Stuff to know for RPing...

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Jubar Bavvet
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Stuff to know for RPing...

Post by Jubar Bavvet » 2010-06-28 17:24

This is a thread to post your "good to know" stuff for better RPing. You can take them from all walks of life, whatever you’ve learned that you think might be significant, something that the rest of us should know to write more involved Training threads or to mention in the other RP forums. Ace’s “concealed weapon” thread inspired this, and I think it and the responses from Spyker and others was very informative.

There may be a thread like this already, but I'm unaware of it, so here goes...

You can post anything you think “I should know” for roleplaying here—a mini “essay” on battle armor perhaps, or about how stealth training actually works, or about how to survive in a frozen tundra, or how to dispose of a dead body without leaving a trace, or how forensic evidence is gathered, or how an election campaign works, or how computer hacking actually works, or anything you feel like posting that could help us all in RPing. Maybe you just want to establish exactly how hyperspace works for all of us, so that we can all understand distances and times of travel in the SW universe. Or, it can be a summary of the NIF's history, so that we can all get a better grasp of the timeline. Maybe you just wanna talk about how g forces affect humans when astronauts take off for space.

I figure we could post articles and/or links to other things to help us roleplay, or we could just form a list of “did you know” kind of stuff, as I’ve done here. I'll start: My experience is in writing and self-defense, those are my jobs. So, since most of us are fighters of some kind in RP land, here are some things I’ve accrued during my 11 years of experience in martial arts--part of it is stuff to know, and part of it is discussing the importance of constant training.

(NOTE: All of these are just from weapons arts I’ve trained—Pekiti Tersia, Kali, Balintawak, Arnis, and Eskrima—there are countless others out there. I’ll put another post up involving hand-to-hand and multiple opponents eventually, which will be derived from the Keysi Fighting Method, Jeet Kune Do, Muay Thai, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Feel free to put up posts of your own involving any kind of training tips for the rest of us—such as guns, throwing blades, physical fitness, anything to help the rest of our little RP community have more informed RPing, items that we can include in our Training threads, any kind of "good to know" stuff.)

* * *

Training concepts that may be of some use in RPing:

There are two main and differing philosophies on this one topic—there is the both feet planted flatly against the earth method, or one foot planted while the other foot comes up on its toes. The “double-flat” idea is meant to ground a fighter more to the earth, so that they give up little or no ground, becoming a wall. This is usually used in arts where they demand that you become a forward-moving wall. The “single-flat” idea is meant to be faster, more springy, more elusive and above all mobile—weight in the lead means the other foot is available to move, or else spring off of the toes (like a runner’s stance, only not quite so crouched). The arts that use “single-flat” argue that you cannot always be so unyielding—“the tree that is hardest snaps under wind, but the swaying willow lasts forever by going with it,” that kind of idea.

With few exceptions, double-flat-footed arts are typically one-dimensional in terms of weapons—they are usually sword-users. For instance, Japanese sword arts show similar footwork to medieval Western sword arts. Similar, not same. They prefer to be strong and more technical with their weapon so that they don’t have to yield. They stand with one foot back and both planted firmly to the ground

To train mobility, your characters can try this: A “female triangle” drill—Start with your right foot forward and flat with the left foot back and on its toes (“squashing the bug” as we call it). Then, pull your right foot back to meet with your left foot, shoot the left foot forward and at an angle to your left. Now, go flat-footed with the left (now your forward foot) and come up on your toes with the right (now your rear foot). Now do the drill in reverse: A “male” triangle drill—Start with your right foot forward and flat, and your left foot back and on its toes again. This time, bring the left foot forward to be beside your right foot, and shoot your right foot back. This teaches your body the concept of angling in and out.

Put the “female triangle” and “male triangle” point to point, and you have an “hourglass” drill. Put them together at their base, and you have a “diamond” drill. (Hard to envision without actually doing it yourself, I know, but there you go.)

When it comes to weapons, there are really only two ranges you want to be in: so far away that the weapon is useless, or so close that the weapon is useless. Think of a knife, a baseball bat, a pool cue, and a gun—with each one, the safe distance away becomes greater and greater. And, the deadlier a weapon, the closer you need to be in order to smother it (if you’ve decided to close the gap). In other words, try never to be in arm’s reach for a knife fight—the general rule for it is to be beyond the range of a kick, or to be so close that a full swing or stab is impractical (notice I didn’t say impossible, because anything’s possible). You have to smother a knife or a gun in order to limit its use—by “smother” I mean pin the arm and/or hand to the body, or at least close it away from your centerline before attempting any kind of disarm.

We always say the first 3 rules of knife fighting are:
1) Run
2) Run
3) Run

And in that order. Rule #4 would be to find an equalizer—an improvised weapon of your own, maybe a pen or chair or something. Knife fighting is extremely difficult, and after 7 years of constant training, I'm only now comfortable with my skill...and yet still, if I had the opportunity to run, I most certainly would.

NOTE: It is not the slashing that kills you in knife fighting (at least not most of the time), it's the thrusting. In Filipino martial arts, they encourage you to be constantly aware of the "deadly thrust," which might go to your armpit (the axillary artery, killing you in seconds), or the hip (the femoral artery, also killing you in seconds), or, obviously, the neck or eyes. They'll take twenty slashes by staying out of range and keeping their "knife-tapping" hands forward if it means preventing a single thrust from getting in (however, that is obviously not ideal--take a slash, maybe two on your way in, closing the gap, and smother it, but only if the first 4 rules of knife-fighting have failed you.)

Parrying/Deflecting From Long Range:
Two separate concepts here, but they work together: meet the force, and follow the force. Your stick/sword/machete/whatever goes up against another long weapon. If you choose to meet the force, then you are slamming your weapon against either it or the opponent’s hand (tip: if you go for the hand, the fight ends much quicker). If you choose to follow the force, then you are coming in behind the opponent’s swing with your own weapon, causing it to speed up and put them off (this is similar to picking up a gallon of milk that you think is full, and then being disoriented when you try to lift it and it’s much lighter than you anticipated—the sudden lack of resistance, and the weapon speeding up faster than the opponent actually meant to swing it, is really disorienting at times). In the case of following the force, you would also prefer to hit the hand, disabling/smashing/cutting it, if you have the opportunity.

