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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 July 21st, 2017, 03:54 AM
Carlobrand Carlobrand is offline
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Default Hull/cargo hits in High Guard

High Guard is among my favorites for its ability to allow one to run a space combat without hauling out a map and hoping the player has enough piloting skill not to overshoot the planet while fighting off the pirate. It also lends itself to modding, which can be fun.

A disadvantage when putting players through it is that it's potentially faster paced than CT Book 2. Turns are roughly similar length, to-hit for a single laser's the same, missiles are different, both are less deadly than in Book 2. However, 4/9 of hits on ships in Book 2 are taken up by hull and cargo. For the player trying to run for the jump limit and needing time and luck to do it, a 7/36 chance per hit of losing drive power and a 17 in 36 chance per hit of losing one or more weapons is a big change from a 1 to 3 in 36 chance of losing drive power and a 5 in 36 chance of losing one or more weapons.

High Guard was intended for warships, and warships are densely packed compared to freighters. Taking that into consideration can buy time for the little guys. What I've done is add up all the cargo space, boat space, crew space (staterooms, low berths, ELBs) less 2 dT per crew, and other nonstandard extranea like extra fuel above the usual required, figured what percentage of the ship that is, then translated that percentage into a D6 roll.

So, for example, the free trader with 82 dT cargo, 10 staterooms and crew of 3, 20 low berths, has 126 dTons of noncritical space over what a similar-size warship would carry - 63%. Converting it into D6 - dividing by 16.67 and rounding off - 4 in 6 hits will strike this noncritical space rather than going to the damage table.

For the stock game ships, I got:

Scout: 1/6
Free Trader: 4/6
Far Trader: 3/6
Subs Merch: 4/6
Subs Liner: 2/6
Yacht: 2/6
Merc. Cruiser: 3/6
Patrol Cruiser: 1/6
Launch: 4/6
Ship's Boat: 3/6
Pinnace: 3/6
Cutter: 4/6

If there's a need to figure out what was hit - cargo damage, for example, that can be roughly figured the same way (unless you're in the mood to buy percentile dice). Roughly 2/3 of the free trader's noncritical space is cargo, so 4 in 6 hits taken by noncritical spaces are hits to cargo - at 10 dT cargo damaged per hit. Broadsword's trickier, with 160 dT in boats and cutter modules, 80 dT cargo, 48 dT spare fuel, and 86 dT living space beyond crew accommodations; I might dig out percentage dice for that one, if I absolutely had to know what got hit, but it's usually easier to assume repairs are made after the battle.

Most High Guard warships won't have enough cargo or passenger space to bother doing a calculation. A 200,000 dT dreadnought would need more than 16,667 dTons of such space before it was worth bothering about. However, ships like tankers and carriers might benefit from such treatment.
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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