Armor Issues & House-Rules

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings

What do you want be done about the MGT armor rules?

They're fine as presented in the book - leave them as they are
26
40%
Armor ratings have to be increased
15
23%
Armor should absorb damage dice (as in T4)
7
11%
Armor should provide a DM to hit (as in CT)
1
2%
We should use an armor/penetration system (as in Striker/MT)
16
25%
 
Total votes: 65
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Armor Issues & House-Rules

Postby Golan2072 » Tue May 20, 2008 1:41 pm

I'm having a problem with the MGT armor rules. The thing is that most armor types presented on the p.87 table are quite weak in comparison to weapons, especially with Effect added to their damage.

Look at this that way: most pistols do 3D6-3 damage. On average, a D6 result is 3.5; 3D6 on average is 10-11 (let's say 11), and thus 3D6-3 is around 8 points of damage on average before applying Effect. Cloth armor, which is the equivalent of an RL Kevlar vest, stops only 3 points of damage - hardly stopping a pistol bullet even with Effect 0 and an average roll. A dagger does 1D6+2, which is on average 5-6 points of damage even with Effect 0 - and Jack Armor, which is supposed to be helpful against melee attacks, has only Armor 1, which is hardly effective against it.

I'm currently thinking about creating a house-rule to change that. The easiest way - and my leading candidate - to do so is to simply increase the armor ratings. However, there are other possibilities - such as having armor absorb damage dice, with some weapons penetrating - that is, ignoring - part of the armor points (as in Traveller 4); alternatively, armor could provide a DM to hit (as in Classic Traveller); another option is to use a penetration system as used in Striker and Mega Traveller.

So what do you think should be done about MGT armor?
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Postby AKAramis » Tue May 20, 2008 2:42 pm

I have been thinking: given the low numbers, add the margin to each die, and subtract the armor from each die...

but, to be brutally honest, I think the best method is:
[(Striker Pen)+(Margin)-(Striker AV)]*(CT Damage Dice as a rating)

So the 4d rifle would be 4*(Pen+Margin-AV)
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Postby SableWyvern » Tue May 20, 2008 3:04 pm

I'm using a system suggested by someone else on this board who, unfortunately, I can't remember in order to give credit to.

Final Armour Value = (Armour Value - Armour Piercing) with a minimum of 0.

The Final Armour Value is deducted from each damage die individually, with a minimum result of 0 for each die.

So:

Random Weapon 3d6 damage, AP2 vs Armour 4.
FAV = 2
Damage Roll = 1, 4, 6; reduced to 0, 2, 4 = damage of 6.

When using a low velocity weapon (generally, shotgun and pistol ammo), the FAV is doubled before being applied.

I was worried it would be a little to much maths in the middle of combat, but it has turned out to be remarkably simple to appy.

Edit: I didn't vote because, while I favour an armour/pen system, I have no idea how the Striker or MT systems worked.
Last edited by SableWyvern on Tue May 20, 2008 3:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Golan2072 » Tue May 20, 2008 3:22 pm

SableWyvern wrote:Edit: I didn't vote because, while I favour an armour/pen system, I have no idea how the Striker or MT systems worked.
Essentially, each weapon had a Penetration value instead of damage. You rolled 2D6+Pen-AV on a a table to see the result - either no damage, Light Wound, Serious Wound or Death. AV far exceeding PEN means no damage at all (e.g. a pistol vs. a tank) in any case; PEN far exceeding AV means insta-kill (e.g. a tank cannon vs. a person).

Your system is probably "armor effects damage dice" with penetration and with armor deducted from each die.
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Postby Infojunky » Tue May 20, 2008 4:11 pm

I really haven't had a problem with the armor/damage system as printed, but when I ponder it there could be some changes.

One of the things I have been contemplating is dice of armor.

Roll damage as normal, defender rolls his armor dice and reduces damage done.

I haven't played with other than intellectually but it seems like it might be a good fit.
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Postby Ishmael » Tue May 20, 2008 4:29 pm

I use something similar to Aramis' method with a couple of differences;

margin+pen-armor+1d6

This number goes right into an expanded form of AHL's damage table.
the 1d6 is to make the numbers about right as AHL uses 2d6+pen-armor and to delete my 1d6 would imply that margin averaged '7'. I also use this 1d6 as a form of hit location where 6=head...1=scratch.

half this number is the number of damage dice (1d6's ) as per Striker's conversion to CT rules ( pretty darn close, anyways ). It can also be used as a multiplier for specific damage ratings of weapons from MT ( which is nearly always '3' anyways for common firearms ). I, myself, figure damage ratings from the momentum of the bullet. I appears that it will work for melee weapons too.

