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Space Travel in Star Wars


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#1 Crovax20

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 05:03 AM

I'm wondering how travelling between areas of space works in the Star Wars universe.

 

For example if one would take one of the trade routes, can one just blow from one edge of space to the other with no stops in between? Or are there regular, dropping out of lightspeed stops, because you have to  take a left at this planet here?

 

Also what can pull ships out of lightspeed? Passing too close to orbital bodies, so gravity pulls you out? 

 

And is there something like an interdiction sphere, that allows people to basically make a non-warpable area in space, dragging ships into it that pass its diameter?

 

Thanks in advance.



#2 GM Stark

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 05:27 AM

I would say whatever fits your story is what happens.  A trip across the galaxy can take days, and in a fighter with limited consumables, not to mention no space for a pilot to move around, a stop would be in order. But the trip to Alderaan in the Falcon happened all in one sitting, with enough time for recreation, lightsaber practice and a facebook style debate on ancient religions.  

 

In Edge of the Empire, the players are freelancers.  They may have a mission that requires a straight through trip.  Or, a savvy deal maker in the party might find a few ports along the way where making a stop could be profitable.  


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#3 Krieger22

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 05:28 AM

Most of the time you can travel from A to B without stopping along the way. This is especially true for the major trade routes like the Corellian Run, Hydian Way and so on. In some places (the Tapani sector comes to mind) there are lots of navigational hazards like nebulae, gas clouds, asteroids and so on that makes this impractical, forcing ships to stop every so often.For longer jumps travellers may very well also want to stop along the way, to take on more supplies or just see something other than the inside of their ship for a little bit.

 

Stars, planets and other large astronomical bodies cast "hyperspace shadows" into hyperspace; basically their gravitational field extends into hyperspace. A ship passing too near one of these in hyperspace will be yanked back to real space. The bigger and heavier the stellar object, the wider the zone of its hyperspace shadow.

 

Ships like Interdictor cruisers have gravity well projectors that basically creates a hyperspace shadown and thus pulls passing ships from hyperspace. These are fairly localized, however, and need to be placed more or less directly in a ship's path.They are therefore only effective along well-known hyperlanes or when the crew knows the target ship's exact trajectory and can get in place ahead of it. Pirates frequently duplicate this technique by towing large asteroids and leaving them right on a hyperspace lane, forcing ships into real space where they can be attacked. The downside to this, of course, is that you never know precisely what might be pulled out by your trap...


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#4 Crovax20

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 06:28 AM

Thanks guys! Didn't know there were interdictor cruisers around, very helpful info.

 

Star Wars is the second RPG game I've ever played and is the first one I'm GM'ing for and I was working on ideas for my own adventure for after completing Beyond the Rim with my playergroup.

 

Its thus a very plausible idea that some 'powerhungry madman' took control of a secret interdiction research facility (hidden in an asteroid field) and is now in the proces of pulling in ships, decieving their crews with a story about how this area of space is like a bermuda triangle (deadspace, no warp possible) to create his own little domain he can rule over...

 

Of course the PC's will end up getting sucked in this little deadspace pocket on one of their travels and will have to find out about the big lie, find a way to shut off the interdiction, save some people and then make a run for it.


Edited by Crovax20, 25 September 2013 - 06:29 AM.


#5 LibrariaNPC

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 12:47 PM

Its thus a very plausible idea that some 'powerhungry madman' took control of a secret interdiction research facility (hidden in an asteroid field) and is now in the proces of pulling in ships, decieving their crews with a story about how this area of space is like a bermuda triangle (deadspace, no warp possible) to create his own little domain he can rule over...

 

In canon, there are plenty of madmen who would do this. In fact, Correlia was like this at one point after the fall of the Emperor.

 

 

Also, if you are not familiar with it, here's a link that may help: http://starwars.wiki...wiki/Hyperspace.

 

That said, as others have mentioned, there can be as many or as few stops as you need to make your game interesting. Some sectors are easy to travel through, others. . .well, not so much. Go with what works.


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#6 Endrek03

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 01:41 PM

Kind of not contributing to the topic, but have to say it:

 

Your ships engines move at the speed of plot.


