I can't tell if, for example, it would be considered an "exploit" to load my YV with DST freighters, each carrying a 25-man NPC team that I drop on various planets.
Gut instinct says that would be an exploit, or at least an overzealous administration would be eager to ban me for it...but at the same time, I'm having trouble believing that one could not load "strike teams" into your AT-ATs *before* loading them up onto your ship for deployment.
So, a firm answer, with reasoning, would be helpful. Also, the NPC rules page could be nice and include the answer in the future, for references' sake
I can't give you an official answer, but I can give you an opinion regarding a logical standpoint:
The passenger capacity of a ship (or vehicle, for that matter) is based upon the available space and life support systems of that ship. Those factor do not change just because that ship is docked upon another ship. So, a DST could hold 25 people whether it is flying by itself, or docked on a YV. Therefore, there is no logical impediment to filling a YV with as many DSTs as it can hold (or any other ship), each filled with NPCs.
Unless I'm mistaken, though, you could only load each DST with 24 NPCs, since the final passenger space would be reserved for the PC who has them on their party to take them aboard. And to allow for later unloading.
"May the Grace of Ara go with you, and His Vengeance be wrought upon your enemies."
“Unless I'm mistaken, though, you could only load each DST with 24 NPCs, since the final passenger space would be reserved for the PC who has them on their party to take them aboard. And to allow for later unloading.”
This is correct. Since you cannot remote control NPCs (ie tell them to board a ship when they aren't in your party) the last spot would be saved for the PC putting the NPCs on the ship.
Iffy on this myself. Personally I think they should also count as part of the passengers on the carrier too so as to truly prevent exploits. Same as mats on barges and smaller freighters should count against their carriers.
IMO, if a ship filled with NPCs docks into another ship, the people on the docked ship should not count against the passenger number of the mother ship. In short, I agree with Hal.
In RL, if a bus drives onto a ferry, the people will often remain seated in the bus if the voyage is short enough.
Whether or not the cargo hold of a transporter is open to vacuum is an undecided question. In RL, every airplane has pressurised and heated cargo holds in addition to cargo holds that are not. SWC does not differentiate ships to that degree, so it is fair to assume for the sake of simplicity that docking hangars are pressurised.
And not to forget: there is no environment influence on characters in SWC. Open-decked skimmers travel on the surface of moons without an atmosphere, i.e. they can travel in vacuum themselves. I see no reason why they should not dock and sustain their passengers inside a ship that travels in vacuum.
Yes, people travelling on foot for sure. But probably not speeders & skimmers, and certainly not spaceships.
I predict that for reasons of simplicity, there will be the same atmosphere throughout a ship or vehicle, without rooms exposed to vacuum (or we would face problems with opening doors etc.). So even a vehicle docked inside a spaceship will never have a problem, even in space - ships docked inside ships are immune anyway, nobody will doubt that they have their own life support.
So whatever limits the number of people that a ship or vehicle can hold, it will be a self-contained matter - number of seats, number of toilets... No reason to deduct the passengers of a docked ship from the mothership in one's head - the game does not do it anyway (and it could have been easily programmed to do it).