T5 - The Verdict

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
Supplement Four
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T5 - The Verdict

Postby Supplement Four » Sat Jun 22, 2013 6:35 pm

On The Turning Away...

-- Pink Floyd




Although I haven't read the entire book cover to cover, I've studied major parts of the game, and I've commented quite a lot about what I've found.

Yesterday, I came to a decision about T5 when I was answering a post about yet another problem found in the game.

What I said was...

As much as I wanted to like T5, it's really just too broken to play. The game is a mess. Yes, there are a couple of good ideas presented in the game--some brillant ones, even. But, as a whole, the game will bring nothing but heartache to the T5 Ref, constantly forcing him to tweak and fix and House Rule broken or ugly parts of the game.

The reason we pay for Core Rulebooks is to have someone else spend a lot of time and energy working out a fun, viable game system to use in our games. Otherwise, we'd just save the money and make up our own games.

T5, plain and simple, is just not delivering.




It's a shame, really. I had so much hope for T5. I feel like I did when the new Star Wars prequels came out: At first, elated at the idea of new Star Wars, then disappointed with the result.

Maybe T5 will turn into a viable game, down the road, after published supplements that not only fix the eratta but the downright broken parts, too. And, if that happens, I'll look at T5 again.

But, for now, with the game the way it is, I'm going to have to stick with Classic Traveller.

And, my opinion on T5 is: Thumbs Down.
Lemnoc
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Re: T5 - The Verdict

Postby Lemnoc » Sat Jun 22, 2013 7:23 pm

Supplement Four wrote:Maybe T5 will turn into a viable game, down the road, after published supplements that not only fix the eratta but the downright broken parts, too. And, if that happens, I'll look at T5 again.
I've found reading your reviews and analyses very illuminating and valuable to help understand the working and unworkable parts of the very significant investment of money and energy that is T5. Elsewhere I've seen a lot of wagon-circling and pearl-clutching. You've given specifics. Thanks! :D
Wil Mireu
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Re: T5 - The Verdict

Postby Wil Mireu » Sat Jun 22, 2013 7:37 pm

There is a thread on Coti wondering where it all went wrong and asking lots of pertinent questions about the development process.

I doubt it will get satisfactorily answered, but personally I think Marc owes everyone who put their trust in him and spent money to support the project book a huge apology, if not a refund.
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Re: T5 - The Verdict

Postby Lemnoc » Sat Jun 22, 2013 8:32 pm

Wil Mireu wrote:personally I think Marc owes everyone who put their trust in him... a huge apology
Sorry, can't help myself... :lol:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOXtWxhlsUg
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Reynard
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Re: T5 - The Verdict

Postby Reynard » Sat Jun 22, 2013 10:07 pm

Not that I can afford yet another iteration of Traveller but I still am curious just what is wrong with it. So far all I hear is very vague complaints as if no one actually read the thing. So, specifically, what are the problems? Be nice to judge on definate problems.
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Re: T5 - The Verdict

Postby Wil Mireu » Sat Jun 22, 2013 10:20 pm

Reynard wrote:Not that I can afford yet another iteration of Traveller but I still am curious just what is wrong with it. So far all I hear is very vague complaints as if no one actually read the thing. So, specifically, what are the problems? Be nice to judge on definate problems.
Vague? Supp Four posted some VERY detailed comments on CotI, but maybe you don't have access to those.

The RPGnet review was also fairly explicit about its problems: http://www.rpg.net/reviews/archive/15/15885.phtml

The general gist of the criticisms is that it's very disorganised, badly laid out, full of errors, and the systems are overly complicated and some just plain don't work. And for a ridiculously expensive RPG that has supposedly had a long playtest, those problems should have been ironed out before publication.
rust
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Re: T5 - The Verdict

Postby rust » Sat Jun 22, 2013 10:21 pm

Reynard wrote:Not that I can afford yet another iteration of Traveller but I still am curious just what is wrong with it. So far all I hear is very vague complaints as if no one actually read the thing. So, specifically, what are the problems? Be nice to judge on definate problems.
There are now a couple of detailed reviews out there,
here is one example:

http://www.rpg.net/reviews/archive/15/15885.phtml

Edit.: Oops. sorry, I was too slow ... ^^ :oops:
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Re: T5 - The Verdict

Postby dragoner » Sat Jun 22, 2013 11:38 pm

Reynard wrote:Not that I can afford yet another iteration of Traveller but I still am curious just what is wrong with it. So far all I hear is very vague complaints as if no one actually read the thing. So, specifically, what are the problems? Be nice to judge on definate problems.
Haters gonna hate?

Main thing imo is a dice fetish, but otherwise it's the usual, that has been common many versions, such as "armor value"; hello conservation of momentum? But it also has a lot of really nice ideas, it is like Advanced Traveller (eg if you are an ASL fan), ultimately it is what it is.
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Reynard
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Re: T5 - The Verdict

Postby Reynard » Sat Jun 22, 2013 11:49 pm

So it's more about a very large project with an incredible amout of information having good content but suffers from editing overload. And $75.

