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T4 - Marc Miller's Traveller Discussion of T4 - Marc Miller's Traveller from Imperium Games and the Milieu 0 setting.

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  #21  
Old April 18th, 2006, 04:29 AM
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I said it in my post - and I agree with you; this is one of T4's Task System's many downsides. The good thing is that the UGM Task System will work with T4 with no significant modifications...

And what is the UGM? It is a task system invented by WJP, given in detail in this thread. In a nutshell, simply pick a skill, a characteristic and a difficulty DM; roll 2D plus/minus the DM and plus the skill; if the 2D roll (before any modifications) is below the characteristic or equal to it, add another +1 DM; if the new total is 8+, you succeed; if the new total is 7-, you fail. That's the UGM. Hell, you could even forget about difficulty names (routine, standard etc) and write your "task profile" as a skill, attribute and difficulty DM, i.e. Computer/INT/-2.
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Old April 18th, 2006, 04:29 AM
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I said it in my post - and I agree with you; this is one of T4's Task System's many downsides. The good thing is that the UGM Task System will work with T4 with no significant modifications...

And what is the UGM? It is a task system invented by WJP, given in detail in this thread. In a nutshell, simply pick a skill, a characteristic and a difficulty DM; roll 2D plus/minus the DM and plus the skill; if the 2D roll (before any modifications) is below the characteristic or equal to it, add another +1 DM; if the new total is 8+, you succeed; if the new total is 7-, you fail. That's the UGM. Hell, you could even forget about difficulty names (routine, standard etc) and write your "task profile" as a skill, attribute and difficulty DM, i.e. Computer/INT/-2.
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  #23  
Old May 5th, 2006, 06:47 AM
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Comments about the T4 Combat System

Ughh... The tables are put ten pages away from their rules, unlike CT where the encounter/surprise/range tables are mostly placed on the same pages with their respective rules. It's not much of a problem with PDFs (as I could print the tables seperately and use them in conjuction with the rules) but for hardcopy this is too many page flipping for my taste.

The surprise mechanic is copied from CT-LBB1 AS IS; luckily, it isn't transformed into the cumbersome, characteristics-over-skills default T4 task system.

The encounter range determination system is another copy-N-paste from CT-LBB1.

The Combat Round has been cut down from 30 to 6 seconds (why?); initiative is a welcome addition to Traveller (especially from a group-dynamics POV - now every player resolves his character's actions in initiative order). The "high initiative characters act first but move last" is an interesting idea, but it adds the complication of making every player have two "turns" per Combat Round (one for actions, one for movement) rather than resolving all actions and movement in one time.

The "Group Initiative by Size" is a semi-realstic and very simple way to resolve initiative, but it suffers from the major problem of group initiative in large and "chaotic" gaming groups - some players are better served by having a rule-based action order. The other initiative systems are kinda the standard in concept in most RPGs (such as [A]D&D).

Range bands are yet another CT-LBB1 copy-N-paste, with the addition of different scales for outdoor and indoor action, which is an interesting idea, but it suffers from confusing new players, especially as weapon ranges aren't based on bands but on meters... And indoors, some bands are 1.5m each, which makes meter-based calculations annoying.

Movement is a bit slower in T4 than in CT (15m/turn walking rather than 25m/turn walking).

The difference between Aimed Fire (i.e. firing in a turn in which you haven't moved at all) and Snap Fire (moving AND firing in the same turn) is a very good idea - its a good simplification of the Striker movement modifiers. I'm going to use it in my CT combat variant!

Crawling is another good addition - but shouldn't characters who stay prone and not move at all be able to fire with a good modifier (far easier to brace your weapon and resist recoil)?

Tackle attacks are a good idea - but they are based on the T4 Task System; I'll try to UGM them later on for CT use.

Attacks are task-based, which would be a good thing if the task system was better.

Again, Snap Fire vs. Aimed Fire is one of the best additions to the T4 combat system. The fact that longarms are better for aimed fire than handguns is another good idea.

Autofire cannot be used in Aimed Fire - an interesting idea, but, again, a good LMG fired when prone (i.e. with the bipod deployed) or from a tripod/mount would be accurate enough for Aimed Automatic Fire, right?

Hmmm... So there is no limit to the area/angle "interdicted" by Surpressive Fire?

And why can't one attack cause more than 3D of damage, especially with shotguns, plasma/fusion weapons, flechette/explosive ammonition or high-caliber (HMG, for example) rounds?

