Traveller 5

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
GypsyComet
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Re: Traveller 5

Postby GypsyComet » Mon May 20, 2013 5:26 am

Mechanically, MGT is in the same family as CT and MT, while T5 is most related to T4.

And before you pull old references out again, let me clarify that I bought my 1977 edition of CT brand new, along with every other edition since (barring Trav Hero, though I have an older edition of Star Hero). I am one of that rare and apparently scary breed of Traveller Synthesists who uses what he likes from every edition.

Also, my references in this discussion are specifically to ships and their assumptions. "Mutually based on CT" has never worked before, partly because CT has two completely different approaches to drive volume, ship combat, and ship damage. Well, THREE actually, if you count the conversions of starships into Striker.

And it does count, because Striker became the basis for MegaTraveller's starships, vastly over-powering weaponry, requiring huge powerplants and fuel for them, and using a more liberal formula for jump fuel in an attempt to compensate. A failed attempt, I might add. It took a late edition change in the core assumptions of starship operations to make MT ships look at all like CT ships. MT ships had no Bridge, just control panels, displays, and computers.

TNE reduced the hull-melting power requirements of the lowly laser turret (and the other HE weapons) to a slightly more reasonable level, reduced powerplant fuel by an order of magnitude, then added fuel as reaction mass. It kept the skinny jump fuel requirements of MT because reaction mass was a huge need. TNE had no fixed Bridge volume but did separate workstations into Bridge and Non-Bridge. Oh yes, and no hardpoint limit based on volume. Instead, it was based on surface area.

T4 went back to reactionless maneuver drives (though the reaction drives of TNE were an option), inefficient powerplants, fixed hardpoints, and back to fat jump fuel requirements. It kept the fluid Bridge, though. T4 would do ship design three times in its brief life, each of them a bit different, but still more closely related than any two of CT's.

T20 kept the larger jump fuel requirements but adopted formulas for all drives and a fixed Bridge.

GURPS Traveller altered ship construction fundamentally by assuming that every ship system's stated volume included the power to run it, converting "power slice" from a golfing insult to a ship architecture term overnight...

Along comes T5 in early form, with formula-based drive sizes, no fixed Bridge, and no volume for the ship's computer.

While fixing Bridge size for simplicity (part of their mission statement), Mongoose's drive tables and fuel needs were built using the T5 formulas, and computers still have no discrete volume.

While Mongoose looks closer to CT Book 2 and T5 looks closer to CT High Guard, their results are the same instead of being utterly different. A sub-2kton MGT ship is component volume compatible with T5 top to bottom. On purpose.

The two games are otherwise quite different. On purpose.
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ShawnDriscoll
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Re: Traveller 5

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Mon May 20, 2013 7:26 am

GypsyComet wrote:Mechanically, MGT is in the same family as CT and MT, while T5 is most related to T4.
I disagree. 2D6 rolls are used differently in CT, MT, and MgT.
GypsyComet wrote:And before you pull old references out again, let me clarify that I bought my 1977 edition of CT brand new, along with every other edition since (barring Trav Hero, though I have an older edition of Star Hero). I am one of that rare and apparently scary breed of Traveller Synthesists who uses what he likes from every edition.
Not sure what that has to do with anything.
GypsyComet wrote:Also, my references in this discussion are specifically to ships and their assumptions. "Mutually based on CT" has never worked before, partly because CT has two completely different approaches to drive volume, ship combat, and ship damage. Well, THREE actually, if you count the conversions of starships into Striker.

And it does count, because Striker became the basis for MegaTraveller's starships, vastly over-powering weaponry, requiring huge powerplants and fuel for them, and using a more liberal formula for jump fuel in an attempt to compensate. A failed attempt, I might add. It took a late edition change in the core assumptions of starship operations to make MT ships look at all like CT ships. MT ships had no Bridge, just control panels, displays, and computers.

TNE reduced the hull-melting power requirements of the lowly laser turret (and the other HE weapons) to a slightly more reasonable level, reduced powerplant fuel by an order of magnitude, then added fuel as reaction mass. It kept the skinny jump fuel requirements of MT because reaction mass was a huge need. TNE had no fixed Bridge volume but did separate workstations into Bridge and Non-Bridge. Oh yes, and no hardpoint limit based on volume. Instead, it was based on surface area.

