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Suggested Reading: SW SB Chapter 4 - Space Transports
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Wajeb Deb Kaadeb
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 10:59 pm    Post subject: Suggested Reading: SW SB Chapter 4 - Space Transports Reply with quote

Sometimes, you read a section in a support book and you find something that applies to the game beyond that section's topic.

Such is the case with Chapter 4, the chapter dealing with Space Transports, in the Sourcebook (Pages 37-4Cool.

Since the game typically sees the PCs visiting starports and navigating through orbital and system traffic, I suggest that the GM read the entire chapter as it will give the GM an excellent picture of the role Bulk Freighters, Container Ships, Passenger Liners, Rebel Transports, Space Barges, and Stock Lights Freighters play in the Empire, under Palpatine.

But, most importantly, focus on the section named Passengers Liners. It gets into the regulation and permits needed to travel throughout the Empire. Before I read this, my impression was that most ships can go wherever they want. Just get into a ship and say, "Bye, bye."

That's not the case, though, in Palpatines Empire. There are jurisdictions and transportation bureaucracies, corrupt officials, and such.

I thought this Chapter quite interesting, and it will influence how I play the game from now on.







A FEW IDEAS FROM THE CHAPTER

-- The Eravana, Han Solo's new ship shown in TFA, is the epitome of a bulk freighter described in the pages of this SW Sourcebook, some 40 years ago.



-- Most bulk freighter crews (independents) scrape by, just like the tramp freighters, barely making a living. Those on salary, working for the big shipping concerns, make a decent wage. Their major cost is fuel, and this surprises me, since the WEG D6 places so little emphasis on fuel. In fact, the topic was taken out of the Tramp Freighter Galaxy Guide between the first and second editions of the game.



-- It says that many young people (and, I supposed, not so young people without means) cannot afford to travel between the stars. The cost of passage is too high. So, what they do is sign on for working passage on bulk freighters, working for room, board, and transport. No being paid at all.

I was thinking. This would be a great way to start a new campaign--with the PCs, all down on their luck, working passage on a bulk freighter until the adventure begins.



-- Passenger Liners, which are said to be the most profitable of all the freighters.

The cost of passage is all over the place. It can be as low as 100 credits if travelling as steerage on a heavily traveled route. And, it can be as much as 5,000 credits if traveling on a luxury liner on an uncommon route.

Charters can cost whatever is negotiated (10,000 seems to be a starting place). And, a standard luxury liner ticket on a heavily traveled route will run you 1,000 credits.

-- Luxury liners cost per trip more than an average citizen's lifetime income. Only the very rich--a small percentage of the galactic population--can afford transport on these huge vessels. Yet, there are trillions and trillions of beings in the Empire, with even that small percentage keeping the fleets of luxury liners completely booked.







SHIPPING IN PALPATINE'S EMPIRE

As I stated above, my impression of the SW universe has been that civilian travel has been pretty easy. But, the Sourcebook paints a different picture in some areas of space.

Within a populated sector with major worlds, travel is, indeed, pretty easy. There are regularly scheduled transports operated by large passenger lines.

The farther you go, the harder travel becomes, though. Passenger ships tend to operate in a radius around a hub and don't travel far off from that hub. It's not profitable, and the route becomes more regulated.

So, if a civilian wants to travel outside his home sector, he could wait weeks or months before finding a ship. Routes to worlds far outside the core planets can be long and complicated, with transfer points.

Planetary authorities, sector governors, and the Imperial government closely regulate interstellar travel, especially into and out of trouble areas.

Quote:
Here's an idea. The next time your players are zipping along in hyperspace, have them abruptly ripped back into normal space by an Interdictor, with the sector authorities boarding, inspecting, and asking for papers!

"Papers? What papers?"

"Your Travel Permit. This is a restricted sector. You can't just cross it willy-nilly. You must have proper, logged papers."

"Hey, that's not in the Galactic Atlas. There's nothing about it in the Chart Notes, either."

"The restriction started 8 months ago. Too many Rebel supplies going through this Sector. We're clamping down. And, I'm assuming at this point that you don't have the required papers. That's too bad."


Forged documents can be obtained, at a price, and if one knows where to look, some independent captain may be convinced to take you on a specific journey for the right amount of credits.
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Kytross
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2018 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fuel has to be cheap enough, or free, to make long distance shipping feasible.

An interesting study is how the low cost of fuel makes it cheaper to gather the raw materials in America, ship them to China to fabricate the goods and then ship them back to America, rather than manufacturing the goods in America.

Applying this to Star Wars, you need an incredibly cheap form of fuel to make interstellar shipping feasible. There are more than a few good articles on this around le web. It has been argued that a ship cannot hold enough fuel and cargo to make a trip through hyperspace economically feasible.

On this I take my cue from The Phantom Menace. When the hyperdrive went down they lost the capacity to generate power. My take on this is that the hyperdrive is an energy generating machine, that using the hyperdrive actually powers the ship. I handwave it off as being able to generate electricity from the differential created when going from regular space to hyperspace and back. This, in turn, allows a ship to function without refueling as long as they don't use too much power between jumps. By doing this I have effectively made starships into sailboats, harnessing the ambient power of nature to power their ships.