You can drill this simply by having a partner swing you angles 1 and 2 repeatedly (basically, your training partner just draws Xs in the air with his/her weapon, and you practice hitting the weapon either by meeting it or following it—but it’s better if you both have some kind of hand protector, in the real world a hockey glove works best, and so you can actually practice hitting the opponent’s hand and not just the weapon). You can never practice this enough. Every person swings differently, and some people have downright “weird” swings, which makes it incredibly difficult in the beginning to predict what’s about to happen. With time and patience, you begin to find the hand without even thinking, the weapon literally becomes an extension of you, the point where the weapon meets the hand makes a new joint much like the elbow, from which you have an extra-long appendage. This, at least, is the mindset of Filipino martial arts—when they say “you and the weapon are one,” they are not being mystical or figurative.

Parrying/Deflecting From Close Range:
There is basic inside and outside deflections when moving in close. In other words, if your partner is holding a long weapon and swings with a forward hand motion, that is angle 1, and if you receive a hit from a backhand motion, that is angle 2 (again, drawing Xs in the air). Off the angle 1, you move in to check the enemy’s weapon with yours, and then check the enemy’s hand with your free hand (if you have one free). That is called the inside deflection.

The outside deflection operates similarly off of the angle 2, jamming the attack before it’s really ever born. (Filipinos prefer to fight with only one hand on a weapon, there are few times that they use two hands on a single weapon—they like to use their free hand to grab, punch, disarm, or grapple. Also, the other hand needs to get use to not helping with the weapon-swinging, because the practitioner might opt to use a shield or a dagger in his/her other hand.)

Whenever your weapon is pointed down, and you don’t have time to raise the long end of it up to defend, you simply raise it straight up by the handle/hilt/butt of the weapon—in other words, punch with the pommel. If you have a long weapon, this is call “wing deflection” if you have your weapon in your right hand and are raising it from the left, and “shield deflection” if it’s in your right hand and you’re raising it from the right.

Again, your character might practice something to this effect (obviously I’m not saying it all should look like this, who am I to say that?) with a partner that he/she meets in a mercenary group along the way. You can simply practice with the Xs again—just one partner feeding slashes from angles 1 and 2. The benefit of the wing and shield defection is that, if your weapon get hits with so much power that the tip of the weapon drops down, with the tip pointed towards the earth, you can raise it immediately without having to recover to a “tip-up” position.

There is a reason that baseball players swing from the rear—meaning that they have one foot forward, cock the weapon behind them, and swing away. There is a reason that golfer’s strike this exact same position before swinging for the other end of the course. They do this because it’s powerful. It’s arguably the most powerful mechanical position you can form. Most knockouts in boxing come from a rear cross—lead-hand jabs are typically considered merely a nuisance, something to keep the fighter busy while you wait for the opportunity to throw your rear hand.

The reason for this is because of the hips. When you turn your hips like you’re swinging a bat, you are generating a tremendous amount of power. So, when your character(s) is (are) out there on a long journey, making their way towards whatever planet they’re going to visit or adventure they’re going to wade through, it wouldn’t hurt to have them practice the rotation of the hip while swinging at the air, or at trees while they pause to water the horses or something, just to keep the upper body used to the torque you’re going to create with the rotation (the body will get lazy if you don’t train it continuously, there’s just no way around that—you have to train constantly).

Every art I’ve ever trained or seen uses this for its most powerful swing—it’s a universal truth. Samurai used it same as Western swordsmen. It’s hard to argue with results. Not that hitting someone with a stick or sword with any other method won’t hurt anyways (it will), but to get as much out of it as you can, and to end it quickly, you’ll need all the power you can get.

Speed comes from repetition, and little else. Just repeat. Repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, and repeat. And after you’ve done that…repeat. The only reason you’re so fast at tying your shoes now is from repetition. You can probably pull out your car keys and stick them into the car door and turn it without even looking, and do it so fast that it feels like one fluid motion. If you’re anything like me, you’ve actually stopped and observed yourself going through these motions, almost blown away that you’re going on a kind of “automatic pilot”. It’s the same way with anything else in life. No matter how boring you find the drills, if you want to be good, then you can’t stop training them.

Philosophy of Training

Do you know how to get to Carnegie Hall? Yep. Practice.

If your character has any kind of real “epic” potential, he/she would know this. I cannot think of a single gifted person, from Miyamoto Musashi to Michael Jordan to Bruce Lee to Mohammed Ali to Joe Satriani (a killer guitarist), who did not follow this. If our characters are going to be “above and beyond the mere mortal,” then they must practice. Be they politicians (who would train persuasion and speechcrafts on others or take courses in public speaking), fighters, trackers, soldiers, pilots, hunters or thieves, if they are masters of anything then they must have rehearsed. And they must continue to rehearse.

Many tabletop RPGs go off of EXP (experience points), but I don’t think I’ve ever played one where training was a requirement, I always just forced it on myself, even if I just mentioned it to the DM. “Hey, by the way, I’m gonna spend the next week of travel just training since there’s nothin’ else to do on the road.” Like that.

While experience does count for something, it’s really only half. You can have one hell of an experience in Iraq right now, but if you go there without training…you get the picture.

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Re: Stuff to know for RPing...

Post by Kane » 2010-06-29 01:09

Very neat thread, fitting for the Academy as a repository.

*off you go*


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Jubar Bavvet
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Re: Stuff to know for RPing...

Post by Jubar Bavvet » 2010-07-13 21:49

The HoloNet

Pretty much what you need to know about how the HoloNet works:

(Posted from another thread)

Drav's description:
What you have to understand about the HoloNet is that at its very core, its pretty much like the idea of a radio. You have one guy broadcasting, one guy recieving and a big tower in the middle to make it all happen (my example is probably terrible, but unless boss man shows up to prove me wrong, I'm sticking with it)

The way it works is a series of of transceivers are buried in hyperspace itself - how they even got there i don't want to know - so this way, if you are on Coruscant and i am on Eriadu, when you send your message to me, the "tower" i.e. the transceiver - transmits the message from one part to another. The difference between the HoloNet and the radio - disregarding the differences at the users end - is that its all on one frequency, using the same kind of 'towers'.

Thats why HoloNet is such a great term, because you basically have enough of these transceivers in hyperspace to envelope the galaxy in a 'net' allowing for damn good communications over a huge expanse.

Well that's all good you say, but how does it actually *work* Hmm?

Sticking with our theme of radio - How does a radio work? a radio works by one part (the transmitter) transmitting a signal which is basically an electromagnetic wave over a frequency. A second part (the reciever) will intercept this signal and convert it, modulate it and then then it becomes something useful i.e. your transmission.