Armor absorbs damage dice. I love that [img]smile.gif[/img] The flexible vs. rigid armor is an interesting idea but is not very nescery and could easily be ignored or replaced by a knockback rule.

Wounding (after damage reduction by armor) follows the CT rules, with the clarification about who decides to which characteristic to apply each damage die. But why keep the obscure "first blood" rule and not replace it with Spectacular Success or Spectacular Failure?

Stun Damage is another good point, and quite elegently handled.

"Dead" characters could be recovered in major TL11+ hospitals - I like that (this is also a way to get certain things inplanted in a character despite her approval and/or make the PCs owe someone a BIG favor).

No morale rolls for PCs - a good change; ofcourse, certain things might cause PCs to lose composure, but these would be the exception, not the rule; and it could be handeled by roleplay anyways [img]smile.gif[/img]

The jumping rule is great for a rule-of-a-thumb approach - I like that!

The explosion rules seem nice - I've gotta reference them with the CT-LBB4 demolition rules to come up with something more all-encompassing.

Combat loads: another CT-LBB1 copy-N-pase.

The robot/vehicle "hit-points-per-system" (locomotion, powerplant, superstructure) rule reminds me of MT; I'd prefer a simpler, LBB2-style hit table.

The "Tactics Pool" is a good idea to incorporate this skill into gameplay, despite the paperwork and tracking required. I'd use tokens or coins to track the pool (i.e. put one coin per Tactics skill point into a small box; remove one from the box per DM point applied.

The "Offensive Pool" is an interesting way to link Strength to melee damage; however it's quite complicated and requires some paperwork. Two "pools" to track (Tactics Pool and Endurance) are enough.

The Bottom Line: The following are the "high points" of the T4 combat system that are worth to keep in mind when thinking on creating CT house-rules:
- Crawling, p.52
- Aimed Fire vs. Snap Fire, p.56
- Armor absorbs Damage, p.57
- Stun Damage, p.57
- Reviving the Dead, p.58
- Jumping, p.58
- Explosives, p.59
- Tactics Pool (is it a good idea?), p.60
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  #24  
Old May 5th, 2006, 06:47 AM
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Comments about the T4 Combat System

Ughh... The tables are put ten pages away from their rules, unlike CT where the encounter/surprise/range tables are mostly placed on the same pages with their respective rules. It's not much of a problem with PDFs (as I could print the tables seperately and use them in conjuction with the rules) but for hardcopy this is too many page flipping for my taste.

The surprise mechanic is copied from CT-LBB1 AS IS; luckily, it isn't transformed into the cumbersome, characteristics-over-skills default T4 task system.

The encounter range determination system is another copy-N-paste from CT-LBB1.

The Combat Round has been cut down from 30 to 6 seconds (why?); initiative is a welcome addition to Traveller (especially from a group-dynamics POV - now every player resolves his character's actions in initiative order). The "high initiative characters act first but move last" is an interesting idea, but it adds the complication of making every player have two "turns" per Combat Round (one for actions, one for movement) rather than resolving all actions and movement in one time.

The "Group Initiative by Size" is a semi-realstic and very simple way to resolve initiative, but it suffers from the major problem of group initiative in large and "chaotic" gaming groups - some players are better served by having a rule-based action order. The other initiative systems are kinda the standard in concept in most RPGs (such as [A]D&D).

Range bands are yet another CT-LBB1 copy-N-paste, with the addition of different scales for outdoor and indoor action, which is an interesting idea, but it suffers from confusing new players, especially as weapon ranges aren't based on bands but on meters... And indoors, some bands are 1.5m each, which makes meter-based calculations annoying.

Movement is a bit slower in T4 than in CT (15m/turn walking rather than 25m/turn walking).

The difference between Aimed Fire (i.e. firing in a turn in which you haven't moved at all) and Snap Fire (moving AND firing in the same turn) is a very good idea - its a good simplification of the Striker movement modifiers. I'm going to use it in my CT combat variant!

Crawling is another good addition - but shouldn't characters who stay prone and not move at all be able to fire with a good modifier (far easier to brace your weapon and resist recoil)?

Tackle attacks are a good idea - but they are based on the T4 Task System; I'll try to UGM them later on for CT use.

Attacks are task-based, which would be a good thing if the task system was better.

Again, Snap Fire vs. Aimed Fire is one of the best additions to the T4 combat system. The fact that longarms are better for aimed fire than handguns is another good idea.

