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Charter Development

Charter Creation Steps

Source Starfinder #40: Planetfall pg. 41
Follow these steps to create your charter.

Step 1: Charter Concept And Charter Sheet

Source Starfinder #40: Planetfall pg. 41
The first step to making and building a charter is for the player group to decide what they want their new home to be like. Are you going to focus on economic development, ignoring the potential damage to nature and the environment? Or perhaps your focus is on magic and venerating one or more deities? The group should work together to determine what direction they want to take their burgeoning new home. Compared to creating a single character, developing a charter is, by its nature, a cooperative experience enhanced when the entire group engages in the process.

The details of your charter are tracked on the charter sheet. The GM and players should work together to determine the best method for sharing the responsibility of tracking their charter. Should the GM keep track of everything? Should one player—the one who most enjoys learning a new subsystem or whose character takes on the most administrative duties—be responsible for filling out the charter sheet? Perhaps the sheet should be passed from one player to the next each session? As long as the charter’s details are available to everyone during play, there’s no one “right” answer, so choose the solution that works best for the group.

Step 2: Select Patron Type

Source Starfinder #40: Planetfall pg. 41
Starting a new settlement on a distant planet presents a daunting challenge, requiring significant amounts of money and support. By selecting a patron or sponsor, the charter gains that much-needed initial funding. Your patron increases the score for two of your charter traits, but another trait score is reduced to represent your debt to an outside party. Rather than include every possible organization that might serve as patron to a charter, the list below groups patrons into types based on their priorities and what the patron wants from the colony they’re supporting. Once you’ve chosen your patron type, apply the listed trait adjustments to your charter.

The method by which the PCs secure a patron can vary from campaign to campaign at the GM’s discretion; they could have a patron assigned to them at 1st level, recruit one by spreading the word of their intent to travel to a distant planet, or earn their patron after doing a big favor for a powerful NPC. In the Horizons of the Vast Adventure Path, the PCs choose from one of several specific patrons found on page 53.

After you’ve chosen a patron type, you can’t change it later. Over time, your charter might grow more independent, or you could secure additional aid and support from other charters, but none of those developments will replace or adjust the important initial increases and decreases derived from your initial choice of patron type.


Your patron wants a settlement that uses magic to preserve harmony with the natural environment, which hampers your technological development.
Trait Adjustments: +1 Magic, +1 free, –1 Technology


Your patron is part of a large empire that wants to gain a foothold on your charter’s planet or even include the planet within its borders. Your settlers are particularly devoted to this cause, and they have little time for arcane theory.
Trait Adjustments: +1 Accord, +1 free, –1 Magic


Your patron has put out a call for great minds to work together on a scientific project of great import. Your patron helps to secure the charter’s initial research facilities and supplies at the cost of incurring considerable debt.
Trait Adjustments: +1 Technology, +1 free, –1 Economy


Your sponsor wants you to survey the wilderness around your charter for relics of the past and other interesting discoveries. This focus brings in settlers interested in cultural knowledge, but their differing methods and results often clash.
Trait Adjustments: +1 Culture, +1 free, –1 Accord


Your patron grants you a large amount of funds and resources and has no real expectations concerning how you develop your charter. However, they demand final say over the list of settlers allowed to join the charter, and many of these settlers just want to get rich.
Trait Adjustments: +1 Economy, +1 free, –1 Culture


While patronage offers a simple in-universe explanation for how and why the PCs establish their charter, it also ties them—for better or worse—to an outside authority. If the PCs would prefer to be truly free agents and trailblazers staking their own claim, they can simply choose an open charter with no restrictions—and no direct support.
Trait Adjustments: +1 free

Step 3: Choose Initial Focus

Source Starfinder #40: Planetfall pg. 42
As you administer according to your charter’s needs, you direct how it expands and choose the major projects undertaken by its citizens. However, the first few weeks after touching down on a planet’s surface are crucial to a charter’s survival. Decide on your initial focus during this early period, selecting one of the focuses listed below and applying the listed adjustments to your charter trait scores. Your choice of initial focus doesn’t restrict your future choices or the projects you pursue during charter turns; it represents only your charter’s initial emphasis when your PCs and the citizens they brought with them hit the ground for the first time.


You focus on providing citizens a comfortable place to live and work that’s also pleasing to the eye.
Trait Adjustments: +1 Culture


You want settlers to get along with one another. After all, this is their new home!
Trait Adjustments: +1 Accord


It’s vital to you that every citizen has a job to do and contributes to the charter’s future.
Trait Adjustments: +1 Economy


You consider it important to learn as much as possible about this new world and its native species.
Trait Adjustments: +1 Technology


Every planet has occult secrets, and you intend to discover them before they cause any harm.
Trait Adjustments: +1 Magic

Step 4: Finalize Trait Scores

Source Starfinder #40: Planetfall pg. 42
Finalize your charter’s trait scores by adding +1 to two different traits.

Step 5: Establish First Settlement

Source Starfinder #40: Planetfall pg. 42
The first settlement of your charter can be placed in any hex on the planet (subject to GM approval) that you have reconnoitered and in which you’ve defeated all significant encounters. Some projects can only be undertaken in hexes with a specific terrain; review the list of charter projects on pages 46–47, check out the Early Advice sidebar on page 44, and plan accordingly!

Step 6: Record Charter Details

Source Starfinder #40: Planetfall pg. 43
Record your charter’s trait scores on the Charter Development sheet (page 49). Additional charter details are listed below, including your charter’s size, which is a single hex at this stage. The GM might give you a choice of hexes to pick from for your initial settlement, assign you a specific hex, or allow you to pick anywhere on the map.
  • Your charter’s size is 1.
  • Your Settlement Die is a d6.
  • The maximum item level your charter can provide is 4.
  • Your Unrest score is 0.