A couple of years ago I raised problems with Beasts in the original Traveller5 rules in

This is a quick play-through of Personal Combat involving a PC and some beasts using 5.09. I

The PC is Mist Runmir: a Dovan of Menorb. Dovans are a Sophont species rolled up by Harriet (my daughter and the player in this test). Runmir's UPP is 9CGC88 and relevant skills are Fighting-1 Slug Thrower-2 (no Tactics or Leadership). Runmir is wandering through Rough Wood (For Some Reason) and has a Large Knife (Cuts-2 Pen-2) and a Light Improved Assault Rifle-9 (R=3 Bullet-2 Blast-2 Bang-1). Yes, the shooting weapon is a LIAR! Runmir's Melee Number (MN) = 10, and Shooting Number (SN) = 15.

I created an encounter table (see attached).

3 Amphibian Gatherers, Size=R, Strength = Size * 4D (for the three Beasts, Strength rolls are all zeros because of the Size multiplier of 0); SpeedC = Run (i.e. S2) and so SpeedAF = S3; A8 F11; weapon is Body (Blow); encounter range is Touching (1 meter) instead of Reading - +1 Range band because there are 3 beasts. Roll for Beast reaction, and they attack. They close to Reading distance at S3 and Impact with their bodies. Note that their Melee Number is 0 each (=Strength) and their Impact Number is 3. They are attacking with Impact, and so Runmir had to avoid the impact by rolling C2-Impact Number (=9) or less on 2D, which he makes. Runmir then attacks one of the creatures with slap - a Melee attack with Fists. The Melee Task is a 2D task, but Runmir only has Fighting-1 as a relevant skill, and so the TIH! rule kicks in, and Runmir needs to make 3D < 15 which he does and deals 2D of damage - a total of 8 points. The creature only has a strength of zero and so 8 points are applied against this characteristic and it is squashed. Round 2. All three creatures want to attack; Runmir does not contest the initiative. They attempt Melee attacks with their Body as a weapon; their MN=0 and Runmir's MN=10. They must roll -10 or less on 2D. They cannot hit Runmir. Runmir slaps another one and kills it. The final round works out the same.

So for all of that - the most accurate description of the encounter is 'you slapped some tiny creatures that you felt impacting on you that did not harm you in any way.' Fly-swatting is built into the combat system!

2 Carnivore Pouncers - I ruled arbitrarily that the pouncers have surprise and so they charge in for an attack; SpeedC=5; SpeedAF=6; need impact - 36D / ton - need mass of the beast; Encounter Range=size=3. I roll their Strengths at 30 and 31 (they are Strong at Size * 4D, so 3 * 4D is rolled).

Rolled the following quickly: 65cm length; BP=11; Density='Sac' (0.1). Calculated: volume = 0.00227 m3, mass=0.000227 tons, impact damage = 36D x tons = 0.008D (i.e. no impact damage).

But at Speed=6 and encounter range=3, pouncers can only change one range band/round, now at R=2.

Next round, Runmir and the Pouncers both want to go first. Runmir seizes the initiative; I rule that the Pouncers effectively have C4=0 and so the beasts cannot succeed at the Opposed task on p. 182 and roll an 8 on 2D. Runmir rolls 3D (No Leader skill and so TIH! applies) and rolls 7 < Int=12 and succeeds and so goes first. Runmir fires his rifle, SN=15, Mod+1 for Size3 @ Range 2, and so needs to roll less than 16 on two dice; then he rolls Bullet-2 Blast-2 Bang-1 damage - a total of 5 dice against no armour for 21 points against one of them, hitting the Strength = 30 (=4D x Size3); 21 points of damage and has 9 points left; no characteristics are reduced to zero and so the Beast is still conscious.

Next Round. Both sides want to go first; Harriet rolls 14 for seizing the initiative and fails; the beasts roll 10 and fail but rolls the lower number so goes first. Beast move to Touching range and attack with Teeth. The beast with Strength=30=MN attacks; Runmir MN=10; Beast needs 2D < Target=30-10+(Size5-Range0)=25; beast automatically hits. Damage is Cuts and Level=Strength dice = 4D x 3 = 42 points of damage against no armour. Runmir total C1+c2+c3=37; and dies instantly.

Am I interpreting the damage = Str Dice correctly for beasts (i.e. Str Dice for damage purposes includes the multipler for size)? Do beasts have one characteristic - Strength - which represents all of the hits they can take before they are no longer able to participate in combat?

Why does a Size 5 Beast with Typical (2D) Strength get a Strength typically of 35, while a human (Size=5) typically gets 7?

I have mucked around with basing Beast Strength on their mass rather than a Size*Strength formula - divide mass by 12 (mass = density * volume). But it got complicated very quickly and only practical with a spreadsheet. Not very playable. But surely there is a playable solution that is compatible with Sophont Strength for various sizes of Beast?

In the Seizing the Initiative rule, should Beasts also have a 3D task given they cannot have Leader as a skill? Or is regarding C4=0 enough?

In my view, the Beast tables can have value for encounters that give colour to an area rather than necessarily ending in a combat encounter; a herd of beasts fleeing in the distance, Producers suddenly encountered that cannot attack but represent some point of interest. I get that the encounter tables can be used as a prod to the imagination rather than a set of things to shoot at or run from. But the system as presented here is either being wildly misinterpreted by me or needs some fixes.

Finally, on p. 589:

__this thread__. The problems, I think, are still around. timerover51 raised some excellent points in that thread.This is a quick play-through of Personal Combat involving a PC and some beasts using 5.09. I

*think*the rules are broken, but I am also not sure that I am reading them correctly, and I think I may have missed some things. Any feedback appreciated.The PC is Mist Runmir: a Dovan of Menorb. Dovans are a Sophont species rolled up by Harriet (my daughter and the player in this test). Runmir's UPP is 9CGC88 and relevant skills are Fighting-1 Slug Thrower-2 (no Tactics or Leadership). Runmir is wandering through Rough Wood (For Some Reason) and has a Large Knife (Cuts-2 Pen-2) and a Light Improved Assault Rifle-9 (R=3 Bullet-2 Blast-2 Bang-1). Yes, the shooting weapon is a LIAR! Runmir's Melee Number (MN) = 10, and Shooting Number (SN) = 15.

I created an encounter table (see attached).

**Some initial observations**- I cannot see where Beasts might gain Armour as part of the generation procedure.
- What is the purpose of the Hit Location chart on the Beast Combat Card (p. 187)? Just colour?
- How often do we roll on the Beast / Animal Encounter Table? What chance is there of an encounter? For this play-through, I just rolled sequential encounters and played them through.
- The Combat Card for Beasts says the Melee Number is "Strength + Skill" - surely this is just Strength for Beasts?
- There is a flux table for randomly choosing Ecological Niche for individual beasts on p. 596 with an environmental mod, but on p. 597 there are different 1D tables for each type and niche (type is set by the position in the overall encounter table) with no mod.
- We need to calculate individual Beast Mass for the damage of Impact, going beyond the basic creation of the table.
- Antlers is a possible weapon on p. 597, but is not listed in GunMaker p. 211 although it is present on p. 197 - 'Cuts' and '=Str Dice' as damage.
- I am interpreting Size=Microscopic and Size=Miniscule as 'zero' for rules formula purposes.

**First Encounter**3 Amphibian Gatherers, Size=R, Strength = Size * 4D (for the three Beasts, Strength rolls are all zeros because of the Size multiplier of 0); SpeedC = Run (i.e. S2) and so SpeedAF = S3; A8 F11; weapon is Body (Blow); encounter range is Touching (1 meter) instead of Reading - +1 Range band because there are 3 beasts. Roll for Beast reaction, and they attack. They close to Reading distance at S3 and Impact with their bodies. Note that their Melee Number is 0 each (=Strength) and their Impact Number is 3. They are attacking with Impact, and so Runmir had to avoid the impact by rolling C2-Impact Number (=9) or less on 2D, which he makes. Runmir then attacks one of the creatures with slap - a Melee attack with Fists. The Melee Task is a 2D task, but Runmir only has Fighting-1 as a relevant skill, and so the TIH! rule kicks in, and Runmir needs to make 3D < 15 which he does and deals 2D of damage - a total of 8 points. The creature only has a strength of zero and so 8 points are applied against this characteristic and it is squashed. Round 2. All three creatures want to attack; Runmir does not contest the initiative. They attempt Melee attacks with their Body as a weapon; their MN=0 and Runmir's MN=10. They must roll -10 or less on 2D. They cannot hit Runmir. Runmir slaps another one and kills it. The final round works out the same.

