Astrogation, hyperspace lanes and that

By Jegergryte, in Star Wars: Edge of the Empire RPG

I wonder how you do this: When calculating hyperspace jumps, do you look up the hyperspace lanes? Either the big ones or the smaller ones, and use that as a way to calculate how many jumps are needed, and how long it will take?

I mean, do you have to stop at each planet along the lane? I'd think not, but do you do it that way?

For instance, going from Triton to Malastare, two jumps: first to Eriadu and then onwards to Malastare? Or one between each system on the way?

How about planets the lies off the major, and minor, lanes? A second jump to get there? Increased difficulty? Setback dice?

I mean, if you want to go to Cularin (P,14 on core book map), there is no line, which I gather means there is no major or minor hyperspace lane.

How about calculating time for travel, before applying the multiplier - table 7-14 on page 247 lists average durations, so within a sector its 10 to 24 hours, what guides your decision as a base time before hyperdrive multiplication?

I'm mainly wondering how you do this, not "what is the right way to do it" - because I've rarely given it much thought, but now I'm sort of thinking about focusing a bit more on it; since this book actually provides us with a proper map, that looks good and proper :)

Edited by Jegergryte

1. Major Hyperspace lanes are designed to allow for continuous travel, without the need to stop at points along the route.

2. Minor routes are the same, but often have stopping points along the route to redirect onto a different minor or major route.

3. Planets that or off of the main or minor routes are a bit more involved. They require more time to figure out the computations, and may require an extra difficulty die as well as the increased time. There is added risk when attempting the use of Hyperspace off the routes. One may run into a stray gravity well or other nasty situations. More stops are therefore required.

4. The base time would be based on the distance as well as rather it was a Major/Minor/Off the Lanes situation. i.e. Travelling on a major route would take much less time than traveling off the lanes. So if using a major route, start the time near the minimum, add some time for distance, then figure your multiplier into the equation. Conversely, if going off the lanes, then start near the max time required, add for distance, then work the multiplier in.

All in all you are pretty safe using major/minor routes. Going off the lanes adds MUCH more difficulty and odds of an accident. Good for role-playing as you may pop out hyperspace, right into the gravity well of a stray planet or Super Star Destroyer...

Edited by ValiantOne

Is the travel time between two locations variable? That was one thing that bothered me during my brief Saga experience.

Having to drop out of hyperspace at points along the way provides opportunities for stuff to happen. Pirate attacks, customs inspections, running in to other space truckers at greasy spoon cafes in space truck stops. It also makes travel more of an event - you need to look up a route and visit a variety of exotic locations rather than just plug in your destination and wait.

Edited by ErikB

I am talking about a jump from point A to point B, even if point B is not your final destination. What determines the time of the jump?

Discretion based on aforementioned table times hyperdrive multiplier :ph34r:

Is the travel time between two locations variable? That was one thing that bothered me during my brief Saga experience.

It could be with stellar phenomenon moving around. Think of the major hyperspace lanes as large highways with stable, fixed routes with lots of capacity. The smaller routes are like street roads, generally fixed but may suffer from seasonal issues or could become blocked due to outside forces.

Finally the locations with no routes may require precise, one off, calculations to reach and could take a lot of time and planning. Not all 'turns' can be taken at lightspeed and may require the ship to drop out of lightspeed to orientate for the next jump, in some of the more dangerous paths they may have to travel through a nebula or near asteroids or a black hole before they can jump again.

In cases of all three types of jumps you can make astrogation charts a commodity for your players. If they're playing the role of "free-traders" who are just starting to get into the business then they may have to buy common astrogation charts but then they could also earn secret short cuts or location to hidden worlds only known by smugglers.

With my groups I plan to make Astrogation Information a resource they can trade in and there will be a fog of war (of sorts) across the galaxy map, especially in the Outer and Mid Rim areas which are mostly unexplored.

Thanks. Can't wait for my book to arrive.

@Nashable: I'm interested in your idea of the astro-charts as a resource, gaining better information equals faster travel, perhaps even shortcuts, but have you defined what the default information is in the nav-computers? Like major lanes in one area, all the major lanes? specific sectors? I know its a tad on the detailed side, I'm just wondering :)

Your hyperdrive doesn't get any faster or anything when you're in a hyperspace route. It's not like the jet stream. You can just make your own hyperspace route with astrogation between two worlds. However, there are a number of reasons that this is not advisable or desirable.

First is population. More people live along hyperspace routes. It's where the money is, usually. Think of it like the old railroad as it was being built.

Second and third are tied together, and those are speed of jump calculation and safety. It takes less time to calculate a hyperspace jump along a known route because those routes are continually updated. When new stellar hazards show up, the route is slightly altered to allow for that new gravity well or nebula or whatever. That also means that you're a lot safer using a known route. You likely know all the hazards along the way, and the computer will calculate a jump to avoid them. Also, if something does happen, you're a lot more likely to receive help in response to your distress signal.

Smugglers are known for using their own hyperspace calculations in order to bypass customs and local patrols. They take an incredible risk in doing that over large distances. Those smuggler routes are very short jumps.

As for when you'd have to drop out, that's entirely up to your supplies and your hyperdrive. If your hyperdrive is functioning smoothly, you can spend days or weeks in hyperspace so long as you have enough supplies to stay alive during the jump. If your hyperdrive is on the fritz, however, you may have to make shorter jumps to let the drive cool down, or other some such precautionary measure to keep it going. Stars help you if your backup goes out, too.

As stated above, stellar charts must be updated regularly. Nothing in space is stationary; everything is in motion. Updated charts account for drift and new hazards. Charts for major and some minor routes should be readily available from the overseeing authority. However, smuggler routes can make fine prizes for a crew that needs to lay low and keep off the sensors of Imperial/Republic/Sith/whatever authorities.

Nav computers receive updates for known routes via the nav buoys that are along said routes. The more ships that travel those lanes, the more frequently the nav buoys have new data to pass along as the information is a two-way street.