Is the travel time in the Drift fixed or variable?


Rules Questions


For example, assuming that I am somewhere in the Pact Worlds and want to travel to the Veskarium (Near Space) and I am traveling in a starship with a Drift Engine rating of 1.

Is the travel time 3d6 days (roll each time) or is the travel time something fixed (say 10) and that is the time ALL ships traveling from the Pact Worlds to the Veskarium take?

If the first then a smaller starship (Drift Engine 1) could potentially reach the Veskarium faster than a larger on (Drift Engine 2), depending on the dice roll, of course.

Also, is there anyplace where you would have to make two or more 'Drift jumps' to reach or is every 'planet' reachable with just one Drift jump with the length of this jump depending on its location?


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It's random every time you enter the drift.


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Is everything then reachable in one 'drift jump'?

What about coordinates? I'm assuming we need those to get to a specific planet.

Is this something that could be a 'closely guarded secret' and be sold much like a treasure map is sold in a fantasy setting?


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How accurate a drift jump is and how you explore unknown regions is completely unclear. For the former I'd guess it's a Pilot skill check that gives you different errors based on your toll, but no rules yet.

The Exchange

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The times are variable. The in book explanation is the distance between points of significance change through time as orbits influence their position in relation to the sun.

That's for standard in system travel at least.

Drift Travel is likely variable because you run into things and travel through different planes of existence so that may speed you up or slow you down.

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder LO Special Edition, PF Special Edition Subscriber

I've been comparing it to Plane Shift (since the Drift is a Plane) which still has a 500 mile potential offset. Every time you enter the Drift, you might be just a little off from where you started last time. Your exit point might also be just a little off from where you want to exit.


Hi
Are all the planets in the 'Pact Worlds System' (p 432-433) counted as in-system, with regard travel time so 1d6 drift days?

Or is everything between the sun and diaspora count as In-System, and everything beyond Near Space (3d6 days)?

Bit Confused
Thx
John


Why would things in the same solar system not be counted as being in the same solar system?


AFAIK, the only Near Space things we have so far are Veskarium destinations, or going from there to Golarion planets. Everything beyond is deep space or Vast, and is better accessed via Drift.


Bloodrealm wrote:
Why would things in the same solar system not be counted as being in the same solar system?

So everything on the big double page picture spread counts as 'in system' with regards travel?

John


Yes it is all in the same system. The longer times are for reaching other solar systems and the time it takes depends how active the area is with drift traffic/beacons it seems. So something could be astrographically very close to you via real space but still treated as in the vast timewise if there are no drift beacons/traffic there.

Scarab Sages Starfinder Design Lead

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thenovalord wrote:

Hi

Are all the planets in the 'Pact Worlds System' (p 432-433) counted as in-system, with regard travel time so 1d6 drift days?

Or is everything between the sun and diaspora count as In-System, and everything beyond Near Space (3d6 days)?

Bit Confused
Thx
John

Anytime you are using the Drift to travel to a spot in the same solar system you are in, regardless of what that system is, it's 1d6 days of travel.

So if you are in the Pact Worlds, which is the entire solar system from the Sun to Auction, Drift travel is 1d6 days.

When you are traveling from one solar system to another, and your end destination is in Near Space, it's 3d6 days. Points within the Pact Worlds that aren't Absalom Station are considered "Near Space" for this purpose. So if you go from the Vesakarium directly to Triaxus, it's 3d6 days.

Almost no one ever does that, however, because travel to Absalom Station is always 1d6 days. From anywhere. And travel from one point in the Pact Worlds to any other point in the same system is always 1d6 days.

So while yes, when you are outside the Pact Worlds going to most of those worlds directly is 3d6 days for travel to Near Space, it's faster to instead go from anywhere to Absalom Station (1d6 days), and then from there to any other point in the Pact Worlds (another 1d6 days).

Scarab Sages Starfinder Design Lead

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thenovalord wrote:
Bloodrealm wrote:
Why would things in the same solar system not be counted as being in the same solar system?

