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In My Traveller Universe Detail what parts of Traveller you do (or don't) use in your campaign.

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Old May 24th, 2017, 10:48 PM
Carlobrand Carlobrand is offline
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Default Revising the particle beam

I'm trying to spice up High Guard a bit. I was hoping to get something where a navy could have an option of using particle beams for long-range sniping or using mesons for knife fighting. I was all set to try out an alternate way of handling particle beam weapons - and then McPerth pointed out a fatal flaw in my logic in another thread. So, I'm back to the drawing board, and I need a bit of help.

As McPerth pointed out, the multiple hit spinal rules imply that the particle beam is, "distributing its effect along several points of the ship," basically digging a long furrow instead of making a deep punch. Each of the several rolls is affected by armor, and each affects a different target. With enough armor, those rolls don't end up doing much.

A particle beam accelerates ionized atoms to near light speed and then neutralizes their charge before emitting them. The particles then smack into a target with massive kinetic energy behind them - sort of a game of billiards in which the cue ball is a round from the main gun of the Yamato. The beam begins as a narrow line but gradually widens as the particles hit atoms in the target, get deflected and transfer energy to them. How fast that line widens, I think, depends on how massive the atoms they're hitting are and how close to the speed of light the particles are going.

So, an alternate way to handle it might be to replace the multiple rolls with a single roll of increasing penetrative power - giving the particle beam a bonus to the damage roll instead of giving it multiple hits. It still wouldn't have the devastating power of the meson, which gets multiple rolls AND ignores armor, but it would have a lot more punch than the canon particle beam.

Now I just have to figure out the math.
Comments made are for the purpose of offering alternative campaign settings for consideration. The writer acknowledges that Traveller is intended to emulate certain common science fiction tropes and that, in the course of emulating those tropes and providing a better playing experience, some liberties must be taken with science. No statement by the writer should be interpreted as constituting a criticism of the game on that basis ... except for that bit about Virus. Dude, really?!
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