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Combining Sensors and Communications Rules
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2017 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seems like the simple solution is to "calculate" hyperspace routes that travel over and under the rotational planes, rather than "through" them, since the orbital paths of space objects are bothe planar and to a significant degree, perdictible.

Of course, the ship may have to changes planes when approaching a new system, but, again... simple. Or it could just go around for virtually no loss in time: 99.999999999% of space is empty.
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Dredwulf60
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2017 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Naaman wrote:
Seems like the simple solution is to "calculate" hyperspace routes that travel over and under the rotational planes, rather than "through" them, since the orbital paths of space objects are bothe planar and to a significant degree, perdictible.

Of course, the ship may have to changes planes when approaching a new system, but, again... simple. Or it could just go around for virtually no loss in time: 99.999999999% of space is empty.


Unless dark matter also has a 'shadow' in hyperspace that can interrupt navigation. In which case things get a lot more crowded.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_matter

Quote:


The standard model of cosmology indicates that the total mass–energy of the universe contains 4.9% ordinary matter, 26.8% dark matter and 68.3% dark energy. Thus, dark matter constitutes 84.5% of total mass, while dark energy plus dark matter constitute 95.1% of total mass–energy content.

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Whill
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2017 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Even with Dark Matter, space is still mostly empty. The universe has been expanding for over 13 billion years.
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Bren
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2017 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wajeb Deb Kaadeb wrote:
Collating, Receiving, Interpreting, and Using sensor data has got to be a HUGE part of Astrogation.

Receiving, collating, and interpreting data is what Nav Computers are for. Using the information that comes out of the Nav Computer is what astrogation is for.

Whill wrote:
Even with Dark Matter, space is still mostly empty. The universe has been expanding for over 13 billion years.
Yes but Star Wars is set a long time ago. Wink So less expansion.
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Wajeb Deb Kaadeb
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2017 11:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bren wrote:
Wajeb Deb Kaadeb wrote:
Collating, Receiving, Interpreting, and Using sensor data has got to be a HUGE part of Astrogation.

Receiving, collating, and interpreting data is what Nav Computers are for. Using the information that comes out of the Nav Computer is what astrogation is for.


Then, why isn't hyperspace calcs comletely automated then?

What does Han do once the Falcon's Nav computer spits out the data?

Why does the game have an Astrogation skill that can be improved to show someone highly skilled...at what?
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2017 11:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wajeb Deb Kaadeb wrote:
I don't know if this helps, but in my 1E games, the rare times that I need a sensors roll, I use the Astrogation skill.

I figure measuring routes among the stars is all about working with sensors and sensor data, which is why I didn't make up a new "Sensors" skill.

I think you are reading too much into Astrogation. There is a big difference between using sensors to detect things and making use of the data provided by sensors. By that measure, Gunnery and Piloting skills could also be used for Sensors as well, since both make use of sensor information to perform their functions (targeting and navigation, respectively).

In addition, sensors in the SWU are almost exclusively normal space oriented, and limited to local environment (basically, whatever system the ship happens to be at that moment). Yes, it is an easy matter to pick out individual stars in the sky with the naked eye, but the light emitted by a star decades or centuries ago does not translate into real-time navigation data for hyperspace travel to that star. Anything bigger than a medium-sized boulder can be a threat to hyperspace travel, and such objects can be all but invisible outside of a few thousand kilometers.

So I'm going to stick with combining Sensors and Communications into a single CommScan skill. Astrogation is primarily math and fiddling with way points to switch up the length of the course to save time, and has its own portfolio among the various skills; I don't see the need to change it. I can see a good CommScan skill roll providing a bonus to Astrogation by pinpointing the ship's location precisely enough for a more accurate jump (precision astronav fixes by using the sensors to plot bearings to stars, quasars and the like, or picking up a navigation fix from HoloNet navigation support, like a sort of Galactic Positioning System), but that would be a CommScan roll to collect that information, not Astrogation.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2017 12:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whill wrote:
Even with Dark Matter, space is still mostly empty. The universe has been expanding for over 13 billion years.

I have different plans for Dark Matter in the SWU.

In summary, what we know in the real world as dark matter is better understood in the SWU as Hypermatter, and the reason it can't be detected visually is that it is not actually present in realspace, but is rather in hyperspace. Because of the interconnected nature of hyperspace and normal space, hypermatter has a gravitic effect in real space.

In addition, I picture it functioning as the SWU-equivalent of anti-matter, with massive amounts of energy being released when hypermatter is physically present in real space.

