Friday, February 27, 2015

EXTERMINATE!! Daleks as a Traveller Variant

I hope you've got your VRF Gauss Gun warmed up . . .

I am a fan of Doctor Who, and have been since high school. This past weekend we watched the 7th Doctor serial Remembrance ofthe Daleks, one of my favorites. It's a nostalgia episode, as the Doctor revisits 1963 and the place where TV audiences first met him. But that's not what I'm on about. The episode got me to think about how well Daleks would work in the milieu of Traveller.

Daleks would make an interesting opponent for Traveller PCs. Daleks are powerful, ruthless, can plot out elaborate schemes, yet have very simple motives (power and control), and can be gleefully smashed to bits if you can figure out how to damage them.

In the show, Daleks usually run roughshod over all opponents, human or otherwise. Slug throwers are repeatedly shown to be ineffective against them. Yet these are the weapons most commonly employed against them by humans. You don't see in the show heavily armored humans with high energy weapons, like you would find in Traveller, taking on Daleks. This is a conceit of the show, of course, to allow the Doctor to be the hero and save the day.

There are instances of Daleks being destroyed here and there; in Remembrance, Daleks get smashed up by anti-tank rockets, plastic explosives, a super-powered baseball bat (watch the episode, it makes sense), and a Special Weapons Dalek sporting the biggest beam weapon ever on Doctor Who. In the revived Doctor Who series, the poor humans can still occasionally pot a Dalek, but are still over-matched without the Doctor.

Putting that aside, if 1960's weaponry (TL 6) can make a Dalek go bye-bye, then TL15 Imperial Marines armed with FGMPs and Battle Dress and Grav Belts should stand a chance of stopping them on a larger scale. So, if Daleks were to appear in Traveller, they will not be the galaxy-conquering threat they are made out to be in Doctor Who. Particularly in the OTU, it would seem unlikely. One orbiting Heavy Cruiser with a J-class meson gun will ruin your day in a 100 meter radius, even if you're a Dalek.

On a smaller scale, however, the Daleks could be a very potent and powerful enemy. The PCs and allied NPCs would have to get creative to find ways to defeat them; if the PCs do have access to powerful weaponry, there can always be more Daleks than they could reasonably stop before being overwhelmed. 

Daleks in the Your Traveller Universe

To help explain the Daleks' existence, and their smaller numbers, and to avoid any issues of genocide, Traveller Daleks are completely robotic. They are the creations of Professor Davros, a roboticist and computer man from a TL-12/13 planet. Prof. Davros is brilliant but thoroughly insane. When one of his prototypes exploded in his face he was crippled and confined to the mobile life support chair which he had designed. This became the model for the Dalek robots. Believing that his academic superiors had sabotaged his work, he designed and built the first Daleks by hand from his LSC and used them to revenge himself on those he thought had wronged him. The trauma of the accident, combined with his megalomaniac and paranoid impulses, drove him to design and build more Daleks, and used his other robotic designs to automate production. Davros mapped his own thought patterns onto the Daleks, so they are all as megalomaniac and paranoid as he is.

Humans subjugated by the Daleks are put to work, to serve the Dalek cause, which seems to be Revenge on the whole of the galaxy. Technically-skilled people repair damaged Daleks, but only the Daleks themselves work the automated production lines making new Daleks. After one early and successful attack on a Dalek factory, the Daleks have started building small facilities in multiple locations, rather than one big one. Once Daleks have control of an area, they pillage it for resources to construct more Daleks. All Daleks are hard-programmed to replicate themselves.

Traveller Stats

Davros 222DC1 Scientist 6 terms Age 42

Robotics-5, Computer-4, Electronics-2, Medical-1, Administration-1 

Dalek (NPC design)


Disruptor (energy wpn)-1, Tactics-1, [technical skill]-1 Tech skills include Robotics, Mechanical, Engineering, Electronics and Gravitics 

Dalek (Book 8 design)

URP 7210E-11-LL224-AF73

Fuel: 6L Duration 36 hrs TL 13

40/100 (Battle Dress)

1 V Light arm

Visual Sensor (+telescope, + passive IR, audio sensor, voder

Power/brain/program interface, Zero-G pkg, Radio (continental range), ECP

Infantry Ground Cbt-1

Weapon Handling (Disruptor)-1

Zero-G Cbt-1


Weapon    N/J M C  R  A  BD Cls Shrt Med Long VLong Dmg

Disruptor 0      0  0 -2 -1 -3   -3  0      +3   +2     +1     6D

Dalek (Striker design)

Each Dalek is based individually. Leader Daleks have Tactics-1, soldier Daleks do not. All Daleks move as Infantry in Grav Belts. For those who prefer Classic Doctor Who, before the Daleks could fly, movement is limited to Infantry at walking speed. 

Leader Dalek

Elite. Wpn: Disruptor

Morale 13, Initiative High 

Soldier Dalek

Veteran. Wpn: Disruptor

Morale 10, Initiative Average


Weapon   Eff        Long      Ext       Tgt Sig

Disruptor 50 (24) 100 (20) 150 (15) 1   High
Dalek Armor AV 24

Radio (1000 pwr), RDF, Radio Jammer (1000 pwr), Passive IR

The Remembrance serial was the only appearance in the Classic series of a modified Dalek (the Special Weapons unit) but that doesn't mean that they can't exist in Traveller. Imagine a Dalek armed with a mass driver, or a Plasma-A gun, or a battlefield Meson Accelerator!

As they are robotic creatures, what's to stop them from transferring their brains into self-propelled weapons platforms, AKA Dalek Tanks? Doctor Who seems to have no limits on what kind of destructive activity the Daleks will stoop to, so the Referee can use his imagination too.

Daleks don't negotiate, they don't have mercy, they don't quit, and they hate everything that isn't a Dalek. Traveller players who are not familiar with Doctor Who will still find Daleks a major threat, but those who are should be even more terrified (or delighted) the first time they float into sight. EXTERMINATE!

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