Traveller Question - Core Rules

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rgrove0172
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Traveller Question - Core Rules

Postby rgrove0172 » Fri Apr 19, 2013 10:36 pm

On page 151 the insert at the bottom states that starship weapons do 50X damage to regular vehicles. Even a lowly pulse laser with 1d6 can therefore vaporize a main battle tank (hull 35/Structure 35) in a single blast, yet its effect on other ships is marginal at best.

How then do vehicle weapons function against starships. Do we devide by 50? If so, then a 75mm main gun off a tank (8d6 damage) cant hope to even scratch the thing, even if its unarmored.

How do you handle the situation where a vehicle opens up on your ship while its trying to take off?
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Re: Traveller Question - Core Rules

Postby Jeraa » Fri Apr 19, 2013 11:49 pm

rgrove0172 wrote:On page 151 the insert at the bottom states that starship weapons do 50X damage to regular vehicles. Even a lowly pulse laser with 1d6 can therefore vaporize a main battle tank (hull 35/Structure 35) in a single blast, yet its effect on other ships is marginal at best.

How then do vehicle weapons function against starships. Do we devide by 50? If so, then a 75mm main gun off a tank (8d6 damage) cant hope to even scratch the thing, even if its unarmored.

How do you handle the situation where a vehicle opens up on your ship while its trying to take off?

Don't multiply dice. Multiply damage. A 1d6 pulse laser would therefore do 50 to 300 damage to a vehicle. And don't forget the tank has armor. Its possible for a tank to survive a single hit. (The TL 14 tank grav tank in the Military Vehicles supplement has an armor rating of 49 at the lowest, while its front armor is rated at 79) And also remember that damage doesn't directly reduce hull and structure points. Its entirely possible to hit a tank (or any vehicle) and not actually reduce those scores.

And yes. Vehicle weapons (And personal weapons) have their damage divided by 50 before applying it to a starship. But weapons can also have their damage combined when attacking a starship. (Mercenary, page 73) One 75mm gun (8d6 damage) might not be able to hurt a starship, but two (12d6) can on an above average roll. And only a single point of damage needs to get through to allow you to roll on the damage tables. 2 75mm guns can potentially allow 2 points of damage to get through (120 damage, divided by 50 and rounded down).

A single PGMP-12 can potentially damage a starship (max 60 damage, divided by 50 and rounded down to 1 damage to a starship). Two will damage a ship (15d6 total for both firing, average of 52.5, rounds down to 1).
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Re: Traveller Question - Core Rules

Postby CosmicGamer » Sat Apr 20, 2013 12:15 am

rgrove0172 wrote:How then do vehicle weapons function against starships. Do we devide by 50?
The Mercenary book covers this. Here is some of what it says.
Book 1 Mercenary page 73 wrote:Gaining a +4DM bonus to hit anything on the starship-scale, ground force weaponry must divide its damage by 50 before comparing it to a starship-scale target’s armour.
Also
Book 1 Mercenary page 73 wrote:Because a single weapon will, obviously, be unable to punch though armour it is possible for multiple weapons to all target the starship simultaneously, and the cumulative effect can inflict damage.
Jeraa wrote:Don't multiply dice. Multiply damage.
While in one place it says damage, the example in the mercenary book for ground forces attacking a ship put the multiplier/divider on the dice.
This totals 122d6 damage, divided by 50 and then rounded down – the combined effect of all this firepower is 2d6 damage to the ship.
In broad terms I guess I can still think of this as "divide its damage by 50".
Last edited by CosmicGamer on Sat Apr 20, 2013 12:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Traveller Question - Core Rules

Postby hdan » Sat Apr 20, 2013 12:25 am

I personally think 50x is crazy. Others have adequately explored the Rules as Written, so I've clipped everything except for my "house rule" fix:

In my games, I've changed the factor to 10x. However, that makes shipboard laser turrets less powerful than man-portable fusion guns, so I've also reduced the "man portable artillery" damage by 1/2, which I believe is more reasonable in balance against BattleDress. At 1/2 damage, an average hit will wound but not necessarily kill a man in Battle Dress, though it will fry anyone in lesser armor. It also makes the rocket launcher ("poor man's PGMP") seem less like a "desperate man's poor excuse for a PGMP".

