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Darvain

Question about ship stealth and detection in EotE

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Posted (edited)

Good day, good sirs and madames. Excuse my manerisms, and any errors, as I'm from Russia and English is not my strong suite. 

 

I want to ask for just a bit of your time to confirm some points. Maybe not confirm. Clarify will be better word. 

 

In my first ever finished EotE adventure, my group run at overwhelming enemy firepower, while we tried to fulfill our contract to Imperial Intellegence and secure a hostage in an investigation against the local moff. Long story short, our YT-2000 was brutalized by the Gozanti light cruiser with two salvos of proton torpedoes and god only knows how many missiles. This all happened on the planet, we survived the crash (mostly) and evacuated the hostage (2/4 party members did not make it, sadly). 

 

As a result, we lost our starter ship but were payed handsomely by the II in the range of 200 000 creds plus medicals plus a shuttle to the core worlds. 

 

So here is the catch. We as we - the players and the surviving characters - feel like we had a little bit too much firepower thrown our way at the last encounter, and we decided, that we want something more humble and quiet for a while. As we checked some books for a ship, we decided to give a spin to some idea of smuggling and quiet blockade running. 

 

We sought a D-type stealth freighter from Nubia Star Drives Inc. but ran into a small problem with understanding rules and options and alternatives to this majestic ship. This ship is from Suns of Fortune p.110 and we do not have a lot of books at our table so... Here's the predicament. 

 

Sensors. 

Passives detect at listed ranges in 360 degree sphere. They give just the minimum data needed - usually they indicate the presence or lack thereof of something in space - plus minimal information, like the "rock", "ship" "planet", "debre" and so forth. Passives can be misled by static, stellar phenomenons, winds of radiation and all manner of nonsense. 

Actives gives you much more data. They indicate anything from "ship" to allowing you to scan the enemy and gather the exact data on them. Usually if you got something on your actives successfully, it IS there and you know it, no if's, or's and but's. 

 

So... As we understand sensors, let's go back to the rustbuckets. Namely the D-type stealth freighter. Ahem... 

It has "state of the art stealth system" that allows it to do two things:

1) be completely invisible on any "short or longer ranges passive sensors" as it can only be detected at close range by them. 

2) increase the difficulty of any active searches of this ship by two. 

This ship has zero hard points, as of - none. So it is like Apple - leave it or love it, no other options. Yes, you must use iTunes!

So, on paper, seldom will anyone actively ping all around them in a vast emptiness of space. Most patrols and stations rely on a mirriad of networking passive stations, long range scouts an bouys that will form a passive sensor net. If this state of the art system works as intended, then by going slow (and this ship is slooooooooow) any passive net can be navigated with patience and careful flying. But, this ship can have troubles if someone by accident throws their shoes onto the command console and the ping will light us up - 3 purples is not a lot of difficulty and it's far from safe to assume that we will remain undetected by the ping. 

 

But our party smuggler advocated, that we can have nearly the same or better effect, if we just take a YT-1300 (6 hardpoints) and stack it with Nightshadow coating (Fly Casual, p.63), Whisperthrust engine (Fly Casual p.63) and pseudo-cloaking device (Special Modifications p.66). 

This will give us:

+2 difficulty to detect from pseudo-cloaking.

+2 difficulty to detect from whisperthrust engine.

-1 range band on any passive sensors to a minimum of close one. 

And a lot of combat bonuses from mods to boot. 

We already have Nightshadow and Whisperthrust in stock on a station, thanks to our contacts in II, and our GM suggested that we can get a pseudo-cloak from them if we agree on a specific mission. 

 

This gives us a really tough time to decide which ship to pursue. We must decide before the next game, as the GM will have the narrative structured around which type of ship and upgrades we will pursue. Yes, Stealth Freighter is invisible to any passive sensors, but it has only 3 purple difficulty to be detected by any actives. So, if we can stay under the radar we are golden, but if not, it's slow and clumsy and it has no weapons, and will be found out by any dedicated ping by station or patrol boats. 

YT-1300 on the other hand will blip on passives from -1 range band, so for a lot of scouts and stations, from short range, maybe long range in some extreme scenarios, still pretty often, but when the proverbial taun taun guano will hit the proverbial fan, we will be at 5 purples to actually pinpoint and find us - even if passives will indicate that _something_ is there. If repeated actives will yield nothing, as they should at 5 purples, stations and patrols might just chuck it up to a stellar phenomenon, if we will be carefull and actually use stellar phenomenons to navigate (which we will). On top of that, 1300 will have 3 more hard points, 2 more guns stock, be faster and be more nimble. And cheaper by ~ 80 000 creds. 

