Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
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Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby Old timer » Mon Apr 21, 2014 6:22 pm

No AP at all? Mmm, without any form of AP here, a 1DD plasma gun man portable would only do 10-60 damage, about the same as a TL12 plasma weapon, and less than a TL13 weapon (12d6 range is 12 to 72). I think DD weapons still need AP.
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Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby phavoc » Mon Apr 21, 2014 10:04 pm

Infojunky wrote:
phavoc wrote:In a somewhat related note... shouldn't there be some sort of scaling factor for armor and weaponry? A 10ton fighter shouldn't be able to have the same armor level that say a 100 ton scout does, or a 50,000 ton cruiser. So the 10ton fighter might be limited to factor 1 armor, the scout to factor 2 armor, and the cruiser to factor 10 armor. I've always scratched my head at how you could make such smaller ships be armored leviathans.
I agree with you wholeheartedly but this is out of scope for what Matt is asking here. If we can beat out a standard here then in a different thread we can attack the inadequacies of starship construction and combat in its own thread. (note, in earlier editions often you really couldn't effectively armor anything under 1000 dTons, but that mostly wasn't an explicit rule)

The ship armor thing was just an example. But the idea still translates into small arms/personal armor and vehicle weapons/vehicle armor too. I would like to see if it's possible for the weapons / armor to better reflect their true aspects when it comes to damage. Lower tech weapons can still inflict massive amounts of damage, but it just depends on what is getting hit (and how).

A TL15 suit of battledress might take a TL-3 musket slug just fine, but should it be able to take a direct hit from a 120mm APFSDS round designed to tear up a tank? I'm just wondering how or if you can adjust the rules to account for this sort of thing. The damage tables would need to somehow reflect this idea - if possible. Modern weapons today are extremely destructive, and then add energy, gauss, plasma and fusion weapons (let alone more efficient and effective explosive and penetrating rounds) and the battlefield should be quite deadly in the future.
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Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby Nerhesi » Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:14 pm

phavoc wrote: Modern weapons today are extremely destructive, and then add energy, gauss, plasma and fusion weapons (let alone more efficient and effective explosive and penetrating rounds) and the battlefield should be quite deadly in the future.
However, in the future if we discover super advanced armor (or some sort of "shields") much like we discover grav drives and jump technology, the battlefield would not be "as deadly" and may return to the slug fest of armored warriors and so on.

That's ultimately another conversation though, do we change traveller to a non-combat instant kill game because in today's world, regardless of armor, ourr advanced war machines take eachother apart with their highly advanced munitions.

As this is not really inline with CT, MT, T5, or MgT, I would say no. This, to me, is a completely different genre/game. Its not every space opera when the only enemy that won't one-shot you is the vastly inferior enemy.
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Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby Nerhesi » Tue Apr 22, 2014 1:01 am

Matt and others, I think we may have landed on a very interesting subject here. A technology book exploring non-OTU "streams" of technology development/advanced tech?

Best of both worlds? Quality product for all?

OTU comes prepackage with things like armor that is functional vs 99% of weapons, dramatic/action/space opera combat where equal tech level ships/personel/vehicles can slug it out, several minutes if not hours of combat etc etc...

Perhaps, an alternate book can explore divergent, setting agnostic development streams, such as:

a) Startrek magic energy-field/shields that stop everything sort of defences? Teleporters and so on? I guess this is the star trek book though, no?

b) Technology evolution that isn't changing from our 21st century dynamic - armor is obsolete. Hull/"hit points" don't mean much either. If something connects with you, you're pretty much done for.. so your primary defences would be stealth/eletronic warfare - perhaps advanced degree that they cause significant -DMs to shooting or what have you.

c) Advanced post TL16 tech fleshed out for the existing OTU - obviously non-canon but just an extrapolation. White Globes? Gray Globes? Disintegrators? etc etc

Maybe not enough for an entire book but perhaps a small supplement or an article in a compendium.
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Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby Lord High Munchkin » Tue Apr 22, 2014 5:26 am

The GMs I know (none of whom use the 3rd Imperium setting) have made up their own TL scales and probably would find alternative takes on technological development interesting.
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Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby Condottiere » Tue Apr 22, 2014 9:57 am

You probably have to tackle damage across the entire spectrum, which means you have to stage results based on the power of the weapon, and the size of the target.