T4 went back to reactionless maneuver drives (though the reaction drives of TNE were an option), inefficient powerplants, fixed hardpoints, and back to fat jump fuel requirements. It kept the fluid Bridge, though. T4 would do ship design three times in its brief life, each of them a bit different, but still more closely related than any two of CT's.

T20 kept the larger jump fuel requirements but adopted formulas for all drives and a fixed Bridge.

GURPS Traveller altered ship construction fundamentally by assuming that every ship system's stated volume included the power to run it, converting "power slice" from a golfing insult to a ship architecture term overnight...

Along comes T5 in early form, with formula-based drive sizes, no fixed Bridge, and no volume for the ship's computer.

While fixing Bridge size for simplicity (part of their mission statement), Mongoose's drive tables and fuel needs were built using the T5 formulas, and computers still have no discrete volume.

While Mongoose looks closer to CT Book 2 and T5 looks closer to CT High Guard, their results are the same instead of being utterly different. A sub-2kton MGT ship is component volume compatible with T5 top to bottom. On purpose.

The two games are otherwise quite different. On purpose.
None of that really matters for role-play. Someone interested in designing ships might find it interesting though. But for most players, they are just trying to get somewhere. If a wargame or space battle breaks out in the middle of a role-play session, the wargamers in the group can fuss about edition rules.
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Re: Traveller 5

Postby locarno24 » Mon May 20, 2013 9:24 am

Several dozen damage types/effects (corrode/bullet/slash/balst/emp/frag/gas/hot/infection/psi/burn/elec/magnetic/bang/stench/pain/cold/rad/sound/poison/flash/vacc/wound/pen/grav/tranq) and the armor effects/mods for each
Ugh.

This is why I like Mongoose traveller. Rather than D3+D8+X mod +Y mod + Z mod for damage, there's one rule.

More importantly, the rule is generally "that was a bullet. You're on the floor, nearly dead."
It keeps players nice and honest. :mrgreen:
None of that really matters for role-play. Someone interested in designing ships might find it interesting though. But for most players, they are just trying to get somewhere. If a wargame or space battle breaks out in the middle of a role-play session, the wargamers in the group can fuss about edition rules.
Also seconded. This is why I like simple rules - hell, one of my favourites is Advanced Fighting Fantasy, which is only an RPG in rules terms by the very skin of its teeth. I prefer people to get through a challenge by actual dialogue and having a plan rather than social or tactics checks.
Understand that I'm not advocating violence.
I'm just saying that it's highly effective and I strongly recommend using it.
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ShawnDriscoll
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Re: Traveller 5

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Mon May 20, 2013 9:31 am

locarno24 wrote:This is why I like Mongoose traveller. Rather than D3+D8+X mod +Y mod + Z mod for damage, there's one rule.

More importantly, the rule is generally "that was a bullet. You're on the floor, nearly dead."
It keeps players nice and honest. :mrgreen:
I read somewhere in a Traveller book that bullets are still pretty efficient at separating meat from bone.
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Re: Traveller 5

Postby F33D » Mon May 20, 2013 11:47 am

ShawnDriscoll wrote: But at least 1 ton is still 13.5 cubic meters in all three games. It's the unit of game space.
1 Ton in MgT is 14 cubic meters not, 13.5 :shock:
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Re: Traveller 5

Postby locarno24 » Mon May 20, 2013 12:13 pm

I read somewhere in a Traveller book that bullets are still pretty efficient at separating meat from bone.
Which if anything makes it seem more bizzare to me. It's like Babylon 5 Wars was; what's the point in nth degree of detail in the damage mechanics (which were quite nice) when the first broadside from an equivalent size ship generally blew you to scrap metal?

You don't actually add detail to the game, because you still go from 'intact' to 'fireworks display' in one hit, it just takes you much, much longer to resolve it...
Understand that I'm not advocating violence.
I'm just saying that it's highly effective and I strongly recommend using it.
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Re: Traveller 5

Postby Jeraa » Mon May 20, 2013 1:40 pm

F33D wrote:
ShawnDriscoll wrote: But at least 1 ton is still 13.5 cubic meters in all three games. It's the unit of game space.
1 Ton in MgT is 14 cubic meters not, 13.5 :shock:
Specifically said so on page 105 of the main rulebook.
Size is measured in ‘displacement tons’ or d-tons: a hundred-ton ship displaces a volume equal to one hundred tons of liquid hydrogen (one d-ton equals roughly 14 cubic metres).
However, the vehicle books (Supplement 5 Civilian Vehicles and Supplement 6 Military Vehicles - I don't now about the combined Supplement 5-6) say differently:
Capacity refers to the internal volume of the vehicle. 1 M3 translates to 2/27 of a displacement ton (dTon) in the spacecraft design system.
If 1 cubic meter is 2/27 of a displacement ton, then a displacement ton is 13.5 cubic meters.
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Re: Traveller 5

