Ship Combat: The Particle Barbette

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
Old School
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Re: Ship Combat: The Particle Barbette

Postby Old School » Sat Sep 14, 2019 4:18 pm

We can argue about RAW all you want, but you only have to look at the actual game implementation of the weapon to realize that its affects are not intended to include the firer, or their ship. Many particle barbette carrying ships, including the Sindalian Harrier and the Gazelle, include particle barbettes but not Radiation shielding. Firing those weapons would be suicidal.

In a universe in which particle beam weapons are common, radiation shielding will also be common. In other words, if you’re playing a game in which pirates or civilian vessels commonly include particle barbettes, navy and local patrol craft will be shielded. Its just common sense.

In Pirates of Drinax, the plot device that requires them to be so common is kind of silly. They have to be common enough for the players to acquire four of them, so in that particular adventure all the Pirates have them. If you play it that way, you really have to make radiation shielding more common, at least for military or law enforcement vessels.

So, instead of pointing out what you think the RAW is, tell me how you handle it, or would handle it as a referee

In MTU, particle barbettes are be restricted weapons, so acquiring one for a private vessel would require an adventure, not just buying it. And that vessel would not be politely received at a civilized port. I hope to be refereeing “Treasure of Sindal” soon. I’m undecided on how to handle it. I think I’m just going to have the atmospheric affects that require the Particle Barbette as written to be achieving in my game with a beam laser. That eliminates the need for far traders and with particle beams. It also preserves the default that radiation shielding is uncommon, and therefore the Harrier remains a very powerful ship compared to what it commonly faces.
Moppy
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Re: Ship Combat: The Particle Barbette

Postby Moppy » Sat Sep 14, 2019 4:57 pm

PsiTraveller wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 3:38 pm
Simultaneous post with AnotherDilbert.
Nice graphic.
If the effect is only in between the firer and target, it does not affect the target either.

Maybe it isn't very intuitive for the weapon to shoot itself down, but the RAW is unarguable. You are free to RAI it in your own game though.

Personally I don't understand why Gazelle don't have rad shielding as it's cheap.
AnotherDilbert
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Re: Ship Combat: The Particle Barbette

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sat Sep 14, 2019 6:14 pm

PsiTraveller wrote: I would argue that the grey threatened area should be to the right of the firer, with the firer not threatened, for the follwoing reasons.

Radiation: When a Radiation weapon is fired, anyone
close to the firer, target and the line of fire in-between
the two
will receive 2D x 20 rads, ...
Thank you, for the first time I understand this argument. I don't agree, but I understand it.

As far as I can see "in-between" refers to "the line of fire" not "close to".
If "in-between" refers to "close to", the target is excluded from the radiation effect just as the firer is.

Edit: Sorry, didn't see Moppy's comment.


We can look at the mechanism in MgT1 for a hint at the intent of the rule:
Those without radiation protection who are nearby when a FGMP is fired will suffer a lethal dose of radiation - each firing of an FGMP emits 2d6 × 20 rads, which will affect everyone within the immediate vicinity.
I think it's difficult to argue that the firer is excluded...
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Re: Ship Combat: The Particle Barbette

Postby PsiTraveller » Sat Sep 14, 2019 6:45 pm

Let's see if I can do a numerical picture of my thoughts on this, because I lack any skill at pictures and still cannot figure out how to post a pic or pdf of my ship designs.



Firer is Number 1. Target is Number 5. The beam is the center line and the width/area on either side of the beam is the affected area

t 2 3 4 5 6
1 2c 3c 4c 5c 6c
b 2 3 4 5 6

So Firer is in location 1 and fires the beam in a straight line at #5, center line. numbers are top and bottom and should line up with each other, but posting and editing shows they are not.

Affected area which is close to him is in between him and the target, and I included area 6 to show the spash past effect similar to anotherdilberts picture.
The beam travels along the 'c' center line and hits target 5c. Areas close to the firer and the beam are the top row os numbers and bottom row of numbers.

The beam is in-between the firer and target.

You could argue that area 6 could be erased since the radiation may not travel past the target. It depends on how cinematic you want to have the glowing discharge of particles expand past the target as it zaps the area in 5c. The gardenhose analogy may have water spraying past the target at times slashing areas behind it. A flamethrower analogy may be a more violent analogy. The flames zapping the target splash past the target and can damage items behind them.

