How to do... y'know... stuff.   Posted by Traveller Referee.Group: 0
Traveller Referee
 GM, 9 posts
 In space nobody can hear
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Tue 20 Sep 2005
at 19:49
How to do... y'know... stuff
The BITS (British Isles Traveller Support) task system provides a common system for rating task difficulty, allowing easy conversion between all variants of Traveller. For Classic Traveller, the difficulty levels translate as follows:-
   Difficulty          Target (2D+Skill)
   Easy                       4+
   Average                    6+
   Difficult                  8+
   Formidable                10+
   Staggering                12+
   Hopeless                  14+
   Impossible                16+

Success Margin:  Sometimes it isn't enough to just succeed, sometimes you have to succeed well.  The Success Margin is the difference between the dice roll and the target number.  Example: Target is 8+, roll is 12, Success Margin is 4.

Opposed Tasks:  Opposed tasks are resolved by using Success Margins.  Simply put, whoever rolls the highest Success Margin wins the opposed task.

This message was last updated by the GM at 09:10, Fri 23 Sept 2005.

Traveller Referee
 GM, 10 posts
 In space nobody can hear
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Tue 20 Sep 2005
at 22:24
How to do... y'know... Combat stuff
The BITS system will only be used for non-combat tasks.  The standard Book 1 system will be used for combat.

For Combat the basic roll to hit is 8+, modified by range, and the armour worn by the target.
On the character sheet there will be a Weapons Matrix which will list the modifiers, as shown in this example:
               ------------- Armour -------------  ------ Range ------
                                                                   Vry  Cha
Weapon         None Jack Mesh Clth Rflc Ablt Batt  Cls Sht Mdm Lng Lng  Mod  Wound
Laser Carbine   +2   +2   +1   +1   -8   -7   -6    -2  +1  +1  +1  +0   +2    4D
The Matrix shows the armour and range modifiers to be applied to the dice roll to hit the target.  The Cha Mod column shows any bonus the character applies because of unusually high or low characteristics.  The Wound column shows how many dice of damage the weapon does on a successful hit.
Each die of damage is applied to one of the physical characteristics (Strength, Dexterity, Endurance) as decided by the target.  The only exception to this is the first wound taken in any combat, when all the dice are applied to the same (randomly determined) characteristic.
Traveller Referee
 GM, 11 posts
 In space nobody can hear
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Tue 20 Sep 2005
at 22:43
How to do... y'know... Ship stuff
During all ship operations the computer will add it's rating (+3) to all rolls for piloting, gunnery, navigation, engineering, etc.

Rather than having to swap out programs all the time, as in the original rules, the system can multitask.  Any operation involving the ship will get the computer modifier.

Want to use the lasers to blast a corsair out of the sky?  Roll 2D + Gunnery + Computer Modifier.
Want to fly the ship through a narrow, twisting canyon?  Roll 2D + Pilot + Computer Modifier.
Want to try and get a lock on a ship that's gone into silent running mode?  Roll 2D + Sensor Ops + Computer Modifier.

The computer also applies a -3 modifier to all rolls against your ship, so if somebody tries to get into a restricted area, they will have a -3 on the roll (the anti-hijack systems).  Weapons fired at your ship will get a -3 modifier because the ship is assumed to be running ECM and Evasion programs as required.

Want to try and fly through a narrow canyon, while tracking incoming fighters, dodging their fire, shooting back, and keeping their hijacker buddies from getting onto the bridge...?  Well, the computer modifier applies to all of those, and it can do them all at the same time, and more.

It's as big as a car and loaded with trilinear chips, it must be good for something.  :)
Traveller Referee
 GM, 12 posts
 In space nobody can hear
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Tue 20 Sep 2005
at 22:47
What's with Level - 0 skills?
You may have noticed that you have some skills with a level of "0", and might be wondering what that's about.

