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MegaTraveller Discuss of the MegaTraveller ruleset and the Rebellion Milieu

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  #31  
Old December 25th, 2011, 04:24 AM
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The only problem is the task system lead to people thinking there had to be a certain task for a certain situation so they would look it up in the examples given in the book, and/or build up a standard task library from published sources.

This is just as bad as the original CT system of look up each skill so you know how to apply it.

The concept is great - make stuff up on the spot to keep the game moving - but in practice it was a cumbersome, book flicking nightmare unless you had a ref willing to just make it up.
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Old December 25th, 2011, 06:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike wightman View Post
The only problem is the task system lead to people thinking there had to be a certain task for a certain situation so they would look it up in the examples given in the book, and/or build up a standard task library from published sources.

This is just as bad as the original CT system of look up each skill so you know how to apply it.

The concept is great - make stuff up on the spot to keep the game moving - but in practice it was a cumbersome, book flicking nightmare unless you had a ref willing to just make it up.
Actually, I found the tasks in the rulebooks easy to find for the few things I really needed them for: Ship operations, combat, and repair (of people and things). As did the other people I knew running it. It was slick.

And it was the most flexible task system in any published edition.
It can do unannounced difficulty. It can do uncertain success. It can do two stats or two skills, rather than just 1 each.
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  #33  
Old December 25th, 2011, 07:55 AM
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"Oh - I saw a task like that in issue %^& of Traveller's Digest"

"Is that the task from the Referee's Manual or Referee's Guide?"

"Wow, this screen has loads of standard tasks to use"

Like I said, if you stated to assemble a task library or look up each task in each source it was a book flicking nightmare.

If you were willing to wing it and make your own up it was/is a slick system. One open to:
"Hey, last session you said the task for doing that was..."

If you were able to use it as a fee form system great, it becomes similar to a lot of systems where the GM just makes up difficulties etc on the spot.
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  #34  
Old December 25th, 2011, 09:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike wightman View Post
The concept is great - make stuff up on the spot to keep the game moving - but in practice it was a cumbersome, book flicking nightmare unless you had a ref willing to just make it up.
I never saw that as a problem myself. Like Aramis, I didn't have any problems accessing the fixed tasks for the various dedicated subsystems (combat, healing, trade etc.)
I never bothered looking up the tasks provided in the skill list or in various other sources besides those fixed subsystems and never saw a need to. In my opinion, these are just guidelines you can keep in the back of your head as a referee, but you shouldn't feel bound to.

The task system was a very nice, simple and systematic way of organizing everything outside of the detailed subystems.

My problem with MT's use of the task system mainly has to do with combat: It didn't really work with that IMHO. 2300AD suffered from the same problem. The task system has a rather low granularity - which is fine for general adventure activities ad-libbed by the referee, as it makes the system simple to implement and easy to grasp.

In a traditional, highly structured combat system with ranges and initiative and so on, this system breaks down. When a single square of distance can make a difference of +/-4 on a 2d6 roll, players will want to exploit the system.
This could have been solved in one of two ways:
a) Ditch a detailed combat system in favor of a free-form one.
b) Use the task system only as a base, and provide low-granularity DMs for various situations (like they kinda did with space combat.)
But they didn't do so.
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  #35  
Old December 25th, 2011, 06:42 PM
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The Combat system isn't bad. It works remarkably well, in fact. So long as you don't let players argue over a single square. If playing out o a map, use a ruler, don't count squares. And ranges get checked only once - at shooting time.

It's convoluted, but the interrupt system is in fact brilliant.

It was very poorly explained, but it is brilliant
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  #36  
Old December 25th, 2011, 07:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aramis View Post
The Combat system isn't bad. It works remarkably well, in fact. So long as you don't let players argue over a single square. If playing out o a map, use a ruler, don't count squares.
That doesn't help. At all. Players do the same when range is in meters, as I've witnessed in my short-lived 2300AD campaign.
The problem is not with squares or hexes or whatever measurement you use for range: It is with the extremely steep difficulty ladder. Steps of 4 points each are inviting some very forced and unrealistic behaviour.
In 2300AD this was comparably easy to fix. The range increments were in meters, which one could simply divide by 4 to get DM-1 steps.
MT is more complex, because the difficulty levels are assigned to the range bands and because penetration is also affected.
An example:
A gyrostabilized Fusion Gun is fired by a character (777777, Energy Weapons-1) at a Battle Dress wearer with the same characteristics.
At 40 meters range, the chance to hit is 83%, and one hit is guaranteed to incapacitate, if not kill, the target.
At 60 meters range, the chance to hit is 27%, and it's impossible to incapacitate, let alone kill, the target.

Does that seem right to you? It really, really doesn't to me.

Quote:
And ranges get checked only once - at shooting time.
There is one little problem: My players know the ranges of the various weapons. And they know how to take advantage of situations.