The HoloNet works on a similar principle, but of course with different ingredients. You have your HoloNet terminals which are basically both transmitters and recievers and the hyperwave transceivers. The difference is that instead of using electromagnetic waves, the HoloNet uses what are called S-threads. To my very limited understanding these are essentially coordinated tunnels - like a system of highways for the signals to go from transceiver to transceiver.

Kane said:
First of all, the galaxy's HoloNet is currently divided. The New Republic inherited the HoloNet from the Empire and before them, the Old Republic, as have we. This doesn't matter much except for military communications.

Practically every planet has a HoloNet transciever. The signals are re-transmitted through hyperspace via stationary deep space satellites. It is possible to connect to such satellites directly.

HoloNet transcievers are usually large, requiring serious power. Small starships may carry them, but fighters do not, as a rule. Obi-Wan had, if I recall correctly, a hyperwave booster in his docking ring. Capital starships usually carry a hyperwave transmitter, which gives them substantial range (on the 100 lightyears scale) to transmit s-threads directly to point.

It's entirely possible for a starship with its own hyperspace transciever to connect to the network and transmit during hyperspace travel as the signals are much faster, the HoloNet allows real-time communications across the galaxy. Subspace radios also allow faster than light, real-time transmissions, but they are limited to their own range (~100 LY for an ISD) since they do not connect to the HoloNet (exception below).

Many of our newer military comlinks has a "HoloNet UpLink" feature, which means they can connect to an available transciever via the local network (or if current effective range is sufficient, directly to a satellite or orbiting starship) much like a mobile phone which doesn't have the range to reach anyone far away. Comlinks are based on subspace technology, so this is basically including a signal converter.

We encrypt military communications traffic, the HoloNet being no exception. The only way to listening in on the HoloNet is to do so at a satellite node. Of course these satellites are protected, one tampered with or gone missing will be detected almost at once unless you have the ability to tinker with it, which requires a lot of things, starting with the location. We have only done so once.

Our HoloNet satellites double as a sensor net with which the NIF tracks shipping and monitors our borders. It is not as expensive as it once was to maintain, because we've upgraded our net.

The actual media varies with your equipment. It can be voice, video, holomail, site surfing, anything a computer can translate. Most holographic transmissions uses a low resolution standard (the infamous blueish), but the technology for prefected holograms exist, it's just expensive, rare, and would use more bandwidth. Many non-holonet communications aren't done by 3d but over 2d screens with full res and colour, alternatively purely audio. Holographic 3d screens are commonly used for tactical maps and presentations.

It is very difficult to jam communications signals completely. At the battle of Yavin, tracking and sensors were messed up thanks to the Death Star I's powerful jammers, but audio transmission still worked almost perfectly. Presumably, pure audio is easy to transmit due to the low density of the information. Even if a large amount of packets are lost, even a small amount would be sufficient to recreate the message. Obviously this also means that more complex communications would be more susceptible to dataloss and suffer reduced effective bandwidth.

If we're just talking about general computer technology, it's pretty amazing. Tiny droids with full AI, handheld devices that can store complete plans for moon-sized battlestations, small devices can record and project animated 3d images, not to mention navicomps.

Finally, the HoloNet is only required for long-range communications >~100 LY. We use subspace radios (faster than light), 'primitive' electromagnetic transmissions (lightspeed) for short-range, and direct laser when we're paranoid.

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Re: Stuff to know for RPing...

Post by Kurge » 2010-07-14 02:01


Kure's Description: (feel free to add)

Rifles and the like:

Rifles and the SW equivalent to shotguns are generally considered intuitive in terms of firing. Yet, I can tell you as a Youth Shooting Instructor (NRA-BSA), that it is or can be deceivingly simple. If you have question feel free to pm me with them. I will do my best to answer your questions.

With shouldered weapons, the first part is your stance. If you are not balanced and stable then you will go flying! If there isn't enough force to send you flying or you compensate with muscular tension, your accuracy is off.

Second, your breathing is also important. The best shooters in the world, and their instructors, tell you to breath into the belly. This means that as you breath in: you expand the belly outward. When you exhale you contract and 'suck' it in. You fire when you have exhaled, in the pause, before you inhale again.
In martial arts this is called "normal breathing" and is considered an elementary technique. This is for reasons, I will go into later at some other time.
Third, shouldering is the next step. When you shoulder the weapon it must not be either too high nor too low. The idea is to maximize the contact between the rifle-butt of the stock and your shoulder. This is for the simple reason that, for a given force the pressure is lowest when surface area is maximized. In simpler terms, the force you feel when you shoot, recoil force, is most comfortable when the most contact surface area exists between the rifle-butt and your shoulder. In addition, the head position must also be comfortable and reasonable. High combs and such, help with that part of the shouldering.

Fourth, squeezing is vital! Do not jerk the trigger! You do and your shots will be all over the place. This is because when you jerk you also pull the rifle and thus where you are aiming. So, squeeze it...gently!

Fifth tip: PRACTICE!


Pistols are similar and different than rifles and other long arms. In terms of operation they differ, in RL. For example, direct blow back is the most common action type for semiauto pistols. However, luckily for us all blasters work the same way, internally! So, you don't need to worry about that... :)

That doesn't necessarily hold true for any "archaic" or cartridge type slugthrowers that may be in use. If your character is using slugthrowers, pay attention to that and keep that in mind when posting while using that weapon. Since, the way it operates may influence how the weapon behaves when it is shot. On the contrary, the way you shoot the slugthrower is exactly the same as outlined below.

Okay! That said and in your notes, that you are taking, we can move on to the fun stuff. As said the process to fire a pistol correctly is similar yet has some differences to long arms. The following are the tips for shooting a handgun or pistol, in sequential order.
  • 1: Draw the weapon from your holster while taking off the safety and/or selecting the power setting. Once drawn out the crucial part of the act of shooting needs to be followed and practiced ALOT!

    2: Bring up the hand holding the pistol till your fist is level with your shoulder. This way the sights are at your eye level. If you are titling your head down, you are doing it wrong and need to re-adjust.

    3: Once there you need to place your stance, body as a whole, in a stable and comfortable position. Your other hand needs to be supporting the weapon-hand. There are two theories that I know of on how to do this part; so, I will address both.

    3a: The first method I was taught when shooting is to straighten the weapon arm, needs to have a very slight bend. The goal is to have as straight as possible without locking one's arm. The other hand then supports and steady the pistol. The nonweapon-arm is bent with the elbow pointing downward...

    3b: This is the one presently taught in Police Academies and such. It is starting to be more common in the civilian and sportsman side of the house too. In this one the positions/attitudes etc are switched. The weapon-arm is the bent downwards; while the other arm is straight. If done correctly it help increase accuracy. One the downside it is not as agile in terms of arm movement. Thus, side to side movement is done by rotating the torso and base, the area where your weight is distributed.

