I’ve stepped off the curb and am not looking at traffic.

Not really.   But here is the thing.  Mongoose has released Mongoose Traveller 2.0  I’m meh about it.  Some things I like, some things I don’t.  However Mongoose Traveller 1.x was released under the OGL so the basic rules are out their to play with, to include ship, system and animal design.  Granted there are a lot of things missing from the SRD to make it playable game, but I can deal with that.

And Wizards of the Coast has released goodly parts of D&D 5 as OGL.

I think you can see where I’m going.

I’m going to take the best parts of both systems and make the game I’ve wanted to play for a while.

Crunch-wise D&D style combat (or at least based on it), classes trimmed down to basically Fighter, Rogues and “casters”.  The D&D 5 backgrounds, which is where you get your skills from, will be done via the Traveller style career path.  Skills will be a mix of the Traveller SRD and the SRD5, with a little more emphasis on skills than in D&D 5.

Space combat will be vector based.

As far as fluff goes this is what my current though is:
Game is set in about 2020 or so. The NASA EM Drive actually works better than expected, so you can get multiple G of acceleration out of it. While messing about with it NASA found that once you get more than 100 diameters away from a large object (like, say the earth) you can force a jump, that lets you go about a parsec (3.2 light years or so) in about a week. You need to make a bubble of charged hydrogen gas around your ship to prevent it from being crushed in the jump.

Problem is two things.
1) We aren’t alone. Some time in the far past (say 250,000 BC) some elder race dropped by and scarfed up some Homo sapiens, Homo neanderthalensis and some Homo sapiens Denisova. They scattered them about the galaxy for their own reasons. The Elder Race, or Elders, about 200,000 BC or so had their final war, leaving the various types of humans to their own devices. Several branches didn’t fall back a far in to savagery as other and managed to keep a technological society, and was able to claw their way back to the stars, founding a stellar empire. Which leads us to the second problem

2) Multiple uses of Jump space attracted the attention of, well, Lovecraft’s worse nightmare. They awoke, and sent a wave of, well something, out from the places that were space/time was weakened by jump drives. As this wave of cosmic energy washed over planets, things changed. Magic started to work. Monsters aroused.

The Imperium has had 10,000 years or so to get used to this. It’s a natural part of their view of the universe now.

Earth, on the other hand, not so much with getting used to it.

Players will have the option of playing an Earth human, dealing with the fact that some of your friends now look like Legolas, Gimli or Frodo and that there seems to be, well, things, in the sewers. And dragons in most mountain ranges. Think “Blade runner” meets “Lord of the Rings“, with a side order of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer“.

Or they can play citizens of the Imperium out doing their thing, you know, trade, exploration, a war here and there and killing vampires.

The fact that the leaked energy from Cthulhu back yard is come from jumps isn’t known, not even to the Imperium.

Ships in Mongoose Traveller 2nd Ed Part I

The biggest single change in between Mongoose Traveller 1st Ed and Mongoose Traveller 2nd Ed is in starship design. There are a lot of changes, for starters most things are percentage based, not discrete chunks of metal based. I’m not sure if this is a good thing or not. Leaning towards a good thing.

So, taking the idea from my T5 Cheapest possible ship I am going to try this in Mongoose Traveller 2nd Ed (Nov 13th release)

What we are looking for here is the cheapest possible Jump capable ship, that can self land on a planet with an atmosphere.

Key things to make a cheap ship.

  • Spherical hulls are semi streamlined and cost 80% of normal
  • “Budget”  Same tech level, cost 50% as much, has one disadvantage.

Design Checklist

  1. Create a Hull
    1. 100 dTons  (5,000,000 Cr.  20 hull points)
  2. Choose Hull Configuration
    1. Budget (-50%)
    2. Spherical (-20%)
    3. Disadvantage:Decreased Durability
    4. Adjusted Cost 2,000,000 CR
    5. Adjusted Hull 18 hull points.
  3. Install Drives
    1. M-Drive
      1. 2.2 dTons (min size) (Thrust 2)
      2. Budget:Increased Size (+10% size)
      3. Adjusted cost 2.2 MCr
    2. J-Drive
      1. 10 dTons (min size) (Jump 2)
      2. Budget:Late Jump – Need to go to 110 times planetary diameters to jump
      3. Adjusted Cost: 7.5 MCr
  4. Install Power Plant
    1. Basic Systems 20 pts
    2. Maneuver  20 pts
    3. Jump 20 pts.
    4. Install 30 pts (needs jump dimming and M-Drive off to jump)
      1. Fusion (TL8) 3.3 dTons
      2. Budget:Increased Size (+10% size)
      3. Adjusted Cost 0.825 Mcr
  5. Install Fuel Tanks
    1. Power plant 1 dton (2 months)
    2. Jump 20 dTons
  6. Install Bridge
    1. 10 dTons 0.5 MCr
  7. Install Computer
    1. Computer 5/bis 0.045 MCr
    2. Jump Control 2 0.2 MCr
  8. Install Staterooms
    1. 3 Double occupancy states rooms (12 dTons 1.5 MCr)
  9. Allocate Cargo Space
    1. 41.5 dTons

Cheap Trader

Tons Cost (MCr)
Hull 100 tons
Spherical
Budget 18 Hull points
2
Armour None 0
M-Drive Thrust 2
Budget, Extra Size
2.2 2.2
J-Drive Jump-2
Budget, Delayed Jump
10 7.5
Power Plant Fusion (TL8) 30 Pts
Budget, Increased Size
3.3 0.825
Fuel Tanks 4 weeks operation, J-2 21
Bridge 10 0.5
Computer Computer 5/bis 0.045
Sensors Basic 0
Weapons  None
Systems  None
Staterooms Standard x 3 12 1.5
Cargo 41.5
  Total 14.57

Traveller 5: Cheapest possible ship.

The QREBS system has some weirdness to it. This, plus some down right strange rules makes for some odd ship designs

I’m making the cheapest possible ship that can, in theory, land on a planet with an atmosphere and not be totally defenseless.

Mission:Commerce:Merchant:Unscheduled:Cargo. That gives it an ID code of A. I’m adding the modifier of L for Light. Design Tech Level 13 (D)

Hull: 100 dTon Planetoid 1 Mcr. However… I’m making it Organic, with out the lifter installed.That cuts the cost to (1.0/2) -0.5 or in other words, free.

Jump Field. Jump Bubble. No cost.

Armor. Armor is free, takes up space, but the first layer doesn’t. Organic has issue with heat, but there is a way around that.

Armor, 1st layer – Base AV is 6 , Anti-kinetic (value vs PEN is 1300) vs all other than heat and pressure is 65. Vs heat and pressure you get 6. By adding a “Reflec” coating you get a heat AV of 1300.

Drives. OK here is why it’s TL 13 and why QREBS is important.
Jump 2 takes TL-11. By making it in a TL-13 ship yard I get to use “Modified” drives. This is important because that does several thing.

  • Reduced drive cost by 1/2
  • Give a +2 mod to their use
  • Reduce drive dTons by 1/2
  • 110% efficiency
  • 90% fuel use.

So, Class A J-Drive, M-Drive and Power plant.

Drive dTon Mcr
Mod A M-Drive 1 1.0
Mod A J-Drive 5 2.5
Mod A Power Plant 2 0.5
Totals 8 4.0

Fuel.

Normally under T5 Rules this would need 20 dTons for Jump and 2 dTons for 1 month operation. But with Mod drives, that gets reduced to 18 and 1.8 dTons, resulting in a total fuel tank of 19.8 dTons.

Sensors and Comms
You get Comm-8, Radar-9 and Scope-9 for free, using 0 dTons.

Weapons and defenses This is a “Cheap Ship”, but I don’t want it to be total defenseless, so I’m putting in 3 SR Mod Y Triple turret Hybrid S-L-M on a firm point. By reducing the mount to SR, that makes it a 0.5 dTon turret (also costing 0.5 MCr) and by making it a Mod that raises it to TL-12 with a +2 mod and a weapon cost of 0.5 MCr. Total cost is 3.0 MCr and 1.5 dTons. A generic nuclear damper adds 1 ton as a bolt in defense and 0.5 MCr.

Operations.

Control. Here is where life gets tricky. Need a control panel for each drive, sensor, weapon, defense or function, so that works out to 7 control panels, that feed into, logically a pilot’s console, an engineer’s console, a security console and a general console. Going with one shift, that makes crew 4. Consoles take 4 tons and cost a total of 0.8 MCr. Adding a 3bis computer adds 3 dTons and 14 MCr. Note that this is not really required, if and only if you always have 4 crew. with it the ship is more or less automatic. But a 3bis is a TL-11 design, so let’s make that a Mod 3bis, which knocks it down to 1.5 dTons and 7 MCr, plus makes it C+S 13 instead of 11.

Life support
Standard Life support, 1 dTon and 1 MCr
Shared Fresher 0.5 dTon and 0.5 MCr
Medical and Counselor console. 1.5 dTons and 0.7 MCr
Total space of 20 dTons of Commons area and Spacer Niches. This has 0 MCr cost. Note that if the crew is willing to risk sanity test this can be converted to up 19 more tons of cargo space.

