Sensors Vs Superior Stealth

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Stumondo
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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
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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
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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
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Re: Sensors Vs Superior Stealth

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

Awesome, thanks guys
MonkeyX
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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.
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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.
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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
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Reynard
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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.
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Re: Sensors Vs Superior Stealth

Postby paltrysum » Mon Sep 10, 2018 11:58 pm

This came up in the small craft topic (viewtopic.php?f=89&t=121539) and I'm migrating a related question here:

Let's say you're a patrol corvette or a close escort and you have detected the Harrier in close, short, or maybe even medium range, when might you lose track of it? When it gets to long range as it burns its 6G maneuver drive to get away, does its stealth and countermeasures suddenly make it invisible?
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Re: Sensors Vs Superior Stealth

Postby Linwood » Tue Sep 11, 2018 12:59 am

Adding to that - does the act of engaging its m-drive make it easier or harder to detect?
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Re: Sensors Vs Superior Stealth

Postby AnotherDilbert » Tue Sep 11, 2018 1:23 am

Linwood wrote: Adding to that - does the act of engaging its m-drive make it easier or harder to detect?
I don't see why it would, it's not a rocket.

A reaction drive on the other side should be very visible at great range.
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Re: Sensors Vs Superior Stealth

Postby NOLATrav » Tue Sep 11, 2018 10:43 pm

I am using Energy Points for IR signature: 100 or less = DM-2 to detect/track, 500+ = DM+2 to detect/track. So nominally not really affecting the game but gives a bit of verisimilitude and my players can “run silent” by shutting down various systems and drifting until the last possible moment, which they absolutely love.

We’ve also adopted AnotherDilbert’s house rule of allowing a sensor check at each range band change - the Ref giveth, and the Ref taketh away ;) Thank you for that cool idea.

Good point about crew readiness. Could be a good way to turn the tables occasionally.
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Re: Sensors Vs Superior Stealth

Postby paltrysum » Tue Sep 11, 2018 11:38 pm

Excellent ideas all! Thanks, guys! I think the way I'll do it is similar to yours, NOLATrav. Once detected, ridding yourself of a detecting ship requires advancement to the next range band (thus inducing a new check) and energy usage as a positive or negative effect. This adds a new tactical consideration as well, a nice new wrinkle for space combat.
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baithammer
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Re: Sensors Vs Superior Stealth

Postby baithammer » Wed Sep 12, 2018 1:31 am

Just remember that the sensor suites have a number of different scans, such as the EM which can detect onboard systems of which the M-drive is rather high power usage.
Condottiere
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Re: Sensors Vs Superior Stealth

Postby Condottiere » Thu Sep 13, 2018 8:31 am

I view stealth as a sort of overall attribute, so the ship designers would have accounted for most forms of usual radiation emission, including propulsion.

Not quite sure how to mask a fusion rocket going off, though, maybe half the modifier?
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Re: Sensors Vs Superior Stealth

Postby Linwood » Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:15 am

You could base the modifier on level of thrust. But unless you have a way of muting the thermal signature I would expect the exhaust to be very noticeable.
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Re: Sensors Vs Superior Stealth

Postby baithammer » Thu Sep 13, 2018 11:03 am

Or could use the boon / bane system.

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