(Look at all other man-scale weapons in the game - cutting PGMP and FGMP damage in half makes them fit nicely with between plasma rifles, rocket launchers, BattleDress armor, etc. I suspect the 16d6 FGMP-15 has only be retained because of inertia. An 8d6 FGMP-15 fits the game better IMHO.)

Fire your 10x ship laser at an Armor 25 tank, and it will either bounce or at worst get "Two Triple Hits" on the vehicles table. Shoot a pulse laser (2d6) and you'll shred that tank.

Going the other way, a high-tech Rocket Launcher will score at most 3 hits (not enough to damage an armored ship, but will do a single hit to an unarmored one), and the FGMP (at 1/2 strength) can at best get 5 points of damage (two single hits) on an unarmored ship, or one point (single hit) on an armored ship, though on average it's not going to hurt an armored ship.

Anyway, that's my "fix" for the 50x problem. Cut it to 10x and cut XGMP damage in half to keep them from being more powerful than starship turrets.
/hdan
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Re: Traveller Question - Core Rules

Postby Jeraa » Sat Apr 20, 2013 12:32 am

While in one place it says damage, the example in the mercenary book for ground forces attacking a ship put the multiplier/divider on the dice.
This totals 122d6 damage, divided by 50 and then rounded down – the combined effect of all this firepower is 2d6 damage to the ship.
In broad terms I guess I can still think of this as "divide its damage by 50".
True, the example multiplies dice. And so dice should be divided as well. But that leads to a problem - if dice are divided, then there is no weapon that can damage a starship except starship weapons. Even the 16d6 Aerospace Defense Laser (Central Supply Catalog, page 125), part of whose purpose is to shoot at starships. (16 dice/50, rounded down, results in 0d6 damage.) If it were actually damage points, not damage dice, that were rounded, then it works much better, and can actually perform its duty. (16d6 averages 56 damage, divided by 50 and rounded down to 1 damage to a starship.)

It wouldn't be the first time a Mongoose Traveller example would be incorrect.
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Re: Traveller Question - Core Rules

Postby CosmicGamer » Sat Apr 20, 2013 12:55 am

Jeraa wrote:then there is no weapon that can damage a starship except starship weapons. Even the 16d6 Aerospace Defense Laser
Clipped a bit there.

I'm not aware of any rule that says all weapons other than "starship weapons" gets divided when attacking a starship.

I have not read through all the Mercenary rules. The one section addresses "Starship-scale weaponry and armour is dramatically different than the weapon and armour values used by ground forces (infantry and planetary vehicles)." There is no reason to believe the Aerospace Defense Laser and other weapons would need damage divided.
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Re: Traveller Question - Core Rules

Postby GypsyComet » Sat Apr 20, 2013 1:29 am

One of the reasons is that starship weaponry packs enough energy to inflict damage on another starship at greater than the diameter of the planet the tank is sitting on. In the case of beam weapons every kilometer counts, as the beam spreads over long distances. A beam that has spread over 40,000 km and is still burning through hull plates is going to be really nasty at 4km against a target a tenth of the ship.
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Re: Traveller Question - Core Rules

Postby Jeraa » Sat Apr 20, 2013 2:11 am

CosmicGamer wrote:
Jeraa wrote:then there is no weapon that can damage a starship except starship weapons. Even the 16d6 Aerospace Defense Laser
Clipped a bit there.

I'm not aware of any rule that says all weapons other than "starship weapons" gets divided when attacking a starship.

