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Space Badger's Reaver's Deep SpaceBadger's SBRD game

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  #451  
Old September 8th, 2013, 08:54 PM
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I'll leave that bit to you then, but I take Descarte's advice on such matters: "If I imagine them to be able to do the job they can do it."
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  #452  
Old September 8th, 2013, 11:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Fritz_Brown View Post
LOL, you can cancel out the planet's gravity inside the bay (which will make it really hard for anyone to push this stuff around, unless you are anchored in some way - I assume mag boots), but you can't simply cancel the gravity under a box?
Right, which is why I really dislike gravitics, bc if you try to work out any kind of physics for it, it just gets stupid.

So I don't try to work out the physics.

Here is a short course on gravitics IMTU. If I need to get all GM about it, just imagine all of this in bold red letters.

Grav vehicles fly. Like thruster drives in a spacecraft, they create magic lift and thrust out of nowhere. But they have limits. You can't just hook your air-raft to a Type A2 w a really strong chain and lift the spacecraft. The grav vehicle has enough lift to lift itself, plus a reasonable payload. Exceed that payload and it won't lift.

Ship gravitics and inertial compensators cancel out a certain amount of gravity and/or inertia (up to their rating, which usually is not more than the rating of the M-drive). They only work in a given space, between a set of floor plates that do the work and a limiter plate in the ceiling. They don't work out in the open air w no ceiling, and they don't just cancel out all gravity above them (just picture what THAT would do to Atmo and weather).

The gravitic container the stuff is in is like a vehicle. It doesn't magically cancel all gravity pulling on the box, or on the box's contents. (It just provides some magical lift that comes out of nowhere!!! ) But if it "cancelled the gravity under the box" how would it know where to stop? If you stand on the box, suddenly you are in zero-G? What about that air-raft where the grav plates underneath cancel the gravity pulling on the air-raft? Does that mean when you are in an air-raft you are in zero-G, or does it somehow only cancel G on the raft, but not on people in the raft?

Nope, just not going there, not IMTU.

Grav vehicles fly, and have load limits.

Gravitic/inertial compensators work in enclosed spaces.


We have those things bc this is vanilla Traveller and my other TU where the only magic stuff is FTL isn't ready yet. But we don't have to get crazy about it.
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  #453  
Old September 8th, 2013, 11:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Fritz_Brown View Post
Gravity doesn't act based on density/mass, it merely acts.
Actually it works only on mass. Gravity is attraction between two masses; it is just that if one mass is really big compared to the other one, the smaller mass doesn't count much. But it is there in the equation. (Gravity pulling on photons now, that part is beyond me!)


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If you want grav lifters to somehow produce essentially a "negative mass", then that's how they work. It's YTU.
Not negative mass. Just magical lift and thrust (if we are talking about grav vehicles). The gravity is still there, it still pulls on you while you are sitting in the vehicle, it is just that this "gravitic" power somehow grabs onto the fabric of the universe and pulls to give you lift and thrust from nowhere.

Gravitics and inertial compensators are a completely different thing, just happening to use the same name because the "compensator field" that they generate also can cancel or generate a force that feels like gravity.
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  #454  
Old September 9th, 2013, 12:51 AM
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Originally Posted by sabredog View Post
The range bands are synched to the CT combat ranges, which in my experience tends to be pretty much only Close to Medium anyway. Anything longer than that tends to require planning in advance (like and ambush or assault).

I would think that would make it easier to use them in this way of running the game than otherwise. Just state the range the battle takes place at and go from there.
I tend to think that it makes a difference if the guy who is a Medium Range distance away from you is within clear line of sight, behind a bush, behind a truck, or behind a big thick wall. I also think it makes a difference whether moving toward one guy is also toward another guy, or away from him because originally you were in between the two of them.

Reducing a map to one dimension (range) doesn't seem very helpful in describing what is going on. I'm looking at page 38 of The Traveller Book and they seem to agree, what with having a paragraph about grids for deckplans, floorplans, etc where there are other issues besides range.

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Are we still using the ten-second combat round from CT?
TTB p.34: a combat round is "approximately fifteen seconds".

