4+ Years on, how is the underlying math of MGT2E holding up? (especially in the Starship and Vehicle construction rules)

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4+ Years on, how is the underlying math of MGT2E holding up? (especially in the Starship and Vehicle construction rules)

Postby Gwarh » Fri Nov 06, 2020 3:38 am

Mongoose Traveller 2nd Edition has been out for 4+ years now (2016 release?). and I'm curious to know from those of you who own the rules the following. How is the math in the Vehicle and Starship construction rules? Is it tight and works, or is it full of errors and requires countless pages of errata to fix and even then doesn't really work.

I ask as a sort of jaded vehicle/ship builder from other editions of Traveller and other RPG's. Many games have claimed to allow you to build any vehicle, any tech level, any time period but in practice the rules turned out to be an imbalanced and oft incoherent mess. Add to that Mongoose has a bit of a "reputation" for poor editing.

So

Following the RAW in the Vehicle Guide Book and High Guard can you build usable ships that make sense/actually work?
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Re: 4+ Years on, how is the underlying math of MGT2E holding up? (especially in the Starship and Vehicle construction ru

Postby Old School » Fri Nov 06, 2020 5:01 am

High guard, yes. Vehicle handbook has issues. And you can use highguard to develop a small vehicle that is far more powerful than its equivalent in VH. But highguard itself is pretty solid.
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Re: 4+ Years on, how is the underlying math of MGT2E holding up? (especially in the Starship and Vehicle construction ru

Postby Gwarh » Fri Nov 06, 2020 6:40 am

Old School wrote:
Fri Nov 06, 2020 5:01 am
High guard, yes. Vehicle handbook has issues. And you can use highguard to develop a small vehicle that is far more powerful than its equivalent in VH. But highguard itself is pretty solid.
Do you know if the Vehicle Handbook's pdf on DrivethruRPG ever got updated with the errata, or any of the other pdf's? My gut tells me no but hope springs eternal.
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Re: 4+ Years on, how is the underlying math of MGT2E holding up? (especially in the Starship and Vehicle construction ru

Postby Gwarh » Fri Nov 06, 2020 6:40 am

Old School wrote:
Fri Nov 06, 2020 5:01 am
High guard, yes. Vehicle handbook has issues. And you can use highguard to develop a small vehicle that is far more powerful than its equivalent in VH. But highguard itself is pretty solid.
Do you know if the Vehicle Handbook's pdf on DrivethruRPG ever got updated with the errata, or any of the other pdf's? My gut tells me no but hope springs eternal.
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Re: 4+ Years on, how is the underlying math of MGT2E holding up? (especially in the Starship and Vehicle construction ru

Postby Old School » Fri Nov 06, 2020 12:36 pm

Let me revise my comment by saying that the high guard rules and options are pretty solid, but the ships in the back half of the book are riddled with errors. There’s an online errata document, but Mongoose isn‘t much for going back and making corrections after a book goes to the printer.
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Re: 4+ Years on, how is the underlying math of MGT2E holding up? (especially in the Starship and Vehicle construction ru

Postby Condottiere » Fri Nov 06, 2020 7:25 pm

Couldn't comment on vehicles, but spacecraft design rules have too much slack in them, and commentary over the years tends to indicate this was meant as a feature.
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Re: 4+ Years on, how is the underlying math of MGT2E holding up? (especially in the Starship and Vehicle construction ru

Postby Geir » Sat Nov 07, 2020 12:48 am

Condottiere wrote:
Fri Nov 06, 2020 7:25 pm
Couldn't comment on vehicles, but spacecraft design rules have too much slack in them, and commentary over the years tends to indicate this was meant as a feature.
Yeah, I don't deal well with that (he says rocking back and forth in his chair - but just slightly!). I guess it depends more on whether you are design vehicles for your own campaign or for others to use as part of the OTU.

In the latter case, the slack can be troublesome. It's one thing for a referee and players to agree to let rules slide or to stretch the ambiguities for effect; it's another thing altogether to put out a design for everyone to use and flub/ignore/break a rule that doesn't make sense or seems to contradict another.

