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1001 ways for a party to start their adventures with a ship they can't sell


Starfinder General Discussion

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Scarab Sages

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As the core book says, the PCs are generally meant to start with a ship that they cannot sell for a fat stack of credits. So I thought "let's come up with some ideas for fun adventure hooks that bring a party together with a ship that they can't sell."

1)Pcs join the pathfinder society and are loaned a 'company ship' to investigate something.

2) PCs start off abandoned on a landfill planet and have to cobble together a ship from the salvage while fighting off goblins and other 'salvagers,' No one is willing to buy a cobbled together ship with no safety rating/testing.

3) PCs wake up on an Eoxian battleship as prisoners. After a harrowing escape, they manage to steal an Eoxian 'Ambassador shuttle' that is designed to ferry Living ambassadors to Eox. People are unwilling to buy a stolen ship, much less a stolen EOX ship.


6 people marked this as a favorite.

The ship is possessed by an AI ghost, develops affection for the player characters, and refuses to work for anyone else.

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

The ship has a salvage title, and is technically worth nothing. No one is willing to pay anything for it.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

6.) The ship is an heirloom of one of the PCs or NPCs. They would be adamantly against selling the ship for emotional reasons.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

7.) This particular ship is so tightly interwoven with the PC's "brand" that selling it would deliver a deathblow to their fanbase. (If one of the PCs has the "Icon" theme.)

8.) The ship was gifted to the PCs in the will of their favorite uncle/good friend/mentor figure. Have them make an emotional investment in it.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

9.) The entire ship reeks of cat piss. It's completely unbearable to the NPCs. The PCs get used to it.

10.) Don't bother to give the PCs a reason not to sell their ship. However, if they ever actually attempt to sell it, have them get ripped off by a con artist, and plan an adventure around getting their ship back.

11.) The PCs are Couriers and the ship itself is their delivery package.

12.) The ship is a rental from Abadarcorp and the deposit is larger than what anyone is willing to pay for.

13.) One of the lead crew members of the ship is a Mystic or other religious character. They believe this is ship is blessed and is a literal 'vessel' for their deity.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

14. The PCs have nowhere else to live. Any family lack guest rooms, or just have no interest in letting them couch-surf.

15. The controls are finicky and nobody else wants to pay full price for this low-level craft if they have to figure out its idiosyncracies.

16. There's a massive sale on their model of ship (how else did the PCs get their hands on one?) and they're therefore as common and as valuable as Mediterranean fruit flies.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

17.) The ship has a rat problem that not even the bravest of adventurers can solve. The rats are actually not particularly cumbersome as they mind their own business and don't steal much food.

18.) The ship is super retro/vintage and cool. It would be quite valuable to some buyers, but one of the PCs is a hipster/enthusiast and refuses to part with it.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

19. The ship isn't theirs to sell- either their employer owns it (see "company ship" a few posts up) or they haven't got a title to it, making legal sale impossible... and illegal sales unprofitable and/or dangerous.

20. The ship is stolen property, either stolen by the PCs or simply unloaded on them by the actual thieves, and now they're stuck with it and shouldn't flash its details about... unless they want it impounded by Hellknights.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

21. They actually borrowed the ship from one PC's aunt. The aunt will want it back at some point.

22. The ship is legally unsellable as part of an obtuse and extremely complicated Abadaran loophole scheme devised to stave off the post-scarcity economy. Nobody's quite sure how it works, but nobody wants to mess with the Space Capitalists™.

Scarab Sages

2 people marked this as a favorite.

23) The ship was used as a part of a terror attack on Absolom station. The atttack failed and the ship was impounded by The station. Station commander is willing to part with it for a few favors (level 1 mission) but no one is going to want to buy a ship with such a negative history.


24) The ship was previously owned by a rich a$!@$*!@ who ensured that his crew wouldn't leave and go elsewhere by getting cranial bombs surgically implanted in them. Go out of com range of the ship for too long and kaboom.

25) The ship's AI is psychotic and only one of the PCs can placate it.

Dataphiles

26.) The ship is genetically keyed to one of more of the PCs and will not work for anyone else. Or will enact 'security measures' and ultimately explode.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

27. The ship is perfectly serviceable... but an older model- a 1988 Toyota Corolla of a vessel. Nothing wrong with it, but nobody wants to buy it for a price that isn't totally insulting.


28) A deity has learned that the ship's crew are destined for greatness and dropped a curse on the ship to make buyers uninterested. The players may be preferred by the deity or they may just be placeholders until those the deity really wants for the ship come along.


8 people marked this as a favorite.
Cole Deschain wrote:
16. There's a massive sale on their model of ship (how else did the PCs get their hands on one?) and they're therefore as common and as valuable as Mediterranean fruit flies.

Hi, I'm Al Harrington, President and CEO of Al Harrington's Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm Flailing Tube Man Emporium and Warehouse!

