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Grogmonster

How many navigators on a ship?

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How many navigators on a ship?

 

last week my group had the talk about how many navigators there are on a ship and none of us had the answer I feel that a ship would have somewhere between 3 and 5 navigators on ship since I couldn't see someone staying awake and guiding a ship during an entire trip though the warp. Do any of you know how many navigators are usually on a ship?

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It greatly depends. A ship will have one Warp Guide, or Navis Primaris, who will indeed guide vessels throughout a journey (they be mutants) but perhaps a small cabal of spare or inexperienced Navigators may also share his or her dome. A small Free or Chartist captain may have one, or none; a Naval warship will probably have a couple.

 

It's up to you really - I have no PC Navigator so I can handwave it as needed; ErrantKnight allows a number of Navigators equal to (PF/10).

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In general, one, since their services are very expensive and must be procured from their House - and every extra it gives you is one less whose services it can sell someone else. When it is important enough, you may have a pair, or more likely a primaris navigator with an "understudy" who aids her or his senior and may have to take over if the other one gets indisposed. 

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In my games I consider the navigator has 2 apprentices. Each using the Navigator sheet but with -10 on each Characteristic and without any +10, +20 etc...

During more calm portions of warp travel, they take over while the Navigator rests his mind and gets some free time to do something else other than roll Navigation (Warp).

They can also be used to navigate prize-ships back to Footfall if the route is well cataloged and stable behind them.

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I considered it a "Court" myself - with a Senior Navigator and his/her subjects who are full fledged Navigators but are still apprenticed to the main one...

 

Guild structure is just that - Masters and their apprentices - so I went with that.

 

Numbers wise - I actually left it up to my players to either "take what you get as it" or "make your Navigation" situation better in terms of numbers and quality of the staff therein. So in essence at the start of the campaign if players were happy not to play the Nav and just opted to leave it to NPCs things started off at 30% Competency Rating - that in itself has spurred action from the players in order to improve said Navigators aboard.

 

Go get more or another Navigator = ONE SINGLE ADVENTURE

 

Hope that helps some

 

Morbid

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I can't imagine a single Navigator being enough, unless you think that warp jumps are short with a lot of time between them to allow for that single Navigator to sleep.  It might be fun, though, to addict a PC Navigator to some fatigue reducing drugs, all while making them choose between making better time at the cost of fatigue and accuracy or using their powers, many of which cost fatigue.  My devilish side could make this really tough on the players.

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It might lack some grimdark, but I imagine it has to at least be 4-6. One might do a lot, the second be for tail ends of extremely long warp voyages, and the rest are "just because", or if the first ones get incapacitated. Plenty of ships get lost, and are never seen again, but it seems unlikely that so few do if all they need happen is lose one Navigator, and they're stranded.

 

On the plus side, unless I'm missing something, the Navigator(s) should have plenty of time to rest after. One supposes the Captain, or the players looking at numbers, have to decide how long is good to stay in the Warp, and when one should drop out, open the shutters, let the crew breathe a sigh of relief, and get the Navigator a drink, before they re-plot, button up the ship, and dive back into the Sea of Souls, to decide how long exhaustion should take to set in, even on the least demanding long trips. It might be a week(s) long voyage from system edge to the place you are probably going, at sublight, and depending on where you are going, you might wait days to a week to load up cargo/supplies/ratings. In my story, the Passage of Judgment has four on board. Asteira, being its main female protagonist, is rounding out her navigating and diplomatic educations, while under the tutelage of her father, Novator Daedalus Volaris. He is ridiculously competent, but doesn't take the tank often, on account of mostly being observational. They brought two other House Volaris Navigators along, both for aide, and because family brings family. They also have three Psylakis Warders with them, and a coterie of hangers-on, since they are a Noble House, of one fashion. Needless to say, Lord-Admiral Korvallus spends a lot of money for all of this, but House Volaris and the Silver Ravens Dynasty have been very good for each other for the last 100+ years, so certain expenses are just seen as "part of doing good business." As for the trips to/from edge to planet/station, this gives Asteira copious amounts of time to lounge about, and get to know the various crew members, and other people they meet in ports, which is the other half of her job.

