Impression after a Brief reading

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
hdrider67
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Impression after a Brief reading

Postby hdrider67 » Tue Apr 29, 2008 9:23 pm

OK, I hope Matt et al. don't hate me for posting this but there are some questions and a bit of criticism. Sorry guys.

First of all. I want to say that my criticism is mostly light and may actually have to do with the limited time I've read (I have NOT run sims yet). However, most of my problems were already verified in playtest sim runs.

Overall, I'd give this book a B+ or A-. I do think it's that good. It's a very clean system overall.

I do not have the problems with the art. It's minimalist, sure but I don't feel like Chevy Chase should be walking around a corner, either. Owners of T-20 will know my reference.

1. Chargen:

Some of the art bleeds into the text. It makes for a slightly harder read for me, but it might be that I am just getting used to my first pair of glasses (two days old). I Love most of the chargen but...

I have a small issue with ship shares. If a share is 1% of the price of a particular ship, then its value changes as a character walks the lot (so to speak) looking for his new toy/home/business. The number of shares given to mustering characters didn't increase in number even as most of them decreased in value. a share of a scout is 270KCr. The table is incorrect. You either meant to remove two zeros (1%) or the shares were supposed to be 10%.

But that is beside the point. If I muster out of the Navy with ten shares, my shares are worth either 2.7mCr for a scout or 5MCr for a yacht. I know you wanted to avoid players cashing in their shares but I'd say the cure here is worse than the disease since most players would jump at a ship and most GMs wouldn't allow cash values.

2. Skills/Combat:

I like the revision of timing and effect. Very nice compromise. I'm glad to see the entire thing streamlined.


3. Random Encounters:

The stats for common NPCs are very useful. I'm glad you guys made sure to include them. Very nice touch.

4. Starships / Ship Combat:

Thanks for the Police Cruiser. That's a great addition to common ships!

I do wonder if it was such a good idea to completely remove power from ship building. I was among those who didn't care for the anemic ship power settings in the playtest but now, why bother with missiles? I can use nothing but upper-end energy weapons, especially since pulse lasers and missiles appear to be fairly weak.

In the playtest, I assumes pulse lasers were short range but powerful energy mounts while beams could hit farther and more accurately. Now the pulse laser is only good for someone with no budget.

Missiles are even less powerful. They take up cargo space, are limited in capacity until reloads, are seemingly very vulnerable to point defense and can't penetrate armor to any real degree. 10% of TL10 armor will defeat most missile hits (that manage to get past the point defense) and the few that do cause damage will inflict a scratch.

If they were able to do more damage using batteries that would be different. They might be able to cause some damage to an opponent.

Instead, if I could afford it, I would have nothing on a ship but particle beams or multiple beam lasers.


I know this much text looks like I'm disappointed but I'm not. I already have fixes in place for most of it. I'm houseruling shares to 1MCr, and I think I'll allow missiles to scale up if placed in the same turret (I need to run sims for the best effect on this) I'm thinking a triple shot from a single magazine will be good for +2 or 3 points (point defense would wipe this away quickly) for three separate missiles hitting in close proximity.

I'm not sure what to do with energy weapons, though. Money concerns aside, it would be child's play for have a scout to offensively outclass a missile laden ship with armor and more hardpoints.

I may be wrong and if so, I'll be back with my mea culpa.


Questions:

I'm not sure I understand the point defense rules. I can't make an anti missile attempt until the missiles are in close but how many attempts can be made per missile or per turret? I see the cumulative -1 but I don't see how a player could retarget another missile with that turret in the final round before impact or how the number of shots could exceed the allowed combat shots for that round.

Do missiles burn out after 10 rounds? If two ships are on the same course when one launches at extreme range, would it be possible for the target to outrun the missile's endurance?

I would definitely buy this product again. I have far less work to do than I normally expect on a new release.



THANKS!
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Postby Zowy » Wed Apr 30, 2008 1:15 am

On ships shares being a % where the Mcr value is not fixed. The biger a ship players want, the more their monthy overhead will be. How do they plan to make money?

I found in many games, that if the players had the option of a "free" scout service ship vs haveing to come up with the money to cover the monthy / yearly costs of a free trader or subsidized merchant. A good 1/2 the time they went with a ship from the IISS Detached Duty Office, just so they would not have to be bothered with trying to maintain a constant cashflow.

I allso like have many of the salvaged and non-standard ships the IISS owns be in the Detached Duty ship pool. i.e.

100 dTon "min spec" Jump 1 / G1 tramps, useing 1/2 A drives....
130 dTon Jump 3 / G3, Darrian clipers built on high Tec hulls....
200 dTon Sword World Jump 2 / G4 smuglers....
ect. ect.
hdrider67
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Postby hdrider67 » Wed Apr 30, 2008 1:56 am

Zowy wrote:On ships shares being a % where the Mcr value is not fixed. The biger a ship players want, the more their monthy overhead will be. How do they plan to make money?
And why is the share worth less?