Thanks to a shipping error I am now currently overstocked on Level 1 Starships, and I am passing the savings on to yooooouuuu!

Paint it and attract customers to your business, make a splash at your next summer party, transport grandma, buy a gun and protect your crops, take the kids on vacation, make it a sweet sixteen. Whatever your Level 1 Starship needs are!

So come on down to Al Harrington's Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm Flailing Tube Man Emporium and Warehouse! Route 2 on Planet Weekapaug.


6 people marked this as a favorite.
Descrud wrote:
The ship is possessed by an AI ghost, develops affection for the player characters, and refuses to work for anyone else.

29. The ship is haunted by a regular ghost, which scares away all buyers.

30. As above, but the ghost is the ship's janitor in a costume.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
avr wrote:
28) A deity has learned that the ship's crew are destined for greatness and dropped a curse on the ship to make buyers uninterested. The players may be preferred by the deity or they may just be placeholders until those the deity really wants for the ship come along.

"Alrighty it looks like your ships in good repair and the paperwork is all in line and we're willing to offer you (redacted) credits. There's just one more step, just a formality really. Let's just run this curse detection program over here and..."

*Immediate defcon theta alarms start blaring and the salesman starts reading the screen*

"Oh gods that's horrendous! Get your ship off my lot now, and never come back. Until you get that curse removed, consider your ship blacklisted by every dealer in the Pact Worlds."


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

31. The PCs are still making payments on their ship and the title is encumbered until they get it paid off.


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Matthew Downie wrote:
Descrud wrote:
The ship is possessed by an AI ghost, develops affection for the player characters, and refuses to work for anyone else.

29. The ship is haunted by a regular ghost, which scares away all buyers.

30. As above, but the ghost is the ship's janitor in a costume.

"I'm Scruffy. The janitor."


2 people marked this as a favorite.

32.) The party was told there was a secret stash of treasure or the like hidden somewhere on their ship. They won't give up the ship until they find it.

33.) The party (or one PC in particular) is seriously disorganized and leaves s+!@ all over the place, far too much to be simply cleaned without weeks of work.

34.) The ship itself is rumored or known to be the only key to some secret lucrative planet or space-station.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Matthew Downie wrote:
Descrud wrote:
The ship is possessed by an AI ghost, develops affection for the player characters, and refuses to work for anyone else.

29. The ship is haunted by a regular ghost, which scares away all buyers.

30. As above, but the ghost is the ship's janitor in a costume.

35. The Janitor is a ghost in a janitor costume. This surprisingly has a worse effect on would-be buyers.


12 people marked this as a favorite.

36. Zrip and Zap, gnomic hosts of popular spacepodcast "Ship Talk", used to fly this very same vessel. Nobody trusts a ship the Zappit Brothers have tinkered with.


Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

37. The party received the ship as inheritance from their deadbeat parents, and a part of their Last Will And Testament is a no-sale clause enforced by Abadarcorp.


38. Cheese smell.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
36. Zrip and Zap, gnomic hosts of popular spacepodcast "Ship Talk", used to fly this very same vessel. Nobody trusts a ship the Zappit Brothers have tinkered with.

"Don't fly like my brother!"

"And don't fly like my brother!"


Descrud wrote:
The ship is possessed by an AI ghost, develops affection for the player characters, and refuses to work for anyone else.

Epic. Sheer epic.

Shadow Lodge

Patrick Newcarry wrote:
Descrud wrote:
The ship is possessed by an AI ghost, develops affection for the player characters, and refuses to work for anyone else.
Epic. Sheer epic.

If you like that, you should read Willful Child by Steven Erikson.

Scarab Sages

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
36. Zrip and Zap, gnomic hosts of popular spacepodcast "Ship Talk", used to fly this very same vessel. Nobody trusts a ship the Zappit Brothers have tinkered with.

"And even though Damoritosh smashes her com unit with a Doshko every time she hears us say it, this is NPR: New Pact-Worlds Radio"

"And even though the swarm let out a collective sigh every time they hear us say it, this is NPR; New Pact-Worlds Radio."

"And even though Abdar still can't figure out how we haven't gotten yanked off the air, this is NPR, New pact-worlds radio."


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Ship was free because the previous owner was a defunct company that painted their obnoxious logo everywhere outside and inside the ship and it is illegal to remove the logos due to convoluted Pact World trademark laws.


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40.) The party was going to grab that shiny new ship, but it gone blown up on the dock before they could get to it and had to grab the crappy looking one. AKA "The Force Awakens" method.


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41) Every piece of software (and even the firmware) on the ship is written in a child-friendly language. Besides driving people crazy with its cutesy messages, the company who sold the software has since gone out of business and it's unsupported.


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Cole Deschain wrote:
31. The PCs are still making payments on their ship and the title is encumbered until they get it paid off.