Postby GypsyComet » Mon May 20, 2013 3:18 pm

ShawnDriscoll wrote:
GypsyComet wrote:Mechanically, MGT is in the same family as CT and MT, while T5 is most related to T4.
I disagree. 2D6 rolls are used differently in CT, MT, and MgT.
When compared to the rest of Traveller, and especially the rest of RPG-dom, these three editions of Traveller are clearly related. Traveller has two editions that use variable numbers of dice, two that use d20s in completely different ways (and are not related to each other), and two that use 3d6-low systems that are otherwise not related (GURPS and Hero share an ancestor, but only barely).

All three, CT, MT, and MGT, are coming up with a "roll high" target on 2d6 from difficulty, skill level, and controlling characteristic. Just as important is the fact that these are the three editions of Traveller that do not tie skills to specific characteristics, but change them according to task, something that was unique to Traveller for twenty years or more and is still very rare in the rest of gaming. Some of the DM breaks and goals are different, but task resolution (the core of any game) in the three editions are more closely related to each other than the 2nd and 3rd editions of D&D are to each other.

Where the three vary significantly at the PC level is in damage generation and application, though they do all come back to the same results of damage as the three characteristics are reduced. But this isn't done on 2d6.

None of the three, leaving aside the additions of Snapshot and AHL to CT, are particularly tactical games; combat remains strongly narrational in all three, with the tools to manage combat varying. This isn't done on 2d6 either.
Not sure what that has to do with anything.
To establish that my opinions are based on ownership, reading, and experience playing the editions in question. This isn't based on hearsay.
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Re: Traveller 5

Postby F33D » Mon May 20, 2013 3:43 pm

Jeraa wrote: However, the vehicle books (Supplement 5 Civilian Vehicles and Supplement 6 Military Vehicles - I don't now about the combined Supplement 5-6) say differently:
Capacity refers to the internal volume of the vehicle. 1 M3 translates to 2/27 of a displacement ton (dTon) in the spacecraft design system.
If 1 cubic meter is 2/27 of a displacement ton, then a displacement ton is 13.5 cubic meters.
MRB & HG are the governing rules for starship design...
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Re: Traveller 5

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Mon May 20, 2013 9:48 pm

F33D wrote:
ShawnDriscoll wrote: But at least 1 ton is still 13.5 cubic meters in all three games. It's the unit of game space.
1 Ton in MgT is 14 cubic meters not, 13.5 :shock:
Woah! Stop! Stop the universe! I want to get off! I don't like this one! ;)

Thank goodness these editons all have 5 - 20% wriggly room for fudging with ship volume after all is said and not done.
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Re: Traveller 5

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Mon May 20, 2013 9:54 pm

locarno24 wrote:
I read somewhere in a Traveller book that bullets are still pretty efficient at separating meat from bone.
Which if anything makes it seem more bizzare to me. It's like Babylon 5 Wars was; what's the point in nth degree of detail in the damage mechanics (which were quite nice) when the first broadside from an equivalent size ship generally blew you to scrap metal?
The space battle in orbit (from the Starship Troopers movie) where ground bugs fart a single shot that takes out months-worth of detailed starship designing.
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Re: Traveller 5

Postby SSWarlock » Tue May 21, 2013 11:12 pm

F33D wrote:MRB & HG are the governing rules for starship design...
Add Trillion Credit Squadron and a number of the other supplements and you'll be dead on. TCS et al by Mongoose do include a bit of starship design in them as well. Or rather say "MRB & HG are the vast majority of governing rules for starship design..."
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Re: Traveller 5

Postby F33D » Wed May 22, 2013 1:05 am

SSWarlock wrote:
F33D wrote:MRB & HG are the governing rules for starship design...
Add Trillion Credit Squadron and a number of the other supplements and you'll be dead on.
Nope.
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Re: Traveller 5

Postby locarno24 » Wed May 22, 2013 9:48 am

Depends what you mean by 'Governing Rules'. The ship design system is in the core rulebook and - for a specific subset - High Guard (variant TL ships, small-craft, capital ships).