While I haven't got around to them yet, the most obvious thing I would do is construct smallcraft with maximum armour and use them for CAS. The difference between them and grav tanks, would be that the grav tank could stop mid air and not crash.
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Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby Nerhesi » Tue Apr 22, 2014 12:45 pm

Or, for those who want to show armor/longevity/toughness as a factor of size/structure, make armor a factor of %age and absolute value.

You'd also need to get rid of combat smallcraft completely (and therefore the Zhodani and the Aslan). Which takes us back to separating it out from "OTU" traveller.
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Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby Infojunky » Tue Apr 22, 2014 5:57 pm

Condottiere wrote:The difference between them and grav tanks, would be that the grav tank could stop mid air and not crash.
Hum. as they are both gravitic craft they both can hover, so the difference is?

Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby hiro » Tue Apr 22, 2014 6:07 pm

absolutely bugger all


I said it...

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Vehicle Damage Rules Suggestion

Postby Egil Skallagrimsson » Wed Apr 23, 2014 4:31 pm

Ok, whether we go with "DD", or stick to the current position, how happy are we with the way damage is applied? At the moment, a powerful hit, say 30 points past armour, may still cause relatively little damage, two triple hits do not amount to much if the target has 8 point of hull, and another 8 points of structure. I have always had some reservations about the consequences of how Traveller vehicles and combat work, "vehicles are solid bricks, if you chip away at them long enough, they will eventually break".

We have experimented with doubling the damage a penetrating hit from a powerful weapon causes, but the "Vehicle damage table" still has the effect of "flattening" out the damage and making the final impact much less than you might expect.

We have tried counting the damage (at least that caused by weapons with a base damage of 6d6 or more) as hits on hull and structure and then rolling on the "Vehicle Damage table" as an extra. This makes vehicles very vulnerable, and probably goes to far. A vehicle is likely to be destroyed long before any other hits are of consequence.

Finally, though not play tested yet, we have been thinking about the following, roll on Vehicle damage table as normal, but, if hull or structure rolled, the number of points destroyed is increased by more powerful weapons, if base damage 1d6 to 5d6, then x1, if 6d6 to 10d6, x2, if 11d6 to 15d6, x3, 16d6 to 20d6 x4, and carry on in proportion.

Ironically, we don't normally have much serious vehicle on vehicle combat, small arm shots at rapidly departing air rafts are about as far I normally have to GM. So comments from those who are running merc campaigns, esp if involving Supertanks or Grav tanks, would be appreciated.

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Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby Nerhesi » Wed Apr 23, 2014 7:54 pm

I think Vehicles/like space craft are a "bit" too solid of bricks. To me, Hull/Struct = 0 is absolute or near absolute disintegration. If you consider your 2 triple hit example, there is a very good chance that vehicle is useless (around a 28% chance per roll to completely destroy sensors or drive..)


I agree, that with DD weapons, since the table is flattening damage, any hull or structure damage should be increased. Lets say, Multiply by 5? I'm thinking just reduce rolling and make it quicker. This problem doesn't exist in Space combat because either hull values are small, or when they're big you have lovely barrage rules (which subtract their damage flat our from hull/struct - awesome)

This will scale based on the fact that more powerful weapons will do significantly more damage anyways. Consider the following vs a 30 armor vehicle.

a) 1DD rolling 4. -30 armor. 10 left over damage.

b) 4DD rolling 4-3-4-3. -30 armor. 120 left over damage.


a) 3 single hits. Assuming 2 hit hull, and 1 hits a system means 10 hull damage, 1 system minor damage.

