The Coming of Shadows..... ship questions!

Discuss Mongoose RPGs here, such as the OGL rulebooks, Jeremiah, Armageddon 2089 and Macho Women with Guns
Traveller-61
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 714
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2003 10:03 pm
Location: Lyonesse, UK

The Coming of Shadows..... ship questions!

Postby Traveller-61 » Thu Sep 18, 2003 3:25 pm

Just got my copy this morning and was very pleased! Great book and lots of plot hooks, new equipment and lots of other things to give my games a boost, including the new ships.

But.....after having a quick read through there are a number of questions I've got about these ships: -

1.Where are the Shadow ships?! Considering that in season 2 we really get to see them in action it would have been nice to have their stats.

2.Heavy Pulse Cannon damage – The HPC mounted on B5 has damage of 30+3d10, the ones on the Omega have 20+4d10. Which is correct or does the vessel / station they are mounted on affect the amount of damage done?

3.Heavy Laser damage – The G'Quan's lasers do 60+6d10, which is strange considering that in the Fiery Trial book the lasers are said to be equivalent to those on the Hyperion Heavy Cruiser, doing 80+8d10; and given that Earth gained the technology from the Narns in the first place.
(And I think that Shadow Scout has spotted this one already)

4.Energy Mines – I seem to remember in the episode the G'Quan fired two of these? Should there be a second in the stat line or do both discharges count as a single mine?

5.G'Quan's fighters – Where are they? The entry only lists 2 shuttles whereas I always thought it could carry between one and two squadrons of fighters. In 'The Long Twilight Struggle' we see a Narn attack fleet "their massive fleet of G'Quan cruisers and Frazi heavy fighters" (quote from Coming of Shadows, page 108), so if the G'Quans do not carry fighters then how did they get out there?

Any comments or clarifications much appreciated!

DW
"You were a great Captain!" - Claudia Christian

Some days are better than others, Section Leader!
Guest

Postby Guest » Thu Sep 18, 2003 3:58 pm

id personaly expect to see the shadow ships in the season 3 book.. we only realy get to see the shadows maby 2 times in season 2.. where we see them in like 10 episodes of season 3 maby more.. so i guess we have to wait till november. we start hearing alot about the shadows in season 2 but dont get a real sence of them untill season 3. remeber the characters only get there first real glimps of them during the final episode of season 2 where kefer becomes nothing more then space dust....
jadrax
Banded Mongoose
Posts: 210
Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2003 10:49 pm
Location: Middlesbrough
Contact:

Postby jadrax » Thu Sep 18, 2003 5:54 pm

The G'Quon seems underpowered, if you compair it to the Var'loth from Fiery trial its pretty much on par with that ship, which i am assuming is wrong.
saberj
Shrew
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2003 7:10 pm
Location: Kentucky

Postby saberj » Thu Sep 18, 2003 7:15 pm

Anonymous wrote:id personaly expect to see the shadow ships in the season 3 book.. we only realy get to see the shadows maby 2 times in season 2.. where we see them in like 10 episodes of season 3 maby more.. so i guess we have to wait till november. we start hearing alot about the shadows in season 2 but dont get a real sence of them untill season 3. remeber the characters only get there first real glimps of them during the final episode of season 2 where kefer becomes nothing more then space dust....
Right. Because it would be totally illogical to have The Shadow ships in the book titled "Coming of Shadows". Point is, if the shadows are present in Season 2, we should have Stats for them. Personally, I like to be able to use elements of the game that are around, even if technically they don't do anything major yet.
User avatar
ShadowScout
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 450
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2003 7:48 am
Location: Matzen, AUSTRIA

