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aravain February 9th, 2004 11:44 PM

Wow,........a *virgin* area!! :D [img]graemlins/file_23.gif[/img]

Could someone suggest a good single source of information or rules for minature starship warfare for T20. Perhaps something that is either on the net or in a relatively inexpensive game. Is there a Traveller version? ;) Our group is trying to flesh out the T20 starship rules and trying to add a little depth into the role-playing aspect without tacking on too many new rules. The T20 information is not quite detailed enough for our group. Something along the lines of "Ironclads" in complexity would be great. Almost all of the battles would be between only two ships.

Thank you for any help and feel free to transfer this post to the T20 area if needed! ;)

Malenfant February 9th, 2004 11:49 PM

Well, there is always the BITS Power Projection rules, based on Full Thrust:

Escort version - the basic ship-to-ship combat version

Fleet version - the full on everything-an-the-kitchen-sink version

kaladorn February 10th, 2004 01:11 AM

I have a question:

I'm an FT player. In FT, a small (low mass rating) ship like a corvette or the like, had 3 or 4 hull boxes, and a good roll with a single beam battery could make it go POP!

While this makes sense in the context of a fleet battle game, in the context of an RPG, that'll really annoy your PCs.... "What? One roll of three stinking dice and we're all dead? What kinda crap is that?"

So, how does PP:E handle small ships like PCs are likely to have, like Beowulfs, Patrol Cruisers, Corsairs, etc? How does it make them survivable enough to be interesting? How are player skills factored in (for RPG purposes)? And how does it integrate with PP:F?

Yes, it sounds like I'm asking for a review... ideally by someone who has some idea about Full Thrust (Siefert, where ya hiding?).

siefertma2 February 10th, 2004 02:55 AM


Originally posted by kaladorn:
I have a question:

So, how does PP:E handle small ships like PCs are likely to have, like Beowulfs, Patrol Cruisers, Corsairs, etc? How does it make them survivable enough to be interesting? How are player skills factored in (for RPG purposes)? And how does it integrate with PP:F?

Hmmmm... I'm afraid that you're not going to like the following answer. Power Projection's conversion system states that every 500 d-tons equals one damage box. Therefore, your 100 dt scout only has one DP, as does your 200 dt far trader or your 500 dt SDB.

PP was not meant to be an RPG supplement, but a stand alone space combat game with a bias toward capital ships. However, I'm sure that with a little thought, some modifications can be made to steer it toward that direction.

Hey, Dominic! You have anything to add?

mike wightman February 10th, 2004 03:58 AM

Its easy enough to convert to PC scale ships, just equate 1 damage box to a lower hull tonnage (20t works for me) and play as usual. Just remember to scale up the large ships if they turn up or the PCs may think they can take out destroyers ;)

daryen February 10th, 2004 10:52 AM

But wouldn't you then have to scale up the damage, leaving you in the same situation?

(In other words, your Beowolf now has 10 boxes instead of just one, but that laser shooting at you does 25(!) times the damage, too. Either way, you are blowing up in a single shot.)

siefertma2 February 10th, 2004 12:05 PM

(Mark pulls out his copy of Power Projection Fleet)

A few things to note: A Power Projection game turn is equal to 50 minutes of real time. The book states that "each attack does not reflect a single weapons strike but rather tens of minutes of area bombardment..."

Perhaps what needs to be done is to scale down the time scale. Of course, that would probably mean that you would have to adjust the distance scale (1 inch equals .25 light seconds) which would in turn adjust the ship's thrust rating and weapons ranges.

mike wightman February 10th, 2004 02:09 PM

There's no need to adjust the damage scale. The important thing is how it plays, IMHO, and for that you need a PC 200t Trader to be able to take a few hits. The idea is to model PC scale small ship combat, 10t-1000t. You can easily adjust the time scale and range to match any previous Traveller incarnation as well.

There is a long history of Traveller ship combat systems changing scales of fire (look at the damage difference between a Book2 triple laser turret and the same in High Guard) and movement, timescale etc. As long as you have something you're happy with and it works, use it [img]smile.gif[/img]

kaladorn February 10th, 2004 04:29 PM

I'm also assuming, if it is like FT, that a 'beam' is actually a 'beam battery' (a la High Guard I suppose). That is to say, if you have a large capship with 300 laser turrets, your SSD won't have 300 weapon boxes on it.