I'll stick to Mongoose.
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ShawnDriscoll
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Re: T5 - The Verdict

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Sun Jun 23, 2013 2:14 am

Reynard wrote:Not that I can afford yet another iteration of Traveller but I still am curious just what is wrong with it. So far all I hear is very vague complaints as if no one actually read the thing. So, specifically, what are the problems? Be nice to judge on definate problems.
The problem is, each person who reads through the book sees how awful it is, but no two people can agree on the awfulness of it. Each player has their own opinion on what awful is. Most people can agree that the book cover is not awful at least. I suggest people start with what they think is the most awful part of the book and use that as a baseline when describing the other awful parts.
Wil Mireu wrote:And for a ridiculously expensive RPG that has supposedly had a long playtest, those problems should have been ironed out before publication.
One of the main problems was that Traveller 5 was not written before the beta began. So the game could not be tested without rules. Fanboys were in the beta forum guessing how awesome T5 would be once some chapters became available to read.

When the chapters showed up, we thought "where's the game? Are we to edit this pile of nonsense?" Scores left the beta. Many were lurkers. 7 months ago, T5 was finished and uploaded to the beta people. I downloaded it and saw nearly the same ugly game I saw years ago, still un-edited. Instead of trimming the book down to the game rules, more nonsense and computer variables and charts/diagrams were added to better hide the rules. Rules that were never exactly finished. So the game was unfinished still back in December. I said it would take a year to edit the book down to an RPG. I got screamed at by fanboys. You don't edit an "Ultimate" version of Traveller! It's 650 pages of awesome! Then before any beta folk could get changes made to the book, Marc was already getting the books printed for the Kickstarter.
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Re: T5 - The Verdict

Postby Lemnoc » Sun Jun 23, 2013 3:22 am

ShawnDriscoll wrote:The problem is, each person who reads through the book sees how awful it is, but no two people can agree on the awfulness of it. Each player has their own opinion on what awful is. Most people can agree that the book cover is not awful at least. I suggest people start with what they think is the most awful part of the book and use that as a baseline when describing the other awful parts.
As Tolstoy said, "Happy RPGs are all alike; every unhappy RPG is unhappy in its own way."

Seriously, though, rarely have I ever seen a release as unhappily panned as T5. And, sure, there are defenders and defensible parts, there might even be something grand therein, but the sheer volume of unhappiness is profound. It's a homely baby, even to its most loving brothers and sisters, some of whom will fight non-family for declaring the baby so.

Someone had mentioned Star Wars earlier, and their dismay at the prequels. Yet I think all of us more or less conned ourselves there was something watchable in Phantom Menace... before we wised up. Here, not even a honeymoon. :cry:
Supplement Four
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Re: T5 - The Verdict

Postby Supplement Four » Sun Jun 23, 2013 4:09 am

Reynard wrote:Not that I can afford yet another iteration of Traveller but I still am curious just what is wrong with it. So far all I hear is very vague complaints as if no one actually read the thing. So, specifically, what are the problems? Be nice to judge on definate problems.
THIS THREAD over at the CotI is one that I started to discuss T5's major issues. I'll take a few posts from that thread and post them here, to give you an idea.
Supplement Four
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Re: T5 - The Verdict

Postby Supplement Four » Sun Jun 23, 2013 4:12 am

Example Problem with T5: 1D Damage and the NPC Damage Rule.



Old Dr. Skull found this problem. Consider that most pistols do 1D damage. Yet, there is an NPC rule where the Ref ignores damage of less than 10 points on NPCs and takes the NPC out if damage is 10+.

Obviously, you cannot kill an NPC with a pistol in T5.
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Re: T5 - The Verdict

Postby Supplement Four » Sun Jun 23, 2013 4:15 am

Example Problem with T5: Brawling and Blade Combat.


The problem is: The systems we are given to resolve melee combat suck.

Brawling and Blade Combat in T5


As far as I'm concerned, this subsystem makes the game unplayable.

We are given three choices in T5 to resolve Brawling or Blade combat.

Choice 1: Page 158. Brawling is presented as an Opposed Throw for up to 4 combatants. One task is used for the entire fight. The winner of the toss is not damaged, but all others receive 2D damage.

One throw? For the entire combat? What fun is that?

What if chair legs, broken bottles, or clubs are used?

Why'd the fight stop, especially if opponents were not downed?

Problems, problems.



Choice 2: Page 158. Brawling is as above, except the Opposed Throw can be used for up to six combatants, and the throw is made each round. The highest roll receives 3D hits.

Can't more than six combatants be in a fight?

Can't there be a round of Brawling combat where everybody is hurt?

Doesn't a Vargr get some bonus for his claws? An Aslan for his dewclaw (if the dishonored piece of crap uses it)?

Problems, problems.



Choice 3: Page 218. The Fighting Task from the combat chapter could be used for either Brawling or Blade combat. The problem is that the Fighting Task is geared towards ranged combat (through the target speed and size modifiers), and that, in most situations, since difficulty is based on target range, hitting a foe is automatic.



