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FTL is obscenely dangerous in Starfinder


Starfinder General Discussion

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Sovereign Court

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So it occurred to me that given the dangers of the Drift as presented in the core rule book, I am not certain any major corporation would reasonably be expected to actually use the Drift as a method of travel. I don't have the core rule book in front of me so forgive my inexact numbers but I believe that an in-system jump carries with it a 1% chance of an encounter in the Drift. Now many people would undoubtedly carry weapons to defend themselves but let us assume for the sake of argument that 1% of all encounters end in the death of some or all members of a ships crew. I feel that this is not an unreasonable rate considering the threats presented and how the universe is portrayed. Basically 1/10,000 ships that enter the drift never make it to their destination.

Chicago O'Hare airport, the third biggest in the country, services approximately 527 outbound flights per day. This mortality rate would be the same as a plane from O'Hare going missing every 20 days. Imagine the outcry if that were to happen. 18 major crashes/year from a single airport. Would people even fly anymore? Multiply that one airport by the necessary traffic of an entire solar system and suddenly you see the problem. The odds go up drastically if you attempt a flight out-system. At 10% encounter rate in the drift you are looking at 1/1000 flights disappearing. 10 flights/day from 10 ports lose a ship every 10 days.

This is not even factoring in the number of ships intercepted by pirates and brigands in normal space. At those rates everyone who flies would know someone who never made it back just from entering FTL.

Food for thought.


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Stephen Trone wrote:
...I believe that an in-system jump carries with it a 1% chance of an encounter in the Drift. Now many people would undoubtedly carry weapons to defend themselves but let us assume for the sake of argument that 1% of all encounters end in the death of some or all members of a ships crew. I feel that this is not an unreasonable rate considering the threats presented and how the universe is portrayed. Basically 1/10,000 ships that enter the drift never make it to their destination.

You go from suggesting 1% of encounters lead to death of some/all of the ship's crew, to stating that that same 1% of encounters lead to ship TPKs.

Also, I don't think it's fair to compare Starfinder to O'Hare. Starfinder is a setting that still has vast swaths of unexplored space. For a real world example, you should think of seafaring explorers, or *maybe* the birth of aviation. I have no idea what the statistics there are, but it's probably closer to losing 1 in 10,000 ships/planes.


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Counterpoint:

In the United States in 2015, approximately 35,000 people died in car crashes. The population is approximately 350,000,000. That makes the car crash death odds more-or-less the same as the Drift death odds.

Yet people keep getting in their cars.

EDIT: And there's a lot less money at stake for driving, most of the time. So yeah, corporations would probably happily accept those losses as part of the cost of doing business. Tragedy evaporates when given a ledger entry.


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Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

This is still a lot better than merchant vessels of yesteryear, so I don't see them calling it quits over that.


I would also point out how FTL travel still happens a lot in Warhammer 40K despite horrible dangers in that setting.


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The comparison with O'Hare has got me thinking... you're right, there would be massive public outcry if a plane crashed out of O'Hare once ever 20 days. Yet the equivalent mortality rate (again, with some hand-waving approximations) happens on the highways all the time. And there would be a massive public outcry if you tried to prevent 100 deaths a day by taking away people's cars.

There is only one plausible explanation: Automobiles are sentient aliens, the harbingers of an invasion wherein we destroy ourselves.


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Stephen Trone wrote:

So it occurred to me that given the dangers of the Drift as presented in the core rule book, I am not certain any major corporation would reasonably be expected to actually use the Drift as a method of travel. I don't have the core rule book in front of me so forgive my inexact numbers but I believe that an in-system jump carries with it a 1% chance of an encounter in the Drift. Now many people would undoubtedly carry weapons to defend themselves but let us assume for the sake of argument that 1% of all encounters end in the death of some or all members of a ships crew. I feel that this is not an unreasonable rate considering the threats presented and how the universe is portrayed. Basically 1/10,000 ships that enter the drift never make it to their destination.

Chicago O'Hare airport, the third biggest in the country, services approximately 527 outbound flights per day. This mortality rate would be the same as a plane from O'Hare going missing every 20 days. Imagine the outcry if that were to happen. 18 major crashes/year from a single airport. Would people even fly anymore? Multiply that one airport by the necessary traffic of an entire solar system and suddenly you see the problem. The odds go up drastically if you attempt a flight out-system. At 10% encounter rate in the drift you are looking at 1/1000 flights disappearing. 10 flights/day from 10 ports lose a ship every 10 days.