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Originally Posted by sabredog View Post
If so, then everyone needs to be aware of how many actions can be made, or not in that time frame. Per the rules "it takes a single round to reload during which the character is considered to be evading."
Obviously neither I nor any ruleset can list every action that can be done in game, not if it's a very good game. It's fifteen seconds. If the rules say something about doing something in that time frame (as with changing magazines) then I tend to follow that, although I am willing to reconsider if it doesn't pass the reality test. (Fifteen seconds to drop out a magazine and click in another one? I dunno, maybe the stress of combat slows people down a lot?)

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And how many "aimed shots" can we take in that timeframe? And what difference does a "single carefully aimed shot" have from the "as many aimed shots as opportunity allows while evading"? And what does that second line mean - running in serpentine while blazing away right and left at every bad guy who pops up? For ten seconds?
Fifteen, and apparently according to Traveller you only get one attack during that fifteen seconds, unless using an automatic weapon firing two bursts.

Does that sound like your experience in Hogan's Alley? If two bad guys and a civilian popped up, how would you score if you took fifteen seconds to take down one bad guy, then another fifteen seconds to take down the second?

I don't have any real combat or law enforcement experience, but in any game I have ever played, if I took fifteen seconds between shots (or to reload!) I'd be .

I guess this is one reason I have usually played w alternate combat rules; I tend to like something better where you roll for how well you were shooting that turn; if you did really well maybe you hit both bad guys, not so well but still pretty good you just hit one of them, worse than that, well y'know how that goes...

But I'm trying to stick by CT rules as specified in TTB, since that is the reference that I have most readily to hand.

How many shots per round?

I guess just one according to CT per TTB (with allowances as you stated for automatic weapons).

Or you can do suppressive fire (is this a houserule? maybe so) where you don't even aim really but just empty your weapon toward the enemy to make them keep their heads down, and if they don't keep their heads down you have a (not very good) chance of hitting them.

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Originally Posted by sabredog View Post
Shooting through cover is harder than shooting the guy who exposed himself to fire unless the weapon you are using is powerful enough (like a gauss rifle or PGMP, say) to blow through the cover's material.
Yeah, we're using CT/TTB rules for cover and concealment, but sometimes the weapon being used makes a difference as to which it is; as you note, what may be cover when being shot at with a body pistol is only concealment when being shot at w PGMP.

*shrug* I dunno, I guess we'll just play by the book. Maybe I'd feel better if the combat round weren't fifteen seconds - you see lots of combats on TV that take two minutes for each side to fire eight shots? Me neither. We keep talking Firefly as a model, think of that shootout in the first episode where Patience and her men didn't want to pay for the goods? How long did that take? Shots fired?

Here's an idea - everything per CT/TTB, except the combat round only lasts 3.1459 seconds (because it's round, see? it's OK if you don't laugh, I stole the joke from somewhere else anyway).

'Cause, man, it's just be funny to envision any TV or movie or videogame firefight where they only get one shot per fifteen seconds. Would leave more time for witty banter in between shots, I guess...
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  #455  
Old September 9th, 2013, 12:56 AM
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I guess the question is whether we are trying to simulate some reality in which real people are afraid of getting killed so they hide for fifteen seconds between shots, or something like all the movies and TV and fiction that we talk about where people keep shooting BLAM-BLAM-BLAM until there are no more targets.
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  #456  
Old September 9th, 2013, 01:32 AM
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Say you're a "hitman for the forces of good" (007 or something). You walk into a room where two Bad Guys (Very Bad!) are sitting and eating pasta. You draw your pistol and shoot one guy three times in the chest, while the other guy is just noticing you and trying to stand up. Then you shoot the second guy twice in the body, then step up and give each one another shot in the head just to make sure. Then you turn and walk out of the room.

Movie, TV, or even acting it out w nerf gun in real life? Fifteen seconds, maybe, for the whole scene.

Traveller? Umm, let's see, that was seven shots, at fifteen seconds each, so one minute forty-five seconds? Or do the last two shots go faster as coups de grace? [Checks book; nope nothing about coups happening faster; each shot takes one combat round - fifteen seconds - per TTB p.43.] Oh, and what about the move actions, closing range and then opening range? I guess that is two minutes fifteen seconds.