None of the choices make for a fulfilling and fun Brawling or Blade combat experience.





In addition...

The rule for resolving Brawling every round is broken if some of the combatants are allies.

The PC and the three NPCs all have the same chance at the Opposed Throw.

This means that each fighter has a 1-in-4 chance each combat round of being the character that receives the damage.

This means...that the PC has a much better chance of winning the combat encounter. He'll be hurt 1/4 of the time while his enemies will be hurt 3/4 of the time.

A PC fighting three enemies of equal skill, and the PC is the favorite to win the fight?

That's not right.

Or, to turn this around, three PCs vs. one NPC, and the NPC is the favorite to win?

Which is a brain scratcher, too.
Supplement Four
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Re: T5 - The Verdict

Postby Supplement Four » Sun Jun 23, 2013 4:16 am

Example Problem with T5: No Multi-Targeting in a One Minute Combat Round




Space Badger noticed that we're using abstract, one minute combat rounds, but only one target is allowed per round....and we're using guns.

One minute of combat, or there abouts.

Can't fire at more than one target.
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Re: T5 - The Verdict

Postby Supplement Four » Sun Jun 23, 2013 4:17 am

Example T5 Problem: No Ammo Tracking



I understand the impetus to shy away from bookkeeping (track magazines instead of bullets!), but, with no ammo tracking, why use single fire or burst fire....ever?

Ammo is usually limited by the load it puts on the character (character's STR), availability of ammo, and the price of ammo. If you take away ammo tracking, the character will always use his most favorable attack type.

Why would you ever use SnapFire (page 212) when your weapon can just as easily do AutoFire--and the character never has to worry about ammo useage? AutoFire is both easier and does more damage than SnapFire.





My deal with ammo tracking is the limits it should impose on characters.

I'd rather not track anything. But, how much ammo a character carries is important because that put a limit on how many times the character can use the weapon.

It also helps the player decide what type of attack to make--single shots, burst fire, or full auto.

I do not like the idea that a character can have as much ammo as the Ref feels is "right" in any combat situation, and I don't like the idea that there is nothing keeping a character from using full auto when, if ammo were scarce, single shots would be the norm.

Then, there's the trade off that should be there for characters in the equipment that they carry. Should they carry that combat knife, or another mag? Should they carry three grenades at the expense of ammo?

A character's Load, which is in T5, should also factor in the amount of ammo a character has on him. T5, the way it is, ignores ammo and allows characters to really carry no ammo, carrying other stuff instead, and still allows the character to have as much ammo on him for as many full auto shots as the character wants to make.

I'm in favor of a simple system to figure ammo use that involves little or no bookkeeping.
Last edited by Supplement Four on Sun Jun 23, 2013 4:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
Supplement Four
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Re: T5 - The Verdict

Postby Supplement Four » Sun Jun 23, 2013 4:18 am

Example T5 Problem: Cannot Move And Fire in the Same One Minute Combat Round



According to page 214, Aimed Fire is only possible when a character is not moving.

According to that same page, SnapFire and AutoFire are only possible if the weapon is capable of burst or full auto fire.

Therefore, if you use a pistol or rifle that is only capable of one shot at a time, the only attack type open to you is Aimed Fire. And, this means that you cannot move and fire your weapon in the same one minute combat round.
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Re: T5 - The Verdict

Postby Supplement Four » Sun Jun 23, 2013 4:18 am

Example T5 Problem: The STAMP Combat Round Procedure



The STAMP Combat Round


S - Situation: Attacker notes his weapon and evaluates the combat situation.

T - Target: Attacker identifies a target and notes range, size and target mod.

A - Attack: Attacker rolls to hit.

M - Move: Attacker moves or performs some other action.

P - Penetrate: Hits from successful attacks are checked for penetration and damage.



All combatants complete each phase before moving on to the next. So, both PCs and NPCs roll attacks in the Attack phase. Then all PCs and NPCs in the combat are allowed to move. Then, we go back to the targets from the Attack phase and roll penetration/damage on them.

It is quite ungainly to try to remember who hit who during the combat.

This system allows a character to be hit, then move behind complete cover, then drop dead from a wound. That's awkward.

Penetration/Damage should occur right after a successful attack is made.
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Re: T5 - The Verdict

Postby Supplement Four » Sun Jun 23, 2013 4:22 am

Example T5 Problem: Slash Damage



T5 seems to have made Blades uber-powerful. Slash damage is applied per turn.

Does that mean if you roll a successful attack with a blade that does Slash-2 damage that your target takes 2D damage every combat round!

And a pistol does 1D damage one time, when it hits....?

It will be hard to survive a blade hit in this game, if I'm reading this correctly.
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Re: T5 - The Verdict

Postby Supplement Four » Sun Jun 23, 2013 4:23 am

Example T5 Problem: SS Gets Easier The Harder The Task



Spectacular Success is not possible on the easiest (the 1D and 2D difficulty) of tasks, yet SS gets easier to achieve the harder the task becomes.

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