This is not even factoring in the number of ships intercepted by pirates and brigands in normal space. At those rates everyone who flies would know someone who never made it back just from entering FTL.

Food for thought.

I think you would be more looking into the age of sail types of corporations for shipping via FTL. Even in the age with incredible amounts of piracy where a good amount of merchant ships could potentially lose some or all of their crew people still shipped things to all corners of the world. You would do what they used to do and still do to this day get insurance on the ships and have navies to smite pirates/monsters when they get out of hand.

The fact the drift opens up entire other solar systems is like the europeans opening up the americas for resources/colonization but times near infinity. We have become very blase about travel risks in our current age. Back in the past and not even that long ago traveling across the US could be fatal even for large bands of travelers. Ocean trips were not a great deal safer. Get stranded and becalmed and disease could rip through your ship and you could wind up with a large chunk of your crew dying in transit. I would expect that you would see merchants working in convoys in more dangerous areas and be pretty heavily armed. Most random drift encounters are unlikely to be an existential threat to such a convoy.


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Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

With no encounter tables, we lack a basic bit of information about how dangerous these encounters actually are -- and note that even ships without Drift Drives can have hostile encounters with pirates and other enemy ships.

Still, Drift Drives are probably safer than the Traveller jump drive, since with Starfinder having no mechanic to account for fuel consumption, you run no risk of misjumping into an area of empty space from which you lack the fuel to jump away.

Sovereign Court

I recognized all of these points as I was writing, but you are forgetting that these are simply the losses from random sky monsters. These have nothing to do with the losses from mechanical failure or human (alien) error that would also be dealt with and which cause the car crashes and merchant vessel losses on earth. This is simply the danger of even using FTL, the actual danger of flying is space is extraordinarily higher.
Not saying adventurous people wouldn't do it. After all adventure without danger is just Tuesday. Just a world building detail I thought deserved more attention.


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The added factors do not appreciably raise the risk above and beyond the risk of getting on the road--those are simply losses from crashes, not all the other ways you can die by leaving your house (e.g., there were ~15,000 murders in the U.S. in 2015). To call a risk comparable to the risk of driving "obscenely dangerous" is a subjective call that clearly most people do not share.

The capacity to comprehend and accurately assess risk in a modern context is not particularly well-honed. There is no reason to expect it to have miraculously improved in a futuristic setting. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to blow up my car.


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I do find it likely that there would be all sorts of superstitions about FTL and how to avoid a bad trip.


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That is true a 1 in 10,000 loss would lead to a problem for the bankers backing the investments and said bankers would then insist on safeguards to ensure these things did not happen.

So the Drift problem deals with Demons and Angels getting pissed off as we mere mortals rip up the Cosmoverse just to get from point A to Point B so sometimes it is just something creeping in from the other side, ghosts, hellfire, heavon's clouds etc. and other time the rent occurred in the Grand Sultan Djinn's private harem so something is sent through looking for hell to pay. You pays your money and you take your chances.

Two ways to safeguard this: Technomancers, Mystics and others map out sections of space and where they are in the cosmoverse and create paths between worlds that are least likely to cause incident in case of a rent. Starfarers would be given these maps meaning that known space would be safer than unknown space.

The last way is to have on staff Mystics, Technomancers and others who are skilled and trained at dealing with outsiders and the supernatural and can kick the @$$ or at least dismissal whatever comes through. So high level mystics might be on board in the open and in secret like the Air Marshall service of homeland security.

These things won't stop tragedy from occurring but it will allow the megacorps to figure out if the loss is acceptable financially using their spreadsheets.

Where there is a will there is a way.


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Basically drift encounters are no more a stopping point for trade than weather was for shipping in the age of sails. When going to the americas or india ships would be at seas for weeks/months at a time and a lot of ships never got back to port again. Either due to weather/accident/piracy/hostile natives/disease/mutiny. The drift brings you to more that type of consideration for trade. It will take a while for your ships to get where they are going and when they are enroute they are more or less out of communication as any communication from them takes about as long to get back to you as it took that ship to get where it currently is.

