What extension bays do you have installed and how much use do you get out of them?


General Discussion


Inspired by the discussion about space combat in the APs I started to wonder what people put into the extension bays of their ships and how much use those modules get, like how often have you actually hauled tons of cargo to make a cargo bay useful and stuff like that?

I ask because most bays look to me like they were well meant but are rather useless unless the GM makes this one extension bay important this one time in the campaign.


It depends. I think Medical bays and Tech Shops are almost a must need to include on any ship - people get hurt and so does your ship and repairing those are critical just for survival. Some ships and groups like to be traders and cargo bays are essential for that.

Notably I published Starships, Stations and Salvage Guide which includes 47 new expansion bays, many I use quite often. I have ships built for combat, others for traders, some as science ships, even included arcane options to offer more magical ship operations like going invisible and non-detection.

Currently working on a book 2 for that, with even more new expansion bays included.


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I have not built a ship without a recreation suite. I want the entire party to still be alive when they get to their destination.


gamer-printer wrote:
It depends. I think Medical bays and Tech Shops are almost a must need to include on any ship - people get hurt and so does your ship and repairing those are critical just for survival.

A tech shop doesn't help repair a ship, so I don't see the connection.


A ship doing a lot of exploring and planning on being away for a long time should have:

1. Medical Bay - to treat the wounded / sick
2. General Science Bay - to test samples / find cures / identify things
3. Tech Bay - to repair and build things that get broken or are needed
(as a side note we use critical failures and successes for skill checks so internal ship components can malfunction and or break - so a tech bay is helpful)
4. Recreational Suite - my players use this room regularly to exercise, watch holovids, drink, etc. I like the fact that they use all of the ship in an immersive way
5. Cargo Bay - handy for stowing a land vehicle for ground mobility
6. Escape Pods - just in case


gamer-printer wrote:

It depends. I think Medical bays and Tech Shops are almost a must need to include on any ship - people get hurt and so does your ship and repairing those are critical just for survival. Some ships and groups like to be traders and cargo bays are essential for that.

Medical Bays seem rather unneccesary when you have a mystic (and when the mystic needs help you are better off with some serums). They might make for a nice backup but thats imo it. Thats why I am also interested in how much use the bays see and not only what you have installed.

Cargo bays for trading? How often does that come up? Not only are there 0 rules or even suggestions for trading, the wealth by level guidelines would make trading pointless anyway, even if you could fit a meaningful amount of cargo into cargo bays.


"expansion" bays

We have a tech lab, cargo bay, escape pods, and a rec suite. Three of those were on the ship when we got it, and I put in the tech bay to have it handy for fixing things (as a mechanic it seemed useful).

The tech bay has technically been used. None of the others have really come up during play.


If you're treating tech labs and similar as necessary for even attempting to craft or repair, you're doing it wrong. A base ship has the tools to do this stuff without specialized bays, the bay only lets you do it twice as fast, which will rarely be relevant unless your PCs regularly try to crank out several pieces of customized equipment on a specific timeline before a mission.


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I would expect a fair amount of Campaign variation, here. While the CRB rules fo not require having a workshop expansion bay to build equipment, it would be a pretty reasonable houserule for a GM to require a workshop to make new equipment, and limit standard ship equipment to repairs, in their game. I wouldn't say that was "doing it wrong," as long as they are aware that it is a houserule.

By the same token, the lack of official rules for commodities trading definitely doesn't mean people can't do it under the system of "however their GM rules that it works."


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HammerJack wrote:

I would expect a fair amount of Campaign variation, here. While the CRB rules fo not require having a workshop expansion bay to build equipment, it would be a pretty reasonable houserule for a GM to require a workshop to make new equipment, and limit standard ship equipment to repairs, in their game. I wouldn't say that was "doing it wrong," as long as they are aware that it is a houserule.

By the same token, the lack of official rules for commodities trading definitely doesn't mean people can't do it under the system of "however their GM rules that it works."

This is exactly what I do. I mentioned in the other thread that I placed a lot of guidelines and restrictions on ship building to control the crazy arms race that outpaces any and all printed ships almost as soon as PCs get their hands on build points.

What I do is limit them to three upgrades each tier, each upgrade only being able to improve two levels from whatever the current level of the system is. Expansion Bays and Security Systems do not count toward this limitation however so it encourages them to spend BPs on non combat essential systems. I find this keeps the PCs ship on par but still better optimized that printed ships in most cases and keeps space combats from being a complete blow out snore fest in the PCs favor.

