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Combining Sensors and Communications Rules
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Wajeb Deb Kaadeb
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2017 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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


Reference, please. Very Happy



I considered this today (thinking about this instead of listening to Rogue One on my audiobook), and at first, I thought...

Well, maybe Pilot skill does have some merit as a skill for use in 1E when a Sensor check is needed. After all, ships without hyperdrives have sensors.

Then, I realized that even ships without hyperdrives could use the Astrogation skill, even if Astrogation wasn't improved, via MEChanical by itself.

And, I thought of large listening posts--those Rebel outposts where the operators are scanning comms, using sensors, to pick up any data that can about the Imperials. Would these techs all be pilots? Or, is it more rational that they have Astrogation skill?

And, thus, I'm back to Astrogation.

It's the skill that makes the most sense to pull double duty for an occasional Sensor skill check in 1E.





COINCIDENCE.

As fate would have it, I'm reading the first X-Wing novel by Michael Stackpole, and just today, I read a long section where Astrogation is discussed.

It's very interesting and gives the first clear example, in any Star Wars story that I've ever seen, of what a person does after a nav computer (in this case, an R2 droid to an X-Wing pilot) spits out suggested coordinates for a hyperspace jump.

The way it is presented, Astrogation truly is a skill that one can improve.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2017 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wajeb Deb Kaadeb wrote:
And, thus, I'm back to Astrogation.

It's the skill that makes the most sense to pull double duty for an occasional Sensor skill check in 1E.

I'm not designing this system for 1E, nor do I feel the need to limit myself strictly to what WEG published in 1E. If I see the need for a house ruled skill for sensors in a 1E game, then I have no problem making myself a new one, as opposed to tying myself into knots trying to explain why a skill should be able to do something outside of its description.

As far as your original mention of Astrogation, thank you for your input but this house rule will (eventually) be based around a Com-Scan skill that combines Sensors and Communications, not Astrogation.
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Wajeb Deb Kaadeb
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2017 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:
Wajeb Deb Kaadeb wrote:
And, thus, I'm back to Astrogation.

It's the skill that makes the most sense to pull double duty for an occasional Sensor skill check in 1E.

I'm not designing this system for 1E, nor do I feel the need to limit myself strictly to what WEG published in 1E. If I see the need for a house ruled skill for sensors in a 1E game, then I have no problem making myself a new one, as opposed to tying myself into knots trying to explain why a skill should be able to do something outside of its description.

As far as your original mention of Astrogation, thank you for your input but this house rule will (eventually) be based around a Com-Scan skill that combines Sensors and Communications, not Astrogation.


I think I swallowed a bug.
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Whill
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2017 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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

Reference, please. Very Happy

I should have specified starship sensors and communications. 1e p.36 "Starship Piloting Used to operate starships." There are no other skills for these starship operations, so they would be included in the skill to "operate" starships. There may have also been specific examples in adventure modules that advise to make a starship piloting roll for sensors or communications, but I'm not about to look through them all to find it. You're the 1e guru. Very Happy

In my game I have combined the two 2e skills into Com-Scan and they are for all uses of those technologies, not just on starships. I have also recombined 2e's Space Transport Operations and Starfighter Piloting into Starship Piloting but have kept capital ships separate. I don't view starfighters as needing a separate skill, just more skill.
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2017 12:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think this combination is appropriate, with specializations in either one or some other subset thereof providing for good "character concept" material.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm still chewing on this one, and slowly making some progress. A first step is going to be incorporating some upgraded rules to sensors from here, specifically, applying graduated range difficulties to sensors (which I first discussed here).

This will take a little number crunching, but all of my future stats are going to include this rule, and I will be going back and revising previously posted stats to reflect it as time permits.
    Step 1: Existing Sensor Ranges will be converted to Point Blank, Short, Medium and Long Ranges, using a x.1-x.5/x1/x2 formula (with fractions rounded up).

    Step 2: Base Difficulty to Detect/Identify will be as follows:
      Point Blank = Very Easy / Easy
      Short = Easy / Moderate
      Medium = Moderate / Difficult
      Long = Very Difficult / Heroic (Difficult/Very Difficult for Focus Mode)

    Step 3: Ships will keep their existing Sensor Dice values, which will then be added to the crew's Sensor skills when rolled to detect targets at the Difficulty for that Range.