Is it dangerous yes will you lose crew and ship yes. But this is stuff we have all accepted as risks in the past for much less reasons than opening up entire new planetary systems worth of markets/resources. Heck one probably common use for small groups of starfinders if finding lost merchant ships or finding out what happened to them for insurance companies/family.

Sovereign Court

The death rate is comparable to driving yes, but driving fatalities are by and large due to human error and mechanical failure both of which are already going to cause deaths in the starfinder universe. This would be the same as having all the deaths from driving PLUS deaths from simply being on the road at all. The roads on earth do not spawn demons at random.

Edit: I do like the mystic air marshal idea though. I might have to borrow that idea for a home game.


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Hence my point about murders.

EDIT: My over-all point with bringing up auto fatalities is that people already accept (and indeed, seldom even think about) a risk comparable to your estimation of the risk of Drift travel. If they do that with one thing, why is it such a massive leap of imagination to suggest they might do it with another?


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While the first part (1% chance of encounters) is correct, the second, I think, is not.

There's a 1% chance of an ENCOUNTER. While that may be catastrophically hazardous, it could be friendly, or neutral, or simply background.

"Look out the porthole! There's a water elemental! Cool!".

Furthermore, since you are in a SHIP, traveling through the Drift, you may have forcefields, walls, and ship-mounted weapons between you and an unfriendly foe. In addition, you have a SHIP, so you might just RUN AWAY from a hostile (or even boring) encounter.

I think that the number of Drift encounters that actually result in a total loss of crew and passengers would be WAY lower than 1%.


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quibblemuch wrote:

The comparison with O'Hare has got me thinking... you're right, there would be massive public outcry if a plane crashed out of O'Hare once ever 20 days. Yet the equivalent mortality rate (again, with some hand-waving approximations) happens on the highways all the time. And there would be a massive public outcry if you tried to prevent 100 deaths a day by taking away people's cars.

There is only one plausible explanation: Automobiles are sentient aliens, the harbingers of an invasion wherein we destroy ourselves.

So close! It's actually toasters.


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Encounter wise the Drift is probably safer than normal space. Yeah, 1% chance of an encounter. Now compare that to normal space with all of the Corpse Fleet, Space Pirates, Hellknights, Aspis, space monsters, etc. and all of those % of encounters.

Being worried about the 1% danger in the Drift would be scary, if the rest of the universe wasn't even more dangerous.

That being said after reading Dead Suns the encounters in the Drift are not what you should be worrying about. How the Drift actually works is f*+@ing terrifying.

I'm actually surprised there isn't any groups going around trying to destroy all the Drift engines they can.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aviation_safety#Evolution

"In 1926 and 1927 there were ...51 (fatal crashes) in 1929 (killing 61 people), which remains the worst year on record at an accident rate of about 1 for every 1,000,000 miles (1,600,000 km) flown. Based on the current numbers flying, this would equate to 7,000 fatal incidents per year."

Now, this wasn't cited, but if true, those are some pretty bleak odds in the early days of travel. Basically, despite being 300 years later, the size of the galaxy and its hazards mean that it's still early days of Drift travel for the purposes of the Patch Worlds. Normal, sane people would not Drift-travel trivially, as the risk is low, but significant.

The PCs are not normal, sane people. :D


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Triune, The All-Code wrote:
So close! It's actually toasters.

Fun science fact: The Planck time is the smallest unit of time that has physical meaning. By strange coincidence, this is the exact same time it takes for my toaster to turn bread from perfectly toasted deliciousness to something with the consistency and flavor of roof shingles. I have to watch it like a freaking hawk...


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Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
I'm actually surprised there isn't any groups going around trying to destroy all the Drift engines they can.

Give me time. I'm still trying to torch my car before it kills everything I love.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:


That being said after reading Dead Suns the encounters in the Drift are not what you should be worrying about. How the Drift actually works is f+#@ing terrifying.

I'm actually surprised there isn't any groups going around trying to destroy all the Drift engines they can.

Quoted for truth -- perhaps we're lucky only the adventurous go Drift-travelling. And yes, I can absolutely see some terrorist group in the Pact Worlds bombing supposedly-empty starships because of environmental damage...


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I think we're focusing too much on the drift, and not enough on this box of kittens I'm handing out to the next person that uses their drift drive.


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Triune, The All-Code wrote:
I think we're focusing too much on the drift, and not enough on this box of kittens I'm handing out to the next person that uses their drift drive.

