Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Arg. Temptation.

So I'm trying to do this whole LBB 123 thing.

I'm good with Book 1 character generation: I think book 4+ overspecialize characters and imbalance play.

I'm good with the Small-Ship universe envisioned in book 2: I'm fine with leaving any "It's So BIG!" ships and HORRIFYING DEATH BLASTER tech to GM fiat. And I'm pretty okay with Book 2 trade now that I've got the legal/smuggling stuff kluged together. I'm curious about Book 7's treatment of trade, and I'll see if there's anything I can use there once I find a copy. But I'm not holding my breath, if book 6 was anything to go by.

I'm good with Book 3 star system generation: I just don't have the time to be bothered with Book 6 stuff.

I have barely even thought about robots.

I'm suffering mighty temptations regarding the book 4 arsenal, though, because that's a much smoother extention of the book 1-3 rules than any of the other books I've seen, both in terms of mechanics and in terms of flavor.

Book 4 weapons don't generally work differently than book 1 weapons, except where they're deadlier: the system basically remains the same. So I don't really have any argument with them in terms of game mechanics. And the flavor of the weapons fits: Hardsciency, for the most part: not airyfairy death beams, but huge amounts of kinetic and heat energy going on. Or just big chunks of metal thrown atcha. Or lots of little ones real fast.

If I were going to be making up something that fits my Festrian Empire, for lower space-tech I'd be looking towards Piper's Space Viking, which CT owes much to (the autocannon makes regular appearances in SV), and ALIEN. I'd maybe be looking at David Drake's stuff for higher tech forces. Elite Imperial Marines? Starship Troopers (The book, silly, not the movie.) And that's all very consonant with what's found in the Book 4 arsenal.

So it's very tempting to use ironmongery from book 4, at least as chrome.

Though if my notional players get in that kind of fight with the proper military, chances are they're all going to die. I want to run adventure games, not wargames. So as much as is practicable, I'm still going to go book 1 in terms of most elements impinging on the players, and expand upon it but totally in "GM-land"

In most cases, if there's a serious Infantry Support Weapon in use, the party's going to have to circumvent it if they want to live anyhow - looking at book 4 rules for Auto-cannon, LMGs, PGMPs and the like, I don't feel a need to really get too specific about what these guys do. If you're in the kill zone for these weapons and you're not kitted out in combat armor, minimum, you're basically dead. So rather than dwell on what book 4 weapons can do to the players, I'd as soon say:

"You spot raiders from that Type C you saw in orbit; looks like they've spotted you, too, and are waiting to see if you're a problem. They're in an air raft, looks like two of 'em with rifles. There's a guy on an autocannon to boot, though - Guys, if he shoots, you're all totally totally dead, and you know it, and so does he."

or:

"It's good you stayed indoors, because the Trooper on the Rotolaser got jumpy and loosed a burst into the crowd. Swiss-cheese-o-rama. Looks like the riot's over, though."

No rolls necessary for that stuff, really. It can be handled with storytelling. If the odds are sufficiently bad, I don't need to roll dice to see if you're dead. You tell me how you think or sneak your way around the guy with the big gun, we'll see if you can do it. But if you blow it, get out Book 1, turn to page 14 and start rolling.

8 Comments:

Blogger KenHR said...

You make a good point about the heavy weaponry: it's pretty much insta-kill stuff. I'm not even sure why they bothered statting out damage dice for the FGMP stuff (unless you have to fight a really big dinosaur-type thing...).

I'd be happy to get some information to you from the Merchant Prince system (I found out what the problem with that Excel sheet on the Yahoo group was: the HEX2DEC command is available only if you installed additional components from the Office CD). It's very dry, though it seems to "work" better for free traders.

Much in the same way that book 2 ship combat is so much more enticing than High Guard, book 2 trade is just more flavorful.

8:29 AM  
Blogger MTU: The Festrian Empire said...

"book 2 trade is just more flavorful."

I wouldn't mind seeing your info on the Merch Prince stuff, but that one line is enough to convince me. Thank you. You just saved me twenty or thirty bucks on ebay!

"(unless you have to fight a really big dinosaur-type thing...)."

For that, if IF the party were to get their hands on a fusion gun, then I'd break down and use the book 4 numbers.

8:35 AM  
Blogger KenHR said...

Yikes! Thirty bucks for Merchant Prince?!

It's an interesting book, but, much as I love everything I've read of CT so far, I'd never pay thirty bucks for that book.

I'll try to get something worked up for you tonight after work.

9:29 AM  
Blogger MTU: The Festrian Empire said...

Well, It's bid up to 8 bucks and change. I might have got away with fifteen or twenty. But it's moot now, since I'm quite happy with book 2, at least in terms of the Festrian Empire experiment.

9:37 AM  
Blogger KenHR said...

Good deal.

By the way, do I see you signed up for the Trav PBEM game announced by David Shaw on the CT list? Way cool!

11:10 AM  
Blogger MTU: The Festrian Empire said...

Yep! I still need to send him my character, but I got a navvy all rolled up.

11:20 AM  
Blogger KenHR said...

Nice...I have a merchant who's got mad skillz and a glass jaw. Funny enough, his name's Jimmy Phan...

11:33 AM  
Blogger MTU: The Festrian Empire said...

Mine's sort of a spacer generalist: She's fit, educated, smart, and solidly middle class- so she never got her commission, not even after 6 terms in the service. She can serve as just about anything on a starship but a steward.

11:40 AM  

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