Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Yepesnopes

Communications in SW universe

Recommended Posts

Hello all,

 

I am not an "expert" of the SW universe, but the other day, while I was preparing the Long Arm of the Hutt adventure, I read that Ota (presumably in Ryltoh) contacts the PCs (in Geonosis) via a communicator. The first thing that came to my mind is that this is not possible with standard personal communicator, but then I realised that I don't know if it is possible at all. Which mainly means I know few about interplanetary communications in the SW universe.

 

Can someone point me where can I read about it? (Luckily I have access to nearly all SW WeG and Saga books)

 

Cheers,

Yepes

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For nice info about SW universe you could check http://starwars.wikia.com/

 

But here is about http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Comlink comlink
 

And here is about http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Subspace_transceiver subspace transceiver

 

And heres Holonet http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/HoloNet

 

I hope this shall help ya.

Edited by Embery

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In my campaign, The Empire holds control and restricts the holonet to ensure that any critic against the Empire or rebell communication is under control, which means interplanetary communication is very limited (as described on starwars wiki, mostly for Imperial military).

Which means that news starting to travel very slow in the galaxy for my roleplayers. Things that happens month ago are beginning to reach their ears. Meeting hubs, like Nar Shadda, are more important than ever to leave and retrieve messages from friends, contacts and allies.

 

Also gives me as a GM some tools for intresting adventures and jobs for the roleplayers. Remote research base that no one have heard from for months, transporting and delivering packets and datapads with personal messages and dangerous information and discover that a remote planets call for help never ever been heard. Giving a sense of a isolation effect on the whole galaxy, and a difference between the Core worlds and other parts of the galaxy.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A similar problem came up over in the AoR beta forum. Officially Ota is cheating, or using gm fiat to explain why his comms are so uber.

Officially there's three comm types. Hand held which cover part of a planet to low orbit, backpack sized ones that reach most of a planet and high orbit, and starship comms that reach to sensor range.

I'm assuming that limitation was established to keep slicers from hacking computers on the other side of the galaxy, and they (oddly) weren't thinking about its impact on actual communications.

Previous lore roughly matches the hand held and backpack comms. Starships are where things start to go weird. Starship comms appear in other sources as having much longer range, typically a transmission range around 25 light years (so around 3-5 systems) with scout and command ships sometimes reaching more around 100 light years.

Sooo Ota... Maybe he's using a bunch of deep space repeaters? Or piggybacking on civilian long distance comm centers?

Edited by Ghostofman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Previous lore roughly matches the hand held and backpack comms. Starships are where things start to go weird. Starship comms appear in other sources as having much longer range, typically a transmission range around 25 light years (so around 3-5 systems) with scout and command ships sometimes reaching more around 100 light years.

Sooo Ota... Maybe he's using a bunch of deep space repeaters? Or piggybacking on civilian long distance comm centers?

I read about it. Yet with 100 light years you don't get anywhere. For example, from Ryloth to Geonosis you have easily 5000 light years distance.

 

In wookipedia, I have read that this subspace transcievers can be "networked" between them so that the signal can travel virtually the entire galaxy, but in that case the message will take hours if not days to reach the addressee. Which makes live communication impossible in this situation (I am talking about Ota).

 

Anyway, this is not a problem, I will just change that part of the adventure. I was more concerned with the SW lore, so thanks all for your imputs and links.

 

Cheers,

Yepes

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Communication devices in Star Wars have a range of PLOT, just like starship hyperdrives (speed of PLOT) and repulsorlift strength (altitude of PLOT). 

 

Combat ranges in FFG's SWRPG are similarly plot-based. There's a rough guideline on "how far away" the medium/extreme/etc ranges are, but it's primarily plot-based. Same as structured gameplay rounds (up to/about a minute long). 

 

The only limitation to Darth Vader's realtime communication with the Emperor in ESB was that they had to move out of the asteroid belt to get a good signal. And that was from Hoth to Coruscant. 

 

Don't get too hung up on spatial limitations. He's maybe using subspace transceivers, or slicing the HoloNet. 

 

There are many examples in the films and EU where realtime communication happens between parties separated by an indefinite number of light years. Basic idea, though, is that it IS possible (if expensive at times) and you don't have any reason to not let it happen if it needs to happen for the plot to move forward.