    4: If you are familiar and comfortable with your weapon, or just starting to learn. It would be best to shoot with both eyes open and on target. One eye, weapon-side, is used to look down the aim-points/sights. The other allows you to see the area around you and gives you depth perception, most importantly.

    I know you are saying wait! We don't do that when using a sniper rifle. That is true. However, a sniper rifle is meant to be a long->extreme long distance weapon. As such, you don't necessarily need the depth perception. In fact, in that situation it could be quite confusing.

    The reason we should and is best to shoot with both eyes open with a pistol is very simple. If you close your other eye than you will not be able to see how far you are from the target, what cover is around or if there is more hostiles. Which is very very important in a close quarters fight!!

    5: Breath! Deep breathing helps us to calm down. In addition, it will make it a world of a difference when shooting. For a demonstration, sit down and put your arms up like you about to shoot something with a handgun. Then breath in rapidly and shallowly, what happens to your aim? It moves all over the place. Now do the same thing with nice deep breaths in a controlled fashion. Your aim moves. Yet, it would be easier to shoot the target as there is more time where the muzzle is not moving.

    6: Squeeze the trigger gently. As I mentioned above if you do it wrong you will see your shots go everywhere but where you wanted, generally towards one side. So squeeze it gently with the tip of your trigger-finger. No need to choke or suffocate it! In addition, it will make squeezing the trigger easier and more natural.

    7: PRACTICE!!
Automatic Weapons:

Automatic weapons are tricky and counter-intuitive. The best way to use one is not to hold and spray! That is not just a waste of ammo, flashing a titanic 'neon sign' saying "I am over here", or horrible tactics. Doing so makes the weapon less controllable and even downright dangerous to anyone that is not your enemy at that time, such as civilians.

The proper way to use automatic or auto fire weapons is to fire in short and controlled bursts. This you can do quite rapidly! Yet, you won't have the fracking muzzle climb rocketing towards the sky above you. Since, normally one is not trying to shoot clouds or the harmless avian that is above you. Or if in the TC on-board the ESD Nemesis, the ceiling or the floor of the deck above you.

So, the short outline for this section is fire in bursts! Do not spray like gangsters or mobsters! That is done in Hollywood and other movies cause it looks 'amazing' and helps to sell tickets. Yet, just like a lot of things Hollywood does, it does not work or is completely bull**** in terms of practice or RL application.
*Edited and Expanded*
Last edited by Kurge on 2011-03-29 07:03, edited 5 times in total.

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Dravius Stari
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Re: Stuff to know for RPing...

Post by Dravius Stari » 2010-07-14 11:35

Jubar, make sure you take a look at the database and incorporate the stuff in Ace's guide which is in the database somewhere.

You may also want to run through the academy and request some of the threads be stickied

Thats all...just a reminder. Feel free to delete this post once you're aware of it.

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Re: Stuff to know for RPing...

Post by Spyker Katarn » 2011-01-22 08:15

I have stickied this topic, since it's all good information to know. If anyone else has information to add on any topic regarding roleplaying, feel free to add it in.
“I've lived too long with pain. I won't know who I am without it.”

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Re: Stuff to know for RPing...

Post by Jubar Bavvet » 2011-03-14 06:22

Executive Protection (E.P./ Bodyguard tactics)

As some of you know, I have had the chance to train with some very interesting and dedicated people in martial arts, law enforcement, and military. I’ve recently gotten into training bodyguards in large numbers and will soon be assisting my chief instructor in teaching what we know (including drills, techniques, and above all principles of combat) to law enforcement and military on a large scale.

Over a year ago, to get a better idea of what kind of people we would be training, I was invited at a heavily discounted price to a course on Executive Protection work, what most people refer to as “bodyguarding.” Knowing that Mai is supremely interested in security work (usually how to circumvent it), and it’s grown from a mere hobby to a lifestyle for her, I asked if she could come along. We both attended, along with my chief instructor, and it turned out that we were a big hit at the thing after they asked my chief instructor to show something, much to our surprise, and ended up getting work with EPI (Executive Protection Institute) teaching them DT or defensive tactics. I'm right in there as the assistant instructor--we just had our first big training seminar, totally run by us, and we were once again a big hit and other work is coming through because of it (Part of the reason I disappear from the board from time to time.)

We wanted to see what they do so that we could “tailor make” a system for them. While at this seminar, we were able to learn from bodyguards who had protected the President of the United States (they kept calling him POTUS) many times before, during, and after his presidency, operating as the “Outer Circle” (more on that below). I found this interesting as I thought only Secret Service and local police were used for this sort of thing, but it turns out E.P. teams are hired to assist, train, and aid the Secret Service in any way they can.

We learned a lot while there. So, I thought I’d share the things I learned about security, the philosophy of E.P. work, and what it all entails here. As I enjoy writing little essays like these, I thought it’d be fun for me and perhaps informative for others. I know that Spyker’s into this kind of thing, and recently he commented on some of it, so first up is this little essay on E.P., security, protection, and vehicular ambush avoidance. The next essay will be on room clearing, which I had a chance to learn a bit because of our relationship with various SWAT teams.

(One last thing, in case anybody is afraid that I’m releasing “special knowledge,” there’s nothing here that you won’t find in a readily available copy of Executive Protection Professional, available at Barnes & Noble, Mai and I were just given a three-day crash course of 12-hour days, and so I’m sharing some of it in detail.)

So away we go. First up is terminology:

The “principle” – This is just a way of saying “the client” in public without people knowing that you’re a bodyguard who’s protecting somebody important. Some just say “client” while most seem to prefer “principle.”

Threat categories, “Acute” and “Chronic” – Describes either a threat that is frequent, or “chronic,” or is specific and serious in nature, “acute.”

Detail – Short for “security detail,” and the word most commonly used to describe an E.P. job. As in, “I’m working a detail for this ambassador from Coruscant,” or “I don’t have any details this month, so I’m open for a vacation.”

“Halls and Walls” – This refers to the most basic (and boring) line of E.P. duty, where you basically just walk up and down the hallways outside of a principle’s room, and lean against walls outside their door or else guard an entrance/exit closely. Also called “halls and walls duty.”

Advance – Security planning and arrangements made prior to, and in connection with the visit of a principle.

Advance Man – The person responsible for all security arrangements involved with the visit of a principle. This person goes ahead of the rest of the team hours, days, weeks, or even months in advance to check out the places the principle will be visiting, marking the exits and preparing escape plans for the rest of the team.

