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"Driving" your spaceship
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Esoomian
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PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2023 6:32 pm    Post subject: "Driving" your spaceship Reply with quote

I remember seeing in one of the rulebooks that Space Transports have repulsorlifts (the exact phrase was something along the lines of sublight engines often have toxic outputs so vessels may be required to use repulsorlifts around civilized areas).

So does this mean you can take your ship for a drive and just drive down the road on repulsorlifts? If so how would that work?
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Whill
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PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2023 7:21 pm    Post subject: Re: "Driving" your spaceship Reply with quote

Spaceships have repulsorlifts for slow maneuvering in gravity, landing and taking off, etc. I don't remember reading about sublight drive exhaust being toxic but it is possible that is one reason why they aren't used close to the ground. Another might be that they are designed for open space and too powerful for the fine scale of maneuvering needed for hangers and docking bays. Repulsorlifts allow for reorienting the ship in ways the main drive isn't capable of. Spaceship use of repulsorlift tech is evident in the films:

Chewie maneuverers the Falcon out of the docking bay then kicks in the main drive once clear of it ("a ship that blasted its way out of Mos Eisley.") Maybe Chewie used the main drive too low over the city in their haste to escape.

Jango Fett landing Slave I on Geonosis.

I see some problems with just using spaceships on planets as speeders. Even smaller starfighters have too much weaponry to be "street legal." Larger starfighters, shuttles, and space transports tend to be too big for landspeeder pathways (and also tend to have too much weaponry). My feeling is that spaceships use their main drives for propulsion in atmospheric travel, so the repulsorlift engine is just for careful maneuvering only. Spaceships would have to use their main drives to "drive around" but it might be too powerful (and possibly toxic). A spaceship's repulsorlift would probably be too slow for ground travel.
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Esoomian
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PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2023 7:29 pm    Post subject: Re: "Driving" your spaceship Reply with quote

Whill wrote:
Spaceships have repulsorlifts for slow maneuvering in gravity, landing and taking off, etc. I don't remember reading about sublight drive exhaust being toxic but it is possible that is one reason why they aren't used close to the ground.


I think it is in Tramp Freighters but I couldn't find it there when I looked again. I have been going through a lot of books recently (gearing up for a new game).

I hadn't considered that freighters had too much weaponry to be 'street legal' but the speed and size issues make sense and align with what I've been thinking.

I was imagining a TIE fighter could drop to street level and chase fleeing players because it is smaller than some ground vehicles but I can absolutely see the repulsorlifts being only for fine maneuvers and having a maximum speed of something like 5
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Sun May 21, 2023 12:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We do see the main drives on ships light off while still in atmosphere, so I would surmise that they can only use them in a low power thrust mode (or in some sort of low output mode to minimize environmental damage) until they get above a certain altitude. Because reasons.
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Sun May 21, 2023 1:32 am    Post subject: Re: "Driving" your spaceship Reply with quote

Esoomian wrote:
I remember seeing in one of the rulebooks that Space Transports have repulsorlifts (the exact phrase was something along the lines of sublight engines often have toxic outputs so vessels may be required to use repulsorlifts around civilized areas).

So does this mean you can take your ship for a drive and just drive down the road on repulsorlifts? If so how would that work?


You'd just use the repulsor ops skill!
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pakman
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PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2023 10:40 am    Post subject: Re: "Driving" your spaceship Reply with quote

Esoomian wrote:
I remember seeing in one of the rulebooks that Space Transports have repulsorlifts (the exact phrase was something along the lines of sublight engines often have toxic outputs so vessels may be required to use repulsorlifts around civilized areas).

So does this mean you can take your ship for a drive and just drive down the road on repulsorlifts? If so how would that work?


Yes, they have repulsorlifts - that is how they maneuver and land vtol.

(also see Whill's answer above).

Yes, you could just "drive them" but it does not seem practical - as these are designed to keep them from falling and simple maneuvers - not speedy transport. (I would say about 20kph for repulsor only movement).

Regarding regulatory rules on such activity - well, lets just say I am sure the traffic cops on Naboo or Coruscant might have different standards than on Tatooine or Hoth.
I am sure any civilized area would have flight traffic rules on acceptable lanes and speed etc. (we see this in a few clone wars episodes, and in one of the mando episodes).