A simple request for clarification to msprange could clear it up. If a particle weapon is a suicide item it makes the ships carrrying it fairly useless, so I think RAW would have the firer not getting zapped by their own weapon.
Moppy
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Re: Ship Combat: The Particle Barbette

Postby Moppy » Sat Sep 14, 2019 7:32 pm

PsiTraveller wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 6:45 pm
Let's see if I can do a numerical picture of my thoughts on this, because I lack any skill at pictures and still cannot figure out how to post a pic or pdf of my ship designs.
Remember that RAW doesn't have to make sense. It stands for Rules As Written and it isn't the same as the rule the designer intended to write (which is RAI or Rules As Intended)

So you follow the exact wording of the rules, and you shoot yourself with a particle beam. Then you houserule it to fix it, and it's all good. You are now playing the rule the designer intended to write, and not the rule the designer actually wrote.

I'm sure they intended that the weapon didn't affect the firer, but it's also correct to run the game rules as written just for the hilarity. Choose either one and you use the one you want, but just remember that the sensible rule is the RAI one.
AnotherDilbert
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Re: Ship Combat: The Particle Barbette

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sat Sep 14, 2019 8:13 pm

PsiTraveller wrote: Let's see if I can do a numerical picture of my thoughts on this, because I lack any skill at pictures and still cannot figure out how to post a pic or pdf of my ship designs.
I think we understand what you mean, we just disagree.


Note that radiation damage is triggered when a radiation weapon fires, not when it hits. So radiation damage happens even when the attack misses. Hence it's not intuitive that the line-of-fire ends at the target, it can just as well continue past the target.
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Re: Ship Combat: The Particle Barbette

Postby PsiTraveller » Sat Sep 14, 2019 8:33 pm

So the target takes damage even if the attack misses? That makes the weapon even scarier. The crew is dead and the hull is intact, you do not even need to spend money on Spare Parts to repair the damage your attack caused.
AnotherDilbert
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Re: Ship Combat: The Particle Barbette

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sat Sep 14, 2019 8:41 pm

PsiTraveller wrote: ... I lack any skill at pictures and still cannot figure out how to post a pic or pdf of my ship designs.
For pictures, e.g. PNG or JPEG (but not PDF documents):

Go to a free image hosting site, e.g. Imgur.com.

Create a free account.

Select Images from the green dot A menu:
Image

Drag the image you want to post on from your harddrive on top of the Imgur browser window:
Image

Click on the thumbnail in the imgur window for the new image:
Image

Click the fifth blue "Copy" button (by the "BBCode (message boards & forums)" label:
Image

Paste (Cmd/Ctrl-V) in the post editing window here on the forum. It should look some thing like this:
Image

Quote this or any other post with an image to look at how the post should look like while you edit it.


It should be quite easy. Hope this helps, at least a little bit.
Sigtrygg
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Re: Ship Combat: The Particle Barbette

Postby Sigtrygg » Sat Sep 14, 2019 10:29 pm

I would love to see the author's explanation for the pseudoscience behind this rule. It appears that radiation in the MgT universe is very different to radiation here in the real world.

How does a particle accelerator beam produce ionising radiation tangential to the beam? You are projecting a collimated, focused beam of charged or neutral particles at near light speed towards the target - how does ionising radiation shoot out sideways from the beam? Where does the ionising radiation come from in the first place?

I understand where the x-rays come from when the beam strike the target, but not how x-rays are produced by the beam interacting with itself.

Note that a neutral beam would produce a burst of x-rays as you recombing the elections with the positive ions as they leave the weapon, so there is a reason to shield the firing ship.

How does a plasma produce ionising radiation?

How does a fusion bolt - that is contained within the weapon long enough for the plasma to begin fusing but once it leaves the weapon the fusion reaction will cease since there is no longer any inertial, magnetic, electric or gravitic confinement to the fusing plasma.
Old School
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Re: Ship Combat: The Particle Barbette

Postby Old School » Sat Sep 14, 2019 11:53 pm

Lol. “Science”.
Condottiere
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Re: Ship Combat: The Particle Barbette

Postby Condottiere » Sun Sep 15, 2019 3:19 am

This sounds all highly concerning.