Number One Man – The person on the team who is actually nearest to the principle physically, i.e. the person who will be grabbing the principle and pulling him from harm’s way, or else diving on top of him once the bullets start flying.

Diamond – A common formation around a principle while he walks, where one person is in front and behind, and one person each on his right and left.

Triangle – Another common formation around a principle, where the team fans out in a roughly triangular formation; however, if trouble starts, the back end of the triangle quickly closes in to form a diamond or a circle. This is meant to appear a bit more “open” and less aggressive if the principle doesn’t wish to look like he’s with some intimidating team of roughneck security guards.

Circle – Another common formation around a principle, pretty self-explanatory I think.

Support – These are people who are not on the E.P. team but can support you or supply you with items or information that you will need to have. Most common, believe it or not, is the babysitter. The babysitter knows things that not even the principle knows himself/herself, they know who comes and who goes from the house, while the principle doesn’t commonly know everybody who’s allowed in and out of his house. Wives, gardeners, and limo drivers are also excellent support. There’s a saying in the E.P. world, “The people at the bottom give the best intel.” Secretary, lawn care people, house cleaners, etc.

OSINT – Open-source intelligence. E.P. guys utilize a great deal of publicly available information: Internet (HoloNet for us obviously), social-networking sites, video-sharing sites, wikis, blogs, TV, newspaper, radio, hearings, legislative debates, press conferences, speeches, anything readily available that allows them to derive new information to help them protect their principle.

The Security Room – The immediate on-site control center for a specific location, such as the principle’s hotel, residence or office. It may be temporary or permanent, and is used as a squad room for working security personnel who are not on post or with the principle.

The Security Post – An area of responsibility established to form part of the security network. There are generally three types: (1) Surveillance, (2) Checkpoint and (3) Special Assignment.

The Holding Room – A secure room at a visit site established for the short term security, privacy, and/or convenience of the principle.

Route Survey – The selection of primary and alternate routes of travel and the measures taken to make the route(s) secure.

Command Post – The security force operations control center for the visit of the principle.

POTUS – President of the United States; this isn’t immediately applicable to our SW forum, I know, but we have abbreviations like HIM to stand in for His Imperial Majesty, so it’s good info to know if you’re ever going to write up a thread where you go after some high-ranking politician in the New Republic, right? You’ll just have to make up your own abbreviation for whatever office they hold.

E.P. Mission Statement
“To provide an environment that allows the principle to concentrate on the task at hand without concern for personal safety, thus maximizing the principle’s productivity at work and play. The objectives of executive protection is to defeat the adversary with intelligence, and maximize security while minimizing inconvenience.”

The Various Approaches to Executive Protection
Executive protection is, as it’s been taught to me, divvied up into Three Basic Schools of Thought, or Methods of Approach: the American school of thought, the European school of thought, and the Israeli school of thought. These have to do with varying degrees of danger or intensity to any particular bodyguarding job, and I will outline them here.

Now, for RP purposes you wouldn’t need to call these by the “American School of thought” or “European School of Thought,” because we’re in the SW Universe, but it’s enough to know that these degrees of threat are outlined thusly and so therefore you can respond accordingly.

NOTE: Usually, a bodyguard spends his/her life in just one of these schools of thought, specializing in that one over the others.

1. “The American School of Thought” – Basically, this is the lowest level of risk imaginable, and is defined by use of the word “American” because here in the U.S. we typically don’t have to deal with terrorism, whether homegrown or otherwise, despite what the people on TV freaking out about it say. It’s the safest and most “sterile” environment, and therefore this approach to E.P. work means that you’re involved with clientele and a business that isn’t all that worried about constant threats. Typically, celebrities in America are only worried about humiliation—i.e. when Bill Gates got the pie in his face and pie-covered pictures were all over newspapers; the next day, he finally hired an E.P. team, to safeguard him against further public embarrassment.

E.P. teams working in this school of thought are usually not armed, may have no martial arts experience at all, and are generally just looking for guys with video cameras looking to take Britney Spears’ picture when she’s naked (one of the instructors at the seminar was her ex-bodyguard, and told us many, many stories about avoiding these fiascos).

Also, this school of thought necessitates that the E.P. professional be far better at being polite and handling adoring fans in a much less aggressive way than those E.P. experts in the other schools of thought.

The kind of person you’re guarding: This sort of person would be someone who may have stalkers, who may wish them harm, but are far more likely just to have “weirdos” trying to touch their hair or toss a pie in their face just to get themselves on the news, clients like Justin Bieber or Puff Daddy.

2. “The European School of Thought” – An “up in the tempo” for E.P. work. People who have the “European” school of thought are operating at a level of slightly elevated intensity, where there is the threat of humiliation and possibly a greater threat of attack. This is midway between the American school of thought and the Israeli school of thought—in other words, a bit more Muslim extremists from time to time, but pretty much still worried mostly about embarrassment to the client, or the “principle.” This school of thought is “balanced,” looking out for humiliation and assassination.

In a way, the E.P. expert in the “European” school of thought has a far more difficult job than the other E.P. professionals, because they may deal with clients who are “either/or;” in other words, they have to deal with potentially humiliating threats while at the same time looking for someone who might want to kill their principle, they must be able to assess an adoring fan and decide instantly whether or not this is a physical threat or just a public humiliation threat—they must be prepared to either politely direct them in another direction or shoot them. That can put a lot of stress on an E.P. professional.

The kind of person you’re guarding: A client who demands this sort of E.P. professional would be someone controversial like the Dalai Lama or the Pope, or perhaps someone who suddenly finds themselves extremely hated because of some disaster the public feels they caused, like B.P. oil executives.

3. “The Israeli School of Thought” – The most aggressive school of thought imaginable. Imagine Israel, surrounded by nothing but enemies and attacked on a constant basis. If you’re an E.P. professional involved in this mode of thinking, where your client is perhaps a rich and famous sheik with powerful terrorist enemies, then you are trained for this school of thought—typically people with military backgrounds, or at the very least law enforcement backgrounds, find themselves cast in this mold, as the skills they learned from their academies and experiences don’t make them very good at the “American” school of thought, i.e. they’re very abrasive and constantly looking for deadly threats.

The kind of people you’re guarding: The E.P. specialist in this line of work guards powerful sheiks, presidents, prime ministers, or maybe just any criminal from an organized syndicate who’s finally out of jail for cutting a deal, and is seriously afraid of retaliation from the Mafia he turned on. In other words, someone who you can be sure is wanted dead by someone serious enough to do it.

