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💯 {Staff Pick} Some Stuff about Classic Traveller

Anfelas

Registered User
Validated User
There are several merchant ships in the 1000-5000t range written up using LBB2 rules in The Traveller Adventure:
1000t long liner j4 m1
3000t freighter j4 m1
2000t frontier transport j2 m2
Spoiler: Show
2000t secret frontier transport externally identical to the above j6 m6

5000t heavy merchant j1 m1
1000t cargo carrier j3 m1
 

Rupert

Active member
Validated User
Wow. Totally at odds with the explanation for TL adjustments in Hard Times, which gave detailed rules for downgrading tech levels, arguing that with the collapse of interstellar trade, worlds retrenched to only what tech could be produced with local industry.
Note that what local industry and produce and maintain with the support of off-world trade might not be the same as what it can produce and support without that trade. For example, if there's a local air/raft plant, happily turning out locally made 'from the ore up' air/rafts, that world is locally producing air/rafts, but if trade is cut off it could well find itself unable to maintain the factory, and in a few years it would then become unable to produce those air-rafts, even though they were completely locally made, all the way from digging the ore out of the ground.

Thus Hard Times can be completely correct at the same time that Book 3, & etc. are.
 

Rupert

Active member
Validated User
I started my blog post about Traveller with all the posts you've been making in mind.'i loved the implied setting found in Traveller Books 1-3. But the Third Imperium went in a different direction.

A few years ago I tired to talk about the actual rules of the game and the setting found within them -- only to fin most people a) assumed Traveller was the a Third Imperium; and b) kept assuming the CT were broken because they couldn't make the Third a Imperium -- rather than seeing them as well designed to make their own thing.



I don't think any, if any, we're made at the 3000 to 5000 ton range. But the Book 2 ship design rules are fairly fast one you get the hang of them.
The big thing about Book 2, when it comes to making military ships, is that very big ships are slow and have limited maximum jump ranges. Also, there is no such thing as amour, and weapons come in only one size, so a bigger ship simply mounts more of them. This tends, in my experience, to discourage big ships, because they aren't much tougher - the ships that are hardest to disable are in the 600-1000 ton range (I think the details vary from edition as the 'Drive Potential Table' is the key to this and it changed over time). Thus 2000+ ton ships were not practical combat ships. They'd be the 'Emperor's Flagship', a gold-plated thing dragged out for the Birthday Fly-by each year and then put back into reserve, used at most as a safe posting for important families' heirs. The actual combat ships would be the 800-1000 ton 'cruisers', with the odd 2000-ton 'battleship' that probably never left its home system except for 'show the flag' cruises.

I did once put together a setting using Book 5, but capping ship size at 5,000 tons and having no spinal mounts. That made bay weapons the sign of a major warship, and made armed civilian ships irrelevant to military space combat without making the Book 2 ships irrelevant overall. Nobody wanted to play it though, everything d20 being the rage at the time.
 

Rupert

Active member
Validated User
Well, yes. If the PCs manage to find a way to pay the mortgage on their ship, maintain it adequately, pay wages and make a reasonable profit it's time to change the economic model...
Unless they've been very lucky on the cargo tables, they're doing jobs on the side to be managing all this.
 

CK!

Creator of Things
Validated User
Andy Slack wrote a bunch of Traveller material years ago for White Dwarf. He has collected a lot of it and archived it in PDFs

The link below leads to a PDF with an article about Book 2 Fleets. (When his kids were born he didn't have the time to deal with Book 5 complexities. Also, he realized that for a PC focused game, anything over a few thousand tons didn't really make sense. So he started focusing on Book 2 and lo and behold it worked great. Like it was designed to work that way!)

The fleet design isn't about pushing the upper limits of hull size but built around carries, fighters, escorts, and support ships -- and most of these ships are found in Book 2.

As Rupert points out the Book 2 ship designs weren't about building REALLY BIG SHIPS -- because the extra size may not pay off. Rather, swarming with smaller ships and fighters seems to be the name of the game.

https://rpg.rem.uz/Traveller/00 - Other Materials/Zines/White Dwarf Magazine Articles/Traveller - Halfway Station - Rants, Rogues, and Rules.pdf
 

Sirharrok

Registered User
Validated User
Thanks everyone, and particularly for the great Andy Slack find. I'm pretty sure I remember the robots article, but curiously none of the others.
 

Strange Visitor

Grumpy Grognard
Validated User
A great point. I think a lot of games are written to short circuit how the designer plays to make it more palatable to other people. I am advocating that we all -- if we choose -- can play the more free form style.
As I said, that's clear from the creation of things like 13th Age Backgrounds. I just don't particularly think it makes sense to do so in a game with established individual skills (I'm also not overly fond of it on other grounds but that's not really relevant to this discussion).
 

CK!

Creator of Things
Validated User
As I said, that's clear from the creation of things like 13th Age Backgrounds. I just don't particularly think it makes sense to do so in a game with established individual skills (I'm also not overly fond of it on other grounds but that's not really relevant to this discussion).
And I don't think it makes sense to ignore backgrounds in a game with established individual backgrounds.

You've said what you've said. I've said what I've said.

Not really sure where we go from here.
 
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Strange Visitor

Grumpy Grognard
Validated User
And I don't think it makes sense to ignore backgrounds in a game with established individual backgrounds.

You've said what you've said. I've said what I've said.

Not really sure where we go from here.
All kinds of games have backgrounds, but they're only there primarily to show you have the character arrived at the abilities, not to be a thing unto themselves. But as you say, there's not much place for this conversation to go.
 

CK!

Creator of Things
Validated User
But what it was, was a semi-competitive attitude that comes straight out of the old school wargaming. If while playing a WWII miniatures game, your unit overlooked that panzar in the trees, well, c'est la vie. So in that game, the response to any complaints would likely be "Your mercenary group is engaging in planetary scale piracy. What, did you expect the enemy to play nice?"
I hope we can agree this analogy doesn't match with what we've been talking about.

In that's example the player(s) know they are on a battle field, know the particular conditions of victory, and know enemies are about. If they fail to check a spot for an enemy, they may well all die... but it isn't because they didn't know they are on a battlefield in the middle of a battle with enemies scattered about.

What we have been talking about is Players in situations where they have imperfect or no information about the circumstances they are in, and not even understanding what information they might need to acquire to succeed or survive. Yes? I mean, it strikes me as two completely different circumstances.

I'm not saying people didn't play port that thinking from war games directly over to RPGs. I'm saying it would be kind of nutty to do that. At least in how I Referee my games.
 
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