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Traveller: The New Era Discussion on Traveller: The New Era

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Old November 14th, 2011, 08:04 PM
kaladorn kaladorn is offline
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Default Things that don't add up about TNE

Help me out here, those who understand this:

I) Chargen does not line up with the background

To wit: Hivers showed up in 1192. Seems to me like the implication is the 20 worlds didn't have space travel before that (most of them anyway). First contact with Traders was in 1195 (they must have been Trading elsewhere, but it is unclear to me where given the state of the nearby subsectors). The Hiver Academy was built in 1193 and had first graduates in 1197. Then the Twelve were sent out. Game starts in 1201.

So, how am I generating characters with 5 terms in the space navy? How am I generating characters with 5 terms in the scouts? How many of these careers would have been open before the Hivers came back? How many TLs did the hivers help restore? (That is unclear to me - was it 2 or 3 for most worlds?)

I'm having trouble explaining how PC career history works in light of the timeline of when starfaring became possible again. On the one hand, I think a 1-2 term max of space careers might be justified (or at least interstellar... maybe some small amount of system stuff may have occured). That would be a house rule. On the other hand, that means nobody will ever get enough ship DMs to get a worthwhile ship.

II) Fixed attributes for calculating Assets

I am sure this was done for simplicity and in an attempt to distribute skills evenly across attributes, they put some skills in odd places. MT did this better as each task listed the appropriate skill and attribute. I plan to use this older method in my TNE game.

Exempla Gratia:
a) Slug Weapons (STR). STR? Really? Not likely. Otherwise weightlifters would be the best shooters. This is not the case. Some wiry young women are incredible shooters and they don't have 9 STR. To be more concrete: Take a 7mm rifle, add a bipod, lie prone to fire it. How much STR is involved? Very little. A keen eye, a bit of judgement, those pertain. STR might play a role in standing shooting with heavy or unbalanced weapons or in fast shooting with significant recoil. It plays little in more controlled shooting with reasonable weight weapons or in stances other than the standing (because you can brace in the other stances). Eyesight is probably one of THE most critical long range shooting assets. Steady hands help, but this can be related to nerves, blood pressure, muscle tone (not bulk), breathing and so on.

b) Guard Animal Training, CON: Eh? CON? Have you ever trained a dog or cat? Willpower perhaps. Charisma (to assert dominance). Intelligence to recognize why your training is not working. But CON? We're not talking riding horses for 8 hours or grooming them and shoveling out the stable.

c) Climbing, CON: Once you get up there, yes. But you need a certain amount of strength just to even contemplate climbing as you must support your body mass if it is a vertical assent.

The list goes on but having a flexible understanding of what attribute applies to any given task seems to me more sensible.

III) Transfering careers
a) No DMs for joining the military later in life? It's a young man's game, for the most part.
b) Do you keep rank? I had a Scout Commander come out and want to do a hitch in the RCMC. Does he keep O-4? That might not make sense (he hasn't got a Marine Force Commander's experience). Or does he start having to roll for Commission and Promotion from the start? (I think in the real world, you'd get partial credit and maybe be admitted as an O-2 or in some rare cases of high rank in the other job, O-3).

IV) Let's say you come from a Pre-Stellar world. You work your way into one of the spacing careers. You get Astrogation but you get the "* only works for system astrogation" (not Jump). This might make sense for a skill picked up on your homeworld, but if you've joined the RCES or the like, you'd think that restriction (many homeworld restrictions for starfaring careers) are a bit ridiculous.

V) Interview and Interrogation either merit seperate descriptions or don't need to be two skills. I think Interogation should include knowing how to apply coercion and phsyical deprivation to encourage cooperation as well as understanding how to trip up interrogated persons by conversational approaches. I think Interview should include accurately assessing UPP stats.

VI) Pilot(grav/interface) covers getting to orbit, gas giant skimming, etc. Navigation covers course plotting in open space. What covers flying in open space? Ship's tactics hardly seems the answer. Maybe it is Pilot(grav/interface) but that is unclear to me.

VII) Why does Scout never get an initiative bonus? It seems like the kind of job you would learn to be very aware and have fast reactions.

VIII) Investigation should include the procedural knowledge of investigations that help you feret out clues (police do this all the time by digging through papers, records, crime scene evidence, etc). It should make you aware of avenues and tools you can use to conduct an investigation. The way they've written it, is is simply CSI/Forensics.

IX) Cross Country Travel: Groundcar is faster than wheeled ATV? (This could be an errata I failed to notice). I also doubt that all cross country scenarios are 25% speed (especially for tracklayers). Tanks probably manage closet to 50-60% speed in many off-road conditions (there are already mods for hills, swamps, mountains, etc). And why do Grav vehicles have 1/4 off road speeds as well? One assumes they'll fly over such terrain (besides it destroys the Grave Bike through the forests of RODNE (read bkwds)).

X) You can only increase a stat by two in your career from your base. Can you gain more than two points as long as your stat does not exceed orig value + 2? This applies when you are using attribute improvement opportunities to replace lost attribute points from aging. It could be I could gain 2 pts of STR and still end up with my base STR as all I did was compensate for -2 due to age. This seems reasonable to me, but I'm not sure what the intent was.

XI) Do military careers in specific ranks really pay you based on your SOC? (Seems to me you'd have a set salary and it would not be SOC-driven).

That's it for now.

I mostly like what I read, but some of it has not fallen into place for me (does not add up) and some seems a bit awry.
"Tell them, that from this place we will deliver notice to the parliaments of conquerors that a line has been drawn against the darkness. And we will hold that line, .. no matter the cost." -- Cpt. Sheridan "The Long, Twilight Struggle"
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