Converting 5th D&D races to Traveller 2nd Edition

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Tom Kalbfus
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Converting 5th D&D races to Traveller 2nd Edition

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Tue Jul 03, 2018 4:21 am

I had some ideas about converting the Drow to a Traveller species. These Drow live on a terraformed Venus circa 10,000+ AD this is about 5000 years further in the future that the Third Imperium. Basically my idea is to terraform Venus and turn it into a pseudo-fantasy world using Traveller rules A bunch of races exist, some of which were derived from humans. The races are humans, elves, dwarves, halflings, gnomes, kobolds, goblins, hobgoblins, orcs, drow, ogres, lizardfolk.
Here is the drow below, I'm thinking of giving them some innate psionic powers, as they have innate magic in the D&D version, so why not make psionic powers which deliver the same effects as fairie fire and darkness. I think a darkness spell could also absorb laser beams as well and could thus act as a shield for that type of weapon.

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Re: Converting 5th D&D races to Traveller 2nd Edition

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Tue Jul 03, 2018 4:38 am

I would have just made that race compatible with Traveller's system.
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Re: Converting 5th D&D races to Traveller 2nd Edition

Postby Linwood » Tue Jul 03, 2018 10:29 am

I agree with Shawn on this. And I’d look at adding disadvantages to your racial template to balance out the advantages.

As far as psionics goes, you might want to track down one of the Zhodani sourcebooks for some thoughts. And I suggest not trying to mimic the magic spells too closely. The psionic system works a bit differently and would likely require more psi points than you might expect to achieve similar effects.
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Re: Converting 5th D&D races to Traveller 2nd Edition

Postby Reynard » Tue Jul 03, 2018 11:17 am

I thought drow are a variant of the Darriens with darker skin.
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Re: Converting 5th D&D races to Traveller 2nd Edition

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Tue Jul 03, 2018 2:10 pm

Linwood wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 10:29 am
I agree with Shawn on this. And I’d look at adding disadvantages to your racial template to balance out the advantages.

As far as psionics goes, you might want to track down one of the Zhodani sourcebooks for some thoughts. And I suggest not trying to mimic the magic spells too closely. The psionic system works a bit differently and would likely require more psi points than you might expect to achieve similar effects.
Advantages and Disadvantages are easy enough to replicate in Traveller. For Advantages, instead of rolling two 20-sided dice and taking the best result, you roll two pairs of six-sided dice and you pick the best result of the two pairs, for Disadvantages, you do the opposite and pick the worst result. So if a Drow wants to fire a laser pistol in broad daylight, he rolls two pairs of six-sided dice nd he picks the worst result, and if the worst result is high enough then he scores a hit. A darkness spell would absorb laser damage, as light can't exist within that radius, if someone tries to shoot bullets into it, since one can't see the target, you get disadvantages to hit. The effect might be similar to a black globe. I would say the Darkness area follows an inertial frame of reference, whatever inertial frame the caster occupied when the spell was cast, afterwards, he can move around within the darkness area and even leave it and the darkness doesn't follow. To make things simple, we'll assume it doesn't go through solid objects. If a Drow is running while he casts Darkness, the Darkness area will continue to travel in a straight line at the speed the Drow was moving until it encounters a solid object in its path and then it stops. If the Drow is falling when he casts Darkness, the Darkness spell will continue to fall until it encounters the ground and then it stops. The darkness area does not fall towards the center of a planet in other words. I think a Darkness spell does not defeat sonar however and a person within that globe is just as vulnerable sonic weapons, assuming you can detect the target within the globe. bullets are the same. The Darkness globe stops all electromagnetic radiation including magnetic fields themselves. Electric fields work just fine, accelerating a charge particle does not produce an electromagnetic wave within this area of effect however.
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Re: Converting 5th D&D races to Traveller 2nd Edition

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Tue Jul 03, 2018 2:20 pm

Reynard wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 11:17 am
I thought drow are a variant of the Darriens with darker skin.
Can Darriens see in the dark? Drow, I believe can see in the infrared, at least some versions of them can. A darkness spell blocks that ability as well, but in what humans consider darnkess, Drow can see infrared light and can detect body heat signatures. Radiative cooling is not possible within a Darkness spell's area of effect, instead we have thermal cooling there is an atmosphere to carry away the heat. If something hot is caught within a Darkness spell's area of effect, someone who can see in infrared will see a dull glowing globe which indicates the heat signature of the atmosphere leaving the Darkness spell area. If the area is hot enough, the air just outside the Darness area will glow at visible wavelengths to humans, that would be sedondary radiation carried out beyond the darkness radius by molecular motion. Drow would be at home on planets orbiting red dwarfs, which are tidally locked to them, otherwise they prefer to live underground when daylight levels of illumination are present.
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Re: Converting 5th D&D races to Traveller 2nd Edition

Postby Condottiere » Tue Jul 03, 2018 11:44 pm

Image

Didn't they try to blow up the sun?