When doing something that you have no skill in whatsoever, you have a -4 penalty to your dice roll.
Skill-0 (such as Vacc Suit-0) represents something that you have a little familiarity with, just enough so you don't make any really dumb mistakes.  It's enough to cancel the -4 penalty mentioned above, but doesn't represent any real expertise.
For Vacc Suit skill, for instance, things can be thought of as follows:
Skill not listed = "Vacc what?"
Vacc Suit-0      = "Well... I wore one once, and skimmed through the instruction manual."
Vacc Suit-1 +    = "Yes, I'm fully certified on Vacc Suit operations and EVA."
Vacc Suit-4 +    = "Cool beans!  It's the Mark-17 with ORS-4a recyclers and the IGS-3 sound
                    system.  Heh!  It even has compression-flux governors.  I love this suit!"
Traveller Referee
 GM, 13 posts
 In space nobody can hear
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Tue 20 Sep 2005
at 22:52
Jack-o-Trades?  What's that?
Jack of Trades skill (Jack-o-T) is less of a skill, and more of a knack.  It is the ability to figure out how to do things, even if you never learned formally.

When trying to perform a task for which you have no relevant skill, Jack-o-T can help.

First, it can cancel the -4 penalty for being unskilled.  Then, every two levels of Jack-o-T (rounded down) counts as one level in the appropriate skill.

You'll never be as good as somebody who was trained, but you're better than nothing in a pinch.

This message was last edited by the GM at 22:56, Tue 20 Sept 2005.

Traveller Referee
 GM, 14 posts
 In space nobody can hear
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Tue 20 Sep 2005
at 23:01
Characteristics explained
Here follows a few notes on characteristics...

Characteristics all range from 1 to 15, with the average being 7 for humans.  Some alien species might have higher or lower averages in certain characteristics.

STR - A character can carry his STR in Kg, and is unencumbered while doing so.  Clothing and armor are not counted towards the total.  A character is encumbered if carrying up to double his STR.  Encumbered characters are treated as if STR, DEX and END are all one point lower for all purposes.
A character who is or was part of a military force (Army, Marines, Navy) can carry up to triple his STR, but is then treated as if STR, DEX and END are all two points lower for all purposes.
STR may also give you a penalty or bonus for melee combat, listed on the Weapon Matrix as Cha Mod.

DEX - This may give you a penalty or bonus for ranged combat, listed on the Weapon Matrix as Cha Mod.

END - In a single combat, a character may make a number of melee attacks equal to his END.  All attempts to hit after that are at a penalty until the character has had a chance to rest.
If the character has the advantage of surprise, then melee attacks made while he still has surprise do not count towards the total.

The three physical characteristics are also important in that wounds taken in combat are applied directly to them, so a wounded character is slowed and weakened.

INT and EDU - the main function of these two is during character creation, when they affect what skills a character can learn.
The total number of skill levels possessed by a character can never exceed his combined INT and EDU.  Level-0 skills count as 0.5 when adding them up.

SOC - this measures the characters place in society:
     SOC: 1       Convicted criminal in prison, and similar lowlifes
     SOC: 2-10    Regular people
     SOC: 11-15   Nobles: non-hereditary
                             11 - knight/dame
                                - baronet
                          hereditary
                             12 - baron/baroness
                             13 - marquis/marchioness
                             14 - count/countess
                             15 - duke/duchess
                                - sector duke
                             16 - archduke
                             17 - Emperor Strephon/members of the Imperial family
Traveller Referee
 GM, 15 posts
 In space nobody can hear
 you swearing at me.
Tue 20 Sep 2005
at 23:03
Character improvement
Traveller had a major fault in its design, as created, in that it had no way for a character to improve once he was out of character generation.  No experience point system or anything.
Because of this I have adapted (slightly) the system used for improvement of Psionic talents in the game.  This new version will apply to all skills.

The BBR EXP SYSTEM  Catchy title, eh?

When you use a skill successfully, you mark it in the "Used" column with an "x".
At the end of each month (I will tell you when that is) you will get to roll 2D6 for each skill that is marked.  If the roll is equal to or better than (8 + Skill Level) then the skill will improve by one level.
A natural roll of 12 on the 2D6 will always give you the increased level, even if the Skill Level is higher than 4.

If you want to learn a skill you don't possess, then let me know, and you can get a roll to see if you gain Level-0 in the skill.  However you must have succeeded in an unskilled attempt at that skill.
So, for instance, your character picks up a shotgun, but has never used one before.  You make the combat roll, with a -4 penalty for unskilled use, and manage to hit the target.
At the end of the month you are allowed a roll to see if your character has gained Shotgun-0...

Remember that the total of INT and EDU will limit your total Skill Levels.

The system is all new, and may be tweaked during play if I discover any problems.