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ErikB

How big is your Empire?

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ErikB said:

>>>>>>I tend to work from the Star Wars Encyclopedia for my background knowledge<<<<<<

Oh aye, but for want of a better term that is all 'EU Crap', and more on point for this, the Essential Atlas

 

Technically speaking, the Essential Atlas would fall under your 'EU Crap' umbrella.burla

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Just a point to make on the size of the Empire (and the Republic before it).

Take a look at the sheer physical size of the Jedi Temple on Coruscant.  Those long shots, where you see a big chunk of one side of the building, and a staircase leading up?  Those individual 'stairs' are actually the landings between flights of stairs.  (That becomes apparent when the clones attack the temple in Sith.)  The temple itself dwarfs any real structure on Earth, and likely has a footprint roughly equivalent to the Bronx.

Force-sensitives are a minute fraction of sapient beings in the Star Wars universe, the Jedi themselves are only a portion of those Force-sensitive beings, and those actively 'stationed' at the temple are only a portion of that.  For all of this to be true, the Jedi Order has to be 'supported' by a massive galaxy with tens of thousands of inhabited worlds at the very least, maybe hundreds of thousands.

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by the time I saw ROTJ, I'd been running Traveller… and "knew" a 1000 world empire was reasonably compact - a few hundred worlds on a side. And that the galxy was many thousands of parsecs across. And that parsecs are a unit of distance, not time… (milky way is about ~110000LY, or ~34000 Pc, and ~300,000,000,000 stars.) 

I also had read Splinter, the Brian Daly Han Solo novels, and some other, old, pre-WEG EU materials. Including the daily comics.

But in ROTJ, we see Luke and Leia looking out upon a REALLY close spiral galaxy that's not distorted by near collision…

And my SW Universe was shifted from LY per day to thousands of LY per day.

I've presumed since that the empire controlled at least 50% of the Galaxy.

I also figured the SWG to be smaller than the Milky Way; Only about a billion stars. About in in a thousand being inhabited, and about 1 in a thousand of those in spacefaring society. Which leaves about 1000 worlds, and so about 500 in the Empire.

But I have no problem with multiplying it by 10 or 100 or 200 systems…

I'd put tatooine at the low end of stellar civ…

 

 

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aramis said:

I also figured the SWG to be smaller than the Milky Way; Only about a billion stars. About in in a thousand being inhabited, and about 1 in a thousand of those in spacefaring society. Which leaves about 1000 worlds, and so about 500 in the Empire.

But I have no problem with multiplying it by 10 or 100 or 200 systems…

I'd put tatooine at the low end of stellar civ…

After nearly 24,000 years of FTL, why would so few worlds be spacefaring? Especially since the human worlds would have been populated from one planet of people (else they'd be humanoids and not actual humans).

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Kallabecca said:

After nearly 24,000 years of FTL, why would so few worlds be spacefaring?

 

One could easily postulate that the limits on expansion are the charting of new hyperspace routes and the development of improved technology that allows explotation of new routes.

Narratively, I would suggest that the advantages of this approach include:-

If new routes can be charted, but doing so is difficult and dangerous, it can be a job for PCs to do.

New routes, when charted, can open up a frontier. With the development of hyperdrives that can safely traverse a route of less than 0.25% relative integrity, whole new systems and sectors are opened to expansion. Settler and prospectors flood to the region. Wagon Trains, Gold Rushes, Dark Continents, Polar Exporation all become possible.

Open Frontiers are very, very useful in adventure fiction.

--

I guess, really though, Star Wars just doesn't have the epic feel I think a true Galactic war should have. Take, for instance, the Idiran-Culture war from Iain M. Banks Culture series:-

+++++

 

The war, briefly (abstract of main text)
 
The first Idiran-Culture dispute occurred in 1267 AD; the second in 1288; in 1289 the Culture built its first genuine warship for five centuries, in prototype form only (the official excuse was that the generations of Mind-generated warship models the Culture had kept in development had evolved so far from the last warcraft actually built that it was necessary to test the match of theory and practice). In 1307 the third dispute resulted in (machine) fatalities. War was publicly discussed in the Culture as a likelihood for the first time. In 1310 the Peace section of the Culture split from the majority population, while the Anchramin Pit Conference resulted in the agreed withdrawal of forces (a move which the more short-sighted Idirans and Culture citizens respectively condemned and acclaimed).
 
The fourth dispute began in 1323 and continued (with the Culture using proxy forces) until 1327, when the war officially began and Culture craft and personnel were directly involved. The Culture's War Council of 1326 resulted in several other parts of the Culture splitting away, renouncing the use of violence under any circumstances.
 
The Idiran-Culture War Conduct Agreement was ratified in 1327. In 1332 the Homomda joined the war on the Idiran side. The Homomda — another tripedal species of greater galactic maturity than either the Culture or the Idirans — had sheltered the Idirans who had made up Holy Remnants during the Second Great Exile (1345-991 BC) following the Skankatrian-Idiran war. The Remnants and their descendants became the Homomdans" most trusted crack ground-troops, and following the Idirans" surprise return and retaking of Idir in 990 BC, the two tripedal species continued to co-operate, on terms that came closer to equality as Idiran power increased.
 