We have to put the box of kittens into the Drift drive, don't we?

IT RUNS ON KITTENS! SOYLENT DRIFT RUNS ON KITTENS!!


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Most corporate ships have "Drift Encounter Inhibitors" mounted on ships to avoid the risk, but they will ever be out of reach for typical adventurers because of both price and warranty stipulations {Inhibitor may malfunction with Adventurers aboard}...

The Exchange

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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

1) use drift drive
2) maybe something appears
3) dont stop and look at it, keep driving
4) profit


quibblemuch wrote:
In the United States in 2015, approximately 35,000 people died in car crashes. The population is approximately 350,000,000. That makes the car crash death odds more-or-less the same as the Drift death odds.

You're comparing danger-per-year of car crashes with danger-per-trip of space travel.

If anyone is doing FTL jumps twice a day, that's 730 trips a year, which is 730 times more danger than driving a car.


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Triune, The All-Code wrote:
I think we're focusing too much on the drift, and not enough on this box of kittens I'm handing out to the next person that uses their drift drive.

How big a box?

Can I fit it in my ysoki's cheek pouches?


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Matthew Downie wrote:
quibblemuch wrote:
In the United States in 2015, approximately 35,000 people died in car crashes. The population is approximately 350,000,000. That makes the car crash death odds more-or-less the same as the Drift death odds.

You're comparing danger-per-year of car crashes with danger-per-trip of space travel.

If anyone is doing FTL jumps twice a day, that's 730 trips a year, which is 730 times more danger than driving a car.

Page 291: Travel In-System (1d6 Days)...

I suppose with a very high rated Drift engine with a very high PCU, you could make two jumps per day, assuming you rolled well. But that seems like a very specific corner case, given that non-Drift travel is 1d6+2 days in-system.

EDIT: Or if you had a "Pony Express" style transit system for couriers, where they would jump from ship to ship to ship... again, corner case, and not particularly helpful in assessing why "most people" or "large corporations" would accept the risks of Drift travel.

Grand Lodge

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There's also the fact that there is no actual alternative to FTL travel except through the Drift, as the slower than light travel basically makes communication and travel impossible.

But people *like* traveling. And there's money over the horizon. Humans as a species at the very least are not above taking risks in exchange for profit, and if Drift travel is made sufficiently ubiquitous, people really won't pay too much attention to the risk. Make something mundane and people tend to understate how risky it is.

Besides...encounters with pissed off demons or whatever would be a problem...for some random low level peasants in Pathfinder. But even the most basic ships equipped with Drift engines are faster than most creatures (mortal or not, extraplanar or not), are designed to withstand concentrated laser fire, as well as returning with same. Assuming the ship doesn't just zoom away, it could just, I dunno, fire all starboard lasers directly at the anomaly. And if it gets aboard...

Okay, so, the automated defense systems trigger. And if Abadarcorp hasn't devised some kinda patented "demon-be-done" (trademark) yet on most starships, I'm a monkey's uncle.

What I'm saying is people tend to look for ways to ameliorate risk when profit or necessity calls. And oftentimes, we're compelled to attempt risks just for the freaking heck of it. And after a while, we accept them anyway because risk assessment ability is kinda crap. And even then, countermeasures would naturally develop as companies insist on actually keeping their hard-earned credits, and such trivialities as angry elementals might be annoying to, say, a solitary small vessel crewed by a half-dozen murderhobos, it's barely a fly on the wall for a convoy of industrial transport vehicles with full support staff and sometimes mercenary escort. Sooooo, yeah.


Stephen Trone wrote:

Not saying adventurous people wouldn't do it. After all adventure without danger is just Tuesday. Just a world building detail I thought deserved more attention.

Not to mention the morality of "Every time someone goes into the Drift, a chunk of a random plane gets pulled in." How do good characters even deal with the idea that they're potentially killing or stranding sentient creatures in space every time they use their engines?


I'm glad I don't use the drift engine in my games.


Might I suggest, as an optional alternative, a Hyperdrive that moves at a base speed of 0.6 Lightyears per day divided by the relative size of the ship, per module? This would mean that larger ships would travel more slowly than smaller ships, unless more modules are installed. The Hyperdrive could be recovered from a drifting piece of debris from an unknown civilization.