b) 2 triple hits. 14 double hits. 1 single hit. Assuming 66% hit hull again (whether it is a destroyed system defaulting to hull or hull), you now have a vehicle with no drive, no sensors, thats also ~55 hull damage.
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Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby locarno24 » Thu Apr 24, 2014 8:50 am

phavoc wrote: A TL15 suit of battledress might take a TL-3 musket slug just fine, but should it be able to take a direct hit from a 120mm APFSDS round designed to tear up a tank? I'm just wondering how or if you can adjust the rules to account for this sort of thing. The damage tables would need to somehow reflect this idea - if possible. Modern weapons today are extremely destructive, and then add energy, gauss, plasma and fusion weapons (let alone more efficient and effective explosive and penetrating rounds) and the battlefield should be quite deadly in the future.
I'm really not diving into arguments about what is and is not permitted by N+1 years of not-entirely-comptible canon.

But at the moment, they really, really can't. Battle Dress suits are drawn just the wrong side of vulnerable to small arms. Even the mighty TL14 Artillery Battle Dress is only armour 20 (which is why small arms almost universally being given armour-piercing traits in CSC 1st edition hacked so many people off) - with subdermal armour implants and a protec sub-suit you could push that to 30-ish. Any seriously heavy weapon, even without AP traits, can therefore expect to go straight through fairly easily.

Personally, I'm fine with this. Battledress being bullet proof to small arms is fine, especially since it also grants the wearer improved accuracy, initiative, and the ability to use what should really, really be crew-served fixed weapons.
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Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby Jacqual » Sat Apr 26, 2014 11:26 am

I am not to concerned about how many different skills are out there for weapons just as long as the weapon description section indicates what
skill(s) are able to use the weapon.

The U.S. Marine Corp uses a sniper rifle that is nothing more then a civilian hunting rifle with the heavy varmint barrel for extra stability. So in that case is it a civilian weapon/long arm or is it a military weapon/long arm well it is both as a civilian can purchase and use one legally for hunting.

The PDW to me is just a new way to say SMG, just like IED is used to say cheap home made bomb. All of course which is not safe to be the victim of.
But I digress just make sure solders can actually learn how to us a handgun, it is required training.

I do understand the issue with energy weapons and slug weapons for the care required on them. But I can see on a higher tech world a civilian learning how to use a laser rifle for hunting would be allowed, and that weapon not just for military uses. I would make sure that there would be a requirement for the military for things like fully automatic weapons.

If you keep it simple yet remaining open for characters to cross train into new weapons after play begins you will have a better game system.
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Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby sjmiller » Thu May 01, 2014 2:52 am

In the weapons list there is listed a Gauss Flamer. Try as I might, I just can't wrap my brain around this one. It is a high damage weapon (5D+6 Flame), which is nice, but I can't figure out how it works. Is it needle slugs that burst into flame when they strike? Is it some kind of odd white phosphorus round? Is it a flame or plasma round that leaves the barrel already in flames? It just does not make sense to me. I am not even sure it is needed, even if it does make sense to someone else.
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Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby Melbourne Accords » Thu May 01, 2014 3:49 am

Apologies for arriving late to this discussion. It’s great to return to this forum. I'm delighted that Mongoose are consulting with players in this way. I've really valued reading the posts on this thread.

My response to the document is the same as dmccoy1693

1. The proposed Gun Combat skills/specialities will work well.
2. The optimised expanded specialities are excellent.
3. The proposed AP rules are clear and effective.

We play two campaigns (2300 and Third Imperium). Both campaigns already adapt Gun Combat in a similar way to the proposal. We have found that this approach works well.

The ACR and the Gauss rifle represent iconic weapons of the game. They are the products of different points of slug thrower development. Consequently, it is important to retain the AP capacity of Gauss weapons. This point has already been made by a series of contributors (including swampslug, Old Timer & Egil Skallagrimsson), but I would like underscore its importance. Furthermore, I would be in favour of increasing the Auto rating of the Gauss rife to 6 (this would match the ACR).
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Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby Annatar Giftbringer » Thu May 01, 2014 9:47 am

I can kinda appreciate gauss rifles having lower RoF than ACRs, especially if gauss weapons keep their armor penetration. That way you can choose higher fire-rate (ACR) or more damage + better penetration per shot (gauss).
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Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby dlpulver » Tue May 13, 2014 6:09 am

msprange wrote:Well, we have had an awful lot of comments on our proposed changes to shooting weapons in Traveller, and have spent some time compiling everything.

