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Old 01-06-2011, 02:04 PM   #1
vicky_molokh
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Default [Spaceships] Heat Signature, Cloaking Device, and Stealth Hull

Greetings, all!

In preparation for my space campaign, I'm looking over how detection works. There are some things that look either unresolved, or at least not 'doubtless' even if RAW. Specifically:

What is the Heat Signature of a Hot Reactionless drive or Boost Drive? RAW mentions 'as a reaction drive' - how much is that?

Stealth Hull requires a signature of +4 or lower to affect the detection roll. At TL10 it gives -2(TL-6)==-8. Auxiliary power is a Signature of +3 anyway, unless one is willing to turn off life support (and active sensors, if it matters).

Cloaking Device (SS1:13) says it makes a ship 'invisible' to sensors, but that it can be seen if it fires weapons or uses a reaction drive. Detection mentions -10 (-4 if already detected (?)), and nothing about weapons affecting it. Should that be interpreted as Basic Set Invisibility until weapons/drives use?

Also, the device is energy-intensive, which likely requires having a Fusion or similar reactor active. This puts it at odds with the Stealth Hull, unless it reduces the signature. Nothing gives me reason to believe that it does except my personal idea of what seems sensible. So, if my idea is wrong and RAW is right, a Cloaking Device gives de-facto -20 to detection (negates Plain Sight, and gives -10), plus 5 or more for the reactor. Stealth Hull, by comparison, provides de-facto -8, plus 3 unless one can ditch life support, but doesn't require a system slot, doesn't require power, cannot be disabled . . . but doesn't provide a penalty to being hit either.

Also, should Cloaking Device negate the Silhouetted Against Deep Space modifier (+24)? Again, no indication in RAW that it should, but my hunchy feeling says this isn't necessarily so. If it does, this makes the cloak much, much more desirable.

Answers? Opinions? Suggestions? Comments?
Thanks in advance!
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cloaking device, detection, heat signature, spaceships, stealth hull

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