My expanded table reaches into the negative numbers for examples where damage might be done yet not penetrate ( battledress being hit by a wrecking ball, for example, or bruising done by bullets that don't penetrate bullet-proof vests. ) In this case, 1=.5, 0=.25,-1=.125 and so on, halving with each step downwards.

( sorry for being long winded...well...thats how I do it, anyways )
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Postby -Daniel- » Tue May 20, 2008 5:36 pm

Although I can understand the worry presented here. I would hate to see the armor tweeked so far that the combat ends up being drug down and made into a long drawn out thing because everyone is walking around almost untouchable.

This is one of the cases where I would rather have a less realistic mechanic that is simple and fast then one that is realistic and slows down the process.

So what ever "fixes" need to be balanced with playability and allow the combat to move along at a good pace.

Just my .02

Daniel
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Postby Flynn » Tue May 20, 2008 6:03 pm

What if the current Armor values were multiplied by 2, 3 or even 4, and then use the rules as they are currently written? Would that resolve the issues with results more to your liking?

(I'm looking for the easy fix, is all. If I can change some values in a table and move on, that's a lot easier than explaining a new armor concept to players new to the system.)

With Regards,
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Postby Golan2072 » Tue May 20, 2008 6:22 pm

Flynn wrote:What if the current Armor values were multiplied by 2, 3 or even 4, and then use the rules as they are currently written? Would that resolve the issues with results more to your liking?

(I'm looking for the easy fix, is all. If I can change some values in a table and move on, that's a lot easier than explaining a new armor concept to players new to the system.)
That's my general idea - I was thinking about changing most armor values om the p.87 table so that armor would be effective to a degree, but you could still be killed by a good shot. The only house-rule I'd use with this is that an Effect of 6+ completely ignores armor unless you're wearing a full-body suit (Vacc, HVAC, Combat Armor or Battle Dress), in which case only half armor (round down) is counted. The armor value of Jack should be able to completely absorb the average damage of a fist (3 points); Mesh should be able to absorb the average damage of a dagger (6 points); Flack should be able to absorb the average damage of a pistol (8 points); Cloth should be able to absorb the average damage of a rifle (10 points); Vacc Suits should have the same armor as Cloth; HVAC should absorb a pretty good rifle shot (12 points); and BD should be able to completely absorb the maximum damage of a rifle shot with Effect 0 (18 points).

So mediocre shots get absorbed; good shots still hurt big-time, especially since you apply all damage to one characteristic (and then any left-over damage flows over to the next characteristic) rather than split the dice like you did in CT.

Would such armor values slow down the game?
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Postby SSWarlock » Tue May 20, 2008 7:32 pm

Golan2072 wrote:
Flynn wrote:<snip of some good stuff>

Would such armor values slow down the game?
Not if you're the one being shot. :lol:

I like your expansion of the damage absorbed and the logic behind it. I do think, though, that BD should be proof against even rifle rounds. The Dragon Skill body armor currently in use in Iraq is (see http://www.pinnaclearmor.com/dragon-skin-survivors.php) and it's only, what, TL8?

A direct hit from a RAM grenade should definitely do damage through BD though and a solid hit from a PGMP/FGMP should be catastrophic.
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Postby Infojunky » Tue May 20, 2008 7:48 pm

Maybe yet another entirely different damage/defense mechanism is needed. Now mentioned is going back to the marginal system that was in MT which might work for some, not me, but some. Or the variations of either Snapshot (which is basically CT combat with bells and whistles) or AHL which is kinda a fusion of Striker and Snapshot, and finally Striker. All work in their way, some are clunkier than others. CT probably is the smoothest but you need the correct table to look up die effects. The other tended to bring play to a grinding halt, MT to three tries to get out right in a sensible format, and with that it was too in-love with it's own task system that it forgot to explain what was going on in a smoothly flowing chart. TNE worked similarly to MT in a lot of ways but it to was over complicated.

What I am trying to say is if a new mechanic is needed make sure it adds to play by working well (i.e. fast and not arbitrary) while covering what needs to be covered.
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Postby Golan2072 » Tue May 20, 2008 8:46 pm

SSWarlock wrote:I like your expansion of the damage absorbed and the logic behind it. I do think, though, that BD should be proof against even rifle rounds. The Dragon Skill body armor currently in use in Iraq is (see http://www.pinnaclearmor.com/dragon-skin-survivors.php) and it's only, what, TL8?

A direct hit from a RAM grenade should definitely do damage through BD though and a solid hit from a PGMP/FGMP should be catastrophic.
Current day (TL7-8) heavy body armor (such as ceramic) could stop assault rifle bullets alright; but remember that MGT uses an abstract damage system with no hit locations - so a hit generating above-average damage with a good Effect is probably a hit to an area not protected (or not well protected) by the armor, such as the face.

