Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Mongoose Traveller Core Rulebook MGP 3800 Part 6 Spaceships.

Spaceship Design

The spacecraft design sequence is very much like Classic Traveller Book 2. Things are still measured in dTons, which is a unit of volume equal to one hundred tons of liquid hydrogen, or roughly 14 cubic meters. In TMB all you can design are space craft from 100 dTons to 2000 dTons. Bigger or smaller craft needs the rules in Book 2 High Guard. There aren't any real surprises, assuming you know book 2. Computers are assumed into the bridge so they don't eat up space, but do have a cost.

Well, I say there aren't any surprises, but there are, in that there are alternate versions of both drives and power plants that take you right out of the Classic Traveller mode and can do damn near any sort of SF. For drives, you have Warp, Teleport and Hyperspace, for power plants you have Fission and Anti-matter. Added note. Jump drives still eat 10% of the mass of the ship per jump number in fuel.
MTU errata. Fission plants exists, (as do the chemical and battery power options in High Guard), but none of the alternate drives exists, nor do Anti-matter drives.

One of the things that every ship is assumed to have is a "ships locker". This is a "simplify bookkeeping" rule, not a portable hole of has every thing. There is, addition to the rules on the locker a bit of shadowed text box about not allowing players to abuse it.

Ships Weapons

The basic weapons give are missiles, lasers and particle beams. Aside from cost, and possible legal issues, particle beams are the hands down best weapon systems.

Bay weapons take up 51 tons and include missiles, particle beams, fusion guns and meson guns. While the rules don't say so, I suspect that there is supposed to be a limit of one particle beam per turret, other wise you have a turret doing 3x3d6 damage, which is a bit high.
In High Guard there is a limit on particle beams based on your power plant size

For defenses, you have armor, sand-casters, nuclear dampers and meson screens, all of which work vs various different attack forms, with armor working against every thing but meson guns.

I need to add that rules as written, 6 points of armor makes you pulse laser proof and 12 points manes you beam laser proof. These two laser type reverse how much damage they do in High Guard for no explained reason, but the point still stands that a fully armored TL 12 ship is turret class laser proof, which is one reason why the Particle Beam weapon is so much better. RAW mention using nuclear missiles near inhabited planets or orbitals, but don't say any thing about particle beams, which also cause radiation hits above and beyond their 3d6 basic damage.

Standard Ships

The following ship designs are given

  • Type S Scout

  • Free Trader Type A

  • Far Trader

  • Subsidized Merchant

  • Laboratory Ship

  • Gazelle Close Escort

  • Heavy Freighter

  • Yacht

  • Mercenary Cruiser

  • Corsair

  • Serpent Police Cutter (not a jump ship)

Small craft, with minimal rules for them, are listed.

  • Launch

  • Ship's boat

  • Pinnace

  • Shuttle

  • Modular Cutter

  • Light Fighter


  1. Considering how things have jumped back and forth over the years: do the maneuver drives need a supply of reaction mass?

    Interesting to see some of the weapons from High Guard being brought into the basic system. I don't remember turreted particle beams from previous iterations.

  2. Basic TMB maneuver drives don't need mass or fuel, just a functional power plant of some sort. Some of the other M drives in High Guard need mass.

  3. Oh, OK. That's just confusing. (And doesn't deal with the cheap relativistic missile problem.)

  4. Yes, yes it is confusing. On a lot of counts.

  5. You could easily build turret particle beams under FFS2, but as they do radiation damage per High Guard, they seem to be generally considered to be close enough to nukes to fall under the 3I's 'no one has nukes but us' rules.

    Of course, outside the Imperium, these rules may not apply.

  6. FFS2 t-plates dont need mass either, and HepLAR is quite a bit less efficient.

  7. The doing radiation damage issue is the "possible legal problems" I mentioned about them.