View Full Version : Some Hyperspace Theory

Matt Richard
21 February 2002, 06:23 PM
I was reading the WEG rulebook under the section hyperspace. In it, it said that objects in realspace cast shadows in hyperspace. If a ship traveling in hyperspace hits a shadow, it takes damage, but not the shadow.

Now, the Empire has created a ship that can bring a ship out of hyperspace and keep it from going into hyperspace (I think the Rebellion did this as well).

My question is, wouldn't it make sense to create a ship that sends electronic pulses, stimulating the hyperdrive, causing the opposing ship to go to light speed, being destroyed in the shadow? How hard would it be to target a specific ship, and would it be possible to target multiple ships, and how do you treat this in terms of the RPG, use sensors rules?

Im not sure if this belongs here or on the SWRPG General Discussion, but I thought that it would best be put here.

21 February 2002, 07:14 PM
I've done a lot of thinking about the nature of hyperspace in the SW universe, and the WEG sourcebook is really helpful with that for the reasons you posted. As for everything in realspace casing a hyperspace shadow, and the object in hyperspace taking damage from a collision with the shadow, I think about that in terms of if both objects were in realspace, how much damage could object A cause to object B. A spacebound dust mote's hyperspace shadow is NOT going to trouble a full sized star destroyer.

The interdictor cruiser works by enlarging its mass shadow in hyperspace through the use of gravity wells. However, it does not take an interdictor cruiser to bring a ship out of hyperspace. In the Pirates and Privateers manual, a method of piracy is given where a pirate will tow a massive object such as an asteroid into the middle of a hyperspace lane. In order for this trick to be at all profitable to a pirate, it seems that there must be some sort of failsafe sensor mechanism that can read a short distance ahead of the ship's hyperspace path, and drop the ship back into realspace if it detecs a mass shadow larger than the ship's in its path. This is why scouts are paid to find clear paths through realspace which then become hyperspace routes.

Apart from that sensor, I think it would be easy to buffer a ship's hyperdrive from such electric impulses, so as soon as people found out what the enemy was doing, they'd stop it right away. Since we don't see anyone using such a weapon in the movies (would have been real easy just to hyper the D-Star into Yavin and forget about thermal exhaust ports) it stands to reason that either the buffer or the sensor could stop such a thing from happening.

If you're still set on using such a weapon, the way I'd handle it would be to say that the target ship's shields must be down (or they'd stop the energy pulse) and just use the appropriately scaled gunnery skill from there.

23 February 2002, 12:32 AM
Moving to RPG Discussion

Rogue Janson
24 February 2002, 07:16 AM
I agree with Sabra on the mechanics of hyperspace. SW ships seem to have pretty effective cutout systems to pull them out of hyperspace when a mass shadow is detected, though not effective enough to avoid catastrophe from a really large shadow (particularly if, as in the case of a star, the ship is likely to come out of hyperspace into a very dangerous area).
It stands to reason that ships are going to have similar safeties to stop them jumping into hyperspace in a mass shadow, which will likely be even more effective. And getting a ship to hyperspace isn't all that easy a thing to do (ask Han Solo).

26 February 2002, 07:25 PM
My thinking on this is that hyperdrives are attached to, or have included, mass-sensors. The trick is that when the sensor detects a mass shadow it shuts off the hyperdrive, which forces the ship back into realspace with (hopefully) enough time to avoid a collision.

Now with that understanding (and I could be wrong, but this is how it's worked in my games for ages) it would be impossible to send an impulse to a hyperdrive in the presence of a mass shadow, since the mass sensors are disabling the drive.

So in our games, you'd have to mask or jam the mass sensors first, and then activate the hyperdrive.

And with the technology and system hacking that would be required to access another ship's drive systems... it would be simpler to just drive them into the sun directly. :)

26 February 2002, 08:50 PM
now if what i understand is correct you want to send an electromagnetic wave at the other ship to get it's hyperdrive going. I kinda liking this as trying to get someones car to crash into the tree infront of it. Only problem is your trying to do it ten feet away with a remote. So assuming you can figure out a beam that goes through the car to the circut with out frying it you need to be able to do the following. You would need enough presicion to set off only the trasisters you want, mind you each is smaller then a micron, in order get the on board computer to do the stuff you need. And that's assuming we know everything about the car. So sure you might be able to do it. To do it reliable you might need a lab about the size of road island though. Me personlay I would just hit the car with Road Island it would make a bigger dent :p. Anyway in the end this is sci-fi; so it all depends on your group. If they don't have a problem with it i would go with what sabre said.