EDIT: Heck, I've won wrestling and judo fights in less than fifteen seconds. OK, that was only twice out of a lot of matches, but still... Fifteen seconds can be a LONG time in a fight.
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  #457  
Old September 9th, 2013, 02:22 AM
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Originally Posted by SpaceBadger View Post
I tend to think that it makes a difference if the guy who is a Medium Range distance away from you is within clear line of sight, behind a bush, behind a truck, or behind a big thick wall. I also think it makes a difference whether moving toward one guy is also toward another guy, or away from him because originally you were in between the two of them.

Reducing a map to one dimension (range) doesn't seem very helpful in describing what is going on. I'm looking at page 38 of The Traveller Book and they seem to agree, what with having a paragraph about grids for deckplans, floorplans, etc where there are other issues besides range.
Oh I agree with the 3-D aspect of the whole thing - I was just trying to make it easy for you since I have no idea how you're going to keep track of all that (not to mention us - who have to map to look at or figures to see on it) and not go crazy in this PbP format.

All those things yo mention can be kept track of on a set of range bands, BTW, it just makes it look abstract - but it really isn't eliminating all that depth you want. From a long-time wargamer perspective, abstract simulation just makes the chaos manageable for everyone.


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Originally Posted by SpaceBadger View Post
TTB p.34: a combat round is "approximately fifteen seconds".
You're right. It must be a case of having changed it as a house rule so long ago I completely forgot it was longer. And even ten seconds is a stretch, but it works. I very, very rarely have had anyone play who knew anything at all about firearms or combat with them or melee weapons. The rare SCA guy might pontificate but even then it was only theory under perfect conditions so I ignore those people. I have actual real life experience with both situations so I have my own take and I stick with it.



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Originally Posted by SpaceBadger View Post
Obviously neither I nor any ruleset can list every action that can be done in game, not if it's a very good game. It's fifteen seconds. If the rules say something about doing something in that time frame (as with changing magazines) then I tend to follow that, although I am willing to reconsider if it doesn't pass the reality test. (Fifteen seconds to drop out a magazine and click in another one? I dunno, maybe the stress of combat slows people down a lot?)
No, it doesn't take 15 seconds (but the rules do say you are "evading" while doing so , so maybe that does account for it? Regardless, IRL the drill I use(d) was draw, two shots each on two targets, swap mags, two more shots on each, swap mags and scan - and all shots have to be in the center box or you failed. Now basing the "average" person as the recruit who I would be putting through drill for the first time the rare person passes it in less than 15 seconds (that's with the shots landing on target to "pass"), but everyone is up to speed and doing it in less than 10 seconds. A lot could do it in 8 seconds or less.

But the target isn't shooting back, either. And if you "fail" you won't die or get hurt. Your adrenaline isn't screaming through your body making your limbs feel weak and floaty, and you aren't fighting the tunnel vision that keeps you staring at the one target in front of you and not noticing the other guy only a foot to his right. That can make an awful lot of difference to your performance in the areas of speed and accuracy. I always told recruits that the reason we drilled them mercilessly was because if they are in a gunfight they will only perform about half as well as they do on their worst day at the range. And studies and incidents prove that true.

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Fifteen, and apparently according to Traveller you only get one attack during that fifteen seconds, unless using an automatic weapon firing two bursts.
Bearing in mind what I said above about simulations in wargaming a situation and real life gun fighting I wonder if the original idea was to do the D&D thing: a lot of things happen in a round but we only roll for the one thing that happens that counts? I dunno - I've tried different methods and rules for decades to try to make Traveller "more real" and finally just went back to the original CT rules because I came to the conclusion that A) it isn't a wargame, B) the average players knows about combat like he knows about flying a starship through jumpspace, and C) I just want it to be fun and spend less time rolling on charts and more time having fun for everyone involved.

For that last bit to happen I think the combat rules (among others, but these are really important to be clear on since they kill PC's) should be as clean as possible so I can take maybe five minutes to explain to a new player how it is done.