Of course, that wouldn't stop hypermatter / dark matter from being a navigation threat, too...
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Last edited by CRMcNeill on Mon Jun 05, 2017 9:38 am; edited 1 time in total
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Wajeb Deb Kaadeb
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2017 12:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:
By that measure, Gunnery and Piloting skills could also be used for Sensors as well, since both make use of sensor information to perform their functions (targeting and navigation, respectively).


With Astrogation, you are interacting with sensor data and the nav computer. With Gunnery, judging by what we see in the films from the Falcon's turret, the targeting computer is doing all the work.

With Piloting, I think there's more of an argument.

If you were a player in my game, with no improved Astrogation, but a Pilot or a Gunner, I'd consider what you have to say (and probably go with it with some small penalty).

Remember what the co-pilot does. While Han is maneuvering the ship, Chewie is handling the shields AND navigating, which means he's working with the sensors to plot a course. Astrogation isn't only about plotting hyperspace routes. It is used for general navigation, too, which, on a starship, means working with sensors.

I'm pretty convinced that Astrogation is a great skill to sub for Sensors in a 1E game where there is no Sensors skill.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2017 12:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Again, I think you're overreaching. For instance, simply detecting a nearby object has no direct relationship to plotting a hyperspace course if all one is doing is being aware of its presence.

In addition, the rulebook specifically notes that Astrogation is used to plot a course from one system to another, and makes no mention of in-system navigation. Where are you getting your info?

My read is that in-system real space navigation is a function of Piloting, not Astrogation.

If 1E lacks Sensors and Communications as skills (it's been a while since I've read the 1E rulebook), I would recommend poaching the CommScan skill from the fan-created update of Classic Adventures. It is, IMO, a better fit than trying to cram an Astrogation-shaped peg into a Sensors-shaped hole.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2017 12:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My mistake: Com-Scan is actually in the Classic Heroes book, which is a homebrew supplement for 1E, IIRC.
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Whill
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2017 1:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:
If 1E lacks Sensors and Communications as skills (it's been a while since I've read the 1E rulebook), I would recommend poaching the CommScan skill from the fan-created update of Classic Adventures. It is, IMO, a better fit than trying to cram an Astrogation-shaped peg into a Sensors-shaped hole.

In 1e, Sensors and Communications were a part of the starship piloting skill. I agree to just have the Com-Scan skill.
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Wajeb Deb Kaadeb
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2017 9:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whill wrote:
In 1e, Sensors and Communications were a part of the starship piloting skill.


Reference, please. Very Happy
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Bren
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2017 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wajeb Deb Kaadeb wrote:
Bren wrote:
Wajeb Deb Kaadeb wrote:
Collating, Receiving, Interpreting, and Using sensor data has got to be a HUGE part of Astrogation.

Receiving, collating, and interpreting data is what Nav Computers are for. Using the information that comes out of the Nav Computer is what astrogation is for.


Then, why isn't hyperspace calcs comletely automated then?
1. Because Star Wars is space opera not scifi extrapolations of present day tech so the human or alien astrogator has to make manual choices to plot a course and somebody has to flip some switches or push a throttle to make the jump to hyperspace.

2. Because it is an RPG and playing a character, making choices, and using their skills tends to be more interesting than simply buying a better computer.

3. And because the rules say that Astrogation is a separate skill that you use to plot your course from one system to another. As to why the designers chose to make Astrogation a skill? For that, see 1. and 2 above.
Quote:
What does Han do once the Falcon's Nav computer spits out the data?
First Han or Chewie has to punch in a destination, set up the calculations, potentially choose from various routes (there might be more than one, kind of like SatNav programs today), and then the nav computer makes its calculation. After the nav computer is done the astrogator might tweak or rerun the calculation to shave off a few hours from the duration and then Han or Chewie has to flip some levers and/or push a throttle to make the jump to hyperspace.

Quote:
Why does the game have an Astrogation skill that can be improved to show someone highly skilled...at what?
At correctly using the information available - choosing among alternate routes, tweaking the calculations to shave off a few hours from the usual duration, etc. And the game is space opera so you want something for the characters to do rather than just turning everything over to a machine.
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2017 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You might consider an additional option, which would be creating one's own route and then having the computer calculate it simply for the timing. This is where I'd see astrogation being a skill. Knowing various paths between points and having the savvy to manipulate the program/software/hardware efficiently.
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Bren
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2017 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Naaman wrote:
You might consider an additional option, which would be creating one's own route and then having the computer calculate it simply for the timing. This is where I'd see astrogation being a skill. Knowing various paths between points and having the savvy to manipulate the program/software/hardware efficiently.
Yes exactly. This is part of what I was trying to say and this aligns with the ability in the WEG system to trade increasing/decreasing difficulty to the Astrogation roll for a corresponding decrease/increase in duration of the trip.
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