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# Hyperspace, how does it work?

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I was replying to the "cargo hold full of water" idea that I quoted.

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The reason they tow an object there instead of using their larger sihps as the mass shadow is because you want the target pulled out and facing a giant wall, and you want to be in an attack position behind them. If you are the object pulling them out, then you'll be on more or less equal footing with the target. Plus you don't risk getting rammed that way.

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The reason they tow an object there instead of using their larger sihps as the mass shadow is because you want the target pulled out and facing a giant wall, and you want to be in an attack position behind them. If you are the object pulling them out, then you'll be on more or less equal footing with the target. Plus you don't risk getting rammed that way.

Not necessarily. The target could be pulled out of hyperspace at any point in the hemisphere of your mass object that passes through their space. So they could appear nearly above or below it.

Unless you have something like the Interdictor's gravity well generators, then no ship in the path would pull anyone out of hyperspace.

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The reason they tow an object there instead of using their larger sihps as the mass shadow is because you want the target pulled out and facing a giant wall, and you want to be in an attack position behind them. If you are the object pulling them out, then you'll be on more or less equal footing with the target. Plus you don't risk getting rammed that way.

Not necessarily. The target could be pulled out of hyperspace at any point in the hemisphere of your mass object that passes through their space. So they could appear nearly above or below it.

Unless you have something like the Interdictor's gravity well generators, then no ship in the path would pull anyone out of hyperspace.

Sure. But I assume the lanes have some sort of coordinate system that keeps the rimward traffic from potentially colliding into the coreward traffic, probably one side travels just above the galactic plane, and one just below, or some such. So this means you can determine which hemisphere of the object the ship will come out in. Same with the interdictors, they'd have no idea which direction to aim their fields if they might be grabbing ships traveling from behind them). So with that assumption, be it behind, above, or below the asteroid, you can still position your ships both above and below the asteroid to ensure youll get a shot while they are making vigilance checks (which, unless they are actually in the cockpit when it happens, means they'd still have to run up to the cockpit and man the guns anyway). Besides, appearing on the far side of the asteroid on a situation like that is likely the result of a triumph for the players or despair for the pirates, since it negates the ambush element of their plan.

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My point is that if you're going to accept the existence of the EU in your game, backup hyperdrives are official canon. If you're only basing your game on the movies, then you can do whatever you please.

Just to clear this point up a bit - you can do whatever you please, period. Whether or not you base your canon on any source or not. Make it your own. Eliminate the things you don't like, use the things you do. Who cares what others consider "canon"?

• Don't want an entire Empire being brought down by teddy bears? Forget about it.

• Like the idea of Grand Admiral Thrawn and the Chiss? By all means incorporate it.

• If you say the Millenium Falcon got to Bespin on sublight and eschew "backup drives" - go right ahead. After all Star Wars doesn't follow the laws of astrophysics unless it's convenient to the narrative or experience.

Don't let anyone but you and your players decide what's canon (or truth) for your game.

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My point is that if you're going to accept the existence of the EU in your game, backup hyperdrives are official canon. If you're only basing your game on the movies, then you can do whatever you please.

Just to clear this point up a bit - you can do whatever you please, period. Whether or not you base your canon on any source or not. Make it your own. Eliminate the things you don't like, use the things you do. Who cares what others consider "canon"?

• Don't want an entire Empire being brought down by teddy bears? Forget about it.

• Like the idea of Grand Admiral Thrawn and the Chiss? By all means incorporate it.

• If you say the Millenium Falcon got to Bespin on sublight and eschew "backup drives" - go right ahead. After all Star Wars doesn't follow the laws of astrophysics unless it's convenient to the narrative or experience.

Don't let anyone but you and your players decide what's canon (or truth) for your game.

That is a great sentiment, but the OP asked how it works, so it was explained how it works in the EU, since the films don't address this point quite as specifically. Also, consider that the supplements themselves are the same third tier of non-film canon as the WEG books are, and their supplements are being sent in for approval and required to adhere to the existing EU canon. So while you CAN and SHOULD run your game in any way that makes you and your players happy, the books themselves are a part of the EU, and are being written from the position that everything in that third tier or higher "counts".

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If that's the sort of game you want to run, go right ahead.

If I want to run a cinematic game to capture the feel of the movies, I am just going to say "You limp to Bespin. It takes a while." No definite timeframe, no explanations of additional technology - just pure narrative that even sets up why the Imperials and Bounty Hunters are there ahead of you and had time to lay a trap.

That's how my hyperdrives work.