With 10 armor, Cloth stops a rifle shot to the center of the body mass (the average of 3d6 is 10.5; and Effect 0 hits are typically to the center of body mass rather than accurate shots to especially vulnerable spots). But I might up the rating of Cloth to 11-12, as it covers the body far better than Flak (Flak IMHO is a lighter version of Cloth covering mostly the torso).

With 18 armor, BD stops any rifle round (3d6, 18 is max) completely at any part of the body (it's a full-body suit, after all). Effect above 0 represents shots to weak spots in the suit, but even then it'll rarely do much damage. RAMs, PGMPs and, to a lesser degree, gauss rifles, are another matter - they have better penetration.

I might be tempted to add two simple house-rules to this. Fist is AP (Armor Piercing) rounds, costing four times the normal cost of ammo for their respective weapon and being strictly illegal on Law Levels of 2 or more; they halve armor (rounded down). The second is Sniping.

Sniping requires the following conditions:

1) No active enemies are within Close range of the sniper.
2) The sniper takes a Complex action taking the entire combat round AND cannot use any Reaction.
3) Target must be within Short range (for pistols) or Medium range (for scope-less rifles) of the sniper; an optical or electronic scope allows this restriction to be ignored.
4) The sniper must have at least Skill-1 with the weapon AND Dexterity of at least 6.
5) A -4 DM is applied to hit.
6) The sniper must brace at something or be prone; dexterity 9 or more alleviates this requirement.

Sniping does one of the following (sniper's choice):

1) Halve armor (round down); if using an AP round, IGNORE armor.

-OR-

2) Maximum damage (but no Effect applied). For a rifle, that would be 18.
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Postby -Daniel- » Tue May 20, 2008 8:59 pm

Has anyone played out combat using the suggestion to just double the armor number? How did it feel?

Just curious, before we go and change a lot, I would be curious if this simple suggestion made would resolve the issue enough.

Daniel
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Postby Golan2072 » Tue May 20, 2008 9:17 pm

dafrca wrote:Has anyone played out combat using the suggestion to just double the armor number? How did it feel?

Just curious, before we go and change a lot, I would be curious if this simple suggestion made would resolve the issue enough.
The problem is that it won't help much for some armors (especially Jack) and might make other armors (such as Combat Armor or BD) too good. Changing the armor values is simple enough...
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Postby -Daniel- » Tue May 20, 2008 10:47 pm

Golan2072 wrote:
dafrca wrote:Has anyone played out combat using the suggestion to just double the armor number? How did it feel?

Just curious, before we go and change a lot, I would be curious if this simple suggestion made would resolve the issue enough.
The problem is that it won't help much for some armors (especially Jack) and might make other armors (such as Combat Armor or BD) too good. Changing the armor values is simple enough...
Ok, maybe not double them all. But rather then embark on redesigning the whole system let's first try a simple solution such as reassigning the values and play a few combats out. That is all I was trying to suggest.

So, the place to start is for someone to offer some new values for us to try out and then see where it goes from there.

Daniel
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Postby FallingPhoenix » Wed May 21, 2008 12:44 am

Basing off of what I know of reality and the comments made above, how about these to try?

They are listed in the same order as the table in the book:

Armour/Protection

Jack/3
Mesh/5
Cloth/9
Cloth/11
Flak/8
Flak/10
Vacc Suit/8
Vacc Suit/10
Vacc Suit/12
HEV Suit/10
HEV Suit/11
HEV Suit/12
HEV Suit/13
HEV Suit/14
Ablat/10 against lasers (half that against anything else(round down))
Reflec/14 against lasers (0 all others)
Combat Armour/15
Combat Armour/16
Combat Armour/17
Battle Dress/17
Battle Dress/18

FP, who has more rules running around in his head than he knows what to do with.
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Postby SSWarlock » Wed May 21, 2008 1:27 am

FallingPhoenix wrote:Basing off of what I know of reality and the comments made above, how about these to try?

<snippage>
Scarily, these are the same values I came up with. Great minds think alike. :wink:
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Postby AKAramis » Wed May 21, 2008 1:38 am

I'd put combat armor at equal to TL+3, and battledress matching the combat armor of the same TL.
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Postby WhiteWolf » Wed May 21, 2008 2:42 am

I have thought about using the combat system from Shadowrun. The armor has roughly the same value as well as the weapons. Both systems use d6 method, the only draw back is you would have to buy the Shadowrun rule set as well. :D But it does contain a lot of other useful information that could be used in Traveller such as cyberware, computer/hacking rules, expanded psionics (ok its called magic, but easy to convert). Anyway good luck. 8)
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Postby -Daniel- » Wed May 21, 2008 3:25 am

FallingPhoenix wrote:Basing off of what I know of reality and the comments made above, how about these to try?
Guess I better get to playing out some combat then. :wink:

Daniel

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