Whether it is the Abomination Vaults, the Emerald Spire, or even Undermountain, there are a variety of mega-dungeons in fantasy TTRPGs. The idea of a massive complex that forms the bulk of a campaign is, if not easy, at least manageable in that setting, but how would you create something like for Starfinder? It’s a little harder to imagine a hostile location big enough to build a whole campaign around in a Sci-Fantasy future, at least in part because travel is both easy and thematically a part of the technology of the setting. It can be done though.
Whether you are drawing from Larry Niven’s Ringworld, the Halo video game series, or something else, there is definite precedent here. Maybe it’s a Dyson Sphere around a brown dwarf, dating back before the advent of Drift travel – a massive self-sustaining generation ship long abandoned but full of automated defenses, strange organisms that have developed over time in this environment, and/or stowaways that have hitched a ride on the sphere as it has traveled through the universe. The party’s home base would be their ship attached to the docking point, and they more the explore, the deeper within the sphere they delve, they learn more about the builders and whatever fantastic technology they possessed.
Rampant City Building AI
The manga and anime Blame! by Tsutomu Nihei takes place in an ever expanding city created by an AI that has gone rampant and no longer acknowledges the humans that live there as valid Humans. Surrounded by claustrophobic passages, buildings, and technology of mysterious purpose, the tribe of survivors have to carve out an existence in the margins while being treated as invasive vermin by the AI that their ancestors created. That sounds like a great place to start a Starfinder campaign to me! The party starts out just getting by, but as they grow in level they attract more attention from the AI, not to mention anything else that might have adapted to living in this nightmare city, or even invaders from without that are trying to use the AI’s expansion for their own purposes.
Within a Massive Creature
In Farscape it was a Budong, and in Voltron: Legendary Defender it was a Balmera (not to be confused with the much smaller Weblum), or in Guardians of the Galaxy the head of a Celestial. This is a creature so large it is essentially a celestial body, and is either so old or so long dead that it no longer acting on its own accord. The party enters the scene as explorers or salvagers, delving within the body of the creature, encountering whatever vestiges of an immune system remain, other scavengers attracted to the corpse, as well as whatever the creature ate but failed to digest over its long existence. Some part of the beast is the eventual goal, but the fantastic journey to get there could take the party all through it, onto the surface, or even into the host’s memories. Perhaps some portion of the host persists (or has become undead) and opposes this invasion, becoming the reoccurring antagonist of the campaign?
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