Med bays provide bonuses to medical stuff, Workshops are needed to create stuff in the field this helps keep things under control, gives them a reason to exist and encourages my PCs to plan ahead for missions and give them a reason to value and fall back to the ship other than it being the thing that gets them from point A to point B and goes "pew pew"


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Technically, the bays that my players have gotten the most use out of have been the basic Cargo Bays. . . because they've had two occasions where they need to transport large numbers of rescued refugees, and so needed as much space as possible. ;)


The most important expansion bay in my mind is the basic cargo bay, I like to always have at least 1. The launch tube is neat, even if it takes 2 slots(and 2 ships). My favorite is the smuggler's bay.

Early on, our group had read that androids are kind of...recycled? We weren't sure what to do with dead androids so we stored the bodies in the smuggler's bay in the mean time. It was really nice not having to explain that one to every port inspector.


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I think it depends on how your players utalize the ship in your campaign. For my campaign I don't do alot of Ship vs Ship combat or I ad-lib alot of it with periotic rolls/decision points because my group is large enough that starship combat takes forever. Since its primarily a mobile base for them the modules they use are generally to support whatever is going on in the campagin rather than directly applicable to the party.

For example:
- Medical Bays: Maybe not needed for the party due to Mystic, it is a useful retreat point for the party to direct civilians, refuges and other NPCs to as a form of "mission support".
- Hanger Bays: Could use docked fighters & NPC Pilots to call in off map fire support against artillary thats shelling the parties position (also from off map)
- Escape Pods: Modified into boarding assault pods to be fired at other ships.

I also tend to give them mission specific bonuses if they have a Module & Cargo Hold with support supplies. Like having the Medbay and 10 tons of generic/trade good salvaged medical supplies from a previous mission. Really depends on what the players or DM can come up with if you have a creative bunch.

Direct use I think my players get the most use out of Guest Quarters on their ship. At 50-100cr per day per customer standard passanger fare its a pretty good way to make extra funds if your "going that way anyway". Especially if you travel alot. :)


The party of my dead suns campaign used their cargo bay, and their escape pods. The cargo bay because I told them the ship doesn't just upgrade automatically when they level up just because they want it to. they need raw materials and time, and if they haul on scrap for raw materials they had no where to put it. So they swapped out their magic lab for a cargo bay when they found some time. The escape pods were when unfortunately a battle proved unwinnable and they had to either evacuate with the escape pods or die. They rarely, if ever, used anything else.

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The AP bits I've played so far have been rather "on rails" where the ship is concerned. Any problem you run into, there's also a solution the author intended for you to use.

I think the extension bays get a lot more interesting in a sandbox campaign, or in an AP where the writer is more "this is the problem, you're high level, figure something out" instead of handing it to you.


HammerJack wrote:
I have not built a ship without a recreation suite. I want the entire party to still be alive when they get to their destination.

Same I also sort of assume most recreation suites also come with a virtual gun range/shooting type thing so you can keep yourself amused and keep your skills up without having to fire live ordnance in your own ship.


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Often seen:

Cargo Hold - Gives the party something to do other than "flying around waiting for something/someone to attack."

Escape Pods - Always nice to have one last option other than "blowing up with the ship."

Hydroponic Garden - For long-term travel/exploration.

Launch Tubes - For larger groups who have multiple PCs/NPCs to take on captain and/or pilot roles. Each ship is a lower tier than APL, but (as with regular combat) the group can make more attacks and absorb more (total) damage.

Power Core Housing - As the starship tier increases on Small and Medium ships, you start to reach limits on the available PCU; which limit the other systems (such as weapons, shields, etc.) that can be installed.

Recreation Suite (various) - No mechanical reason, but the crew has to have something to do other than eat, sleep, and work.

Seldom seen:

Arcane Laboratory/Tech Workshop - Being able to make items in 2 hours instead of 4 is really not that useful most of the time.

Brig - Sometimes seen with Bounty Hunters. Otherwise, not useful for most groups.

Guest Quarters - Occasionally needed for larger groups in smaller ships.

Lifeboat - More expensive in PCU and BP than Escape Pods for fewer crew members.

Medical Bay - Limited benefits over an Advanced Medical Kit, outside of long-term care. And if long-term care is that important, there's always the Medical Expert feat.


Gunport. Its just linked turrets everywhere duct taped to an engine.

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