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MegaTraveller Discuss of the MegaTraveller ruleset and the Rebellion Milieu

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  #31  
Old July 7th, 2010, 01:05 AM
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I just had a creative thought on the damage question.

What about we make an exception to the craft design rules for TL15+ pseudo-biological robots only?

We continue to apply the pseudo-biological weight and cost multiplier to the whole robot, not just the chassis, and we rate strength and dexterity of the pseudo-biological robot as Book 8. We do not rate endurance because the robot still depends on a power source and fuel so endurance is simply fuel supply divided by fuel consumption.

But we use the rated strength and dexterity of the pseudo-biological robot added together as the robot's "Life Force" and then consult the Life Force and Hits table on p.66 of the MT Players' Manual. We leave the maximum damage at 6/10 for a Life Force of 45+.

A pseudo-biological robot at TL15+ is sufficiently advanced to pass for a member of their species (p.23 Book 8). I therefore assume that at TL15 technology is sufficient 'wet' - although expensive - to produce robots that mimic their species very closely. We could work in with the rules and the research done by Hyphen - see this link to his article.

With this idea, we can work in Ash and Bishop at TL15 to our campaigns, and give them life-form hits.

This does not necessarily limit creating giant bizarre pseudo-biological robots with dozens of tenticles and gaping jaws with fusion guns for defence. We can always say that if the robot is sufficiently large and the Craft Design rules would give them more damage, they take the normal craft design hit points. This limits the effective design size for pseudo-biological robots (although they can still be pretty big if you want). Price is a big economic limiter as well.
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  #32  
Old July 7th, 2010, 01:18 AM
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Originally Posted by OjnoTheRed View Post
One last thing, I'm having trouble finding a reference to multiplying vehicle hits by ten for vehicular combat in the errata. Could you point me in the right direction, conanlibrarian? Or DonM?
It's from DGP's Referee's Screen, and the later errata lists. There's some question as to if it should apply to COACC vehicles, and I would not apply it to anything smaller than the existing vehicle chassis list. Just my thoughts.
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  #33  
Old July 7th, 2010, 03:46 AM
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It's from DGP's Referee's Screen, and the later errata lists. There's some question as to if it should apply to COACC vehicles, and I would not apply it to anything smaller than the existing vehicle chassis list. Just my thoughts.
Yes, I have always used it, it is quite an early errata and is on the Sep 1, 1990 errata list that came with my Megatraveller box. In my opinion it is clear that this rule must always be used in some way (or an average human is three times as tough as a ground car), the question is only if to multiply by 10 before rounding or after. I think multiplying before rounding is better since it gives more granularity for small vehicles. Then (all other rules original) a disp 0.25 grav bike is 2/6 instead of 10/10 in vehicle combat. I think this is supported by the fact that many vehicles in "Imperial Encyclopedia" have hits rounded to the first decimal place, i.e. the speeder is listed as 5.4/13.5.

The question in my mind is: how well thought out was this errata. Was it always intended to be the case, or was it just thrown together when someone complained that a ground car was weaker than a small human?
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  #34  
Old July 7th, 2010, 06:36 AM
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So, effectively the new inoperative formula becomes Damage = (Volume in kL) / 15 * 10, and for destroyed it is Damage = (Volume in kL) / 6 * 10? Then round (if we go by your thinking conanlibrarian which I quite like)?

When you say applies to vehicles, does that mean it only applies to craft of 20 Displacement Tons or less (i.e. 270 kL)?

... and the vehicle designs corrected from the Imperial Encyclopedia in your errata here, DonM, all contain hits / damage with inoperative being kL / 15, and destroyed being kL / 6.

Forgive me for being a bit thick, the damage question was a bit of a one to consider after all, conanlibrarian. You're right when you say it's a problem that a ground car takes less damage to destroy than a typical human.
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Old July 7th, 2010, 08:21 AM
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So, effectively the new inoperative formula becomes Damage = (Volume in kL) / 15 * 10, and for destroyed it is Damage = (Volume in kL) / 6 * 10? Then round (if we go by your thinking conanlibrarian which I quite like)?

When you say applies to vehicles, does that mean it only applies to craft of 20 Displacement Tons or less (i.e. 270 kL)?
As I understand it, it applies to vehicle COMBAT, i.e. ground combat. If your PCs attack a landed modular cutter with there FGMP you need to multiply the hits values with 10 also. Some peple even use the vehicle combat system for ship to ship combat, then they multiply the hits value of all the ships with 10.

Still, even with this errata, the problem with the robot hits remains...
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  #36  
Old July 7th, 2010, 09:30 AM
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Sorry if this is a really dumb question. When you say the hit formula applies to vehicle combat, what other purpose do you record hits for? Starship combat ignores structural hit points anyway - separate damage tables are used based on High Guard.