You can change the mass/DP scale and probably be okay anyway, given the shorter timescales. You'd need to adjust your definition of an MU (Measuring Unit) though to correspond to timescales and presumed thrusts.

Maybe this is a good avenue for the PP producers to investigate PP:RPG to tie in with the idea of characters using PP as a space combat mod for the RPG. Maybe they could (if the conversion was small) just do a $5 PDF for it.

And no one has mention skills... I assume (knowing FT mechanics) that they would be a big bugaboo to add in.

Whipsnade February 10th, 2004 05:11 PM

Mr. Barclay,

I own PP:E and had the pleasure of playtesting PP:F. (I also pre-ordered it from Warehouse 23.) The PP games are excellent naval wargames. They are also not very well suited for playing with small ships; i.e. PC vessels.

As the other responders have already mentioned, you can fiddle with time and scale to 'downsize' the PP games for PC use. Adding player skills to the mix will be bothersome however.

The PP games use 1D6 for most rolls. There isn't a lot of 'room' to cram different skill levels in that span. ForEx: The difference between Pilot-1 and Pilot-3; quite substantial in Mayday or HG2, would get lost in PP:E or PP:F.

Your assumption regarding weapon boxes on the SSD representing batteries is correct. Weapon ratings that can be 1 thru 9 in HG2 are only one of 2 ratings in the PP games.

Like my reply in your ground combat rules thread, whether a GM uses PP:E or Mayday will depend in the type of campaign she is running.


aravain February 10th, 2004 10:49 PM

How does the upcomming HH setting deal with battle, since now you will have PCs even more dealing with space warfare? Can we extend (shanghei or steal) some of the developing rules to use in T20? Does someone have a home-brewed system that works in their Traveller Universe?

I, too, would like to avoid the "oops, you're dead with one shot" scenerio previously mentioned. :eek: ( and,yes, I know that can still happen under the T20 damage location charts) If established rules could be laid down, it could offer a "game night" break for some minature battles using the PCs and their skills/feats.At least it could hopefully eleminate some of the confusion of RPG space battle sans minatures!...*what do mean their space ship is over there?!!!* [img]smile.gif[/img]

mike wightman February 11th, 2004 03:13 AM

I agree, T20 could do with a ship miniature game. My favourite approach would be to mix Star Cruiser like sensors with vector movement and a Mayday like damage system. More advanced rules could be added to set the desired complexity level and there could even be rules included to use it in the RPG for small combats.

kaladorn February 11th, 2004 11:50 PM

I found StarCruiser had some good concepts, but sensors were too deterministic for my taste. I prefer Brilliant Lances, but I play MT and I've found the conversions... troublesome... due to the allocation method for damage by hit location in BL and due to the abscense of MFDs in MT.

Larsen, the problems you are discussing with PP/E and PP/F don't surprise me. I'm on the Full Thrust test list and we've talked lots of times about how difficult it is to work RPG stuff (even something like green or veteran crews) into D6 mechanics. The best results for weapons seem to be range band size adjustments, but for other things like piloting and such, few easy solutions present themselves.

I find Mayday just doesn't cover enough of the kit that is available and doesn't integrate well with MT... <sigh>

far-trader February 21st, 2004 04:22 PM


Originally posted by Aravain:
Wow,........a *virgin* area!! :D [img]graemlins/file_23.gif[/img]
;) not exactly a *virgin*...

Oh wait, you mean the topic getting its own section and posting here first maybe.

I meant to get to this topic earlier but had to find the right post, pasted below. I think it may be just what you want...

You can check out a related discussion here where I throw in my own vote for an excellent system that should be easily adapted to most of the Traveller versions. It's "The Role-Playing Space Combat System" put out as a free for use download (pdf available here) for T4. Copyright 1996 by Joseph E. Walsh. Collaboration by Eris Reddoch, Guy "Wildstar" Garnett (who did the great QSDS, also a download there), and Allen Shock. Though I never gave it a thorough playing I recall it worked great in the solo test run through.

aravain February 21st, 2004 04:55 PM

Thank you, just what our group was looking for! [img]smile.gif[/img]

far-trader February 21st, 2004 09:45 PM


Originally posted by Aravain:
Thank you, just what our group was looking for! [img]smile.gif[/img]
Happy to help. Post a note if it works (and what didn't), especially any mods for T20 use that you all come up with, I'd be interested at least (since its something I've thought of doing but, well, time and... ) oooh, shiny!

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