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Traveller 5 Discussion of the Fifth edition of Traveller, released Spring 2013.

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Old October 19th, 2014, 08:13 PM
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Default The Three Major Mechanics of T5

T5 Commentary....

Looking through T5, getting more familiar with the game (the better understanding I have of it, but better rules I can write and suggest for the combat chapter), I see that the game is, largely, comprised of three major mechanics.

A character expresses his self and interacts with the game world in two ways. The first is by the multi-dice task system. The second is through the use of the Characteristic Checks (roll 1D, 2D, or 3D for Stat or less).

I was a bit surprised seeing that second system contained in the rules as, in the past, I've seen (and expected to see here), the task system be the only method used for a character to make a task. Earlier Traveller editions with task systems used the task system to make attribute checks.

But, here, in T5, there are two, very different systems. One is multi-faceted and complicated: The T5 Task System with all its bells and whistles and options. The other is very simple: The Characteristic Check system, which is usually a simple 2D throw for a Stat or less.

I mentioned three major mechanics systems in the Subject, and the third system used pervasively in T5 is the Flux system and its variants. Flux usually isn't used as an end to itself (although it can be) but rather a codified method of developing modifiers for the other two systems.

Thus, in order to understand T5 gameplay, one must master all three systems:

1. The T5 Task System.

2. Characteristic Checks.

3. Flux

Understanding all three of these mechanics--how they are used in the game--will go a long way in helping you understand just about any section of the T5 Core Rulebook.

Once I realized this, I started to see the three mechanics all over the place. Flux, though not named as such, is the mechanic used to figure a target's apparent size--a modifier to the Ranged Combat Task. The QREBS system is based on Flux. Hit Location in the Combat System is, as it stands with the current draft, based on Flux. Character Life Events and the BTSD system are both based on Flux.

Characteristic Checks are used all through Character Creation, sometimes called Risk and Reward or Civilian Life rolls. I've also seen Characteristic checks pop up in Marc's new T5 Combat Draft. Plus, in the section describing the checks, there is a large range of opportunities for a character to make a Characteristic Check in the game--lots of examples.

And, of course, the T5 task system is quite prevalent, covering just about any situation involving a skill.

If you want to have your character do something in a T5 game, most likely, whatever it is you need to do, will be accomplished by using some version of one of these three base mechanics.
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