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Old March 5th, 2008, 03:05 PM
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Default Weapons, Night Vision Googles, portaCom - check

Now, I realize that the first book is only include the standard weapons and gear but don't others feel that Traveller has to get a more High Tech feel to its weaponry especially for their version Mercenary gearing up?

I have always found that Star Wars even Star Trek more inspiring than Traveller. Ideally, I guess that I want this conversation to commence also in the Mongoose forums but don't want to come across as a hostile old timer with an axe to grind.

So, indeed keep the basic premise - shotguns in space - but change the way they look.
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Old March 5th, 2008, 03:29 PM
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I am not sure I agree. I want Traveller to remain capable of doing the full range and I do not want only "Super 60's" SciFi looking stuff.

I want Traveller to still be able to look and feel like Outland for example.

Just my .02

Daniel
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Old March 6th, 2008, 10:32 AM
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I want both. Traveller runs the gambit of tech level so why can't you have both. Not every world it going to develop the same type of weapon. Some worlds may not even develop gun powder. What if they use some natural form of berry juice or just a different chemical reation to throw their slugs down range. The layout of the weapon will certainly be different. You might have a shotgun type of weapon but it is a plant when it is squeezed or aggravated in some way that it shots out a load of barbs or seeds having the same effect as a shotgun blast. Just think of the different books that could be written, the "Weapons of the Rhylanor sector" or "Droyne weapons: Can you eat them?" The sky is really the limit.
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Old March 6th, 2008, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Kharum1 View Post
I want both. Traveller runs the gambit of tech level so why can't you have both. Not every world it going to develop the same type of weapon. Some worlds may not even develop gun powder. What if they use some natural form of berry juice or just a different chemical reation to throw their slugs down range. The layout of the weapon will certainly be different. You might have a shotgun type of weapon but it is a plant when it is squeezed or aggravated in some way that it shots out a load of barbs or seeds having the same effect as a shotgun blast. Just think of the different books that could be written, the "Weapons of the Rhylanor sector" or "Droyne weapons: Can you eat them?" The sky is really the limit.
I'm not sure that this would be greeted with much enthusiasm. If I am unlikely to buy an expansion book filled with gear that works pretty much the same as the standard gear, but that has different explanations.

In any case, Traveller weaponry is generally the most reasonable extrapolation out there. Most sci-fi weaponry is utterly laughable because it tends to be distinctly inferior to current hardware in most important respects.

For instance, Star Wars blasters are inferior to modern assault rifles--they are no more accurate (and arguably less accurate) and have a low rate of fire compared with modern assault rifles. Star Trek phasers are even less useful in combat. A group of ACR equipped troops would wipe the Star Trek dustbuster-phaser crowd out. (Of course, Picard & Co. would surrender before the fight could start, but that's a different story). Star Trek's dusbusters have no sighting mechanisms, which would make them pretty muich worthless in a real fight. They have a low rate of fire, though the ability to fire a wide beam may compensate somewhat. Still, I'd rather have an assault rifle, SMG or ACR.

Lightsabers are even less likely sci-fi weapons. I'll take out a dozen Jedis with lightsabers if I have an Atchisson Assault Shotgun.

At the end of the day, the most effective way to kill someone is to hit them with a large dose of kinetic energy. And bullets are extraordinarily effective at imparting large doses of kinetic energy.

Regarding propellant, well, it's true that other propellants have been devised besides gunpower and its descendants, though the alternatives have been inferior.

So as long as a planet has charcoal, sulfur and potassium nitrate, I think that gunpowder and its descendants will be the propellant of choice. Of course different explosive formulations might be found, but the end result is the same--an explosion propels a solid projectile at a target.

That will only change (IMHO) when we have incredibly light, cheap and rugged power sources that can power gauss weapons and lasers.

A planet that lacks gunpowder (or an alternative that is just as cheap and effective) will develop dramatically differently than Earth did. For one thing, I'd expect overall technological development to be significantly slower. The reason is that cheap guns did more to enable democracy and capitalism--the chief drivers of technological innovation IMHO--than anything else. A planet that lacks cheap, effective and easy to use weapons will tend to have economic and political power concentrated far more than the West (the center of technological advancement over the last thousand years or so). This is because alternative weaponry would be much harder to use effectively (i.e., swords and bows), and therefore require far more training. If such weapons can be countered by expensive armor, a small, professional warrior class can keep the aristocracy in power. That's harder to do when your knight can be shot off his horse by any peasant with a musket.

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Old March 6th, 2008, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by tbeard1999 View Post
I'm not sure that this would be greeted with much enthusiasm. If I am unlikely to buy an expansion book filled with gear that works pretty much the same as the standard gear, but that has different explanations.