So, how does CERN deal with this problem, besides squashing any micro blackholes it creates with it's Hadron Collider?
Moppy
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Re: Ship Combat: The Particle Barbette

Postby Moppy » Sun Sep 15, 2019 4:06 am

Condottiere wrote:
Sun Sep 15, 2019 3:19 am
This sounds all highly concerning.

So, how does CERN deal with this problem, besides squashing any micro blackholes it creates with it's Hadron Collider?
The cern beam is contained by magnets and never leaves what would be the "barrel" if it was a weapon. There no micro-black holes. Their beam is also surrounded by a meter-wide "halo" of radiation. It's kind of irrelevant since the devices are completely different designs.
Sigtrygg wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 10:29 pm
I would love to see the author's explanation for the pseudoscience behind this rule. It appears that radiation in the MgT universe is very different to radiation here in the real world.
The laws of physics are different, as they allow FTL and psionic teleportation. It's no surprise radiation works differently.
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Re: Ship Combat: The Particle Barbette

Postby Sigtrygg » Sun Sep 15, 2019 7:35 am

We don't know the jump drive and psionics are impossible here in the real world - we just haven't discovered them yet :)

More seriously we have discovered electromagnetic and particulate radiation (ionising radiation) and understand their properties very well. The properties we understand are not the properties of MgT 'radiation'.
Moppy
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Re: Ship Combat: The Particle Barbette

Postby Moppy » Sun Sep 15, 2019 11:22 am

Sigtrygg wrote:
Sun Sep 15, 2019 7:35 am
We don't know the jump drive and psionics are impossible here in the real world - we just haven't discovered them yet :)
Yes we do know for FTL that is not possible. It violates several well held principles of modern physics.

Now those laws could be wrong and there could be FTL in future - but then that would be like me asking you how particle beams work in mongoose traveler version 6. what meaningful statement could you make about anything, not even just particle beams? until you've seen the rulebook, it all magic.

in reply to your other point, mgt radiation is indeed different from today's. but it isn't actually a problem, or unexpected, as their physics is also different.
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Re: Ship Combat: The Particle Barbette

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sun Sep 15, 2019 2:31 pm

Moppy wrote: in reply to your other point, mgt radiation is indeed different from today's. but it isn't actually a problem, or unexpected, as their physics is also different.
I wouldn't say different, just highly simplified. With imaginary high tech added.

From MegaTraveller:
OVERVIEW OF TECHNOLOGY
Traveller makes certain assumptions about the nature of future technological developments. In addition to the progressive refinement of existing equipment and methods, several areas of future technology have been postulated. Traveller bases its technology on a series of logically explainable developments even if they may be far beyond any present science.

The first major advance upon which Traveller technology is built is the commercially viable fusion reactor. ...

The second major breakthrough is artificial gravity. Created by manipulating sub-atomic forces, artificial gravity is not anti-gravity but is instead a unique force that acts upon the natural gravity field created by all matter. Artificial gravity can be made to either push or pull. Because of its nature, artificial gravity is not a very efficient means of locomotion in deep space where there are no strong gravity wells to push against.

A third major breakthrough related to artificial gravity is damper technology. Nuclear dampers interfere with sub-atomic nuclear forces: when a nuclear warhead passes through a damper field, the warhead sheds neutrons at very low energies, which renders the warhead harmless after a very short exposure. Nuclear dampers can also work in reverse to prevent nuclear decay.

The fourth significant development came from the search for a starship maneuver drive that did not lose efficiency when away from a strong gravity well. Artificial gravity and damper technology led to yet another sub-atomic-force-based technology.

The fifth major area is meson technology. Meson devices make use of the properties of the sub-atomic particle called the pi neutral meson. Mesons have short lives, which can be prolonged to precise durations by accelerating them to relativistic speeds. Because mesons do not interact with any other types of matter, they can pass through other matter without resistance.
And of course the jump drive.

Several of these technologies, especially the jump drive, require, ehum, let's call it "deeper understanding" of basic physics than we have now.