I have not read through all the Mercenary rules. The one section addresses "Starship-scale weaponry and armour is dramatically different than the weapon and armour values used by ground forces (infantry and planetary vehicles)." There is no reason to believe the Aerospace Defense Laser and other weapons would need damage divided.
There are only 2 scales. Mercenary calls them 'Starship' and 'Ground Force'. All Ground Force weaponry has the divider according to Mercenary. Seeing as how the Aerospace Defence Laser is among other vehicle-mounted weapons, its obviously a vehicle mounted weapon as well. That makes it a ground force weapon. Either that, or vehicle mounted weapons are far more powerful then their starship-mounted counterparts. (Like the TL 12 Fusion X gun, which is described as 'an early vehicle mounted fusion gun' yet does 20d6 damage. TL12 starship mounted fusion guns only do 8d6 damage. So either the vehicle mounted weapons must be divided by 50, or the vehicle-mounted weapons are somehow far more powerful then starship weapons.)
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Re: Traveller Question - Core Rules

Postby AKAmra » Sat Apr 20, 2013 2:48 am

hdan wrote:I personally think 50x is crazy. Others have adequately explored the Rules as Written, so I've clipped everything except for my "house rule" fix:

In my games, I've changed the factor to 10x. However, that makes shipboard laser turrets less powerful than man-portable fusion guns, so I've also reduced the "man portable artillery" damage by 1/2, which I believe is more reasonable in balance against BattleDress. At 1/2 damage, an average hit will wound but not necessarily kill a man in Battle Dress, though it will fry anyone in lesser armor. It also makes the rocket launcher ("poor man's PGMP") seem less like a "desperate man's poor excuse for a PGMP".

(Look at all other man-scale weapons in the game - cutting PGMP and FGMP damage in half makes them fit nicely with between plasma rifles, rocket launchers, BattleDress armor, etc. I suspect the 16d6 FGMP-15 has only be retained because of inertia. An 8d6 FGMP-15 fits the game better IMHO.)

Fire your 10x ship laser at an Armor 25 tank, and it will either bounce or at worst get "Two Triple Hits" on the vehicles table. Shoot a pulse laser (2d6) and you'll shred that tank.

Going the other way, a high-tech Rocket Launcher will score at most 3 hits (not enough to damage an armored ship, but will do a single hit to an unarmored one), and the FGMP (at 1/2 strength) can at best get 5 points of damage (two single hits) on an unarmored ship, or one point (single hit) on an armored ship, though on average it's not going to hurt an armored ship.

Anyway, that's my "fix" for the 50x problem. Cut it to 10x and cut XGMP damage in half to keep them from being more powerful than starship turrets.
I like these rules better than RAW. Makes more sense to me and the math is easier.
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Re: Traveller Question - Core Rules

Postby Lord High Munchkin » Sat Apr 20, 2013 4:53 am

I like this too! (unless there is some serious flaw that I've missed).
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Re: Traveller Question - Core Rules

Postby hdan » Sat Apr 20, 2013 5:33 am

Lord High Munchkin wrote:I like this too! (unless there is some serious flaw that I've missed).
There may be serious flaws - I haven't run any real combats with these rules, only some "toss some dice and see what happens" simulations. But I think the idea is sound.
/hdan
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Re: Traveller Question - Core Rules

Postby Jeraa » Sat Apr 20, 2013 1:03 pm

hdan wrote:
Lord High Munchkin wrote:I like this too! (unless there is some serious flaw that I've missed).
There may be serious flaws - I haven't run any real combats with these rules, only some "toss some dice and see what happens" simulations. But I think the idea is sound.
The only real flaw I can see is that only using a 10x modifier potentially allows someone to damage a starship with an unarmed strike.

1d6 damage that rolls max damage with a strength modifier of +1 and a high Effect on the roll (+3) could potentially damage a starship (6+1+3=10/10=1 damage). Granted, that would be rare, and is easily fixed by throwing something at the offending player.
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Re: Traveller Question - Core Rules

Postby F33D » Sat Apr 20, 2013 1:13 pm

GypsyComet wrote:One of the reasons is that starship weaponry packs enough energy to inflict damage on another starship at greater than the diameter of the planet the tank is sitting on. In the case of beam weapons every kilometer counts, as the beam spreads over long distances. A beam that has spread over 40,000 km and is still burning through hull plates is going to be really nasty at 4km against a target a tenth of the ship.
Yes, THIS is why. Also, vehicles don't have the massive fusion PP's driving their weapons.
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Re: Traveller Question - Core Rules

Postby cfirpi » Sat Apr 20, 2013 1:23 pm

Jeraa wrote:The only real flaw I can see is that only using a 10x modifier potentially allows someone to damage a starship with an unarmed strike
Woah! I didn't know Chuck Norris references were allowed on these forums.
If that the case:
Chuck Norris once.....
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Re: Traveller Question - Core Rules

Postby Jeraa » Sat Apr 20, 2013 7:16 pm

Only multiplying or dividing by 10 also has another problem.