Combat uses a great deal of power, which is why starfighters have a secondary fuel system besides their hyperdrives, if they have hyperdrives at all. They use more power in combat than their hyperdrives can supply between jumps.

Of course, The Last Jedi turned this all on its head with their worry about fuel being central to the plot, for the first time in the history of Star Wars. So you have to choose between The Phantom Menace's take on hyperdrives creating fuel or The Last Jedi's take on fuel being separate from the hyperdrive.
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Wajeb Deb Kaadeb
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2018 7:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kytross wrote:
Fuel has to be cheap enough, or free, to make long distance shipping feasible.


GG6, First Edition version, says that fuel is not especially expensive. I would say that an average one way trip would cost 3 fuel cells. That provides enough fuel to enter hyperspace, spend 6 hours in hyperspace, and perform 1 hour of atmospheric flight.

Standard recharge rate is 10Cr/hour/cell, so that's 30Cr.

The core rulebook tells us that a used Stock Light Freighter costs 25,000Cr.

To make a general assumption about freighters equaling cars in the real world: fuel fill up is 0.0012 the cost of a used ship.

Figure a used car is $15,900 (2013 USA average price). That means that a fill up is $19 bucks or so....to put it in perspective. (And, that's probably a little low.)

I'd say 30Cr is probably equivalent to about $30 bucks.





Quote:
Of course, The Last Jedi turned this all on its head with their worry about fuel being central to the plot, for the first time in the history of Star Wars. So you have to choose between The Phantom Menace's take on hyperdrives creating fuel or The Last Jedi's take on fuel being separate from the hyperdrive.


Evidently, the canon explanation is that starships run on Rhydonium. It's a liquid fuel described thus...

Quote:
When poured out of its container, rhydonium appeared like spilled chrome. It could be scraped up and salvaged, but only under a high degree of safety, as rhydonium was dangerous to exposed skin.


Looks like this was introduced in an episode of Clone Wars, before TLJ came out. The episode was produced in 2013. TLJ seems to be staying within that established canon.
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Argentsaber
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've always thought that fuel might be part of why the civillian ships use a slower hyperdrive in general. Military ships are happy to pour fuel into high performance drives with a fire hose to get into position rapidly, while freighters and liners are slower, but their drives sip rather than gulp. This would make the astrogation skill far more important than upgrading the hyperdrive for most groups of players, no?
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Wajeb Deb Kaadeb
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MORE TO THE OP



Check out the "Booking Passage" section, page 54 of the 1E core rulebook. There's good stuff there about how regulated Imperial space has become under Palpatine.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 9:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As far as passenger liners, things would be a lot more like ocean travel before the advent of airliners. Rather than cruise ships that simply make a circuit of vacation spots before returning to port, passenger liners would be one of the main methods of personal travel.

As far as a modern equivalent, IMO, it would be more like modern bus travel writ large, with some ships running a local circuit out from a central hub and back, with connections to "express" or "limited" ships that travel between hubs. For example, where I live, Greyhound stops at the city bus terminal, which is right across the street from the Amtrak station.

As with the passenger liners of ~100 years ago, there will also be varying grades of service, from extremely luxurious first class to bare-bones steerage class, with multiple levels in between. Because of the trip durations, some ships could feature pretty over-the-top luxuries, like a space going casino or amusement park.

It's also noteworthy that passenger liners were generally some of the fastest civilian ships available. Giving passenger liners a x1 Hyperdrive would not be amiss, and there could even be prestige involved for a ship to hold the fastest time of a particular leg, with the attendant potential for disaster (the Titanic, for instance, was trying to set a speed record on the England-to-New York route when she sank).

As far as cargo transport, the hub-and-spoke concept would be even more prevalent, with super container transports and super-bulk transports (a theoretical ship type) hauling cargo to the hubs for transfer to smaller ships for local deliveries. The Eravana would be particularly useful for the local deliveries, due to its ability to haul both bulk and containerized cargo. When shootingwomprats wrote up stats for the Baleen-Class, I postulated that the Quadrijet would pair well with the Baleen, serving as a tug boat to load and unload containers.

Some other historical possibilities would be:

-Fast Clippers and Star Jammers (Wind Jammers) - A transport that sacrifices transport capacity for speed.

-Repair & Maintenance Ships - A broad category covering everything from deep space repair platforms and mobile air-docks to navigation and hyper-comm tenders (the later being used to service the multitude of Holo-Net relay satellites).

-Couriers / Mail Ships - In the SWU, this would be more the province of Starfighter-Scale fast light transports, hauling containerized mail either in hard copy form or in electronic form on data chips.

-Research Ships - Any transport configured as a science or exploration vessel.
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"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.
Amazing. Everything you just said was wrong.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2018 12:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is also the Field Secured Container Vessel described in the ImpSB and Black Ice. If anything, this would be the next step above the Super Transports, as their carrying capacity would be several orders of magnitude larger than a ship in the 800-900 meter range.
_________________
"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.
Amazing. Everything you just said was wrong.
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