Starship Sensors

A sensor check is a LOGIC check. The computers skill relates to starship sensor systems. Alternatively, any subject-specific skill can be used instead, depending on what the sensors are being used to scan. Medicine can be used when scanning for life-forms, for example, or various planetary sciences when examining a planet from afar.

When making a sensors check, the operator simply makes a Challenging [13] LOG check (or, against a vessel, the taregt's DEFENSE score) and asks a question. The question must be specific, but there is no predetermined list of available questions (there are some examples below). In combat, sensor usage is one action and allows one question to be asked. The difficulty of this check is the target ship's DEFENSE score.

Sensor Range

A ship's sensor range increment is noted on its stat-block.  Three scales are used, all using that value. Sensors suffer a -1d6 penalty at every increment beyond the first. The same information is available at each scale, but the time it takes to scan increases.

Tactical Kilometers (hexes) 1 action
Navigational AU 1 minute
Long-range Light years 1 hour

Mapping out a star system – stars, planets, asteroid belts, and so on – does not require a check. Stars, similarly, do not require a check. Stars – and their type – can be detected from any distance, as can other similarly large stellar bodies.  Uncloaked ships are automatically detected at tactical range, although blocking line of sight (with an asteroid or planet, for example) forces a check. At navigational range, all ships need a check to detect.

The sensor operator must state which type of scan is being undertaken in advance.

Example Sensor Questions

General Tactical
What level of civilisation is on the third planet? Which shields does it have raised?
Is the atmosphere of that moon breathable? How many life-forms are on board?
What's the composition of the asteroid? What's the ship's maximum FTL speed?
Is there any damage to the superstructure?
What weapons does the vessel have?

Detecting vessels. This requires a check vs the ship's DEFENSE score at navigational range. At tactical range, this is automatic absent other factors.

Cloaked ships. This applies a -3d6 penalty to the detection check, and requires a specific scan in a specified arc. This is required at tactical range.