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

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Old October 8th, 2020, 05:14 PM
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Default T20 Rules, The New Era setting

Have you ever considered using T20 rules for playing in the New Era setting. I have always been curious as to why each Traveller setting had its own separate set of rules you needed to learn to play in that setting.
T20 has character classes, levels, and increasing Stamina Dice with those levels, it is compatible with Dungeons & Dragons, and it seems that the most common character type in The New Era, since the collapse of the Third Imperium, should be the barbarian. Now it seems to me that the T20 Barbarian class is a bit broader than the D&D Barbarian class. T20 Barbarians, don't get the rage ability that D&D barbarians get. Also T20 barbarians get a wider selection of armors, for instance a T20 barbarian can use all archaic armors and weapons, like a D&D Fighter can use. A medieval knight in full plate armor is still a barbarian by Traveller standards.

The New Era has lots of barbarous planets that have lost their technology, and just like in a D&D campaign, you can start out an adventure in a tavern. Designing a New Era adventure takes a bit of finesse, the idea is as one gains experience, and levels, one also gains technology and skills, one can then multiclass into some other character class. Have anyone ever tried this? Recovering lost stamina points and lifeblood is slower than in D&D. Combat encounters need to be less frequent, or player character parties need to be larger so injured party members can be rotated out.

Any suggestions for running this type of campaign?
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Old October 9th, 2020, 12:26 AM
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1248 is the official adaptation of T20 to the New Era.
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Old October 9th, 2020, 12:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Werner View Post
I have always been curious as to why each Traveller setting had its own separate set of rules you needed to learn to play in that setting.
Game design theory and practice is always changing. Some new ideas may be attractive enough to influence a new edition.
In T20's case, the edition was written to draw the boom of D20 players toward Traveller.

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Originally Posted by Werner View Post
T20 has character classes, levels, and increasing Stamina Dice with those levels, it is compatible with Dungeons & Dragons
At a very broad level, yes. T20 pointedly adapts D20, sometimes radically, to the needs of Traveller. The feats list is shorter for good reason: Even adapted, T20 isn't Heroic Fantasy.

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Originally Posted by Werner View Post
it seems that the most common character type in The New Era, since the collapse of the Third Imperium, should be the barbarian. Now it seems to me that the T20 Barbarian class is a bit broader than the D&D Barbarian class. T20 Barbarians, don't get the rage ability that D&D barbarians get. Also T20 barbarians get a wider selection of armors, for instance a T20 barbarian can use all archaic armors and weapons, like a D&D Fighter can use. A medieval knight in full plate armor is still a barbarian by Traveller standards.
True, which is why the class features of the D&D Barbarian, modeled loosely after Conan, Kull, Fafhrd, and the Nordic bersark, are not present. Classic Traveller defined Barbarian as pre-TL5, which covers a lot of ground even in real life.

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Originally Posted by Werner View Post
The New Era has lots of barbarous planets that have lost their technology, and just like in a D&D campaign, you can start out an adventure in a tavern. Designing a New Era adventure takes a bit of finesse, the idea is as one gains experience, and levels, one also gains technology and skills, one can then multiclass into some other character class. Have anyone ever tried this? Recovering lost stamina points and lifeblood is slower than in D&D. Combat encounters need to be less frequent, or player character parties need to be larger so injured party members can be rotated out.

Any suggestions for running this type of campaign?
Even with the rigorous tactical engine of D20, there is no need to revert Traveller to a high combat mode like D&D. As you've noted, no healing magic is present.

The environment of the New Era is also probably too young and too short to spawn a really deep Dark Age. This is not Howard's "thousand years after Atlantis fell", but instead two generations, maybe three, after the machines tried to kill us all. Technology and some knowledge of it is going to survive, and only the items of technology that can be suborned by Virus are going to be automatically hostile.

Gamma World with the gonzo turned waaay down; Star Man's Son; Saint Leibowitz; Pern; Pelbar; maybe a hint of Per Heiro Desteen or Horseclans, or Gramarye.

Also unlike D&D, most of the "monsters" will be people unless you pick a world with a diverse and aggressive native biosphere. Much like default Traveller, the New Era "fantasy" will still be a social game unless you go to great lengths to alter it. That can certainly be done, though.
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Old October 9th, 2020, 09:38 AM
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Technology also has a short shelf life, in order for items to function, such as a laser rifle for instance, it can't be too old, otherwise it will just be junk. That said, I think the 4th Imperium put itself together too quickly. The Roman Empire and the Dark Ages weren't followed by a second Roman Empire, though a lot of people tried to make such a thing. A more realistic alternative would be a bunch of successor states, such as France, Spain, England, The Holy Roman Empire, and maybe Charted Space should have been filled with analogs of those, each one trying to fulfill their idea of what the 4th Imperium should be with them trying to conquer their neighbors and build that Imperium with them in charge.
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Old October 9th, 2020, 01:54 PM
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T20 predated d20Modern/Future, which to my mind was a shame because I found. d20Modern/Future to be the best version of the 3.5 rules corpus, with d20 CoC a close second.

Converting T20 to d20 Modern/Future is doable, but then so is a direct conversion from CT or a later Traveller rules version.