A Word on Skill Sets
We’ll talk about this before we get into the specifics of how E.P. professionals actually conduct their job.

Myself, Mai, and my chief instructor all learned something about each other at that E.P. course—for the most part, we are actually the very sorts of people that the E.P. world is looking for, not the ex-military guys who were in the room with us. That’s right, it turns out that military and law enforcement people are far too “on edge” and used to busting heads or at the very least screaming at someone in the face to get this job done surreptitiously—they kept pushing that word on us at the course, saying that everything must be done surreptitiously—and people like Mai and myself, just a couple of civilians with self-defense training, are what most celebs want these days.

And it made sense once they explained it to us: Britney Spears doesn’t want to be sued or thought to be a “jerk” because of the entourage she travels with, and any bodyguard walking around with her is, as seen by the public, a reflection of herself. She can’t have that, much less a lawsuit that might somehow implicate her. Mai and I learned that most E.P. guys need to either learn to “tone it down” or else suit up with body armor and get ready for a life in the “Israeli” school of thought, which some of them obviously prefer.

Martial arts experience is nice, but that’s really just a minor skill they need for you to have—they’re really looking for people who are communicators and, honestly, the kind of people who show up on time and don’t leave until the job is done.

The primary skill you need is this: Patience.

No matter what school of thought you’re approaching E.P. work from, you’ll need patience with a principle, patience with other people around them (i.e. adoring fans or angry fans), and patience while standing around on “halls and walls duty.” You will need to be at least a decent communicator, and understand thoroughly the instructions you are given by either the principle himself/herself or else your E.P. team leader.

Another key skill to have is the ability to listen. Here are some bad listening habits that they stress you should avoid: Daydreaming (don’t let your eyes wander, don’t drum your fingers, snap gum, or mindlessly handle pens, pencils, and so on), facts-only listening (facts are important, but only as a stepping stone to a major point, so don’t get so occupied over minor tidbits that you miss the overall message), poor posture (poor posture communicates poor listening; the good listener’s posture is alert, with eyes and attentions concentrated on the speaker), faking attention (don’t pretend to get the message while your mind has done a mental detour), emotionalism (whatever you’re feeling about the speaker or his subject, hear them out first), and obsessive notetaking (you can’t try to write everything down, just jot down key portions and make sure you get the overall message).

Risk Assessment
A quick run-through of this: Most E.P. specialists determine the overall Risk based on a simple formula: threat X vulnerability X impact = Risk. Each of these factors are rated on a 1-5 scale, the highest therefore being 125. “Threat” is what sort of resistance or danger is there—a terrorist organization would be a 5, for instance, while an obsessive fan who has so far shown no real intent to harm the principle would be a 1. Vulnerability would be just how susceptible your principle is—a severely old or handicapped principle would maybe be a 5, or it may be that their lifestyle makes them a 5, the fact that they are so exposed all the time and out “clubbing,” while someone living out in the middle of nowhere in a fortified bunker would be a 1. “Impact” is what exactly would result from the attack, 1 being humiliation and 5 being pretty much death or disability.

So, for example, if your principle is wanted by Muslim extremists (Threat of 4 or 5), but is in extremely good shape and tends not to go clubbing or put himself out there too much (Vulnerability of 1), but the Muslim extremists have promised him that they will not stop until he is dead (Impact of 5), the Risk Assessment goes a little like this: 5 X 1 X 5 = 25. So the Risk Assessment is an “easy enough” 25. See, it’s the principle’s willingness to not make himself so vulnerable that brings the score down greatly from the highest possible score.

You can obviously work out how this would play out under other scenarios, with playboys who put themselves out there and are always starting fights and have said incendiary things about other celebrities and have made dangerous enemies with gangsters, etc.

Risk Assessment is a quick way for E.P. specialists who are putting together a team to quickly give others an idea of what sort of Risk they can be in for, and thus what they should all bring to the table.

Blending In
This is broken down in three basic factors, all of which hinge on a very important rule: Don’t Look And Act Like A Bodyguard!!! You shouldn’t have the obvious earpiece, unless your client specifically asks for a show of force. Here are the three main areas to think about:

1. Dress – If the principle is a lawyer and dresses like one, you’re dressing up nice, too. And if he’s a rapper with all sorts of baggy clothes and gold chains…yep, you’re going there.
2. Language – Watch how you speak. If the client you’re guarding is the Pope, well, obviously you don’t want to use vulgar language around him or anyone else around him, not just because you want to keep your job, but because you need to not look like a bodyguard. But if the client is known for acting thuggish, well, you need to put out the attitude a little, as well. Remember, you’re trying to blend in. So if you don’t like having to act, then E.P. work isn’t for you.
3. Mannerisms/Behaviors – Be aware of your own actions. Again, you’ll need to play a part to blend in. If your client has specific customs—like maybe he’s Asian and doesn’t like shoes on the carpet—then you need to follow suit. One, so you can blend in. And secondly, so you’ll keep your job with this client and maybe they’ll use you again next time they need protection.

The E.P. Team
The following is a list of Advance Team Personnel. You should know that not all E.P. teams will have all of these positions covered, such as Counter Sniper Advance, only with principles where it seems appropriate according to their threat level:

Lead Advance – The person in charge of the overall advance team and responsible for all advance security planning.

Site Advance – The person responsible for security planning at a specific site.

Transportation Advance – The person responsible for planning the route and motorcade security.

Intelligence Advance – Assures all intelligence and threat information is provided to the advance team.

Technical Security Advance – Coordinates all explosive ordinance disposal activities, room sweeps, mail and package examinations. Additionally, provides audio countermeasures, lock, alarm and video support.

Counter Sniper Advance – Counter sniper personnel conduct building surveys, sniper threat analysis, select counter sniper positions, and surveys the threat area.

Counter Assault Team (CAT) Advance – CAT personnel conduct a survey of the terrorist threat areas along motorcade routes and at the sites where the principle plans to visit.

Explosive Detection Advance – Self-explanatory, I think.

Magnetometer Advance – Surveys the area where magnetometers will be utilized and determine the number of magnetometers and personnel needed to clear guests.

A Quick Rundown on What’s Appropriate for a Detail
Here’s pretty much any given security detail from start to finish:

Pre-trip planning
1. Advance Work
2. Develop Itinerary
3. Optional Plans
4. Internet Research (in our case, HoloNet, obviously ;) )

1. Airports (in our case spaceports)
2. Routes, Alternate Routes
3. Hotel, Alt Hotels
4. Venues
5. Rental Car
6. Local Information, Discounts
7. Hospitals, Police, etc.

