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T20 - Traveller for the D20 System Open discussion on the D20 version of Traveller!

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  #1  
Old January 17th, 2005, 10:24 AM
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Golan2072 Golan2072 is offline
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I am considering to buy the T20 rulebook; however, I have some reservations. Is this version of Traveller truely worth its price, or the time I'll have to invest in order to learn it (I'm familiar with the general D20 system, though)?

And a few points I'd like to know about:
1) Does T20 ground combat feel like D&D combat, or more like CT ground combat? How well are firearms handled?
2) Is the inclusion of Character Classes restrictive to Chargen (as it was in D&D 2E and to a lesser degree in 3E)?
3) How fighter-friendly is the space combat system? Is it a small-ship system such as CT or a big-bad-battleship system such as High Guard?
4) How modifyable are the rules? how many of them are setting-specificf to the OTU?
5) How well integrated are the design and combat systems? can you shoot a fighter with your PGMP-12, or an enemy tank with your ship's lasers? could you design ground vehicles and robots?
6) Does the game have an integral "traveller" atmosphere rather than the (ultra-heroic, beer'n'pretzel) D&D3E one?

Thanks in advance.
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Old January 17th, 2005, 10:33 AM
tjoneslo tjoneslo is offline
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T20 is based upon the older D&D 3.0 rules, so there are some changes. But no more than any of the other D20 based games. To answer your specific questions:

1) Firearms are handled better than the standard D20 because there are fewer hit points. The damage system is more complex than the standard D20 system, but it add more of the standard CT feel of deadly combat.

2) The T20 classes are very generic, and it is encouraged to multiclass. Much more so than the D20 rules. It would be only a short step to a completely classless system.

3) The T20 starship combat system is based on High Guard.

4) The rules can be modified as much as any D20 ruleset can be. There are a few setting specific rules, but they are mostly for things that the base D20 does not cover.

5) Yes to all of these. You can shoot starships with handguns, or attack them with swords. You can fire your starship weapons at people on the ground (smoking boots...). The design system covers everything from fly sized spybots to million ton starships.

6) From experience of the Traveller systems, T20 is on the high side of dramtic scale, but certianly less than the ultra-heroic D&D experience.
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Old January 17th, 2005, 03:41 PM
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But T20 still uses lots of funny shaped dice... [img]graemlins/file_23.gif[/img]
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Old January 17th, 2005, 04:52 PM
veltyen veltyen is offline
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I mostly agree with tjonselo, however,

5) Robots are possible to design, but require some rulings on specific aspects that are not definitively covered. Basically it feels like most of the rules are there. Certainly the design system covers vehicles very well, and that includes robot chasis's, some kludges are required for robotic skills and abilities.

6) Theoretically a large calibre pistol can annihalate a dreadnaught in a single shot, though functionally that is unlikely (as it should be). The possibility of rapid death at the hands of anyone shooting at you tends to add a moment of pause tending to restrict the dramatic to more prosaic concerns.
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Old January 17th, 2005, 04:54 PM
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Oh and combat tends to be a little tedious. Not as bad as DnD in some ways, worse in others. Each combat round takes longer for this reason, though there tends not to be as many.
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Old January 17th, 2005, 05:18 PM
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To be honest, this is what I'd do, if I were buying T20 stuff right now:

1. Join the moot for around $15 and get the playtest rules for the player's handbook. This gets you everything you need to make a character and equip him. It also has the combat rules. It does not have design sequences or prebuilt vehicles or ships. It is also missing general starship operations information, trading, etc.

2. If you need some prebuilt vehicles or ships, use third-party or fan based ones, or buy the appropriate TAs, or make a guess on conversions from older Traveller versions.

3. You're still missing rules for general spaceship operations, trading, etc. Use the rules from whatever edition of traveller you like best for these.

4. In a few decades when the corrected or revised or whatever T20 book comes out, you can buy it.

The reason I'm against purchasing the main book is that it has way too many errors and inconsistancies for a book that expensive. I feel like every other page has errata penciled in on it.
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Old January 17th, 2005, 06:52 PM
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The second printing of the T20 rule book has been corrected from the first print run.

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Old January 17th, 2005, 07:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Employee 2-4601:
I am considering to buy the T20 rulebook; however, I have some reservations. Is this version of Traveller truely worth its price, or the time I'll have to invest in order to learn it (I'm familiar with the general D20 system, though)?
If you like and enjoy d20, then T20 will be mostly a breeze.

