Non-Drift, In-System Space Travel


Rules Questions


According to the core rulebook, in-system travel is 1d6+2 days. I took that to mean that from, say Castrovel to Verces, is 1d6+2. But then I thought about it. Doesn't that also mean that Castrovel to Bretheda is 1d6+2?

Or is it add a d6 for every space between the planets (Castrovel to Bretheda is 9d6)? That seems large for trying to play a single session.

Or is it Sun to Aucturn is 1d6+2, and every other place falls in between? That seems way too short...

I don't know. Did I miss something in the rulebook? Otherwise, I'm just going to have to make a house rule regarding non-drift space travel, because I'm not going to have it take 8 days to get between Castrovel and Aballon, while it only takes 3 days to get from Castrovel to Bretheda.

(I am assuming perfect alignment in these scenarios, disregarding planetary alignment for the sake of clarification. I am also disregarding the Drift as an option, also for the sake of clarification.)

Thanks!


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I think the planetary alignment you're disregarding is why the variance is there.

Castrovel "looks" closer to Absalom station than to Bretheda on the inside cover map of the system, but that won't be true if Absalom station is behind the sun at the time.

For us, we're happy with the variance as a quick-and-easy way to model the variation brought about by the different planets orbiting at different speeds, we just don't roll for the return trip - so if it's three days Absalom Station to one specific spot in the Diaspora it'll be three days back in a week's time.

We'd only roll the return journey if the PCs were away for several months (in which case the planets are all going to be any which way).

There was an argument in our group that the Sun should be a constant distance for all (most) planets but we decided the 1d6+2 was distance to the Archipelago (which could easily be moving about on the sun's surface.


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Well even the Sun wouldn't be a constant distance as most planets will have at least a somewhat elliptical orbit so at certain times of the year they'll be further or closer. And stars do rotate, themselves, so the Archipelago is going to be moving, so even a trip from Aballon to the Archipelago could involve going all the way around the Sun, which you'd have to do at a distance before making your approach.

But yeah, main thing is that these objects are in constant motion and their position relative to each other is in constant flux.

Geddes' method is a good one, though, in that these distances aren't going to change that rapidly so if you're only take a few days to get from one planet to another, and you're only on that planet for a few days, then it should take about the same amount of time to get back.


Page 291:

Travel In-System (1d6+2 Days): Traveling between two planets in the same star system fluctuates based on those planets’ relative positions at the time of travel.

The thing you're disregarding (along with the possibility of gravity assists) is the reason it's not making sense.

Put a different way: In Starfinder, Starship travel moves at the speed of plot.


In system, it's anywhere to anywhere takes 1d6+2 days. No, it's not very consistent and no it doesn't take into account any actualy physics or positions of celestial bodies. No, it doesn't make "sense".

You can make more complex rules if you want, but this rule is simple and ignores the relative position of objects within a solar system. It's just made to a be a simple answer to a "simple" question without having to come up with all sorts of information like "what is the actual position of the celestial bodies relative to one another, what is their relative motion, and what will the position of those bodies be as I approach my destination?". It also rolls in the possibility of "check points", fuel stops, etc for the sake of simplicity.

Honestly, just keep it simple. The 1d6+2 works just fine.

Sense you can communicate instantaneously (I think) you can relay information as needed, and basically only need to worry about travel time if you need to be someplace bodily and have a time crunch that is created between worlds.


Wingblaze wrote:
Put a different way: In Starfinder, Starship travel moves at the speed of plot.

My starship has a speed of 12 fest units, which is equivalent to 1 plot/session since speed is distance/time. XD


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Something else that might factor in to in-system travel times: "weather", so to speak. If your near to the sun, you likely want to avoid being too close to stuff like solar flares and coronal mass ejections. And even further out in the system, there could potentially be dust clouds and debris fields that require either going around or going slower to avoid undesired collisions.

( Yes, in the real world, the odds of collisions are, ahem, astronomical, but law of drama )

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