Archives of Nethys

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Military Vehicles

Scuttling Scouts

Source Starfinder #24: The God-Host Ascends pg. 47
Crawler vehicles stand closer to the ground than most nonflying vehicles. Anywhere from six to a dozen legs support their squat bodies. Their hulls are sealed against hazardous environments, and their clinging limbs keep them securely fixed to vertical or even inverted surfaces. Many models also employ mechanical appendages ending in specialized manipulators that help them carry loads, maneuver, or perform other tasks. Standardized crawler chassis can easily be equipped with different loadouts, making them a frequent sight in the galaxy’s hardest-to-reach places.

Numerous paramilitary organizations, pirates, and other undesirables construct bases on ocean floors, wishing to build their bases away from orbiting satellites. With an aquatic crawler on hand, a naval agency can patrol the deep for such threats without the need to mobilize larger vessels. Its rear-mounted manipulator doubles as a rudder-like tail when using its pump jets to swim, and its sonic weaponry is as effective underwater as above. Aquatic crawlers patrol seabeds throughout the Pact Worlds. Notably, they can be found clinging to the underside of Nisis’ frozen crust, where they roam the inverted ice flats for signs of attacking wildlife.

The trench crawlers of Akiton serve a similar function, cruising the steep walls of the planet’s many canyons and tunnel shafts in search of unsanctioned mining and salvage operations. Two front-facing digging claws allow these crawlers to burrow through loose soil, while vibration detectors provide early warning against threats from within the ground. Maro security forces rely on trench crawlers to patrol their vertical streets, occasionally deploying them en masse to the city’s lowest levels in a vain effort to combat gang presence there. In retaliation, gang members tag the crawlers with luminescent graffiti so they stand out plainly amid the shadows.

The most unique of these walkers are found not in the bowels of any planet, but in the depths of space. With legs tipped by powerful electromagnets, hull crawlers scuttle across the surfaces of massive starships and space stations. Just as small creatures clean parasites from larger creatures, these vehicles repair hull damage on starships when it can’t be reached by internal crews. In combat, hull crawlers can swarm hostile boarding parties, using powerful manipulators and shock weaponry to scour invaders from the crawlers’ host ship. Absalom Station and various ships-of-the-line boast notable fleets of hull crawlers, but the worldship Idari’s fleet outnumbers them all, with a maintenance complement exceeding 100.