A pulse laser (or a beam laser, if you use the changes from High Guard) does 1d6 damage to a starship. Thats either a Single Hit (if 1-4 is rolled), or 2 Single Hits (if 5 or 6 is rolled).

A rifle does 3d6 damage, which is an average of 10.5. When attacking a starship, that would get divided by 10, for a single point of damage. That is still enough for a Single Hit. It doesn't seem right that a rifle, and a starship-grade laser capable of hitting something thousands of kilometers away can cause the same damage on a target (both causing a Single Hit on average on an unarmored target). Though even a single point of armor protects from the rifle, while 6 points would be required to protect from the laser.
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Re: Traveller Question - Core Rules

Postby mr31337 » Sat Apr 20, 2013 10:24 pm

Jeraa wrote:
The only real flaw I can see is that only using a 10x modifier potentially allows someone to damage a starship with an unarmed strike.
Not if the ship is armoured, but I suppose if something (even a starship) isn't armoured at all then potentially hitting it hard enough could do some minor damage to a 'sensitive system'. The assumption made by RAW is that starships are inherently tougher than say ground vehicles, due to their size. To me that's just nonsense. However, you could get around this by simply saying all starships have an 'inherent' 1 armour due to their size.

IMU, I use a factor of 8(xdice) for starship weapons in ground combat, I also multiply starship armour by 8 in ground combat.

In Supplement 5-6, p32 a 1 MCr 'laser cannon' does 8d6 and a 'medium missile' does 8d6+4. I can't accept that such similar weapons (& armour) on vehicles & starships wouldn't do similar damage.

Factor of 8 for weapons and armour makes a starship tough without being almost impervious to ground fire, so long as it is armoured. IMU a typical merchantman with 4 points of starship armour has 32 points of armour in ground combat, which makes it slightly tougher than a G/Carrier. To me that makes perfect sense. Military vehicles are now as much as a threat to a starship as another starship.
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Re: Traveller Question - Core Rules

Postby rgrove0172 » Sat Apr 20, 2013 10:30 pm

I think the rule in Mercenary:Book 1 includes the note that pistols and rifles and such cannot cause damage in any case. Only heavy weapons.
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Re: Traveller Question - Core Rules

Postby AKAmra » Sun Apr 21, 2013 6:40 am

rgrove0172 wrote:I think the rule in Mercenary:Book 1 includes the note that pistols and rifles and such cannot cause damage in any case. Only heavy weapons.
That's a good "common sense" rule, that should include fisticuffs vs. a starship. If a player said he was going to punch the starship; I'd say, after a few seconds of blank stare, "you break your hand".
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Re: Traveller Question - Core Rules

Postby mr31337 » Sun Apr 21, 2013 3:08 pm

That rules doesn't really make sense either. Damage has to be across the board for ground combat or the whole system begins to look very shaky. If vehicle weapons can scale up at all then so should small arms. After all a fifty cal could be a heavy weapon or a rifle.
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Re: Traveller Question - Core Rules

Postby rgrove0172 » Sun Apr 21, 2013 5:46 pm

From a macrogaming standpoint sure.. but honestly Ive never had those kind of players. When a rule surfaces that challenges perception of logic the GM levies a decision and thats that.

If one of my players started shooting at a starship with his sidearm I would let him, perhaps allowing a very small chance for a running light to be shattered or an antennae damaged, if they announced such an intension, otherwise it plinks off the hull with a few sparks and that it... regardless of what some rules interpretation indicates.

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