Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Starter Traveller – Combat

It turns out the echo chamber effect is alive and well.  Greywulf is spending this week talking about classic Traveller, and like me The Dump Stat is checking Traveller out for the first time!  It’s nice to know that I’m in good company. 

One thing that Greywulf noted in his post on character creation is that while “most folks are human” your little snowflake of a character isn’t “most folks!”  He created a barkskinned plant person from a jungle world as his example character.  It is worth pointing out that there are no rules for aliens, blue skinned, green blooded, furry, or otherwise.  In the best tradition of old school games, it’s up to you and your DM – or Referee in this case. 

As an aside, I cant tell you how many times I’ve been told “It’s not DM, it’s GM” or “Referee” or “Storyteller.”  It doesn’t really matter to me if there is a dungeon in the game or not, or if in trying to be different they give the person in charge of the game world a different title.  In the end, they’re all DMs in my head, so that’s what I write and say. 

Now that that’s taken care of, lets get down to business.  Personal Combat!

Combat occurs either on a grid, or abstractly based on relative ranges.  To attack someone roll 2d6, and on an 8+ you hit. 

Of course that isn't all there is to it, as there are a wide variety of modifiers.  Damage reduces your 3 physical scores, and as soon as any of them reach 0 you fall unconscious.  If two reach 0, it's very bad news, and if 3 reach 0 you're dead.  With most weapons doing 3d6 damage and abilities rolled on 2d6, combat looks like it'll generally be a short affair.  Armor can help, especially against melee attacks, less so against guns, and even less against laser weapons.  

As John Morrow pointed out in the comments section of my first Traveller post, there are no rules for bow weapons in these rules.  I probably wouldn't have noticed that had he not pointed it out.  I do notice that there are no laser pistols or laser swords, but then the laser weapons that are included require big backpacks, so I guess the laser tech isn't as advanced as in Star Trek or Star Wars.  I was also surprised that the options for melee weapons were as limited as they were, consisting mostly of swords and pole arms.  I could see myself creating a wider variety if I ever run this.  

Tomorrow we look at Travel in Traveller!

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