Coincidence?
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Re: Converting 5th D&D races to Traveller 2nd Edition

Postby Reynard » Wed Jul 04, 2018 1:05 am

Seriously, if you really, really want D&D in Space, go Starfinder for ideas.
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Re: Converting 5th D&D races to Traveller 2nd Edition

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Wed Jul 04, 2018 1:33 pm

Reynard wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 1:05 am
Seriously, if you really, really want D&D in Space, go Starfinder for ideas.
I didn't say I wanted D&D in Space, I just wanted to convert some D&D races into Traveller Aliens. I already have Starfinder, and I find it more a weird sort of fantasy setting than a science fiction one. Now what if we wanted to create D&D races for space, but have them conform to the scinece fiction setting while keeping much of their character? For example Traveller has Psionics, so all magic converts to psionics where ever possible and if it does not, we leave it out. I think for example the ability to see in the infrared is scienticfically plausible even though many D&D races have that ability, whether they call it "Darkvision" or something else. Anyway if I wanted to do D&D in Space, Spelljammer is more literally D&D in Space, it does that alot better that Starfinder, which has to create new spell lists that mix magic and technology for that. Traveller is mostly science fiction with little fantasy elements, so I want to stay within that framework. I think some ideas such as Advantages and Disadvantages could also work with Traveller, substituting 2 six-sided dice for a d20 for example. 5th Edition D&D has lost of ideas which could also be carried over to science fiction. In Starfinder for instance, stars aren't even powered by nuclear fusion! Everything is magical when carried down to some level Traveller is "harder" science fiction and could be adapted to a stricly Hard Science fiction setting if we wanted to as well.

You have an idea of the Drow, what would they be like in a science fiction setting similar to Classic Traveller? Would the 3rd Imperium have problems with such a race? What kind of technology would the Drow develop? What would their starships look like? Star Trek has races that are somewhat similar to this, Vulcans and Romulans are sort of like elves in some respects for example.
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Re: Converting 5th D&D races to Traveller 2nd Edition

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Wed Jul 04, 2018 3:27 pm

Tom Kalbfus wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 1:33 pm
You have an idea of the Drow, what would they be like in a science fiction setting similar to Classic Traveller?
D&D is all about killing things and taking their stuff. Traveller is about a whole other thing. The Drow would be treated as aliens, just like how the Darrians are, and given career templates for players to generate Drow Travellers from. Whether or not a Drow gets along with other Travellers will depend on the role-play. Traveller sessions are sandboxes that are character-driven.
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Re: Converting 5th D&D races to Traveller 2nd Edition

Postby steve98052 » Wed Jul 04, 2018 4:28 pm

Another approach to mixing fantasy and science fiction is GURPS Technomancer.
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Re: Converting 5th D&D races to Traveller 2nd Edition

Postby Reynard » Wed Jul 04, 2018 8:52 pm

Alright, enough vague speculation. You covert a creature from one game mechanic to the other by analyzing their distinctive characteristic and coming up with the closest fit.

Since we are talking 5e Drow, we look in the monster book.
1) Drow are a race that are creatures of the dark who prefer life underground. They have huge networks of habitation there. That is very easy in Traveller with so many worlds to house them whether as know inhabitants or that special surprise. The blackness of space within enclosed ships should feel at home. This definitely makes asteroid ships and habitation a drow characteristic.
2) They're raiders and slavers using other races to do their work and be lorded over. Their religion encourages a lot of wickedness.
3) They raise giant spiders as pets and guards. Please use Traveller animal creator to make giant alien spiders. Oh, spider webs cover their cities as decoration and traps.
4) Drow magic can be psionic. Drow 'mages' are a special career for the more arrogant of Drow. They love to use their abilities to make the victims miserable.
5) Politics is nasty both between themselves and outsiders. Their society is feudal with noble houses ruled by matriarchs. Males are subservient to females. Their god is a female in the worst way. The lowest level of society are slaves, both low level drow and outsiders.
6) Drow love poisons and are master of their production and use. Beware of projectile and melee weapons.
7) There are only priestesses of their god. They are always psionic and often rule houses or control people around them.
8 ) Drow have natural IR/UV vision with all the benefits able to see in near darkness. They are very sensitive to strong light giving them Banes for perception tasks and attack actions.

Drow characteristics are comparable to most Travellers so roll normal and assign careers as needed. They can make a great alien humanoid race that could range from a serious threat to an empire or a reoccuring nuisance and nemesis thwarting and harrassing Travellers and region akin to the vargr. These can truly be a space born menace.
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Re: Converting 5th D&D races to Traveller 2nd Edition

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Thu Jul 05, 2018 3:28 am

Since magic is psionic, it is interesting to speculate what it is that the Drow worship, whether it is a real thing belonging to some ancient race of intelligent psionic spiders, or if it is just a belief they have and their goddess is made up. I would make Loth the last survivor of an intelligent ancient race of spiders, that are now mostly extinct. Loth became so powerful that she killed of the last of her kind and she is the only one left, or so she believes. she would have to be quite a bit different from the fantasy version, more alien and without the humanoid upper torso, she might be part machine and has powerful psionic abilities. Her motivation is basically to rule the Galaxy or as much of it as she can grasp with her minions the Drow. What would happen is she could communicate psionically with her priestesses over interstellar distances? Loth could then communicate with her priestesses, and her priestesses could command capital ships, using their "goddess" to coordinate fleet movements, giving the Drow Empire some advantage over the Imperium. The limitation to this of course is that Loth is not actually a goddess in this setting, she is one alien being, and if someone manages to kill her, the entire Drow Empire falls apart as they lose their FTL communications hub and can no longer coordinate fleet movements.
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Re: Converting 5th D&D races to Traveller 2nd Edition

