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T20 - Traveller for the D20 System Open discussion on the D20 version of Traveller!

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Old November 12th, 2002, 07:29 PM
scurry scurry is offline
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Two of the PCs in my game have Armor Proficiency (Battledress) and are interested in tracking some down. Our Prior History process made it so most people are fairly rich and can, if they pool their resources, get a suit or two.

Now I have to worry about the mechanics. I have some basic questions to do with using the suits pragmatically in the game. I'd love it if I could get a little feedback on them.

1) How big is a suit? How does energy work for it? How bulky, heavy and maneuvrable are they? Are they more like MECH or like Starship Troopers gear?

2) Do users need any piloting or driving skills beyond the Armor Prof feat?

3) In zero-g, should "drivers" suffer the same penalties as "naked" people in a mere vac suit?

4) How fast can they go? Can they jump (i.e., Death from Above?)

5) When they get hit, should you use the vehicle hit location system or not? A lot of the results from that wouldn't make much sense?

6) I noticed "Mech" mentioned in a couple of places. How common are they in the Third Imperium? Are they practical in this "reality"?

7) Should "Mech" be interchangeable with word "Battledress" for the purposes of skills required to use them even if they are not the same thing?

That is the tip of the iceberg. I am really worried about a boarding action or someone suiting up on a Starship and going ape. I would like to be able to give the characters details, flavor and pragmatic rules on the use of Battledress, so I appreciate any feedback at all!
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Old November 12th, 2002, 08:52 PM
themink themink is offline
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If you allow Battledress in PC hands then you are going to have to manage all these issues.

Also get used to them ignoring 90% plus of combat - If the victim is armed with anything other than military hardware, they aren't dangerous.

So you have to choose whether military hardware is incredibly rare in your TU or not.

IMTU Players would practically never have access to some. If they did get any, it would be on it's last legs maintainance wise (say 5 hours left before total collapse) and would break down terminally shortly.

If you allow players access to that sort of hardware, you also have to let the riff raff in the spaceways access to the same sort of gear - and this jumps the "bar" in combat.

If you allow it, combat will be more deadly accross the board - crits will spell virtually certain death and your players will be rolling up characters more often. (enough damage to affect battledress means that a crit will smear the occupant)

I don;t like that, but some people do.

Re: Sizes - Origionally Batteldress was Starship trooper sized - ie the size of a huge human rather than mech sized.
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Old November 13th, 2002, 01:58 PM
tjoneslo tjoneslo is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by scurry:
Two of the PCs in my game have Armor Proficiency (Battledress) and are interested in tracking some down.I'd love it if I could get a little feedback on them.

1) How big is a suit? How does energy work for it? How bulky, heavy and maneuvrable are they? Are they more like MECH or like Starship Troopers gear?
The example suit in the THB is 300vl or about 3x the size of a human, Say 2.5m tall, plus a large backpack supporting the power plant and equipment.
Quote:
2) Do users need any piloting or driving skills beyond the Armor Prof feat?
No, that the whole point of the suit system, and the specized feat.
Quote:
3) In zero-g, should "drivers" suffer the same penalties as "naked" people in a mere vac suit?
Yes.
Quote:
4) How fast can they go? Can they jump (i.e., Death from Above?)
Tatical doctine does not allow the suits to fly. The armor does not provide enough protection against direct fire. You can add a grav belt (Use the stat from the example in the THB) if they feel the necessity.

Quote:
5) When they get hit, should you use the vehicle hit location system or not? A lot of the results from that wouldn't make much sense?
I'd use the vehicle damage locations. If you read the rules, a missing or already damaged item cascaded to the next one down, which quickly either disables the suit or kills the wearer.
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6) I noticed "Mech" mentioned in a couple of places. How common are they in the Third Imperium? Are they practical in this "reality"?
Mecha, as from anime, are not used at all in Traveller. When you have a tank smaller than an M1, capable of flying at mach speed armed with a fusion gun capable of killing anything within sight range and a targeting system capable of making sure the shot hits, 30m mech are big, slow targets.
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7) Should "Mech" be interchangeable with word "Battledress" for the purposes of skills required to use them even if they are not the same thing?
I wouldn't use them interchangebly. Mecha, if they existed IMTU, would require a seperate Vehicle (Mecha) feat/pilot skill.

As Mink stated, battledress can dramaticly change the nature of the combat your characters get into, and you'll have to adapt.

Battledress is tough, built to withstand small arms fire, but it is not invulnerable. Man portable anti-tank rockets work wonders, as do advanced but not quite military grade weapons. A breeching charge is another wonderful option.