Edited by mrvander

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While ultimately it is up to the GM to choose how things "work" in the game, when it comes to Hyperdrive, EotE presupposes the EU idea of the backup hyperdrive. Almost all of the starships in the Core Rulebook that have Hyperdrive have a backup HD unit.

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I posted this in another post but...

Hi people!

Sorry for this new instrusion. But, what do you think about this?

An example of this is the journey from Coruscant to Alderaan. In terms of distance, Alderaan was situated close to Coruscant—the former at approximately 5,000 light years from the Core, the latter at approximately 10,000.[7] However, during the Imperial era, such a journey required roughly sixteen hours of travel due to a section of the route passing through a part of the largely-uncharted Deep Core, where navigation was difficult as a result of the gravity wells produced by the congregation of stars.[8] Ironically, then, it was actually faster to get from Tatooine to Alderaan on the other side of the galaxy. In some cases, intragalactic travels could take days, depending on the distance between two planets and the obstacles between.

In general therms... maybe time would be a basic distance reference but the main amount of time is based on Setbacks due to hazards?

Suggestions?

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and given as any ship with a Hyperspace drive can simply jump, how do pursuits work?

Most pursuits in Star Wars assume that the ship being pursued either:

1. Can't jump into hyperspace because of mechanical problems. (Broken Hyperdrive)

2. Is being held in realspace by something. (Tractor Beam)

3. Doesn't posses a hyperdrive.

4. Is unwilling to jump because of plot reasons.

5. Is too close to a planet, interdictor, or other mass shadow.

In the latter situation, the "pursuit" is a race to get far enough away from the mass shadow to jump.

Jshock and cvtheoman like this

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So the Falcon using a backp hyperdrive is speculation bases on WEG SW?

That's not how I would put it. Keep in mind how canon works in Star Wars. At the top are the movies. They trump everything. As far as I'm aware they never mention backup hyperdrives, so if the movies are all you want to consider for Star Wars, any theory of yours is perfectly valid.

The second tier of canon consists of official TV shows, most notably the Clone Wars cartoon. As far as I'm aware backup hyperdrives are never mentioned here either.

The third tier becomes more interesting. This is where the EU is introduced. The EU, to a large degree grew out of the West End Games RPG. The RPG was so thorough and so popular that Star Wars authors used it as a reference. As a result, you can consider the West End books to be a kind of lexicon to the EU, the innermost source so to speak. They are the first source to mention backup hyperdrives, and just about every ship has one. As far as EU sources go, this is as official as it gets, and it's certainly not speculation. If you want to dig up the source yourself, Wookieepedia refers to Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game, First Edition pages 54-58 when talking about backup hyperdrives.

For the record, there are two more tiers of canon below EU. These are (in order of importance, high to low) secondary canon (stuff like Star Wars Galaxies and the Old Republic MMO) and finally non-canon (such as Han Solo dancing in the Star Wars Kinect game for Xbox 360).

You read Disney is redefining canon and what will and won't be included correct?

http://www.geek.com/news/disney-appoints-committee-to-determine-new-official-star-wars-canon-1581803/

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So, I'm wondering how the Empire or anyone else maintains control of space, given the realities of Hyperspace...

Are ships in Hyperspace detectable?

Are they interceptable (short of having a deployable sun)?

and given as any ship with a Hyperspace drive can simply jump, how do pursuits work?

Beyond discussions of canon, in terms of how they control space, the short answer is that in the big nothing in between systems they don't.  They do what navies do on Earth's oceans.  They control choke points of navigation and reasonable places people would want to go.

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So the Falcon using a backp hyperdrive is speculation bases on WEG SW?

That's not how I would put it. Keep in mind how canon works in Star Wars. At the top are the movies. They trump everything. As far as I'm aware they never mention backup hyperdrives, so if the movies are all you want to consider for Star Wars, any theory of yours is perfectly valid.

The second tier of canon consists of official TV shows, most notably the Clone Wars cartoon. As far as I'm aware backup hyperdrives are never mentioned here either.

The third tier becomes more interesting. This is where the EU is introduced. The EU, to a large degree grew out of the West End Games RPG. The RPG was so thorough and so popular that Star Wars authors used it as a reference. As a result, you can consider the West End books to be a kind of lexicon to the EU, the innermost source so to speak. They are the first source to mention backup hyperdrives, and just about every ship has one. As far as EU sources go, this is as official as it gets, and it's certainly not speculation. If you want to dig up the source yourself, Wookieepedia refers to Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game, First Edition pages 54-58 when talking about backup hyperdrives.

