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Old October 31st, 2014, 02:31 PM
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Default Throws

In Classic Traveller, a "task" or "check" is usually referred to as a throw (page 16, TTB). This thread is dedicated to describing the types of throws you use in your game.

The idea here is to produce a thread for new CT Refs to peruse and get a handle on quickly and fairly creating throws for their CT games on the spot.

I'll begin. But, add your own to the thread!



18+, add ENTIRE STAT

This throw described on page 43 of TTB for a character actually throwing a dagger, blade, or bayonet at a target.

Your target number: 18

Modifiers: + full DEX; + Skill; - Target Evasion*


*And, it is probably a good idea to throw in any target armor mod, even though the book doesn't say to do that.

This throw is a good one to use when the task at hand is more about the character using his natural abilities with a little influence from his learned experience. Throw 18+, but add in FULL STAT plus Skill.
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Old October 31st, 2014, 02:42 PM
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2D STAT CHECK


Throw 2D, looking for STAT or less.

This is a great way to focus on throws that test only the character's natural ability or areas that are not covered by skills.

There are a lot of experience areas that do not have skills. For example, Balance isn't a skill (unless you create it). Therefore, a great way to test if a character keeps is balance is to roll 2D looking for DEX or less.

For really easy challenges, use 1D for Stat or less.

Harder challenges use 3D for Stat or less.

And, there's no reason not to call for a 4D (or more) check, if the situation calls for it.

For example, a character is trying to shove a boulder off balance, over the side of a cliff. He wants to block the passage below. But, the boulder, though precariously close to the cliff's edge, is damn heavy. The Ref calls for a 4D STR check. This means, roll STR or less on 4D.
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Old October 31st, 2014, 02:56 PM
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2D RANDOM TARGET



Sometimes, the Ref just needs a random target. Throw 2D, and use the result as the target. The player will need to roll that number or higher than, or that number or lower than, to succeed.

For example, there's a leak in the slow boat's grav coolant. Those graviton emitters get very hot, and if they burn out, then inertial dampening doesn't work. And, that means that the ship is limited to 1G burns while the crew either floats around or is strapped into seats.

To excite drama in the game, the Ref determines the time the Engineer has to repair the damaged system by throwing 2D. The Engineer gets one repair throw per minute. That last attempt, if no success is made, is 12+.

The Ref throws 2D and gets a 10.

This means that the Engineer gets three attempts to fix the system. The first minute of work is a 10+ throw. The second minute of work is a 11+ throw. And, the third minute of work is a 12+ throw. If none of those throws are a success, then the ship's grav plating is down until the ship can jump to a Starport and make repairs.

Remember, the Ref could have thrown a total of 2, giving the Engineer 11 tries to fix the system.
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Old October 31st, 2014, 03:11 PM
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SKILLS



Remember that, in CT, Skills can be used in a number of ways. You do not always have to have a skill provide a +1 DM per skill level. Experience applies to throws in different ways, depending on the situation.

Here are some examples.



Combat: Skills apply at +1 DM per skill level (page 37 TTB).



Low Berth: Medical-2 or better needed to gain the +1 DM (page 50 TTB). Here, a certain level of skill is needed to use the beneficial DM. A skill greater than the indicated level will not increase the DM.



Starship Broken: Typically, the ship's engineer attacks problems aboard the ship gaining a +2 DM per Engineering skill level. (page 23 TTB).



Zero-G: Working in Zero-G is not easy. We're used to the pull of gravity. If a character attempts any non-standard movement while in Zero-G (and non-standard movements are defined as running, jumping, hiding, jumping untethered from one ship to another, etc), then the character must roll 10+ to avoid a problem. Vacc Suit skill is applied at +4 DM per skill level (page 28 TTB).
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Old October 31st, 2014, 04:26 PM
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TWO DICE


Code:
 2D     N%    N- %    N+ %
---    ---   -----   ------
 2       3      3     100 
 3       6      8      97
 4       8     17      92
 5      11     28      83

 6      14     42      72
 7      17     58      58
 8      14     72      42

 9      11     83      28
 A       8     92      17
 B       6     97       8
 C       3    100       3
N% is the percentage chance the number is thrown exactly.

N- % is the percentage chance the number or less is thrown.

N+ % is the percentage chance the number or higher is thrown.






It is wise for CT Refs to become familiar with the chart above as it can help your game in a number of ways.

Understanding the value of a +1 DM: Notice the spread between the middle numbers and those at the ends. The difference in rolling a 3- and snake eyes is just 5 points. The spread between 4- and 3- is almost double that, at 9 points. And, the spread between 7- and 6- is triple, at 16 points!

