Weapons Playtest - Second Round

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Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby MongooseMatt » Mon May 26, 2014 10:48 am

travchao999 wrote:When this is all finished, how will it be distributed? Also, where did all those weapons come from? Central Supply?
This will all appear in Mercenary 2. The table contains the source of where each weapon comes from (last column).
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Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby Nerhesi » Tue May 27, 2014 12:20 am

Great work overall on the skill and speciality streamlining. Also - you guys did a fantastic job making sure you cover every weapon.

There remains the major game breaking issue however which has not changed since version 1:

I'm going to echo what others have stated above and I have stated before. Destructive/DD cannot go live the way it is right now. You can't have weapons, no matter how advanced, ignoring armor. Sufficiently advanced battle dress, vehicles, personal armor, whatever you want - is of the same material as spaceship armor (and it should be of course).

This change would in fact make the game much more "softer" rather than "harder" by magically having weapons that completely ignore 1 inch vehicle armor, but are somehow useless against 1 inch thick spacecraft armor.

You also make it unrealistic in having anything other than barely armed exoskeletons with FGMPs and PGMPs, because of costs concerns (my 0.5 MCR weapon knocking out my 35 MCr Tank).

Traveller has armor playing a key role in ALL scales. It is effectively "sufficiently advanced enough to have a mitigating effect on whatever is fired". We can't suddenly have heavy weapons and vehicle weapons that are ignoring armor.

I urge you folks to scrap this change and come up with a different ruleset for "destructive" weapons. I say this as someone who has run several significant naval/military ground-pounding sessions.
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Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby Nerhesi » Tue May 27, 2014 12:31 am

Some recommendations for destructive weapons could be:

1) DD automatically entails 25 AP per 1D of damage. (DD no longer simply ignores all armor)
1DD = 10-60 damage 25 AP.
2DD = 20-120 damage with 50 AP.
3DD = 30-180 damage with 75 AP.

2) Each hull/structure hits caused by DD weapons reduces hull/structure by 3 points. (Basically, triple the damage on the vehicle's hull)

This will guarantee a balance even against super advance armor. That means even a Darrian Sphere tank - Advanced (150 armor, heaviest armor possible) can't ignore the damage from a similar tank (in fact, they can still disable eachother 1-hit if they're lucky).
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Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby Dracous » Tue May 27, 2014 2:50 pm

The whole vehicle vs starship and DD weapons proposal has been bugging me for a while. I think I can articulate my issues with a few examples.

Case 1. We cannot have 10 ton fighters vs aircraft. The TL9 Junk fighter (Traders and gunboats?) is going to wipe out the entire combined air forces of our 2014 Earth. No aircraft weapon can damage it, but the Junk fighter is going knock them out of the sky. Aircraft do not have a chance. The Earths armies will have no chance. The Navies will have a tough time.
This just doesn't feel Right. My players are going to have a hard time with the idea that a single 10 ton fighter can conquer the Earth.

Case 2. A starship missile, (non-nuclear), will count as a star ship weapon. It will therefore be a DD on a vehicle. Raises the question about why a starship weapon warhead is DD, but a artillery or missile weapon with a similar sized warhead is not.

Case 3. The Sandcaster. It is now a DD weapon vs vehicles. A blast of sand that ignores amour and inflicts 10 points of damage. My heavily armored TL15 grav tank is going to be torn apart by a TL7 sandcaster. I would need a good solid explanation of that one.

Case 4. TL5 Tiger tanks vs unarmored spaceships. I want my players flying a free trader to be concerned about the weaponry on a tank. It may be a slight concern, but I want to give them pause... I don't want them feeling invulnerable to those low tech fighting vehicles. I think this allows for better game play.

In conclusion. I'd rather see a rule that allows for artillery warheads, aircraft missiles and other heavy weapons give a chance for damaging a spaceship, which fits with starship missiles and sandcasters. I think the current version of "star ship integration" with the DD rules will beak the game for me. Please don't do this.

It's late, I'm tired, I Hope this is understandable.

