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  #1  
Old October 23rd, 2014, 12:40 PM
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Default Heavy Weapons, Heavy Armor

I sometimes struggle, when I run Traveller campaigns, on how easy it should be for a crew full of civilians to lay their hands on top, military grade equipment.

On the one hand, I think of the real world. If an ocean ship captain made port in Africa or some parts of the middle east, I'm sure it would not be that hard for any of the crew from that vessel to find some pretty powerful weapons.

Translate that to Traveller: Should the availability of Battle Dress and Fusion Guns be as simple as traveling to a Low Law, High Pop world, with a lot of Imperial Credits to spend?

Or, does the Imperial Government keep a tight fist around those types of equipment--to where it's not that easy to obtain.

And, if this is the case, how would a crewman from a typical Traveller free trader ever hope to get his hands on something more powerful than an ACR?
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Old October 23rd, 2014, 12:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Supplement Four View Post
I sometimes struggle, when I run Traveller campaigns, on how easy it should be for a crew full of civilians to lay their hands on top, military grade equipment.

On the one hand, I think of the real world. If an ocean ship captain made port in Africa or some parts of the middle east, I'm sure it would not be that hard for any of the crew from that vessel to find some pretty powerful weapons.

Translate that to Traveller: Should the availability of Battle Dress and Fusion Guns be as simple as traveling to a Low Law, High Pop world, with a lot of Imperial Credits to spend?

Or, does the Imperial Government keep a tight fist around those types of equipment--to where it's not that easy to obtain.

And, if this is the case, how would a crewman from a typical Traveller free trader ever hope to get his hands on something more powerful than an ACR?
The Imp gov keeps a tight reign on Nuc's. Not Battle Dress on some back water, low LL world. That being said, just how available would it be? Similar to the magic item shop problem in D&D. Given the EXTREME cost in relation to the average income + the demand factor (lack thereof), what items are likely to be in stock and available? Not many. Also, there are probably a few ports where I can pick up an RPG-7. But, it will be unlikely that'll be able to purchase an AT4-CS.
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Old October 23rd, 2014, 12:49 PM
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Default MgT Supplement 4: Central Supply Catalogue

Quote:
Originally Posted by Supplement Four View Post
I sometimes struggle, when I run Traveller campaigns, on how easy it should be for a crew full of civilians to lay their hands on top, military grade equipment.

On the one hand, I think of the real world. If an ocean ship captain made port in Africa or some parts of the middle east, I'm sure it would not be that hard for any of the crew from that vessel to find some pretty powerful weapons.

Translate that to Traveller: Should the availability of Battle Dress and Fusion Guns be as simple as traveling to a Low Law, High Pop world, with a lot of Imperial Credits to spend?

Or, does the Imperial Government keep a tight fist around those types of equipment--to where it's not that easy to obtain.

And, if this is the case, how would a crewman from a typical Traveller free trader ever hope to get his hands on something more powerful than an ACR?

MJD wrote up a treatise on this very point called 'Imperial Weapons Permits" in his T20 supplements. He updated it for MgT, and it is included in the introductory chapters of MgT Supplement 4: Central Supply Catalogue.
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Old October 23rd, 2014, 03:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Supplement Four View Post

On the one hand, I think of the real world. If an ocean ship captain made port in Africa or some parts of the middle east, I'm sure it would not be that hard for any of the crew from that vessel to find some pretty powerful weapons.
IMTU I use weapons permits that are valid across my Imperium for ownership but use is regulated by local law level.

In your example you use the idea of a real world ship captain.

That ship will be flagged by a particular country and be governed by its laws. More important it will have to obey the laws of the ports it visits too.

So suppose I call in a Somali port and buy a couple of AK47s. At every subsequent port I risk customs finding them and having to explain them (remember logs will be open for inspection too so calling at a suspect port draws attention). If I have no permit from my flag country I'm in trouble. If I was to smuggle them into the port and use them, well thats terrorism.

In Traveller terms if at the Imperial law level you are not allowed to have something (nukes) your liable to be stopped and searched by the Imperial Navy. If you import something without legal permits (depending on the local law level) you're in trouble with planetary or Imperial customs. If you actually use something then expect to be responded to in kind.

Of course that response comes down to two things, the setting and the referee.

The settling may be wild west dangerous or civilized rule of law. The referee should base his response to the Traveller's actions based on the setting and the scenario.
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Old October 23rd, 2014, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Reban View Post
IMTU I use weapons permits that are valid across my Imperium for ownership but use is regulated by local law level . . .

The settling may be wild west dangerous or civilized rule of law.
It might even be interesting (in terms of Imperial Law and Weapon Permits explicitly - i.e. not Local Law) to suggest that "Behind the Claw" things are more lax and stray toward the "Wild West" with Imperial level forces not overly concerned about permits unless a particular problem is in evidence, while in the Imperial core-worlds, the Imperial enforcement of Weapon Permits is closer to the "Civilized Rule of Law" format with closer scrutiny.
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Old October 23rd, 2014, 04:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whulorigan View Post
It might even be interesting (in terms of Imperial Law and Weapon Permits explicitly - i.e. not Local Law) to suggest that "Behind the Claw" things are more lax and stray toward the "Wild West" with Imperial level forces not overly concerned about permits unless a particular problem is in evidence, while in the Imperial core-worlds, the Imperial enforcement of Weapon Permits is closer to the "Civilized Rule of Law" format with closer scrutiny.
I travel in Europe with a firearm on what is known as a "European Firearms Pass" or Europass. Its basically a passport for my firearm that allows me to move across borders. Of course in each state I have to abide by local laws which can range from being required to get a temporary visitor's permit to the local police treating my firearm as a toy.

