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In My Traveller Universe Detail what parts of Traveller you do (or don't) use in your campaign.

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Old March 24th, 2019, 09:21 PM
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Default Commission/Promotion "Dumbing Down"

So, as part of looking at original LBB character career progressions, and then comparing them to modern interpretations (Mongoose/Cepheus/Whatever) - I've noticed a definite trend to "Dumbing down" the advancement requirements. Also, again, I'm looking at JUST LBB style characters, as opposed to Mercenary/High Guard/Whatever.

For example - LBB-1 a Marine needs a 9 unmodified for both Commission and Promotion; in Cepheus Engine they need a 6 and a 7.

LBB-1 Navy needs a 10 and an 8; CE it becomes a 7 and a 6.

Now, I've always bemoaned the military rank progression in Traveller anyway - the tendency to end up with Colonels and Admirals going on adventures alongside Dukes, all for a pittance of credits that they should rightfully be paying minions to handle. But, that's a separate issue.

At least with the "Original" you had characters more or less struggling to make rank. If you've got an unmodified roll that people are going to make 50% of the time, even without stats adjusting things, then the odds of those "new" PCs being rank 5/6 grows dramatically.

Am I the only one frustrated by this? Wanting a better balance of rank/progression systems, without totally limiting the characters? And yes, I realize several of the rewrites include enlisted rank structures as well, but that doesn't totally address the problem.
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Old March 25th, 2019, 08:40 AM
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I hadn't noticed, but thanks for the insight: as a recent fan of Cepheus Light (and it's editable version) I am in the process of making what changes I can to bring it even closer to '77 CT. I much prefer the tougher qualifying throws too, but have also dispensed with any automatic skills for said ranks.
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Old March 25th, 2019, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diveguy View Post
So, as part of looking at original LBB character career progressions, and then comparing them to modern interpretations (Mongoose/Cepheus/Whatever) - I've noticed a definite trend to "Dumbing down" the advancement requirements. Also, again, I'm looking at JUST LBB style characters, as opposed to Mercenary/High Guard/Whatever.

For example - LBB-1 a Marine needs a 9 unmodified for both Commission and Promotion; in Cepheus Engine they need a 6 and a 7.

LBB-1 Navy needs a 10 and an 8; CE it becomes a 7 and a 6.

Am I the only one frustrated by this? Wanting a better balance of rank/progression systems, without totally limiting the characters? And yes, I realize several of the rewrites include enlisted rank structures as well, but that doesn't totally address the problem.
In the Real World, rank takes a lot longer to get than in Traveller. Figure that it should take two terms to make Captain, and at least three for Major, and a minimum of 4 for Lt. Colonel. If you have not reached Major in 4 terms, you are out. If you have not reached Lt. Colonel in 5 terms, you are out. As far as I am concerned, General should not be in the mix at all. I am working on Cepheus Engine, but had not got to that yet.

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Now, I've always bemoaned the military rank progression in Traveller anyway - the tendency to end up with Colonels and Admirals going on adventures alongside Dukes, all for a pittance of credits that they should rightfully be paying minions to handle. But, that's a separate issue. At least with the "Original" you had characters more or less struggling to make rank. If you've got an unmodified roll that people are going to make 50% of the time, even without stats adjusting things, then the odds of those "new" PCs being rank 5/6 grows dramatically.
Careful about commenting on the higher ups going on adventures. That can raise some hackles.
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Old March 25th, 2019, 01:06 PM
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How about something like this:

Commission: Very Diff (DM-4)

Promotion
Ranks 1,2: Difficult (DM-2)
Ranks 3,4: Very Difficult (DM-4)
Ranks 5,6: Formidable (DM-6)

Target numbers stay RAW, apply the task difficulty and any PC/event DMs and that should smooth things out a bit.
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Old March 25th, 2019, 05:56 PM
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Commission should be more closely tied to education.

How many Officers are there with NO college education, yet the Military recruits on campus with a guaranteed commission.

How many NCOs are there with a Master's Degree?

Is EDU likely to become more important or less important when dealing with advanced technology?

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Promotion should be an increasing difficulty roll.
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Old March 25th, 2019, 07:32 PM
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Just one example that I think illustrates some of what's been said above:

My Dad was a sophomore in college (Agriculture) when he got drafted into the U.S. Army for Korea in 1952. After Basic and Advanced (Artillery) he got picked for NCO School, then OCS, then Flight School, then Rotary Wing School, and by then of course the Korean War was over so they sent him back to college to finish his bachelor's degree.

Commission of course came at conclusion of OCS, with rank 2nd Lt.