Autofire cannot be used in Aimed Fire - an interesting idea, but, again, a good LMG fired when prone (i.e. with the bipod deployed) or from a tripod/mount would be accurate enough for Aimed Automatic Fire, right?

Hmmm... So there is no limit to the area/angle "interdicted" by Surpressive Fire?

And why can't one attack cause more than 3D of damage, especially with shotguns, plasma/fusion weapons, flechette/explosive ammonition or high-caliber (HMG, for example) rounds?

Armor absorbs damage dice. I love that [img]smile.gif[/img] The flexible vs. rigid armor is an interesting idea but is not very nescery and could easily be ignored or replaced by a knockback rule.

Wounding (after damage reduction by armor) follows the CT rules, with the clarification about who decides to which characteristic to apply each damage die. But why keep the obscure "first blood" rule and not replace it with Spectacular Success or Spectacular Failure?

Stun Damage is another good point, and quite elegently handled.

"Dead" characters could be recovered in major TL11+ hospitals - I like that (this is also a way to get certain things inplanted in a character despite her approval and/or make the PCs owe someone a BIG favor).

No morale rolls for PCs - a good change; ofcourse, certain things might cause PCs to lose composure, but these would be the exception, not the rule; and it could be handeled by roleplay anyways [img]smile.gif[/img]

The jumping rule is great for a rule-of-a-thumb approach - I like that!

The explosion rules seem nice - I've gotta reference them with the CT-LBB4 demolition rules to come up with something more all-encompassing.

Combat loads: another CT-LBB1 copy-N-pase.

The robot/vehicle "hit-points-per-system" (locomotion, powerplant, superstructure) rule reminds me of MT; I'd prefer a simpler, LBB2-style hit table.

The "Tactics Pool" is a good idea to incorporate this skill into gameplay, despite the paperwork and tracking required. I'd use tokens or coins to track the pool (i.e. put one coin per Tactics skill point into a small box; remove one from the box per DM point applied.

The "Offensive Pool" is an interesting way to link Strength to melee damage; however it's quite complicated and requires some paperwork. Two "pools" to track (Tactics Pool and Endurance) are enough.

The Bottom Line: The following are the "high points" of the T4 combat system that are worth to keep in mind when thinking on creating CT house-rules:
- Crawling, p.52
- Aimed Fire vs. Snap Fire, p.56
- Armor absorbs Damage, p.57
- Stun Damage, p.57
- Reviving the Dead, p.58
- Jumping, p.58
- Explosives, p.59
- Tactics Pool (is it a good idea?), p.60
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  #25  
Old May 5th, 2006, 09:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Employee 2-4601:
Hell, you could even forget about difficulty names (routine, standard etc) and write your "task profile" as a skill, attribute and difficulty DM, i.e. Computer/INT/-2.
Nah.... Do Skill, Attribute, and target

Computer/INT/10+

Ah... a thing of beauty....
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Old May 5th, 2006, 09:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Employee 2-4601:
Hell, you could even forget about difficulty names (routine, standard etc) and write your "task profile" as a skill, attribute and difficulty DM, i.e. Computer/INT/-2.
Nah.... Do Skill, Attribute, and target

Computer/INT/10+

Ah... a thing of beauty....
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  #27  
Old May 5th, 2006, 11:21 AM
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Quote:
The Combat Round has been cut down from 30 to 6 seconds (why?);
A more realistic combat round. Most firefight are won or lost within a minute.

Quote:
some bands are 1.5m each, which makes meter-based calculations annoying.
But it is oh so handy for calculating ranges on deckplans.

Quote:
Movement is a bit slower in T4 than in CT (15m/turn walking rather than 25m/turn walking).
Faster surely? 25m/turn = 0.83m/sec whereas 15m/ turn in T4 = 2.5 m/sec, neh?

I am glad you are managing to see the genius of T4 through its faults. Get Imperial Squadrons, Pocket Empires and Psionic Institutes if you want to see the real gems.
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Old May 5th, 2006, 11:21 AM
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Quote:
The Combat Round has been cut down from 30 to 6 seconds (why?);
A more realistic combat round. Most firefight are won or lost within a minute.

Quote:
some bands are 1.5m each, which makes meter-based calculations annoying.
But it is oh so handy for calculating ranges on deckplans.

Quote:
Movement is a bit slower in T4 than in CT (15m/turn walking rather than 25m/turn walking).
Faster surely? 25m/turn = 0.83m/sec whereas 15m/ turn in T4 = 2.5 m/sec, neh?

