Adjusting Vehicular Damage Tolerance

I’m not quite sure how the damage tolerances are linked to cost and integrity… are they? How would you cost shifting a surface hit from H5 to H3?

That’s because there’s no rules for it in the game.

Why? Because I didn’t want the game to be about endless vehicle tweaking. And I didn’t have any time, money or space to write out detailed, balanced vehicular tech rules.

So wing it.

Right-oh! Just wondering! Thanks.

Fair 'nuff. As a former Car Wars vehicle-designer who never played, I see your point.

I’d kinda like some kind of armored ground vehicle template, though, to make Zero Index hovertanks (as in Sheva’s War) and Sub Index tracked vehicles off of – the “Anvil Ground Car” is too fragile to be the baseline.

I say “kinda like” because frankly I personally would not want to play on anything less than a Low Index world; if my guys aren’t in grav vehicles, I feell like I might as well be doing contemporary military fiction.

While this is a fun exercise and all, you both realize just how marginal such vehicles are in play, right? Very marginal. They exist mostly as color.

I know! I’m a bad military science fiction game designer!

But it is called the Iron Empires, you know. Hence the focus on the armor and, oddly, why we liked the hussars (they extended from the IE Lord-Pilot base).

I’m not saying that I’ll never release vehicle design rules. They certainly exist. I am saying that you should not substitute game stat tweaking for play.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a gaming group hidden in my room. So this is as close to playing as I’ve gotten so far. Tomorrow though… tomorrow…=)

And yes, it’s mostly colour, but it’s fun to make colour that makes sense, militarily and balancewise. I actually LIKE the fact that the mil-tech is less important than the characters. I like that a lot. I guess I was just wondering if it would be kosher to shift around the damage tolerances a bit, or if I’d get yelled at =P

First of all, Luke’s right. Don’t get so caught up in the history/tech that you forget to play the game.

Secondly, I have to speak up briefly for the tech-nuts in the audience. The thing that attracted me to Traveller, lo these many years past, was opening a little black pamphlet and seeing all these crazy devices/vehicles/weapons. They suggested stories. What would an atmospheric sniffer be used for? What crazy world would require me to sniff its atmosphere? What in God’s name would have taken me to such a place?

You know what I’m talking about. You’ve seen my sketchbooks. I name every freaking little thing. It’s a compulsion.

So sure, this tech stuff IS color. It IS tangential to the story. But think of it as a kind of hook. I can imagine what it would be like to be totally encased in a ton of armor and ceramics, peeking out of a tiny slit in my helmet, knowing if some skinny shoots out the power that I’ll suffocate to death… that’s already a story of sorts. And the Iron is one of the stars. Almost as if it’s an NPC. I identify with it. I name it.

All of which BE achieves, by the way. And especially nicely, because it encourages players to make exactly the thing they desire. It encourages creation, which all players love.

But there are also some of us anal types who abhor a vacuum. Designing on the fly isn’t the acme of imaginary joy. It’s not enough to have an assault rifle. We’ve got to know what millimeter slug it fires. What’s its range is. Who builds it. If it’s heavy. It is color, but for a particular sort of mind, crucial to the experience.

You paint minature armies. Don’t you get a thrill as each little guy is finished? You start to imagine what that unit of orcs will look like when they’re all done. With their own identity. There’s a joy in the imagining, before you get to play. If somebody handed you a pre-painted army, you’d have fun playing, but you would have missed out on the anticipation… the pre-play play.


All very true and important. But I’m still not releasing the vehicle design rules. I’ve given you all QUITE ENOUGH to play with for the time being.

:smiley: :wink:

I’m still not releasing the vehicle design rules.

Of course not. Sydney’s just being greedy. You’re going to be a good dad, Luke. You clearly understand why it’s dangerous to encourage that sort of behavior. Give in once, and he’ll just beg and whine harder next time.


LOL! :shock:

Sniff… whimper… but to quote my two-and-a-half-year-old daughter, “I need dat!”

Personally, one of my conditions for playing a BE campaign would be Tech Index: Low, along with Dominant Military: Lords-Pilot, because that strikes me as so essential to the flavor (though I actually liked Sheva’s War even better than Faith Conquers). So tracked or ground-effect armored fighting vehicles, yeah, they’d be mostly Color, as in “well, these militia guys have some hovertanks, you can see them burning all around you; you want a Duel of Wits with the survivors?”

My actual (emergent) agenda with the Tech Burner is to flesh out a complete grav-mobile Iron company, complete with a Hussar platoon and a Jaeger squad for recon, a SP missile platoon for fire support, three companies of Assault Sled-borne Iron with appropriate helpful gadgets, an engineer vehicle, a command-and-control vehicle, and maybe some recon and signals relay drones for when enemy Hammer wipes out all your orbital assets. You see, most military buffs are hardware fetishists, but I’m a TO&E (table of organization & equipment) fetishist.

As for tinkering vs. playing: I know, I know, that was me in high school, creating sectors full of Traveller worlds and Car Wars vehicles and never playing either with another human being. But I just wrote up Beliefs for three Vaylen Figures of Note, so I am now sitting here going, “I have got to convince my gaming pals to let me GM this thing.” And I don’t normally GM for us, either. I did run a seven-session Shadow of Yesterday game which I really ought to write up in full sometime, but that was my first swing at GMing in ten years.

As long-time Car Wars player, I feel ya Sydney.

It was fun back in the day to pixel-bitch every last pound and dollar to try and build the ultimate death machine. We all loved that.

But the game was slow as hell. And once you played enough, the same basic designed tended to crop up and dominate even if every last dollar and pound wasn’t spent exactly the same.

Maybe it’s just me getting old and hippyish, but between the philosophy of the MonBu and the stuff in the Tech Burner, I’ve got the Car Wars game I’ve always wanted to play.

Let me echo the wing it statement: Your hussar stuff was friggin awesome, man.

Tech Burner + imagination -> For the Win

Thanks, Merritt.

What’re “Monbu” and “Magbu”, anyway?

BW stuff:

Monster Burner (MonBu)


Magic burner (MagBu) though this one does not exist yet. Don’t ask why.