Quote:
It's convoluted, but the interrupt system is in fact brilliant.
I have no particular problem with the interrupt system.
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  #37  
Old December 25th, 2011, 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Tobias View Post
That doesn't help. At all. Players do the same when range is in meters, as I've witnessed in my short-lived 2300AD campaign.
The problem is not with squares or hexes or whatever measurement you use for range: It is with the extremely steep difficulty ladder. Steps of 4 points each are inviting some very forced and unrealistic behaviour.
In 2300AD this was comparably easy to fix. The range increments were in meters, which one could simply divide by 4 to get DM-1 steps.
MT is more complex, because the difficulty levels are assigned to the range bands and because penetration is also affected.
An example:
A gyrostabilized Fusion Gun is fired by a character (777777, Energy Weapons-1) at a Battle Dress wearer with the same characteristics.
At 40 meters range, the chance to hit is 83%, and one hit is guaranteed to incapacitate, if not kill, the target.
At 60 meters range, the chance to hit is 27%, and it's impossible to incapacitate, let alone kill, the target.

Does that seem right to you? It really, really doesn't to me.


There is one little problem: My players know the ranges of the various weapons. And they know how to take advantage of situations.
The problem is twofold - players who are munchkin about it, and a GM letting them get away with it.

That said, I've run MT combat as both tactical wargame and for RPG combats, and never had the kind of issue you have had. The one player I've met who tried that crap also was prone to other similarly disruptive behaviors and my group expelled him. ANd he's also the type to argue over a +1 mod in COC (on d%)... (We had the issue in a non-traveller system. FASA-Trek, to be honest.)
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Archduke of Sylea (CORE 2118)
Duke of the Third Imperium (SPIN 0534)
Count Terra (SOLO 1827)
Count Gorod (REFT 1302)
Count of the Third Imperium (SPIN 2232)
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SEH w/Diamonds for Extreme Heroism - Battle of Boughene
MCG - Battle of Boughene
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IMTU ct+ tm++ tne tg-- tt+ tmo+ t4- t20+ to ru+ ge+ 3i+ c+ jt au ls pi+ ta he+ st+
Wil Hostman 0602 C539857-9 S A724
OTU: 95% 3i an+ au+ br- cpu± dt± f+ fs++ ge± ih- inf± j± jf+ jm+ jt+ ls- n= nc+ pi+ pp-- tp+ tr+ tv- vi-- xb+-
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  #38  
Old December 25th, 2011, 08:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aramis View Post
The problem is twofold - players who are munchkin about it, and a GM letting them get away with it.
As a referee, I don't punish my players for using the rules to their advantage. And I certainly don't force them to behave idiotically just because the rules fail to simulate what they are supposed to simulate.
As I said, you can also go the way of rules-light combat relying on referee fiat. But if you have a detailed, tactical combat system instead and it still requires lots of referee fiat for even the most basic elements to work as envisioned, it's bad design. Seriously, the "don't let them get away with it" spiel is just proof of that. If the system was any good, it wouldn't let them "get away with it" in the first place.
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Old December 30th, 2011, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by mike wightman View Post
Like I said, if you stated to assemble a task library or look up each task in each source it was a book flicking nightmare.
This is not confined to Traveller; we had the same thing with situations in AD&D. Our solution: a book of house rules. And we would get the smart-arse^k^k^k^k _interested_ player to look up the rule they remembered. Takes the "book flicking" problem away from the DM!

(Yes, something of a task library. But make sure you mix it up: if a situation has something that makes it different from last time, make sure you change the Diff or another factor - keeps the players on their toes, reminds them the "rules" are only guidelines, and let's them know _you_ are thinking and not just operating by rote. And let the "interested" players write the "rules" into the book - again freeing the ref from housekeeping!!)

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Originally Posted by Tobias View Post
There is one little problem: My players know the ranges of the various weapons. And they know how to take advantage of situations.
And so they should, especially if they are trained military types. Thats what military tactics are all about: giving you an unfair (preferably overwhelming) advantage over the enemy. Warfare is not at all about being fair.

Punish them severly for rushing in unprepared, but if they take the time to think and plan and _work together as a team (miracle!!), I believe they should be rewarded, not punished.

I also agree with Will: only measure ranges when they fire; then they can see how well they guessed. (Unless they have a range-finder, and declare they are _using_ it! It's all part of Tactics, y'know!) I've known more than one MU caught in his own Fireball...

[As for the fusion gun example, I also was not completely happy with the MT weapons: they didn't quite match _Striker_, and I had a grognard player, so I created my own tables. The Pen still drops (at 45m) and the Diff is FORMIDABLE, but it has an Aiming DM of +5 - thus more than negating the difficulty.
http://members.tip.net.au/~davidjw/t...Energy Weapons]

Anyway, IYTU YMMV.
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Old December 30th, 2011, 08:02 PM
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(Yes, something of a task library. But make sure you mix it up: if a situation has something that makes it different from last time, make sure you change the Diff or another factor - keeps the players on their toes, reminds them the "rules" are only guidelines, and let's them know _you_ are thinking and not just operating by rote. And let the "interested" players write the "rules" into the book - again freeing the ref from housekeeping!!)
Apparently it didn't become quite clear what the problem is: It's not that players do what they can to gain a tactical advantage. It's that doing so creates highly unrealistic behaviour for the characters. That breaks immersion for me and my players, and that is bad.

Even for players that do not 'play the rules' this is apparent. "What? Last turn I could comfortably hit him and now, just because he moved 3 meters, I have a snowball's chance in hell to even scratch him? That's BS!"
I have run into this kind of problem more than once, with more than one game system, and I'd like to avoid it. Breaking down the difficulty steps solves this problem in a satisfactory fashion.
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