PS... I like the other proposals.
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Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby MongooseMatt » Tue May 27, 2014 3:06 pm

Dracous wrote: Case 1. We cannot have 10 ton fighters vs aircraft. The TL9 Junk fighter (Traders and gunboats?) is going to wipe out the entire combined air forces of our 2014 Earth. No aircraft weapon can damage it, but the Junk fighter is going knock them out of the sky. Aircraft do not have a chance. The Earths armies will have no chance. The Navies will have a tough time.
This just doesn't feel Right. My players are going to have a hard time with the idea that a single 10 ton fighter can conquer the Earth.
I agree - however, I don't think Mercenary 2 is the place to sort this out. I think that rather belongs to either High Guard 2 or a revised core book.
Dracous wrote:Case 2. A starship missile, (non-nuclear), will count as a star ship weapon. It will therefore be a DD on a vehicle. Raises the question about why a starship weapon warhead is DD, but a artillery or missile weapon with a similar sized warhead is not.
Same here, though there is nothing to say we cannot have DD warheads on land-based missiles. Again, a little beyond the scope of Merc 2, but very much something for, perhaps a Special Supplement before it gets integrated into the core rules.
Dracous wrote:Case 3. The Sandcaster. It is now a DD weapon vs vehicles. A blast of sand that ignores amour and inflicts 10 points of damage. My heavily armored TL15 grav tank is going to be torn apart by a TL7 sandcaster. I would need a good solid explanation of that one.
Again, something for HG 2/revised Core - Sandcasters need a look at all round.
Dracous wrote:Case 4. TL5 Tiger tanks vs unarmored spaceships. I want my players flying a free trader to be concerned about the weaponry on a tank. It may be a slight concern, but I want to give them pause... I don't want them feeling invulnerable to those low tech fighting vehicles. I think this allows for better game play.
I am kinda okay with a Tiger Tank not being able to hurt a decent TL spacecraft :) Again, something for HG 2/revised Core.

It should be noted that we need to maintain focus on Merc 2 and what it needs to cover, otherwise we run the very real risk of Merc 2 turning into Core Book 2 - and we are not ready for that.

Think of it as fixing one end of the camel. We are now going to start work on the other end. We are taking everyones' comments on board, we agree with many of them, and we will be tackling them. Just give us a bit more time. As it is, we believe there is more than enough meat for everyone to get their teeth into with Merc 2 and the ground it already covers, hence us going forward with its release.

Merc 2 sorts a great deal out on the personal and vehicle level and lays the ground work for everything that will follow. Revisions to ships will be the next Big Job, but there is no way we are going to rush that :)

Oh, and DD weapons no longer automatically ignore armour (though they tend to have high AP scores). That should lay some worries to bed, at least :)
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Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby Nerhesi » Tue May 27, 2014 3:31 pm

msprange wrote: Oh, and DD weapons no longer automatically ignore armour (though they tend to have high AP scores). That should lay some worries to bed, at least :)
Oy, give us a kiss!

Ok then let's see those values. Just gotta test them to make sure they're not crazy low or high. I've got some scenarios set up already (TL 13, 14 and 15 battle dress/vehicles in similar and dissimilar combat).
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Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby MongooseMatt » Tue May 27, 2014 5:01 pm

Nerhesi wrote: Ok then let's see those values. Just gotta test them to make sure they're not crazy low or high. I've got some scenarios set up already (TL 13, 14 and 15 battle dress/vehicles in similar and dissimilar combat).
FGMP 14-16 are all 2DD, with APs 50, 60 and 80 respectively.
Fusion X and Y both 2DD with AP 80 and 100
Fusion Z, 3DD AP 150
PGMP 12-14 all 1DD, AP 30, 40 and 50
Plasma A and B both 1DD, AP 50 and 60
Plasma C 2DD, AP 80

There are others, as you know, but they are all based around these weapons. Should be enough for you to start flinging high-powered weaponry around with battle dress :)
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Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby Nerhesi » Tue May 27, 2014 5:10 pm

msprange wrote:
Nerhesi wrote: Ok then let's see those values. Just gotta test them to make sure they're not crazy low or high. I've got some scenarios set up already (TL 13, 14 and 15 battle dress/vehicles in similar and dissimilar combat).
FGMP 14-16 are all 2DD, with APs 50, 60 and 80 respectively.
Fusion X and Y both 2DD with AP 80 and 100
Fusion Z, 3DD AP 150
PGMP 12-14 all 1DD, AP 30, 40 and 50
Plasma A and B both 1DD, AP 50 and 60
Plasma C 2DD, AP 80

There are others, as you know, but they are all based around these weapons. Should be enough for you to start flinging high-powered weaponry around with battle dress :)
Excellent Matt - much appreciated. Will post test results soon.
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Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby Dracous » Tue May 27, 2014 8:48 pm

All right Mr Sprange. I'll buy the camel. :D
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Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby mr31337 » Wed May 28, 2014 2:46 pm

Adding qualifiers to DD attributes doesn't truly make them work, but it may make them work less badly.