So, an ISD I's RAW Sensor stat reads as follows:
    Sensors:
    Passive 50/1D
    Scan 100/3D
    Search 200/4D
    Focus 6/4D+2
After conversion, it would look like so:
    Sensors:
    Passive 5-25/50/100 (1D)
    Scan 10-50/100/200 (3D)
    Search 20-100/200/400 (4D)
    Focus 6 (4D+2)
This rule is a building block to introduce distance as a relative factor in all Com-Scan functions (sensors, electronic warfare and communication).
_________________
"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.

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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2017 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Regarding the above, for those who want to use my stats but not my sensor rules, I will be putting the RAW Sensor Range in Bold, like so:
    Sensors:
    Passive 5-25/50/100 (1D)
    Scan 10-50/100/200 (3D)
    Search 20-100/200/400 (4D)
    Focus 6 (4D+2)

_________________
"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.

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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2017 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm going to be focusing on wrapping up this house rule prior to doing any more stats.

For the sake of simplicity, both comm and sensor systems will utilize the same Range and Difficulty brackets demonstrated above. Comms will also be subjected to the following modifiers for the millions of various channels and single side-bands within which comm signals can be found:
    -10 = Listening in on a known, registered frequency (public communications, low-security corporate comm-nets, etc).

    -5 = Listening in on a specific private frequency (low security government communications, such as emergency services).

    -0 = Listening in on a somewhat sensitive communications frequency (local governments, sensitive businesses or security conscious individuals)

    +5 = Tapping professionally secure channels (Lower-level Imperial or higher-level police bands)

    +10 = Listening in on higher Imperial channels, or high-ranking government channels.

    +20 = Listening in on top-secret Imperial, Rebel or New Republic frequencies.

Bear in mind that this is just to find the right channel in the first place, and has no bearing on any additional encryption being used to obscure transmissions on that channel.
_________________
"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.

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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wrote this up on the fly, so I want to get it out here for discussion purposes. This is the core rule concept behind the CommScan idea as originally proposed.

How It Works:
Simply put, both Sensors and Comms use the same Range bands and Dice (as seen under the Starship stats). Comms will use existing Ranges where available, and future stats will include graduated ranges.

Encryption
All Comm units will have an Encryption rating, expressed in dice (1D, 2D, etc.). When communicating between two units, the lowest encryption value is always used (i.e. if a Comm unit with 4D Encryption is communicating with another unit with 2D Encryption, use 2D). Encryption protocols are generally pre-determined between friendly units. For added granularity, use the Decoder Roll Chart, under the Communications Skill description, on pg. 50 of the 2R&E Rulebook.

Directional & Tight Beam
-Most Comms broadcast in all directions at once. In game terms, existing units will use the Sensor Scan value for Range and dice bonuses.

-Some Comms are capable of directional broadcasts, which provides greater range and power, as well as making the Comm signal more difficult to intercept from other fire arcs. In game terms, a directional Comm uses the Sensor Search value for Range and dice bonuses. In addition, any unit attempting to listen in suffers a +10 Difficulty penalty if in an adjoining Fire Arc, or a +15 Difficulty if in an opposing Fire Arc.

-The most advanced Comms are capable of Tight-Beam broadcasts, which are much more difficult to intercept. In game terms, Tight-Beam Comms use Sensor Focus values for Range and dice bonuses. Any unit attempting to intercept a Tight-Beam Transmission must be in the same Fire Arc, and suffers a +15 Difficulty penalty.

Jamming
When Jamming...
    1). Roll CommScan dice against the Base Difficulty for that Range.

    2). On a successful roll, add the difference to the Difficulty for any Comm or Sensor units at a given range.

    3). If units are of different Scale, they may apply their Scale modifiers to their CommScan skill rolls as appropriate.

_________________
"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.

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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Specialist Units
Some units will be more capable with one particular aspect of CommScan over others, or may be only capable of using a single aspect of CommScan. Such units will be designated with either a notation of what they are used for (such as "Comms only" or "Sensors only"), or will have a bonus indicating an area of specialty (such as +2D Jamming).
_________________
"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.

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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some conditional modifiers for how local conditions affect CommScan signals...

This first one is chopped from here.

    Roll 2D, then compare the result to the following table:

    Dice Roll = Effect on Sensors
    2 = Intense solar flares, particle levels and background radiation render sensors all but useless. -4D to all Sensors and Communications rolls, and -2D to Fire Control.
    3 = Disruptive conditions greatly interfere with ship's sensors. -2D to all Sensors and Communications rolls, and -1D to Fire Control.
    4-5 = Mild background static somewhat interferes with Com-Scan. -1D to all Sensors and Communications rolls.
    6-9 = Conditions normal. Sensors, Communications and Fire Control function normally.
    10-11 = Clear & Calm, with minimal background static. +1D to all Sensors and Communications rolls.
    12 = Crystal Clear, with no background static and ideal sensor conditions. +2D to all Sensors and Communications rolls, +1D to Fire Control.