Pros:
</font>
  • Very Classic Traveller "feel".</font>
  • d20 Class & Personal Combat mechanics are, basically, used.</font>
  • Combat is more lethal.</font>
  • The Citizens of the Imperium board. Tons of fann support. Ancients of the game are actively posting here, and some are lurking and occasionally post.</font>
  • I like the art in most of the book.</font>
Cons:
</font>
  • Starship Combat leaves a little to be desired, it needs house rules to make it work (fortunately, a great deal of excellent thought has already gone into it right here on CotI).</font>
  • Combat is more lethal.</font>
  • The 2nd Printing of the rulebook is a must (the first had a lot of errata).</font>
  • Some of the rules organization (and/or phraseology) leaves a little to be desired.</font>
My copy of the rules is getting pretty beat up, but all the pages are still inside and it isn't threatening to split down the middle (for which I'm very grateful).
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Old January 17th, 2005, 08:29 PM
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Ah, I didn't know there was a second printing with corrections. That helps a lot.
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Old January 18th, 2005, 12:34 AM
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Let me take a whack at this one. [img]smile.gif[/img] All is of course, IMHO. [img]smile.gif[/img]

Quote:
Originally posted by Employee 2-4601:
I am considering to buy the T20 rulebook; however, I have some reservations. Is this version of Traveller truely worth its price, or the time I'll have to invest in order to learn it (I'm familiar with the general D20 system, though)?

And a few points I'd like to know about:
1) Does T20 ground combat feel like D&D combat, or more like CT ground combat? How well are firearms handled?
Ground combat is D20 rules at the personal level, however, and this is a big however, due to the fixed lifeblood rating there is little chance to stand up to a point blank shotgun blast without serious body armor no matter what your level is.

It isn't quite as lethal as CT ground combat but IMHO that is a good thing. (In CT if you got hit by virtually any weapon, you went down.)

As for how well firearms are handled. I spent 9 years active duty army. I have fired bows (not in the army), pistols, shotguns, rifles, submachine guns, assault rifles, sniper rifles, light, medium and heavy machine guns, grenade launchers, rocket launchers, missile launchers, handled explosives, trained with auto canons, and called artillery and air strikes. Everything works the way a person with experience with these weapons would expect them to work. (Though there are a couple minor glitches.)

Quote:

2) Is the inclusion of Character Classes restrictive to Chargen (as it was in D&D 2E and to a lesser degree in 3E)?
I can't answer that question. I never played D&D after EGG left the scene.

Quote:

3) How fighter-friendly is the space combat system? Is it a small-ship system such as CT or a big-bad-battleship system such as High Guard?
The starship combat works well at small craft level. (Less than 1000 tons. It is when you get to big ships that the system falls apart. (IMHO seriously falls apart.) Though it is fixable without throwing out the whole thing or killing the playability of small ships.

Quote:

4) How modifyable are the rules? how many of them are setting-specificf to the OTU?
Like any RPG the rules are modifyable. THough if your players are going to look at the rules it is only fair to let them know the changes. [img]smile.gif[/img] Actually the rules are pretty setting non-specific. However if you want to use starship designs that don't use jump drive or maneuver drive you are writing your own rules. Further if you are going to allow FTL comms you are writing your own rules.

They are so modifyable that the same rules will be used for the Twilight 2000, Traveller 2300, Honor Harrington, and Legacy of Aldenta backgrounds.

Quote:

5) How well integrated are the design and combat systems? can you shoot a fighter with your PGMP-12, or an enemy tank with your ship's lasers? could you design ground vehicles and robots?
Very well integrated. Though there are a couple of holes with robots and a minor glitch with radiation weapon damage. You can engage all classes of targets with all classes of weapons with fairly predictable, ie expected, results. (A bodypistol is unlikely to do serious harm to a Drednaught and a Starship's weapons are very likely to kill the guy holding the body pistol. [img]smile.gif[/img]

Quote:

6) Does the game have an integral "traveller" atmosphere rather than the (ultra-heroic, beer'n'pretzel) D&D3E one?

Thanks in advance.
It very much feels like Traveller. Unlike the typical level 14 AD&D character fighting appropiate monsters, combat isn't chipping away against an inexhaustable supply of hitpoints. Getting shot can, and frequently will, kill you. As will getting chopped or carved up. You can kill someone with a dagger or a single shotgun blast. So after their first combat session, win or lose , players, particularily D&D players, tend to get a little more circumspect about rushing into combat. (Especially lethal combat.)

Did I miss any? [img]smile.gif[/img]
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