The market changed, such that they owe more on it than it is worth.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ciaran Barnes wrote:
Cole Deschain wrote:
31. The PCs are still making payments on their ship and the title is encumbered until they get it paid off.
The market changed, such that they owe more on it than it is worth.

*shudders* I play games to escape reality; not relive them lol


2 people marked this as a favorite.
avr wrote:
41) Every piece of software (and even the firmware) on the ship is written in a child-friendly language. Besides driving people crazy with its cutesy messages, the company who sold the software has since gone out of business and it's unsupported.

41a) Every piece of software (and even the firmware) has Clippy. This will drive the PCs to beg for software that is merely written in a child-friendly language. Some of us have had to live parts of this reality . . . .


42) The ship is tied to the crew's life force and they literally start to die if separated from it for too long.

43) They CAN sell the ship. Sadly, this leaves them stranded at whatever port they are at. Campaign over, make new characters for the next one!

44) The ship is cursed and if sold, will still be on the next landing pad they attempt to leave by. They are hounded through the galaxy by people who think (possibly incorrectly at first but certainly correctly later) they have been swindled, that the party took the money and the ship both.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
UnArcaneElection wrote:
avr wrote:
41) Every piece of software (and even the firmware) on the ship is written in a child-friendly language. Besides driving people crazy with its cutesy messages, the company who sold the software has since gone out of business and it's unsupported.
41a) Every piece of software (and even the firmware) has Clippy. This will drive the PCs to beg for software that is merely written in a child-friendly language. Some of us have had to live parts of this reality . . . .

For my answer to this, see MakuTheDark's post above.


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The ship's AI is a friendly puppy and loves the party so much. If they ever sell it, the ship will just come back. Any buyer will be quite mad.

Liberty's Edge

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45) The Blake's 7 ship.

The PCs find an advanced ship beyond anything else in the region that can tip the balance of power. But it's slowly self-repairing (i.e. gaining/ regaining tiers) and they still have to learn how to use it.

If they sell it, whomever they sell it too will become incredibly powerful, likely prompting a preemptive strike from all their enemies.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Descrud wrote:
The ship is possessed by an AI ghost, develops affection for the player characters, and refuses to work for anyone else.

47) The AI ghost is murderously possessive of its owners. If the PCs try to sell it they get a comm message showing their or the buyer's position from orbit (or wherever the ship is) with a warning that the weapons are charged and ready. The previous owners were only able to get rid of it by dying (from old age, if you don't want a true murder ship.)


2 people marked this as a favorite.

48) If the players fly the ship at less then 500 miles per hour it will EXPLODE!!!


49) The ship is painted/decorated in an unappealing or unflattering way so that anyone who likes it cannot afford to buy it, and anyone you can afford it, finds the décor repugnant. And for some reason, anytime the ship is repainted, the old paint always manages to bleed through the new coat.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

50) The players owe an amount of credits equal to the value of the ship to a crime boss. If the players sell the ship he will want his money back (credit: WEG Star Wars RPG).

Dark Archive

Going on the AI thread.

51) The ship is actually a fully sentient AI, has a soul, and is thus illegal to own or sell. The ship happens to choose to work with the party as part of a symbiotic relationship because while it is sentient, it can't really operate itself.


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52. Every time they go to sell it, they lose time. They wake up back on the ship.


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53. Lower levels of society are not allowed to have bank accounts that exceed a certain amount of credits. Since its all digital the government immediately filters out money excess of this as "Sales tax". Thus the only viable thing to do if you want to sell your ship is trade it for a new ship.


Pathfinder Maps, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

54) Technically, nobody can ever sell their ship, due to the way the economy works. Nothing is ever actually sold, it's recycled. Normally, you get 10% of the original sale price for pushing your ship into a nanofactory that breaks it down to base components. However, your ship has a nasty nano-trap on board that will destroy the recycling nano-factory if it breaks your ship down. The nano-trap can't be removed without completely destroying your ship (by dumping it into the sun), so your ship literally cannot be sold or recycled.

Scarab Sages

10 people marked this as a favorite.

55) No one ever technically owns a ship, it's all on a lease system (much like modern cell phone plans). Due to a clerical error, your party doesn't have to pay the monthly payments, but trying to sell it/trade it in may get people to notice the error and demand back-pay.


56) players are part of the military. The ship is not theirs to sell


1 person marked this as a favorite.

57) The party is VERY superstitious and they believe the ship is good luck, the party does not want to sell their good luck charm.

58) The ship is considered cursed, nobody is willing to buy the thing and simply scrapping it would be considered even worse luck.

58) The adventure starts with the party waking up on the ship, nobody remembers how they got there and it is stranded in the middle of space, all other crew members are dead. The party has to repair the ship before emergency life support fails. Once the ship is repaired the ship is their primary clue to piece together past events and what happened to them. This makes the ship not only necessary to travel but a clue to advance in the adventure, AND IT WAS FREE!

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