Interesting sidenote, its usually harder to get out of a country with this system than to enter it.... paperwork in triplicate, fees for the police, explanations for the customs, puzzled airline staff and lots of consulting the manual.
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Old October 23rd, 2014, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by whulorigan View Post
MJD wrote up a treatise on this very point called 'Imperial Weapons Permits" in his T20 supplements. He updated it for MgT, and it is included in the introductory chapters of MgT Supplement 4: Central Supply Catalogue.
And what does this essay have to say about the subject?


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Old October 23rd, 2014, 04:48 PM
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And what does this essay have to say about the subject?


Hans
Basically it is new 3I wide laws that aren't Canon and don't fit with earlier material regarding the subject of non nuc weapon possession.
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Old October 23rd, 2014, 06:24 PM
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Default Imperial Weapons Permit Categories (MgT/T20)

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Originally Posted by HG_B View Post
Basically it is new 3I wide laws that aren't Canon and don't fit with earlier material regarding the subject of non nuc weapon possession.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rancke View Post
And what does this essay have to say about the subject?
HG_B is right in that it is a modification of prior canon, and may not fit everyone's view of the 3I, but it basically divides all weapons into 5 Imperial Permit Categories (which do NOT supersede Local Law, IIRC).

From MgT Supplement 4, p.18-20:
Quote:
As a general rule, huge interstellar states are not unduly concerned with the private ownership of small arms. Weapons capable of penetrating the body armour used by the state’s ground troops are of greater interest and items capable of causing large-scale casualties or disruption are usually restricted.

Thus, the Third Imperium (and many other, similar, interstellar states), prohibits some items and restricts others using a system of permits. Generally speaking, the more accountable an individual is the easier he will find it to obtain a permit for restricted items.
.
.
.
The permit system is mainly used to restrict ‘arms tourists’ from going to low-law worlds to stock up on powerful weapons. Some measure of control is deemed necessary to limit such activities. However, the system is patchily enforced. In some regions Imperial law enforcers will routinely ignore the system unless they are given a good reason to become involved. In other areas the system is rigorously enforced.

The permit system allows a Navy boarding and inspection party, for example, to confiscate weapons found during a routine boarding if they are not properly documented. It has also been used to disarm mercenary or militia groups whose activities were considered questionable. It is mainly used in areas away from the jurisdiction of world governments, such as on an unclaimed rockball planet.

In general, the Categories are:
Quote:
Category 1 Weapons: Unrestricted Weapons - Includes blades, bow weapons and non-lethal guns, etc, and are effectively a blanket permit for anyone - they are completely unregulated by the Imperium.

Category 2 Weapons: Civilian Small Arms - includes most semi-automatic weapons (pistols/carbines/rifles) and shotguns. It merely requires the ability to demonstrate the ability to use the weapon safely to acquire the permit.

Category 3 Weapons: Paramilitary Small Arms - The ability to use the weapon safely and demonstrate "suitable need". Often line of employment covers this. Everyone who has had an honorable discharge from prior Imperial Military Service has a default blanket Category 3 Permit.

Category 4 Weapons: Military Equipment - Similar to Category 3, but with tighter restrictions. Includes autoweapons, mid-tech support weapons, military body armor, and light military combat vehicles. Individuals receiving a "weapon" as a mustering-out benefit generally have included with it an Imperial permit for the particular weapon.

Category 5 Weapons: Restricted Military Equipment -Only available to accredited mercenary units and their members, or those formerly of such units who are actively seeking employment. It includes High Energy Weapons, Gauss Support Weapons, Heavy Military Combat Vehicles, and Battle Dress, among other things.

Prohibited Items: Nuclear, antimatter, Chemical, and Biological Weapons, as well as starship grade Meson Weapons, among other things.
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Old October 23rd, 2014, 08:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Supplement Four View Post
Translate that to Traveller: Should the availability of Battle Dress and Fusion Guns be as simple as traveling to a Low Law, High Pop world, with a lot of Imperial Credits to spend?
What the others wrote, plus my 10 cents worth.

States will ban what is seen as a threat, which comes down to culture. Weapon ownership is clearly not banned in western nations, but European countries, Canada, NZ and Australia have decided that mass ownership of military-grade weapons is unacceptable, whereas the US dissents from this. However explosives are seen as an unacceptable threat in the US (personal sporting use not quite justifiable!) so explosives aren't banned. That may also be the case in some third world nations, but corruption enables them to be owned by individuals anyway.

As for purchasing them, it'd come down to contacts and cash. A friend of mine worked on an investigation a number of years back where a bunch of sergeant-majors in logistic positions were using their knowledge of how to write off man-portable rockets from their inventories, enabling them to sell the things on the (for want of a better term) black market. It was when bikies were found with them in a raid by police that the whole investigation kicked off that led back to the army personnel.

So, all sorts of things are likely to be available at a starport, but it may come down to back room contacts and how many credits the PCs are willing to splash about.
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