The other option, other than giving the enemy battlesdress, is to have them run away, a lot. On difference between D&D and Traveller should be the enemy should smarter and more cowardly than the players. Which means if the bad guys think they are overmatched, they give up. Living to another day is another day for revenge.
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Old November 13th, 2002, 02:15 PM
BluWolf BluWolf is offline
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If you are looking for some inspiration for using "mechanized-battle-suit" type technology, Dungeon/Polyhedron released a mini-game last month called Mecha-Crusade.

While the mini-game is seems to depict a robotechesque setting, it could easily be adapted for a Battleship Troopers style of tech.

I like the picture of space marines in powered mobile armor flying over from a ship to another one to do a boarding style type raid.

Just picture space-coast-guard guys doing interdiction outside a planets gravity well.

Very cool!! [img]graemlins/file_23.gif[/img]
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Old November 13th, 2002, 03:11 PM
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Another thing to remember about Battledress is that any reported use of it will draw immediate Imperial attention. That attention may well come in the form of 8 similarly dressed Imperial Marines pointing FGMPs at said players

This of course depends on location and how it's used, but I've tended to find that players that go looking for Battledress tend to want to try it out.
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Old November 13th, 2002, 03:38 PM
Liam Devlin Liam Devlin is offline
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For a good idea how big it is, examine the below address--CoTI's Trav Rpg art gallery....my friend Bryan Gibson's work (which all of us recognize as THE definitve look for IMmperial Battle Dress!)

http://www.travellerrpg.com/Artwork/armor.html

Enjoy...
(Okay Bryan, its a shameless plug, but there is an art gallery on this site folks!)
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Old November 13th, 2002, 04:09 PM
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And don't forget the color plate of the Battledress squad advancing in the second set of plates in THB. It gives a good idead of just what your PC's would end up having to deal with if
1) they have Battledress and
2) they are typical PC's...

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Old November 14th, 2002, 12:20 PM
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Well, I have come to a few conclusions. I am going to assign numbers to the weapons and armor charts related to Law Level for ease of reference. I am also going to make sure my players understand 2 things not explicitly laid out in the THB:

1) Battledress is very illegal in the Empire. That means that there is a defacto "Law Level" in the spaceways with respect Battledress. This should mitigate its use to when it won't be discovered

2) Battledress requires a lot of energy. I am thinking enough for two hours use can be stored (with less fast/robust versions that might have longer juice). This should limit the tactics of their use even for imperials: they are shock troops and they have a logistical weaknes. They obvious can only move as fast as their company batteries, and they must protect those batteries at all costs.

I will let the group know that they can be used shipboard, although that they should be aware that the firepower they typically employ would easily whole a ship from the inside!
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Old November 18th, 2002, 09:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by tjoneslo:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />5) When they get hit, should you use the vehicle hit location system or not? A lot of the results from that wouldn't make much sense?
I'd use the vehicle damage locations. If you read the rules, a missing or already damaged item cascaded to the next one down, which quickly either disables the suit or kills the wearer.
</font>[/QUOTE]I have a question. If Battledress is a vehicle, and I shoot it with a personal scale weapon, do I subtract 5 dice from the attack or is this already figured into the AR 12 of the Battledress? And therefore damage only occurs to the occupant when the SI is breached or possibly a critical hit is made against the Battledress (per the vehicle combat rules and an appropriate internal damage result)

Or is it actually a human scale target with an AR12, but was built as a vehicle and is treated as normal (though obviously very tough) armor - any damage after AR passes on to the occupant.

Or something else entirely?

Perhaps a quick combat example of someone going up against an opponent in battle-dress would be helpful.
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Old November 18th, 2002, 11:44 AM
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I've allowed players to get battledress on occasion, but those were merc orientated campaigns, and there were limiting factors. Converting those over to T20, I would express them as follows:

1. Battledress and the attending weaponry requires a CAT-5 weapons permit. No permit = no legal way to purchase the armor. Black market is always an option for less scrupulous (or more desparate) characters. What my characters were finally able to procure was very old, and several tech levels below what the contemporary Imperial Marines had.
2. Be very careful about the Imperial Mercenary Code... if you're using battledress against folks more than 2 tech levels below you... watch out for the Imperial Marines to intervene.
3. The stuff is darned expensive to maintain. I had things always breaking and costing the party money. Considering that they had an 8 man striker team, and only enough money to procure four sets of BD... well, you get the idea.
4. You can expect the bad guys to have rather visceral reactions when seeing battledress take the field. This usually starts out as stark terror... followed by withering concentration of fire on the suits. People will preferrentially fire on battledress over tanks because of the psychological effect that they engender. (Or, at least thats the way I played it.)

YMMV
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