For the record, there are two more tiers of canon below EU. These are (in order of importance, high to low) secondary canon (stuff like Star Wars Galaxies and the Old Republic MMO) and finally non-canon (such as Han Solo dancing in the Star Wars Kinect game for Xbox 360).

You read Disney is redefining canon and what will and won't be included correct?

http://www.geek.com/news/disney-appoints-committee-to-determine-new-official-star-wars-canon-1581803/

No, but thanks for posting that! I think this is good news. The previous canon tiers worked well until the release of the prequels, at which point things got confusing since things that were considered canon at the third tier now suddenly was turned non-canon at any tier. This will only get worse with the new movies, which are likely to de-canonize almost everything we know from the Expanded Universe, at least the parts set after Episode 6.

A stricter, more official and unified canon is going to make the Star Wars universe easier to understand and catalog, and it will render discussions like these moot.

Of course, these changes will anger a lot of Star Wars geeks, but that's their problem.

Edited by TiLT

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In all fairness the prequels only caused minor issues with the EU which a few retrocons dealt with easily.

Jedi aren't supposed to marry but some had kids? They either did so secretly like Anakin did or were parts of rogue Jedi groups that ignored the current rules of the main order.

Someone who was on the side of the Republic during the Clone Wars remembers fighting clones despite the republic army using clones? The CIS tried to form their own Clone Army and he fought that one.

Mon Calamari showing u when the EU said that their first contact with the Galaxy was during the Galactic Empire's reign? That was actually Imperial propoganda trying to rewrite history and they ad really been part of the Republic for thousands of years pre-Empire.

Someone remembers being in the Republic Navy pre-Military creation act? They were actually part of the Judical forces which were the closest thing the Republic had to a unified military pre-act, or perhaps one of the planetary or sector defense forces that existed pre-Act (And honestly the whole no Republic Military pre-Clone Wars idea was IMO utterly insane.

It was only when the second Clone Wars series came out that things became irreconcilable.

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It's also mentioned in the Essential Atlas and a ton of other sources, see the bottom of this page: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Hyperdrive

SW Essential Atlas, great book to use as reference for EoE games:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0345477642/ref=oh_details_o01_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Edited by jburgos

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So, I'm wondering how the Empire or anyone else maintains control of space, given the realities of Hyperspace...

Are ships in Hyperspace detectable?

Are they interceptable (short of having a deployable sun)?

and given as any ship with a Hyperspace drive can simply jump, how do pursuits work?

I'd recommend looking on Wookieepedia for the details on hyperspace, but to answer your questions more generally:

Ships in hyperspace can't be detected, but hyperspace signatures can, so you can see where a ship has jumped and try to guess where it's jumped too (this is why, when trying to escape, ships will often plot a short jump, drop out of hyperspace, then make another jump or series of jumps before heading toward their real destination).

There are also Interdictor ships that the Empire (and other entities) use to pull ships out of hyperspace; basically, it creates a giant mass shadow to force a ship's failsafes to kick in and drop out of hyperspace--basically tricking the ship into thinking it's going to hit a sun or something so that it forces a stop.

Ships in hyperspace can be detected. You see it in Return of the Jedi

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As a further note, many systems/planets have designated approach lanes or sectors for incoming ships dropping from hyperspace--usually somewhere far enough away from heavy traffic areas as to not run into sub-light traffic in the area, and obviously outside the mass shadow of the planet(s), but often also somewhere that has a strategic defense of some sort (could be a defense platform in orbit, turbolaser emplacements on a nearby moon or asteroids, or a pocket within an asteroid field, etc...). Entering from a non-sanctioned location may result in fines, or even immediate military action (them disabling or destroying your ship).

This also means that foes who want to lay a trap can set up ships at that jump in point to intercept. Normally, when ships come out of hyperspace their weapons and shields aren't powered up, which makes them easy targets. Savvy smugglers or agents may anticipate such a move and take precautionary measures.

Starship chases will often occur in atmosphere or in a mass shadow where jumping is impossible, or when there's a reason to not jump, such as not wanting to leave someone or something behind, though, often, the better strategy is to make a short jump away, turn around, and jump back to another point. Remember that most of the chases in the original Star Wars films were due to the hyperdrive of the Millennium Falcon being non-functional (damaged from a shot, equipment failure due to all the jury-rigging Han and Chewie did on the thing, or sabotage).

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Didn't think this was thread-worthy, so I'll ask here.

Hypothetical:  You have an adventure that involves a shipboard incident during the "6-12 hours" it takes to fly, sublight, from one planet to another in a system.