Postby ShadowScout » Thu Sep 18, 2003 8:43 pm

Traveller-61 wrote:1.Where are the Shadow ships?! Considering that in season 2 we really get to see them in action it would have been nice to have their stats.
I suppose, left out for reasons of "building tension". It's OK though - we have a half peek at them in "The Firey Trial", and for now they'll be GM "demon ex machina" anyway, and every ship that meets them will either escape them by almost miracolous luck of be destroyed. In the next one though I'd expect full (and frightening) stats...
2.Heavy Pulse Cannon damage – The HPC mounted on B5 has damage of 30+3d10, the ones on the Omega have 20+4d10. Which is correct or does the vessel / station they are mounted on affect the amount of damage done?
...and the Explorer has 30+2d10, with Range-5, while the Omega's and B5's have R-4
3.Heavy Laser damage – The G'Quan's lasers do 60+6d10, which is strange considering that in the Fiery Trial book the lasers are said to be equivalent to those on the Hyperion Heavy Cruiser, doing 80+8d10; and given that Earth gained the technology from the Narns in the first place.
(And I think that Shadow Scout has spotted this one already)
Yup, but check the range too: Narn HLC - 5; EA Hyperion HLC - 6, Omega HLC - 7
And it's not only that... take a look at the Primus and it's laser guns one day (40+4d10, R-6), adn then remember that the Centauri are supposed to be high-techier then the EA or Narns...
4.Energy Mines – I seem to remember in the episode the G'Quan fired two of these? Should there be a second in the stat line or do both discharges count as a single mine?
Yup, you remember right - each cruiser did fire two e-mines. Dunno if that is covered by the stats or not though... a little clarification would be nice here.
5.G'Quan's fighters – Where are they?
Good question - where? I want to see 12 Frazis (or Gorith in case they have to load older fighters as things get close for them in the war... it might be a good thing to forget about the "usualy fighter type carried" and just state the capacity in "X light/medium/heavy fighters")

Obviously the ship stats didn't benefit from the playtesting some of us came to expect from AoG... though in the RPG those stats are probably more of an afterthought at this point. I'm sure eventually Mongoose will sort it all out though...
ShadowScout
Roman A. Perner

"True understanding can be found only in the Shadow between light and dark..." - inscription on Z'ha'dum
User avatar
Neo
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 1155
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2003 6:22 pm
Location: Sheffield, SYorks, UK
Contact:

Postby Neo » Thu Sep 18, 2003 9:30 pm

ShadowScout wrote:Obviously the ship stats didn't benefit from the playtesting some of us came to expect from AoG... though in the RPG those stats are probably more of an afterthought at this point. I'm sure eventually Mongoose will sort it all out though...
Well as one of the people who DID playtest the ship stats I can assure you not only is the above comment insulting it is also completely erroneous. They were playtested and playtested a lot, however standardised weapon classes were not something that were much of a concern considering it made perfect sense for a Narn Heavy laser to be comepltely different to an Earthforce heavy laser.

As an aside Its also worth noting that Earth bought narn weapon sure for use in the Earth-Minbari war, but the chances these were just mounted as were is negligible, they would have been taken apart and then human equivelants built based on the specs to give an earth type weapon, which is not to say it would be the same.

Finally you need to know how playtesting works, our group andy any other group that playtests tests the rules in play (and my group has over two decades of experience) we then report what we don't think works or is unbalanced or broken to mongoose in a playtest report. Our input then ends there, we cannot guaruntee Mongoose will implement any of our suggestions or heed our feedback same as any other playtest group. Playtest credit in a book simply means it WAS playtest, not that the feedback was implemented. so bare that in mind. Its very easy to post a silly comment like the above, but unless you KNOW a book has not been playtest then it is completely inappropriate to suggest it hasn't. My apologies if that seems a little rough, but my group in particular take our playtesting very seriously for Mongoose, especially considering the amount we do.