27 February 2002, 05:07 PM
Why stop at remotely activating the hyper-drive? How about sending remote signals to tap into the ships computer and open all the air locks and doors? In star wars crews almost never have vacc suits on, you could kill the crew and capture ships rather than just destroy them.

Lord Diggori
1 March 2002, 05:33 AM
I think directly sabotaging a hyperdrive would be easier than the electric pulse thing. It would be like making a spotlight that not only blinds people but makes them run forward as fast as they can. This level of technology opens up a can of worms that you may not want to deal with as gutrender inferred. Disable the safeties; mess with the nav-comp; and you got'em.

I had a scoundral in my first d20 campaign that wanted to override safeties to manually kick into hyperdrive (a Star Destroyer ionized the computers to the point that the nav-comp was unreliable.) He rolled high enough to bypass and activate the drive mnaually. Sadly he had no Starship ops and rolled a 5 Int check to realize what activating it in a planet's gravity well would do to the ship and it's contents, the whole party. 8o *CRUNCH*

The moral is beware messing with hyperspace. ;)

Ash DuQuennes
7 March 2002, 12:03 PM
I had heard of an old (and dangerous) smuggler's trick, which I worked out and perfected while in command of Gold Squadron. It involves the use of gravitational null-points (the point between two stellar objects where their respective gravity wells cancel each other out) to enter or exit hyperspace at danger-close ranges to targets.

Naturally, it can only work where the astrographic data is sufficient to accurately extrapolate the position and vector of such points, as they are generally moving targets. Even then, it ain't for the faint of heart.

As far as "remote hacking" another ship's systems to get them to do something you want (usually to the detriment of the target), it would occur to me that it would occur to starship engineers and I/T types as well. You'd need the equivalent of a wireless I/O port, which I'm sure that the communications equipment in SW certainly has. And I'm also sure that SW has sophisticated, heuristic Anti-Virus software protocols to protect against such things.

But whether those "links" are "open" for just anyone to "log into" and start messing with the ship's OS is another question entirely. I know I would certainly have such "paths" disabled until such time that I wanted to establish such a connection (such as uploading astrographic data, port regulations and maybe even GNN from a starport's database/infonet).

Remember: whatever door you open in the game mechanics will also be taken advantage of by your players. Often when you least expect it. I might allow it as a GM, on occasion, if it were dramtically appropriate. I'd also set the DC high enough to make it a "Hail Mary, save our sorry butts" action.

Chris Curtis
8 March 2002, 10:37 AM
Sounds like you've been reading the Night's Dawn series by Peter F. Hamilton, Ash. ;) "Lagrange Calvert", anyone? It is a rather interesting idea, nonetheless, and I hadn't thought of applying it to SW.

Ash DuQuennes
8 March 2002, 02:25 PM
No, Chris, haven't heard of that series. One of our players brought it up as a concept, and we talked it out as a game group, and "worked out the mechanics" to our GM's satisfaction.

The "null point" is a moving ellipse, and your ship's hyperspace vector into and out of the ellipse is critical. We often use mini-jumps (one to two hour jumps) to and from rally points near a target system.

As I mentioned before, astrographic data must be dead-on accurate for it to work, and we've tricked out a BTL-A4 Longprobe as a "stealth recon" craft, and have sent them through interdicted systems on a powered down "stealth trajectory" to gather last-minute data on stellar bodies and gravitational fields.

If the system isn't interdicted, a standard "stock light" can pass legally through the system and gather any necessary data (legally!) with either it's own sensors, or even log onto the System Traffic Control Net and download the necessary data for free!

We've hit Imperial Shipyards and Convoys, us coming out of hyperspace right on top of them at point-blank range, before they have tme to react, raise shields, etc.

And....we've screwed the pooch a few times, too.

When it works (and it usually does; we do our homework and planning in Gold Squadron!), it works beautifully. When it don't.... :shudder: