- Weapon vs armor to-hit tables solve my gripes with MgT's armor as DR (namely that weapons that both pierce armor and don't instantly pulp anyone not wearing armor end up involving irritating math at runtime). Turns out CT already had that one figured out. I don't think the overhead would be terrible as long as folks copied the mods list for their weapon down beforehand (turns out character sheets are just caches); a close table lookup is faster than a division and a subtraction, as most armor-piercing schemes for Mongoose entail.
- I like their psi rules, where psi is "spend points, magic happens", without a roll. Turns out that back when, Trav skills were more like feats than skills, which gives me some extra freedom to maneuver should I ever desire to pick the Fantasy Traveller project back up. Also gradual talent increases and Special talent are neat.
- Edu improvement is as it should be.
- Encumbrance seems slightly more reasonable.
- Starship combat is a funny thing. We've had trouble with Mongoose's being sort of boring before, if I recall correctly. I don't know if CT's solves this problem, but it does add maneuver (which Mongoose handles very abstractly) and reprogramming (which Mongoose does not handle at all). On the downside, more complexity and needs a gridless wargaming table and vector tracking and whatnot.
- Morale, surprise, reaction rolls, hirelings, and other OSR-type mechanics are good fun and I should use them in Mongoose. Glad to know the elder travellers shared this wisdom.
- The limited selection of careers has sparked some discussion among my crew, and I think the fact that the initial system basically only supported military+merchant+thief might help explain why noncombat characters in both T20 and Mongoose are less than amazingly compelling to play. Basically, the system just wasn't designed with them in mind; they're late-stage grafts, afterthoughts. The conclusion we drew for future Mongoose games was "make sure PCs each have at least one term from Agent, Army, Marine, Merchant, Navy, Scout, or Rogue - you can have civilian terms if you want, but get some prior adventuring experience." In our case, the explanation may be "we're recruiting crew for a privateer vessel, and if you're not a veteran or a criminal, you're probably not hired."
- Though the addition of hirelings has led to the suggestion of having an "away team" hireling from an adventuresome career, coupled with a "command crew" PC who stays on the ship or at base. This was not really feasible previously.
Friday, January 3, 2014
Classic Traveller: Closing Thoughts
So, takeaways from Classic Traveller: