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Referee's Lounge Discussion of how to (and not to) Referee Traveller and Cepheus Engine games. No edition warring allowed.

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  #31  
Old January 22nd, 2018, 05:15 PM
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OP, I have a unique solution set to offer, which is a reality-feel system to my wargaming/combat vet players, but also has a metaref goal of sinking in just how dangerous a firefight is.

Twoparter- I have a hit location system with modifiers, based on CT/Striker, and I have a gritty QND medical system.

I haven't really discussed the two together but they are meant to work in tandem.

The hit location system does a base 1-3 die damage depending on whether it is an extremity, thoracic region or head. A second roll can add or subtract up to 3D based on pen vs. armor, plus 1D for blunt trauma weapons.

So a pistol hit in the hand may do less damage then a dagger to the head.

I can deal with vest armor vs. no extremity armor, and helmets become rather important.

So that helps me get across the visualization of where the hit went, how badly, etc.

The medical system tells me what sort of wound it is, complications, etc. and the treatment regimen, especially if one is out in the field vs. in a ship medicbay or hospital.

STR=bones/muscle/cardio
DEX=nervous system
END=digestive/immune system

Between hit location, damage done and resulting treatments, I can describe what is happening, makes it less a stats tank experience and far more personal.

'You were hit in the right hand by the magnum revolver, you had a Cloth glove on that reduced the damage to 1D, that's a 4 that goes against your DEX, shot clean through and no broken bones, oh looks like your hand is non-responsive but not destroyed, you aren't going to shoot well until that's healed'.

As most of us know that's a real light easy wound by Traveller standards, but even that is vexing and gets your players to visualize.

Run em through some personal woundings and hospital stays and neardeath field stabilization, make them pay for it, and I think the message will get across.

Don't want to do hit location or MgT2e doesn't do that well? Just do translation-

1-2 cut/bruise anywhere
3-4 arms/legs minor
5 chest minor
6 head minor
7-10 arms/legs major one inoperative
12-14 chest wound major
15-16 head major knocked out
17-21 arms/legs one lost
22-26 chest wound massive, 1+ organ lost
27+ head wound massive, consider rolling for INT/EDU loss

If a shotgun/flechette or autofire hits, consider dividing half and then half again, etc- so a 20 point gauss hit is a 10, a 5, a 3 and a 2.

Don't know if MgT2e does END first.

Anyway, that's a major part of my consequences package for the trigger happy.
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Last edited by kilemall; January 22nd, 2018 at 10:36 PM..
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  #32  
Old January 22nd, 2018, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Tiikeri View Post



Ho-ho-holy cow!
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  #33  
Old January 22nd, 2018, 05:25 PM
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Then, the funnel narrows even more.
you write fairly well. you should post some stories here.
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  #34  
Old January 22nd, 2018, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Tiikeri View Post
Thank goodness!


The other points are not my premises. I never stated that D&D doesn't reward non-tactical play or that killing is required for max xp. I said that the rules encourage killing as the fastest way to get rewards. I never said D&D encourages rules-lawyering more than other games, I said it encourages rules-lawyering to create the most efficient killing machine as a character. I should have been more clear that I was addressing that particular character-engineering issue or used a different verb, since people can argue rules in any game.
You're wrong. D&D doesn't require nor actively encourage killing at all. You get the same XP for scaring them away, or simply sneaking past, or beating them at cards. One opposed roll is much faster, and by the rules exactly the same XP.

It doesn't encourage rules-lawyering any more than Traveller does. The rues lawyers do so in any game, and the rules, unless stupid-simple, don't affect that much. So, again, it's a false premise making your conclusions invalid. A logical follow-on, but based upon a false premise, and thus poisoned.

And, to make it clear: edition warring, no matter the game, is NOT APPROPRIATE. That includes GameA vs GameB If you want to bitch about your misperceptions of the D&D game, please do so elsewhere. RPG Pundit's The RPG Site is a place that will listen. RPG.net, EnWorld, Kenzerco.com, and RPG geek all discourage edition warring, as do we.
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  #35  
Old January 22nd, 2018, 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by aramis View Post
You're wrong. D&D doesn't require nor actively encourage killing at all. You get the same XP for scaring them away, or simply sneaking past, or beating them at cards. One opposed roll is much faster, and by the rules exactly the same XP.
And this has been true since first edition. All you have to do is look up the XP generation tables in the DMG. In fact, it will tell the GM how to use role play to make for multipliers to the XP value, and how to scale XP for treasure collection.

"Defeating an opponent" does not always mean you have to kill them.
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  #36  
Old January 24th, 2018, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by sulu244 View Post
I've got a fairly good group of players, but they're still stuck in the D&D/Pathfinder "I see it I shoot it" mentality. I've tried to tell them that getting shot in Traveller is considered a Very Bad Thing, but I'm looking for advice on how to demonstrate this to them, so that they don't get the entire crew killed 3 sessions in.
To play Devil's Advocate here...

I believe that RPGs are a collaborative effort that involves compromises between everyone involved. The "us GMs vs. them players" viewpoint isn't very productive as far as I'm concerned. What you're experiencing is a difference in expectations of a game. I don't think they can really be solved through killing the players off or showing them how deadly combat is - it won't change anything if what they expect/want is a game where violence is used to solve conflicts.

Myself, I would have some honest discussion with your players about the game.

Depending on my group, start first, just to frame the discussion; I'd explain to them the kind of Traveller game I want to run and what kind of game I think Traveller is - a place where non-combat resolutions to problems are often a thing, combat is deadly (for the players), and so on. That the amount of combat in the game is going to result in large gaps in the player party and perhaps total party kills.