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Originally Posted by SpaceBadger View Post
Does that sound like your experience in Hogan's Alley? If two bad guys and a civilian popped up, how would you score if you took fifteen seconds to take down one bad guy, then another fifteen seconds to take down the second?
No, my score was pretty impressive even if I say so myself as an instructor. But in defense of the game system as it stands, all of the above caveats re: incoming fire, fear, etc., are not happening during training, either. And....the PC's are retired whatever. The higher skill levels can be used ot add depth, though.

You could have a rule that tosses the whole simultaneous fire thing out - just rank for firing everyone by DEX modded by their skill for the weapon they are using. And then use the skill level as an indicator of the number of shots the PC can make during a single round: Autopistol-2 gets two shots....SMG-2 gets six.....Gauss Rifle- 3 set on 10rd burst gets 9.


Or, have the skill indicate how many targets the player can engage in a single round with one, two, or three "fires" on each depending on the weapon. So the above Gauss Rilfe -3 set on 10rd burst would get to shoot three bad guys in a single round with three chances to hit each one.


Pretty damn lethal but it would get you where I think you are trying to go with combat under this game's rules without getting too crazy.

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Originally Posted by SpaceBadger View Post
I don't have any real combat or law enforcement experience, but in any game I have ever played, if I took fifteen seconds between shots (or to reload!) I'd be .
Maybe - it depends on a few things (leaving aside incoming lethal fire and all): range to the target, the weapon you are using, and your skill with the weapon you use. The farther the target is the longer making the shot will take. The shot may take longer still depending on if you use a pistol, rifle, iron sights, telescopic, and a lot of other factors. The shot will take more or less time if you use a gun you have little or no experience with or know intimately.

But I understand your point.


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Originally Posted by SpaceBadger View Post
How many shots per round?

I guess just one according to CT per TTB (with allowances as you stated for automatic weapons).
See my above boldface suggestions for this.

For more on group hits and spillover fire from HE rounds and energy weapons look at pages 31-32 in LBB4 Mercenary.

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Originally Posted by SpaceBadger View Post
Or you can do suppressive fire (is this a houserule? maybe so) where you don't even aim really but just empty your weapon toward the enemy to make them keep their heads down, and if they don't keep their heads down you have a (not very good) chance of hitting them.
My house rule of suppression fire is that the player empties his gun as per panic fire (in Mercenary) and it creates the evading -DM against the bad guys as a group for the player's buddies.. The player firing cover fire gives the other players an evasion DM but the other players can still fire normally. That's how it works and it simulates how you pin a threat with fire so you can use otherwise exposed units to advance against it. Or withdraw.

For example, three bad guys are shooting at 3 players. The bad guys are all fairly close together so Player One empties his gun at them for suppression (or covering) fire. Player One will not hit any of the bad guys but they are now penalized by the evading DM as a group. Say Close Range so it is -1 too hit all three players now even if players Two and Three shoot at the bad guys this round or advance in the open to a better position. If they fire while moving they can do so and still get the -1DM as if they are evading. If they evade as they move they would get that DM, too for a total of -2DM for the bad guys to hit them.

Think of suppression fire as portable cover.
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  #458  
Old September 9th, 2013, 03:11 AM
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Originally Posted by sabredog View Post
Oh I agree with the 3-D aspect of the whole thing - I was just trying to make it easy for you since I have no idea how you're going to keep track of all that (not to mention us - who have to map to look at or figures to see on it) and not go crazy in this PbP format.
Oh, I think that part will be easy. I know the area the combat will happen in, and have a map prepared, w nice square grid w numbers down one side and letters across the top. If "behind the truck" isn't specific enough for someone to describe where they are doing something, they can use "I'm at A5 running to D7."

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Originally Posted by sabredog View Post
You're right. It must be a case of having changed it as a house rule so long ago I completely forgot it was longer. And even ten seconds is a stretch, but it works. I very, very rarely have had anyone play who knew anything at all about firearms or combat with them or melee weapons. The rare SCA guy might pontificate but even then it was only theory under perfect conditions so I ignore those people. I have actual real life experience with both situations so I have my own take and I stick with it.
But I'm not actually arguing for "real realism" but rather for what we are trying to play as. Do we want characters to behave as real people who are afraid to die, or as Big Damn Heroes who get the job done no matter what it takes? Sure, one of the Traveller tropes is that we're all regular Joes and Janes, but come on, if PCs really behaved as if they were afraid of dying and worried about their retirement plans for the future, it would be a much less adventurous game. I like it better as Average Joe does heroic stuff.