We now have a new weapons playtest document for you chaps (and chapettes!) to look through, which you can download here;


As before, we are looking for all comments, especially on the weapons themselves - is there anything you would like to see changed, from Range to Damage to Cost, on any weapon?
My comments on the proposed 2nd edition.

"Energy Shortarm, Slug Shortarm"

Let's use "sidearm" instead, and avoid making up new firearm terminology - it sounds a bit silly.

"Invisibeam" lasers. I don't know why this is TL12 or what is it supposed to represent. A typical laser carbine or laser rifle would likely fire a beam that is invisible anyway, as infrared beams are the easier ones to generate at lower TLs. Suggest dropping this category.

The KM Errors
In several weapon descriptions "km" is used in a header in a way that looks like it is a typo for mm:
"15 km hypervelocity" "175 km heavy gun" "5 km light hypervelocity cannon"
"75 km area denial mortar" "75 km cannon" - I think these are all intended to be mm.

The DD Issue
This is obviously controversial. For material intended for compatibility with classic Traveller the method I prefer is to refer to the classic traveller Striker data. This specifies that a FGMP-14/15 could penetrate 20 cm of hard steel, approximately equivalent to the frontal armor of a 1950s-era tank, but about 1/4 as good as the frontal armor of a modern M1 Abrams (40-50 cm hard steel).! According to GDW's Striker, the FGMP-14 could barely penetrate a TL9 G-carrier's side armor and was completely hopeless at damaging something like the Imperial Marine grav APC. These used the fusion Y gun, which were over 50 times bigger than the FGMP-14!

To match the capabilities of Classic Traveller the appropriate damage of the FGMP-sized weapons should be about enough to punch through the front armor of a TL7 tank. That is, between the TL7 75mm cannon, perhaps 8d (AP 15) but less than the TL 8 120mm cannon (10d AP 20) at most.

Another way of looking at this is they should be approximately equal to the TL8 disposal rocket launchers - their advantage is they can fire continuously, of course, rather than one shot and you're out. Again, this matches the damage they had in Classic Traveller. The PGMP weapons should be somewhat less powerful, about the same as a TL7 rocket launcher, e.g., about 6d (AP 15) or perhaps 6d AP 10.

- The anti-material rifle seems overpowered and higher TL than it should it. What is it?

- Some of the other weapons seem kind of strange. For example, the 9 lbr. gun at TL3 is awfully effective for a small Age of Sail pirate cannon. It should be about 9d or 10d with no AP at all. These things often had trouble penetrating a sailing ship.

- the plasma A/B/C-guns should be about 2x as powerful as the higher TL man-portable FGMPs to match Mercenary and Striker, NOT weaker. Remember, these things are tank-sized weapons weighing a half ton or more compared to the 10 kg FGMPs. (Just like a TL3 age of sail cannon that weighs 500 kg is more deadly than a TL7 sniper rifle! size and mass counts as well, and the A-guns are BIG).
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Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby dlpulver » Tue May 13, 2014 6:13 am

I'd suggest the authors consider using a consistent reality-based damage formula based on armor penetration in mm/cm of steel plate to derive damage consistently across the board.

- Then all you need to do is find a conversion value to Megatraveller damage.

Since the damage system seems to assume an assault rifle at 3d6, and we know an assault rifle in the real world penetrates abouts 6.25mm - a quarter inch - of rolled homogenous steel plate -averaging 10 - I would suggest:

Armor Value = (square root of thickness in mm of steel plate) x 4.

Damage points = (square of root penetration in mm of steel) x 4

Assign a total of damage dice - at 3.5 points per dice - and AP to match that total.

You can then work out the combination of average damage and AP needed to penetrate both realistic and fictional armors.