Promotion-wise I know he was already a 1st Lt by the time he got sent back to college, and a Captain a couple years later when I was born. The next year he went to fly Huey gunships in Vietnam and came back a Major. Three years later another Vietnam tour and came back a LTC. Three years at the Pentagon, got to choose his dream command out West where he could start looking for land and building his cattle herd in prep for retirement. Total service 24 years = 6 terms.

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Old March 25th, 2019, 11:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timerover51 View Post
In the Real World, rank takes a lot longer to get than in Traveller. Figure that it should take two terms to make Captain, and at least three for Major, and a minimum of 4 for Lt. Colonel. If you have not reached Major in 4 terms, you are out. If you have not reached Lt. Colonel in 5 terms, you are out. As far as I am concerned, General should not be in the mix at all. I am working on Cepheus Engine, but had not got to that yet.



Careful about commenting on the higher ups going on adventures. That can raise some hackles.
Your times are a little off for the Army/Marines these days - from both my experience in service, and checks on data trends. Figure Captain at end of 1st term, and Major by end of 2nd. Your upper limits are correct. I do agree on Flag officers really shouldn't even be a PC option.
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Old March 25th, 2019, 11:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fovean View Post
How about something like this:

Commission: Very Diff (DM-4)

Promotion
Ranks 1,2: Difficult (DM-2)
Ranks 3,4: Very Difficult (DM-4)
Ranks 5,6: Formidable (DM-6)

Target numbers stay RAW, apply the task difficulty and any PC/event DMs and that should smooth things out a bit.
Hmmm. This gives me food for thought. Though I'd want to include enlisted ranks as well, but also with a step easier for each range.... I'll have to consider.
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Old March 26th, 2019, 07:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diveguy View Post
So, as part of looking at original LBB character career progressions, and then comparing them to modern interpretations (Mongoose/Cepheus/Whatever) - I've noticed a definite trend to "Dumbing down" the advancement requirements. Also, again, I'm looking at JUST LBB style characters, as opposed to Mercenary/High Guard/Whatever.

For example - LBB-1 a Marine needs a 9 unmodified for both Commission and Promotion; in Cepheus Engine they need a 6 and a 7.

LBB-1 Navy needs a 10 and an 8; CE it becomes a 7 and a 6.

Now, I've always bemoaned the military rank progression in Traveller anyway - the tendency to end up with Colonels and Admirals going on adventures alongside Dukes, all for a pittance of credits that they should rightfully be paying minions to handle. But, that's a separate issue.

At least with the "Original" you had characters more or less struggling to make rank. If you've got an unmodified roll that people are going to make 50% of the time, even without stats adjusting things, then the odds of those "new" PCs being rank 5/6 grows dramatically.

Am I the only one frustrated by this? Wanting a better balance of rank/progression systems, without totally limiting the characters? And yes, I realize several of the rewrites include enlisted rank structures as well, but that doesn't totally address the problem.
Some points here:

I haven't read CE ,but in MgT the comisiˇn roll is 8+, so not so far from CT basic Chargen.

IMHO, the true "Dumbing Sown" of commssion, at least for Army and Marines cam with CT:LBB4 (forgive me to take it to bear, as you speciifed you don't use it, but I find it relevant).

In CT:LBB4, the possibility for a marine with EDU 8+ to reach the OCS (and so commissioning) each year is 1/9, so it has a fair probability to be commissioned in the first term. For the Army, I guess this possibility even lowers his chance to be commissioned in the first term over basic CharGen.

Curiously, this is not so true for Navy Characters in CT:LBB5, unless they can attain the Academy or the College...
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Old March 27th, 2019, 06:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atpollard View Post
Commission should be more closely tied to education.

How many Officers are there with NO college education, yet the Military recruits on campus with a guaranteed commission.

How many NCOs are there with a Master's Degree?

Is EDU likely to become more important or less important when dealing with advanced technology?

**********

Promotion should be an increasing difficulty roll.
Go back to the 1950's or before, and many officers had no college education. Only had to have a degree for a full commission, not a reserve commission (which is what most O1-O3 officers have). OCS was the usual route.

Even into the 1960's... my mother's degrees all post date her active duty time, but she was a LT in the WAC via OCS. (If she's stayed a WAF, she'd likely have been sent to OCS there, instead...)

The 2015 demographics for the US are online: http://download.militaryonesource.mi...ics-Report.pdf

Under 84% of commissioned officers currently held a 4-year degree
7.5% of EM held a 4 year degree.
8.4% of EM don't even have a HS Diploma
1% of EM have advanced degrees. I suspect most are SNCOs...
No HSD nor GED: 0.2% of EM.

in 2015, there were 20 officers who didn't have a HSD nor GED. OFFICERS!
6.5% of Active Duty officers lack a 4 year degree. (I suspect a good number are nurses with ASN/AN's)
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