AD2300, N00B, Is this game really that deadly?

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
OneTrikPony
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AD2300, N00B, Is this game really that deadly?

Postby OneTrikPony » Wed Sep 11, 2013 7:21 pm

Hey :)
So I'm a noob to traveler and specifically interested in AD2300. I'll probably be posting a raft of questions that I can't find answers for in the Search.

My first question refers to weapon damage vs. armor.
So combat armor averages around 12 for a full Battle Suit or 10 for a spacesuit. Including the helmet.
An average rifle; Like the M5 has a damage code of 4d6(+1 AP) meaning an average roll for damage on a single shot would produce 15 points of damage and bypass 4 points of armor.
Against a character wearing the best body armor in the game, (battle armor 12) this would do 7 points of damage; completely draining the 'Endurance bar' of the character's condition monitor.
Seems that burst fire from the same weapon would instantly kill most characters wearing regular armor.

Do I understand correctly?
Is this game really that deadly?
Am i missing some tactical nuance that makes the game less harsh?
Is there better armor available that I just havn't seen?
Is there an option to make burst fire grant a better hit probability rather than more damage?
What would be the effect on the setting of importing TL 14 Battle Dress?

Thanks for your help.
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Re: AD2300, N00B, Is this game really that deadly?

Postby Colin » Wed Sep 11, 2013 8:59 pm

Damage and armour is a common Traveller issue. Basically, yes, it is that deadly. However, this is your game. If you would prefer a different level of lethality, then I would recommend increasing the protection value of the armour.
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Re: AD2300, N00B, Is this game really that deadly?

Postby OneTrikPony » Thu Sep 12, 2013 3:16 am

Thanks for the Reply.

I think I might make armor more robust. Possibly allowing helmet bonuses to stack with battle armor and space armor, maybe allowing Rigid plates to stack with inertial but I'd like to be more tricky.

I'm guessing it would be bad to allow battle dress because then I'd have to mod the Khaffers to keep them as a threat?

I'd like personal combat to be a bit more crunchy so I'm thinking more of tactical solutions, possibly ported from other games, to make the game less deadly.
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Re: AD2300, N00B, Is this game really that deadly?

Postby Nerhesi » Thu Sep 12, 2013 7:19 am

A 1.5 multiplier isn't bad - or, alternatively, take a look at the new Supplement 5-6 combined book for Vehicle Construction.

Battle armor has been officially reworked to range from mid teens to 40+ armor (and sometimes 50+ vs plasma) - making it actually worth it.
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ShawnDriscoll
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Re: AD2300, N00B, Is this game really that deadly?

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Thu Sep 12, 2013 12:19 pm

OneTrikPony wrote:Against a character wearing the best body armor in the game, (battle armor 12) this would do 7 points of damage; completely draining the 'Endurance bar' of the character's condition monitor.
Seems that burst fire from the same weapon would instantly kill most characters wearing regular armor.

Do I understand correctly?
Is this game really that deadly?
Am i missing some tactical nuance that makes the game less harsh?
Yes.
Yes. Traveller is about role-playing. Not wargaming.
Don't get yourself caught out in the open.
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Re: AD2300, N00B, Is this game really that deadly?

Postby DickTurpin » Fri Sep 13, 2013 2:38 am

Yes, in Traveller you do not want to stand in the open trading shots with your enemies. It is far better to make your opponent miss and avoid the damage roll altogether. I would encourage the use of Dodging (CRB p. 62) and Cover (CRB p. 63) if characters get into combat.
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Re: AD2300, N00B, Is this game really that deadly?

Postby Nerhesi » Fri Sep 13, 2013 10:49 pm

Assuming your up against any decently skilled opponents (unless you purposely make them stupid), hitting in gun combat will become trivial.

Laser sighting, tele-sights, implants, intelligent/expert aim assist software, characteristic mod, and then skill start to dwarf any negative modifiers by far. This leaves only "how bad" was the hit as the random element in combat.

If you're running a rag-tag group that isn't investing a few thousand into their weapons, and is sporting a +4 or less total DM to hit, then yeah you may miss a few shots on people in cover.

But if you're group is the average crew that has access to the usual petty funds in-between speculative trade/patron's jobs. They'll easily be hitting targets at long range, regardless of mods on a 4+ on 2D6 or so.

Which is probably accurate if you want to consider gun-combat after a half-dozen millenia or refinement

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Re: AD2300, N00B, Is this game really that deadly?

Postby OneTrikPony » Sat Sep 14, 2013 3:55 pm

Interesting. I've seen laser sighing and scopes, and that implant that marine characters can get when they muster out, but I haven't seen aim assisting software. Where can I find that?

besides dropping prone ducking and using cover/concealment I think there ought to be more tactical options in the game. The rules set is a bit simplistic. Are there rules for suppression fire, hitting a moving target, distraction, shooting on the move, visual modifiers?