I mostly like the vehicle rules. Spaces are a good compromise in most cases, but things like arms with the characteristics of augments requiring more spaces than a human are problematic. I have a half-finished spreadsheet to build vehicles that I'm trying to rely on since its easy to get tripped up in features whose cost applies to the whole vehicle vs. per space and its hard to page/search through the book to find what you want. And now to admit my age, I remember back in high school designing vehicles with Striker rules using a pad of paper and an HP calculator... I liked the old Striker rules back then, but I haven't looked at them since.. well, probably high school.
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Re: 4+ Years on, how is the underlying math of MGT2E holding up? (especially in the Starship and Vehicle construction ru

Postby Gwarh » Sat Nov 07, 2020 3:46 am

Condottiere wrote:
Fri Nov 06, 2020 7:25 pm
Couldn't comment on vehicles, but spacecraft design rules have too much slack in them, and commentary over the years tends to indicate this was meant as a feature.
A feature? :x That sounds more like an excuse to me. (but then again I am a hard ass when it comes to system mechanics/math)
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Re: 4+ Years on, how is the underlying math of MGT2E holding up? (especially in the Starship and Vehicle construction ru

Postby Gwarh » Sat Nov 07, 2020 4:25 am

Geir wrote:
Sat Nov 07, 2020 12:48 am
Condottiere wrote:
Fri Nov 06, 2020 7:25 pm
Couldn't comment on vehicles, but spacecraft design rules have too much slack in them, and commentary over the years tends to indicate this was meant as a feature.
Yeah, I don't deal well with that (he says rocking back and forth in his chair - but just slightly!). I guess it depends more on whether you are design vehicles for your own campaign or for others to use as part of the OTU.

In the latter case, the slack can be troublesome. It's one thing for a referee and players to agree to let rules slide or to stretch the ambiguities for effect; it's another thing altogether to put out a design for everyone to use and flub/ignore/break a rule that doesn't make sense or seems to contradict another.

I mostly like the vehicle rules. Spaces are a good compromise in most cases, but things like arms with the characteristics of augments requiring more spaces than a human are problematic. I have a half-finished spreadsheet to build vehicles that I'm trying to rely on since its easy to get tripped up in features whose cost applies to the whole vehicle vs. per space and its hard to page/search through the book to find what you want. And now to admit my age, I remember back in high school designing vehicles with Striker rules using a pad of paper and an HP calculator... I liked the old Striker rules back then, but I haven't looked at them since.. well, probably high school.
Whelp, looks like this may just end up being "yet another" version of Traveller in which a fair bit of handwavium is required when building vehicles and star ships.
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Re: 4+ Years on, how is the underlying math of MGT2E holding up? (especially in the Starship and Vehicle construction ru

Postby Condottiere » Sat Nov 07, 2020 1:37 pm

Also, High Guard stuff is all over the place, and sometimes, you really need to mull over and digest implications of new variants.
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Re: 4+ Years on, how is the underlying math of MGT2E holding up? (especially in the Starship and Vehicle construction ru

Postby Old School » Sat Nov 07, 2020 8:52 pm

If you are a hard ass for system mechanics, Mongoose Traveller might not be your cup of tea. Mongoose is pretty upfront about this.
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Re: 4+ Years on, how is the underlying math of MGT2E holding up? (especially in the Starship and Vehicle construction ru

Postby Gwarh » Sun Nov 08, 2020 12:08 am

Old School wrote:
Sat Nov 07, 2020 8:52 pm
If you are a hard ass for system mechanics, Mongoose Traveller might not be your cup of tea. Mongoose is pretty upfront about this.
I hear ya, but I'll also say if yer not going to care about the math being solid, why even bother with a vehicle/starship design system. I mean what's the point of it if the math doesn't work?
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Re: 4+ Years on, how is the underlying math of MGT2E holding up? (especially in the Starship and Vehicle construction ru

Postby Geir » Sun Nov 08, 2020 12:31 am

Gwarh wrote:
Sun Nov 08, 2020 12:08 am
Old School wrote:
Sat Nov 07, 2020 8:52 pm
If you are a hard ass for system mechanics, Mongoose Traveller might not be your cup of tea. Mongoose is pretty upfront about this.
I hear ya, but I'll also say if yer not going to care about the math being solid, why even bother with a vehicle/starship design system. I mean what's the point of it if the math doesn't work?
That's a little harsh. The math adds up, I just don't always see the logic behind some of the decisions. And then when later published designs seem to violate the RAW and that's where I have a bigger problem. If the rules don't work, then it's time for an errata or a version 2 to fix/update and add in all the scattered tweaks from other publications. And -- now this isn't a criticism of the design rules, but I once got pissy about a reference to VRF gauss guns, saying essentially "great, but I don't see them in these rules" only to be corrected. They're in Referee's Briefing 4: Mercenary Forces, which I own (it's PDF only and I forgot I even owned it), but well, maybe at least publish a running index of all updated equipment/ship components/rules tweaks posted somewhere. It might even drive sales of more obscure publications.
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Re: 4+ Years on, how is the underlying math of MGT2E holding up? (especially in the Starship and Vehicle construction ru

Postby Gwarh » Sun Nov 08, 2020 1:49 am

Geir wrote:
Sun Nov 08, 2020 12:31 am
Gwarh wrote:
Sun Nov 08, 2020 12:08 am
Old School wrote:
Sat Nov 07, 2020 8:52 pm
If you are a hard ass for system mechanics, Mongoose Traveller might not be your cup of tea. Mongoose is pretty upfront about this.

That's a little harsh. The math adds up, I just don't always see the logic behind some of the decisions.
Yer kinder than me :) If they did publish errata and update the PDF's i'd be very happy, but they don't do that, they do slowly put out a bare minimum errata doc and the original PDF's don't get updated regardless. It's "up to" the fan community to do most of the errata hunt down and documentation.

P.S.
I don't hate Mongoose Traveller 2E at all, in fact I really like it. I just want solid reliable math in my construction systems is all.
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Re: 4+ Years on, how is the underlying math of MGT2E holding up? (especially in the Starship and Vehicle construction ru

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Sun Nov 08, 2020 4:30 am

Gwarh wrote:
Sun Nov 08, 2020 12:08 am
I hear ya, but I'll also say if yer not going to care about the math being solid, why even bother with a vehicle/starship design system. I mean what's the point of it if the math doesn't work?
If you know what math it needs, just fix it yourself.
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Re: 4+ Years on, how is the underlying math of MGT2E holding up? (especially in the Starship and Vehicle construction ru

Postby Gwarh » Sun Nov 08, 2020 5:37 am

ShawnDriscoll wrote:
Sun Nov 08, 2020 4:30 am
Gwarh wrote:
Sun Nov 08, 2020 12:08 am
I hear ya, but I'll also say if yer not going to care about the math being solid, why even bother with a vehicle/starship design system. I mean what's the point of it if the math doesn't work?
If you know what math it needs, just fix it yourself.
Same stellar feedback as usual Driscoll. I see now why you're ignored on so many of the other forums I frequent.
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Re: 4+ Years on, how is the underlying math of MGT2E holding up? (especially in the Starship and Vehicle construction ru

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Sun Nov 08, 2020 6:15 am

Gwarh wrote:
Sun Nov 08, 2020 5:37 am
Same stellar feedback as usual Driscoll. I see now why you're ignored on so many of the other forums I frequent.
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Re: 4+ Years on, how is the underlying math of MGT2E holding up? (especially in the Starship and Vehicle construction ru

Postby Condottiere » Sun Nov 08, 2020 1:36 pm

You have to recalculate every High Guard entry, just to ensure that it syncs with High Guard rules, so in that sense, their own maths doesn't add up.

It's frustrating, but not unforgivable, considering that when I recheck some of my own calculations, they didn't add up.

I don't know what the tempo of output is, but god knows there are enough distractions in live so that when accounting isn't your principal focus, or that of your editor, numbers might go astray.

However, you'd expect the playtesting group to spot them.
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Re: 4+ Years on, how is the underlying math of MGT2E holding up? (especially in the Starship and Vehicle construction ru

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sun Nov 08, 2020 1:55 pm

I can only agree with the general sentiment:

The ship design system in HG works well.

The vehicle design system is presumably not intended to be air-tight, but simple. It can easily lead to ridiculous results. I don't generally use it. It's much better than the vehicle design system in T5, though.
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Re: 4+ Years on, how is the underlying math of MGT2E holding up? (especially in the Starship and Vehicle construction ru

Postby Geir » Sun Nov 08, 2020 5:45 pm

AnotherDilbert wrote:
Sun Nov 08, 2020 1:55 pm

The vehicle design system is presumably not intended to be air-tight, but simple. It can easily lead to ridiculous results. I don't generally use it. It's much better than the vehicle design system in T5, though.
And that's the truth of it. Every time I try to figure out T5, my migraines get worse. I'm sure it would eventually make sense - with a computer. maybe. But T5 would require inhuman patience to learn. There needs to be compromises, and for the most part, Mongoose manages this where T5 aims for a purist level of complexity combined with obtuse text and tables that make it unworkable. I would rather see Mongoose tweaked, with smoother progression from vehicle to spacecraft (and let's add robots and, well, '"thingmaker" rules based on simple, extensible principles). Same goes for combat too... I still have issues with the way critical change at different scales, vehicle damage rules from personal weapons need to be fudged (see Companion) and size vs. agility seem to lack clarity (vehicles have agility on their side, animals size - but you don't get an advantage for aiming at a vehicle the size of an elephant, for instance)
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