Also just for the record the Shadows were in the book, but were removed (was a surprise to me too) though I can only guess why and my guess would be that they will be revealed in the Shadows and Vorlons book?? But thier ship stats have changed drastically since we first saw them ( they are scary as hell).
Cpl. Mark "Neo" Howe MI68-94
http://www.neo73.plus.com/
MI Forward Reconnaissance, The Wolf Pack
Mongooses "Old Man" of Playtesting
completed playtests #130!
Gaming since 1980
User avatar
ShadowScout
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 450
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2003 7:48 am
Location: Matzen, AUSTRIA

Postby ShadowScout » Fri Sep 19, 2003 12:03 pm

Neo wrote:Well as one of the people who DID playtest the ship stats I can assure you not only is the above comment insulting it is also completely erroneous.
Apologies then - I meant no insult, it was just the impression I got, that those ship stats had been neglected because this is a RPG supplement and the focus may have been more on the direct-RPG stuff like characters etc. And I thought that something like two things with the same name having different stats would have been a thorn in the eye of every ship combat playtester I can imagine. Not to mention the rest of the stuff...
...however standardised weapon classes were not something that were much of a concern...
Though from where I am looking at things, if one calls two things the same name, they ought to have the same stats. Had they be named "HL Mk-I", HL Mk-II" etc. I'd have been delighted and accepted any weapon differences (as long as the later "mark" versions were the better ones of course) as part of this being a "later version".
...considering it made perfect sense for a Narn Heavy laser to be comepltely different to an Earthforce heavy laser.
Well... maybe for the latter models, but the first EA HL's were actually bought from the Narn, I'd expect them to be the same at least (more likely Less effective instead of more, as the Narn wouldn't be that likely to sell their best... though I could accept that they did, for extra charge of course, as the EA needed their best at that time to face the advancing Minbari)

But now... what about the EA HPC??? Heavy Pulses that are different throughout a single race... again, had there be an quality progression with "Mk-I, Mk-II..." qualifiers to the weapon name, I'd have been delighted (as I'd have liked seeing that in AoG's stuff too, to reflect minor improvements & upgrades between major refits), but so it's just confusing as you can see from the topic, as noone now knows why an "EA Heavy Pulse Cannon" is different every time we see one mounted on a ship...
As an aside Its also worth noting that Earth bought narn weapon sure for use in the Earth-Minbari war, but the chances these were just mounted as were is negligible, they would have been taken apart and then human equivelants built based on the specs to give an earth type weapon, which is not to say it would be the same.
Actually not - at that time the EA didn't have the time to take them apart and rebuild those guns - they needed to put them on ships to fight the Minbari right now, because they had to assume that if they took the year or so for R&D to do their jobs before they fielded those guns, the Minbari would have destroyed the ships that were to mount them during that time. But I agree that they would have done the reverse-engineering stuff with a few samples while they sent the other HL's to the front for field refits, resulting in a somewhat different version of the HL when it came out as human-produced. Again, I'd have liked to see some kind of qualifier added to the weapon name to keep the different incarnations apart.
Finally you need to know how playtesting works...
Having done a bit of that for AoG, I believe I do :wink:
Agreement to your post in that. Playtesters can only do recommendations, and those may be overlooked on the unfathomable decisions of the mysterious "guys in charge"... :lol:

Again, apologies if my annoyance at this (compared to the whole) minor detail shifted the gist of my statement to a point where it insulted the work you and others did. I wrote my post without full knowledge of the truth, and now that you did point this out to me have to say that I now know there was playtesting, but somehow this little thing got overlooked at some point in the process of making the supplement.

But still... I just can't let go of the feeling that the "hero ships" got the over-powered stuff and the "badguy ships" got short-charged. Why are the Centauri BL's doing only half the damage of the EA HL's, even though those BL's are supposed to be that much more advanced???

