Monday, December 21, 2015

Behind the Claw and AF3

You should listen to Behind the Claw, Felbrigg Herriott's excellent Classic Traveller podcast. I've been following BtC for months now; even putting podcasts onto my media player so I can listen on the go. In fact, you should go listen to an episode or two right now. I'll be here when you get back.

Episode 21, the current episode at the time I wrote this has an added pleasant surprise for me - he reads my blog, from the UK mirror site (, and he's generous with the compliments:

"it's everything you could want in a Traveller blog"

"you'll not regret visiting that site"
"there's enough clever, well-written and insightful content to make sure you never have to listen to this show again"

Well, that's awfully kind of him to say, but I say you should keep listening to Behind the Claw anyway. And in the time it took me to write and post this, he's rolled out episode 22!  I'm going to go listen to it now.

Fun bonus: he uses the word "interwebbytubes". I've got to start using that. 

Check out Decopedia volumes 1 and 2 from DriveThruRPG - written compilations of the material from the podcast.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Medical Skills for Medical Adventures

He's A doctor, yes, but . . .
He's THE Doctor!
 In Space Gamer #47, J Andrew Keith wrote "I'm a Doctor not a . . .", a rules variant about expanding the Medical skill in Traveller to cover the range of medical activity in greater detail.

I've written in other posts about my dislike for "skill bloat", but in this case I see not bloating of skills, but subdividing medical specialties to give characters distinct roles.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Gear for TAS Wardens

This is the first of what I plan to be several articles expanding on my adventure framework of The Wardens, constabulary agents of the Travellers' Aid Society. Today we'll look at gear.

Wardens will always carry their badge/ID cards, and some sort of over-garment that clearly identifies them as TAS agents. Communicators and first aid kits, and whatever life support gear is necessary for the world are also standard equipment.
The TAS Wardens will carry non-lethal weapons while on routine patrols. They have them to protect themselves and discourage casual troublemakers, like drunks and petty criminals. The Wardens are there to assist local authorities and keep the peace. However, if the situation warrants it the Wardens will bring out regular firearms. For low-threat scenarios, here are some devices Wardens will typically carry.

Sleep Rods (TL9)
taken from Andre Norton's Solar Queen books

I've found no specific description of the sleep rod in any of Norton's stories that I've read. From the few mentions, I take the sleep rod to be roughly of pistol configuration. It is button activated, but with dermal grip sensors so it only fires when being held by an authorized user. Besides the grip it is a cylinder with an emitter at the far end. It is simple to use, just aim and 'beam'. It's size and DEX parameters match those of the Body Pistol, as does the skill to use it most effectively. Damage is 1 pt, plus the target must throw 3D for END or less to avoid unconsciousness for (20-END) minutes.

Range DMs
Close Short Medium Long
+1     +2      -2         -4

Armor DMs
None Jack Mesh Cloth Reflec Ablat Battle
0       0     0       0       -4        -2      No

Glove Shields (TL8)

The glove shield is standard kit for Wardens, to give them a visible badge of office, and a defensive edge. The shield is worn on the non-dominant arm. It is made of overlapping ceramic plates & a ballistic cloth sleeve. The sleeve part extends from the elbow to the palm, ending in a fingerless glove. The shield can be retracted to an arm covering, or extended (spring loaded) 10 cm on each side of the arm. Weight is 1.5 kg, but this is not counted against the wearer's encumbrance load. Glove shields are not available to the general market. As they are defensive in nature, they are not restricted by Law Level.

Combat Effects (combined with wearers' armor)
Vs guns or lasers, DM -1
Vs blade weapons, DM -2

An attacker with two or more hands can attempt to pull the glove shield off, but must have a STR score 3 greater than the wearer. Glove shields are custom-fitted and are not easily worn by another person.

Net Launchers (TL7)

The launcher is a shotgun configuration weapon, loaded with a tightly packed entangling net. The net is cased in a sabot which falls away harmlessly upon launch. The net reaches Medium range and causes no damage, but it will entangle and subdue any creature up to 200 kg. Larger creatures may be slowed by the nets, but they have sufficient strength to rend them and escape. At TL10, grav technology enhancements allow nets to reach out to Long range and to capture flying creatures without causing them to crash.
Weight and price are as Shotguns. Nets: Cr 20 each. Launchers can launch six nets before reloading.

All of these items can be customized by players utilizing Tech Level improvements or the non-generic equipment rules.