In any case, Traveller weaponry is generally the most reasonable extrapolation out there. Most sci-fi weaponry is utterly laughable because it tends to be distinctly inferior to current hardware in most important respects.

************Ummm...this is a sci-fi game. You seem to be missing the point. If we could explain how these new weapons worked to the point that we can with our current weapons we would have them on the market and be rich.

For instance, Star Wars blasters are inferior to modern assault rifles--they are no more accurate (and arguably less accurate) and have a low rate of fire compared with modern assault rifles. Star Trek phasers are even less useful in combat. A group of ACR equipped troops would wipe the Star Trek dustbuster-phase crowd out. (Of course, Picard & Co. would surrender before the fight could start, but that's a different story). Star Trek's dusbusters have no sighting mechanisms, which would make them pretty muich worthless in a real fight. They have a low rate of fire, though the ability to fire a wide beam may compensate somewhat. Still, I'd rather have an assault rifle, SMG or ACR.

***********I have never fired a blaster or phase pistol so, I can not comment on how lethal they are. However, I have fired a wide variety of modern weapons in my tour in the Marine Corps (M-16, M203, Mk 19, etc.) just to name a few. My time as a law enforcement officer taught me to shoot from the hip. Thus, not requiring any aiming devices. Also on that note, some of the best shots in this country don't aim at there targets. They allow there instincts and muscle memory to guide them. I remember the time that I actually saw a guy throw several half dollars in the air and with his revolver hit each one damn near the center (three coins/ four shots). If you could get me the manufactors spec for the Blaster and Phase pistol I would gladly do a comparison of the ROF for you. I don't know how many fire fights you have been in but aiming is not a factor.

Lightsabers are even less likely sci-fi weapons. I'll take out a dozen Jedis with lightsabers if I have an Atchisson Assault Shotgun.

**********Again, sci-fi game.

At the end of the day, the most effective way to kill someone is to hit them with a large dose of kinetic energy. And bullets are extraordinarily effective at imparting large doses of kinetic energy.

*************I think reading long posts about non-existent energy weapons might be a close second.

Regarding propellant, well, it's true that other propellants have been devised besides gunpower and its descendants, though the alternatives have been inferior.

**********Ummm...other planets, other life forms, other possiblities.

So as long as a planet has charcoal, sulfur and potassium nitrate, I think that gunpowder and its descendants will be the propellant of choice. Of course different explosive formulations might be found, but the end result is the same--an explosion propels a solid projectile at a target.

That will only change (IMHO) when we have incredibly light, cheap and rugged power sources that can power gauss weapons and lasers.

A planet that lacks gunpowder (or an alternative that is just as cheap and effective) will develop dramatically differently than Earth did. For one thing, I'd expect overall technological development to be significantly slower. The reason is that cheap guns did more to enable democracy and capitalism--the chief drivers of technological innovation IMHO--than anything else. A planet that lacks cheap, effective and easy to use weapons will tend to have economic and political power concentrated far more than the West (the center of technological advancement over the last thousand years or so). This is because alternative weaponry would be much harder to use effectively (i.e., swords and bows), and therefore require far more training. If such weapons can be countered by expensive armor, a small, professional warrior class can keep the aristocracy in power. That's harder to do when your knight can be shot off his horse by any peasant with a musket.
*************Please read my comments above too.***************************** I have to point out the key word here "alternative". I can not disagree that firearms have had a large affect on how our little planet has developed. Those with the bigger "Boom stick" wins. I do understand that we can only draw apon our own history and project it into the future and doing so we come up with our same society just 5000 years from now. However, this is a game. A game that allows you to use your imagination. If you want your adventures to land on a planet that the natives use bamboo tubes and explosive berries to throw a dart down range at 1000 ft. s/s so be it. Hell, they may have a device not unlike one the military has been working on that fires 20 - 30 rounds at one time that can wipe out an entire column of trucks/ APC/ tanks in a blink of an eye. If you don't believe that one check out "Future Weapons" on the Science channel and the Military channel. The net-net here is that this is a game and people need variety or they become bored and move on. If they want to step outside the box let them. What warm will a berry bomb that sprays acid when it explodes be to your campaign. If you don't like it, it's ok, someone else might.
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Last edited by Kharum1; March 6th, 2008 at 02:30 PM..
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Old March 6th, 2008, 03:37 PM
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*************Please read my comments above too.***************************** I have to point out the key word here "alternative". ...I do understand that we can only draw apon our own history and project it into the future and doing so we come up with our same society just 5000 years from now. However, this is a game. A game that allows you to use your imagination. If you want your adventures to land on a planet that the natives use bamboo tubes and explosive berries to throw a dart down range at 1000 ft. s/s so be it.
I guess that the retort would be that Traveller has historically been a relatively "hard" sci-fi RPG. Of course, some handwavium is necessary for the setting -- FTL drives and reactionless drives, for instance.

