EMP vs Battledresses

Erias

Mongoose
So yesterday we played our several months now Pirates of Drinax campaign and I came across a bit of the problem: my players’ characters were facing the Cursed ( for those privy to Pirates of Drinax, they are featured in “The eye of the demon” scenario, for the others, they are infected by a nano virus that turned them into intelligent killing machines.

One of my players started to shoot with his PGMP and his 8 armored foe was no match for him. All my PCs were wearing 22 armor Battledress and the Cursed ones saw the problem immediately . Despite amazing rolls they were not able to pass the armor. One of them,though, got a double 6 on hit ans I deemed (I know it’s not in the rules, that a single point of damage somehow passed the armor (the PC got infected). I, as a Referee, I had too choices: play the combat by the rules and watch myy PCs dispatching the Cursed ones, round after round with no suspense at all : the Cursed ones could had been one or 20, it wouldn’t matter. Or try something else. I said that all 6 Cursed ones went straight for the PC with the PGMP: they all leaped on him, trying to grab limbs, make him fall and remove his battledress bit by bit. My players went for a frag grenade but the 8 points of armor for the Cursed one let them almost un injured.6 cas one, I resolved the opposed roll by giving the Cursed ones a +5 bonus: they got a total of 16, my player a total of 15, so I deemed the Cursed manage to remove minor parts of his armor. Seeing this another PC decided to throw an EMP grenade to jam the Cursed ones an virus. He rolled very well so considered it did (but the y have no clue how long they got. Nonetheless the PGMP PC was caught in the blast. They all have standard battledresses.

What happens ? Can’t find anything helpful in the rules. A simple EMP grenade being able to disable all Battledresses within it’s blast range sounds OP but, on the other hand should the Battledresses be OP: how do they resist EMP attacks?

Thanks all :)
 

MasterGwydion

Banded Mongoose
Erias said:
So yesterday we played our several months now Pirates of Drinax campaign and I came across a bit of the problem: my players’ characters were facing the Cursed ( for those privy to Pirates of Drinax, they are featured in “The eye of the demon” scenario, for the others, they are infected by a nano virus that turned them into intelligent killing machines.

One of my players started to shoot with his PGMP and his 8 armored foe was no match for him. All my PCs were wearing 22 armor Battledress and the Cursed ones saw the problem immediately . Despite amazing rolls they were not able to pass the armor. One of them,though, got a double 6 on hit ans I deemed (I know it’s not in the rules, that a single point of damage somehow passed the armor (the PC got infected). I, as a Referee, I had too choices: play the combat by the rules and watch myy PCs dispatching the Cursed ones, round after round with no suspense at all : the Cursed ones could had been one or 20, it wouldn’t matter. Or try something else. I said that all 6 Cursed ones went straight for the PC with the PGMP: they all leaped on him, trying to grab limbs, make him fall and remove his battledress bit by bit. My players went for a frag grenade but the 8 points of armor for the Cursed one let them almost un injured.6 cas one, I resolved the opposed roll by giving the Cursed ones a +5 bonus: they got a total of 16, my player a total of 15, so I deemed the Cursed manage to remove minor parts of his armor. Seeing this another PC decided to throw an EMP grenade to jam the Cursed ones an virus. He rolled very well so considered it did (but the y have no clue how long they got. Nonetheless the PGMP PC was caught in the blast. They all have standard battledresses.

What happens ? Can’t find anything helpful in the rules. A simple EMP grenade being able to disable all Battledresses within it’s blast range sounds OP but, on the other hand should the Battledresses be OP: how do they resist EMP attacks?

Thanks all :)

My guess is that they are hardened against EMPs like ships' systems. Although, that is only a guess. I can't imagine that Battledress would be that feared if it was vulnerable to a simple EMP.
 

Geir

Cosmic Mongoose
Couple of things.
On the Cursed, a hit with Effect +6 would do one point of damage regardless of armour, so if they had a total DM+2 or greater, a roll of 12 would cause that point of damage.
As for EMP, the only thing in the rules is literally: "Unshielded electronics of more than two TLs lower than that of the grenade will be permanently fried, while all electronics of more than two TLs higher will be completely immune."

Key word is 'Unshielded', so I would rule than anything with Rad protection - like battledress - would at least have some protection. And even standard battledress has Rad 245, so that's a whole lot.
Plus, there's also the two TL concept: If the grenade were TL11 or less, it wouldn't do any damage to TL13 battledress.

If you want to make up a house rule on EMP and armour, you could say that every 10 points of Rad would reduce 1 'point' of EMP and that the EMP 'points' were the same as Frag damage (5D) and run with that.
 

Garran

Banded Mongoose
The more basic issue here is that the cursed aren't a threat to the PCs and as the GM you don't like that.

While I realize that there's something of a GM tradition of taking away PCs' toys in order to force every possible challenge to be one 'just because', my inclination is to simply say that if the cursed aren't a threat then they aren't a threat - shooting through them becomes more a matter of exposition (and scenery damage) than an actual combat encounter. And that's fine, because fighting the cursed isn't the point of the adventure, and the PCs are expected to win that fight when it happens.

What really matters is the implication: they're chasing someone who is doing this to people, intentionally or not. And that someone is heading straight for a major gathering on a populated planet...
 

paltrysum

Cosmic Mongoose
When I ran that adventure, the players were in vacc suits, and were also essentially immune to the effects of the Cursed, so I had the Cursed grapple them and attempt to unfasten their helmets so they could scratch them. They managed to get the helmets off of one player and one NPC, and even though the net effect was little, the whole session terrified the players. It was great!