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rando1000 wrote:
How do good characters even deal with the idea that they're potentially killing or stranding sentient creatures in space every time they use their engines?

If Good doesn't take the stars, Evil will in its absence. And if you look around, doesn't it seem like Evil has a head start? You'd better start catching up.

At some point, certain risks have to be accepted.

Liberty's Edge

"Not to mention the morality of "Every time someone goes into the Drift, a chunk of a random plane gets pulled in." "

I'm not finding the encounter chance information in the core book. Could some one point it out for me.

How small is the Starfinder universe that a chance of significant maybe life bearing material might be affected? It also says 'random planes' as in more than one? If the Starfinder universe is anywhere near as big as ours any 'chunk' of space will be infinitesimally tiny.

Aaaaand I get pointed to the page I needed. I see the percent chance for encounters but now I have another concern, what is a 'random encounter'? Doesn't specify monsters. Sounds like plot device and GM's choice depending on what would make a good side event from "Ooo, pretty lights!" to "Oh look, a rock." to "KILLER BEHEMOUTH SPACE WHALE!".

Dark Archive

Well using the sandbox exploration rules in Pathfinder you have a 50% chance to encounter a hazard or monster per day of overland travel. Makes the drift seem pretty safe to me.


This is why here in the real world when travel was more dangerous because of pirates/bandits/natives/etc big businesses used caravans and escorts. Like, have you ever even seen a western where they attack a stagecoach loaded with mercenaries or the Indians raid the caravan of pilgrims? This is a real situation that really happened, so it happening in a fantasy setting makes plenty of sense.


EltonJ wrote:
I'm glad I don't use the drift engine in my games.

What are you using, if I may ask? I'm contemplating wormholes. Set ones periodically through out the galaxies, and some very large, power draining, expensive ones on the larger ships.


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Ensign Blunk wrote:
EltonJ wrote:
I'm glad I don't use the drift engine in my games.
What are you using, if I may ask? I'm contemplating wormholes. Set ones periodically through out the galaxies, and some very large, power draining, expensive ones on the larger ships.

that sounds like

iron gods:
the Divinity Drive


Its more analogous to renaissance merchant ships than to modern airline flights. There was a greater than 0.01% loss of ships during that time, but the profits to be had from exploration and trade made up for it.

Consider the odds vs. the return. If can you an double your investment at 60%, recoup at 30%, and lose your investment at 10%, then you are making good investment. And where there is money to invest, there are mercenaries, explorers, and adventurers willing to take some of that gold and risk their lives for the possibility of glory.


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Ensign Blunk wrote:
EltonJ wrote:
I'm glad I don't use the drift engine in my games.
What are you using, if I may ask? I'm contemplating wormholes. Set ones periodically through out the galaxies, and some very large, power draining, expensive ones on the larger ships.

Missed this. I'm using a drive that folds space. The Robotech Wiki says this:

Robotech Wiki wrote:
Space Fold Technology was a propulsion system that enabled faster than light travel. The system folded the fabric of space-time, thereby allowing a spacecraft to instantaneously travel via artificial micro-wormhole between two distant points in space.


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EltonJ wrote:

I'm using a drive that folds space. The Robotech Wiki says this:

Robotech Wiki wrote:
Space Fold Technology was a propulsion system that enabled faster than light travel. The system folded the fabric of space-time, thereby allowing a spacecraft to instantaneously travel via artificial micro-wormhole between two distant points in space.

Ohhhh. I like that one too. I must read more about this. Thanks!


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FTL obscenely dangerous?

That seems just right...


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Scientific Scrutiny wrote:
Triune, The All-Code wrote:
I think we're focusing too much on the drift, and not enough on this box of kittens I'm handing out to the next person that uses their drift drive.

We have to put the box of kittens into the Drift drive, don't we?

IT RUNS ON KITTENS! SOYLENT DRIFT RUNS ON KITTENS!!

Yes but are the kittens alive or dead or maybe both at the same time.

:::::
Damn Schrodinger and his infernal unliving cats....always causing mischief


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Drejk wrote:

FTL obscenely dangerous?

That seems just right...

In the Drift, no one accepts surrender.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Replying to the OP:

The danger of the Drift is actually an excellent plot point. I think the % chance of encounter is for the sake of abstraction for random encounters for the players, and one could assume general use may be lower.