I have hacked a version of d20 M/F that is based on the 5e rules and if I were to go back to using D&D based rules for a Traveller derived setting I would use it.

An up to date version of T20 would likely include lessons learned from d20M/F and 5e.
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Old October 9th, 2020, 07:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike wightman View Post
T20 predated d20Modern/Future, which to my mind was a shame because I found. d20Modern/Future to be the best version of the 3.5 rules corpus, with d20 CoC a close second.

Converting T20 to d20 Modern/Future is doable, but then so is a direct conversion from CT or a later Traveller rules version.

I have hacked a version of d20 M/F that is based on the 5e rules and if I were to go back to using D&D based rules for a Traveller derived setting I would use it.

An up to date version of T20 would likely include lessons learned from d20M/F and 5e.
D20 has the six standard ability scores: Str, Dex, Con, Int, Wis, and Cha. D&D has a social class, but it is not represented as an ability score so there is no Social Standing. One's education is not an ability score either, so we just have technical, and knowledge skills that use intelligence. The core classes are the Strong Hero, the Fast Hero, the Tough Hero, the Smart Hero, the Dedicated Hero, and the Charismatic Hero. There are advanced classes that characters must meet certain requirements to multi class into, for instance there is Soldier, which would be Army, Field Scientist would be Academic, a Techie would be an engineer.

I like the T20 spaceships better than the D20 Future spaceships. D20 Future is more handwavy about space combat, particularly the abstract it too much, and dog fights are not a thing in Traveller space combat. D20 Future is more comparable with Star Wars in its space combat, D20 Future starships have movement rates, not accelerations, and I know how to add vectors.
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Old October 9th, 2020, 11:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GypsyComet View Post
Game design theory and practice is always changing. Some new ideas may be attractive enough to influence a new edition.
In T20's case, the edition was written to draw the boom of D20 players toward Traveller.


At a very broad level, yes. T20 pointedly adapts D20, sometimes radically, to the needs of Traveller. The feats list is shorter for good reason: Even adapted, T20 isn't Heroic Fantasy.


True, which is why the class features of the D&D Barbarian, modeled loosely after Conan, Kull, Fafhrd, and the Nordic bersark, are not present. Classic Traveller defined Barbarian as pre-TL5, which covers a lot of ground even in real life.


Even with the rigorous tactical engine of D20, there is no need to revert Traveller to a high combat mode like D&D. As you've noted, no healing magic is present.

...

Also unlike D&D, most of the "monsters" will be people unless you pick a world with a diverse and aggressive native biosphere. Much like default Traveller, the New Era "fantasy" will still be a social game unless you go to great lengths to alter it. That can certainly be done, though.
A wilderness adventure will have less frequent encounters than a dungeon crawl, magical healing might not be needed, and the frequency of encounters might be enough for players at the table, if you have the adventure go day by day, and some days you have combat and other days you don't. If you have four players with each controling 5 characters in a party of 20, and have advanced medicine to heal characters as quickly as the Traveller rules will allow. Have groups of characters go out on patrol, and when they have a combat encounter, play it out, injured characters go into the sick tent to regain lost stamina while uninjured characters take their place. Characters that are neither injured or out on patrol are tied down performing various mundane tasks. Since this is the New Era, instant radio communication is not necessarily a given.

I like the idea of credits minted as precious metal coins where 1 copper piece equal 1 credit, 1 silver piece equals 10 credits, 1 gold piece equals 100 credits, and 1 platinum piece equals 1000 credits, these coins being of different sizes and weights to make this work, for instance, the copper pieces will be large and heavy, while the gold and platinum pieces will be very tiny and small to hold these value. It's possible for the gold coins to be gold plated rather than being solid gold, a gold plated silver coin could be worth 10 times as much as just a silver coin.

The GM might want to alter the treasure tables in the DMG, and find some substitutions for the magic items that would normally be rolled up and substitute technological items in their place.
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Old October 10th, 2020, 12:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike wightman View Post
T20 predated d20Modern/Future, which to my mind was a shame because I found. d20Modern/Future to be the best version of the 3.5 rules corpus, with d20 CoC a close second.
Hunter was torn by the idea of doing it all over again when D20Modern came out just a few months after T20 did. He ran out of time and energy, sadly.
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Old October 10th, 2020, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by GypsyComet View Post
Hunter was torn by the idea of doing it all over again when D20Modern came out just a few months after T20 did. He ran out of time and energy, sadly.
Doesn't mean we couldn't do a version of D20 Future, the only thing is I don't like the D20 Future spaceship movement and combat rules, I would like to convert the T20 spaceship combat rules instead. Also what about the D20 rules on Psionics? Both D&D and Traveller have Psionics, should we make those rules compatible with D&D? I think D&D uses Wisdom instead of the Psionic Strength score, I also don't think we need the Education score, Intelligence works fine for D20, so I don't see why it wouldn't work for Traveller, and as far as I can tell, I don't know of any skills which use Social Standing modifiers. So instead of having a Social Standing ability score is, just have a box on the character sheep which indicate the character's noble title. In D&D you have Commoner, Aristocrat (knight, baron, count, duke, king, emperor)
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Old October 10th, 2020, 04:17 PM
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For a 5e D&D/Traveller conversion I add Psi, Edu and Soc to the usual D&D characteristics.
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