Postby Reynard » Thu Jul 05, 2018 10:45 am

Sometimes the most horrifying thing isn't a giant monstrous alien being but a monstrous set of beliefs driving an entire race to commit evil acts. Intangible yet very much experienced.
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Re: Converting 5th D&D races to Traveller 2nd Edition

Postby MonkeyX » Thu Jul 05, 2018 10:49 am

Isn’t advantage/disadvantage similar enough to 2nd Ed’s Boon and Bane dice to use rather than creating another subsystem to accommodate drow?
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Re: Converting 5th D&D races to Traveller 2nd Edition

Postby Reynard » Thu Jul 05, 2018 11:15 am

First thing I was thinking when I said Light sensitivity creates Banes. 5e and 2e are fairly easy to convert.

We need orcs next. Traveller already has tabaxi, wolfweres, centaurs and kobolds.
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Re: Converting 5th D&D races to Traveller 2nd Edition

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Thu Jul 05, 2018 2:11 pm

Reynard wrote:
Thu Jul 05, 2018 11:15 am
First thing I was thinking when I said Light sensitivity creates Banes. 5e and 2e are fairly easy to convert.

We need orcs next. Traveller already has tabaxi, wolfweres, centaurs and kobolds.
Ever see the television show Shannara? Well the origins of dwarves, elves, gnomes, halflings, orcs, goblins, hobgoblins, ogres, kobolds, drow,and Lizardfolk are all derived from Terran stock. The dwarves, elves, drow, gnomes, halflings, orcs, goblins, hobgoblins, and ogres are derived from human stock, that is their DNA is modified human DNA, and Elves, Drow, orcs, and ogres in particular can interbreed with humans. An ogre is a giant that stands 10 feet or roughly 3 meters tall, a half-ogre stands 8 feet or 2.4 meters tall. A typical orc stands about 7 feet tall or about 2.1 meters tall on average. Their statistics on average are Str 10, Dex 8, End 10, Int 5, Edu 7, Soc 7 and you could roll their stats this way Str 2D+3, Dex 2D+1, End 2D+3, Int 2D-2, Edu 2D, Soc 2D. Orcs are built much like a gorilla, and have large tusks extending from their lower jaw, unlike gorillas, they walk upright rather than on their knuckes, they tend to have grey to blueish skin. Orcs tend not to be terribly bright by human standards. Their origins is on a future terraformed planet Venus about 5000 years in the future from the standard Traveller campaign. In that future, just one possible future among many, Venus was relocated to an orbit at a distance from the Sun of about 1.15 AU, and a Venusian year in that future is 450 days long, The Venusian calendar is separated into 15 months or 30 days each, which is about how long its moon Io takes to go through its cycle of phases as seen from the surface of Venus.
Image

There is a gate built by the Ancients which connects this future Venus with present day Prometheus, orbiting Alpha Centauri A Prometheus and this Venus share the same kind of atmosphere, and these 12 races live on the same planet. The tech level of Venus except for these Ancient artifacts is at a maximum of 2. Venus is also home to dinosaurs that have either been brought back through genetic engineering, or perhaps transported from ancient Earth itself through a time portal.
This is the map of that world.
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The Earth and its Moon can be seen in the sky of Venus as a morning star. No one has yet traveled to this future Earth, as the gate which connects Venus to Prometheus is 3 meters wide, which means it is large enough for an ogre to step through, no spaceships have yet been sent through back to future Venus, some exploratory groups have attempted to pick up radio transmissions from this future Earth and have failed to find any. Spectroscopic analysis of its atmosphere confirms that it has a standard atmosphere however. Mars has also been looked at, and similar analysis can confirmed that in this future setting it has a Thin atmosphere and about 30% water coverage. Some artificial radio transmissions have originated from Mars, but the signals have yet to be translated.
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Re: Converting 5th D&D races to Traveller 2nd Edition

Postby crazy_cat » Fri Jul 06, 2018 5:49 pm

Condottiere wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 11:44 pm
Didn't they try to blow up the sun?

Coincidence?
Did they? I thought that was the Mind Flayers (Illithid).
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Re: Converting 5th D&D races to Traveller 2nd Edition

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Fri Jul 06, 2018 6:40 pm

If the Sun was a white dwarf, you can blow it up by adding enough mass.
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Re: Converting 5th D&D races to Traveller 2nd Edition

Postby Reynard » Fri Jul 06, 2018 8:17 pm

I think if you dropped every planet and the Oort belt into it, you still wouldn't have enough mass.

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