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#7 Chortles

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 03:20 PM

Thanks guys! Didn't know there were interdictor cruisers around, very helpful info.

Note though is such ships, whether purpose-built or converted/modified designs, are necessarily less heavily armed and possibly less armored/shielded than they could have been or originally were due to the hull area and (particularly once activated) the power allocated to the gravity well projectors, so they won't necessarily stand up in a fight the way that a similar design without gravity well projectors can.

 

For example, the Interdictor-class Star Destroyer was a modified version of the iconic Imperial I-class Star Destroyer but with only half as many turbolasers and ion cannons, only two tractor beam projectors instead of ten, and only four TIE squadrons and four shuttles instead of six TIE squadrons and several shuttles, assault gunboats, Skipray blastboats, Sentinel-class landers, walkers and a freakin' prefabricated garrison base...

 

Likewise, the Immobilizer 418 cruiser (the iconic "interdictor" warship) had only quad laser cannons, which means that most capital ships besides dedicated anti-starfighter frigates (aka where you're most likely to see quad laser cannons amongst capital ships) can outpunch it and outrange it... including the Vindicator-class heavy cruiser on which the "interdictor cruiser" is based.  :P

 

Plus, if your players are fast enough and an interdictor shows up (instead of already being there), a sufficiently fast-in-sublight starship may be able to flee to the edge of the gravity well, thereby "outrunning" it enough to make the jump... or, considering the power drain that activated gravity well projectors cause, your players may well opt to directly attack the interdictor head-on in hopes of threatening it enough to spook the leaders onboard into dropping the gravity wells...


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Well, according to George Lucas, the Empire is intended to be bad guys and the Sith to be objectively evil.

Fans proceeded to immediately disregard his bull and have fun with the Empire and make believable characters left and right, and come up with sensible rationalizations east, west, north and south.

 


#8 Gargi

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 11:46 PM

This is an interesting feature within the game I think. So I expanded it for calculating travelling time and fuel costs. I searched the web for different systems and mixed it up.

 

I use a small printed map to get the distance between the system in centimeter, calculating the lightyears and an modifier for the hyperspace time. So people can use the main routes for a much faster run or leave them for reaching outer systems. There travel time is 8 times slower than using the big routes. Due to increasing gravity and more systems traveling within the inner rims is slower than the outer rims. I'm using 5 different rims. So traveling may vary. A class 2 hyperdrive needs 28 hours from Tatooine to Alderaan (the Falcon with 0.5 took 7 hours) but from the one side to the other of galaxy it will took 40 days outside the main travel routes.  

 

Advantages using the Astrogation skill may shorten travel time by factor 0,1 per advantage. Threads mean longer travel time and so on. The longer you stay in space the more it costs. Fuel for the engines, the system, sustainment etc.  A full tank of liquid metal for the YT-1300 will last for 30 days hyperspace travel using a class 2 drive. It is about 3900 credits. A class 1 drive needs more fuel and that will be enough for 20 days hyperspace travel. That means, with a class 2 drive you have to refuel once if you want to get through the galaxy. With a class 1 drive you get through but dry in 20 days. 

 

My players should keep in mind that everything costs credits and they have to earn money (which way ever) but travelling is not the main factor they have to get money for.


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#9 kinnison

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Posted 26 September 2013 - 12:01 AM

If you see the Star wars atlas map it becomes rather obvious how things are connected.  You start with the major Trade routes branching out from the core worlds to the outer rim.  then minor trade routes branch out from there.  the whole "Slice" of the Galaxy is criss-crossed with Hyperlanes that have been mapped out and checked, and rechecked.  ONly when you get off the major routes, or are in areas with known hazards to things get more then trivial.  If you want to save time, that is when you start looking at the "Maps" and start cutting corners and getting closer then is recommended to hazards.


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#10 Slaunyeh

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Posted 26 September 2013 - 03:08 AM

Stars, planets and other large astronomical bodies cast "hyperspace shadows" into hyperspace; basically their gravitational field extends into hyperspace. A ship passing too near one of these in hyperspace will be yanked back to real space. The bigger and heavier the stellar object, the wider the zone of its hyperspace shadow.

