A smuggler Captain once wrote:
“Any sentient that has ever dreamt about owning a ship and traversing the stars has, at one point or another, looked up the necessary information on what permits they need. To save you all from time and effort navigating the mess that are the Republic or Imperial Bureaucracies and their respective Space Ministries, I have compiled below all the information that you should know, if they were to apply for a Captain’s permit.”
Hello fellow roleplayers of the Progenitor Server!
The guide begins with a few brief words about the various Spacefaring Agencies that exist out there, then goes on to describe more specific processes that are required in order to obtain a permit.
Finally, as a word of warning against misfortune (because none of us is a lying, thieving, conniving smuggler), a list of infractions and what kind of prosecution is expected for each one is included at the end of this document.
As always, I would like to remind that the aim of this thread is not to dictate how RP “should” happen, but instead to offer insight on how a series of gaming accessories with a large amount of material, treated the chosen subject. This kind of information can help players that may want to include in their RP a specific scene or some flavor, by providing information and simple formulas that were used by the West End tabletop RPG series to explain the subject of choice and generally make the Galaxy a larger, fleshed out, more realistic place to live in.
For ease of reading, the material will be broken down in parts (if required) and heavy use of spoiler tags will be utilized to keep the text as comfortably formatted as possible.
Spoiler: Canon ReferencesShow
The material in this thread can be found and has been adapted from Platt’s Starport Guide [isbn: 0874312248]
1. Spacefaring Agencies - The Republic and Imperial Space Ministries
2. Spacefaring Agencies - Bureau of Ships and Services (BoSS), Navies and Customs
3. Your papers, please
4. Crime and Punishment - Infractions
1. Spacefaring Agencies - The Republic and Imperial Space Ministries
Space is filled with rules and regulations meant to protect most honest, legitimate spacers plying the hyperspace lanes and ports of the galaxy. These regulations make sure spacers are fully qualified to go zipping around the galaxy in starships, certify that those starships are spaceworth, and insure that weapons on starships are for protective purposes. They also set down some general rules regarding trade and flight within most civilized systems.
Needless to say, most smugglers tend to ignore them.
However, even these smugglers need to get around the galaxy, which means that at least part of the time we need to work within the existing labyrinthine bureaucracy governing space travel [poster’s note: especially with not one, but two major governments occupying most of the galaxy, and currently at war with each other!]
Let’s take a quick look at the most important groups which create, record and enforce regulations on space travel.
Imperial [republic] Space Ministry
Spoiler: A brief word on timelineShow
Spoiler: And what about Hutt Space?Show
The Empire and the Republic laws - when it comes to starship regulations - don’t have many differences, besides the severity of punishments. Generally, both follow the same category of infraction codes - commonly known as Imperial Penal References or Republic Penal References (ImPeRe and RePeRe respectively). These rules and regulations are updated and tracked by their respective Space Ministries - their Navies’ regulatory agency monitoring space travel.
The Space Ministry of each nation reviews the immense volumes of their Spacefaring Regulations annually, updating older rules and creating new ones to encompass new space traffic situations, astrographical features, military controls and other situations requiring a regulated set of protocols. Each Space Ministry publishes the updates and changes every year in the Spacer’s Information Manual or SIM - ISIM for Imperial and RSIM for Republic spacers - available for a minor 25 credits charge when spacers update or renew their flight certification. Of course, smugglers and others who obtain their captain’s accredited license through less legitimate channels have no easy access to the SIM… not that they particularly need it or pay much attention to it anyway.
Spoiler: It’s hard being legalShow
Each Space Ministry also certifies new starports and occasionally inspects heavily used starports to be sure landing and docking facilities meet with certain Imperial or Republic standards for safety and security. The Space Ministry most often concerns itself with regulating starports with busy or high levels of starship traffic, those starports along major trade corridors or starports in systems with industrial, tactical or political importance to either side of the war. As a rule, its inspectors don’t even bother with starports classified as landing fields or limited services - even standard class starports are often overlooked if not important to the military and industrial machine.
The ministries also coordinate reports from traders and scouts registered with each government, regarding new or upgraded hyperspace routes, new systems and worlds discovered. This data is sold as download astrogational and informational updates for starships’ general and navigational computers. The download includes updated astrogation charts and routes, new areas mapped, as well as new and updated planet profiles for access through a ship’s computer banks.
This astrogation update is available from Space Ministry offices throughout the galaxy - most often found at sector capitals. To receive the update, spacers must show their captains’ accredited license. These documents are checked for authenticity and any violations of the ImPeRe or the RePeRe on file - depending on which ministry the Captain currently talks to - before the astrogation update is authorized. A small fee of about 150 credits is also charged for the update.
Offices of the Imperial or the Republic Space Ministry throughout the galaxy also issue permits for transport of restricted goods, usually at the capital of the sector where the restricted cargo originates. Other petty permits for travel through certain hazardous routes, secure landing facilities and restricted hyperlanes or systems are also issued at space ministry offices in sector capitals.
However, when it comes to keeping track of the innumerable starships and certified spacers out there, the mighty Empire and the glorious Republic turn the formidable and important task over to an agency seemingly separate from the great military power (and conflict) which controls vast portions of the space lanes - the secretive and clan-administered Bureau of Ships and Services (BoSS)