Starfinder cargo hold airlock?


General Discussion


Do all cargo holds come with airlocks?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

All? No.

Some-to-most? Yes.

If cargo holds are shown to have external hatches, then generally speaking, a force field maintains the starship's internal atmospheric integrity while the hatch is open, akin to armor's environmental protections.


John Mangrum wrote:

All? No.

Some-to-most? Yes.

If cargo holds are shown to have external hatches, then generally speaking, a force field maintains the starship's internal atmospheric integrity while the hatch is open, akin to armor's environmental protections.

okay but when you're refitting expansion bays can the new cargo hold have an airlock?


Ship layout isn't something covered by the rules.

While it makes sense that there's some way to access the cargo hold directly, you don't have an airlock just because you move things in and out. That would be like the door on a jet engine or one of those giant cargo planes where the tail section goes up... it opens up cargo moves in, the thing shuts and its air tight.

You'd have an air lock at your main entrance where you'd expect to have to go in and out during spaceflight. maybe one on the other side of the ship in case that got damaged or you needed to escape a fire/hungry alien setting up shop in airlock 1.

On a larger ship probably every few hundred feet just to make getting out for maintenence and repairs easier.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Yeah, short version is the rules don't dictate starship layout at all so you can have airlocks anywhere you want. One airlock for the whole ship. Every compartment built to vent its contents into space. Whatever you desire!


Have a prison ship with one airlock to prevent escapes.

Space OSHA has words with the Warden.


Dracomicron wrote:

Have a prison ship with one airlock to prevent escapes.

Space OSHA has words with the Warden.

In that situation it's called fail-secure not fail-safe.


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I mean, I'm pretty sure people will complain if your prison ship puts one airlock on every cell, too. ;)


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There are a couple options:
1) Cargo hold has airlock
2) Cargo hold has forcefield that keeps air in but allows material to be passed through (future tech be weird like that)
3) Cargo hold doesn't access the ship interior (so don't need to have an airlock. It would only be accessibly from the outside of the ship.

Bonus idea: If you're just worried about airlocks and not cargo holds with airlocks you can just say you have airlocks wherever you like. Even small ship should probably have at least 2 airlocks in the event that their is a fire or other hazard inside the ship so people don't become trapped.

To be honest I also imagine every room has provision to vent atmosphere (in case of fire) which also probably has the ability to store atmosphere in a tank so that during combat you're not losing atmosphere each time a ship is struck. And while I realize these are future ships with forcefields it's probably smart to have a backup plan for if those systems fail. Or to simply avoid the power draw during combat so you can focus on powering the engines or weapons.

Although Starfinder doesn't look at ships in that level of detail, that's just my personal opinion.

You enter combat, everyone turns on their armor's environmental protections, air is pumped into storage. Can't have fires if there's oxygen to burn.


Dracomicron wrote:

Have a prison ship with one airlock to prevent escapes.

Space OSHA has words with the Warden.

Prison ship sky cell with easy open airlocks...


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Dracomicron wrote:

Have a prison ship with one airlock to prevent escapes.

Space OSHA has words with the Warden.

Prison ship sky cell with easy open airlocks...

That would be a thought: prison ship has airlock on cell, with prisoner accessible controls on the inside. Legally, this is to allow for emergency evacuation, and so the controls have proper safeties to prevent accidental usage.

Privately, its to provide an easy method for prisoners to kill themselves, if they really want.


Metaphysician wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Dracomicron wrote:

Have a prison ship with one airlock to prevent escapes.

Space OSHA has words with the Warden.

Prison ship sky cell with easy open airlocks...

That would be a thought: prison ship has airlock on cell, with prisoner accessible controls on the inside. Legally, this is to allow for emergency evacuation, and so the controls have proper safeties to prevent accidental usage.

Privately, its to provide an easy method for prisoners to kill themselves, if they really want.

Why would you let them do that so easily? There are mines to be worked and value to be extracted from those "prisoners". At the very least death is too easy a way out compared to a lifetime of imprisonment.


And to further expand, I can get paid by the pact worlds governments for storing... I mean imprisoning their undesirables... I mean criminals. So why would I ever let them choose death?


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Sure, but if you are using prisoners as labor, you probably aren't storing them on ships. ;)

Beyond just "the setting is huge, any stupid idea is probably going to be done once" combined with "people are terrible"? I'm actually imagining something vaguely similar to the POW camp from the Bujold story "Borders of Infinity"- a prison designed to maliciously comply with the letter of the law, and only just. What the people running the prison *want* to do is to abuse their prisoners and perhaps kill a certain percentage, but they aren't legally allowed to do so. However, they are allowed, required even, to provide "safety equipment", and these prisoner-accessible airlocks meet the letter of the law as safety equipment. It turns the prisoners themselves into instruments of their own torment without technically violating any laws or treaty obligations or such.


Metaphysician wrote:

Sure, but if you are using prisoners as labor, you probably aren't storing them on ships. ;)

Beyond just "the setting is huge, any stupid idea is probably going to be done once" combined with "people are terrible"? I'm actually imagining something vaguely similar to the POW camp from the Bujold story "Borders of Infinity"- a prison designed to maliciously comply with the letter of the law, and only just. What the people running the prison *want* to do is to abuse their prisoners and perhaps kill a certain percentage, but they aren't legally allowed to do so. However, they are allowed, required even, to provide "safety equipment", and these prisoner-accessible airlocks meet the letter of the law as safety equipment. It turns the prisoners themselves into instruments of their own torment without technically violating any laws or treaty obligations or such.

Who said anything about storing them? I'm talking about transporting prisoners to their respective destinations.

But also I'm not impossible to believe that you have some sort of giant prison/work ship where the prisoners are doing some sort of labor on the ship. Assembling or disassembling things.