I could see it in terms of backers willing to fund for this ship but not that one, but the types who back stuff like that want a positive return on investment so they can be paid out with a nice sum. Favors called in are fairly static to a certain X number of MCr. Many of these credits will be naval vouchers that are worth a sum for a purpose. A chit. It gives the sailor in question the backing if his superiors asn is valueless to any other endeavor.

I am of the opinion the chit or share should remain set to a value of 0.5MCr or 1MCr. The ship being chosen will now have no bearing on the relative valu of the cash because the hash will have true, not relative value.


My chits will be "interested parties" wanting a cut or a gut, My shares will be officers who are bound by their honor to see their people off well and on a ship.

I will have a town Burgermeister who wants this party OFF the planet and he gives fast edie the idea he can back-charge the town for any favors he does. The Chief is "vouching" after all.So the burgermeister fronts up three shares after calling in a favor, The naval officer removes a voucher for 4Mcr to be used on a ship by the recipient. The mobbers gave a chest of gems theyll use for their 6MCr buyin. They'll keep the money right until the money is released. By the buy, they also wan't to see a ten percent return, homies. The party closes with about 15MCr down. and they get a 20 year old seeker with old seeker with a rent in the side but a good rep from that battle. These 20 years add 7 shares.

20MCr is more than enough to get the party going. Good roleplay may get the party a full tank or maybe pointing out the broken stuff will get fast edi yo givre up a 10% discount to have the players on their way.

I'm definitely staying with 1MCr vouchers. No refund of course
Zowy
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Postby Zowy » Wed Apr 30, 2008 2:32 am

Sounds good to me. Unless it is a one off game. I -allways- make my players RP geting their ship. It can take anywhere from 1 to 5+ gameing session before they even make their first outsystem jump depending on what is going on insystem and if it will be their home base or not.
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Postby SnowDog » Wed Apr 30, 2008 6:21 am

Stats for common people! Nice :) You have no idea how important those are to a GM with limited time to number crunch the stat blocks of NPCs.
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Postby msprange » Wed Apr 30, 2008 6:56 am

SnowDog wrote:Stats for common people! Nice :) You have no idea how important those are to a GM with limited time to number crunch the stat blocks of NPCs.
We have quite a few things in the works for the 'lazy GM' running Traveller - one of the requirements we made for the game's design!
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Postby SnowDog » Wed Apr 30, 2008 7:06 am

msprange wrote:We have quite a few things in the works for the 'lazy GM' running Traveller - one of the requirements we made for the game's design!
Brilliant! The last game I ran had quite a lot of useful NPCs, animals and monsters listed. In fact I managed to run the whole campaign using almost only the pre-made NPCs. Only special NPCs got the whole treatment :)

So everything that helps the GMs is more than welcome.
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Re: Impression after a Brief reading

Postby Golan2072 » Wed Apr 30, 2008 9:30 am

hdrider67 wrote:The stats for common NPCs are very useful. I'm glad you guys made sure to include them. Very nice touch.
This is a great thing to have in any game; not just from the "lazy GM" POV but also from the "Over-Busy-IRL GM" POV. One of the strengths of D&D, for example, is the existence of a Monster Manual - a book with a large number of pre-generated foes you could use on the spot. D&D players take the existence of such a book for granted; Traveller didn't have that for a long time, and it's a great thing to have.

By the way, does MGT have random animal-generation tables like CT had? I liked using them, especially when trying to get fresh ideas for new sophont races (by generating their ur-species).
hdrider67 wrote:I do wonder if it was such a good idea to completely remove power from ship building. I was among those who didn't care for the anemic ship power settings in the playtest but now, why bother with missiles? I can use nothing but upper-end energy weapons, especially since pulse lasers and missiles appear to be fairly weak.
The playtest-era power-allocation system was broken. However, I'm sorry to see that it was completely removed rather than be fixed - all that was needed was for every P-Plant letter to automatically power an M-Drive and a J-Drive of the same letter, and an additional number of power points to be used with energy weapons. Think of this as HG-light: you don't have to do power calculations for the M or J drives (the drive letter does that), but if you want powerful energy weapons you have to up your P-Plant letter.
hdrider67 wrote:In the playtest, I assumes pulse lasers were short range but powerful energy mounts while beams could hit farther and more accurately. Now the pulse laser is only good for someone with no budget.
You mean that the pulse lasers don't cause more damage than beams anymore? That's sad - I like the balanced between these two in CT.
hdrider67 wrote:Missiles are even less powerful. They take up cargo space, are limited in capacity until reloads, are seemingly very vulnerable to point defense and can't penetrate armor to any real degree. 10% of TL10 armor will defeat most missile hits (that manage to get past the point defense) and the few that do cause damage will inflict a scratch.
That's sad - I like having missiles as a viable choice when compared to energy weapons.
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Re: Impression after a Brief reading

Postby hdrider67 » Wed Apr 30, 2008 9:53 am

Golan2072 wrote:
You mean that the pulse lasers don't cause more damage than beams anymore? That's sad - I like the balanced between these two in CT.