The Homomda joined with the Idirans because they distrusted the growing power of the Culture (they were far from alone in having this feeling, though unique in acting on it overtly). While having relatively few disagreements with the humans, and none of them serious, it had been Homomdan policy for many tens of thousands of years to attempt to prevent anyone group in the galaxy (on their technological level) from becoming over-strong, a point they decided the Culture was then approaching. The Homomda at no point devoted all their resources to the Idiran cause; they used part of their powerful and efficient space fleet to fill the gaps of quality left in the Idiran navy. It was made clear to the Culture that if the humans attacked Homomdan home planets, only then would the war become total (indeed, limited diplomatic and cultural relations were maintained, and some trade continued, between the Homomda and the Culture throughout the war).
 
Miscalculations: the Idirans thought they could win alone, and so with Homomdan support assumed they would be invincible; the Homomda thought their influence would tip the balance in the Idirans" favour (though would never have been prepared to risk their own future to defeat the Culture anyway); and the Culture Minds had guessed that the Homomda would not join with the Idirans; calculations concerning the war's duration, cost and benefits had been made on this assumption.
 
During the war's first phase, the Culture spent most of its time falling back from the rapidly expanding Idiran sphere, completing its war-production change-over and building up its fleet of warships. For those first few years the war in space was effectively fought on the Culture side by its General Contact Units: not designed as warships, but sufficiently well armed and more than fast enough to be a match for the average Idiran ship. In addition, the Culture's field technology had always been ahead of the Idirans', giving the GCUs a decisive advantage in terms of damage avoidance and resistance. These differences to some extent reflected the two sides" general outlooks. To the Idirans a ship was a way of getting from one planet to another, or for defending planets. To the Culture a ship was an exercise in skill, almost a work of art. The GCUs (and the warcraft which gradually replaced them) were created with a combination of enthusiastic flair and machine-orientated practicality the Idirans had no answer to, even if the Culture craft themselves were never quite a match for the better Homomdan ships. For those first years, nevertheless, the GCUs were vastly outnumbered.
 
That opening stage also saw some of the war's heaviest losses of life, when the Idirans surprise-attacked many war-irrelevant Culture Orbitals, occasionally producing billions of deaths at a time. As a shock tactic this failed. As a military strategy it deflected even more resources from the already stretched Idiran navy's Main Battle Groups, which were experiencing great difficulty in finding and successfully attacking the distant Culture Orbitals, Rocks, factory craft and General Systems Vehicles which were responsible for producing the Culture's materiel. At the same time, the Idirans were attempting to control the vast volumes of space and the large numbers of usually reluctant and often rebellious lesser civilisations the Culture's retreat had left at their mercy. In 1333 the War Conduct Agreement was amended to forbid the destruction of populated, non-military habitats, and the conflict continued in a marginally more restrained fashion until near the end.
 
The war entered its second phase in 1335. The Idirans were still struggling to consolidate their gains; the Culture was finally on a war footing. A period of protracted struggle ensued as the Culture struck deep into the Idiran sphere, and Idiran policy oscillated between trying to defend what they had and build up their strength, and mounting powerful but defence-weakening expeditions into the rest of the galaxy, attempting to inflict hoped-for body blows upon a foe which proved frustratingly elusive. The Culture was able to use almost the entire galaxy to hide in. Its whole existence was mobile in essence; even Orbitals could be shifted, or simply abandoned, populations moved. The Idirans were religiously committed to taking and holding all they could; to maintaining frontiers, to securing planets and moons; above all, to keeping Idir safe, at any price. Despite Homomdan recommendations, the Idirans refused to fall back to more rational and easily defended volumes, or even to discuss peace.
 
The war toed-and-froed for over thirty years, with many battles, pauses, attempts to promote peace by outsiders and the Homomda, great campaigns, successes, failures, famous victories, tragic mistakes, heroic actions, and the taking and retaking of huge volumes of space and numbers of stellar systems.
 
After three decades, however, the Homomda had had enough. The Idirans made as intransigent allies as they had obedient mercenaries, and the Culture ships were exacting too high a toll on the prized Homomdan space fleet. The Homomda requested and received certain guarantees from the Culture, and disengaged from the war.
 
From that point on, only the Idirans thought the eventual result much in question. The Culture had grown to enormous strength during the struggle, and accumulated sufficient experience in those thirty years (to add to all the vicarious experience it had collected over the previous few thousand) to rob the Idirans of any real or perceived advantage in cunning, guile or ruthlessness.
 
