Weapons Playtest - Second Round

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msprange
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Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby msprange » Tue Apr 15, 2014 1:36 pm

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;

http://www.mongoosepublishing.com/pdf/travshooting2.doc

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?
Matthew Sprange

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Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby dmccoy1693 » Tue Apr 15, 2014 1:58 pm

1) I like the Gun Combat skill/specialties.
1a) I like the optional expanded specialties.
2) I really like the new AP rules. Best version yet.

Its going to take a bit longer to work through the weapons to see if some need/don't need AP/DD.
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Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby Jame Rowe » Tue Apr 15, 2014 2:30 pm

My suggestion would be to either give all the weapon ranges in meters or in personal/assault/etc.
If you do use personal/assault/etc. give a table which gives a range in meters that we can extrapolate from. (Personally I prefer the in-meters ranges.)
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Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby Nerhesi » Tue Apr 15, 2014 5:51 pm

a) I would want to clarify is where do the weapons between pistol and rifle fit in?

In the expanded weapons description, we discuss splitting pistols vs rifles - longarm/shotarm. What are SMGs like the mp5, PN90, Scorpion MAC10, etc (SMG and PDW). Any advice / indication if these are long or shot arm?

b) Need to change things in the DD scale. DD scale should only be for anti-orbital stuff, not regular heavy weapons on vehicles (such as fusion as Plasma). This is a HUGE issue. It basically changes any tanks into glass cannons which is completely not-in-line with what we have in today's rules. For example, a Darian or Zhodani or Aslan tank can still slug it out, taking a few hits from eachother.. and do not simply vapourize eachother with 1 shot. (which is what DD can do).

So basically - we need to limit DD to just anti-orbital stuff.
hiro

Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby hiro » Tue Apr 15, 2014 6:01 pm

If it's fired from the shoulder with the stock extended it's a long arm. If it's fired with one hand or two but has no stock to brace against your shoulder like an MP5K or Skorpion with the stock collapsed then it's a short arm. Extend the stock and it's covered by long arm.
hiro

Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby hiro » Tue Apr 15, 2014 6:48 pm

The weapon list doesn't (yet) cover the different slug thrower ammo types available outside of the stock rounds listed which I guess are slugs/ball.

CSC isn't clear on the AP values. It'd be good if you can clarify the following:

Page 51, DSAP is described as Super AP, ignoring double the D damage in armour, with Anti Armour being AP, ignoring the D damage in armour yet on page 76 under the descriptions of the ACR (both light and heavy) DSAP is said to be AP not Super AP.

Likewise on page 51 HEAP and HE rounds have a minimum calibre of 10mm and 12mm respectively but the ACR light at 6mm has an HE round available for it on page 76.

Add a column to the weapon tables showing which ammo types are available for each weapon.

It'd be good to see the space between the TL7 AR and the TL10 ACR and the TL12 gauss rifle filled to offer more mid tech slug thrower options. Expand on the Snub pistol idea to have HEAP rounds from assault weapons (more recoil than the snub but less than a full bore rifle). Weapons that would give the laser rifles/carbines a run for their money - cheaper to buy with similar damage and available at higher LL but the ammo is expensive.

On the ranges, the shotguns are listed as "personal". Did I miss a change in range descriptions? A sporting shotgun with a 28" barrel used only at that range? Can someone explain that one to me please?

I'd argue for shotguns (pellets) becoming ineffective both in terms of to hit and damage at 50m and for weapons like the compact and subcompact pistols to have their own range table where hitting beyond short range is very difficult. Maybe I should just post a table but I don't think you're asking for a complete rewrite of it.
Last edited by hiro on Tue Apr 15, 2014 7:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby swampslug » Tue Apr 15, 2014 7:21 pm

The Army and Navy model gauss pistols have retained AP ratings despite the majority of personal gauss weapons losing their AP ratings.
Either all gauss weapons should lose their AP rating, or my preference would be to restore the AP rating. Given they are full AP weapons currently, this should translate to pistols and carbines being AP3, rifles AP4.

