Jim Montgomery
▶ Stars Without Number

In my sector I have "core worlds" which everyone knows about and there are rudders to travel between any of them (depending on drive capabilities).

There are also "mystery worlds" in the sector that are generally unknown, have hidden/secret/missing routes, that I generally fill in as needed depending on how the campaign goes.

My question is, if there is a world that is cut off and has no known route leading to it, how does a PC chart a course, once they have clues that something is out there?

The Trinity RPG posits that a clairsentient, boosted with psitech, projects their senses across interstellar distances to find a route, but there's not a lot of support for this in SWN (there's no equivalent to clairsentience in the RAW). (As an aside, Trinity actually seems like it could be a cool origin for the Mandate, especially if you had quantum mutants in SWN using Godbound powers, but I digress!)

Additionally, it seems like there'd have to be some non-psychic way of doing it as well, perhaps with some sort of drill-probes or something.

Anyway, it's no big to invent some stuff, but I'm curious if this is referenced in any source material, or if anyone has suggestions/accounts from their own games.


John Aegard

Maybe careful observation of a ship drilling to the hidden/secret system will unlock the route? That makes finding the route a quest with opposition, which is fun.

In our iteration of SWN, mapping drill routes during the good old days was done with large numbers of disposable drone probes; you'd point a few dozen of them at some star you wanted to go to, one or more would come back, and it would carry enough data to enable bio-crewed navigation.

Jon Moyer

I found this RPGnet post from a while back where Kevin Crawford talks about this. Basically, "... you need reasonably good metadimensional map coordinates for a destination, such as you'd get from ancient Mandate records, common knowledge preserved from before the Scream, or complicated TL4 astronomic research. These coordinates don't provide a drill route to the world, but they do give you the reasonable certainty that there's some place for you to land if you launch yourself at that hex."
forum.rpg.net - [Stars Without Number] Drill Routes