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Traveller 5 Discussion of the Fifth edition of Traveller, released Spring 2013.

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Old January 1st, 2015, 11:37 PM
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Default Need help with personal combat in T5 - brawling, blade and personal weapons

I am preparing for Escape from Pysadi in The Traveller Adventure, which I am doing in T5 as a bit of a get-to-know the system for me (see my blog on progress so far; time has been a huge constraint this year but we are getting on with it tomorrow my time).

A key encounter is the party being attacked by a beast, something that can badly wound one of the party but not result in an outright kill. I'm thinking something the size of a tiger or lion that the party can fend off. I'll control this by building rather than rolling the creature and putting it into an encounter table, probably built with Rob's great app.

I need to check I'm reading the rules right, and how to plug a couple of gaps.

The encounter range is the creature's size, probably giving the party a chance to react for one round or so while the creature bounds up to whoever it wants to attack.

Except with Pysadi having a law level of 7 (taking the older Spinward Marches stats for 1105), they'll have no guns. Just fists, probably blades. The animal concerned will have a natural weapon and their strength generated from the creation process.

I get the general structure of combat as an abstracted system of "minutes" that result in net outcomes rather than tracking all movement, ammunition etc. I'm fine with that so long as it is fun and builds tension. But I need help.

For resolving a brawl round by round, we get this from p. 158 rulebook:
To resolve one round of a brawl.
Difficult (3D) < Str + Unarmed
Opposed (up to 6). Resolves one round of the brawl Highest Roll (if unsuccessful) is the Loser (= 3D Hits)

We also get this from p. 135 of the rulebook:
A more extended resolution of a brawl determines the loser of a specific round. The highest result (provided that result is unsuccessful) is the loser, receives 2D in damage, and is eliminated from the brawl. If no one is unsuccessful, repeat the task.
To resolve one round of a brawl.
Difficult (3D) < Str + Brawling
Opposed (up to 6). Resolves one round of the brawl.


Although the second one needs "Unarmed" knowledge instead of "Brawling", the damage makes more sense for each round of 2D damage.

OK so far; the part will oppose the beast and anyone in unarmed range (reading or touching) can participate; others will have to move in.

It would seem that Str of the Beast is relevant as generated from the creation process, and we'll call this the total C+S for the Beast for this task. But what of damage?

Page 260 of the rulebook says that natural weapons all do damage =C1.
From Page 231, it would seem that the "=C1" should be interpreted as "roll the number of dice that you rolled for that characters strength" - i.e. generally 2D for damage, or whatever you got for the Beast's strength (or the Sophont as appropriate).

This makes natural weapons only distinct from each other in the type of damage, and some have two damage types. But cuts, blows and bullets must all penetrate "Armor" (i.e. not EMCage, etc.) so the difference only comes down to "Cuts" on page 225 doing "Hits to C1 C2 C3" per turn - presumably signifying a significant injury with a blade that is bleeding.

That leaves us with blades and polearms. For blades and polearms, the "to win" task has the relevant knowledge of Blades replacing Unarmed and some range benefits (taken from the relevant weapon stats on page 260).

The Beast has Strength as the one characteristic against which we apply hits.

So combat becomes several rounds of rolling dice to determine the loser of the fight among those in range and then applying damage as determined by the weapons used by the victorious side.

But what of attacks of different types in a round? Let's say our PCs attack the beast, one with a knife, the other with fists? Both attacks succeed and the beasts fails - do the PCs both get to roll damage against the Beast?

My broad interpretation is going to be this: In a many-vs-many fight, use the brawl rules round by round as indicated; this reflects the chaos of attacking and defending. The hits applied are generally cuts or blows and which is which can be determined by situation (e.g. all thugs fighting with PCs armed with knives) or randomly (e.g. both PCs strike, one with fists one with knife, roll 50/50 to see which damage type is applied). In a many-vs-one fight (e.g. PCs vs. one Beast), all successful PC attacks strike if the Beast is unsuccessful and hence the loser that round.

First blood still applies, so the initial attack could disable someone.

Am I on the right track? This is my attempt at assembling a procedure from the various pages in the book, and I'd love to have corrections or feedback.
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