Some mm of steel penetrations of real world weapons:
9mm or 10mm pistol = 2.5-3.5mm
Assault rifle = 6.25mm
General purpose machine gun = 9mm
Heavy machine gun (.50) = 15mm
typical 20mm cannon with AP ammo = 30-40mm
typical TL7 rocket launcher (RPG) = 250mm or so
typical TL7 anti-tank missile = 500mm or so
120mm tank gun = 400-6500mm depending on ammo

Typical equivalents-in-thickness-of-steel armor of real world vehicles and body armors:
front of a modern main battle tank (TL8) = 400-600mm
side of main battle tank (TL8) = 100mm or so
front of a world war 2 tank = about 80-100mm
side armor of a typical APC, armored limousine (or probably Traveller ATV) = 8-10mm
ground car = about 1.5-2.5mm
medieval plate armor = about 2.5 to 3.5mm
medieval chainmail = about 1-1.25mm
inch thick hull plating (typical large ocean liner or unarmored warship) = 20-25mm
WWII battleship turret or armor belt = 400-450mm

Again, you should be able to get a Mongoose equivalent by using (square root of mm) x 4.

(You can find Frank Chadwick and Marc Miller's estimates of penetration in cm of steel or the armor in cm of all classic traveller firearms and armor, if you have a copy of Striker Book 3 and the Design Sequence Tables booklet p. 5. Look up the Penetration value or the Armor Value from the Book 3 weapons in p. 5 of the booklet in the value; the cm column is the penetration in cm. Multiply by 10 to get mm. If you refer to the Striker Book 2, it also gives the Armor values of Traveller starships including free traders, etc. Using my formula above you can convert these to Mongoose values if you want as well.) (Striker Book 3 will also give you armor stats for g-carriers and grav tanks if you believe the tonnages assigned, which you can convert.)

For example, in Striker Book 3, the "penetration" of an FGMP-14 is 34. We take that to page 5 of Striker design sequence book and find that is 20 cm of steel, or 200mm. Using my formula above that gives (square root of 200) x 4 = 56.5 points of damage. We could, for example, choose to make the FGMP 10d6 (35) + AP 20 and we'd be right on target.

Similarly, Striker gave battledress armor 18, which converts in their system to 5cm or 50mm of steel plate. Using my conversion factor, that is (square root of 50) x 4 = Armor 28 in MGT.

Striker gave cloth armor a value of 5, or 1.25cm of steel plate (again using the striker design sequence booklet, p. 5) This would be (square root of 1.25) x 4 = 5 armor in MGT.

Again, it should be simple to convert all Classic Traveller armor values to MGT using this formula and get values that are consistent with both classic traveller and real world weaponry.

Rule 75: Naval Vessel on p. 41 of Striker book 2 gives Armor Rating 60 for Armor 0 High Guard, which Armor Ratings in p. 5 of Striker Design Sequence Booklet translates as 190cm or 1900mm. This would convert to giving a low-end starship Armor 175 in Mongoose, though it should be noted this figures are rather high, and later versions of Traveller did not use them, assuming hulls that were somewhat less thick.
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Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby mr31337 » Thu May 22, 2014 1:44 pm

Square pegs don't fit in round holes.

Problems encountered with completely overhauling personal/vehicle combat and trying to relate it to existing ship combat are best solved by overhauling both systems at the same time so they work seamlessly together.

Codging the two systems together with "DD" attributes or scaled damage is never going to be truly satisfactory. That just has to be accepted. Also, any vehicle weapons and armour should generally be available to any type of vehicle or starship and vice versa , size/weight/TL/cost etc permitting. This is only possible if starships are created along exactly the same guiding principles as vehicles, in essence they are vehicles just with different options and special drives.

Ships & vehicles should not be scaled or given special DD attributes in a vain effort to make them play well together like a couple of naughty children. They should work together from the ground up because they are, at heart, just variations of each other, not different beasts altogether.
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Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby travchao999 » Mon May 26, 2014 2:08 am

When this is all finished, how will it be distributed? Also, where did all those weapons come from? Central Supply?

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