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Questions about Hyperspace travel

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Some aspects of the hyperspace flights confuses me and I think it's time to ask you people on the forum so that I can better understand them.

 

How exactly is the travel handled practically?

The movies give the impression that the heroes goes into a straight line toward their destination but that is not true. Do the ship make short stops by planet? If so, are these  handled automatically by the ship or does the captain have to re-adjust the angle of his ship to aim toward the next stop? How often do they have to stop or can they just skip a planet if its still straight forward?

 

How is traffic and checkpoints handled?

Major hyperpace lanes are used as safe paths for starships. But apparently they are not free to use as you please. Are all starships obliged to pay and revise cargo/papers at the custom checkpoint? Do you need a special document to use them? What stops starships from just jumping in a vast space? And with millions of ships going back-and-forth, how is it handled without a mass-collision happening?

 

How safe is hyperspace really?

I am aware of the dangers of flying into a star faster-than-lightspeed. However by making the jump seem to always be the best method to flee a combat in space. But can enemy track you? How exaclty do pirates and imperials become a threat when people can simply jump to safety?

 

Can you fly without sublight drives?

My team's ship engine had taken damage and it couldn't move. Can they still go into hyperspace if the hyperdrive is intact? The movies clearly depicts the ship's burner active so I would assume no. For the game, I ruled it was ok to jump (without setback die) but I am curious to know.

 

How do you stop Hyperspace?

I can only assume there are some kind of roadblocks for starships to reach other planets, or else the Separatists wouldn't have so much trouble reaching the core worlds and vise versa. What exactly hinders these ships to advance through open space?

 

How far can you go?

Does the hyperdrive use a special fuel or is it infinite? Can a team travel across the entire galaxy without refueling? (Assuming they have food and air lasting months).

 

Does communications work in hyperspace?

I would assume no but I've seen in the clone wars that CIS Holonet works (between Grievous and Dooku). Can two starships traveling together speak to each other with comlinks while in hyperspace?

Edited by SSB_Shadow

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All I know is that "traveling through hyperspace ain't like dusting crops, boy!"  These are a bunch of great (and intimidating) questions. We hand wave most of this stuff, but Wookiepedia covers many of these topics here.

 

As far as making the quick jump to avoid combat, the Empire has the Interdicter-class cruiser which can create a gravity well to prevent ships from jumping into hyperspace...however, if you bring this out against the PCs, it's pretty much end of the game, or at least some interesting "escape from Kessel" story arcs in the future.

 

Edit...Realized I used the word "bunch" a bunch of times in a span of 25 words, so I felt stupid and edited the post for style.

Edited by Domingo

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Some aspects of the hyperspace flights confuses me and I think it's time to ask you people on the forum so that I can better understand them.

 

How exactly is the travel handled practically?

The movies give the impression that the heroes goes into a straight line toward their destination but that is not true. Do the ship make short stops by planet? If so, are these  handled automatically by the ship or does the captain have to re-adjust the angle of his ship to aim toward the next stop? How often do they have to stop or can they just skip a planet if its still straight forward

 

How is traffic and checkpoints handled?

Major hyperpace lanes are used as safe paths for starships. But apparently they are not free to use as you please. Are all starships obliged to pay and revise cargo/papers at the custom checkpoint? Do you need a special document to use them? What stops starships from just jumping in a vast space? And with millions of ships going back-and-forth, how is it handled without a mass-collision happening?

 

How safe is hyperspace really?

I am aware of the dangers of flying into a star faster-than-lightspeed. However by making the jump seem to always be the best method to flee a combat in space. But can enemy track you? How exaclty do pirates and imperials become a threat when people can simply jump to safety?

 

Can you fly without sublight drives?

My team's ship engine had taken damage and it couldn't move. Can they still go into hyperspace if the hyperdrive is intact? The movies clearly depicts the ship's burner active so I would assume no. For the game, I ruled it was ok to jump (without setback die) but I am curious to know.

 

How do you stop Hyperspace?

I can only assume there are some kind of roadblocks for starships to reach other planets, or else the Separatists wouldn't have so much trouble reaching the core worlds and vise versa. What exactly hinders these ships to advance through open space?

 

How far can you go?

Does the hyperdrive use a special fuel or is it infinite? Can a team travel across the entire galaxy without refueling? (Assuming they have food and air lasting months).

 

Does communications work in hyperspace?

I would assume no but I've seen in the clone wars that CIS Holonet works (between Grievous and Dooku). Can two starships traveling together speak to each other with comlinks while in hyperspace?

 

How exactly is the travel handled practically?

I would say that ships have reactors much like nuclear powered ships today. They do need to refuel every so often some ships are known to use anti-matter http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Hyperdrive

 

How is traffic and checkpoints handled?