But I'm sure, some day there will be a fix to all that, one way or another (after all, Mongoose certainly doesn't seem to be the kind of company that is loath to correct themselves, and will stick to problematic stuff trying to make it look like it was intentional... and sooner or later there will be another chance to revisit ship stats... and besides that, there is always the possibility of unofficial fixes - though those have to be taken with extra care, as any experienced player knows...)
ShadowScout
Roman A. Perner

"True understanding can be found only in the Shadow between light and dark..." - inscription on Z'ha'dum
User avatar
MongooseMatt
Site Admin
Posts: 15163
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2003 4:25 pm

Postby MongooseMatt » Fri Sep 19, 2003 2:03 pm

Hi guys,

There are many reasons we do things the way we do :) However, consider individual weapons in B5 to be 'classes' of weapon, in the same way a 120mm cannon might be a class of weapon today. All 120mm cannon are devastating but they most certainly are not all the same.

By the same token, a heavy laser on one ship may be a completely different weapon on another - even if that ship is of the same race. There will be bigger capacitors, more refined focussing lenses, etc. . . It may look like a duck and quack like a duck, but there are an awful lot of different types of ducks in the world.

The gentleman who mentioned suspense for the delay of Shadows is absolutely right. We are no more going to reveal everything at once in the RPG than JMS did in the TV show - that would just spoil the surprise, and it gives GMs and players alike a rare chance to 'revlive' the epic B5 storyline.

However, for those of you who cannot wait (!), I have just posted some experimental rules for Shadows on the site. Let me know what you think, as we are still open to suggestions on these beasties!
Matthew Sprange

Mongoose Publishing
http://www.mongoosepublishing.com
User avatar
hassanisabbah
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 2678
Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2003 12:41 pm
Location: Englands Dreaming

Postby hassanisabbah » Fri Sep 19, 2003 2:36 pm

Just took a look. Ouch - Someone is going to get hurt. Very briefly, before shaking hands with their diety..... 8)
"I agree with everything I say, but not necessarily everything I have said".
User avatar
Neo
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 1155
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2003 6:22 pm
Location: Sheffield, SYorks, UK
Contact:

Postby Neo » Fri Sep 19, 2003 3:25 pm

ShadowScout wrote: Actually not - at that time the EA didn't have the time to take them apart and rebuild those guns - they needed to put them on ships to fight the Minbari right now, because they had to assume that if they took the year or so for R&D to do their jobs before they fielded those guns, the Minbari would have destroyed the ships that were to mount them during that time. But I agree that they would have done the reverse-engineering stuff with a few samples while they sent the other HL's to the front for field refits, resulting in a somewhat different version of the HL when it came out as human-produced. Again, I'd have liked to see some kind of qualifier added to the weapon name to keep the different incarnations apart.
Contrary to what you may believe Shadowscout the Earth-Minbari war didn't just last the hour and a half of the In the Beginning Movie LOL Thier urgency was there for sure, because they were losing constantly, but it wasn't because the war only took a weekend.
Its also fairly safe to assume that the Narn would have provided older models of Centauri weapons as opposed to thier best stuff, as where is the profit in providing another race equal superiority to your own? The narns were after resources sure, but not at the cost of arming someone who could possibly have turned on them.
Again, apologies if my annoyance at this (compared to the whole) minor detail shifted the gist of my statement to a point where it insulted the work you and others did. I wrote my post without full knowledge of the truth, and now that you did point this out to me have to say that I now know there was playtesting, but somehow this little thing got overlooked at some point in the process of making the supplement.
no worries, people are often quick to blame the playtesters, but at the end of the day its rarely that black and white. We are only responsible for the Suggestion, not the Implementation.
But still... I just can't let go of the feeling that the "hero ships" got the over-powered stuff and the "badguy ships" got short-charged. Why are the Centauri BL's doing only half the damage of the EA HL's, even though those BL's are supposed to be that much more advanced???

