Question about Stunners

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Melbourne Accords
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Question about Stunners

Postby Melbourne Accords » Sat Sep 12, 2020 9:33 am

I'm currently preparing the next season of Traveller for our group and have two questions re. stunners (Central Supply Catalogue, p. 16)

1. Do the standard rules for the determination of long and extreme range apply to these weapons?
2. Does anyone have any thoughts on the three types included in the Central Supply Catalogue? Might they represent electroshock, sonic and magnetic pulse, for example?

Thanks very much!
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Re: Question about Stunners

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sat Sep 12, 2020 9:43 am

Melbourne Accords wrote: 1. Do the standard rules for the determination of long and extreme range apply to these weapons?
Yes, presumably.

Melbourne Accords wrote: 2. Does anyone have any thoughts on the three types included in the Central Supply Catalogue? Might they represent electroshock, sonic and magnetic pulse, for example?
I believe Mongoose generally avoids making such detailed determinations.
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Re: Question about Stunners

Postby Saladman » Sun Sep 13, 2020 12:58 am

Melbourne Accords wrote:
Sat Sep 12, 2020 9:33 am
Might they represent electroshock, sonic and magnetic pulse, for example?
They very well might, and this kind of detail is good practice for setting building and adjudicating edge cases.

1e had electric and sonic only, but that's no reason to limit yourself.
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Re: Question about Stunners

Postby Old School » Sun Sep 13, 2020 1:36 am

Melbourne Accords wrote:
Sat Sep 12, 2020 9:33 am
1. Do the standard rules for the determination of long and extreme range apply to these weapons?
Nothing in the rules say otherwise. In my game stunners are short range weapons, so I wouldn’t allow an extreme range attack with one. But that’s just me.
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Re: Question about Stunners

Postby Geir » Sun Sep 13, 2020 2:03 am

I've assumed stunners are electromagnetic, since nothing says they don't work in a vacuum. Range rules should be the same as any other ranged weapon. Also armor would apply normally, I would think. Of course if stunners act on the nervous system, they may not work well on other races. They might just tickle a Hiver, for instance. So use a club. Clubs don't discriminate.
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Re: Question about Stunners

Postby Condottiere » Wed Sep 16, 2020 2:48 pm

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Re: Question about Stunners

Postby paltrysum » Thu Sep 17, 2020 4:02 am

What do you think of this design?

Stun Rifle: A non-lethal weapon, designed to inflict a massive shock to the target or targets, incapacitating them. The stun rifle employs similar technology to that of the stunner (refer to p. 116 in the Central Supply Catalog), inflicting more damage and providing a Blast option. When set to Blast, the stun rifle receives the Blast trait. Blast shots inflict reduced damage of 3D and consume two charges from the magazine.

Weapon: Stun Rifle
TL: 13
Range: 20
Damage: 4D/3D*
Kg: 5
Cost: Cr3000
Magazine: 200
Power Pack Cost: Cr500
Traits: Stun, Blast*, Zero-G

*Weapon does 4D of damage when set to single target and 3D when set to Blast.
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Re: Question about Stunners

Postby Geir » Thu Sep 17, 2020 5:18 am

paltrysum wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 4:02 am
What do you think of this design?

Stun Rifle: A non-lethal weapon, designed to inflict a massive shock to the target or targets, incapacitating them. The stun rifle employs similar technology to that of the stunner (refer to p. 116 in the Central Supply Catalog), inflicting more damage and providing a Blast option. When set to Blast, the stun rifle receives the Blast trait. Blast shots inflict reduced damage of 3D and consume two charges from the magazine.

Weapon: Stun Rifle
TL: 13
Range: 20
Damage: 4D/3D*
Kg: 5
Cost: Cr3000
Magazine: 200
Power Pack Cost: Cr500
Traits: Stun, Blast*, Zero-G

*Weapon does 4D of damage when set to single target and 3D when set to Blast.
Blast should have a number associated with it, probably something like 3 or 6 for what you have in mind. I was going to say that 5kg seems heavy for a rifle, but that's what a rifle is. Weird, since the ACR is only 3kg... various rifle masses seems a little chaotic when I look at them.
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Re: Question about Stunners

Postby Old School » Thu Sep 17, 2020 11:43 am

Good concert, paltrysum, but I’d nerf it a bit. 200 charges, or 100 when set on blast, is a lot. To me that would be big, heavy backpack battery, similar to how I envision laser rifle power packs. Maybe ten charges with its own power, and 200 with a 10 kg backpack? Could just use the same backpack as the laser rifle.