These others are modified from the Communication Difficulties Sidebar on pg. 37 of Rules of Engagement:
    +1D Difficulty = Heavy cloud cover, active energy fields (such as from moderate combat within 20km)

    +2D Difficulty = Storm activity, broad-based energy jamming, heavy nearby combat conditions ionic interference (such as a TIE Fighter passing overhead).

    +3D Difficulty = Nearby, very strong or specific bandwidth energy fields. Trying to punch a signal through a planetary shield (either way).

_________________
"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.

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Jollyone
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hope this is not a necro violation. I have some questions for this thread. I really like the merging of the skills. Could I have a break down of step by step of say a Longprobe Y-wing dropping from hyperspace and a patrol craft is in the system? X-wing same but dropping in range of C.Corvette? TIE/rc patrolling and scanning nebula or asteroid field that has pirates in it? Neb-B coming into system and relaying information via superior comms/sensors it has to ships not in system? Like to understand rolls from both sides, what is used how difficulty or opposed come into play?

With all that could I also have explained how sensor roll gets "lock" what difficulty is rolled? Can this be jammed or difficulty increased? Say a freighter trying to jam the lock from TIE's or even TIE/fc transmission to cap ship? I have seen without sensor success there is no fire control added, seems like something if I was flying a rebel ship or even a smuggler would want to prevent from happening to me.

Thanks ahead of time, so much to read about here, thank you.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know that there is such a thing as a necro violation on this forum...

As to your questions, you managed to hit on some things that I never considered.

Obviously, the best way for a ship to make a stealth entry into a system would be to drop into realspace some distance out (several thousands SUs), then slowly work its way in system. However, in the event a ship makes a normal jump and finds an enemy ship in-system, it would depend greatly on where that ship is located.

So, the biggest question on my mind is what sort of distances are involved. Based on the films, it does seem as though a ship can safely drop out of hyperspace relatively close, as in, inside any lunar orbits...

As for Lock-On, it is rolled just like a Sensor Focus roll, against whatever Difficulty is standard for that target.
_________________
"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.

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Whill
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jollyone wrote:
Hope this is not a necro violation...

No, it isn't. Posting Guideline (3) Keep it tidy just asks that you look for recent threads on the same subject before posting. This was only last posted in November and I'm pretty sure the topic hasn't come back up since. You're good.

CRMcNeill wrote:
Obviously, the best way for a ship to make a stealth entry into a system would be to drop into realspace some distance out (several thousands SUs), then slowly work its way in system.

It's not obvious to me. Do you mind dumbing this down for me? I've always wondered about this since "The Rebels are alerted to our presence. Admiral Ozzel came out of light-speed too close to the system." "He felt surprise was wiser." Why is the best way for a ship to make a stealthy entrance into a system to drop into realspace some distance out and work its way in? Once a ship slowly worked its way to the same point in realspace that it could have jumped strait to, wouldn't the chances for detection be the same from that point? How does approaching it slowly help? Is there a sensor that specifically detects hyperspace transitions? Admiral Ozzel was apparently attempting to surprise the Rebels so there must have been some tactic for that as opposed to coming out of lightspeed farther out. (I always took Vader's description of Ozzel as hyperbole because how could he have risen in the ranks to admiral and be placed in charge of Vader's Rebel hunting fleet if he was actually clumsy and stupid. Vader is brutal and kills officers who fail him regardless.) If there is a hyperspace transition sensor then how the hell could Ozzel actually think that the Rebels would be surprised by coming out of lightspeed closer to the planet?
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd say there is a big difference between stealth and surprise. The Imperial Fleet dropped into the Hoth system in overwhelming strength, and weren't trying to sneak up on anyone. A group of PCs trying to sneak past an Imperial Navy Line protecting a system lacks the power to bull their way through, and so much use alternative means. Ideally, if flying a ship with a clean ID, they just pretend to be normal, legitimate traffic and sail right on through. In an interdicted system, however, where no one is allowed in or out, legitimate or otherwise, that means sneaking in undetected.

Now, ships in the SWu have sensors that can detect ships entering or exiting hyperspace, so unless there is some way to mute that signal pulse, the only other solution is to jump so far out that the pulse dissipates before it reaches enemy sensors (or at least degrades to the point of undetectability). I've always felt that the signature of a ship jumping into a system is tied to both ship mass and drive speed, so it's theoretically possible that jumping into a system at a much lower speed will produce a much smaller signature.
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