After the session, one of the players exclaimed, “That was scary!” Made me quite pleased.
 

Bill Sheil

Banded Mongoose
General idea might be to rule that EMP will jam all unshielded electronics and shielded electronics (inc. Battledress) of devices with a lower TL. Perhaps even make a difficulty roll with the TL difference as a test for shielded kit.

On the battledress it is your traveller universe but I would impose limits on the availability and maintainability serious battlefield military hardware for both immersion and playability reasons. Specialist Forces codifies the maintenance overhead by requiring 2-3 technicians per battledress suit which seems reasonable. By the open ended nature of PoD you could still manage to equip and deploy powered armour squads by the end of the campaign if you have built a big enough pirate fleet but if you are still at the single party/Harrier stage of the campaign then I think allowing battledress is going to impact the play in a negative way.
 
My PC's will aquire battledress for their marines on the Harrier soon, fairly early in the campaign. There is no sensible way to stop them , as they need to have enough money to buy or refit starships and battledress is chump change in comparison. They already have combat armour so unless fighting first line military forces it makes no difference, no merchant ship crew is fighting them off. Imperial Marines, Aslan Space Assault troops from a major clan, other pirates elites those are a threat.
This is a paramilitary campaign so expecting players to mess around with unarmoured vacc suits and tl-7 assault rifles is silly. If you want firefly then run a merchant campaign in an area were laws are actually enforced.
If you want to make the cursed a threat don't go for silly EMP tricks which a )Should not work and B) You will regret when the players use the same trick to take down squads of Imperial Marines use their nanotech it is quite possible that modern Battledress has limited or no defenses against nanotech infiltration as none of the major powers make use on nanotech systems in warfare. It will take time for the nanites to infiltrate via joints, sensor systems and other weak points but having their attacks leave nanite traces on the armour which start dismantling the surface material will be a threat until the players can burn it off the armour.
The other trick to make players with Plasma/Fusion weapons be careful is to point out to them that they just wrecked the interior of a starship they could loot and if they are silly enough to fire the weapons in engineering well there are a lot of things in engineering not armoured against plasma weapons which will react poorly to being shot. Possibly killing everyone on the ship poorly
 

Bill Sheil

Banded Mongoose
You will need to remember that the maintenance teams will need accommodation on the Harrier as well which is a real limiting factor.

Battledress doesn't just need money, it needs infrastructure and specialised support. It is frontline military kit, not paramilitary.
 

MasterGwydion

Banded Mongoose
Bill Sheil said:
You will need to remember that the maintenance teams will need accommodation on the Harrier as well which is a real limiting factor.

Battledress doesn't just need money, it needs infrastructure and specialised support. It is frontline military kit, not paramilitary.

Ships already require Engineers and Maintenance personnel, so My thoughts would be to just have them maintain the Battledress and apply a Maintenance Cost in the same timeframe as the Standard Ship Maintenance Period.
 

Garran

Banded Mongoose
Anyone with the Vacc Suit skill to use the stuff effectively also has enough Vacc Suit skill to do the maintenance work. Large-scale militaries might have separate combat and maintenance personnel, but there's no reason why a small group couldn't have people maintain their own equipment. They've also got a very high-tech BoO in the Floating Palace, so access to appropriate TL tools isn't a problem.

Yes, it might be typical to make Battle Dress hard to get and difficult to justify to the authorities in a typical 'tramp merchant roaming Imperial space' campaign, but considering the nature of PoD, it's unreasonable to suppose that the PCs won't be kitted out with the heavy-duty stuff as soon as they have the funds to do it.
 

MasterGwydion

Banded Mongoose
Garran said:
Anyone with the Vacc Suit skill to use the stuff effectively also has enough Vacc Suit skill to do the maintenance work. Large-scale militaries might have separate combat and maintenance personnel, but there's no reason why a small group couldn't have people maintain their own equipment. They've also got a very high-tech BoO in the Floating Palace, so access to appropriate TL tools isn't a problem.

Yes, it might be typical to make Battle Dress hard to get and difficult to justify to the authorities in a typical 'tramp merchant roaming Imperial space' campaign, but considering the nature of PoD, it's unreasonable to suppose that the PCs won't be kitted out with the heavy-duty stuff as soon as they have the funds to do it.

and as for the "legality" of owning Battledress? If Oleb can give them a Letter of Marque, he can just as easily give them a "commission" as a Q-ship and therefore making Battledress "legal" and "necessary" for them to own, possess, and use in areas outside of the control of other Polities. Then they can be both pirates and have a reputation as "pirate hunters". All for the minor cost of a piece of paper and some misdirection...lol... Same would go for "Illegal Weapons" such as Naval Weapons, but perhaps not WMDs
 

Erias

Mongoose
First off thanks for your replies and my apologies for this belated answer: busy week.

Master Gwidion, we came up with the same conclusion but EMP is supposed to mess with communication systems and electricity in general, there is no system to check if the protection is good enough or is it just binary? Might be though.

Geir, the TL thing is really helping, thanks

Condottiere, I'm a simple guy: battle armors run with electric cells, EMP mess with this... ^^

Thanks Garran, I was afraid I was giving away too much power to my players but, frankly, they fought for it, and have been for months
 
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