Ranged weapons can hit at up to 4X the listed range. I always envision stunners as short range weapons. So for longer ranges, say any distance beyond the listed (i.e “long” or “extreme” range) I’d reduce the damage by 1D. Maybe reduce it 1D at long and 2D at extreme. So you can still incapacitate someone at 80 meters, but its likely going to take two very difficult shots.

I’d also cut the range from 20 to 5 or 10 when shotgunning the stunray/electromagnetic/shockwave/whatever. I like the idea of the blast setting, but I envision it s a wide stream that loses effectiveness quickly at range.

One thing the rules don’t account for is the “close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades” part of the “Blast” Trait. Shouldn’t you get positive DM on the attack role when using a “blast” range weapon, accounting for the fact that you only have to get close?
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Re: Question about Stunners

Postby paltrysum » Thu Sep 17, 2020 5:33 pm

Charges could use a nerfing but I think we have to stick the damage as is and maybe only cut back the range by 5m. The hand-held TL13 stunner from the CSC does 3D and has a range of 10.

And now, to REALLY blow your mind, please have a look at these and let me know if I'm completely off my rocker (please forgive the spacing; I copied these from a table):

Ion Rifle: At higher technology levels, ion technology has been miniaturised to the level that it can be used for personal weapons. At TL14, a hit from an ion rifle can disrupt electronic equipment on vehicles or powered armour for 1D rounds. Powered armour with a Protection level of 20 or higher are immune and the weapon does not affect vehicle with an Armour value of 4 or higher. At TL15, the ion rifle is considerably more expensive but can penetrate personal armour with any Protection level and can momentarily disrupt vehicles with an Armour value of 8 or less.

Weapon TL Range Damage Kg Cost Magazine Power Pack Cost Traits
Ion Rifle 14 600 Special 6 Cr16000 100 Cr5000 Zero-G
Ion Rifle 15 800 Special 5 Cr24000 100 Cr8000 Zero-G
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Re: Question about Stunners

Postby Old School » Thu Sep 17, 2020 5:43 pm

So you're telling me you're trying to be internally consistent with previous Mongoose material? Given my rants on the lack of the same in the past, I should probably applaud this. But I still don't like long range stunners.
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Re: Question about Stunners

Postby paltrysum » Thu Sep 17, 2020 7:09 pm

Old School wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 5:43 pm
So you're telling me you're trying to be internally consistent with previous Mongoose material? Given my rants on the lack of the same in the past, I should probably applaud this. But I still don't like long range stunners.
I'm in agreement with you on that. I like the idea that you have to get up close and personal to use a stunner, not nail a guy from 200m away. While it does make it a natural progression to give more of everything, perhaps the stun rifle should be more like a shotgun that can be calibrated for a directed shot (4D) or scattershot (3D) with the range still limited to 10m. Thanks for the feedback.

Any thoughts about the ion rifles? I'm thinking they might also do light damage to personnel as well, ignoring armor of course, but I don't want to break Traveller and have one of those situations where people say, "Whoa! THIS exists? No need for gauss or laser rifles anymore!"
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Re: Question about Stunners

Postby Geir » Thu Sep 17, 2020 7:36 pm

I consider the ion weapon more of a homage to Empire Strikes Back than an OTU sort of thing. Don't know where the Tachyon Cannon came from but that's another issue... (almost spelled that with one n, but... never mind)
Anyway, Hardening is a thing to protect against ion weapons, so if you introduce them, then radiation-hardened equipment has to be further fleshed out.
The range seems a little long on the proposed ion weapons.
It is nice to see more non-lethal weapon options out there, maybe a sign of the times...
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Re: Question about Stunners

Postby Ursus Maior » Thu Sep 17, 2020 8:28 pm

Geir wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 5:18 am
I was going to say that 5kg seems heavy for a rifle, but that's what a rifle is. Weird, since the ACR is only 3kg... various rifle masses seems a little chaotic when I look at them.
Don't get me started on weights of weapons in MgT2. Swords for up to 4 kg, axes for 6 kg and rapiers for 2 kg? Are clubbing with that 4 kg cutlass? A TL6 autorifle for 5 kg isn't that far out in comparison. The G3 and similar designs from the 40s or 50s clocked in at 4.75 kg including a magazine. But an autopistol or revolver for 1 kg will have almost no recoil to be felt and not be held in full extension for more than once combat round.
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Re: Question about Stunners