I also think that burst and autofire should grant a bonus to hit rather than a bonus to damage. Hiting with all the rounds in a burst--even given the technological advances--seems unrealistic to me.

I'd like to ask again; what might be the repercussions of dropping TL12-14 Battle Dress into the 2300ad setting? (seems like that's one of the technical advances that should have been available at TL10.

Also; looking at the game system I'm seeing huge amounts of Armor Piercing qualities in weapons and ammunition. I'm thinking of addressing that with some home brew gear. It seems kind of counter intuitive, (maybe just harebrained) but what if there were an armor modification that defended against Armor Piercing attacks? Perhaps something like Ablative armor that reduced the AP but not the damage of the incoming round(s)?

Thank you very much for all the Replies. This is a very cool and helpful forum crowd and I appreciate your willingness to help/slap the N00B :)
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Re: AD2300, N00B, Is this game really that deadly?

Postby Nerhesi » Sat Sep 14, 2013 6:55 pm

Autofire pretty much guarantees a hit (and why shouldn't it, if you consider spraying an area with a controlled long burst using aim-assist software, holographic sights, and hundreds of gauss needles?). Remembder, you roll Xd6 where X is the auto-fire rating and you arrange them in pairs as you see fit. Which means you can pretty much guarantee your target will be hit (granted, only 1 hit).

At TL 12, you can have a +2 DM to hit with holographic sight. Adding the biomass and x-ray outlining aid you will ignore any cover and concealment modifiers unless the target is behind more than 1 foot thick of shielded/metal inorganic material, or 1 meter thick of any other hard cover. You are also ignoring all environmental effects (lighting, smoke, etc).

Total TL and cost? TL 12 and around 2500 credits.

Assuming you actually aim with that sight, and a characteristic+skill DM of +3 for gun combat (This is slightly better than a security guard as per published NPCs in most books), you end up with:

+7 DM to hit, ignoring the maximum -4 for cover unless your cover is like over 1-foot thick of shielded stuff or 1 meters of unshielded stuff. In which case you need a 5+ to a hit. 1+ to hit normally. 3+ to hit a prone target at Medium or worse range.

Haven't even touched cybernetics and keep in mind this is your average "soldier" NPC skill/characteristic rating. This is not Han Solo, Quigley Down Under or whatever.

Basically, I think the only time you start having issues hitting something in personal combat is when you have light/ultralight battle-dress with increased speed resulting in -5 to -10 DMs to be hit. (Core rule book, -1 to be hit for every 10 meters movement).
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Re: AD2300, N00B, Is this game really that deadly?

Postby Nerhesi » Sat Sep 14, 2013 6:58 pm

Sorry - as to the other portion of your post, armor piercing and 2300 AD:

Yeah - most armor is easily brushed aside for by items that cost a miniscule insignificant portion of the armor cost.

Example:

A friggin Siege crossbow or dual-handed battle axe has no problem penetrating battle armor - :roll: :lol: The base published ones that is; so Supplement 5-6 is a must as it introduces actually viable armor. Including special armor mods that defend against certain weapons - for battle dress.

I'm unfamiliar with the 2300 AD setting.
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Re: AD2300, N00B, Is this game really that deadly?

Postby OneTrikPony » Sat Sep 14, 2013 8:11 pm

Supliment 5-6, Got it.
Thanks Nerhesi :)

I'm concerned about keeping the PC's alive if they get in a fight. (I'd be GMing if I actually get to play no one else in my area plays traveller afaik.)

Can People give me some hints about tactics for keeping PC's alive if things get violent? I'd like to run a merc campaign.
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Re: AD2300, N00B, Is this game really that deadly?

Postby locarno24 » Mon Sep 16, 2013 12:09 pm

Can People give me some hints about tactics for keeping PC's alive if things get violent? I'd like to run a merc campaign.
Don't fight fair.

This is not Dungeons & Dragons. It's not even Dark Heresy. The difference in combat potential between a player character and a generic mook trooper is pretty much nothing aside from any differences in equipment.

Players need to learn to use cover. Don't get caught in the open, and make a point of dodgeing when attacked.

Anyone who says 'oh I can take it' because they're the toughest player in the party will swiftly realise they can't. Automatic weapons firing in burst mode will put down players, fast. There are no 'tanks' unless someone actually brings a tank. Most players in a merc campaign should pack themselves an ACR or Gauss rifle.

The most important skills are recon (to see the other guy before they see you), stealth (same reason) and gun combat.

Autofire is great for attracting people's attention, and causing a few hits, whilst aimed bursts are for putting people down dead.