What does this mean? The value of a +1 DM is variable. It can mean a 5% improvement, or it can be a 16% improvement (or something in the middle).

Consider that when you are handing out DMs. A +1 DM may not sound like a lot, but it could very well mean over a 15% improvement to the character's throw (in d20 terms, that's equivalent of a +3 DM!). If you allow a PC a +2 DM, you could be giving that character a 30% improvement (minimum improvement on +2 is 14%).

In other words: CT Refs should be stingy with DMs. Make the characters earn every point that they get. DMs in CT are quite powerful.





Picking 2D Target Numbers: Use the table to help you value the target numbers that you pick. Figure that 2D +0 mods is a base CT throw. If you want a 50% chance of success, then you should pick a target number of 7+ or 8+. If you want something tougher to throw--say something with a 25% chance of success--then pick a 9+ or 10+.

If you want to consider skill, then the process is the same. If the average experienced CT character is Stat-7, Skill-2, and you think the task at hand should be about a 50% probability of success for a professional, then pick the 50% probability on the table and move it up two points (the amount of the skill).

For example, 50% on the table is a throw of 7+ or 8+ (both are 8 points shy of 50). Let's go with 7+. This means a Skill-2 character will have about a 50% chance of success on a throw that requires a 9+ result. Pick the difficulty first, then add the skill level. This will give you your target number at the desired chance of success.

Here's another example (a little more elaborate). The ship's jump drive is out. One of the F-Coils blew and damaged the breaker box. The ship's engineer is trying to repair it.

The Ref recons that a competent engineer with Engineering-2 should have about a 75% chance of success. We look at the chart and see that a 75% chance of success is a target of 6+. As the skill description says, the Ref is going to give the PC Engineer a +2 DM per skill level. Thus, the target number is 10+. An Engineering-2 character will have about a 75% chance on a 10+ throw.

Now, the real PC engineer has Engineering-3, so this task is going to be easier for him. He's getting +2 per skill level (+6 DM), and his target is 10+. His minimum throw is 8. The PC Engineer is so good at his job that he's got a 92% chance to fix a problem that most competent (Skill-2 Engineers) only have a 72% chance to fix.

To pick a target number: Pick the number for the success chance desired on the chart, then adjust for skill, if any.
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Old October 31st, 2014, 04:46 PM
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USE NUMBERS IN THE GAME



Examples.



An roleplay encounter with a customs official goes south. Roll Law Level or greater to avoid a real problem (page 84 TTB).

What's the chance that the PCs were seen or noticed, landing their craft in the world's forest? Throw Population or less on 2D. (I just made that one up.)

What's the roll to find out if an NPC will give the group important information? Roll Reaction Number or less on 2D. (Often used throw in CT.)
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Old November 1st, 2014, 03:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Supplement Four View Post

What's the chance that the PCs were seen or noticed, landing their craft in the world's forest? Throw Population or less on 2D. (I just made that one up.)
Minor aside: after TL6 (when radar comes in), make it Pop+TL on 2D.
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Old November 1st, 2014, 04:18 AM
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All of this reminds me why I switched to a roll 8+ or roll 12+ task system for CT years ago

While I laud your efforts to make this stuff accessible it highlights the major failings of CT - too many different types of situational dice throw, too many different interpretations of what level 1 in a skill represents, exceptions, contradictions.
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Old November 1st, 2014, 10:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marchand View Post
Minor aside: after TL6 (when radar comes in), make it Pop+TL on 2D.
Wouldn't that be a 100% chance, every time?

(But, I understand your point. And, a different throw would probably be more appropriate.)





Quote:
Originally Posted by mike wightman View Post
While I laud your efforts to make this stuff accessible it highlights the major failings of CT - too many different types of situational dice throw, too many different interpretations of what level 1 in a skill represents, exceptions, contradictions.
You should certainly use a structured task system.

For many, including myself. the CT method is a benefit, not a "major failing". It represents freedom from the constrictions of a structured task system. It allows on-the-spot customization.

There's nothing like playing in a CT game with a Ref that knows his throws. The game is so smooth. It rocks.

As much as I write about task systems, the CT method is my favorite.
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Old November 1st, 2014, 11:51 AM
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Except by your own admission you have to make target numbers up on the spot, and unless you are going to keep copious notes of situations as they arise you will invariable run across problems - "hey last week you said I had to roll 14+ and my skill was worth +2 per level, now you are saying the target is 12..."

Then there is the issue highlighted above - roll population or population + TL - different refs will come up with different throws leading to problems (in the unlikely event someone plays in more than one game lol)

I'm just playing devil's advocate by the way - collecting all this together is long overdue.
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