On the toxic thing - I think I recall that as well from...somewhere (radioactive) - however we don't see a ton of care for that in various sources (of course - our favorite space wizards series is not always known for consistent science....).

Personally, I DO use them as dangerous in my game - as I think that could be a fun story factor. I would treat the area immediately around the exhaust as exposure to radiation damage etc.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2023 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My thinking (which was discussed here) is that, while landspeeders and ships / airspeeders use repulsorlifts to create lift, they utilize different methods to generate thrust. A landspeeder uses a traction field projected from its underside to “grab” the ground (much like a tractor beam) and push/pull the speeder along, while ships and airspeeders utilize a kinetic impeller that can generate thrust without the need to generate virtual leverage on a nearby surface.

The trade off is that, while the kinetic impeller is capable of much greater speeds, the landspeeder traction field allows for much greater precision in tight quarters, particularly when close to the ground. Thus, while an airspeeder or starship can operate at street level if needs be, it requires a much greater degree of control and precision on the pilot’s part than it would in a landspeeder.

This is in addition to the drive thrust from any booster engines that both types use to augment the straight-line speed of the traction field / impeller.
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2023 3:44 pm    Post subject: Re: "Driving" your spaceship Reply with quote

pakman wrote:

On the toxic thing - I think I recall that as well from...somewhere (radioactive) - however we don't see a ton of care for that in various sources (of course - our favorite space wizards series is not always known for consistent science....)..


IIRC that came from the now legends novels..
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Esoomian
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PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2023 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:
My thinking (which was discussed here) is that, while landspeeders and ships / airspeeders use repulsorlifts to create lift, they utilize different methods to generate thrust. A landspeeder uses a traction field projected from its underside to “grab” the ground (much like a tractor beam) and push/pull the speeder along, while ships and airspeeders utilize a kinetic impeller that can generate thrust without the need to generate virtual leverage on a nearby surface.


Aha this is exactly the information I was after. I knew there was some other piece in the puzzle. So presumably a ship with tractor beams could move safely(ish) but still not as well as a landspeeder.
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Last edited by Esoomian on Wed May 24, 2023 12:39 am; edited 1 time in total
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2023 12:36 am    Post subject: Re: "Driving" your spaceship Reply with quote

garhkal wrote:
pakman wrote:

On the toxic thing - I think I recall that as well from...somewhere (radioactive) - however we don't see a ton of care for that in various sources (of course - our favorite space wizards series is not always known for consistent science....)..


IIRC that came from the now legends novels..

IIRC, it was a factor in the old X-Wing PC game, where flying through the exhaust plume of a ship inflicted damage.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2023 12:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Esoomian wrote:
Aha this is exactly the information I was after. I knew there was some other piece in the puzzle. So presumable a ship with tractor beams could move safely(ish) but still not as well as a landspeeder.

I feel I should reiterate that this is just my headcanon; it’s not official, but is (to me, at least) a logical extrapolation of how we see various repulsorlift vehicles operate on screen. Your last point reminded me of another factor I failed to mention. In my headcanon, tractor beam projectors use the same technology as inertial compensators, using undefined energy to manipulate the kinetic state of objects within the field. By extension, all starships and airspeeders can extend their inertial compensator field short distances to “grab” nearby objects, such as other ships, or the ground. This is used for precision close-in work, like docking or object recovery in space, but also aids in landing and take-off, as well as other maneuvers close to the ground. But yes, not as precise as with the dedicated field on a landspeeder.
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Esoomian
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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2023 12:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Be that as it may it means I can divide my repulsorlift categories into just two skill sets.

*Field manipulation (where the repulsorlift provides lift and thrust/control).
*Field riding (where the repulsorlift provides lift only).
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2023 1:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I went with Landspeeder Operation and Airspeeder Operation, due to the differing methods of propulsion and the differing environments (2D vs 3D).
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Esoomian
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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2023 1:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also valid but then you have to explain that using repulsorlifts in a space ship is Airspeeder Operation because the field doesn't provide thrust.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2023 1:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, that would be Starship Operation. Repulsorlifts are part of the tech that allows all three to function, and there is a degree of overlap, but they’re sufficiently different that it’s three different skill sets that just happen to use some of the same tech. Incidentally, I would allow a character to use Airspeeder Operation to pilot a starship, so long as they stayed below orbit.
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