Something that seems to come up a lot in my Starfinder games lately is what loot the players find on their latest foe. In Starfinder, unlike a lot of fantasy RPGs, that enemy is likely to be some sentient race with equipment not all that dissimilar to the gear the player characters already have. All to often this has lead to a situation where the party responds to the prospect of treasure with a sarcastic “Oh, another laser rifle and armor that is no better than what we are wearing. Woo.” So I’ve been thinking about ways to spice things up a bit. One way to do that is to include a com unit or datapad on the fallen, which is a perfect way to slip in some story hooks. With that is mind, here are 10 things your players might find on an enemy’s datapad:
- “I prepared explosive tunes this morning” as a quickly prepared countermeasure, or perhaps just a bit of carelessness, this datapad was left with an audio file playing on full blast. As soon as the pad is unlocked (DC 15 computers check) it begins playing, alerting everything within hearing distance of the player’s location.
- “Use discount code F@TL3WT and save!” the datapad contains mostly personal files, but also has a valuable coupon for datasphere shopping. Unfortunately, it expires in a few hours, so if the players are going to use it, they may have to hustle.
- “Wolf in wolf’s clothing” the datapad is full of digital messages and journal files indicating that the owner was some kind of secret agent, working toward a sinister purpose within their organization. Whatever their mission might have been, it is over now, unless the players choose to pick up the cause…
- “Breadcrumbs” on the datapad are Drift beacon coordinates for a ‘supply drop’ – the location may contain valuables and gear, or it could be a trap with Drift pirates lying in wait. Only one way to find out for sure.
- “Battlefield philosopher” the datapad is full of philosophy texts from a variety of species and time periods. Some might even be rare and valuable, to the right buyer. The annotated notes on many of the works indicate the previous owner was something of a deep thinker themselves, only to have their life cut short.
- “The password is Swordfish” one of the existential truths of the universe is that the weakest point in Network security is always going to be the end users. This datapad is full of the owner’s user names and passwords, granting the players a +10 bonus on any computers check they need to attempt in this location.
- “Greetings and good wishes heroic sentient, I am Neputlarian Prince Boznar and I need your help with this high value financial exchange…” the owner of the datapad was running a scam on several gullible individuals, claiming to be an alien prince and promising large sums of credits in exchange for assistance with a transaction that just happened to require banking account information. The players can alert the scammed parties and possibly receive a reward, or they could try to complete the scam themselves, picking up where the previous owner left off.
- “The video conference of Cthulhu” the owner of the datapad was mad, and was either part of or the head of some cult to the Great Old Ones. It’s hard to piece their ramblings together (DC 25 Mysticism or Culture check) but if the players take the time they find out about a scheduled video conference of the cult, and if they can clandestinely join, they could reveal the cultists to the authorities.
- “Eleven secret herbs and spices” somehow the owner of the datapad had stumbled onto valuable trade secrets of a powerful Pact Worlds corporation. What’s more the corporation had discovered the leak, and will stop at nothing to reacquire the information and silence any who might have looked at it.
- “You have been selected for a free Stellar Cruise” the datapad owner had just won tickets to an interstellar pleasure cruise, and the ticket information is on the datapad. Addressed to bearer, the tickets could be used by the party instead. What could possibly go wrong?
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