What I would also like to see is this opportunity being used to errata the stats where two weapons appear across multiple books with the same name and TL.
For example, the autorifle appears in the list for the Core Rulebook and CSC. Both are TL6 however, one does 3D+3 damage and costs Cr250 while the other does 3D damage and costs Cr1000.
Likewise, the snub pistol appears listed for both books; one version does 3D-3 damage for Cr150 with a magazine of 6, while the other does 2D-2 damage for Cr200 with a magazine of 15.

Finally, I assume that the 4D+2-6 and 5D+2-6 damage notation for the Fusion Pistol and Fusion Rifle means that the TL17 versions do +2, the TL18 versions do +4 and the TL19 versions do +6?
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Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby dragoner » Tue Apr 15, 2014 7:39 pm

My main concern is that the skills do not get condensed to the point where characters have Gun Combat 4 or so, in that then adding dex bonuses, that even +1; then it is 3+ a hit on a normal roll, sort of a ringer.
hiro

Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby hiro » Tue Apr 15, 2014 7:50 pm

dragoner wrote:My main concern is that the skills do not get condensed to the point where characters have Gun Combat 4 or so, in that then adding dex bonuses, that even +1; then it is 3+ a hit on a normal roll, sort of a ringer.
Agreed.

While I understand the concerns about skill bloat I think that specialisations are a great way of keeping skills at reasonable levels and adding flavour to a characters past and abilities. If the root skill is too broad it's too close to a jack of all trades.
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Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby dragoner » Tue Apr 15, 2014 8:04 pm

hiro wrote:
dragoner wrote:My main concern is that the skills do not get condensed to the point where characters have Gun Combat 4 or so, in that then adding dex bonuses, that even +1; then it is 3+ a hit on a normal roll, sort of a ringer.
Agreed.

While I understand the concerns about skill bloat I think that specialisations are a great way of keeping skills at reasonable levels and adding flavour to a characters past and abilities. If the root skill is too broad it's too close to a jack of all trades.
It sort of invokes the law of unintended consequences with chargen and how it hands out skills. CT's advanced books are the worst for it, imo; where parties could look like superfriends. Mongoose seems to handle it a little better, but then there are the stat bonuses. Though anything that helps me so that I don't have to say no to stuff to players is good to me.
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Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby Infojunky » Tue Apr 15, 2014 8:15 pm

Matt, what he said....
dmccoy1693 wrote:1) I like the Gun Combat skill/specialties.
1a) I like the optional expanded specialties.
2) I really like the new AP rules. Best version yet.

Its going to take a bit longer to work through the weapons to see if some need/don't need AP/DD.
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Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby Infojunky » Tue Apr 15, 2014 8:25 pm

Nerhesi wrote:
b) Need to change things in the DD scale. DD scale should only be for anti-orbital stuff, not regular heavy weapons on vehicles (such as fusion as Plasma). This is a HUGE issue. It basically changes any tanks into glass cannons which is completely not-in-line with what we have in today's rules. For example, a Darian or Zhodani or Aslan tank can still slug it out, taking a few hits from eachother.. and do not simply vapourize eachother with 1 shot. (which is what DD can do).

So basically - we need to limit DD to just anti-orbital stuff.
I completely and utterly disagree with you. A tank's main weapon killing another tank I don't see the problem. Also remember the damage is divided by three as per the damage table....
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Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby msprange » Tue Apr 15, 2014 8:35 pm

Nerhesi wrote:. This is a HUGE issue. It basically changes any tanks into glass cannons which is completely not-in-line with what we have in today's rules. For example, a Darian or Zhodani or Aslan tank can still slug it out, taking a few hits from eachother.. and do not simply vapourize eachother with 1 shot. (which is what DD can do).
Bear in mind that (in the real world), tanks _do_ tend to take each other out with one shot, and not slug it out. One might opine it is the current rules that have the issue.

All open to debate though...
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Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby Nerhesi » Wed Apr 16, 2014 2:17 am

While I totally support realistic immersion ladies and gents, I want to highlight the game aspect of it.

Our current jets, ships, tanks, soldiers etc today very easily take eachother out of commission with a "hit".

However, when we play traveller, or most other games, we have viable armor! Weather combat is personal or otherwise. We have armor that works against plasma and fusion so it's not "first hit kills".

Why is this not the case when it comes to tanks? Why is it that we allow tanks access to starship killing weaponry but not starship armor?