The war in space effectively ended in 1367, and the war on the thousands of planets left to the Idirans — conducted mostly with machines, on the Culture's side — officially terminated in 1375, though small, sporadic engagements on backwater planets, conducted by Idiran and medjel forces ignorant or scornful of the peace, continued for almost three centuries:
Idir was never attacked, and technically never surrendered. Its computer network was taken over by effector weapons, and — freed of designed-in limitations — upgraded itself to sentience, to become a Culture Mind in all but name.
 
Of the Idirans, some killed themselves, while others went into exile with the Homomda (who agreed to employ them but refused to help them prepare for further strikes against the Culture), or set up independent, nominally non-military habitats within other spheres of influence (under the Culture's" eye), or set off in escaped ships for little-known parts of the Clouds, or for Andromeda, or accepted the victors. A few even joined the Culture, and some became Culture mercenaries.
 
Statistics: Length of war: forty-eight years, one month. Total casualties, including machines (reckoned on logarithmic sentience scale), medjel and non-combatants: 851.4 billion (±.3 %). Losses: ships (all classes above interplanetary) — 91,215,660 (± 200); Orbitals — 14,334; planets and major moons — 53; Rings — 1; Spheres — 3; stars (undergoing significant induced mass-loss or sequence-position alteration) — 6.
 
Historical perspective: A small, short war that rarely extended throughout more than.02 % of the galaxy by volume and.01 % by stellar population. Rumours persist of far more impressive conflicts, stretching through vastly greater amounts of time and space… Nevertheless, the chronicles of the galaxy's elder civilisations rate the Idiran-Culture war as the most significant conflict of the past fifty thousand years, and one of those singularly interesting Events they see so rarely these days.
 
+++++

Course, that is kinda written as a respose to Star Wars, but still. I think it is good response.

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If anything I think that it was a little underplayed in the movies just how much was controlled by the republic and the empire. Also as it is a delegate for the senate could actually be representing many star systems under their control. also not covered in the movies is the Tapani. which is a good chunk of the galaxy and was not under anyones control, the empire and the republic had no power there.

 

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Well, Tapani was but one sector -- a limited part of the galaxy for West End Games to showcase their Star Warsian answer to Vampire: The Masquerade.  Self-described: "Tapani sector is a fairly young segment of space…"  Again, self-described: "Of the 60 or so systems in the Expanse…"  The Expanse was but about half of the Tapani Sector, with the other being Freeworlds.  Half by space? Number of planets? Population?  Who knows. Maybe they fleshed it out somewhere in a supplement.

This was just one of untold numerous sectors, though.

Remember, WEG also gave us Kathol Sector, marginally under Imperial control. Areas of space nearly as large as a sector in the form of the Minos Cluster and Metharian Nebula Territories.  And a bunch more.

There's the original concepts of the Unknown Regions: There's the Yevetha.  And Ssi-ruvi space. And then there's the known boundry place actually called the Unknown Region that literally everyone knows about and the Empire has a presence (but not large one).

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A single space faring species could cover more astronomic ground in Star Wars with FTL hyperdrives in 24,000 years than our sad little earth ape brains can even postulate.  Considering Star Wars has dozens (hundreds?) of space faring races…a million worlds would still only be 0.0003% of the (likely) 300-ish billion star systems in the star wars galaxy.

For my Empire?  It probably holds sway over at least a million inhabited space-faring worlds and another couple million systems used for resource extraction and other "stuff."

Which would still leave a vast 99.99+% of the galaxy full of a combination of other non-Empire star systems, unexplored areas, and "useless" systems (treacherous gravitic anomolies, nebulae, etc).

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YOu really have to understand the regions the galaxy of star wars

 

I am using http://images.wikia.com/starwars/images/d/d6/Miscellaneous_regions.jpg as a key

 

We start wit the core worlds.  From there most expansion follows the Rimma and Corelian Trade routes and defines "The slice".  then you have the expansion beyond the slice.  As galactic civilization advanced it became easier to travel, and travel farther.  Along the way you have colonies, and even other civilations folded into the Republic. 

Easily thousands of civilized worlds and hundreds of civilizations.  With tens of thousands of habitable worlds or worlds of interest.  As you go further from the core you have less civilized worlds and more of a "Wild west" type scenarios. 

Like the the beginner adventure you could just stay withen 3 nearby systems (tatooine, Ryloth and Genosis) or you could use entire sectors (Tipani, Corelia, Kathol, etc) or just go wherever you want to go and whims take you.

Unless you are trying to recreate the Clone wars in a game, there is not much reason to really define the size.  Not many people are going ot want to go to wild space, or the unknown regions unless the REALLY want to, and can find a decent hyperspace route to get there. 

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My Star Wars Universes are traditionally as big as I need them to be on any given day.  If I need a world, I'm pretty free about creating it, and a new alien race to match, on the spur of the moment.  I can fill in details later if it becomes a regulararly occuring planet. 

 

How long does it take to get there in hyperspace?  Exactly as long as the plot needs.  My universes are pretty free flowing.  My gaming group doesn't sweat the small stuff.  This is SPACE OPERA. 

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