In the past i have gone with the notion of it being very difficult to change course once in hyperspace, and it would certainly be dangerous deviating outside of carefully plotted points so ships drop out of hyperspace in order to readjust onto a new lane. While in hyperspace collision with another ship is impossible because ships dont have a big enough shadow in hyperspace. Not enough mass. On arrival i'd imagine you give a place warning of your arrival much like an airport. I imagine collisions do happen on occasion. Hypderdrive inhibitors i imagine also talk to each othehttp://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Hyperdrive_inhibitor

 

How safe is hyperspace really?

Its not. In my games some ships can and will track you through hyperspace or be able to predict your next likely drop out of hyperspace if they believe you to be using a certain lane. If their hyperdrives are faster than yours then well...  Also electronic warfare systems or well placed shots could cripple your hyperdrive preventing you to enter hyperspace. Certain ships are equipped with being able to create artificial gravity wells to pull ships out of hyperspace or prevent them from leaving. This usually simply tricks the hyperdrive inhibitor which is very very dangerous to turn off. Personally I would implement hyperspace disruption fields that make it very difficult to enter hyperspace safely of electronic warfare wasn't working. Either way its not technology many people would have, so id limit its use to military and pirates.  

 

Can you fly without sublight drives?

It is unlikely. If your sublight engines fail you would not be able to clear a planets gravity well and therefor unable to enter hyperspace. Ultimately this is up to game master descretion on how exactly hyperdrives work. You could say there is a technicality that says hyperdrives actually create a small tear in space-time that the ship must be able to fly through.

 

How do you stop Hyperspace?

Conventional Hyperspace lanes have dropout points however there is nothing to suggest a ship cant find its way deep into a territory however this would also mean separatists like your example would be surrounded from every direction and their attack would be certainly short lived. In other areas there is a rift that separates the galaxy keeping everyone on one side of it and preventing hyperspace travel. It is canon however that certain war ships can create artifical gravity wells to exploit the inhibitor.

 

How far can you go?

It isn't written out anywhere i know of it might be on wookipedia. I am under the impression that ships can travel very far without needing to refuel 

 

Does communications work in hyperspace?

Personally I would say no. Personal communications only would function to others on the same ship. Otherwise you need a better system.

 

This is just my own personal opinions on the matter. Take it with a grain of salt. 

Edited by Ocule

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I was going to start tackling these question-by-question but realized there's like 4 questions within each question and not at all sorted by main question, so I'll just cherry pick.

 

1) Steering is handled by the navigational computer; barring any navigational mishaps or interdiction fields (artificial mass-gravity shadows) you shouldn't have to stop until you reach your destination.

 

2) Range/fuel has been regularly factored into the ship's Consumables stat in both FFG's game and in previous RPGs.

 

3) I don't believe ships are generally taxed for simply traveling hyperlanes, it's landing/docking fees where they charge travelers. Imperial Customs ships often lie waiting in systems and will demand ships submit to inspection of cargo and paperwork.

 

4) Hyperspace traffic is likely part of the navicomp calculations, though the sheer vastness of space would reduce the chance of collisions. Most travel is done within a system and somewhat close to planets, so that probably reduces the number of possible vectors.

 

5) It's difficult to track a ship's hyperspace route but there are ways to estimate their path, especially assuming they've taken a major route. Simply making a quick jump is difficult mainly due to the need to not be in a planetary gravity when jumping, secondly due to the difficulty of making hasty calculations or plotting short 'microjumps' out of a system.

 

6) As mentioned, most travel is done to and from planetary orbit so there's little point in ambushing out in the open (without an interdiction field, though I suppose towing an asteroid into place could work) where it's easy to simply jump away again.

 

7) Sub-light engines are *probably* needed to travel through hyperspace, as all the drive really does it let the vessel 'jump' over the lightspeed threshold and start moving at supraluminal speeds.

 

8) Long range communication is handled by large and expensive hyperwave transceivers, but it appears that standard comms can broadcast/receive recorded messages while in transit.

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Wowza, hitting all the big ones in one post eh? Bottom line is it works the way it needs to. Every time something gets written down, another source seems to contradict it. So it ends up like the force, better left unexplained.

 

That said, here's my certain point of view:

 

How exactly is the travel handled practically?

The movies give the impression that the heroes goes into a straight line toward their destination but that is not true. Do the ship make short stops by planet? If so, are these handled automatically by the ship or does the captain have to re-adjust the angle of his ship to aim toward the next stop? How often do they have to stop or can they just skip a planet if its still straight forward?

You plot a course (which can include turns) program it into the nav computer, and jump. The ship follows the programed course. It used to be you were stuck on that course, but that's been changed to allow adjustments.

Automatic or required stops are up to the gm.