Item dTons MCr
Engineering 8.0 4.0
Fuel 19.8 0
Sensors 0 0
Weapons & Defenses 2.5 ( with out weapons 0) 3.5 (with out weapons 0)
Control 5.5 (with out computer 4) 7.8 (with out computer 0.8)
Life Support 21 (using common space as cargo 3) 2.2
Cargo 41.7 (‘best case’ 65.2 ) 0
Totals 100 17 (fully stripped down 7)

QPS works out to AL-AP22-ACFT

Edge of Imperial Space:

I’m putting this project on hold, as I really don’t want to act as a spoiler.

As long as Mongoose keeps their “Book 0” as a free download on RPG Now, there isn’t really a reason to do Edge as such.  If and when Book 0 comes off the free list or Mongoose loses it’s license to make Traveller games, the making the SRD into a playable game (like Pathfinder did with the 3.5 D&D SRD will happen.)

 

 

Traveller 5. The current state of the art.

I printed out the “important parts” of the current T5 PDF release, the divided it into several clipboards (I have clipboards, missing note books right now), changing the order of several of the chapters.

They are:
Characters: This is the Chargen chapter, the back ground details charts, the Psionic chapter, the senses chapter,the sophont creation chapter and the characteristic chapter.

Starships:  This includes the actual ACS ship design sections, the various “How X works” chapters and the space combat sections.

Combat and skills:  This is the person combat chapter, the artillery and blowing thing up sections, the task systems, the skill list and the Personals section.

Worlds:  This is the world generation, world mapping, (less the actual blank pages of maps) interstellar trade and BeastMaker chapters and the various system map charts from the appendixes.

Hardware/Ironmongery : This has the QREBS system, the Gun|Armor|Vehicle|Thing|Computer|Makers system, the actual equipment lists.

Stuff:  The non map parts of the appendiexes

Things I’m not looking over.  Genetics.  Clones.  Robots.  Synthetics. The dice tables.

Things I am ignoring, but are glad they have been brought back under control.  Hop, Skip, Vault, etc drives.   I’m also doing a hard cut off of any thing over TL 15, so Jump 7 isn’t happening.

As I go over each of these I’ll be posting them, with what I think are good and bad elements, and what changes I will be doing with them.

First up will be Characters, as I my current plan is to generate a random party to start up a real time/solo/sector building project.  And I do mean random, I’m going to use the 2d6 to select your first career thing to start with.

Starship created will depend on what I end up with the characters.  I’ve already figure out that you can build a TL13 100 dTon Jump 2/2 G/2 Power plant ship for not a whole freaking lot.   For starters, if you make it an Organic planetoid hull, with no lifters installed, the hull is *free*

 

Edge of Imperial Space. Ranges

Between the main Traveller SRD and the vehicle hand book SRD we can find the following for range data

Personal Less than 1.5 meters
Close 1.5 to 3 meters
Short 3 to 12 meters
Medium 12 to 50 meters
Long 51 metres to 250 meters
Very Long 251 meters to 500 meters
Distant 501–5,000 meters
Very Distant 5,001–25,000 meters
Extreme 25,001–50,000 meters
Continental 50–500 kilometers
Orbital 501+ kilometers

Great. For a normal RPG things would have ranges given in terms of those range band. But

This Is Traveller!!!

[kick into the pit…]

So, no, ranges aren’t given that way. Ranges are given, for things other than vehicles weapons any way as Natural Attack,Melee (small blade),Melee(large blade),Thrown,Pistol,Shotgun,Assault Weapon,Rifle,Rocket. These range names are taken from various weapons in the Mercenary SRD. Of these, the only one we really have any number on is thrown, from the Mercenary SRD we can find this:

Parabolic Weapon Ranges

Weapon Type Personal Close Short Medium Long Very Long Distant
Thrown Out of
range
–1 –2 –3 Out of
range
Out of
range
Out of
range
Launcher Out of
range
Out of
range
Out of
range
–2 –3 Out of
range
Out of
range
Artillery Out of
range
Out of
range
Out of
range
Out of
range
+0 +0 –1

So what does this tell us? Other than the ranges for artillery are not based on any thing like reality in the Mercenary SRD? (A topic of another rant). Not much, other than giving use the DM’s for thrown weapons.

Now, of course, I have both dead tree and PDF version of the Traveller Main Book, so I could look them up. But…. That’s cheating. So, let’s look at some OGL options. First thing what other things are out there? Well, there is “Hyperlite: The Sirius Treaty” and there is “Worlds Apart”. Hyperlite would be the ideal source, but, despite having a copy of the OGL in their document, they don’t declare what is or isn’t Open Game Content. Bad! No cookie for you Tim Bancroft! Worlds Apart, on the other hand has this wonderful statement

All text in this work is Open Game Content, excepting the name Worlds Apart, company names, logos, artwork, and the author and artist names.