I take it you have seen the Shadows now? :D lets put it this way, they are less potent than they were prior to playtesting. Originally we had trouble finding a ship that could last longer than the opening round, most were destroyed before they even got a single shot off. The one successful foray we had was with 2 elite sharlin vs. one Shadow battlecrab, and the only way they could defeat it was by one sacrificing itself by ramming the Shadow LOL all very epic stuff. Of course they are more manageable now, but still very firghtening... people should be real careful on engaging a shadow ship as the consequences are for keeps ;)
Cpl. Mark "Neo" Howe MI68-94
http://www.neo73.plus.com/
MI Forward Reconnaissance, The Wolf Pack
Mongooses "Old Man" of Playtesting
completed playtests #130!
Gaming since 1980
User avatar
ShadowScout
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 450
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2003 7:48 am
Location: Matzen, AUSTRIA

Postby ShadowScout » Fri Sep 19, 2003 8:19 pm

msprange wrote:There are many reasons we do things the way we do However, consider individual weapons in B5 to be 'classes' of weapon, in the same way a 120mm cannon might be a class of weapon today. All 120mm cannon are devastating but they most certainly are not all the same.

By the same token, a heavy laser on one ship may be a completely different weapon on another - even if that ship is of the same race. There will be bigger capacitors, more refined focussing lenses, etc. . . It may look like a duck and quack like a duck, but there are an awful lot of different types of ducks in the world.
I read your writings, and agree with the thoughts behind them (and I would have liked something like those differences in B5W too, but realized that asking for 'em would be futile as that would add too much confusion to the system) - but when the differences get so great that that duck is twice the size of this duck, you need some qualifiers, and cannot continue to call 'em all "ducks". As I wrote, had you made it "HL Mark-I" and "HL alpha version" - no problem from my side.
But this... It's just like fantasy roleplaying - you can't very well call two single-handed blades just "sword" when one does twice the damage of the other... you need to for example call one "Bronze Kopesh" and the other "Mithril Longsword", or whatever fits their BG (well, actually you can, but it makes a RPG game with it confusing and far less fun... only having all weapons, from daggers to battle axes do the same damage is worse).
Same here - even though one ship may have bigger power reserves then the other ship, it makes little sense to have them two mount two completely different weapons as "Heavy Laser". The need for standardized spare parts alone would prevent it. So the ship with the more powerful reactor will most likely either have the same standard-sized capacitor for it's lasers as the other ship, and just mount more of them, or it will get it's design upgraded to an entirely new and more powerful weapon (like the Warlock's Heavy Particle Beams, munchkin wet-dream of CGI programmers that this idea was)
Neo wrote:Contrary to what you may believe Shadowscout the Earth-Minbari war didn't just last the hour and a half of the In the Beginning Movie LOL Thier urgency was there for sure, because they were losing constantly, but it wasn't because the war only took a weekend.
Well, I looked at the history hard before there even was an "ItB" for me to watch (and I still maintain that a lot of that movie was londo mis-remembering stuff or altering it to make a better story for Luc and Lyssa, from the Drala Fi incident to the fact that a Centauri Vorchan could get a Narn G'Quan with a single volley...), and noticed that fact, :wink: thank you for pointing it out to me again :roll:
But sarcasm aside, what I tried to say was that they certainly didn't buy the narn guns and waited the time it would have taken their R&D guys to take them apart and learn how to reproduce them before they ever monted the guns on their ships. And certainly not the further time for the eggheads to think up ways to improve these guns which were above ~2245 EA tech anyway. You however seemed to imply they had taken that time, which I just can't agree with. Oh, sure, they did give a few of their newly bought guns to their R&D department - but mounted the rest on their hyperions right away.

And as I wrote, I too think the narn would have provided second-rate models... but maybe not, they also could have provided old Centauri Battle Lasers, in the hopes the Minbari would find those and come to the wrong conclusions, wiping out the Centauri afterwards, and leaving the spotheads the laughing survivors. Possible... maybe not entirely likely, but possible... here I'm willing to think about it should someone make such a suggestion.