So for all of that - the most accurate description of the encounter is 'you slapped some tiny creatures that you felt impacting on you that did not harm you in any way.' Fly-swatting is built into the combat system!

**Second Encounter**2 Carnivore Pouncers - I ruled arbitrarily that the pouncers have surprise and so they charge in for an attack; SpeedC=5; SpeedAF=6; need impact - 36D / ton - need mass of the beast; Encounter Range=size=3. I roll their Strengths at 30 and 31 (they are Strong at Size * 4D, so 3 * 4D is rolled).

Rolled the following quickly: 65cm length; BP=11; Density='Sac' (0.1). Calculated: volume = 0.00227 m3, mass=0.000227 tons, impact damage = 36D x tons = 0.008D (i.e. no impact damage).

But at Speed=6 and encounter range=3, pouncers can only change one range band/round, now at R=2.

Next round, Runmir and the Pouncers both want to go first. Runmir seizes the initiative; I rule that the Pouncers effectively have C4=0 and so the beasts cannot succeed at the Opposed task on p. 182 and roll an 8 on 2D. Runmir rolls 3D (No Leader skill and so TIH! applies) and rolls 7 < Int=12 and succeeds and so goes first. Runmir fires his rifle, SN=15, Mod+1 for Size3 @ Range 2, and so needs to roll less than 16 on two dice; then he rolls Bullet-2 Blast-2 Bang-1 damage - a total of 5 dice against no armour for 21 points against one of them, hitting the Strength = 30 (=4D x Size3); 21 points of damage and has 9 points left; no characteristics are reduced to zero and so the Beast is still conscious.

Next Round. Both sides want to go first; Harriet rolls 14 for seizing the initiative and fails; the beasts roll 10 and fail but rolls the lower number so goes first. Beast move to Touching range and attack with Teeth. The beast with Strength=30=MN attacks; Runmir MN=10; Beast needs 2D < Target=30-10+(Size5-Range0)=25; beast automatically hits. Damage is Cuts and Level=Strength dice = 4D x 3 = 42 points of damage against no armour. Runmir total C1+c2+c3=37; and dies instantly.

**Reflection**Am I interpreting the damage = Str Dice correctly for beasts (i.e. Str Dice for damage purposes includes the multipler for size)? Do beasts have one characteristic - Strength - which represents all of the hits they can take before they are no longer able to participate in combat?

Why does a Size 5 Beast with Typical (2D) Strength get a Strength typically of 35, while a human (Size=5) typically gets 7?

I have mucked around with basing Beast Strength on their mass rather than a Size*Strength formula - divide mass by 12 (mass = density * volume). But it got complicated very quickly and only practical with a spreadsheet. Not very playable. But surely there is a playable solution that is compatible with Sophont Strength for various sizes of Beast?

In the Seizing the Initiative rule, should Beasts also have a 3D task given they cannot have Leader as a skill? Or is regarding C4=0 enough?

In my view, the Beast tables can have value for encounters that give colour to an area rather than necessarily ending in a combat encounter; a herd of beasts fleeing in the distance, Producers suddenly encountered that cannot attack but represent some point of interest. I get that the encounter tables can be used as a prod to the imagination rather than a set of things to shoot at or run from. But the system as presented here is either being wildly misinterpreted by me or needs some fixes.

Finally, on p. 589:

The problem in the attached encounter table is that there are encounters which represent little more than swatting flies; or in the Producer slot a bunch of tiny plants that leave little interaction for the PCs. If the answer is that the Referee needs to use their imagination to answer the question "Why is that encounter significant?" - no problem; small poisonous creatures or things that get into equipment, etc. etc. - I'm all in favour of encounter tables not just giving PCs something to shoot at and I can see the Beast training rules give at least one other option for this.What Animals Are Encountered?The Beast Encounter Tables concern themselves with important animals which provide challenges and (potentially) interesting encounters. They usually ignore small, inconsequential animals: mice and squirrels may inhabit the terrain hex, but unless they have some importance, they do not appear on the Animal Encounter Tables.

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