I believe we could, at least superficially, combine relativity and jump drives if we call it a wormhole-based drive. I have never bothered to really try to rationalise jump drives.


Sigtrygg wrote: I would love to see the author's explanation for the pseudoscience behind this rule. It appears that radiation in the MgT universe is very different to radiation here in the real world.
If you can formulate a more realistic rule that is as short and simple, you are very welcome...
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Re: Ship Combat: The Particle Barbette

Postby Sigtrygg » Sun Sep 15, 2019 6:23 pm

Radiation trait only affects the target when it is hit.
AnotherDilbert
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Re: Ship Combat: The Particle Barbette

Postby AnotherDilbert » Mon Sep 16, 2019 7:12 am

Sigtrygg wrote: Radiation trait only affects the target when it is hit.
But that is not consistent with how a Fusion weapon is supposed to work;
Core, Equipment, Heavy Weapons, p126:
The ultimate personal firearm, the Fusion Gun, Man Portable is more like a piece of artillery. It includes a gravity suspension system to reduce its inertia, and fires what amounts to a directed nuclear explosion. Those without radiation protection who are nearby when a FGMP is fired will suffer a potentially lethal dose of radiation.


Sigtrygg wrote: How does a fusion bolt - that is contained within the weapon long enough for the plasma to begin fusing but once it leaves the weapon the fusion reaction will cease since there is no longer any inertial, magnetic, electric or gravitic confinement to the fusing plasma.
The released plasma bolt is still bounded in space and time, else it could not damage a target at range, hence pressure/heat is still extremely high, theoretically allowing fusion to continue.

If the plasma bolt is no longer fusing, why would it be a Radiation weapon at all?
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Re: Ship Combat: The Particle Barbette

Postby AnotherDilbert » Mon Sep 16, 2019 7:21 am

PsiTraveller wrote: So the target takes damage even if the attack misses?
Yes, strangely enough:
Radiation: When a Radiation weapon is fired, anyone close to the firer, target and the line of fire in-between the two will receive 2D x 20 rads, ...
It doesn't say anything about hitting...

It even makes some sense, if we assume a near-miss, still within the radiation radius.

It would make even more sense if we replaced target with point of impact, but that would complicate thing unnecessarily, since we would have to determine an actual point of impact every time a shot missed.
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Re: Ship Combat: The Particle Barbette

Postby Moppy » Mon Sep 16, 2019 7:35 am

AnotherDilbert wrote:
Mon Sep 16, 2019 7:21 am
PsiTraveller wrote: So the target takes damage even if the attack misses?
Yes, strangely enough:
Radiation: When a Radiation weapon is fired, anyone close to the firer, target and the line of fire in-between the two will receive 2D x 20 rads, ...
It doesn't say anything about hitting...

It even makes some sense, if we assume a near-miss, still within the radiation radius.

It would make even more sense if we replaced target with point of impact, but that would complicate thing unnecessarily, since we would have to determine an actual point of impact every time a shot missed.
It's irrelevant, because I will always hit, because Mongoose neglected to specifiy the procedure for rolling the dice (can I place them and them roll them manually to side I need?) nor do they even specify how the dice must be constructed or numbered. I believe the only requirement is that they have six sides.

Now before we say this is stupid and who even does that, casinos do.
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Re: Ship Combat: The Particle Barbette

Postby AnotherDilbert » Mon Sep 16, 2019 7:45 am

Moppy wrote: It's irrelevant, because I will always hit, because Mongoose neglected to specifiy the procedure for rolling the dice (can I place them and them roll them manually to side I need?) nor do they even specify how the dice must be constructed or numbered. I believe the only requirement is that they have six sides.
You jest, but it seems to be intentional:
The ultimate personal firearm, the Fusion Gun, Man Portable is more like a piece of artillery. It includes a gravity suspension system to reduce its inertia, and fires what amounts to a directed nuclear explosion. Those without radiation protection who are nearby when a FGMP is fired will suffer a potentially lethal dose of radiation.
You can fire in the air and dose yourself, and anyone nearby, with radiation.

It is not the hit, but the normal operation of the fusion gun, that causes the radiation.

Just like the sound of a gun firing is not conditional on hitting anything in particular.

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