Edited by awayputurwpn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am going to agree completely with Awayputurwpn. Just going by the OT alone, which is largely FFG's source we don't see any latency issues with communications.

 

By the movies alone our first taste of problems with communication across systems is ObiWan having to use Anikan as proxy to communicate with the Jedi counsel in Ep II. And even in this case, Anakin was able to have direct communication with the Jedi on Coruscant from the Lars farm on Tatooine. Granted, this was prior to the Empire and its takeover of the holonet and other such infrastructures.

 

In short. If it's important for your game for communication to be instantaneous and direct across the galaxy, then don't worry about it, but if that's not the game you want to run, then there are plenty of wookieepedia articles to guide you.

Edited by kaosoe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

+1 for speed of PLOT.  If you don't want the characters talking, then someone is jamming their transmissions.

 

What I don't get is how do you dial a number?  and how do you have someone's number/frequency?  I don't know how you contact someone on this thing that looks like it is the size of a chapstick...

 

You just press ONE button.  Notice in the prequels and early TCW, everything they wanted a machine to do required just one button.  After the iPhone and iPads were released they started adding gestures to the UIs, but comlinks remain a one-button interface.  If you need a tech-splanation:  presumably they're just smart enough to know what you want based on the context of your conversation leading up to the button press.

 

Sharing contact info would be seamless, whether it's bumping comlinks, or, again, pressing one button.   It doesn't matter anyway, if the game gets down to those levels of detail it sounds more like geek-xploration than storytelling (unless, of course, that's part of the story).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Holonet, as stated in the wookipedia, has repeaters in the hyperspace, so you can conclude that "information can travel faster than light". Systems separated few light years from each other can have almost real-time communication provided the information can travel the hyperspace fat enough.

There are endless routes through the hyperspace, and the repeaters can be wherever you need as GM.

Said this, it's impossible as the hyperspace distances are defined, to reach the center of the galaxy from the outer ring immediately, it would take the same order of magnitude as the hyperspace travel times....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Holonet, as stated in the wookipedia, has repeaters in the hyperspace, so you can conclude that "information can travel faster than light". Systems separated few light years from each other can have almost real-time communication provided the information can travel the hyperspace fat enough.

There are endless routes through the hyperspace, and the repeaters can be wherever you need as GM.

Said this, it's impossible as the hyperspace distances are defined, to reach the center of the galaxy from the outer ring immediately, it would take the same order of magnitude as the hyperspace travel times....

 

As was already stated, Vader communicated with Palpatine on Coruscant while the other was in the Hoth system. It has happened in the SW universe, and therefore is "possible." All that is left is for us to give an explanation of how that was possible, again, in-universe. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wookieepedia also states that the instant Holonet communication is fantastically expensive for one on one communication, and mostly used by large organizations. During the time of the Empire, large parts of the Holonet are shut down and the entire thing is controlled by the Empire.

This is the way I run it in my games, as it makes the most sense from what I see in the films.

The Emperor used the Holonet to call Vader.

Princess Leia doesn't just transmit the Death Star plans to the Alliance, but is taking them there personally.

Princess Leia doesn't just call up Ben Kenobi and ask for help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry to disagree, but to me not everything is justified with "if it serves the plot is good".

Yepes, you've been given some examples of in-universe, galaxy-spanning real-time communication directly from the Star Wars films. What you do with that is totally your call, but our point (I think) was that Ota's method of communication is totally valid from an in-universe perspective. However, to savvy PCs, this might identify Ota as a being of means.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Sorry to disagree, but to me not everything is justified with "if it serves the plot is good".

Yepes, you've been given some examples of in-universe, galaxy-spanning real-time communication directly from the Star Wars films. What you do with that is totally your call, but our point (I think) was that Ota's method of communication is totally valid from an in-universe perspective. However, to savvy PCs, this might identify Ota as a being of means.

 

Well, the adventure says Ota contact the PCs via a personal communicator.

 

I can adapt this, for example, from a SW canon point of view, the only way Ota could do live communication with the PCs (Ryloth - Geonosis) will be using the Holonet. The adventure could be adapted in that direction and create a mini side adventure where the PCs have to get to a holonet hub. The drawback is that the message is not that important as to deserve so much.