1. Pickup at Spaceport
2. Hotel Arrival
3. Visit to Venues
4. Departure

*This is pretty much the standard no matter what school of thought you’re using. The only significant thing that changes when you upgrade from a one-man job to a large-scale protection detail is that you will need to contact police liaisons and potentially political liaisons, if your principle is that “big deal.”

Security Knowledge
There’s a lot to be said here, so I’ll try to sum a lot of it up as best I can.

Things the E.P. specialist thinks about when it comes to security:

I. System Redundancy – You need to know things like, “If the power goes out in this place, does everything shut off? Including phones, Internet, etc.?”
II. Think like a bad guy – Determine the path of least resistance. Start from the outside and move in, one step at a time.
III. Prevent Surprise – Have 360 degrees of awareness.
IV. Maintaining the protection “Circle” – The greater protection “Circle” is like a bunch of planets orbiting around their sun—the sun, or the nucleus being the principle. There are usually three rings an E.P. specialist must maintain: the Third Ring, which is the least visible, is on the outside, and includes people in plainclothes and maybe a few on-duty police officers, and counter snipers. The Second Ring creates visible barriers, and is usually a powerful showing of local police forces, perhaps there to protect an entire event, like the Oscars ceremony; this ring is the most visible. The Inner Ring is the principle’s personal guards and E.P. experts, those who are good at blending in but are never farther than a few feet away from him—but there may be counter snipers hidden all around here, too.

Conditions of Threat
Condition White: No threat
Condition Yellow: Potential threat
Condition Orange: Concern for a specific threat
Condition Red: Actually reacting to implemented threat
Condition Black: No reaction, or “stunned inaction,” when a person on the team or the entire team itself is taken so off-guard that there was no time for them to react, and are so stunned that they are not really reacting at all, i.e. in shock.

Vehicular Routine
The routine for getting a principle from one place or another in a vehicle, safe and sound, and then letting them out in a cautious but unobtrusive way, is very important. Here is what Mai and I were taught to do when it comes to motorcades and getting your principle to his/her destination safely and efficiently, while also covering all your bases.

In the front driver’s side is the Advance Team Lead, while the front passenger’s side seat is where the Detail Lead sits. In the back may be the Number One Man (see “Terminology and Nomenclature” above) who sits beside the principle, who is himself typically in the back passenger’s side seat.

The steps for getting the principle out of the vehicle are as follows:
1. Keep the doors locked.
2. The Detail Lead gets out first, having the Advance Team Leader leave the vehicle running.
3. The Detail Lead will hold a closed fist behind his back, hidden from view from everyone but the driver while the doors are relocked behind him.
4. The Detail Lead will open his hand to signal to the driver (Advance Team Leader) that it’s all clear.
5. The driver unlocks the door.
6. Detail Lead moves around the door to open it outwards to cover the principle—he does this so he can literally use his body as a human shield if bullets start flying when the door opens, and the Detail Lead will fling his body on top of the principle.
7. Barring any problems, the Detail Lead walks the principle inside.

Vehicle Evasion/Combat and Ambush
(I don’t know how much of this can immediately apply to SW vehicles, but the principles should be about the same.)

Some heavy hitters from the military world were at our seminar, and they lumped up vehicular ambush into two main types: blockade and strafing runs. So here they are in a nutshell, and then we’ll talk about what to do about them:

I. Blockade
This is classified by three main elements:
1. It will be of a constricting nature.
2. The enemy wishes to create the ability to seal off your escape.
3. Concentrated firepower—the enemy wishes to rain Hell down upon you.

Countering a Blockade
1. Be aware of terrain (avoid choke points, build a route with the fewest choke points, and increase your awareness a great deal whenever you cannot avoid these areas). An interesting tactic that one of the men at the seminar told us he encountered were terrorists trying to kill a sheik they were protecting, and they would firebomb a car almost every single morning on different streets, trying to make it so that when the sheik and his E.P. team left the hotel he was staying in, there was only one or two streets they could take—these terrorists were obviously trying to lure them into the “kill zone.”
2. Evacuate the “kill zone.” This is generally considered the area where you’re boxed in, where the enemy can fire upon you without any chance of real retaliation from you or escape. In other words, don’t go down a street with no other offshoot streets if you can help it, and AVOID ALL BRIDGES if you can.
3. Neutralize blockade (go around them, away from them, or through them).

How to Properly Ram Through a Vehicle
These principles still apply to SW vehicles in a way. See, in the real world, you always want to ram a vehicle at the back end, because (with very few exceptions) the engine is in the front. Hit the back end and the vehicle will spin around its front, where all the weight is. If you imagine all modern cars with the big humps shaped like a large “V” right across the hood of the car—you want to aim the driver’s side of your hood’s “V” at about where the rear-most door of the enemy vehicle meets the back end of the car. This will do almost nothing more than cosmetic damage to the front of your own car, while probably crippling theirs and causing the occupants severe disorientation. You can drive practically in a straight line with few problems. The cars go spinning out of your way while you continue in a straight line.

SW vehicles will have their engines in all kinds of different places, but the principle is still the same—hit the vehicle where its engine IS NOT.

Here are some good tips I picked up from the instructors on overcoming impediments. Airbags are going to go off, so you will be blind for a few seconds—keep that in mind. Keep your hands at 5 and 7 to avoid the airbags blowing your hands back into your face. Also, if you have time before a job, or if it’s your own personal vehicle you’re using on a job, relocate the fuel cut-off feature to the driver’s seat—just about any mechanic can do this for you—so that, when you make the impact and your vehicle automatically cuts off all fuel to help prevent a fire, you can switch it back on and continue driving.

II. Strafing Runs
These kinds of attacks are also classified by three main elements:
1. Surprise
2. Speed
3. Superior Firepower

Countering Strafing Runs
1. Maximize cover. Get the principle to lie on the floor.
2. Prevent surprise. Utilize 360 degrees of awareness.
3. Reverse the surprise. They expect to control the left lane (or right lane if you’re not in America, or whatever traffic lane systems you decide are operating on the planet you’re on for story purposes), so switch into the left lane, forcing them to pass on the right side. If we’re talking about America, then the driver’s side is on the left side, and the bad guys probably planned on letting the driver of their car drive while the passengers on the right side could shoot at you. If you remain in the left lane, then they can’t fire on you nearly as easy.
4. Apply threshold braking, or limit braking. (Since surfaces in SW don’t usually matter, because everything is hovering or flying, this probably won’t matter a great deal, but here it is anyway.)
5. And last but not least, fire back. Probably didn’t need to tell you this one, but actually lots of people do forget to fire back, so “freaked out” are they by what’s happening, especially if they have little or no experience.