So everything on the big double page picture spread counts as 'in system' with regards travel?

John

It counts as "in system" when you are in the Pact Worlds system already.

If you are already outside of the pact Worlds then it's Near Space, and you are better off going to Absalom Station first.


What I don't get is why people use the clearly evil, cosmos-destroying Drift Drives when the Plane Shift based pre-Drift FTL drives would be faster (perhaps not 2 Standard Actions, but probably less than 1d6 days). I know there was something about cost effectiveness of Drift Drive construction, but I would imagine that would mean Drift should be the bargain can't-afford-anything-else basic option. Are there stats for those alternate types of travel methods yet?


It was mentioned that it took essentially a small village worth of active prayer to do that jump each time, and it could still plop you down weeks' travel away from your destination in real space if it was too far off.


One thing in drift drives favor is it apparently is mundane machinery in its construction and does not require magic to operate. That means it likely is far easier to mass produce than anything requiring spells would. So it may not be the best option but it likely is the best available option for most people.

The book does talk about some ships using other methods of FTL many of which require a celestial patron of some sort to let you travel through their plane such as heaven or hell. Those are fine for ships of orders favored by those patrons but not widely usable by others.

As for the cosmos destroying think of it as celestial redecoration. It's not destroying anything it is just moving it from one plane to another.

Dataphiles

Bloodrealm wrote:
What I don't get is why people use the clearly evil, cosmos-destroying Drift Drives when the Plane Shift based pre-Drift FTL drives would be faster

I mean, in real life we use all sorts of nasty, even potentially world-destroying technologies-- nuclear power, fossil fuels, millions of toxic industrial chemicals. Think of the side-effects of Drift travel as cosmic pollution... sure it may become a big problem someday in the far future, but in the meantime society has decided it's worth it for the immediate benefits.


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Bloodrealm wrote:
What I don't get is why people use the clearly evil, cosmos-destroying Drift Drives when the Plane Shift based pre-Drift FTL drives would be faster (perhaps not 2 Standard Actions, but probably less than 1d6 days). I know there was something about cost effectiveness of Drift Drive construction, but I would imagine that would mean Drift should be the bargain can't-afford-anything-else basic option. Are there stats for those alternate types of travel methods yet?

Every voyage through the Drift picks up SOME part of SOME dimension. A lot of these dimensions are infinite, or at least, really, really big. It doesn't say that it picks up a really interesting part of the dimension.

If you took everything in a 10' cube randomly selected from our entire universe, virtually all of the time, you'd get empty space.

Yes, sometimes you might get part of a maternity ward, and strand a bunch of babies to perish in the Drift. That's unbelievably awful.

But we are one planet around one star in a galaxy of billions of stars in a universe of billions of galaxies. You might need quadrillions of drift jumps before it would happen once. So the chance of doing that is really, really remote--and Drift engines pluck from MULTIPLE universes/planes, which makes it even more remote.

Plus, there's the counterweighting chance that you strand Fire Hitler from the Elemental Plane of Fire in the Drift, thus averting Fire WWII.


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Aerotan wrote:
It was mentioned that it took essentially a small village worth of active prayer to do that jump each time, and it could still plop you down weeks' travel away from your destination in real space if it was too far off.

That seems incredibly bad compared to other high level magic in this universe. Maybe they were using the Occult Ritual rules instead of casting a real spell.


A "real spell" teleports up to a score or so people and their gear, not a starship (which counts as terrain for spells, remember) and her crew. The ritual version is probably the only one that'll actually get the job done.


FTL-capable ships were basically lesser artifacts, each one. . . and stretching the definition of "lesser". They were the kind of things that only a really major organization, like one of the more powerful churches, could build. . . and even then, only a few. They were literally flying to the stars by the power of Miracles.

And interdimensional cross-contamination is something that happens all the time, naturally. The only thing the Drift Drive does is introduce a new dimension into which pockets of planar matter and energy can interchange.

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