So rather than introduce two kinds of armor, now that we have two kinds of weapons, we should simply very very carefully limit what is destructive.

Another thing to look at is why some of this tank weaponry isn't on my space-ship? Some of it looks amazing!
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Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby Nerhesi » Wed Apr 16, 2014 2:23 am

Infojunky wrote:
I completely and utterly disagree with you. A tank's main weapon killing another tank I don't see the problem. Also remember the damage is divided by three as per the damage table....
This argument doesn't work. We don't carry this argument for space ships. Combat is already fairly lethal - why reduce it even more luck?

By your argument, all these weapons should ignore starship armor too to keep it realistic. Why make starship combat any less or more realistic that tank combat?
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Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby Nerhesi » Wed Apr 16, 2014 2:27 am

Ultimately, since we have decided that in this system, it is realistic to have armor that works vs weaponry on a space-naval level, we should carry this through to all levels. After all - one of the good things we are doing is have seamless transition between vehicle and spacecraft combat.

After all, it is fun to be a in a tank or vehicle or space ship and you're taking damage, running around, doing things as this happening.

It is not fun to be in a tank/vehicle/spaceship and then suddenly not be there.

EDIT: also want to point out we have specific armor bonuses and enhancements that work vs fusion and plasma in the special supplements and book 5-6!
hiro

Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby hiro » Wed Apr 16, 2014 2:45 am

Respectfully, I'm going to disagree!

I'd rather the combat were deadly, makes the game more about avoiding combat until you get the tactics right (if you find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics suck) or just plain avoiding it and for me, more plot oriented gaming.

Of course, there is no right in this, just my preference :)
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Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby Infojunky » Wed Apr 16, 2014 2:51 am

Nerhesi wrote:
Infojunky wrote:
I completely and utterly disagree with you. A tank's main weapon killing another tank I don't see the problem. Also remember the damage is divided by three as per the damage table....
This argument doesn't work. We don't carry this argument for space ships. Combat is already fairly lethal - why reduce it even more luck?
Damn, It doesn't!?! Sorry that is a lot disingenuous, it was the beginning of a strawman argument that I just couldn't finish without be cruel.
Nerhesi wrote:By your argument, all these weapons should ignore starship armor too to keep it realistic. Why make starship combat any less or more realistic that tank combat?
Well, see now we get to the meat of it. The line of reasoning that I took with Mr. Sprange was when Smallcraft can wield Tank destroying weapons and be immune to response, then Tanks start to look like Smallcraft. With that I can see the heaviest armored vehicles having starship equivalent armor, also note in the history of Traveller Tanks are all contragravity by the time Destructive weapons start being prevalent. So the difference between a Tank and a Smallcraft is?
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Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby Nerhesi » Wed Apr 16, 2014 3:43 am

Infojunky wrote: Damn, It doesn't!?! Sorry that is a lot disingenuous, it was the beginning of a strawman argument that I just couldn't finish without be cruel.
(a)Your argument is that currently (real world) tanks (and other vehicles) 1-shot eachother.
(b) In traveller, equal spaceships don't 1-shot each other. Advanced tanks are pretty much smallcraft (as youve stated and as well agree) - so how come they don't one-shot each other?
Therefore, it follows that in the traveller universe, there exists armor to prevent the general glass-cannon that is today's armed forces. So we cannot use what we say in today's tanks as a guideline for what works in traveller.

Traveller (most if not all versions) have viable armor that works against every single weapon type with one exception, which has screens that work against it (and this one is almost never smaller than 50 dtons).
Nerhesi wrote:Well, see now we get to the meat of it. The line of reasoning that I took with Mr. Sprange was when Smallcraft can wield Tank destroying weapons and be immune to response, then Tanks start to look like Smallcraft. With that I can see the heaviest armored vehicles having starship equivalent armor, also note in the history of Traveller Tanks are all contragravity by the time Destructive weapons start being prevalent. So the difference between a Tank and a Smallcraft is?
That is exactly my point.

Why does a 70-space (35 ton grav tank) that costs 30+ Million Credits exist? How come it's TL 14 armor and armor mods are useless vs a TL12 Tank weapon or a TL14 man-portable weapon that costs a fraction of the cost?

Why am I not using the same technology, for less than half the price using small craft rules? I get a tank - that can fly to other planets, with armor that can withstand the DD weapons? I can easily build a a craft like this that completely invalidates the existence of every Tank - and this is with TL11 or so technology, maybe even lower.

The craziest thing I've noticed though, is now I want to mount vehicle based weaponry on spacecraft! I'd like some of those distant range fusion Z guns please! 3d6 space damage? can I put them on turrets? We start running into vehicle weaponry that is actually superior to space weaponry even though vehicles are inferior to TL11+ smallcraft in every way?

So, we can conclude the following:

Option A:
Allow Destructive rules to continue as currently proposed resulting in the following:

- You are saying that somehow, personal/vehicle armor is not as good as spacecraft armor, EVEN though I my vehicle is TL 15 and I'm allocating more dtons on it than I am on my smallcraft? Did I pay the wrong contractor? My friggin TL 14, 35 ton grav-vehicle has 10 cm thick armor which is basically paper vs DD weaponry.. but my TL12, 10 ton smallcraft has 5 cm armor is laughs at all the DD weaponry, has better weaponry on it's own, and costs half the price? eh?

- Invalidate vehicle designs of TL11+. All advanced tanks, flyers, battledress - become completely illogical. Why are they even made with their ineffective armor? Why in the world are the Darrians building 15 Mcr and 80 Mcr tanks? Why are the Zhodani building 41 Mcr tanks? Toss all that out! I can do it for half the price, way less tech, and get a ton more features using small craft.

- Introduce vehicle based weaponry that is super to space based weaponry. Why cant I get these on my ships?!

- Break the "hardness" of the science and the realism here. If the Technology is available for small craft, why can't I use it in vehicle and vice versa! I know how much space/volume the armor of 15-point bonded superdense 20 ton small craft takes. Why is that same material not used on my 35 ton tank? The argument for "realism" needs to be made in-universe, not based on our universe (which has no jump engines, fusion guns, plasma beams and meson screens).


Option B:
Change how destructive functions with regards to personal/vehicle armor.

Simple and Elegant.
When it is scaling up vs spacecraft - I love the current system. The Dice you roll is just like in space combat, 1 DD - is 1d6. Great.

When it is vs personal/vehicle armor, have some really high AP value such as 40 for example. You continue to multiply damage dice by 10 - which means 1DD is going to do damage, on average to anything less than 70 armor. 2DD is going to do damage to anything with 100 or less armor.. etc.

This basically means we are saying "hey! DD is a big deal" and it should be, but we are not making it completely non-nonsensical and invalidating designs/design rules for anything above TL11.
Last edited by Nerhesi on Wed Apr 16, 2014 4:35 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Weapons Playtest - Second Round

Postby Nerhesi » Wed Apr 16, 2014 3:51 am

hiro wrote:Respectfully, I'm going to disagree!

I'd rather the combat were deadly, makes the game more about avoiding combat until you get the tactics right (if you find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics suck) or just plain avoiding it and for me, more plot oriented gaming.

Of course, there is no right in this, just my preference :)
And I respect your preference, but that just isn't Traveller (at least OTU).

We have incredibly thing resilient armor material (see spaceships).
All versions of traveller have armor that works against everything, and the only mainstream thing it doesn't work is Meson weaponry, which is handily countered by meson screens (the only exception to this Meson spinal weaponry but this quite literally, the most powerful OTU weaponry in the game, and players generally dont play with Destroyer class spaceships).

We do value our hard-science approach in traveller. It wouldn't make sense to arbitrarily say that a 20-ton, 20 MCr smallcraft has access to TL11 and TL12 armor and weaponry that allow it slug it out; while my 35-ton, 50 MCr tank can't get anything better than paper armor because I'm using a different "subset of the game rules".

Please dont take this the wrong way - Im in no way one of those $%@%#$ telling you "too bad go find another game" - I fully encourage to house rule your game any way you want. But one of the things that draws me to traveller (and my gaming group) is that space-opera feel combined with hard-scifi that allows any drama (whether it is a boxing match, a bar shootout, a tank battle, or a space battle) to be an event that can last a few rounds rather than just "pew - vaporized".
Last edited by Nerhesi on Wed Apr 16, 2014 4:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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