 

Just to expand on this, far as I recall it's not the actual shadow that makes you drop out of hyperspace. The shadow of an object in hyperspace is solid enough to destroy a ship that collides with it (you are essentially flying faster than the speed of light face first into a solid object), so most (that is, all) ships are equipped with emergency sensors that will detect hyperspace shadows in close proximity and automatically yank you violently back into real space if you're on collision course with one.

 

While it is probably possible to disable this safety feature, this would essentially mean that any mishap that would ordinarily pull you out of hyperspace would, instead, result in your instant death. Against an Imperial fleet, at least you have a chance. :)


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#11 Crovax20

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Posted 26 September 2013 - 07:29 AM

Alright, thanks a lot guys. You have given me a pretty good idea on how it all operates and how I can use it in my own game. The rulebook was a bit too vague on these sort of things for me!



#12 Yepesnopes

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Posted 26 September 2013 - 09:15 AM

I tend to agree (I still doubt) that things like travel time, the amount of food in the ship, the fuel, have to serve the plot. Yet, in this game (and in its older incarnations) there are things like the Hyperdrive Generator attachment.

 

Those of you who say that travel time has to serve the plot, what do you think? Why would the players be motivated to have one in their ship if we, GMs, base things like travel time solely / mainly on what the plot demands? 


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#13 FangGrip

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Posted 26 September 2013 - 09:30 AM

I tend to agree (I still doubt) that things like travel time, the amount of food in the ship, the fuel, have to serve the plot. Yet, in this game (and in its older incarnations) there are things like the Hyperdrive Generator attachment.

 

Those of you who say that travel time has to serve the plot, what do you think? Why would the players be motivated to have one in their ship if we, GMs, base things like travel time solely / mainly on what the plot demands? 

 

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#14 Spjork

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Posted 26 September 2013 - 10:05 AM

I tend to agree (I still doubt) that things like travel time, the amount of food in the ship, the fuel, have to serve the plot. Yet, in this game (and in its older incarnations) there are things like the Hyperdrive Generator attachment.

 

Those of you who say that travel time has to serve the plot, what do you think? Why would the players be motivated to have one in their ship if we, GMs, base things like travel time solely / mainly on what the plot demands? 

 

I'd give variable benefits/penalties based on when they arrive at their destination. Suppose they have a ship that comes with a Class 2 drive from the factory, and it'll take 12 days to reach a particular system:

  • If they dawdle somewhere along the way, or roll a really bad Astrogation check, then they'll arrive late and suffer some narrative penalty (A rival got there first, the enemy has had time to lay a trap, etc.)
  • If they roll successfully and trim a few hours or days off the trip, then they'll have some opportunity to gain the upper hand. (Perhaps they can proceed further in the story before their pursuers catch up to them, or they can catch the enemy flat-footed.)
  • If they invested in the ship's hyperdrive and manage to get that flight time down to 6 days, or maybe even 3, then they get a sizable reward for having a faster ship. Now they have a few days to get the job done and get out of there before the heat arrives, or maybe they have the opportunity to lay a sizable trap for their enemy.

This would vary by the circumstances. Not every situation would result in the same rewards, but I'd make it apparent that investment in ship speed results in tangible benefits for the group.



#15 kaosoe

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Posted 26 September 2013 - 10:34 AM

I tend to agree (I still doubt) that things like travel time, the amount of food in the ship, the fuel, have to serve the plot. Yet, in this game (and in its older incarnations) there are things like the Hyperdrive Generator attachment.

 

Those of you who say that travel time has to serve the plot, what do you think? Why would the players be motivated to have one in their ship if we, GMs, base things like travel time solely / mainly on what the plot demands? 

These rules are codified simply so GMs that want to tell the kind of story where travel time is essential can use them. Personally, travel time is down time for my games. Time is rarely of the essence. I usually just look at the distances between their current location and their destination and give a rough estimate.

 

"Ok. It will take you about 4 days of hyperspace travel to get to Nar Shadaa. What do you guys do on the downtime."

 

Then they each explain what they do. Maybe one of the players is learning about his force sensitivity while bantering with the pilot over "hokey religions". Pretty much allowing for RP vignettes. Some go nowhere, some I riff with.

