The Rancor Pit Forum Index
Welcome to The Rancor Pit forums!

The Rancor Pit Forum Index
FAQ   ::   Search   ::   Memberlist   ::   Usergroups   ::   Register   ::   Profile   ::   Log in to check your private messages   ::   Log in

Combining Sensors and Communications Rules
Post new topic   Reply to topic    The Rancor Pit Forum Index -> House Rules -> Combining Sensors and Communications Rules Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
CRMcNeill
Director of Engineering
Director of Engineering


Joined: 05 Apr 2010
Posts: 11477
Location: Redding System, California Sector, on the I-5 Hyperspace Route.

PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2016 10:49 pm    Post subject: Combining Sensors and Communications Rules Reply with quote

A project of mine that has been partially thought out, yet perpetually on the back burner, is updating the sensor rules from the RAW. What I want to do is an integrated system that combines sensors, communications and jamming into a single rule-set for ease of use, rather than the rather patch-work system we currently have.

For starters, I think all ships should include stats for comm systems, as part of the sensor stats. Part of the reasoning is that, in ESB, General Veers refers to the ship's sensors as "Comm-Scan". Since passive sensors are useful in the real world for detecting radio traffic, combining the two provides a good starting place for various ships having different capabilities and sensitivities when it comes to detecting comm transmissions.

Another thing that should be included, IMO, is an Encryption rating. This is actually mentioned under the Communications skill, stating that certain communication devices will include "coding dice" which is added to the difficulty to decrypt the transmission if you aren't the intended receiver.

I'd like to tie Communication bonuses into the Scan / Search / Focus sensor bonuses, with Scan representing an omni-directional transmission, Search representing a directional broadcast, and Focus representing a uni-directional broadcast (and thus the hardest to intercept).

It's been a long day, and I know I'm rambling, but I wanted to get this written down and start a discussion. Thoughts?
_________________
"No set of rules can cover every situation. It's expected that you will make up new rules to suit the needs of your game." - The Star Wars Roleplaying Game, 2R&E, pg. 69, WEG, 1996.

The CRMcNeill Stat/Rule Index
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Whill
Supreme Chancellor (Owner/Admin)


Joined: 14 Apr 2008
Posts: 4901
Location: Columbus, OHIO, USA, Earth, The Solar System, The Milky Way Galaxy

PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2016 6:33 pm    Post subject: Re: Combining Sensors and Communications Rules Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:
Thoughts?

Nothing helpful, only supportive. I have long combined those two skills into one combo skill named, you guessed it, "Com-scan" (I believe the IAG did that first). But I've had the rules for each function pretty much as in RAW, so mechanically it is one skill value for both.

I'm really interested to see where this goes.
_________________
*
Site Map
Forum Guidelines
Registration & Log-In Help
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Kytross
Captain
Captain


Joined: 28 Jan 2008
Posts: 630

PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2016 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have some thoughts on this, but I want to talk to some guys I know and reread the RAW on these skills.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Kytross
Captain
Captain


Joined: 28 Jan 2008
Posts: 630

PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2016 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, here are some points to consider:

- Communications covers far more than just the electromagnetic spectrum. Communications can deal with hyper transmissions from across the galaxy. Sensors do not have that range, they are strictly in system. There is overlap between the two, especially in jamming signals.

- in RL, radar and radio are kept on specific frequencies to prevent interference. In RL that means separate devices to deal with radio and radar. There is every reason to assume this would be true in SW.

- In RAW, 2R&E, Communications is mostly about code breaking and intercepting transmissions. Sensors is mostly finding stuff and then identifying it. They over lap in jamming and finding things; objects for sensors, signals for comms.

- I don't think there is enough over lap to make them one skill.

- I do think that there is room for new tech or new skills where the skills overlap. I like your idea of utilizing sensor stats on a ship for in system Communications skills. I also think a universal jammer for both sensors and comms would be a useful device for pirates.

Food for thought. I'm sure whatever you come up with will be well thought out and worthy of consideration. Everything else you've written so far has been high quality, even when it wasn't something that would work for one of my groups.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Kytross
Captain
Captain


Joined: 28 Jan 2008
Posts: 630

PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2016 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also, anything to reduce the number of MAPs for a Starfighter is a valuable thing. Jamming sensors and comms with one action would be huge. One of the major advantages to the X-Wing is the skill bonuses in maneuverability and fire control. The bigger those bonuses the less of an impact on combat from MAPs.

Not that I need to tell CMRcNeill about Starfighter combat.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
garhkal
Sovereign Protector
Sovereign Protector


Joined: 17 Jul 2005
Posts: 11894
Location: Reynoldsburg, Columbus, Ohio.

PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2016 2:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kytross wrote:

- in RL, radar and radio are kept on specific frequencies to prevent interference. In RL that means separate devices to deal with radio and radar. There is every reason to assume this would be true in SW. .


