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I had something interesting happen recently in a game I was running. The PCs were the crew of a patrol boat/cargo lifter ship and were in the employ of a trader who owns a docking bay and a few other businesses. The docking bay was located in a fringe settlement that also had spaceport facilities, with the individual bays and their repair services being largely owned by locals. 

I was doing a sort of variation on the Yojimbo story for one of the threads as two gangs who had come into the town  interact with a mysterious stranger. The player who is the pilot of the group decided that rather than allow the gangs to fight it out he would get in the ship and turn the laser cannons on both gangs. 

I should have foreseen this, but I didn't lol. 

The players shot up both gangs, who scattered like roaches. They also tore up a building and some of the street.

And then it hit me that I had never thought about the fact that these spaceports have armed craft coming in and out of them while flying over a population center. What would happen if Han turned the Falcon's guns on hoodlums in Mos Eisley? 

I had always thought of spaceports a bit like airports, but you have ships coming and going with seriously destructive armaments on them. 

The settlement in my game was supposed to be a bit like an old west town, and the Empire and even Planetary Government forces were not a presence I had wanted to have around as it was a backwater settlement on Ord Mantell. My immediate ideas for response were:

  • Anti-Ship Defense Gun Emplacements
  • Patrol Airspeeders from a nearby station
  • A Bounty placed on the ship and characters

In the end I had their employer tell them to take the ship and leave the system, and I gave them a Debt obligation for value of the ship to be paid to an agent of the Trader in the Outer Rim. 

For future situations I realized that I need a variety of ways that such a municipality would deal with pilots who turn the guns from their vessels on the town, to include places that might not be prepared at all. How do you address this situation, if at all? I normally don't like a ton of detailing of the everyday information in the Galaxy but this was too big to ignore. I have solved that particular situation to my satisfaction in this game, but I am thinking about the future now. 

Any ideas would be great, thank you 🙂

 

 

 

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Just shooting some spaceport up with your ship should in any case result in a Debt / Bounty Obligation, not mentioning any security forces will probably respond in kind to such acts.

Regarding Anti-Ship Defense Emplacements: I'd guess that would depend on the Space Port or even Planet in question. 
Mos Eisley would probably not have these, its a backwater town (and neither would most Space Ports on Tatooine, maybe except for Jabba's Palace).

On a more advanced Planet, why not have some Ion Cannon Batteries emplaced ? 

The other thing is: Defense / Security Forces are likely to have fighters. 
Again for the Tatooine example (except Jabba's Palace) maybe not going to be a thing, but oh well.
For most Space Ports, there's probably some kind of security force in place (or atleast for the city the space port is located at) which will probably scramble fighters on anyone just deciding to go murder hobo in their ship 😉 

And the last thing I can think of is: Ground Troops (and this can even be gangs and the sort) even if a Space Port does not have defenses or anti-ship security, odds are some gang or merc's are hired for protection and why shouldn't those carry some Flechette Launchers (Anti-Vehicle) or even better an RPS-6 Rocket Launcher with them since they might end up dealing with ships? 
It's not a great threat, but it will be some opposition and in addition to the fact that people can take cover while the ship probably only stands / hovers will make this a less attractive option.

 

At least that would be my way of handling it.

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Yeah, there was a thread on this in the subreddit a few weeks back, then another just a few days ago aptly titled along the lines of "ship-camping." Definitely something on my mind whenever there's going to be tension on the 'Rim.

Let's acknowledge that it's a practical choice. Even if precision isn't possible it keeps heads down. So you don't want to totally remove that logical resort from players, if for no other reason than it undermines seamlessness of the game world.

But, yeah. It's an issue. So, any reasonably civilized and populated place will have anti-air countermeasures sufficient to prevent a random madman from shooting up the place all afternoon. Laser and ion cannons, tow cables, missiles that are awfully easy to field for their destructive power. Get only a little more sophisticated and you have patrols and response craft -- where the assumption should be that the ship will go down. 

On the fringe, though, it's challenging. Typically I use anti-air, earthworks and basic but sufficient defensive measures -- cues to players that it's not as easy as bombarding from the sky.

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