OK; off now to take a look at the new shadow rules... but I still think the (badguy) Centauri were short-charged with their Primus - this ship is supposed to be one of their best, and their tech is supposed to be better then Narn or EA stuff (even though they had forgotten how to use it properly before 2259). So why has the Primus BL only half the firepower of the EA HL??? (IN B5W they had a bit less damage, but a good deal more range - that sounded about right. Not to say that AoG is always right - that's Ivanova's job. But in this instance I like their interpretion better...)
ShadowScout
Roman A. Perner

"True understanding can be found only in the Shadow between light and dark..." - inscription on Z'ha'dum
User avatar
Neo
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 1155
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2003 6:22 pm
Location: Sheffield, SYorks, UK
Contact:

Postby Neo » Fri Sep 19, 2003 8:57 pm

ShadowScout wrote:OK; off now to take a look at the new shadow rules... but I still think the (badguy) Centauri were short-charged with their Primus - this ship is supposed to be one of their best, and their tech is supposed to be better then Narn or EA stuff (even though they had forgotten how to use it properly before 2259). So why has the Primus BL only half the firepower of the EA HL??? (IN B5W they had a bit less damage, but a good deal more range - that sounded about right. Not to say that AoG is always right - that's Ivanova's job. But in this instance I like their interpretion better...)
I guess it all comes down to personal perceptions on how things should be from person to person differing.

The way I see it is the Primus may be the Centauri's best vessel sure, but they are an empire in decline and hardly knocking out innovative technological advances every few months...or years for that matter.. it isn't a huge leap to assume thier R&D and military infrastructure has become as stale as the rest of the empire.

The main benefit the EA have I would say is that the humans unlike the Centauri share technologies with lots of species ansd have a very proactive R&D department as far as thier military is concerned... and so are able to produce designs that use facets of many racial designs. T
he main problem they have is re-trofitting alien tech to mesh with earth tech. Whereas the superior view of the centauri would most likely lead them to only using thier own designs assuming (albeit misguidedly) thier own technology is superior. What other technologies they have come from the species they conquered a long long time ago.

For example look at how long the other races have been around...yet by season 4 earth is not only using Earth/Minbari tech vessels but developing hybrid Earth/Minbari/Vorlon vessels too... none of the other races beyond the Mibari (who are the oldest of the younger races) are even close to that level of technological advancement.
Cpl. Mark "Neo" Howe MI68-94
http://www.neo73.plus.com/
MI Forward Reconnaissance, The Wolf Pack
Mongooses "Old Man" of Playtesting
completed playtests #130!
Gaming since 1980
User avatar
Jal
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 774
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2003 11:05 pm
Location: In space, slicing up your Sharlins.

Postby Jal » Sat Sep 20, 2003 7:19 am

Just took a look. Ouch - Someone is going to get hurt. Very briefly, before shaking hands with their diety.....
that`s the general idea :!: :lol:

the first time i saw them on the show they scared the crap out of me :!: (only in a metaphorical sence) :wink:

be afraid, very afraid :!: :twisted:
DKeith2011
Weasel
Posts: 41
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2003 8:20 pm
Location: Memphis, TN

Postby DKeith2011 » Sat Sep 20, 2003 5:54 pm

Personally, I would like to see a set system for converting ships from the Babylon 5 Wars system to the RPG system.

The B5W ships were well balanced and distinct, with a few tweaks that system could be reworked into an excellent ship system for the rpg.
Crazy 'Scaper

Postby Crazy 'Scaper » Tue Sep 23, 2003 10:15 am

Neo wrote: For example look at how long the other races have been around...yet by season 4 earth is not only using Earth/Minbari tech vessels but developing hybrid Earth/Minbari/Vorlon vessels too... none of the other races beyond the Mibari (who are the oldest of the younger races) are even close to that level of technological advancement.

Not to mention Earth/Shadow vessels.
User avatar
Goldritter
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 414
Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2003 9:19 am
Location: Rodgau / Germany
Contact:

Postby Goldritter » Sat Nov 29, 2003 10:24 am

I bet in the Narn and Centauri Sourcebook they will correct some ships, like they have in the EA Sourcebook.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 19 guests