As a comms et, its not just the differences in frequencies, but also the raw power output, wave lengths, antennas etc that make a big difference between radars and radios..
_________________
It's Not who you kill, but how they die!
You cannot dodge it if you do not know it is coming, and you cannot hit it if you do not know its there.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
CRMcNeill
Director of Engineering
Director of Engineering


Joined: 05 Apr 2010
Posts: 11477
Location: Redding System, California Sector, on the I-5 Hyperspace Route.

PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2016 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kytross wrote:
- Communications covers far more than just the electromagnetic spectrum. Communications can deal with hyper transmissions from across the galaxy. Sensors do not have that range, they are strictly in system. There is overlap between the two, especially in jamming signals.

Agreed. Over on the Interstellar Communications topic, we used a formula where a ship's subspace comm range was its Scan range in light years (divided by 3 for starfighter-scale). Unless there is some compelling reason not to, though, my current plan is to use sensor ranges to generate local-space comm ranges, as well.

Quote:
- in RL, radar and radio are kept on specific frequencies to prevent interference. In RL that means separate devices to deal with radio and radar. There is every reason to assume this would be true in SW.

I'm working on an idea for multi-mode sensors, especially for jamming, but with other applications. Basically, a ship would be able to keep its passive sensors operating even while running Sensors in Search or Focus mode, as well as jamming or making a comm broadcast. This would allow the ship to still listen for signals traffic on other frequencies than the one it is currently broadcasting on.

Quote:
- In RAW, 2R&E, Communications is mostly about code breaking and intercepting transmissions. Sensors is mostly finding stuff and then identifying it. They over lap in jamming and finding things; objects for sensors, signals for comms.

- I don't think there is enough over lap to make them one skill.

I'm with Whill on this one. My thinking is that Cryptography should be a separate skill, under Knowledge. I'd say that many of the same techniques a skilled sensor operator would use to clean up a sensor signal to get a better image would be mirrored in a comms tech doing the same to get better reception.

Quote:
- I do think that there is room for new tech or new skills where the skills overlap. I like your idea of utilizing sensor stats on a ship for in system Communications skills. I also think a universal jammer for both sensors and comms would be a useful device for pirates.

That was a big factor in my thinking of combining the two, since I had already come up with jamming rules that used sensor dice for jamming strength. As far as a universal jammer, I believe I threw in a rule that jamming strength was at -1D if trying to jam both comms and sensors at the same time. However, dedicated EW platforms would have a +1D-2D bonus to jamming. I could see a dedicated comms platform having a similar bonus to Communications...

Quote:
Also, anything to reduce the number of MAPs for a Starfighter is a valuable thing. Jamming sensors and comms with one action would be huge. One of the major advantages to the X-Wing is the skill bonuses in maneuverability and fire control. The bigger those bonuses the less of an impact on combat from MAPs.

This is become more and more evident as I get further and further into this. For an X-Wing, the Astromech could easily handle all Comm-Scan duties, leaving the pilot to handle the flying and the fighting. A Y-Wing, with two crew and an astromech can also split duties.

Quote:
Not that I need to tell CMRcNeill about Starfighter combat.
Quote:
Food for thought. I'm sure whatever you come up with will be well thought out and worthy of consideration. Everything else you've written so far has been high quality, even when it wasn't something that would work for one of my groups.

Stop; you're making me blush. But seriously, thank you.
_________________
"No set of rules can cover every situation. It's expected that you will make up new rules to suit the needs of your game." - The Star Wars Roleplaying Game, 2R&E, pg. 69, WEG, 1996.

The CRMcNeill Stat/Rule Index
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
CRMcNeill
Director of Engineering
Director of Engineering


Joined: 05 Apr 2010
Posts: 11477
Location: Redding System, California Sector, on the I-5 Hyperspace Route.

PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2016 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

garhkal wrote:
As a comms et, its not just the differences in frequencies, but also the raw power output, wave lengths, antennas etc that make a big difference between radars and radios..

But for simplicity's sake, are there any problems with just using a ship's sensor dice for communication purposes? It doesn't necessarily have to be integrated systems, just an integrated rule for the stat and gaming purposes.
_________________
"No set of rules can cover every situation. It's expected that you will make up new rules to suit the needs of your game." - The Star Wars Roleplaying Game, 2R&E, pg. 69, WEG, 1996.

The CRMcNeill Stat/Rule Index
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
garhkal
Sovereign Protector
Sovereign Protector


Joined: 17 Jul 2005
Posts: 11894
Location: Reynoldsburg, Columbus, Ohio.

PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 12:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As a comms tech who DID better on radar in school, i say that the stuff you know for one, easily crosses for the other. However the workings are completely different.
_________________
It's Not who you kill, but how they die!
You cannot dodge it if you do not know it is coming, and you cannot hit it if you do not know its there.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
CRMcNeill
Director of Engineering
Director of Engineering


Joined: 05 Apr 2010
Posts: 11477
Location: Redding System, California Sector, on the I-5 Hyperspace Route.

PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 1:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

garhkal wrote:
As a comms tech who DID better on radar in school, i say that the stuff you know for one, easily crosses for the other. However the workings are completely different.

Okay, but are the workings sufficiently different to require a completely different stat, or can I just co-opt the sensor ranges and dice bonuses and apply them to Communications rolls as well as Sensors rolls?
_________________
"No set of rules can cover every situation. It's expected that you will make up new rules to suit the needs of your game." - The Star Wars Roleplaying Game, 2R&E, pg. 69, WEG, 1996.

The CRMcNeill Stat/Rule Index
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
garhkal
Sovereign Protector
Sovereign Protector


Joined: 17 Jul 2005
Posts: 11894
Location: Reynoldsburg, Columbus, Ohio.

PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I say no.. Based on my experience. Now i could see say a smaller bonus.. So say a sensor suite has a +3d search bonus, i could see it giving a smaller (say +1d+1) bonus on comm rolls if the same guy is doing the rolls.
_________________
It's Not who you kill, but how they die!
You cannot dodge it if you do not know it is coming, and you cannot hit it if you do not know its there.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
CRMcNeill
Director of Engineering
Director of Engineering


Joined: 05 Apr 2010
Posts: 11477
Location: Redding System, California Sector, on the I-5 Hyperspace Route.

PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

garhkal wrote:
I say no.. Based on my experience. Now i could see say a smaller bonus.. So say a sensor suite has a +3d search bonus, i could see it giving a smaller (say +1d+1) bonus on comm rolls if the same guy is doing the rolls.

I don't see why smaller bonuses would be necessary. After all, sensor dice and ranges are just relative indicators of how effective sensors are at detecting and identifying targets. The same dice would be used to indicate how good a comm signal is at punching through interference or jamming. Since the stats pretty much already exist, it would be simpler (if possible) to structure the base Difficulties and modifiers to fit what's already there.

As an aside, I'm also thinking strongly about applying scale modifiers to comm-scan, representing the added signal strength and processing power available to the larger facilities on larger ships.
_________________
"No set of rules can cover every situation. It's expected that you will make up new rules to suit the needs of your game." - The Star Wars Roleplaying Game, 2R&E, pg. 69, WEG, 1996.

The CRMcNeill Stat/Rule Index
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Raven Redstar
Rear Admiral
Rear Admiral


Joined: 10 Mar 2009
Posts: 2088
Location: Pullman, WA

PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd say just go for what you're thinking right now, and if bonuses look too large for certain people, they can convert dice to pips and the take a percentage pretty quickly.
_________________
RR
________________________________________________________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
garhkal
Sovereign Protector
Sovereign Protector


Joined: 17 Jul 2005
Posts: 11894
Location: Reynoldsburg, Columbus, Ohio.

PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2016 12:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:

I don't see why smaller bonuses would be necessary. After all, sensor dice and ranges are just relative indicators of how effective sensors are at detecting and identifying targets. The same dice would be used to indicate how good a comm signal is at punching through interference or jamming. Since the stats pretty much already exist, it would be simpler (if possible) to structure the base Difficulties and modifiers to fit what's already there.


As i have said though, the strength of signals etc, is not going to be the same between sensors (radar/sonar) and communications. Also most comms gear equipment that i have read up on, doesn't have any 'bonuses to comms rolls' listed for them.
_________________
It's Not who you kill, but how they die!
You cannot dodge it if you do not know it is coming, and you cannot hit it if you do not know its there.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
CRMcNeill
Director of Engineering
Director of Engineering


Joined: 05 Apr 2010
Posts: 11477
Location: Redding System, California Sector, on the I-5 Hyperspace Route.

PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2016 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

garhkal wrote:
As i have said though, the strength of signals etc, is not going to be the same between sensors (radar/sonar) and communications.

But it doesn't need to be. There is a big difference in power requirements between a sensor beam that has to be strong enough to reflect a signal back to the emitter and a simple one-way audio signal that just has to be audible at a distance. I've got a CB radio in the cab of my big rig that is only pushing three watts, yet can be heard two miles away. It's not just a function of power, it's a function of the use that power is put to.

And by extension, the dice ratings on Sensors are not just indicators of power; they're also indicators of signal processing ability, as in ability to clean up a garbled signal and turn it into something useful.

Quote:
Also most comms gear equipment that i have read up on, doesn't have any 'bonuses to comms rolls' listed for them.

I assume you are referring to WEG's perfect and flawlessly written stats on communications equipment?
_________________
"No set of rules can cover every situation. It's expected that you will make up new rules to suit the needs of your game." - The Star Wars Roleplaying Game, 2R&E, pg. 69, WEG, 1996.

The CRMcNeill Stat/Rule Index
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    The Rancor Pit Forum Index -> House Rules All times are GMT - 4 Hours
Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
Page 1 of 5

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group


v2.0