I am glad you are managing to see the genius of T4 through its faults. Get Imperial Squadrons, Pocket Empires and Psionic Institutes if you want to see the real gems.
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  #29  
Old May 5th, 2006, 11:38 AM
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Comments about the T4 Equipment Chapter

The paragraph about TL10+ shopping (should be TL9+ IMHO) is interesting, though I think it'll probably be carried out by RFID-tagging of the products rather than by more cumbersome and expensive face-recognition systems.

Bank/Corp Chipcards (i.e. electronic bearer-bonds) are another good idea, and remind me of Shadowrun's "Certified Credsticks".

I also like the Imperial Solars, though I wonder how they disappeared during the next millenium (i.e. by the time of CT).

The food, lodging and long-term sustainance costs are a CT-LBB3 copy-N-paste.

Now, anout the boxed text about TL12 poverty. I agree with some of this (the cheap, semi-prefab, decades-old apartment blocks remind me of the less fortunate parts of Israel with their decaying greyish concrete buildings from the 1950's), but I think that in high-pop worlds, except for those with a good welfare system, there WILL be people living far below the UWP TL, or even suffering from exposure and malnutrition; today's Earth, topping at early TL8, still has areas with TL3- means of existance. Oh, and I like the ESA (Economic Security Administration) - this is exactly how I envisioned Imperium-style "welfare" in the first place...

The computer rules (processing power vs. program difficulty) are interesting, though the rules seem quite lacking in detail. While this approach is more realistic than the CT-LBB2 or CT-LBB8, the rules hardly even cover the game-important issues (hacking into databases, ship programming, AIs/robotics).

"Comms" seem to me as very similar to today's more expensive cellphones (you already have ones that combine cellphone, mini-TV, music player, digital recorder/camera, appointment organizer, diary, watch and gaming platform) in a slighly more compact package and with better processing power (but why should they have anything beyond Processing-0?).

The fact that everything has a micro-computer inside (lower p.66 box) reminds me of the 4th edition of Shadowrun - just add wireless connectivity to these computers and you'll get a Wi-Fi "matrix"...

Backpacks (p.67) increasing carrying capacity - I like that [img]smile.gif[/img]

The comm relay (p.67; linking several shorter-range communicators at a base camp) is a good idea - though at higher TLs, personal comms would probably be powerful enough to reach orbit and light enough to fit in a belt-clip (or less?).

Why are plastic exploives TL11 and pocket lamps TL10 (p.67)? I'd make them TLs6 and 7, respectively.

Any why is the Inertial Locator (pp.67-68) TL11 instead of the CT TL9?

I like the Multiscanners (p.68), though they have a slight unwanted trace odor of StarTrek. However, is it physically feasable for such a device to be miniaturized to 0.8kg?

The SoftSuits (p.68) are a good idea (though I'd drive the price even lower for higher TLs), very similar to an old JTAS article about spacesuits.

Sursats (p.69; survey sattlelites) seems like a very good concept, though by TL12 I'd lower the price (to Cr50,000? Cr25,000?), the volume (to 0.1 cubic meters when "folded") and the weight (to 10kg) and add GPS functionality when enough of these sats are deployed in the right orbits around a world.

Are the physics behind the Survey Shield (p.69) hard-science, semi-hard-science or handwavium?

The Survival Still (p.69) is another good idea, though I'd lower the weight a little (to 10kg?)

I like Blur (p.73); isn't it similat to the CT-LBB4 "Tranq Rounds"?

I like the standard models of weapons (such as cPOO3, cR898/cR898, and pR903, pp.74-75) - it gives them more "personality".

The TLs on most weapons are pretty high - sure, they refer to standard Imperial models, but still, many of the weapons should have almost-equivalnt models of far lower TL.

The cR898/cR898 ACRs have 100 ROUND MAGAZINES... Wow... An effect of caseless ammo, or are we talking about [URL=http://world.guns.ru/smg/smg57-e.htm]Calico-style[/I] magazines here?

Hmmm... The telescopic sights (p.75) are still delicate in T4 (as in CT), despite several RL development to the contrary...

Armors (p.76) apply DMs to Dexterity - an interesting and realistic decision, if somewhat reminiscent of the D&D 3E's "Armor Check Penalties".

