Thursday, November 21, 2013

Alternative Classic Traveller Combat

With my rose-tinted glasses in full nostalgic effect, I often forget how deadly Classic Traveller combat is. Tuesday's game in which poor Nazrut, the OG dogoid pilot of Deep Evan, was gunned down in all of two rounds in an ambush by soldiers of the Kral served as a pretty stark reminder.

While I am not shy in having a PC up and die, I prefer a slightly less punitive game. 

What follows is a slimmed down adaption of the Striker/Megatraveller that is designed to get rid of the hard-to-remember armor to-hit mods and one-hit-and-out wounding system for my growing house rule compilation (more about that later today). 

Feedback as always greatly appreciated.

To Hit by Range
Roll twice for automatic fire or scatter effect (shotgun pellets or flechettes).
Short/Effective/Melee 8+
Long 10+
Extreme 12+

Roll 2d6 on hitting a target. Roll for separate hits if using automatic fire.
2...Graze, no real effect
3-5...Light Wound, -1 to hit, next hit upgraded one level in effect.
6-9...Wound, stunned for 2d6 rounds, -2 to hit after that, next hit upgraded.
10-11...Serious Wound, unconscious until medical attention, can't fight, or move without assistance, next hit upgraded two levels.

plus Weapon Penetration (see Striker chart, mostly 1-3 for firearms and melee weapons)
minus Defensive Value (see below)

Defensive Value
Basically your armor plus any ability modifiers.
Steel Helmet* +1 (add to any other armor)
Jack 1
Mesh 2
Flak Jacket 3
Cloth 5
Ablat 1 (6 for lasers)
Reflec (10 for lasers)
Combat Enviro Suit 6
Combat Armor 8
Ceramic Plate* 10
Battle Dress 12

*Steel Helmet, Tech 5, 100cr
Ceramic Plate, Tech 12, 30,000cr

5 and under -1
9 and over +1

5 and under -1
9 and over +1

5 and under -1
9 and over +1

Mr. Pink (37A569) buys himself a steel helmet (pickelhaube-style) and a Flak jacket for a DV of 4. His bad STR (-1) cancels out his considerable END (+1). In the first round of combat the poor sap gets hit by a slug from an ACR, penetration 4 which cancels his DV on the roll. Luckily the roll  is a 3 and he gets off with a light wound. 


  1. Yeah Marc Miller was not known for his sentimentality, Classic Traveller was always a bloody a fare! This looks like it will work
    for your purposes,

    This why I switched over to GURPS Traveller your characters can actually get through a campaign lol


  2. We never had anyone die, or really come that close to it, that I remember.
    The way I remember combat, you subtracted damage from the first 3 stats. If they all reach 0 you die. If one reached 0 you fell un-conscious. The first die must be subtracted from one stat after, the first die, you could divide it up any way you wanted. Most weapons did like 2 or 3 d6 unless you got the heavy weapons. Is this the way you guys played it? Did they face guys with heavy weapons a lot? We normally had like 21-27 total in the first 3 stats.

  3. At the time we got into it we were all twenty something army guys and yes there were allot of heavy weapons involved, we also tended to play out our battle portions with Striker, sort of role play before the miniatures war game approach.

    1. Oh man that sounds really ideal. I probably will post my slimmed down Striker-meets-my-Feudal Anarchy rules tomorrow.

  4. Thanks for the response, I was just curious, I looked around a little on line, and everyone talks about how lethal CT combat was; not my experience at all.

    I re-read the rules based on things I had seen on line, and it looks like we applied damage wrong. It says each die is a wound and may be applied as desired, but the first wound is handled differently and is applied entirely to a random stat, Since it had just said each die is a wound we assumed it meant the first die, but I think it means all 4D in the case of a shotgun for example (is that the way you played it?).

    Looks like most of the weapons do a die more damage than I remembered too. Although we tended to use SMG (3D-3) and various pistols. We were stupid high school boys (shotguns are for hicks and magnum pi uses a pistol, lasers can't hit due to reflect armor)

    1. Yes all applied at once, thus the lethality.

    2. Yup, it was a blood fest, in fact Striker toned down the casualty count somewhat!

    3. shotguns are for hicks
      As a hick who primarily plays with hicks, shotguns have been extremely common in my games that have firearms.

  5. Oh, very nice! I‘ll be keeping hold of this one.

    And as I recall, our group was reallt big on taking every step to make sure we weren‘t shot, before even considering pulling the trigger.

  6. The lethality of combat is one more reason it's a thinking man's game. The better to emulate the books that inspired it. Earl Dumarest, for one, avoided fights when possible.