Law Level and armor (especially Vacc Suits)

Thisdan

Mongoose
Dear fellow GMs,
apologies if this has already been discussed, I searched but didn't find anything.
During the session I just finished my group wanted to enter a city on the Darrian planet Jacent wearing their Advanced Hostile Environment Vacc Suits.
Jacent has a law level of 4 which means that armor heavier than cloth is prohibited.
My players argued that their Vacc suits are civilian dress, quoting the CSC p. 28:
Civilian suits provide armour protection but their main function is to protect a Traveller from a hostile environment. In most instances, these suits do not require special permits or certifications to purchase, although the explosive ordinance disposal suit occupies a grey area between civilian and military use.
How do you handle this?
Does law enforcement personell object to Vacc suits?

Thanks for your input!
 
IMTU, if you are on a garden world or breathable atmosphere, you do not need a vacc suit outside of the starport. Fitted uniform style slimsuits generally get a pass, but the law level will determine the chance for harassment.
 
Jacent isn't a hostile environment. It is small, dry and has a very thin atmosphere.

Let them wear them. When they realise they stick out and can be easily tracked and identified they may want something a bit less clownsuit like that blends in with what the general population wear.
 
If you have trouble with the atmosphere, likely you'll be using a breathing assistance mask.


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I'd make them do lots of social skill rolls for normal things, to overcome the negative and perhaps mocking reactions of everyone they meet. Also, make them do Vacc suit skill checks when performing physical task - I mean, they are dressed in essentially Vacc suits, which makes everything physical harder to do. There's a reason why divers take their diving suits off when they come ashore, or why people take off their winter coats when coming inside.
 
Put yourself in the position of a bouncer or security guard. You see a bunch of persons in heavy armor approach the bar or shopping mall that you protected. Would you let them in? Or refuse them entry?

Then have the NPC security guards and bouncers do the same. So the law might not reject them but the bouncer will, severly restricting where they can go / what they can do.

And as soon as they start trouble because of that - the law will (over)react since they assume armor == troublemakers
 
Appropriate attire.

If you're in orbit, onboard the starport, plausible.

If you just ended your shift in the local coal mine, plausible.

As tourists, or on a pub crawl, seems unlikely.
 
Why on earth would a coal miner be wearing a hostile environment vaccsuit?

Coal has rather unique formation requirements, and I don't recall my grandfather or older ancestors having access to hostile environment vacc suits.
 
IMHO, this isn't really a rules thing. It sounds more like the PCs trying to not play the game. Which is an OOC player problem, imho, if the GM rolls their eyes and says "really?" and the players go "yeah, really. Vacc suits aren't armor, so we can wear them" Anyway, as far as how to think about it outside of that:

First, law level (like all the numbers in a UWP) are short hand. The GM should look at the law level and its general guidance and determine what that means *in character* for the laws of this particular world. Some worlds might include things like vacc suits that are incidentally armored in the ban and others might not. Probably based on how likely it is that wearing a vacc suit for legitimate reasons is actually a thing. But possibly based on legal corruption and loopholes. Like how in the US, they stopped making station wagons and started making SUVs to fill the same niche, primarily because SUVs could be labeled as "light trucks" for regulatory purposes.

Then there will be the social implications. How would you react if someone was walking around in a Hazmat outfit or a space suit here today? That's probably similar to how the people of the world they are visiting would react to the PCs if such gear isn't necessitated by the local environment.

Finally, there's the question of why the players think they need to be that heavily armored. Is it a game where you put them in combat situations all the time (which are legitimately dangerous in Traveller) so that they legitimately feel that going unarmored is a problem or are they just being paranoid? Which circles back to my opening about this probably being a group discussion topic rather than a "this is what the rules say" topic.
 
In the unlikely event they end up in a gun fight in their "vacc suits" carefully make a not of which characters are hit.

Then see if they say anything about getting the suits refubished.

If they don't then the next time they try to use them in space or a really hostile environment make them roll for their suits to fail... :)
 
As I recall, mining doesn't tend to be risk free, and as regards coal, breathing in it's dust for an extended period has consequences.

A mining colony probably does have most of it's inhabitants in protective suits, at any time.
 
Why on earth would a coal miner be wearing a hostile environment vaccsuit?

Coal has rather unique formation requirements, and I don't recall my grandfather or older ancestors having access to hostile environment vacc suits.
The reason IRL miners do not wear them is that they are to bulky/fragile. BUT:

IRL miners in a nation that did NOT loose a SINGLE miner in 40 years to bad weather DO wear emergency filter masks, DO have access to emergency air supply ports and ARE supported by a huge network of CH4, CO and weather flow sensors linked to "starship class setup" computer systems and "powerplant class" control rooms. And they DO employ specialist teams checking for excess CH4 before large scale drilling/coal cutting is done

That same nation also forces mines to employ massiv dust prevention systems to reduce coal dust making "black lung" basically extinct
 
Dear fellow GMs,
apologies if this has already been discussed, I searched but didn't find anything.
During the session I just finished my group wanted to enter a city on the Darrian planet Jacent wearing their Advanced Hostile Environment Vacc Suits.
Jacent has a law level of 4 which means that armor heavier than cloth is prohibited.
My players argued that their Vacc suits are civilian dress, quoting the CSC p. 28:
Civilian suits provide armour protection but their main function is to protect a Traveller from a hostile environment. In most instances, these suits do not require special permits or certifications to purchase, although the explosive ordinance disposal suit occupies a grey area between civilian and military use.
How do you handle this?
Does law enforcement personell object to Vacc suits?

Thanks for your input!
make fun of them, have a stupid drunk start a fight, let them get arrested. Yes they are right, that a vac suit is civilian wear, but they are dressed like idiots. If need be, have children/teenagers start throwing milkshakes at them.
 
Dear fellow GMs,
apologies if this has already been discussed, I searched but didn't find anything.
During the session I just finished my group wanted to enter a city on the Darrian planet Jacent wearing their Advanced Hostile Environment Vacc Suits.
Jacent has a law level of 4 which means that armor heavier than cloth is prohibited.
My players argued that their Vacc suits are civilian dress, quoting the CSC p. 28:
Civilian suits provide armour protection but their main function is to protect a Traveller from a hostile environment. In most instances, these suits do not require special permits or certifications to purchase, although the explosive ordinance disposal suit occupies a grey area between civilian and military use.
How do you handle this?
Does law enforcement personell object to Vacc suits?

Thanks for your input!
Replying to the OP here.
IMTU is depends on the individual world. As with most things in the OTU local circumstances will dictate the reach of government and the law.
There are some considerations that are not addressed by the law, however.
- Vacc Suits, no matter how high tech, are uncomfortable and the lower the TL the more uncomfortable they are. The most basic issue is a human's excretionary system. TL 7-9 Vacc Suits just use a diaper for all bodily excretions. No matter how tough a spacer you are, I can't imagine anyone spending any more time waddling around in their own feces any more than absolutely necessary. But even higher tech suits have their issues. Anyone interested in wearing a catheter all day long? This is glossed over in most sci-fi for obvious reasons, but the practical issue is still there.
- Anyone living on a world that requires vacc suits would still wonder why someone is wearing a vacc suit any longer than necessary.
- Some high tech level suits are pretty skin-tight and can be worn under clothing within reason. Those can be worn for a limited time, but it's still a neck-to-toe skin tight full body covering. That would be rather like wearing a full-body divers wet suit all day long.
- Vacc suits are usually more expensive than purchasing armored clothing designed to be surreptitious. And some armors like, Protec and Diplo armors, are legal up to LL 8 or 9 and still don't look like flak vests.
 
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