 

How is traffic and checkpoints handled?

Major hyperpace lanes are used as safe paths for starships. But apparently they are not free to use as you please. Are all starships obliged to pay and revise cargo/papers at the custom checkpoint? Do you need a special document to use them? What stops starships from just jumping in a vast space? And with millions of ships going back-and-forth, how is it handled without a mass-collision happening?

Less tollbooth, more airport. Customs checkpoints are usually somewhere. The one fueling station before a long stretch, or at a nav bouy near a hazard, in orbit above a planet. So that's where you get checked, but you don't need a special permit to use a hyperplane unless you are counting your captains license. That said I'm sure there's some toll route out there. 

Jumping is dangerous though and even the civilized galaxy isn't fully mapped (space is really big ya know), so you can't just draw a line and have it work.

Mass collisions require significant mass, like an asteroid at a minimum, so ships essentially can fly through each other.

 

How safe is hyperspace really?

I am aware of the dangers of flying into a star faster-than-lightspeed. However by making the jump seem to always be the best method to flee a combat in space. But can enemy track you? How exaclty do pirates and imperials become a threat when people can simply jump to safety?

Track.. Depends. They can get a vector, see if it goes somewhere and then see if that's where you went.

Pirates are dangerous because they aren't stupid. They know the routes, where ships typically drop out, they slice flight plans and set up ambushes, sabotage targets, and so on.

Imps are all of the above, plus numbers and authority.

Also remember plotting a jump takes time. Its not one roll and you're safe.

Can you fly without sublight drives?

My team's ship engine had taken damage and it couldn't move. Can they still go into hyperspace if the hyperdrive is intact? The movies clearly depicts the ship's burner active so I would assume no. For the game, I ruled it was ok to jump (without setback die) but I am curious to know.

I'd say no, but its your game.

How do you stop Hyperspace?

I can only assume there are some kind of roadblocks for starships to reach other planets, or else the Separatists wouldn't have so much trouble reaching the core worlds and vise versa. What exactly hinders these ships to advance through open space?

Pirates have been known to tractor asteroids into known routes, and the empire has a special ship with the ability to generate bogus gravity wells.

How far can you go?

Does the hyperdrive use a special fuel or is it infinite? Can a team travel across the entire galaxy without refueling? (Assuming they have food and air lasting months).

Ships have a listed consumables. That's usually assumed to include fuel.

Does communications work in hyperspace?

I would assume no but I've seen in the clone wars that CIS Holonet works (between Grievous and Dooku). Can two starships traveling together speak to each other with comlinks while in hyperspace?

Up to the gm.

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Q: How exactly is the travel handled practically?

 

A: Universe is a big place with a lot of gravity wells stars and anomalies, and to further complicate this the stars themselves are moving around the galactic core, so adjustments need to constantly be calculated for this stellar drift, the math for doing so often taking significant time and calculations.  A typical Astromech Droid only stores a small amount of navigational routes, the same for a ships NavComp.  In theory you could travel thru hyperspace with all kinds of curves to the route itself, so long as a gravity well doesn't force you to drop into real space.

 

Q: How is traffic and checkpoints handled?

 

A: Varies, based on a lot of factors, travel in Core systems is much more restricted, criminal elements and governments manage shadow ports even within the Core though.  Imperial agency BoSS manages a lot of the ship registry, tracks transponder codes etc..  Some systems become natural checkpoints due to the presence of these shadow ports, crossover to multiple other prominent hyperspace routes, or like Ord Mantell, the gravity well prevents all but the most nimble of vessels from being able to make the turns necessary within hyperspace to continue on its route.  Basically smaller ships with good handling are less likely to need to adjust as much.

 

Q: How safe is hyperspace really?

 

A: Without the aid of a Navcomputer and a precaluculated route? Its not, especially jumps Coreward outside of the Slice towards Wild Space or the Unknown Regions. Additionally Jumps in the Deep Core are particularly dangerous because of the amount of dense stars.  Most ships are equipped to automatically drop into real space in the event of a gravity well, but getting lost from jumping blindly or stranded without fuel is always a risk if the crew is reckless.

 

Q: Can you fly without sublight drives?

 

A: In hyperspace yes, but if your sublight drives are out you aren't able to pull away from gravity wells like stars or planets to get back into hyperspace.

 

Q: How do you stop in hyperspace?

 

A: Ships Navcomputer usually precalculates stops based on  the origin and destination, but as I said before there are failsafes in place that will drop a ship into real space in the event of a gravity well intersecting the route.  Pirates will use large asteroids to simulate a gravity well along less patrolled hyperspace lanes, and Imperials will use Interdictors to generate gravity wells for the same purpose.  And sometimes you have to make a stop in real space simply because your vessel can't manage to avoid a gravity well along its planned route.

