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View Full Version : How do you handle spaceport/customs protocols?



Inquisitor Tremayne
11-24-2008, 05:20 PM
Specifically things like;

Do transponders automatically transmit to other vessels?

Does a ship need to specifically send out its transponder for it to be identified?

How do you handle ships landing on a planet?

Are they contacted by starport control or do they simply need to contact the METSOP and can land pretty much without headache?

Do all ships go through customs or just those with cargo?

If docking bays are owned by different individuals how do customs officials get involved?

How do you guys run this? The canon and EU seems to be contradictory in any sort of "official" protocols.

or another way to answer would be to describe how you play what happens the first time a ship arrives in-system.

Thanks

Total Nerd v2.135 (final)
11-25-2008, 02:00 AM
The answers you seek could either be found in the "Starships of the Galaxy" sourcebook or the "Starships" section of the Revised Core Rulebook.

If you are deficient of either of these tomes, PM me and I will fix you up.

Total Nerd v2.135 (final)
11-25-2008, 02:04 AM
and of course if the rules seem overwhelming or contradictory, and you are the gm, you may feel free to make assumptions, educated guesses, and even improvisations to your liking.

Skunkape
11-25-2008, 08:14 AM
Specifically things like;

While I don’t run Star Wars, I can answer how I handle this things in my Sci-Fi campaign, which is how I would handle them if I were running a Star Wars campaign for the most part.


Do transponders automatically transmit to other vessels?

Ship transponders would normally automatically broadcast any time the ship had power. Any ship that was not transmitting would be targeted for boarding action by any ‘police’ ships due to the fact that only criminals/pirates mask their transponder signals.


Does a ship need to specifically send out its transponder for it to be identified?

The transponder would automatically identify the ship, unless the transponder had been modified, but only criminals/pirates do that sort of thing.


How do you handle ships landing on a planet?

This depends on the level of facilities on the planet. Any planet with a star port would require ships to land in accordance to the ports rules.


Are they contacted by starport control or do they simply need to contact the METSOP and can land pretty much without headache?

Whenever a ship moves into the jurisdiction of the port, they would be contacted by the port authority and have to follow whatever rules were in place by said authority. If the port authority were under the domain of a government, ‘Imperium’ for Star Wars, then they would follow ‘Imperial’ law, well unless they were under the control of the ‘Rebellion’, but even then they would tend to follow ‘Imperial’ law to reduce the chances of being found out.


Do all ships go through customs or just those with cargo?

All ships would go through customs, only criminals/pirates have something to hide and would attempt to avoid customs checks.


If docking bays are owned by different individuals how do customs officials get involved?

Only criminals/pirates would restrict access to their docking bays, keeping customs officials out.


How do you guys run this? The canon and EU seems to be contradictory in any sort of "official" protocols.

If you mean canon by Star Wars canon, I’d go with what feels right and what you think would be the most fun as far as the game is concerned.

I tend to like my own game worlds, very rarely do I use a world entirely from what's written in the game materials. I used to use the defaul game worlds, but they never ever fit the type of game I wanted to run. But I will take parts of pre-written game worlds that I like and use them, as long as I feel it will make the game fun.

Inquisitor Tremayne
11-25-2008, 10:08 AM
The answers you seek could either be found in the "Starships of the Galaxy" sourcebook or the "Starships" section of the Revised Core Rulebook.

If you are deficient of either of these tomes, PM me and I will fix you up.

If you have specific page numbers to quote, please post them. Otherwise in my scouring of those book I have found only hints as to the protocols. And considering the "open" nature of Saga Edition it is no surprise that they would leave these details to the GM.

But I of course want more!

I am running an infinities Dark Times game and I want the Empire to be as imposing as I can possibly make them, that means EVERY Imperial controlled starport they visit they are going to have to deal with Imperial customs.

FUN!

And thanks Skunkape, that's pretty much what I was thinking but I just want to get a sense of how others handle it.

There are instances in the EU and now canon due to the new Clone Wars cartoon, that sometimes a ship is simply detected and identified by its size and type and THEN asked to identify themselves.

Inquisitor Tremayne
11-25-2008, 01:10 PM
I think I will handle it like this:

1) The Maddened Mynock (my players ship) enters the Sullust system and everyone gets reactionary Use Computer/Perception checks to see/detect other vessels. Ships can be scanned and you gain the following information: size, make, and transpoder name.

2) On approach to the planet the players may contact the METSOP and gain all necessary planetary information, planetary travel including current space lane traffic (approach vectors), and tourism for Sullust.

3) As they get closer Starport control will scan and contact the Maddened Mynock and will ask for them to identify themselves as well as what business they have on Sullust. Starport control can also supply approach vectors should the characters need them.

4) If everything is on the up and up Starport control will track their ship and ask where they will choose to dock so that whatever ruling body can have their customs officials there waiting for them.
4a) Should everything NOT be on the up-and-up local security, which very well may include Imperial security, will dispatch patrol ships to escort the Mynock to a secure docking bay where a customs and security team will await them. Here the players will be inspected, fined, and/or incarcerated. If the Empire is involved it may begin with incarceration and asking questions later.

