Ship Scale radiation damage

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SirGamingScotsman
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Ship Scale radiation damage

Postby SirGamingScotsman » Wed Nov 17, 2021 3:14 pm

Apologies if this has been asked before, I couldn't see anything from searching, but I have a question about radiation damage at the spacecraft scale.

I know that there is a new High Guard book in the works so this might be addressed when that comes out. With the new 2022 core book, spacecraft scale radiation damage is calculated at 2Dx60, so the maximum number of rads would be 720. If a ship has screens, either meson or nuclear dampers, then the radiation is removed for their respective weapon types. If a ship doesn't have screens or if the weapons are particle based etc, then the radiation would be applied, however, if a ship has the radiation shielding applied to it's hull then the ship can absorb 1000 rads, making any radiation damage moot.

My players and myself have been discussing this and a couple of them seem to think that the radiation damage would accumulate over a combat round, if multiple weapons with the radiation trait are fired and hit their ship. But as I read the rules it seems you just roll 2Dx60 per weapon that hits, and then see if that is enough to irradiate the crew.

It just seems odd that by applying rad shielding then any ship is immune to radiation damage, outside of something like a solar flare or other environmental effect that applies a higher amount of rads. I can understand if the radiation trait is just for flavour, as the type of weapon would create rads when it's used.

I know that screens are primarily used to reduce the damage dealt by weapons, but it would seem that a warship that doesn't have rad shielding could have it's crew killed or rendered inoperative if it's hit with enough Particle Barbettes/Bay weapons.

I can also see that due to the cost of applying rad shielding, Cr25,000 per ton of hull, that it's far more cost effective to have screens instead and that if the person can afford rad shielding then they get to have that level of protection.
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adzling
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Re: Ship Scale radiation damage

Postby adzling » Wed Nov 17, 2021 4:27 pm

thisi thread is timely, i'd like to know how to apply ship scale radiation damage to crew as well!
cunningrat
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Re: Ship Scale radiation damage

Postby cunningrat » Wed Nov 17, 2021 5:10 pm

Radiation damage would not accumulate over a round. Every particle beam blast is a separate burst of gamma rays. You wouldn't apply Armor only once against all the laser hits in a round -- why would you do this with rad resistance?
In the Core rulebook, spaceship-scale rad weapons did 2D x 100. You are correct that when the 2022 update changed it to 2D x 60, that made Rad Shielding essentially nullify the threat. (Also, canonical warships not having Rad Shielding is known to be an oversight that Mongoose is fixing.) I would say wait for the High Guard update to see if it's fixed there.

(What bugs ME about ship scale is that the burst radius in the 2022 book is a flat 10 meters, so to apply Rad damage to spaceship crew you'd have to keep track of hit locations. I'm completely ignoring that change for my game. But that's neither here nor there.)
PsiTraveller
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Re: Ship Scale radiation damage

Postby PsiTraveller » Wed Nov 17, 2021 10:50 pm

This change in the rules impacts ships like the Harrier in Pirates of Drinax. In other threads it has been pointed out that the Particle beam is a terror weapon to smaller ships. The risk of an entire crew taking radiation damage that will kill everyone is a strong incentive to have a ship surrender. Halving the radiation impact makes a commerce raider much weaker. A particle beam is no longer a terror weapon/threat.
CrusaderWarden
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Re: Ship Scale radiation damage

Postby CrusaderWarden » Wed Nov 17, 2021 11:46 pm

Good. My players and I want exciting ship combat, not nuke guns that stamp "auto-win".
PsiTraveller
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Re: Ship Scale radiation damage

Postby PsiTraveller » Thu Nov 18, 2021 10:40 am

Well I guess the same issue applies to anyone using TL 6 nuclear missiles. Those missiles have the radiation trait as well.

Here's a question. If a single missile explodes next to a ship does it give off the full radiation damage? If so, how much radiation is given off when multiple weapons hit a ship? A missile salvo could be nuking a crew to a well done status.
Condottiere
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Re: Ship Scale radiation damage

Postby Condottiere » Thu Nov 18, 2021 12:58 pm

Pure radiation, plus nuclear blast (range).

Considering the damage, I get the impression Travellers are using mini nukes, not even tactical warheads.

So you may need contact to actually transfer the radiation.
cunningrat
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Re: Ship Scale radiation damage

Postby cunningrat » Thu Nov 18, 2021 7:48 pm

PsiTraveller wrote:
Wed Nov 17, 2021 10:50 pm
This change in the rules impacts ships like the Harrier in Pirates of Drinax. In other threads it has been pointed out that the Particle beam is a terror weapon to smaller ships. The risk of an entire crew taking radiation damage that will kill everyone is a strong incentive to have a ship surrender. Halving the radiation impact makes a commerce raider much weaker. A particle beam is no longer a terror weapon/threat.
I think it's still applicable.
It's true that your run of the mill merchant's total crew resistance would likely be at best 590 (Hull + TL 12 vacc suit). Rad beam will do rad damage only 16.66% of the time (as opposed to over 50%).

However, the merchant's crew members don't know this math. All they know is, there is a chance of being irradiated when hit by this weapon. And, it does pretty awful damage compared to a pulse laser. And, given that the Harrier is the next best thing to a hole in space, they likely didn't even know it was *there* before it fired a warning shot. So the Harrier may be mathematically weaker than it used to be, but it's still pretty frickin' scary when it pops into existence right off your port bow. Ergo, still a terror weapon, still a strong incentive to make the ship surrender.

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