Postby AndrewW » Thu Sep 17, 2020 9:56 pm

Geir wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 7:36 pm
I consider the ion weapon more of a homage to Empire Strikes Back than an OTU sort of thing. Don't know where the Tachyon Cannon came from but that's another issue...
High Guard is meant as a toolkit, not everything will fit into the OTU. Yes, some stuff was added to use for different universes, some could be useful in Star Wars others might find a place in a Star Trek based universe.
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Re: Question about Stunners

Postby Geir » Thu Sep 17, 2020 11:14 pm

AndrewW wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 9:56 pm
Geir wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 7:36 pm
I consider the ion weapon more of a homage to Empire Strikes Back than an OTU sort of thing. Don't know where the Tachyon Cannon came from but that's another issue...
High Guard is meant as a toolkit, not everything will fit into the OTU. Yes, some stuff was added to use for different universes, some could be useful in Star Wars others might find a place in a Star Trek based universe.
I understand and appreciate that. I just wish the OTU stuff were in one section and the alternate stuff were in the High Technology Section (though it might have needed a different name) like deflectors and such. Oddly, tractor beams/repulsers got relegated there and then you had to back-fit them into the High Guard Ship designs, all of which are OTU ports from previous Traveller versions (yes, the name of the chapter is Spacecraft of the Third Imperium, so I'm not complaining about that).
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Re: Question about Stunners

Postby Linwood » Fri Sep 18, 2020 12:17 am

paltrysum wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 7:09 pm
Old School wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 5:43 pm
So you're telling me you're trying to be internally consistent with previous Mongoose material? Given my rants on the lack of the same in the past, I should probably applaud this. But I still don't like long range stunners.
I'm in agreement with you on that. I like the idea that you have to get up close and personal to use a stunner, not nail a guy from 200m away. While it does make it a natural progression to give more of everything, perhaps the stun rifle should be more like a shotgun that can be calibrated for a directed shot (4D) or scattershot (3D) with the range still limited to 10m. Thanks for the feedback.

Any thoughts about the ion rifles? I'm thinking they might also do light damage to personnel as well, ignoring armor of course, but I don't want to break Traveller and have one of those situations where people say, "Whoa! THIS exists? No need for gauss or laser rifles anymore!"
I’m wondering where EMP ammunition fits in with ion weaponry. I’m also wondering if an armor’s Rad protective rating should be used as protection against ion weaponry.
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Re: Question about Stunners

Postby Saladman » Fri Sep 18, 2020 1:22 am

paltrysum wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 4:02 am
What do you think of this design?
So it's a stunner with better range and more damage. Superficially you've kept the scaling in line with tech level, but the increased damage is especially powerful when you remember how stun damage works - 4D is a very likely insta-win button against human opponents, and 3D area of effect is its own big jump in power from 3D single target.

Separately, I agree with Old School that there's no reason to up the charges - the book stunners have 100 at all TLs. That's the least of my concerns though. I would not use the weapon in my own game.
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Re: Question about Stunners

Postby paltrysum » Fri Sep 18, 2020 3:25 am

Linwood wrote:
Fri Sep 18, 2020 12:17 am
I’m wondering where EMP ammunition fits in with ion weaponry. I’m also wondering if an armor’s Rad protective rating should be used as protection against ion weaponry.
Now that's an idea worth exploring. Maybe divide the RAD rating by 10 as a negative DM to the damage of the ion weapon.
Saladman wrote:
Fri Sep 18, 2020 1:22 am
So it's a stunner with better range and more damage. Superficially you've kept the scaling in line with tech level, but the increased damage is especially powerful when you remember how stun damage works - 4D is a very likely insta-win button against human opponents, and 3D area of effect is its own big jump in power from 3D single target.

Separately, I agree with Old School that there's no reason to up the charges - the book stunners have 100 at all TLs. That's the least of my concerns though. I would not use the weapon in my own game.
Good feedback. Personally, I like the idea of more non-lethal weaponry, but I'm sure it's a matter of taste.
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