What is to stop the players leaving planet A, making a micro-jump (maybe half a light year) into deep space, then jumping straight back to planet B, a trip taking a few minutes or so?

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Didn't think this was thread-worthy, so I'll ask here.

Hypothetical:  You have an adventure that involves a shipboard incident during the "6-12 hours" it takes to fly, sublight, from one planet to another in a system.

What is to stop the players leaving planet A, making a micro-jump (maybe half a light year) into deep space, then jumping straight back to planet B, a trip taking a few minutes or so?

Let's get this straight:

You wrote this super cool adventure for your players, but the hyperdrive element of Star Wars is preventing you from using that story because the story can be so easily subverted using hyperspace. What's more is that there are many restrictions; The story has to take 6-12 hours, and the destination planet is in the same system.

It would be great to know exactly what the incident is, in order to explain why they could not simply use hyperspace to get to planet B, but I will try.

A) Something is stopping the ship from entering hyperspace. There can be multiple sources of gravity, such an asteroid field, interdictors, or perhaps a black hole with a lenient event horizon that disables hyperdrive.

B)There is something disabling the hyperdrive from funcitoning. This could be some antagonist element that takes control of the ship (an AI, a space pirate, or faulty pit droids), or the main hyperdrive could be down. You could force the team to go on backup, which while it is 13 times slower, is unlikely to slow your team down if the planets are >12h in distance.

A different ship component can be down that also stops the ship from entering hyperspace. The power cell, possibly the reactor core, and the warp vortex stabilizer are all essential components for safe hyperdrive travel. If the navicom's star charts are out of date in a relatively unknown system, it can be unsafe to do a quick jump. Or the hyperdrive switch is broken off.

C) Something in deep space is preventing the team from making that microjump. A deep space anomaly that you're going to have to pull out of the rabbit hat will do here.

Is that what you were looking for?

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Yeah, if I felt it was really important I'd say something like "this system has a weird ion signature that makes it tricky to jump to hyperspace within it", or that it's in a nebula or something like that.

Like, you could do the hyperspace jump from planet to planet but it has the potential to damage your hyperdrive because of 'atmospheric conditions in outer space' technobabble reasons.

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Why not suggest that the cost of hyperspace travel (maintenance, fuel, upkeep) is such that it's not economically feasible to use a hyperdrive to travel within a system?

hencook likes this

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Couple of things - I know (I think!) you can't Hyperspace within a system from planet to planet. Hencook, lots of good stuff but I was really wondering why people don't do it, rather than stopping them from doing it. The fifth or tenth time I cook up an excuse is going to get old. I agree for a one-off adventure reason though, this is the way to go.

Yoshiyahu this seems reasonable. I was looking more for the rationale as to why people in-universe don't just use this shortcut all the time, instead of 12 hour slogs in real space.

Cheers all

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Couple of things - I know (I think!) you can't Hyperspace within a system from planet to planet. Hencook, lots of good stuff but I was really wondering why people don't do it, rather than stopping them from doing it. The fifth or tenth time I cook up an excuse is going to get old. I agree for a one-off adventure reason though, this is the way to go.

Yoshiyahu this seems reasonable. I was looking more for the rationale as to why people in-universe don't just use this shortcut all the time, instead of 12 hour slogs in real space.

Cheers all

Oooh, that's a good one..

If you have a system's star with a massive gravitational pull, and have the planets counter this with a fast revolution speed, then the ship cannot go to hyperspace without exiting the entire system before hand, which can take a good amount of time. That, or have the planets be relatively close to the star. Remember, weird things happen in space all the time. You can also have the planet itself exerting a lot of gravity due to its size.

Recommended reading on making your planets weird...

http://io9.com/on-addition-to-assuming-exoplanets-must-have-ecosyste-1527176401

It's never actually clear as to what range a ship must traverse before it is out of the effects of gravity, so just BS it.

wait wait wait... Why didn't the Death Star use their hyperdrive and drop out of hyperspace in front of Yavin?... Navicomputers are supposed to have info on a planet's whereabouts, right? That's how navicoms exist? They computate rotational patterns so that you don't run into anything?

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True, but we also saw the Rebel fleet drop right on top of the second Death Star. I think the real answer therefore is "plot decides", but I didn't want to just artificially stop them doing it over and over if there's a legitimate reason for people not doing it. If you see what I mean

Your point is well taken though. I imagine that Yavin stamps a much larger gravitational footprint than, say, Ryloth, meaning you would have to enter the system further away then fly in. Which is also what the Falcon does with Yavin.

Edited by MrDodger

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