Sensors Vs Superior Stealth

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
Stumondo
Shrew
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2012 1:40 am

Sensors Vs Superior Stealth

Postby Stumondo » Mon May 14, 2018 1:17 pm

Just started running Drinax.

On their first try at piracy, they came upon a Far Trader. It was during that that I realised, their superior stealth was giving the total of -9 (-6 standard and -3 for TL difference), which the meant it was impossible for the Far Tarder to ever spot them. I tried to find rules for sensor bonuses based of distance, but couldn't find anything. Is the intent that the Harrier can sneak up and dock without ever been seen, or am I missing something?
AnotherDilbert
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 2834
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2015 2:49 pm
Location: Sweden

Re: Sensors Vs Superior Stealth

Postby AnotherDilbert » Mon May 14, 2018 5:50 pm

That is correct.

A Free Trader doesn't have very good sensors, so unless it has a very good sensor operator it can't see much.

The only range effect is that sensor tasks are more difficult at Very Distant range.
Reynard
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 3167
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:03 pm

Re: Sensors Vs Superior Stealth

Postby Reynard » Mon May 14, 2018 7:26 pm

As well as having good skill, if your sensor operator(s) has a reason to be actively searching, they can Go Slower to gain bonuses or possibly Task Chain with good reason.

The point of the stealth feature is make your targets very vulnerable. Non-warships have a hard time with normal ships alone. Ships purposely build with very expensive stealth and EAG are meant to overwhelm most normal vessels and make warships with better capabilities struggle. However, you piss off the wrong people by getting over confident, you might find a pirate hunting squadron normally looking for enemy stealthed ships dogging you. One ship in the group could have Improved Signal Processing or Enhanced Signal Processing, Distributed or Extended Arrays plus maybe the Extension Net. Add in a few specialized SOs and you might want to lay low if you get away or at least change tactics.

This is why I rebuilt the Corsair. Nothing better than having guns bearing on your prey at Adjacent to Short range then communications announce 'Heave to and deliver!".
Stumondo
Shrew
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2012 1:40 am

Re: Sensors Vs Superior Stealth

Postby Stumondo » Mon May 14, 2018 8:12 pm

Awesome, thanks guys
MonkeyX
Stoat
Posts: 98
Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2018 11:52 am

Re: Sensors Vs Superior Stealth

Postby MonkeyX » Mon May 14, 2018 9:26 pm

I’d also allow a recon check to visually identify the Harrier so they may get a chance to spot it at the last minute.
ochd
Mongoose
Posts: 130
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2007 10:33 am
Location: Wantage, Oxfordshire, UK

Re: Sensors Vs Superior Stealth

Postby ochd » Sat May 19, 2018 10:44 am

I'm still inclined to give a bonus to sensors checks at short range. If the targetting systems on weapons are affected by range, then to my (admittedly completed unqualified) mind it seems like sensor checks ought to be.

But even just from a game balance point of view, given the advantages that are gained from being at short range (bonus to hit, more detail information gained on the scan), it seems reasonable that they should come with a bit more risk of detection.

BTW, something I often overlook is that the target gets also gets a +2 bonus if it is being scanned by active radar.

Dan.
NOLATrav
Mongoose
Posts: 177
Joined: Sun Sep 06, 2015 7:42 pm

Re: Sensors Vs Superior Stealth

Postby NOLATrav » Sat May 19, 2018 8:17 pm

ochd wrote:
Sat May 19, 2018 10:44 am
I'm still inclined to give a bonus to sensors checks at short range. If the targetting systems on weapons are affected by range, then to my (admittedly completed unqualified) mind it seems like sensor checks ought to be.
Yes, this. IMTU Civilian sensors have Long range and a scan is a Difficult task. Each range band closer is one level easier (so Short range is Routine) and each band farther is one level harder. Your Effect can allow you more detail than normal if you score high enough (2+ points of Effect allows the next higher level of detail).

You can upgrade to longer ranges for a cost (Military sensors are Difficult at Very Long for example) or save some money and install weaker ones (Basic sensors are Difficult at Medium). So you can have Very Long range Civilian sensors for +50% in cost. I don’t use the RAW DMs based on sensor types.

I also do similar with energy weapons - DM+1 to hit for each band closer than effective range, DM-2 for each band beyond. With the resultant increase in Effect also upping damage at nearer ranges. So a Medium range Beam Laser looks like this:

Adj DM+3
Close DM+2
Short DM+1
Med DM+0
Long DM-2
VLong DM-4
etc

This applies to lasers, plasma, fusion, particle, ion and tachyon weapons. So a Particle Barbette does 4D+4 at Close, 4D-2 at Distant.
Reynard
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 3167
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:03 pm

Re: Sensors Vs Superior Stealth

Postby Reynard » Sat May 19, 2018 9:40 pm

By the time most targets are attempting sensor check at Short or less, the first thing they see is a ship often better armed than them and any thought to use speed and distance to escape will be funny.
Condottiere
Chief Mongoose
Posts: 6277
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:23 pm

Re: Sensors Vs Superior Stealth

Postby Condottiere » Mon May 21, 2018 7:10 am

The real difference should be the operator or the readiness status of the bridge.

Between routine operations and looking for an anomaly.
Rikki Tikki Traveller
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 3392
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2007 3:20 pm
Location: Arlington, TX USA

Re: Sensors Vs Superior Stealth

Postby Rikki Tikki Traveller » Tue May 22, 2018 1:49 pm

One thing that you should do is continue to extend the Sensors above TL12, increasing the Sensor DM by one at each TL. That helps the sensors keep up with advanced stealth and gives higher tech military ships a fighting chance against super-stealth. This Stealth/Sensor battle should be one of the "wars" in ship design as TL increases. Just like the fight between weapons that cause more damage and armor/shields, sensors and stealth will be an on-going back-and-forth in designs/capability. As soon as a new form of stealth is developed, then the sensor designers will begin working on ways to defeat it. Once defeated, then the stealth people will figure out a new way to defeat the new sensors.
My friends call me Richard.
You can call me Sir.
Reynard
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 3167
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:03 pm

Re: Sensors Vs Superior Stealth

Postby Reynard » Tue May 22, 2018 7:03 pm

Actually that's already built in.
"with an additional DM-1 for every Tech Level the ship is higher than the sensors trying to locate it."

As the Tech Level of a target ship's sensors increases, the easier to detect a stealthed ship.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests