GMing: Tracking details during Combat (CRB, Chapter 3)

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GMing: Tracking details during Combat (CRB, Chapter 3)

Postby IanBruntlett » Fri Nov 23, 2018 7:50 pm

I am re-reading the Mongoose CRB (Core Rule Book) 2nd Edition, to improve my Traveller GMing skills.

After working my way through (Chapter 3) Combat, I think I have come up with a list of details to be tracked by the GM during a combat:-
* The Current Round number (starting at 1, just to help with other things)

And, in each combat round:-
* Number of reactions made by a character
* Number of continuous minor actions spent aiming by a character
* Number of rounds spent working on an extended reaction
* What significant / minor actions were attempted

Is this too much? too little? My memory could be better and I figure that if I can make combat as easy to run as possible, I can concentrate on the adventure in hand.

Thanks :)
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Re: GMing: Tracking details during Combat (CRB, Chapter 3)

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sun Nov 25, 2018 4:01 pm

I do not track PCs all that closely, I trust them to keep track of themselves (and each other).

As for NPCs I try to avoid complicated moves. E.g. Aiming is generally done before combat, setting up an ambush.
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Re: GMing: Tracking details during Combat (CRB, Chapter 3)

Postby ochd » Wed Nov 28, 2018 2:03 pm

I think that covers the basics, but I have to admit I find it hard to keep track of all the various modifiers in combat.

Some other things to consider:
- the number of boons or banes from Leadership checks
- number of rounds before Combat Drug kicks in
- ammunition spent (especially for fully auto attacks)

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Re: GMing: Tracking details during Combat (CRB, Chapter 3)

Postby arcador » Wed Nov 28, 2018 3:41 pm

We track (with who tracks what):


* Who's turn is in the round - Ref
* Dodges - Players their own, Ref the npcs (but as Dilbert stated, npc don't always dodge or aim)
* Check/attack scores - Players vs a target the Ref gave them (unless secreted, then only the Ref)
* Check effect - Ref types, player calculates effect. Players calculates DMG total, or Ref deducts the armor. After several rolls the players got a pretty good knowledge of the armor number, so they can start calculating it themselves, if Ref allows.
* Damage to npc - Ref (the players calculate the total dmg, usually they self-correct since all pay attention to this particular number)
* Damage to players - players. Ref states total dmg, player deducts armor.
* Ammo - players 99% of the time, 1% the ref, if the opposition has very limited ammo (like rockets).



* Who's turn is it and what phase follows - Ref
* Roles/Positions in their own ship - players
* Energy - players (if required for opposition - the Ref. Usually not required)
* Check scores - players/ ref states target numbers. Players calculate the effect.
* Damage - players roll and ref deducts the armor. After several hits they might know the exact armor. A good skill check can also tell the armor rating. Then Ref can outsource final dmg to the players.
* Critical hits - players to their ship. Ref to enemy ships
* Computer rating - players (if required for opposition - the Ref. Usually not required)
* Positioning - Ref and Players (on one map)
* Ammo - players (Enemy ships can be calculated in "salvos" to streamline Ref)


It migh seem much, but most of the time players track their own stuff well enough. Ref needs only to track on special occasions, and since they know in advance, they can prepare to ease the process. In my experiene things like ammo rarely have to be tracked, unless very limited or powerful. My players help me a lot in the damage calculations - they calculate the effect, the total dmg then. I only calculate the armor, and not always.

For space combat things are slower since there is more to accommodate. Players distribute the tracking between themselves - one tracks the damage and hull, another tracks the energy, another the missiles and the rating. And so on. I have to track the whole enemy ship, but I do tend to streamline it - everything is set and I only make adjustments when it gets a critical which will affect the performance. But since space combat is more strategic in general, the slower pace does not seem to deduct from the immersion, since it's not slower due super hard calculations but the increased number of checks each player conducts and the limited resources a typical ship presents.

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