I may criticize the fifteen second round on lots of failures at "real realism", but I am not trying to claim that I have a better idea of "real realism", because I don't - for one thing, I've never been shot at, or shot at anyone who was shooting back, so I can't claim to be an expert on what the "real realism" would even be.

However, what I am actually striving for is something that is fun to play, and maybe feels a bit like the "action un-realism" of our favorite SF or adventure fiction - as I posted a few examples of fictional firefights and how silly they would look if played w Traveller rules.

The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of straight CT/TTB with only one significant change - the combat round is 3.1459 seconds rather than fifteen.

Oh, and maybe one of those skill-modifies-number-of-attacks options that you suggested; need to re-read those and think on them some more, but I kinda like the idea.

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Originally Posted by sabredog View Post
My house rule of suppression fire is that the player empties his gun as per panic fire (in Mercenary) and it creates the evading -DM against the bad guys as a group for the player's buddies.. The player firing cover fire gives the other players an evasion DM but the other players can still fire normally. That's how it works and it simulates how you pin a threat with fire so you can use otherwise exposed units to advance against it. Or withdraw.
Nice! Consider it [st]stolen[/st] adopted. Do you also allow a chance for any of the suppression fire to hit the enemies if they expose themselves?
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  #459  
Old September 9th, 2013, 06:46 AM
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Originally Posted by SpaceBadger View Post
We have those things bc this is vanilla Traveller and my other TU where the only magic stuff is FTL isn't ready yet. But we don't have to get crazy about it.
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it is just that this "gravitic" power somehow grabs onto the fabric of the universe and pulls to give you lift and thrust from nowhere.
*salutes smartly* Aye, Aye, Sir! Off we go, then!

EDIT: Oh... I have answers to some of the questions you ask, but *shrugs* it's not that important.
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Old September 9th, 2013, 07:13 AM
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Originally Posted by SpaceBadger View Post
Reducing a map to one dimension (range) doesn't seem very helpful in describing what is going on. I'm looking at page 38 of The Traveller Book and they seem to agree, what with having a paragraph about grids for deckplans, floorplans, etc where there are other issues besides range.
The 1-dimension bit is helpful for a referee maintaining DMs (no counting hexes and such) but, yeah, not so helpful for actually envisioning what is going on.

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Originally Posted by SpaceBadger View Post
TTB p.34: a combat round is "approximately fifteen seconds".
I tend to agree with you that this is the one problem area. If you (as you said earlier) use that as "a lot of things happen, but only one meaningful result", then it sortof makes sense, though something closer to 6 seconds makes more sense. After all, how many Traveller combats go beyond one round, maybe two? Now your difficulty is in tracking things like shots fired - you could always break out a spreadsheet and calculate how many rounds were required to achieve that result based on skill level and capacity and roll results... IF you are a masochist.

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Here's an idea - everything per CT/TTB, except the combat round only lasts 3.1459 seconds (because it's round, see? it's OK if you don't laugh, I stole the joke from somewhere else anyway).
I'm good with that. (Though, to continue the silliness, wouldn't that make the round bigger if the range increased? )

And, I'm happy with keeping it simple and straight-forward.

One additional thought to toss out there: The Traveller2300 "Coolness Under Fire" concept. It's a way for determining who goes first (they don't use the simultaneous fire concept) in combat. And, it comes solely from experience in a profession that assumes gunplay - military, law enforcement, maybe "troubleshooter" (I don't recall at the moment). It addresses sabredog's point about the difference between range play and actual combat. Your coolness is set almost entirely based on the number of years or terms you were in those professions. You don't have to use this for initiative, but it might fit into whatever you do with skill levels - perhaps someone with military/LEO experience uses fewer shots to achieve the same result at the same skill level.

And, I think suppression fire should have some chance to hit - otherwise, it wouldn't be suppressing anyone. I think sabredog said up-thread a bit that it was a really low chance.
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