can take one action (usually defined by your role) per round of starship combat. Certain actions require a minimum character level or number of ranks in a certain skill. NPC crew members are assumed to have a number of ranks in the appropriate skill equal to the starship’s tier. Class features and items affect crew actions only if specifically noted in the class feature or item. If a starship’s tier is less than 1, treat it as 1 for this purpose.


Push actions (indicated in an action’s heading) are difficult to perform but can yield greater results. You can’t perform a push action if the necessary system is malfunctioning or wrecked (as noted in Critical Damage Conditions on page 321).

Changing Roles

You can switch between roles (or assume a role if you don’t already have one), but this change must occur at the start of a round before the engineering phase. You can switch to the captain or pilot role only if that role would otherwise be vacant (or if the character in that role is unable to take actions).

Starship Combat Resolve

As your combat expertise grows, you gain extra resolve that can help with high-level crew actions. At 8th level and again at 16th level, you gain 1 Resolve Point at the start of any starship combat encounter. These points can exceed your normal pool of Resolve Points; unspent points gained this way are lost at the end of the encounter.

Teleporting Between Starships

Starships in combat are constantly in motion, so it is impossible for a PC to cast a spell with the teleportation descriptor to travel between vessels. Even if a spellcaster has seen the inside of the target starship, the relative speeds between two moving vessels mean that the destination has changed before casting the spell is complete. PCs can teleport only between stationary starships.

Designing Starship Encounters

From a simple skirmish against pirates to a massive fleet engagement, designing a fun and challenging space combat requires thoughtful planning and careful design on the part of the GM. A crew of PCs can’t simply spend their hard-earned credits to upgrade their starship between encounters as they could with ordinary gear. In addition, often due to the circumstances of the story, the characters might find themselves in a ship that is significantly more or less powerful than their Average Party Level might indicate. The GM needs to take these factors into account when deciding what sort of enemies the PCs will face.


Combat between starships of equal tiers is more evenly matched than a fight between PCs and opponents of an equal CR. Usually, there is only one PC ship in the fight, containing the entire party. This means that if the battle is lost, the PCs might be taken captive or perish. As a result, starship combats where the PCs face off against a ship of equal tier and capability are very difficult. Most encounters should be against ships of a lower tier. Use the following table as a guideline.

Difficulty Enemy Starship Tier
Easy PC Starship tier – 3
Average PC Starship tier – 2
Challenging PC Starship tier – 1
Hard PC Starship tier
Epic PC Starship tier + 1

Multiple Ships

If the PCs have more than one starship, use the highest-tier ship’s tier as a base and add 1 to this value for each additional starship within at least 2 tiers of that starship. If none are within 2 tiers, add up the tiers of all the additional starships and add 1 to the base value if the total is equals or exceeds the base starship’s tier. Use this modified value when determining the encounter’s difficulty.

If there are multiple enemy starships, treat every pair of enemy starships of the same tier as a single starship of the pair’s tier + 2 (and every trio as a single starship of the trio’s tier + 3). If there are a number of ships of different tiers, use the formula for multiple PC ships to determine the final difficulty. For example, if the enemy consists of three tier 1 starships, a tier 4 starship, and a tier 7 starship, the final result would be a tier 8 challenge.

Crew Level

Most starship combat encounters are between characters of roughly equal level and skill, regardless of the tier of the starships they are aboard. If there is a large level discrepancy between the combatants, adjust the difficulty of the encounter up or down a tier to compensate. In any case, combats between crews that are more than 4 levels apart should be avoided.

In general, the skill ranks of an NPC crew member are equal to the CR of the NPC or the tier of the enemy starship (minimum 1). To determine the skill modifiers of an NPC crew member, first decide whether the NPC has mastered the skill or is simply good at the skill. Usually, one crew member will be a master at one skill; the rest of the crew will have good skills. The skill modifier for a master skill is equal to 9 + 1½ × the NPC’s ranks in the skill. The skill modifier for a good skill is equal to 4 + 1½ × the NPC’s ranks in the skill. Alternatively, you can determine NPC skill ranks and modifiers using the master and good skill modifiers for the combatant array from the monster building rules in the Starfinder Alien Archive. Of course, if you have full stat blocks for the NPC crew members, you should use their actual skill ranks and modifiers.

Experience for Starship Combat

PCs should earn experience points (XP) for defeating enemy ships. To award XP, compare the difficulty of the encounter (see Challenge above) to Table 11–1: Encounter Difficulty on page 390 to find the Challenge Rating equivalent of the encounter. Look up the value of that CR on Table 11–3: Experience Point Awards (also on page 390) to find the party’s XP award for the encounter.

For example, suppose the PCs have an Average Party Level (APL) of 10 and are flying a tier 10 starship. They encounter and defeat a tier 9 enemy starship. As the enemy starship’s tier equals the PCs’ starship’s tier – 1, this was a challenging encounter. Looking at Table 11–1: Encounter Difficulty, a challenging encounter has a CR equivalent of APL + 1, making it a CR 11 encounter. The PCs should earn 12,800 XP total for the encounter.