 

Q: How far can you go?

 

A: Not really limited in terms of distance you could travel from one end of the galaxy to the other particularly on a well travelled hyperspace lane, assuming there are no gravity wells to obstruct you., Ships consumables is taken to represent food and fuel, and the further you travel the longer you spend in hyperspace.

 

Q: Does communication work in Hyperspace?

 

A: Sublight communications relays and standard comlinks are too slow to function in hyperspace, which is largely what PCs are limited to.  Hyperspace communications is possible via the Holonet.  The Republic prior to the Clone Wars only expanded the Holonet hyperspace transceivers to the Mid Rim, The Seperatists during the Clone wars largely used their own Shadow Holonet relay within Outer Rim, as do certain independent regions such as Hutt Space and Bothan Spynet for example.  The Empire now heavily restricts all Holonet communications and closed off many connections to help isolate worlds and control propaganda.  One of the reasons Imperial communications relays are such prime targets for the Rebel Alliance.

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Wowza, hitting all the big ones in one post eh? Bottom line is it works the way it needs to. Every time something gets written down, another source seems to contradict it. So it ends up like the force, better left unexplained.

 

Yeah, I know. I originally wanted to ask, like, 2-3 questions but then I got another, and then another, and another... You get the point. My apologies.

 

Thank you all for your advices.

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How much does fuel cost? Is that in the books somewhere?

 

How much fuel is used up in a jump?  I would assume it depends on the distance. How much fuel is used up in a jump from say... Alderaan to Nal Hutta?

 

How long is the jump from Alderaan to Nal Hutta?  Guesstimating from the hyperdrive travel time chart, pp. 246 of Edge, I'd say 8 days at x1 speed.

 

Is hyperdriving faster if you take the major routes?  Me-sa thinken so.

 

These are my questions.

Edited by RLogue177

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With Hyperspace lanes, the more frequently a route is traveled the better-charted it becomes and thus traversing it through hyperspace can be done more quickly. So yes the 5 major routes can be traversed in perhaps a couple days at the most, while the minor junctions and branches can take a week to cover just a fraction of the same distance. As I explain to my players, calculating the quickest route isn't simply finding the shortest distance but connecting the currently-fastest routes, which may go unintuitively way out of their way. The biggest limiting factor is simply how clear is the route with certainty.
 
Fuel is lumped into consumables, which if I remember Star Wars D6 highly-detailed rules from memory, averages to about 50 credits per day of travel.
 
Addendum: If I were your GM and you asked me "How long is the jump from Alderaan to Nal Hutta?" my response would go a little something like this:

 

"Well... according your nav computer (gets out copy of the Essential Atlas)... Alderaan to Commenor should ideally take a whole day, and from there this trade route will get you to Kashyyyk in about two days. Most likely you'll go straight into Hutt Space on the Ootmian Pabol, another two days so I'd say five days total by the time you reach Kwenn station. Nal Hutta should be another two days roughly. Depending on how well you can calculate the nav data available, it's looking like seven days barring any unexpected hazards or temporary shortcuts cropping up. If you want to chart the course now, go ahead and roll for Astrogation."

 

As for refueling, I'd mention that once you dock at Nal Hutta and cover docking fees you're given the offer for fuel and supply restocking, which given the Hutts' markup would be 700 credits (as GM I like to round to the nearest 50 or 100 for arithmetic simplicity), but of course haggling, finding other suppliers, or just going without topping off the tank is always an option.

Edited by Utsanomiko

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Basically let the narrative be your guide...

 

You have a lot of things that play into allowing you to customize things however your campaign suits you.

 

Example being the most basic your navcomputer, no small ships or droids navcomputer has the capacity to store astrogation data for every potential route in the galaxy, so you will periodically need to stop over at locations to acquire the most current data and allow for calculation time(legitimately from BoSS, illegitimately for a Shadowport or information broker), allow for story element time for players to stop off at locations you may want them stopping.

 

Perhaps a gravity well along another system on the route is going to require you to stop and make a new set of calculations from another point along the route.

 

The primary hyperspace lanes due to the amount they are travelled could be less apt to such delays when you are traversing them, but not necessarily immune to them completely.

 

Add onto that the odd stopover requested by Imperial customs or Bureau of Ships and Services to report on your last locations, transponder codes and cargo.

 

Then you have the odd unpredictable phenomenon like a meteor shower or star  two systems over going supernova and screwing with your astrogation calculations, or your route passes nearby a black hole.

 

A need to refuel, gain more food and water, or perhaps repair some faulty aspect of the ships life support could create a need for a stopover somewhere.

 

All of the above if your story demands it could present any delays your campaign needs, without resorting to a combat encounter via priates or Imperials and bounty hunters.

Edited by Greymere

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