5) The crew of the Mynock may choose from usually a wide array of independent, corporate, and government owned docking bays.

6) Upon docking customs will inspect all paper work and make sure it is all in order, even if a ship doesn't have cargo to unload an inspection to verify that fact may be called for. At this time the length of stay will also be determined, so that customs will be sure to have a crew present upon disembarking.

7) The characters will be expected to comply with all rules concerning carried firearms and equipment into the spaceport and city proper. Failure to comply can result in fines, confinement to their ship, and in extreme cases incarceration.

Leaving the planet:

1) Leaving the planet requires the characters to meet with customs again, this time checking any cargoes being loaded onto the ship or checking the identification of passengers being taken on board.

2) Should everything be in order they are cleared to leave. The customs agent(s) will contact starport control and give their clearance, at which point starport control will contact the Maddened Mynock and give them current space lane traffic information as well as clear vectors to safe hyperspace jump points.



What do you guys think?

Webhead
11-25-2008, 02:05 PM
I like that as a checklist for arrival/departure procedures. Consider it *snatched*. ;)

That's pretty much how I regarded most docking procedures in past games, though I usually glaze over everything to avoid dragging out the pacing each time the party hops planets...unless the PCs legitimately have something to hide, in which case it can make for its own fun encounters!

I also like to include the occasional "Imperial Customs" encounter when the players are traveling along major trade routes. The Empire positions many customs ships in areas of heavy traffic to ensure that the Alliance (and their contractors/sympathizers) doesn't try to squeeze goods and personnel through by jumping into and out of major lanes and dodging the less agile planetary customs networks.

Total Nerd v2.135 (final)
11-25-2008, 02:58 PM
Well, I looked through the Starships of the Galaxy and was actually rather surprised to find that there was almost nothing addressing any of your questions! A lot of info on building ships or designing them, construction points, weapon systems, and pricing etc. but no customs or spaceport protocols.

In the revised core rulebook, page 204 has info on 'booking passage' and 'chartering' and 'space travel'
it doesn't really say much though

On page 55 of the galactic campaign guide, there is a brief and useless entry on docking bays

i'd say go with your ideas, they look great to me.

Webhead
11-25-2008, 03:54 PM
When I have some time at home, I will go pouring through some of the old D6 sourcebooks. I know that one of the books (perhaps Galaxy Guide 6: Tramp Freighters, Platt's Smuggler's Guide or maybe the Imperial Sourcebook) had some specific information about Imperial customs and planetary security procedures.

Inquisitor Tremayne
11-25-2008, 04:05 PM
When I have some time at home, I will go pouring through some of the old D6 sourcebooks. I know that one of the books (perhaps Galaxy Guide 6: Tramp Freighters, Platt's Smuggler's Guide or maybe the Imperial Sourcebook) had some specific information about Imperial customs and planetary security procedures.

OH please do!!! :high5:

I *gasp* lost my Imperial Sourcebook! And Tramp Freighters and Platt's Starport Guide are still too expensive on ebay.

Help me Webhead, you're my only hope!

Webhead
11-25-2008, 04:10 PM
OH please do!!! :high5:

I *gasp* lost my Imperial Sourcebook! And Tramp Freighters and Platt's Starport Guide are still too expensive on ebay.

Help me Webhead, you're my only hope!

;)

I'm so glad that I found the used bookstore that I did when I first moved to Texas. I was able to fill most of the gaps in my collection at really cheap prices thanks to somebody who was apparently getting rid of all their books. I found a dozen or more Star Wars D6 books at half cover price or less. The Force was truly with me.

Inquisitor Tremayne
11-25-2008, 04:13 PM
;)

I'm so glad that I found the used bookstore that I did when I first moved to Texas. I was able to fill most of the gaps in my collection at really cheap prices thanks to somebody who was apparently getting rid of all their books. I found a dozen or more Star Wars D6 books at half cover price or less. The Force was truly with me.

LUCKY!

I am waaay behind and freaking loosing my Imperial Sourcebook was a major set-back! :mad:

So I am picking up what I can on ebay. Unfortunately there is not a half-priced books in the St. Louis area. :(

Webhead
11-25-2008, 04:18 PM
LUCKY!

I am waaay behind and freaking loosing my Imperial Sourcebook was a major set-back! :mad:

So I am picking up what I can on ebay. Unfortunately there is not a half-priced books in the St. Louis area. :(

That sucks. Half Price Books has been good to me on occasion as well. The bookstore I stumbled across was a local affair called Recycled Books which operates out of an old theater house. Everytime I'm in the area, I stop by to peruse but it is not quite the RPG treasure-trove that it was several years ago. Still, I have a hard time walking out of there without something in my hands and their prices are still excellent.

Total Nerd v2.135 (final)
11-26-2008, 01:01 AM
Inquisitor, I found something that may interest you, and will PM you a link.