I might be being blind, but I don't see any other purpose for recording inoperative / destroyed hits except for ground based (i.e. not starship) combat. Sure, violence could be done to the vehicle in a non-combat situation, but this is covered pretty well by the task system or if another tool is needed, apply points of damage - i.e. use a combat-equivalent. So we're back to the same problem of comparing damage to people to damage to vehicles.

If there is no other purpose, then I would suggest amending the errata to say that inoperative / destroyed hits for the superstructure be the formulae above - build in the x10 - and round afterwards.

If we get past that, then I'm pretty sure that applying the same to robots will get us over the line on this problem.
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  #37  
Old July 7th, 2010, 09:47 AM
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If there is no other purpose, then I would suggest amending the errata to say that inoperative / destroyed hits for the superstructure be the formulae above - build in the x10 - and round afterwards.
Good point, I also don't know where else it is useful, but for some reason the original errata was made in the ground combat section, not in the design section. Perhaps otherwise to much places would have to be changed!?

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If we get past that, then I'm pretty sure that applying the same to robots will get us over the line on this problem.
But the problem still exists, see my first post; it already assumed we were using the multiply by 10 and round afterward.
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Old July 7th, 2010, 10:51 AM
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Well, yes, the problem still exists but not in such an extreme form. Then it comes down to choices as to game balance rather than bigger questions of why that petrol-driven rubber-burning caravan-haulin' box of metal takes less effort to destroy than a human.

I can live with all robots less than 600 litres at only 1 / 1 (bearing in mind the armour question discussed above). But I'm interested in working towards something that others agree with as well so we get a set of agreed rules that square everything to the most people's satisfaction. I've gotten a bit fired up by this discussion, and I would be interested in publishing (say in PDF form uploaded here) an MT design sequence with tables that fits with the existing craft design sequence.

Another creative thought. Let's expand on the calculating life-force idea. Let's not limit the concept to pseudo-biological robots only. Let's say that for all robots that the "robotic config" I have suggested above (hull weight doubled, hull price x5) buys you that structural configuration necessary to make the robot hardier than craft of the same size.

We then calculate the apparent strength and dexterity per Book 8, and use these figures (no endurance) to calculate notional Life Force, and then consult the Life Force Hits table in the Combat section.

Again, we do apply a top limit of 6 / 10 - i.e all calculated life force, even if well over 45, still only applies inoperative damage of 6 and destroyed of 10. But we also add that, for any robot, they may choose between this method or the usual method of calculating by hull volume in kilolitres.

Let's assume that the hit points calculation is: Inoperative: (Volume in kL) / 15 * 10 and round up to the nearest integer, and Destroyed is (Volume in kL) / 6 *10 and round up to the nearest integer.

Then when hull volume reaches 6100 litres, hits are 5 / 11 - i.e. total of 16 damage pounding to be destroyed, close enough to 6 / 10 to call into question the purchase of a robotic config. Then at 7600 litres it becomes 6/12 definitely not worth doubling hull weight and quintupling cost.

This leaves us with a generous range of hull sizes to shape our tougher robots into shape, while leaving the usual sizes of vehicles at 27000 litres and above untouched by the robot rules, but still comparable with them. The pseudo-bio idea we leave as not being distinct from the others for damage, but the other non-combat roles of passing a machine off as a sentient being come into play which are just as important as pulling a gun or taking a pounding.

The result of this mucking around would leave our Vilani Shadan robot with hits of 6 / 10 - which I think works out reasonably for a small but tough robot that takes a bit of a pounding to destroy.

But another problem arises when applying this method to the Vargr Rueghz robot because it gets 6 / 10 as well - strength is 40 and dexterity is 7 for a national life force of 45.

The Animal Care robot gets 5/7, the Assembler Robot gets 6/10, the Cargo Handler robot gets 6/10, the Deskbot gets 4/7.

This may be setting the bar still a bit low to get a few hits into our smaller robots, and it also means not much variation. We can take it that they are all fair heavy machines that will take a fair amount of damage.

The robots mostly have such high strength because they have those medium or heavy arms that provide a +20 or +50 strength each. This fits their general function, but make it hard to compare the ability to take damage to a human.

Bears further thought, but I must take myself off to bed, even if I am on holidays.
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  #39  
Old July 7th, 2010, 11:20 AM
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Yes, I also find it interesting to discuss these things, and it helps giving perspective to how you do things. But I do not think that a consensus is that important - I have never seen two GMs use exactly the same set of rules anyway...
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  #40  
Old July 7th, 2010, 06:17 PM
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The DGP ref's screen calculates inop and destroyed as vol in litrss/15 and vol in litres/6,

So a 600l chassis would be 40/100, and a shandard human sixed (ish) at 250l would be 16/41, and at 200l 13/33.

Which seems acceptable. Comments?

Regards,

Ewan
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