But in the area of weaponry, Traveller has historically been extremely "hard". I have never seen a more thorough attempt to think through future military technology than Mercenary.

So allowing the kinds of weaponry that you're mentioning would fundamentally alter the game. Whether this is a Good Thing or not is a subjective opinion. I don't care for *wildly* implausible weaponry personally.

Indeed, it's the lack of mysterious zappatron rays that gives Traveller some of its strongest flavor, in my opinion. YMMV
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Old March 6th, 2008, 03:51 PM
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I guess we agree to disagree to the possible need for a supplement such as this.
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Old March 6th, 2008, 04:32 PM
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Well all that stuff has to come out somewhere if MGT is driving the 2000AD rpgs too. The OTU is not the be all and end all of Traveller.

Electro-nux, time bomb, riot foam, 6 types of round as standard, and that's just the regular stuff.

Some PF Hamilton style EM sensory manipulation weapons, for a start, and I want to play with a knife missile, grudamn!
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Old March 6th, 2008, 05:15 PM
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I guess we agree to disagree to the possible need for a supplement such as this.
Well, please understand that I am not per se disdainful of more fantastic weaponry and technology. I've run Space Opera, which has all kinds of Zappatron weapons and had a blast. I've run the d6 system Star Wars RPG and enjoyed it.

I just don't think that introducing such things to Traveller will improve Traveller.

One thing that I am annoyed by, though, is the way that some Sci-Fi movies and TV series fail to make their weaponry logical. Not scientifically plausible, just logical.

Star Wars, for instance, should explain to us why Jedis would use lightsabers as their primary weapon when they appear to be woefully vulnerable to a low tech shotgun. It should make some effort to show that blasters are actually better than an M-16. Star Trek should explain how those ridiculous Dust Buster phasers are aimed. And perhaps explain why they are preferable to submachineguns (or at least why Star Fleet's personnel don't carry assault rifles when killing is likely to be required).

For an example of how to do implausible weaponry right, see Frank Herbert's Dune. (Not the prequels by his son and another hack writer, who are no better than George Lucas at understanding the implications of weaponry).

In Dune, Herbert envisions a handwavium device, the personal Shield, which stops all fast moving projectiles. (Lasers cause atomic explosions if they hit a shield, so they are avoided). Only slow moving objects get through, so combat is with swords primarily. This enables a feudal society to plausibly exist (unlike most Sci-Fi feudal societies).
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Old March 6th, 2008, 06:17 PM
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Quote:
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...One thing that I am annoyed by, though, is the way that some Sci-Fi movies and TV series fail to make their weaponry logical. Not scientifically plausible, just logical...

...Star Trek should explain how those ridiculous Dust Buster phasers are aimed. And perhaps explain why they are preferable to submachineguns (or at least why Star Fleet's personnel don't carry assault rifles when killing is likely to be required).
I agree pretty much with all you said. On the ST example I do have a thought or two as that's where my brain has been vacationing the last little while

As noted above (though I disagree with the terminology) handguns are often not sighted, i.e. they are aimed by muscle memory/coordination, shot from the hip so to speak, I'd argue they are aimed though. And the results can be every bit as good as sighting, especially at the typical effective engagement ranges. Some even aim long guns from the hip in the same way, and they can be quite accurate at short ranges.

But if that's still not good enough for you, ST hand phasers are easy. They are a beam weapon so it's dead easy to add a simple target recognition eye and have the weapon fine tune the aim. As long as you point center of mass the computer will adjust the firing solution to hit the best point for stun effect or whatever. Heck it probably even compensates for unsteady hands and firing while running and dodging or rolling (I seem to recall Kirk doing a lotta that). Gotta remember that for the game if I play

And ST does issue heavier and longer range/accurate phasers as well. With neat little pop-up long range sites* too.

But of course the biggest reason for all the ST lack of primitive weapons is they kill, and the Federation would much prefer to just stun you and then rehabilitate you. Or strand you on some backwater hell world to live out your unnatural life in misery

But don't forget, if going up against a lethal force, you can respond in kind, just set phasers to kill.

* gimmicky imo but maybe they are reliable and also holographically enhanced and naturally incorporate the same fine aim assist
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