 

So... Does the humble 1300 is better at stealth that, arguably, the quintessential stealth freighter? Or are we missing something here?

Does the difficulty of active detection trample any passive stealthyness? We do not know and we do not possess the quality English to understand in detail the nuances of game rules, I think. 

 

Will be really glad to hear any and all opinions. 

Cheers!

Edited by Darvain

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Greetings!

The big thing to remember is that the narrative is more important than being strict to any specific rule.

Choose the ship that will be more fun to use.

As for "sneaking" with a ship, I often call for a Piloting or Stealth check (or the lower of Piloting or Stealth) opposed by using the Computers or Perception of the observer reversed into a Difficulty.

Add Boosts or Setbacks liberally for the environment, attentiveness of the observer, Handling score of the ship, etc.

If using a ship with "stealth" that should make the check easier for the players and more difficult for the observers.

Note: You can also reverse the Skill/Difficulty and have the observer roll (i.e.: use the Player's skill as a Difficulty)

But I will point out that if the players' ship isn't at least Speed 4, there are many options that they lack.

I hope this helps and isn't too confusing!

Cheers!

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So, the real crux of it is this:

The D-type means that there are fewer instances where problems will occur, while those problems (when they occur) will be worse.
The YT means that more instances will result in you being spotted, but when spotted you will have more options available.

Really, the D-type is great for when you are doing light stealth work - smuggling and evading lightly defended and secured locations. They keep your anonymity high. The YT is better suited to military operations with stealth - it assumes that you will be going into heavily guarded areas that don't just rely on passive sensors. The D-type is great at avoiding local constabulary, while the YT build you're talking about is designed around running blockades and getting into and out of heavily guarded areas.

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6 hours ago, salamar_dree said:

But I will point out that if the players' ship isn't at least Speed 4, there are many options that they lack.

Good point, though, we are aware, that a lot of maneuvers require speed 3 or 4 from the ship - and we do not have high skilled pilot in the crew, our Smuggler is the closest one we have and he's not a Pilot. We was discussing exactly this - relying on the stealth heavily for safety. 
I will share your points with our GM as he was thinking on the stealth-sensors thing as well and he will be happy to see some ideas. Thanks for sharing!

6 hours ago, salamar_dree said:

The big thing to remember is that the narrative is more important than being strict to any specific rule.

  Yeah this I always forget - this is a narrative driven game - like a movie. I am more accustomed to more crunchy systems, where you have to squeeze hard for any bonuses, or you will drop dead. Thanks for the reminder! This is a really good point!

44 minutes ago, Kyla said:

The D-type is great at avoiding local constabulary, while the YT build you're talking about is designed around running blockades and getting into and out of heavily guarded areas.

Yes. We was planing the big heist of bacta from the local storage. It will be a blockade run - go in, land, pick up cargo from a credible source, run out. All super quick, and thru 3 stations, dozen of patrols and 2 Victory-II ISD's. We thought that stealth will be better here, but speed of 2 on the D-type is horrendous - we will not run away from anything speed 3 or more, if we do not make some sort of really crazy stunt. And we will get caught with that much active sensorage thrown our way. One or two pings WILL go through that difficulty 3. 

48 minutes ago, Kyla said:

Really, the D-type is great for when you are doing light stealth work - smuggling and evading lightly defended and secured locations. They keep your anonymity high.

Great point, thanks! This is really good argument, I will share it with my group. 

 

Thanks for the pints and suggestions and all the help! It will be a great asset and you people brought up some really good points here. 
 

Double ship setup would've saved any headaches, but we do not have any spare money here - one ship it is, either a YT series and a lot of modding, or a D-type. Thanks again, I will go now and share it with the group! But more opinions and suggestions and points is always great!

Cheers!

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Posted (edited)

Emperor Norton had some sensor rules you might be interested in. Because the RAW sensor rules are weird.  like some ships can move farther than they can see...

Edited by Daeglan

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On 6/30/2020 at 11:32 PM, Daeglan said:

Emperor Norton had some sensor rules you might be interested in. Because the RAW sensor rules are weird.  like some ships can move farther than they can see...

Thank you for the information. Sorry for the long responce time, I was away due to ********** Covid emergency, and could not access the forums (had no phone or PC). 

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