Then let them speak. I wouldn't ask my players what they want of the game. Ask them instead what they imagine a Traveller game to be like. Do they want conflict (gun combat or whatever) to be a significant part of the game? Do they want dungeon crawls with a futuristic dressing?

Are they interested in trying a kind of game like Traveller where there's less combat?

It's good to gauge responses here; a lot of players will say they want to try something with less combat but they'll get bored without it. It's important to find out what the players are feeling before they just stop showing up to your games or vote to play something else (unless you're fine with that). You might want to try a relatively self-contained Traveller game that will be over in 3 sessions, a game that you think has what you believe to be the correct elements of a Traveller game.

If they're not enjoying it, then it's time to hash it out what will work. Remember, while it is very important for them to have fun, you also need to have fun running it. So perhaps in the end, maybe Traveller is not for them. Maybe you could modify the game so that combat isn't quite so deadly so the players can engage in more of it. I'm not unsympathetic to players who like combat. I enjoy it myself. I love myself some D&D dungeon grinds - they're simple and fun, something you can play with a few beers and some good laughs even if I die. A group of players like this, we tried Traveller and they decided they liked combat too much for Traveller to ever be fun for them - so we eventually compromised and played a Dark Heresy "Law and Order" style game - there was a group of low-combat investigators whose job it was to figure out what was going on and generally try and keep things low-key where pistols were considered a deadly escalation. Once they had figured things out, they could call in the Space Marines (an alternative set of characters) to engage in huge fights with the cultists and so on where a pistol was considered a laughable weapon and players leveled things with plasma guns.

I think the first step is to ensure you and your players are at least roughly on the same page as to what is expected from the game.
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Last edited by epicenter00; January 24th, 2018 at 08:00 PM..
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  #37  
Old February 13th, 2018, 04:51 AM
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Originally Posted by sulu244 View Post
So, I'm a fairly new Ref, I've run a few games in a few different systems, but Traveller seems to be the one which has stuck (Much to my enjoyment). I've got a fairly good group of players, but they're still stuck in the D&D/Pathfinder "I see it I shoot it" mentality. I've tried to tell them that getting shot in Traveller is considered a Very Bad Thing, but I'm looking for advice on how to demonstrate this to them, so that they don't get the entire crew killed 3 sessions in.
Use cannon fodder. Give them an NPC that needs some protecting. Have him die by a sniper shot.
Drop a casual remark that you didn't fudge anything, it can happen to everyone.

You should also prepare who sent the sniper, and everything else, of course, in case the PCs decide to take revenge. But hey, free adventure!

Quote:
On a somewhat tangential note, they're also struggling with Travellers lack of character progression ala D&D. I've houseruled that instead of simply not learning anything after 8 weeks if they fail their check, they just have to try again next week. Does this sound reasonable? For reference we are playing Mongoose Second Edition.
I'd advise against said houserule. You're bound to see way too many Skill-3 (and more) characters with this, and those might be in multiple areas.
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  #38  
Old February 13th, 2018, 11:42 AM
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On the skill progession front, I'm CT all the way, which means it's a lot harder to get skill then Mongoose Traveller. Even with Instruction, chances are you'll only be able to get training up to 1, maybe 2, and they would have to be in a dedicated class doing nothing else.

Except for the Eureka rule.

The idea is that sometimes skill progression is not always practice study work, but sometimes an ah-HA! moment occurs where the player does something great or horribly wrong and a breakthrough occurs.

So on a roll where the player got natural 2 or 12 and in MgT terms was harder then routine, they may have that Eureka moment.

They can roll again anytime in the next game time month.

On another natural 12 they gain a level in the skill they were using during the Eureka roll.

On another natural 2 they LOSE a level in the skill they were using.

This models the fact that the character may have learned the WRONG lesson and is acting with bravado or is delusional.

Or they were very scarred by the failure and learned hesitancy, self-doubt and in general is reluctant to get 'back in the saddle'.

From a game play perspective this gives the immediate skill boost crowd an option, but is self-regulating against skill bloat.
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Old February 13th, 2018, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by aramis View Post
D&D doesn't require nor actively encourage killing at all. You get the same XP for scaring them away, or simply sneaking past, or beating them at cards.
While completely off-topic, I found that most of my AD&D XPs came from the Treasure in the modules rather than the monster encounters. [and having to drop everything and go find some place to 'level up' in the middle of a dungeon was always a PITA.]

That was one of the attractions of Classic Traveller.
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Old February 18th, 2018, 08:45 PM
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Hmm.. 1st ed AD&D repeatedly uses the word "slain" monsters with regards to XP awards. DMG pp 84, 85. There is a line about tricking or outwitting monsters being a subjective XP award but the recurring theme is "slain". My first real group was all younger guys in the 18-24 age range. Didn't really do "subtle". What's was funny to me was the G.P. cost per week of training was more XP than a 1st level thief needed to go up in level. If they needed more than one week it was worse.

I do understand the "trigger happy" theme, I've been that way myself. Even in Champions, a super hero RPG. Took me a while to catch the "hero" concept even though I usually play good guys.

In Traveller the options for "game" are so much wider than scraping for credits or the next gunfight. Maybe show them life on the other side; mega credit deals but hey, you go have fun shooting people and being poor. They get a reputation for legal troubles and no one will hire them. Sorry, no ships going that direction, too bad you don't have your own.

Usually people only change if the new option is worth the effort. What would be "worth it" to them? What would be fun for you?
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