OK. From the Mercenary SRD we know that bows are either Assault Weapons or Rifles for range reasons, with the TL 1 versions being Assault weapons, the others being Rifles.

So, let’s see what bow range DM we can get.

Name Close Short Medium Long Far
Longbow -1 +0 +0 -1 -2
Shortbow -1 +0. +0 -1 N/A

Mike Cheats, looks at TMB… Fairly close, but not really.  Plus the range bands don’t really mean the same thing.   cheats some more, looks at Hyperlite Damn, even if I get a OGC statement worth having, it’s not the same either.  So, it looks like Edge is going to have it’s own range table, based on what I think are rational ranges for weapons.

So, according to the Worldwide Equipment Guide, Vol 1, Ground systems, a British .303 Cal Rifle Lee-Enfield has an effective range of 500 meters.  We will call that Rifle range.

A Russian 7.62-mm Assault Rifle AK-47/AKM has an effective range of 300 meters.  That’s sort of the default assault weapon.

The definition of effective range is “effective range – maximum range at which a weapon may be expected to achieve a high single-shot probability of hit (50%)”

So, in game terms, that means either a 7+ or 8+ to hit at those ranges.   I’m going to assume level 0 skill with the weapon, and tend toward the miss more than hit more side of the options.

So based on that data and needing to get a 8+ to hit, assuming level 0 and standard level of dexterity, we get something like this:

Weapon Type Personal Close Short Medium Long Very Long Distant
Pistol -2 0 0 -2 -4 NO NO
Shotgun -2 0 0 0 -4 NO NO
Assault Weapon -3 -1 0 0 -1 -2 -6
Rifle  NO  -1 0 0 0 -1 -2
Rocket NO NO 0 0 o 0 -2

Current version here:Edge Of Imperial Space

I have too many on going projects

That are all at about 33% to 50% complete. I need to choose one and finish it.

I think that I’m going to make finishing the basic rules for “Edge of Imperial Space” my primary project, then tie the rest of them to it and Traveller. This also means, alas, that I’m going to have to give up the Foreven License for a lot of stuff. Which means I’m going to need to come up with a back story that is the 3I back story with enough of the serial numbers filed off that it’s not really the 3rd Imperium any more.

Edge of Imperial Space – Pt III

I just noticed another major missing table in the Mongoose Traveller SRD.  The DM due to range based on weapon type.  Actually weapons in general are sort of missing in the MgT SRD, but a lot of them are back filled in the Mercenary and Vehicle SRD  files, so coming up with stats is going to be not as hard as it could be.

This, actually, is good.  One of the things I have issues with Mongoose Traveller is weapon range and it’s anti-armor system, so doing a re-write isn’t an issue.  Among other things, there needs to be a “Sub-machine gun” range between “Pistol” and “Assault Weapon”

I’m looking at the following weapon types

  • Melee weapon, short.  This would include natural weapons and any hand held weapon under 30cm in length. Uses the Melee (short) skill
  • Melee weapon, long.  This would be hand held melee weapons between 31cm and 1.5 meters or so.  Uses the Melee (long) skill
  • Pole arm.  Melee weapons over 1.5 meters.  Uses the Melee (pole arm) skill
  • Pistol.  Projectile weapon made to be used at short range and held in one hand.  Uses Gun Combat(short arm) skill
  • Shotgun. Projectile weapon made to fire multiple projectiles at one time.  Normally held by both hands.  Uses Gun Combat(long arm) skill
  • Sub-machine Gun.  Projectile weapon that fires the same ammunition as a pistol but has a longer barrel and is designed to be held by both hands.  Normally full auto. Uses Gun Combat(short arm) OR Gun Combat(long arm) skill
  • Assault Weapon.  A projectile weapon firing a round heavier than a pistol round, but not as powerful as a full rifle round.  Modern example would be a AR-15 or AK class weapon.  Can have the option of automatic fire.  Uses the Gun Combat(long arm) skill
  • Rifle.  A ‘Full caliber’ weapon firing a heavy high speed round.  Normally does not have an option of automatic fire.  Uses the Gun Combat(long arm) skill
  • Heavy Weapon.  A weapon designed to be fired from a bipod or tripod.  Full machine guns as an example.  Uses the Heavy Weapon (portable) skill

Weapons will have, in addition to what class they belong to DM’s based on their design and maximum ranges based on their ammo.