If you want to keep players alive, a good way to do so is to give them a slight tech advantage over their opponents. Small teams of off-world mercs will generally be hired because they're better equipped than indigen units; equip their employers and rivals to TL9-10 and them to TL11-13 and you'll give them a fighting chance against opponents even with a slight numerical edge.

Plus it helps increase the level of shock when they come up against equivalent opponents or (oh crud!) battle dress. If you do the latter, have some other friendlies along for the ride to waste first.
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: AD2300, N00B, Is this game really that deadly?

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Wed Sep 18, 2013 5:17 am

OneTrikPony wrote:Can People give me some hints about tactics for keeping PC's alive if things get violent? I'd like to run a merc campaign.
No such thing as a merc campaign.
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Re: AD2300, N00B, Is this game really that deadly?

Postby GypsyComet » Wed Sep 18, 2013 5:54 am

No such thing ...
Shawn's biases aside, it is tough to do a mercs campaign with a normal group of PCs. A more viable approach is to play the officers and senior NCOs, recognizing that your troopers are expendable. The way to keep player excesses under control is to remind them that if too many of their troops die (or even get wounded too badly) then *no one* gets paid. Make a point of setting some parameters (such as "don't ever mess with Imperial Marines. The party is *over* when they show up.") and always have tickets the PCs can't meet in the rumor mill. Invent other mercenary companies and have them take the tickets the PCs don't. Develop a regional plot that the PCs are just a part of.

Acquire the old GDW game "Striker", as it is basically a commander's RPG disguised as a wargame.

Alternately, take a cue from the otherwise ignorable 40k novels about the Imperial Guard and make the fights the short bits and keep the RP to the time between jobs and fights.
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Re: AD2300, N00B, Is this game really that deadly?

Postby chrisdw » Wed Sep 18, 2013 7:40 am

GypsyComet wrote: Alternately, take a cue from the otherwise ignorable 40k novels about the Imperial Guard and make the fights the short bits and keep the RP to the time between jobs and fights.
Or read The Dogs of War and note just how much of the novel is spent on finanace.
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Re: AD2300, N00B, Is this game really that deadly?

Postby OneTrikPony » Wed Sep 18, 2013 8:35 am

No such thing as a merc campaign.
No idea what this means.
But thanks for your input.

I like the idea of players doing the command and admin eventually but I'm thinking I'll start with something more along the lines of;

" you are 3 PC's in a squad of 10, here are your NPC's, keep them alive. This is your equipment, you are responsible for it's maintainance and return. Here is your CO, he's about to send you on a mission figure out how to get it done."

Forsythe is a great reference. There's also a ton of stories recently out of the middle east finally making it into the light.

I'm not against killing characters, I try to avoid TPK because that just wastes my own work, I am a little intimidated by the fact that a mook can take out a PC with one shot, not even a lucky shot. It's up to the players to keep thier characrters alive. I just wish they had more options in the mechanics for doing that.

I'm working on some things HR expansions to the mechanics, I'll post here, hopefully soon, and hopefully you all will tell me what won't work and why.

Thanks for the help.
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Re: AD2300, N00B, Is this game really that deadly?

Postby nats » Wed Sep 18, 2013 3:08 pm

locarno24 wrote:The most important skills are recon (to see the other guy before they see you), stealth (same reason)
Both of these arent covered in Mongoose Traveller in terms of having official rolls or rules - do you just task roll these things? I liked the way CT covered all the precombat rules in detail I hope that if they ever do one a new Merc book will cover these things.
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ShawnDriscoll
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Re: AD2300, N00B, Is this game really that deadly?

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Wed Sep 18, 2013 4:39 pm

OneTrikPony wrote:
No such thing as a merc campaign.
No idea what this means.
You'll find out.
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Re: AD2300, N00B, Is this game really that deadly?

Postby rust » Wed Sep 18, 2013 5:35 pm

I did once run a combat heavy campaign based on GDW's boardgame
Bloodtree Rebellion with the Classic Traveller rules. My most important
experience with this kind of campaign was that it is not a good idea to
get accustomed to a single character too much, they just die too often. :evil:
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Re: AD2300, N00B, Is this game really that deadly?

Postby Sigtrygg » Wed Sep 18, 2013 6:20 pm

Odd that personal firearms can kill with a single shot, you'd almost think they were designed to do that ;)

Odd that military grade personal firearms can defeat body armour and kill with a single shot, you'd almost think they were designed to do that too.

Traveller has always been rather unforgiving with regards to combat, lethal force is lethal after all. It's more like Rune Quest where a single blow can kill rather than D&D past level 3 where it take multiple blows to take someone down. It is very rarely possible even in Traveler to kill with single shots however.
Unconscious characters are much more likely.

If you want a more cinematic game that suits your group then modify the armour rules to allow PCs more survivability, but do the bad guys get the same?
Last edited by Sigtrygg on Wed Sep 18, 2013 6:25 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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