Monday, July 22, 2019

A High-Level Traveller Character

I have written before about High Level Play in Traveller, and what that might mean. Today I want to share a character I've created, to illustrate what that might look like. 

Here is the character, right after character generation finished:

Jackson Law     Age 22   7A87B5     Ex-Army Captain
Tactics-4, Rifle-1, SMG-1, CG Vehicle-0, Carousing-0
Cr 2,000        
Our good Captain. Still a young pup. That will change.

Quite the junior tactician, eh?  But out of the service after only one term. What's that about?  Was it because of his low SOC that the other officers didn't approve of the young man?  Well, could be a lot of things.

Skip ahead 20 years.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

More Traveller Literary Inspiration - The TAS

As I browsed through old issues of Planet Stories (in particular Vol 2 #7, Summer 1944) to my great delight I found this:

A welcome sight at Class-C and better Starports everywhere!

I never knew that the TAS could have been modeled on a real wartime organization, but it's not too hard to imagine that the writers of Traveller came across these ads while reading old sci-fi tales. 

Has anyone else seen advertisements like these in pulp magazines or other sources? How long did this TAS last?

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Clubs and Cudgels - What's the Difference?

From the beginning of my time playing Traveller (circa 1983) I found it odd that the combat rules included club and cudgel as two different weapons. I decided that I would look closer and see why that was. This is, I recognize, not a burning issue among Traveller players. My words will have little effect on how anyone plays the game. Well, this is my blog, and if I want to write about this, I will. I hope you enjoy my observations anyway.

There is not a lot in the official rules to go on.

Clubs are not purpose built weapons. They are, by TTB p. 38, found to hand in the brawl location. So a PC can ask the referee if there is anything lying about that can be used as a club. Bar stools, chairs, crowbars, briefcases, table legs, long handled flashlights, lamps, etc.

Looking at the combat tables, a club requires STR of 5 or faces a -4 DM. That's pretty severe, on par with the broadsword. STR of 8+ gives a DM of +2. My explanation is a club is a temporary expedient - it is not balanced or formed exactly to use as a weapon. If you haven't the strength to lob it in hard, the table leg will work against you.

The club can be abandoned at the end of the combat. It may not be, if it was originally a tool. The club base weight is 1 kg, as heavy as a sword. The referee can decide that the object the PC is using is not heavy enough and assign a -DM to the club. A pencil is not an effective club.
Nice try, bub. No DM for you.
Or it might be too heavy, and it can't really be used at all, except to drop down on someone. Clubs have the lightest penalty for weakened blows. This means a club wielder can keep going past his END score without too much worry. But I've never seen or heard of a Traveller combat that lasted that long.

Referees, have you ever had a mass brawl with enough combatants that a PC might have to fight to and beyond his END limit?