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In general, one, since their services are very expensive and must be procured from their House - and every extra it gives you is one less whose services it can sell someone else. When it is important enough, you may have a pair, or more likely a primaris navigator with an "understudy" who aids her or his senior and may have to take over if the other one gets indisposed. 

 

Navis Primer page 7:

 

"Also numbered among the crew of any significantly sized voidship is a cabal of Navigators, the senior among them known as the Navigator Primaris, or Warp Guide. So exacting is the process of steering a vessel through the Warp for any length of time, especially beyond the relatively well known, if still perilous, routes within Imperial space, that no single individual is equal to the task. Instead, the Warp Guide undertakes the most dangerous portions of the voyage, such as the transition to and from the Warp as well as the navigation of particularly tumultuous regions withing the Sea of Souls."

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"Also numbered among the crew of any significantly sized voidship is a cabal of Navigators, the senior among them known as the Navigator Primaris, or Warp Guide. So exacting is the process of steering a vessel through the Warp for any length of time, especially beyond the relatively well known, if still perilous, routes within Imperial space, that no single individual is equal to the task. Instead, the Warp Guide undertakes the most dangerous portions of the voyage, such as the transition to and from the Warp as well as the navigation of particularly tumultuous regions withing the Sea of Souls."

 

 

Alright, sounds good - I was thinking of something like that, but I could not find it and did not want to throw dozens of navigators everywhere :) . This also makes it a bit more understandable why a Rogue Trader would allow a Navigator to ever go out of their secure chambers and risk her/his life. 

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This also makes it a bit more understandable why a Rogue Trader would allow a Navigator to ever go out of their secure chambers and risk her/his life. 

 

 

I always accepted it as kind of a throwback to the old Star Trek mentality.  "Well, we've got this potentially dangerous planet that we need to explore.  I've got hundreds of people under my command, but I think I'll go down myself... and take my accountant... and my best helmsman... and my chief engineer... and my only means of getting through the Warp... and the only person who can call outside of the system for help.  What could possibly go wrong?"

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At least Starfleet people were usually trustworthy; if you send other people down, that's other people who know what they saw, and who might not know how to shut it when next you pull in for shore leave. There might be many faceless souls aboard the RT's ship, but the chief crew, what the players make, is supposed to be individuals who are close to the RT, handpicked by them, or their predecessors, to stand above the "average" ____________, and be treated as friends/equals. Besides, despite the books sometimes not taking into account how badass you have all become, minusing yourselves, how many "any roll that isn't a crit fail is 3+ degrees of success" people do you have on that ship? Sometimes, you do just need to send the very best, be you the great diplomat/first contact consul (Picard), the machine that can out think everyone down there (Data), or whatever. I, too, can imagine numerous scenarios where bringing the Astropath Transcendent, the Navigator Prime, or possibly the Chief Explorator seems weird, pointless, and even risky, but if those are the players...and, if the captain can't ask anyone else to do what he's not willing, he'll be damned if he's not taking them along, while he proves it.

 

And, if you are still worried, Picard and crew did frequently take down redshirts, so if someone did have to die, it could be a nobody. Just do that. ;)

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I can't imagine a single Navigator being enough, unless you think that warp jumps are short with a lot of time between them to allow for that single Navigator to sleep.

 

It depends on how you imagine an average workday of a Navigator -- in GW's own material, Navigators are effectively locked away into stasis cells (the 5E rulebook has a nice short story about this on page 147), and entirely in trance when they steer a ship through the Warp. I consider it possible that under these circumstances, such a semi-lucid Navigator could indeed operate for weeks without leaving his or her post. The Navis Nobilite article for Inquisitor at least only mentions one Navigator per ship.

 

It's quite possibly FFG deviated from this for the benefit of the player (as they did on other topics before), both to make a Navigator "more mobile" and allow for more interaction with the rest of the crew, as well as to give a PC Navigator their own department to manage, similar to how the Astropath, the Seneshal, the Militant, the Tech-Priest and the Cleric are also likely to have a posse of underlings, just like the Rogue Trader has the players.

 

One of the downsides is, of course, that Navigators as a whole become far more common.

 

On the upside, however, the political bickering between members of a Navigator House stuck on the same ship could potentially make for an interesting sub-plot!

Edited by Lynata

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