The Augmented Battledress (p.77) looks like the vacc suits in "Space Odyssy 2001" - I like that [img]smile.gif[/img]

The weapon illustrations (p.81) don't fit the weapon types given in pp.74-75 too well; no auto-rifle is mentioned in the text (ACRs and "bulpup rifle" instead), for example.
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  #30  
Old May 5th, 2006, 11:38 AM
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Comments about the T4 Equipment Chapter

The paragraph about TL10+ shopping (should be TL9+ IMHO) is interesting, though I think it'll probably be carried out by RFID-tagging of the products rather than by more cumbersome and expensive face-recognition systems.

Bank/Corp Chipcards (i.e. electronic bearer-bonds) are another good idea, and remind me of Shadowrun's "Certified Credsticks".

I also like the Imperial Solars, though I wonder how they disappeared during the next millenium (i.e. by the time of CT).

The food, lodging and long-term sustainance costs are a CT-LBB3 copy-N-paste.

Now, anout the boxed text about TL12 poverty. I agree with some of this (the cheap, semi-prefab, decades-old apartment blocks remind me of the less fortunate parts of Israel with their decaying greyish concrete buildings from the 1950's), but I think that in high-pop worlds, except for those with a good welfare system, there WILL be people living far below the UWP TL, or even suffering from exposure and malnutrition; today's Earth, topping at early TL8, still has areas with TL3- means of existance. Oh, and I like the ESA (Economic Security Administration) - this is exactly how I envisioned Imperium-style "welfare" in the first place...

The computer rules (processing power vs. program difficulty) are interesting, though the rules seem quite lacking in detail. While this approach is more realistic than the CT-LBB2 or CT-LBB8, the rules hardly even cover the game-important issues (hacking into databases, ship programming, AIs/robotics).

"Comms" seem to me as very similar to today's more expensive cellphones (you already have ones that combine cellphone, mini-TV, music player, digital recorder/camera, appointment organizer, diary, watch and gaming platform) in a slighly more compact package and with better processing power (but why should they have anything beyond Processing-0?).

The fact that everything has a micro-computer inside (lower p.66 box) reminds me of the 4th edition of Shadowrun - just add wireless connectivity to these computers and you'll get a Wi-Fi "matrix"...

Backpacks (p.67) increasing carrying capacity - I like that [img]smile.gif[/img]

The comm relay (p.67; linking several shorter-range communicators at a base camp) is a good idea - though at higher TLs, personal comms would probably be powerful enough to reach orbit and light enough to fit in a belt-clip (or less?).

Why are plastic exploives TL11 and pocket lamps TL10 (p.67)? I'd make them TLs6 and 7, respectively.

Any why is the Inertial Locator (pp.67-68) TL11 instead of the CT TL9?

I like the Multiscanners (p.68), though they have a slight unwanted trace odor of StarTrek. However, is it physically feasable for such a device to be miniaturized to 0.8kg?

The SoftSuits (p.68) are a good idea (though I'd drive the price even lower for higher TLs), very similar to an old JTAS article about spacesuits.

Sursats (p.69; survey sattlelites) seems like a very good concept, though by TL12 I'd lower the price (to Cr50,000? Cr25,000?), the volume (to 0.1 cubic meters when "folded") and the weight (to 10kg) and add GPS functionality when enough of these sats are deployed in the right orbits around a world.

Are the physics behind the Survey Shield (p.69) hard-science, semi-hard-science or handwavium?

The Survival Still (p.69) is another good idea, though I'd lower the weight a little (to 10kg?)

I like Blur (p.73); isn't it similat to the CT-LBB4 "Tranq Rounds"?

I like the standard models of weapons (such as cPOO3, cR898/cR898, and pR903, pp.74-75) - it gives them more "personality".

The TLs on most weapons are pretty high - sure, they refer to standard Imperial models, but still, many of the weapons should have almost-equivalnt models of far lower TL.

The cR898/cR898 ACRs have 100 ROUND MAGAZINES... Wow... An effect of caseless ammo, or are we talking about [URL=http://world.guns.ru/smg/smg57-e.htm]Calico-style[/I] magazines here?

Hmmm... The telescopic sights (p.75) are still delicate in T4 (as in CT), despite several RL development to the contrary...

Armors (p.76) apply DMs to Dexterity - an interesting and realistic decision, if somewhat reminiscent of the D&D 3E's "Armor Check Penalties".

The Augmented Battledress (p.77) looks like the vacc suits in "Space Odyssy 2001" - I like that [img]smile.gif[/img]

The weapon illustrations (p.81) don't fit the weapon types given in pp.74-75 too well; no auto-rifle is mentioned in the text (ACRs and "bulpup rifle" instead), for example.
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