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Old July 4th, 2010, 09:25 PM
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Interesting stuff, conanlibrarian.

I had not thought this was a big issue, though. Toughness in Mega Traveller is not the only factor in how much of a pounding a craft can take, though: the other side to this is armour. Armour reduces damage, effectively increasing the amount of pounding a craft can take.

I actually think an unarmoured human-sized robot having damage of 1/1 fits the game balance really well. Human bodies can absorb more damage because we're wet, able to absorb shock, have had millions of years of evolution behind us that refined our capacity to survive. If an unarmoured robot gets fired upon, it's going to be easier to destroy - it's full of delicate machinery and electronics.

I think the mid-range vehicle design raises some problems with damage. The original ground-car hits you had were 9/23, which increased to 57/142 under your formula. I'll assume it's not armoured significantly. In the original, one hit from a PGMP-12 would take the car out of action ("inoperable"). That sounds about right to me! But the revised car, it would take five hits from such a plasma weapon - and that would just stop it in its tracks. It's still repairable.

Don't get me wrong, though: the question I think that is on your mind is - why should one shot from a body pistol take a human sized robot out of action, and one shot from a rifle destroy it? Well, again, this can be addressed by armour.

Without any further modification of the design rules so far, we can assume that robots designed under Book 8 have an armour of at least 2. This means that a Body Pistol - with penetration zero - gets a "zero penetration result". That is, applies only 10% - or 0.3 points - of damage, dropping fractions for a final result of zero.

Applying the same thing with a 7mm rifle - a penetration of 3/2 means at short and medium ranges it would get a low penetration result or half of 3 dropping fractions = 1 point of damage. Enough to render the robot inoperable. At long or very long ranges, however, it would get a zero penetration result, same as a body pistol at short range.

In terms of net effect, this is similar to the effect on humans. Robots then have repairs instead of medical treatment.

I'm reasonably comfortable with this in terms of game balance as it stands.

I note that the Mega Traveller combat rules in their original form make reference to robots, and apply the vehicle hits tables to them as well (I think they lifted them pretty much straight from Book 8). Note that a lucky hit can take out the robot's brain, or their locomotion in addition to superstructure damage. That makes them a bit more vulnerable than humans.

It seems to me that the rules are really saying: if your robot ain't designed for combat, don't take it into combat.

Thus robots are valuable, fragile and worth protecting.
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