 

Another option is to move Ota to Geonosis. It needs a bit of work because Ota did not want/ cannot attend to the Duke's party. So a justification of the why Ota move to Geonosis is needed.

 

The personal communicator that Ota gave to the PCs is of awesome technology :)

 

What I will do is that Ota and the PCs won't have a live communication. The PCs simply will find a message from Ota in the ship's subspace transceiver. The drawback of this is that the PCs won't be able to ask questions to Ota. They will have to extrapolate from the information got from the message :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ota handheld communicator can't do it.

Relayed by an expensive holonet device installed on his ship by the ressourceful bothan network, it might, BUT In OT, the holonet in controlled and watched by the empire...

As ota is one of those famous bothan spies I doubt he would do that.

Finally, in my game, I've set up that the high tech geonosian dukes have their own crypted holonet type interstellar communication system able to "catch" the one used by hutts and other dealer from the Spice Triangle without being noticed by the local empire outpost.

Geonosis has an asteroid Bell to hide such a device.

Ryloth hide it between their five moons while spice ship run through the famous backdoor of the dangerous corellian dead end run (dont remember the exact name).

Tatooine has just corrupted enough the empire to use the imperial holonet's far and mostly unused broadcasts. It gives the new fullypowered moffs a significant and constant money from the hutt.

In my game, to conclude, ota calls from a communication center of the spice network of ryloth and Pc answer it from the duke's geonosian interhive interstellar communication device set in his palace, relayed through the geonosian satellite hid in the asteroid Bell.

As yepesnope I like a bit of tech logic, but a star wars one indeed :)

We need to think pre internet : every networks aren't connected anymore since the empire is born. Holonet became the exception during OT. In the new trilogy, i think it was yet difficult to access and yet controlled for civilians during the clone wars against separatists.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

An easier solution would be to just do it the way it is written in the LAotH, and if the PCs comment on the range of the communicator simply state "Yes, that is odd...". Who knows, maybe Ota isn't all that he seems.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

>>>>>>>BEYOND THE RIM SPOILER BELOW<<<<<<<<<

In Beyond the Rim a highly advanced Imperial scout ship (a Sinear Fleet Systems Skywatcher-class deep space scout ship) communicates across interplanetary distances through "hyperspace message pods". The ship is commandeered by the ISB who certainly have the means for state of the art equipment. They send a hyperspace message pod from Cholganna which lies very close to the end of the world, admittedly. The pod takes three days to arrive and while its destination isn't specified it seems likely it moves at the speed of a fast ship. In general a lot of things move at the speed of plot in the adventure so this is far from hard facts (then again there are very few hard facts in Star Wars at all...).

Edited by bladerunner_35

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The old West End Star Wars D6 books covered this topic pretty well. It's been a while since I read it, but I believe it went like this:

 

There are two primary types of communication between systems in the galaxy. One is the Holonet. This is what is being used in every single instance of galactic communication in the movies, because the heroes are important enough to be able to use this at their will (except for the rebels, who I don't believe ever use the Holonet for obvious reasons). The Holonet allows you to not only communicate instantly with any location in the galaxy that is also attached to this system (not all of them are, as it's expensive), but also to transmit holograms (hence the name of the network). 

 

Regular people in the Imperial era have to make do with more standard communication methods since the Holonet is locked down, reserved for official use. There are millions of communication stations throughout the galaxy. These can be anything from a small satellite-size device floating alone through space, to larger space stations. When you want to send a message to another place in the galaxy, you attach to this network of communication stations and send to the closest one. This station will relay your message to the next one in line, and so on until your message reaches its intended recipient. This is a slow way of communication, with most messages taking hours or days to reach their targets (you might want to use regular hyperspace travel times for estimates, I guess), and it doesn't normally support holograms. 

 

Both communication systems allow people to communicate across the galaxy, but the Holonet is vastly more effective, and vastly more expensive. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's solid info TiLT, thanks for sharing.

While reading the comic Dark Times I noticed that there were a bount/mission board that were popular with the lowlifes especially because it wasn't attached to any comms system. Instead each client had to upload the info in person.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...