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Old January 3rd, 2009, 10:01 AM
Wraithcat Wraithcat is offline
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Default 2d6? Why oh why?

I've been a Traveller player since CT 1980 and have played every edition of Traveller except for GURPS and 4th and I can't believe that everything is still revolving around 2d6.

I don't understand it. 2d6 just doesn't give the variability that this sort of game needs. It makes it far to easy for an extra skill point or DM to radically upset the balance of the game.

A total DM of 4+ doesn't seem to be very hard to get, but can totally warp the results. Each +1 beyond this only makes it worse. The jump from needing to get 4 on 2d6 to 3 on a 2d6 is much greater than that from 8 to 7.

However, I haven't had the joy of playing this new system yet, as I live in the bush. My fears are based on experiences with the players using the original Mercenary and High Guard rules to get stupidly high skills in things like Combat Rifleman.

So what are people's experiences in game like? Does 2d6 work?

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Old January 3rd, 2009, 10:35 AM
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It's worked since 1977.

It works rather well, especially given the labels (if one presumes the labels are for Skill 1 Att 7).

DM+4 other than for difficulty shifts is not that easy to acquire.
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Old January 3rd, 2009, 11:39 AM
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I wonder if the point build system in MGT is behind these concerns expressed by some? It seems, unless there are some proscriptions applied (which would defeat the purpose in some player's minds) that it would be very easy to specialize to the point of upsetting the 2d6 mechanic in an area or more. The reason it worked for Book 1-3 CT (and not too badly even in the advanced LBBs) was the random factor of chargen not producing many experts. As soon as one introduces too much control over skill and attribute generation/improvement it can be easy to upset the 2d6 mechanic. So there's nothing wrong with the mechanic, it's the meddling with the root of it without thinking through the consequences that seems to cause problems.
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Old January 3rd, 2009, 11:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wraithcat View Post
So what are people's experiences in game like? Does 2d6 work?
It more than works. There have been revolts from people refusing to play a specific edition because it wasn't 2d6. When TNE came out, many people screamed about the mechanics (not just about the entire re-imagining of the OTU).

People's mechanic sensitivity varies. Some don't care. Some care a great deal.

The 2d6 mechanic does work, if you keep the modifiers low and understand the mechanic's limitations. Classic Traveller is a perfect use of the 2d6 mechanic. Character creation often turns out characters with few skills. And, stat modifiers aren't as high as they are in later Traveller games. This keeps the 2d6 mechanic in ballance.

MegaTraveller is an OK example, but the stat modiers will tend to stretch the 2d6 mechanic sometimes.

With Mongoose Traveller, I believe that the mechanic is stretched to its limit too often because of the stat modifiers coupled with the game's other modifiers.
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Old January 3rd, 2009, 12:36 PM
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A Stat modifier of +2 is generally quite rare, but most characters would probably end up with a +1 or two.

With Connections and skill packages it is possible for any character to get a skill level 3 in one skill or so.

So I reckon characters will commonly achieve a +4, but only in one skill area and only using a particular attribute.

And yes, it will make them pass routine skill rolls easily, but then again, they should be passing those easily. It also gives them a reasonable chance of passing a very difficult task, but that is all for the good too.

Characters should be good at something, just not good at everything.

As an aside, using point buy, it is possible to build a character with 9's on all stats and JoT 3, meaning they get +1 on any task roll. Pretty dull character, though.
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Old January 3rd, 2009, 12:48 PM
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A Stat modifier of +2 is generally quite rare, but most characters would probably end up with a +1 or two.

With Connections and skill packages it is possible for any character to get a skill level 3 in one skill or so.
This is my point. It's quite easy with Mongoose Traveller to get +2 for stat and +3 for a skill. That's +5, which is a hell of a modifier, and will typically ace most throws.

This is one of my complaints about Mongoose Traveller--that characters are almost guarranteed a single skill of this magnatude.

With Classic Traveller, it could happen, but it doesn't happen near as often. It's certainly not virutally guarranteed.

First off, with CT, a character doesn't reach Skill-3 as often as he does with MGT.

Second, most CT throws do not reference stat, and when they do, the modifier is typically +1. So, with CT, we're looking at a +3 modifer, and a +4 modifier sometimes versus the all-the-time MGT +5 modifer.

In some circumstances, the CT modifier can be +2 or even higher. The sky's the limit. But, these are isolated examples, specific to a certain task--not broad modifiers applied to every skill throw.


It's not an easy point to explain, but it's viable nonetheless. And, it's an example of where MGT isn't as good as what we've had before in CT.
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Old January 3rd, 2009, 01:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Supplement Four View Post
This is one of my complaints about Mongoose Traveller--that characters are almost guarranteed a single skill of this magnatude.
I see this as a very minor problem only.

The advantage is cancelled out by the difficulty modifiers, which go up to a
DM of -6 (and more, if the GM so decides).

So, the character can handle all routine tasks of his field without any prob-
lems (which is just realistic), but there will still be more than enough truly dif-
ficult or even impossible tasks for that character to make the game challen-
ging for the player.
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Old January 3rd, 2009, 01:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rust View Post
I see this as a very minor problem only.
Nevertheless, it is a problem.

Quote:
The advantage is cancelled out by the difficulty modifiers, which go up to a
DM of -6 (and more, if the GM so decides).
That's no different than CT, with the lower modifiers. Throwing a spear, for example, has a target number of 18 (the character is allowed to add his full DEX as a modifier).

The target number (and the modifiers, for that matter) can be anything the GM thinks is fair, in CT.



Quote:
So, the character can handle all routine tasks of his field without any prob-
lems (which is just realistic)...
But, is it realistic that every character have a field? That was one of my points above. In MGT, every character is almost guarranteed to be very good with at least one skill. You won't find that guarrantee in CT. (Which, is more realistic.)
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Old January 3rd, 2009, 01:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Supplement Four View Post
But, is it realistic that every character have a field? That was one of my points above. In MGT, every character is almost guarranteed to be very good with at least one skill. You won't find that guarrantee in CT. (Which, is more realistic.)
Yes, it is realistic (as far as the term 'realistic' applies to a speculative sf rpg). CT tends to produce amateurish dilettantes, often completely unqualified for the career they've been in, whereas MGT produces professionals. I know which I (and my players) prefer.
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Old January 3rd, 2009, 02:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Supplement Four View Post
But, is it realistic that every character have a field? That was one of my points above. In MGT, every character is almost guarranteed to be very good with at least one skill. You won't find that guarrantee in CT. (Which, is more realistic.)
Considering the education and training methods that should be available in a
plausible science fiction setting, I really think that a character should be qui-
te good in at least one of his career's skills after serving in that career for 4
years.

In fact, I would even expect this of someone who worked four years in the
same career in the real world.
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