That said, it could be this very danger which would be why adventurers are hired to begin with: as couriers across dangerous space, both in what's there and the risk of the Drift. This would also mean that trying to sell products across different systems (or even within the same system, considering) may be more expensive, as the cost of transportation would be increased, making certain items less expensive if produced domestically.

Also, there may be other methods of FTL - the Drift is just considered efficient in the sake of time, and primary for the sake of traveling to other systems. Warp and Wormhole travel, in particular, may be simpler methods of travel for things like trade.


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IIRC there are other methods of FTL travel mentioned that was largely relegated to the dust bin of history in AG 3 with Unity's widespread dissemination of Drift drive technology. Other methods are available ... but they're not cheap and now, more than 300 years later, they're often museum pieces or functional relics in much the same manner as, for commercial and military purposes ships, day-to-day operations are no longer performed by vessels that are the equivalent of being primarily powered by wood-burning steam engines or masts festooned with sails.

I'm quite sure solar sails, NBP (nuclear bomb propulsion), wormhole-gates and other 'esoteric' stardrives exist and are in use throughout the Pact Worlds milieu. They're just not common enough to be readily available for purchase. When they are, the combination of increased expense, inefficiencies of power consumption, size and probably a healthy dollop of relative fragility render them as ad-hoc solutions at best for most.

Now, the Azlanti Star Empire may very well have a secret project going on in some out-of-the-way location within the Empire constructing a massive two-way 'worm-gate'.

Here's the thing though ...

A space-fold drive is, in game terms, basically a (teleportation) effect. One dimensional anchor and the drive shuts off for a prolonged period of time. Factor in the traditional depictions of many space-fold drives as massive affairs requiring prolonged charge-up times and it takes the Firefly, Guardians of the Galaxy vibe out of the game. Makes it kinda boring, so this was passed on.

A wormhole/worm-gate, in game terms, tunnels through a transitional plane to connect two points on the Material Plane. We already know how a gate spell can attract unwanted attention from demon lords, solars and the like ... what kind of attention do you think is drawn by a miles-wide semi-impermeable 'worm' boring its way through Hell/Heaven/Purgatory?

Hyperspace drives, in game terms, typically transition the ship and its occupants into a transitional plane. Perhaps hyperspace is similar to the Drift in that it is a unique transitional plane, barren of inhabitants. Or is it ... perhaps true horrors lurk within the bowels of hyperspace the merest foot soldiers of which are hounds of Tindalos.

Warp drives are typically the only FTL-in-real-space propulsion system. The comparatively flimsy shields of Starfinder would have to be supplemented by Star Trek-style deflector shields as no amount of armor is sufficient to withstand the destructive kinetic energy a ship would absorb from an ill-timed encounter with a stray bit of dark matter the size of a golf ball without them. This in turn falls under "costs more, is bulkier, pain in the butt" by comparison to Drift drives.

Some other kibble to nibble on. :)


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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber
quibblemuch wrote:

The comparison with O'Hare has got me thinking... you're right, there would be massive public outcry if a plane crashed out of O'Hare once ever 20 days. Yet the equivalent mortality rate (again, with some hand-waving approximations) happens on the highways all the time. And there would be a massive public outcry if you tried to prevent 100 deaths a day by taking away people's cars.

There is only one plausible explanation: Automobiles are sentient aliens, the harbingers of an invasion wherein we destroy ourselves.

this is actually what the movie 'cars' is about

The Exchange

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EltonJ wrote:
Ensign Blunk wrote:
EltonJ wrote:
I'm glad I don't use the drift engine in my games.
What are you using, if I may ask? I'm contemplating wormholes. Set ones periodically through out the galaxies, and some very large, power draining, expensive ones on the larger ships.

Missed this. I'm using a drive that folds space. The Robotech Wiki says this:

Robotech Wiki wrote:
Space Fold Technology was a propulsion system that enabled faster than light travel. The system folded the fabric of space-time, thereby allowing a spacecraft to instantaneously travel via artificial micro-wormhole between two distant points in space.

The Dune saga is all about folding space and controlling the Spice that allowed the navigators to do that.

If you want more about folding space, read some of that one too. It's suitably epic and still ranks as number one on many of the Sci Fi book lists out there.

Frank Herbert was the man!

The Exchange

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If any of you have seen Event Hirizon, this stuff reminds completely of that movie.

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