...
That's sad - I like having missiles as a viable choice when compared to energy weapons.
I may have picked nits in the case of missiles. They might be dangerous to smaller ships like the scout or even the Gazelle. They'll still bounce off off a ship with 6AP unless the missileer has a good effect roll. Missile will do fine in small scale combat but larger ships will shrug them off. I'd have hoped for a HG light scaling for them so I could build a 2000 ton warship.

Beam lasers are better in every category but price. I don't know if I can say how much better for fear of publishing proprietary info, though. I guess the SRD will have the info.

I think I may "fix" energy by allocating a single D6 of energy damage per hardpoint per point of M thrust. an M6 ship would have 6D of energy damage available. If more energy weapons are wanted, the next higher Power plant will double excess energy. That should limit the availability of particle accelerators on 100dT ships.



Matt,

Is the table for ship shares what you had in mind (10% valuation) or the text (1%)?
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Postby klingsor » Wed Apr 30, 2008 11:35 am

Small, cheap standardised missiles for civilian use. Smaller, slower and lacking the intelligence and penetration aids of military missiles with less powerful warheads. Optimised to be long lived and durable without requiring a lot of careful handling or storage and not a serious threat to a real warship.

This makes sense after all. You might see illegal or restricted upgrades to improve the performance of normal missiles used by pirates and the like. In a shooting war commercial ships in military service might find themselves supplied with a few pallets of small military grade missiles compatible with the standard civilian launch and fire control systems. I wonder where my copy of Special Supplement 3: Missiles is?

I can se the seeds of a nice little article for S & P here for someone.

I cannot wait to get the book.
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Postby msprange » Wed Apr 30, 2008 11:41 am

klingsor wrote:
I can se the seeds of a nice little article for S & P here for someone.
Wait until you see High Guard :)
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Re: Impression after a Brief reading

Postby Golan2072 » Wed Apr 30, 2008 11:54 am

hdrider67 wrote:I don't know if I can say how much better for fear of publishing proprietary info, though.
Hmmm... What is the official view on this? IIRC in most cases you are allowed post up to a paragraph or so of copyrighted text without infringing the copyright. Am I correct?
hdrider67
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Postby hdrider67 » Wed Apr 30, 2008 11:58 am

msprange wrote:
klingsor wrote:
I can se the seeds of a nice little article for S & P here for someone.
Wait until you see High Guard :)
Matt,

is there a chance we can playtest this?
msprange
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Postby msprange » Wed Apr 30, 2008 12:02 pm

hdrider67 wrote:
is there a chance we can playtest this?
We won't be running an open playtest on it, and our playtest slots are pretty full. However, if you fancy your chances, drop a line to Nick at nrobinson@mongoosepublishing.com, and tell him just why your group should be Traveller playtesters :)
Matthew Sprange

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Roger Calver

Postby Roger Calver » Wed Apr 30, 2008 12:41 pm

Thanks for the update, email winging its way via the internet as I type :)

Rog.
hdrider67
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Postby hdrider67 » Wed Apr 30, 2008 1:37 pm

msprange wrote:
hdrider67 wrote:
is there a chance we can playtest this?
We won't be running an open playtest on it, and our playtest slots are pretty full. However, if you fancy your chances, drop a line to Nick at nrobinson@mongoosepublishing.com, and tell him just why your group should be Traveller playtesters :)
Thanks Matt. I've dropped him a line. I'm hoping he'd be interested in hearing back from a group comprised of young players (my kids and maybe their friends).
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Postby Dyrewulf » Wed Apr 30, 2008 4:23 pm

msprange wrote:
hdrider67 wrote:
is there a chance we can playtest this?
We won't be running an open playtest on it, and our playtest slots are pretty full. However, if you fancy your chances, drop a line to Nick at nrobinson@mongoosepublishing.com, and tell him just why your group should be Traveller playtesters :)
Thanks for the info Matt, I also dropped him a line.
_______________
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Roger Calver

Postby Roger Calver » Wed Apr 30, 2008 4:29 pm

Nick,

Prepare for a barrage of emails :lol:

Rog.
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Postby The Greek » Wed Apr 30, 2008 5:02 pm

AAAAAAARRRRRRRGGGGGGG !!!!!!!!!
wibble.
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Postby Roger Calver » Wed Apr 30, 2008 5:07 pm

By that do I take you have opened your email program up :)

Rog.

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