Other sourcebooks have unique components, but very few change the way the ship rules work.

Universe of Babylon 5 does (because artificial gravity is no longer 'free') and I assume Cthonian Stars does the same, whilst Psion allows ship integral psions to duplicate, enhance or replace so many of the 'normal' ship systems that mindships can effectively be considered a subset design system. I can't think of any others which change it that dramatically.
Understand that I'm not advocating violence.
I'm just saying that it's highly effective and I strongly recommend using it.
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Re: Traveller 5

Postby F33D » Wed May 22, 2013 3:27 pm

locarno24 wrote:Depends what you mean by 'Governing Rules'.
I'm talking about core assumptions. Displacement measurement being but one example.
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Re: Traveller 5

Postby locarno24 » Wed May 22, 2013 3:33 pm

Then - with the exceptions mentioned above - yes.
Understand that I'm not advocating violence.
I'm just saying that it's highly effective and I strongly recommend using it.
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Re: Traveller 5

Postby 2330ADUSA1 » Wed May 22, 2013 4:02 pm

Look just read the book for what T5 is and make a choice if there is a element that you like, then use it within your own game system in-house rules. Honestly everyone does this I have not met a good GM yet that does not. Work out the mechanics that works best for your own campiagn and just use it!
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Re: Traveller 5

Postby lordmalachdrim » Wed May 22, 2013 4:26 pm

2330ADUSA1 wrote:Look just read the book for what T5 is and make a choice if there is a element that you like, then use it within your own game system in-house rules. Honestly everyone does this I have not met a good GM yet that does not. Work out the mechanics that works best for your own campiagn and just use it!
You mean as a complete version of Traveller? Or as the Ultimate version of Traveller that it is touted to be by the creator? Because in both those cases I can not bring myself to use it. Also I can not find a reason to bother chopping it up and try to salvage parts any parts of it.

As for using parts of it in my "in-house rules" I'm afraid that isn't feasible since I don't have any. I run my games RAW. If you are ever in Utica look me up and you can sit down to a game of Alternity, HackMaster 4th, RoleMaster Standard System, or Palladium Fantasy 1st ed run and played as they are written.
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Re: Traveller 5

Postby SSWarlock » Wed May 22, 2013 4:29 pm

locarno24 wrote:Depends what you mean by 'Governing Rules'. The ship design system is in the core rulebook and - for a specific subset - High Guard (variant TL ships, small-craft, capital ships).

Other sourcebooks have unique components, but very few change the way the ship rules work.
Ah! Good points; given this, F33D's post was correct.
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Re: Traveller 5

Postby 2330ADUSA1 » Wed May 22, 2013 4:44 pm

lordmalachdrim wrote:
2330ADUSA1 wrote:Look just read the book for what T5 is and make a choice if there is a element that you like, then use it within your own game system in-house rules. Honestly everyone does this I have not met a good GM yet that does not. Work out the mechanics that works best for your own campiagn and just use it!
You mean as a complete version of Traveller? Or as the Ultimate version of Traveller that it is touted to be by the creator? Because in both those cases I can not bring myself to use it. Also I can not find a reason to bother chopping it up and try to salvage parts any parts of it.

As for using parts of it in my "in-house rules" I'm afraid that isn't feasible since I don't have any. I run my games RAW. If you are ever in Utica look me up and you can sit down to a game of Alternity, HackMaster 4th, RoleMaster Standard System, or Palladium Fantasy 1st ed run and played as they are written.

LOL well I must say if I still owned my Parents home in Rome, NY I would drive the 20 minutes and join you!!! As I have said long time ago there were many things that I did not like in many systems and began to form my own system. So over my 37 years of gaming and 25+ years on GM/DMing I have come up with my own In-House system that I always buy all the resource material books (Dead tree versions only) and review them all for details and/or ideas that might be of some value for my own game system or campaigns. For my T5 is nothing more than a resource book with possibility of ideas that maybe I have not thought about before or etc. Now I might like the idea, just not their mechanics and come up with my own way of doing it...to me that is half the fun and a job I will gladly take up.

In the end my total goal is to expand my resource library, possible learn something new, and make things more fun for botyh me and my players. We are all here to have fun, enjoy our friendships with our fellow players, and have some fun as a group playing this roleplaying game.
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