 

I think it's a d20 mindset for me to enforce rules simple because if I don't, it negates a small part of the system. It's why I keep insisting that I'll one day remember to specify if players start combat with their weapons drawn or not, just so I can make the "Quick Draw" feat/talent useful. In the end I always forget.


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#16 Brother Bart

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Posted 26 September 2013 - 12:21 PM

 

I tend to agree (I still doubt) that things like travel time, the amount of food in the ship, the fuel, have to serve the plot. Yet, in this game (and in its older incarnations) there are things like the Hyperdrive Generator attachment.

 

Those of you who say that travel time has to serve the plot, what do you think? Why would the players be motivated to have one in their ship if we, GMs, base things like travel time solely / mainly on what the plot demands? 

These rules are codified simply so GMs that want to tell the kind of story where travel time is essential can use them. Personally, travel time is down time for my games. Time is rarely of the essence. I usually just look at the distances between their current location and their destination and give a rough estimate.

 

"Ok. It will take you about 4 days of hyperspace travel to get to Nar Shadaa. What do you guys do on the downtime."

 

Then they each explain what they do. Maybe one of the players is learning about his force sensitivity while bantering with the pilot over "hokey religions". Pretty much allowing for RP vignettes. Some go nowhere, some I riff with.

 

I think it's a d20 mindset for me to enforce rules simple because if I don't, it negates a small part of the system. It's why I keep insisting that I'll one day remember to specify if players start combat with their weapons drawn or not, just so I can make the "Quick Draw" feat/talent useful. In the end I always forget.

 

Many good points here. I feel that it should come in to play when it is necessary as a plot device...and it shouldn't be hand waved when it does become important in this way. There are ship upgrades, skills, and talents that all affect time/duration/accurate trajectory of hyperspace travel that are all cheapened by glossing over it too much. You run the risk of invalidating the hard work and experience points a character may have put towards these. 

 

BEYOND THE RIM SPOILER ALERT

 

Spoiler

 

The point is, make these things matter, when the story/plot needs them to matter. It will make the players who have invested in their characters to have an effect on these things so much happier...and will make for some really great story telling. 


Edited by Brother Bart, 26 September 2013 - 12:24 PM.


#17 HappyDaze

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Posted 26 September 2013 - 02:03 PM

Kind of not contributing to the topic, but have to say it:
 
Your ships engines move at the speed of plot.

Plot moves with a x1 hyperdrive. Many vessels fall behind the plot, and a few can outrun it.
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#18 Vasquia

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 02:47 PM

This is an interesting feature within the game I think. So I expanded it for calculating travelling time and fuel costs. I searched the web for different systems and mixed it up.

 

I use a small printed map to get the distance between the system in centimeter, calculating the lightyears and an modifier for the hyperspace time. So people can use the main routes for a much faster run or leave them for reaching outer systems. There travel time is 8 times slower than using the big routes. Due to increasing gravity and more systems traveling within the inner rims is slower than the outer rims. I'm using 5 different rims. So traveling may vary. A class 2 hyperdrive needs 28 hours from Tatooine to Alderaan (the Falcon with 0.5 took 7 hours) but from the one side to the other of galaxy it will took 40 days outside the main travel routes.  

 

Advantages using the Astrogation skill may shorten travel time by factor 0,1 per advantage. Threads mean longer travel time and so on. The longer you stay in space the more it costs. Fuel for the engines, the system, sustainment etc.  A full tank of liquid metal for the YT-1300 will last for 30 days hyperspace travel using a class 2 drive. It is about 3900 credits. A class 1 drive needs more fuel and that will be enough for 20 days hyperspace travel. That means, with a class 2 drive you have to refuel once if you want to get through the galaxy. With a class 1 drive you get through but dry in 20 days. 

 

My players should keep in mind that everything costs credits and they have to earn money (which way ever) but travelling is not the main factor they have to get money for.

I d love if someone could make a program to calculate this. Where you put in where you going from, destination and hyperdrive modifier and voila the program calculate time and maybe even cost. To bad i hardly can log on to my FB-account, so im stuck at guessing every time






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