All of these tactics above create a window of opportunity while driving, so be on the lookout constantly for a way to lose your pursuers.

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Re: Stuff to know for RPing...

Post by Kurge » 2011-03-29 09:42

Introduction to Stellar Cartography (Mapping):

Before I get into it, I will admit this is the method that is the simplest and in some ways the easiest to use. Most galaxies are spiral or ellipsoid in shape. That said, let's jump right into this fun and enlightening subject! :)

Spiral Galaxy:
The first step is to divide the galaxy into four parts (Quadrants). The borders of these quadrants are the North, South, West and East demarcations with respect to the top view. I am well aware that is somewhat arbitrary according to who is making the map, yet we will assume that there is a common compass orientation.

The four "Quadrants" could be designated by a letter, name or number. As is immediately apparent, this doesn't help us (the ship pilot/cartographer) much at all. Instead of a massive amount of space we now have four large spaces! Which we would probably realize is better than the single large alternative...

As a result, the use of 'Radials" is used. The name is could be different but the idea is pretty straight forward. You create a wedge-shaped slices of the galactic disk. These slices are revolved around the galactic core to create a circular profile of 36 'wedges' (00-35). The wedges have an internal angle at the galactic core of 10-degrees, ideally. In most spiral galaxies, the length will be ~50,000 long, 3,600 deep and 8,727 at the widest point (light-years).

This is great! I have subdivisions that help break down the larger areas. Yet, there is still the problem of designating more manageable amounts of volume. Therefore, you need a way to determine how far away from the galactic core the area you have in mind is.

The answer is a "Sector Zone"! The concept is a series of concentric rings that are centered on the galactic core. Each of these rings is 5,000 light-years wide by 3,600 light-years thick, ideally. The number of rings will vary according to the individual galaxy and how large it is.

As you will have figured out, if you have an intersection of a given subquadrant and sector zone, you have designated a specific volume of space. I will refer it this designated volume as a "Sector Grid". The downside, is that you still have a space that is relatively large. The question is how to make it more manageable...

Each "Sector Grid" is composed of 100 roughly cube shaped subdivisions. They are numbered from 00-99. These subdivisions will be more like wedges as you get closer to the galactic core. I will refer to these subdivisions as "Sector Quadrants". It is vitally important that the "sector quadrants" are of equal volume.

Despite this step we still have a large amount of space enclosed still. It would still be too large to realistically monitor or scan. Much less so if you want to travel between two systems!

As a result, each sector quadrant is further divided into 900 or more "Sector Blocks" (numbered from 000 up). Each of these blocks is a rough cube with sides of 100 long x 100 long x 80 deep (light-years). To accommodate for the increasing amount of space towards the galactic rim; either the width of each block can be increased or the number of slabs of blocks can be increased (in the Z-Y plane). I would prefer/recommend the latter option over the former.

Finally, each block is further divided into 100 "Sectors" that are cubes with sides of 20 light-years. If truly necessary it could be further divided into cubes with sides of 10, 5 or 1 lightyears. However, generally, it would probably not be necessary to do so.

However, in case it is something of interest, I will give you the numbers.

Each "Sector" will be composed of 8 "Decants" that are cubes with sides of 10 light-years. Decants will be divided into 8 cubical "Pentants" with sides of 5 light-years. Lastly, each pentant will be composed of 125 cubical "Haplants" with sides of 1 light-year.

To give the coordinates for say a system would start with the designation could be like the following:


So, to help you make sense of what that means: It is in the First Radial (1), Fifth Sector Zone (5), Fifty-fifth Sector Quadrant (55), Six-hundred and Seventy-sixth Sector Block (676), Seventeenth Sector (17), Eighth Decant (8), Seventh Pentant (7), One-hundred and Twenty-third Haplant (123). The result of that is that you know it is located in the First Quadrant and you have a location specified down to a single light-year.

Spheroid Galaxies:
The process is very much the same as previously described. However, you have one important difference.

Instead as you have a full-fledged 3-dimensional volume you can't treat one aspect as a 'slab' in comparison to the other dimensions. As a result you have two numbers that are based on the 'radial' and one new number. This new number is called the "Shell Zone" and is treated as the 'Sector Zone' is in the more simplistic form (5,000 ly thick). The first two numbers indicate the location with respect to the center; in both the horizontal and vertical planes. The horizontal is referred to as "Radial" and the vertical as "Elevation". Elevation is given in the form of 00 to 18, where 09 is on the XY plane. The shell zone gives you the specific chunk or "Sector Grid" that you want. In other words, it tells you how far from the point of origin the volume is located. Everything that follows is the same as previously described.

I should note that this modified system can work with spiral, ellipsoid and other forms of spheroid shaped galaxies.

To give the coordinates for say a system would start with the designation could be like the following:


So, to help you make sense of what that means: It is in the First Radial (1), Eighteenth Elevation (18), Fifth Shell Zone (5), Fifty-fifth Sector Quadrant (55), Six-hundred and Seventy-sixth Sector Block (676), Seventeenth Sector (17), Eighth Decant (8), Seventh Pentant (7), One-hundred and Twenty-third Haplant (123). The result of that is that you know it is located in the First Quadrant and you have a location specified down to a single light-year.

Eldorrin Cartography:
Now, since the "Covenant" or more specifically the "Eldorrin" race is mine. Though, under a different account name, I will go ahead and explain their methods in brief. As it could be useful if someone wants to play as an explorer, cartographer or someone other such person.

The Eldorrin use two methods of expressing location in a 3D space. The first is the form used on their star charts and maps. The second is mostly used for giving directions or headings; yet can be used in cartography as well.

The first method is identical to the Spheroid system previously described. Which is why it is the most common and easiest to use in the form of maps or tactical/strategic displays.

The second method is based on a different concept. The concept used in this method is the same as polar vectors. Polar vectors are the angle and the magnitude or distance. As a result the coordinates are defined as "Magnitude" and "Direction". The first two numbers are 3-digit numbers and give the angle or "Direction". The following numbers give the "Magnitude" portion of the vector. The first part of the 'magnitude' is in light-years. The second is light-hours. The third and fourth are in light-minute and light-seconds respectively. As you can probably see this is a very precise system. A slight variation of this is to make use unit prefixes as a form of shorthand.

Using the same example (approximately):


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