Why publish patched rules at all? The majority of people here seem to be against it.

Let's see a genuine overhaul of vehicles & starships first and then Mercenary won't need these dodgy DD attributes.

Isn't that the sort of material people really want to buy from Mongoose? :wink:
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Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby Nerhesi » Wed May 28, 2014 3:28 pm

Hold up!!! Possible big issue...

We are now allowing the support/semi-mechanized ground weapons do significant starship damage.

Look at smallcraft rules, they can carry "anti-personal" weapons, and some do (like a pair of pgmp-14s).

See the problem? My 40 ton fighter normally carries a nice particle beam for example, and like 5 pgmp 14s - which previously were ignored for starship damage.

Except now, with DD rules, those 4 or 5 pgmps are actually an extra 5 x 2d6 starship scale damage.

Worse, my 100 ton assault fighter can actually mount 10 x Fusion Z guns. Doing 3D6 each.

My 100 ton fighter is now packing a barbette, a couple of missile bays, 10 fusion Zs, for a total of almost 40 D 6 starship scale damage?

Gents, let's re-asses (or tell me I'm completely not noticing something). Perhaps errata released stating that any DD weaponry is actually ship scale and not personal scale for purpose?
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Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby Nerhesi » Wed May 28, 2014 3:34 pm

Page 34, Traders and Gunboats example:

Superiority fighter carries 4 PGMPs, so that effectively almost triples it's space combat firepower.
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Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby sideranautae » Wed May 28, 2014 3:42 pm

Nerhesi wrote:Hold up!!! Possible big issue...

We are now allowing the support/semi-mechanized ground weapons do significant starship damage.

Look at smallcraft rules, they can carry "anti-personal" weapons, and some do (like a pair of pgmp-14s).

See the problem? My 40 ton fighter normally carries a nice particle beam for example, and like 5 pgmp 14s - which previously were ignored for starship damage.
You can only fix the system by starting with Star ships (and the requirements for their hulls & weapons) and then working DOWN to personal scale. I tried it the other way a couple of times over the years and it leaves gaping illogics in the rules. Bottom up I always had to add ship deflector shields to make the ships flyable in real space.

Have fun trying using the bottom up approach. :idea:
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Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby MongooseMatt » Wed May 28, 2014 4:10 pm

mr31337 wrote:Adding qualifiers to DD attributes doesn't truly make them work, but it may make them work less badly.
What we want to do is have a system that does not require large amounts of dice or multipliers of dice. To do this effectively, there _has_ to be a step change in scale or, in other words, a person cannot work the same as a vehicle, and a vehicle cannot work the same as a spacecraft. However, you _can_ link the Damage dice (if not the actual damage systems) between them.

What DD weapons do is a) chop down the number of dice you throw around with big weapons on the ground and b) automatically translate starship weapons into ground scale.

This is why we chose this approach. I understand your concerns, but give them a proper whirl first as we think the core mechanic really does work.

If, on the other hand, we look out of our office window and see Traveller fans preparing to lynch us after the release of Mercenary II, you can be sure this will be revisited :)
mr31337 wrote:Why publish patched rules at all? The majority of people here seem to be against it.
Because while we listen a great deal to the forums (as you will see when these rules come out - they have had a _powerful_ effect on this book), we also listen to our playtesters, and these rules not only work simply and quickly, but they are also achieving what we want them to do (see above).
Nerhesi wrote:Hold up!!! Possible big issue...
Nerhesi wrote:Page 34, Traders and Gunboats example:

Superiority fighter carries 4 PGMPs, so that effectively almost triples it's space combat firepower.
But for one thing - range. These 'ground' weapons may scale up their damage to spacecraft scale, but they do _not_ scale up their range. So, as things stand, such a craft at (literally, in space terms) point blank range might well ruin someone's day, but space is awfully large and even your basic beam and pulse lasers outrange these mighty weapons by a huge degree.