Metaphysician wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Dracomicron wrote:

Have a prison ship with one airlock to prevent escapes.

Space OSHA has words with the Warden.

Prison ship sky cell with easy open airlocks...

That would be a thought: prison ship has airlock on cell, with prisoner accessible controls on the inside. Legally, this is to allow for emergency evacuation, and so the controls have proper safeties to prevent accidental usage.

Privately, its to provide an easy method for prisoners to kill themselves, if they really want.

Prisoner has friend rendezvous with prison ship. Prisoner let’s self out of cell; leaves with friend.

Easiest escape ever.


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Waterhammer wrote:


Prisoner has friend rendezvous with prison ship. Prisoner let’s self out of cell; leaves with friend.

Easiest escape ever.

Other ship blown away by automated defenses and or both ships explode from "accidental drift engine malfunction"

Thank you for volunteering for the position of ___Scapegoat___ at the Humane Prisoncorp Luxury cell facitlities (An Eoxian LLC). But our company is experiencing a recent downsizing due to an unforseeable __act of god__or other liability limiting occurance____ . I will forward your resume to Jailcorp Luxry cell facilities, a new startup launching next week.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Waterhammer wrote:


Prisoner has friend rendezvous with prison ship. Prisoner let’s self out of cell; leaves with friend.

Easiest escape ever.

Other ship blown away by automated defenses and or both ships explode from "accidental drift engine malfunction"

Thank you for volunteering for the position of ___Scapegoat___ at the Humane Prisoncorp Luxury cell facitlities (An Eoxian LLC). But our company is experiencing a recent downsizing due to an unforseeable __act of god__or other liability limiting occurance____ . I will forward your resume to Jailcorp Luxry cell facilities, a new startup launching next week.

Yep. Its not an easy path to rescue because you need to actually get confederates into position to retrieve you from your "suicide attempt". Its a space ship, it can easily be surrounded by nothing but vacuum for hundreds of kilometers around or more, and on an unpredictable route at that. The hard part of the rescue would still be "Actually getting to the prison ship without being spotted and captured/killed", and that wouldn't be much if any easier by the evil airlock of jerkiness.

Impossible? Not in the slightest, you would "just" need to do stuff like "compromise the intended route of the prison ship" and "smuggle certain gear and info to the rescue target" and "arrange some magic or supertech means of avoiding notice". I see this as a plus, because "Not impossible, just complex and risky" is otherwise called "An adventure premise". ;)


Metaphysician wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Waterhammer wrote:


Prisoner has friend rendezvous with prison ship. Prisoner let’s self out of cell; leaves with friend.

Easiest escape ever.

Other ship blown away by automated defenses and or both ships explode from "accidental drift engine malfunction"

Thank you for volunteering for the position of ___Scapegoat___ at the Humane Prisoncorp Luxury cell facitlities (An Eoxian LLC). But our company is experiencing a recent downsizing due to an unforseeable __act of god__or other liability limiting occurance____ . I will forward your resume to Jailcorp Luxry cell facilities, a new startup launching next week.

Yep. Its not an easy path to rescue because you need to actually get confederates into position to retrieve you from your "suicide attempt". Its a space ship, it can easily be surrounded by nothing but vacuum for hundreds of kilometers around or more, and on an unpredictable route at that. The hard part of the rescue would still be "Actually getting to the prison ship without being spotted and captured/killed", and that wouldn't be much if any easier by the evil airlock of jerkiness.

Impossible? Not in the slightest, you would "just" need to do stuff like "compromise the intended route of the prison ship" and "smuggle certain gear and info to the rescue target" and "arrange some magic or supertech means of avoiding notice". I see this as a plus, because "Not impossible, just complex and risky" is otherwise called "An adventure premise". ;)

Honestly, at this point you just bring your finest death sphere engage the other ship in combat (it's a prison ship, not notorious for being the finest combat ships since you wouldn't want it to be IF it fell into prisoner hands) and then board the ship and take control. The existence or lack of prison cell airlocks isn't a real factor IMO.


The ships AI listens into the parties com units, and samples the party voice to synthesize

"Al right bob. This will. Sound crazy. On three, exhale, open your hatch. and jump. We will catch you. It will not be. like that one time. On insertrandomplanetmentionedinbanterhere.


Isn't ship AI not very common? Like actual AI and not VI.

Because AI is generally considered to be a person and has rights within the Pact World space, like Androids or SROs. So generally not available for purchase because that would be slavery.


Claxon wrote:

Isn't ship AI not very common? Like actual AI and not VI.

Because AI is generally considered to be a person and has rights within the Pact World space, like Androids or SROs. So generally not available for purchase because that would be slavery.

Actual AI is pretty uncommon but the book says there are programs pretty good at faking it. Even a datapad can have a bluff score.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Claxon wrote:

Isn't ship AI not very common? Like actual AI and not VI.

Because AI is generally considered to be a person and has rights within the Pact World space, like Androids or SROs. So generally not available for purchase because that would be slavery.

Actual AI is pretty uncommon but the book says there are programs pretty good at faking it. Even a datapad can have a bluff score.

Fair enough. I imagine it a bit like the characters in the Holodeck programs from Star Trek. They're not real, a computer is running them with a very good script, but they can fool someone for a limited time/interaction.


Honestly, while holodeck actors aren't supposed to be sentient beings, I would entirely believe that the main computer core on top of the line Starfleet ships have been low key sentient for a long time. . .


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Metaphysician wrote:
Honestly, while holodeck actors aren't supposed to be sentient beings, I would entirely believe that the main computer core on top of the line Starfleet ships have been low key sentient for a long time. . .

to: Metaphysician

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