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Classic Traveller Q&A

Various questions I've had about classic Traveller & the answers I've found. Or interesting answers to questions I didn't ask.

When you've got antigravity technology, why is streamlining necessary for a ship to land on a planet with an atmosphere?

Or, if an open-top air/raft can fly to orbit & back, why not an unstreamlined spaceship?

It's more than just streamlining but structural enchancement as well. It's being designed to keep pressure out as well as keep pressure in. It's landing gear, the bracing to support its own weight when on the ground, & absence or retraction of antenae &c.

(But! Unstreamlined ships are allowed to land on airless worlds. So it would seem that some landing gear & the appropriate structure is included for all ships.)

One way to handle it: Unstreamlined ships can land on a planet with an atmosphere as long as the G rating of the M-drives exceeds the planet's gravity. But a piloting roll equal to the atmosphere rating is required. Streamlining would still be required for skimming.

Thanks to Aramis & Uncled Bob of the Citizens of the Imperium fora.

Book 1 says "stun" or "daze", but where are the rules for that?

There are no rules for being stunned or dazed. Either this is text left over from rules that got cut or it's referring to being knocked unconscious.

(Personally, that was good enough for me, but...)

If you want a stun rule: When a character takes his first hit, roll his End or less on 2D or he loses his next action.

Another possibility is to lessen the listed effects:

Also, AHL has stun/daze rules.

Thanks to Ranger, Sigg Oddra, & Lord Iron Wolf of the Citizens of the Imperium fora.

Book 2 says that pulse lasers do more damage & beam lasers are easier to hit with, but what are the rules for that?

The rule for this is missing from Book 2. Starter Traveller gives pulse lasers a -1 to hit, but they do 2 hits.

Thanks to Sigg Oddra of the Citizens of the Imperium fora.

The JG Ref Screen has strange damage. Where did that come from?

The first edition had modifiers to the damage dice. These were dropped in second edition.

Thanks to Ranger of the Citizens of the Imperium fora.

Does laser fire or a missile launch allow detection of a enemy ship that is outside the normal detection range but within tracking range?


Missiles, just like ships & small craft, can't be detected until they come within detection range.

A laser beam would have to pass through some scattering material make the beam visible in order to get a reliable direction. Even if you did manage to spot enough of the beam (or even multiple beams) to get a reliable direction, it won't be good enough to allow detection.

(I think an argument can be made that, once you've narrowed the field of search down enough, you can detect ships within tracking range. The detection range merely represents how far you can typically detect another ship with a wide open field of search. Such details, however, go far beyond the Book 2 rules. You either need more rules (or ad hoc decisions), or you just keep it simple.)

(Sigg Oddra has posted some expanded rules for sensors that I'm still digesting.)

Thanks to Aramis & Sigg Oddra of the Citizens of the Imperium fora.

Can laser return fire be made against an undetected opponent?

No. (See the above question about detection.)

Shouldn't there be negative DMs to hit small craft & missiles?

Sure. You might give a -2 to to hit small craft & -4 to his missiles.

Sigg Oddra happens to use the same DMs I came up with.

Aren't the deckplans for the Empress Marava too big?

Yes. Some of the published deckplans don't fit the ship descriptions.

How much space does a turret weapon take up?

Roughly 1/6th of a dton. If individually packaged for shipment, figure an additional 50%: 1/4th dton. If packaged as a lot, figure an additional 10%: 11/60th dton.

Sandcasters & missile racks, if less pre-assembled, could be even smaller, due to the space for the ordnance.

Thanks to far-trader, Larsen E. Whipsnade, & Aramis.

The Traveller game in all forms is owned by Far Future Enterprises. Copyright 1977-2004 Far Future Enterprises.