So, we are letting this one float for now, and will be gathering the comments of you chaps on this point (as well as others) when Merc II is released. If an adjustment is needed, its place will be in High Guard 2 (or possibly a revised Core) not Merc II.


I'll put all of that another way...

These rules (and some others, such as the Gun Combat skills) that are appearing in Merc II are what we think a revised Core book might begin to look like. We can get them out to you now (and in the process revise the oldest supplement) for you guys to tinker with. If we have got it right, these rules will be one of the foundations of a future revised Core, with whatever tweaks you chaps think necessary.

_If_ we have got it wrong, don't panic. They are certanly playable, but are not a lock-in to what we think will be in a revised Core, and there is plenty of time between now and then for things to change.

You will see some other thinking along these lines with Merc II. For example, the format and layout has been changed (slightly, again, don't panic, it still looks like Traveller), and we will be interested in your opinions on it as it could be the way of all future Traveller books.

At the end of the day, Traveller is a living system that we are actively developing, pretty much every day in one way or another. Everything we do is an attempt to make the game broader and/or better. Nothing is dever really going to be 'complete' especially with a game of this scale. And if you really don't like the direction certain mechanics take, you can always keep to the originals (we know of some groups using the original Supplements 5 & 6 for vehicles, instead of the Vehicle Handbook). Traveller is modular enough for you to do that with the minimum of fuss!

That said, we really do think this is the right step for scale integration though with the caveat that we will continue monitoring what you chaps say when the full rules set is in your hands.
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Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby Nerhesi » Wed May 28, 2014 4:34 pm

I think we will need another control in there Matt, as it stands now the Fusion and PGMPs from personal scale are making it to medium range and longer in Space (since 25km is very long and so on)

I would think your best bet is a simple text box indicating that "for the purposes of small craft construction, DD weapons are not personal-scale and may not be mounted as such".

As far as I can tell, there is only 1 (maybe 2) canon design(s) that has a DD weapon mounted.
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Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby sideranautae » Wed May 28, 2014 5:20 pm

Nerhesi wrote:
I would think your best bet is a simple text box indicating that "for the purposes of small craft construction, DD weapons are not personal-scale and may not be mounted as such".
The you couldn't mount on vehicles of a similar size either.
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Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby Nerhesi » Wed May 28, 2014 5:43 pm

While I agree with the abstraction your making, that wouldn't be the case rules-wise.

Reason being, small-craft have rules for mounting ship-class weapons. Vehicles do as well and are limited (how many turrets, spaces, and weight of weapons).

We just need a rule to address the "small craft mounting DD weapons for free" problem.
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Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby sideranautae » Wed May 28, 2014 6:33 pm

Nerhesi wrote:While I agree with the abstraction your making, that wouldn't be the case rules-wise.
So, what would happen if someone mounted one? It would refuse to fire?
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Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby Nerhesi » Wed May 28, 2014 7:21 pm

sideranautae wrote:
Nerhesi wrote:While I agree with the abstraction your making, that wouldn't be the case rules-wise.
So, what would happen if someone mounted one? It would refuse to fire?
No, you just can't mount it in the first place in a "personal-mount". It be gaming the system that you're mounting weapons that are as effective as your pulse lasers or more, in personal weapon mounts that don't have a weight constraint or fire control constraint.

Smallcraft allow to mount large/destructive/whatever weaponry. You shouldn't be able to add more for free.

So either you simply state than any DD weaponry can't be mounted as a "personal weapon", or - limit the weight of weapons mounted in personal-mounts so they're actually personal and not pgmpgs, hyper velocity cannons, orbital lasers and other things that don't make sense (like fitting a 10-ton weapon as an "anti-personal" weapon).
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Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby sideranautae » Wed May 28, 2014 8:03 pm

Nerhesi wrote: No, you just can't mount it in the first place in a "personal-mount".

That' what I meant by illogical (arbitrary nonsense) rules popping up because of figuring from bottom to top. Rather than the other way 'round. Going to be MANY more illogics before done.
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