Thursday, September 4, 2014

Space Combat Made Stupid

I was just thinking that a merciful referee or one that liked toying with his Traveller group might like combat results that don't end in rolling up a lot of new characters. Instead of implementing damage from a mishap the following mishaps can occur. Optionally these mishaps might allow a players to escape from an uneven fight. Note that many of the results require a crew of boneheads. Tightly run military vessels should be exempt from the mishaps that scream stupidity and instead suffer from the ones that scream bad luck. The mishaps coud also serve to make a throwaway encounter more interesting (sunspots cause the pirates and the pc's to each see the other's tramp freighter as a merc cruiser.)

Intruder Player Turn-
A. Intruder Movement.
Missiles acquire wrong target or no target.
Sensor glitch provides incorrect information on Intruder. A Scout is classed as a Dreadnought or a Dreadnought becomes a Scout. 
Sand or Solar storms present one or more ghost images either indistinct or resembling a ship in sensor range. this could be a clue when six /other/ Bewoulf class traders show up around an uninhabited world.
Transponder switch stuck on/off. Whichever is worse.
Collision with debris (natural or artificial.)
Acceleration compensators glitch. Results vary from bruises and sprains to being pounded into chunky salsa.
Maneuver jars cargo loose.
Maneuver throws passengers loose.
B. Intruder Laser Fire
A bit of debris hit a laser cannon knocking it out unknowingly until now!
Missed maintenance jams a turret.
Laser shutter is jammed closed. Firing the laser means you buy and install a new shutter.
Laser overheats (possibly due to fragments of a laser shutter vaporizing near it.)
Laser coolant leak requiring filter masks or opening a window (heh.)
C. Native Laser Return Fire.
Laser beam hits a sensor link blinding the Intruder for 1 turn (no fire permitted.)
Laser beam hits a comm relay. No messages in or out.
D. Intruder Ordnance Launch.
Missile warhead is a dud.
Missile launch fails leaving a live warhead in the missile rack. Joy.
Missile launches and detonates at minimum safe range causing a shake up. 
Missile detonates in tube or within explosive range (this should only be done with a crew that thinks maintenance begins and ends with painting stuff once a decade whether it needs painting or not and hatches painted shut are an anti-hijacking feature.)
Defective or discount sand canister holds real sand and is useless.
Sand canister jams in the launcher.
Sand canister backfires filling turret and any adjacent compartments that are not sealed. Filter masks required to breathe. (See note for dealing with coolant leaks above.)
E. Intruder Computer Reprogramming
Data cube holding Gunner Interact or Maneuver program falls and bounces under seat.
Data disk gets jammed in computer.
Screen displays Vegan pron instead of trajectory of target.
Computer AI only wants to tap dance after one too many hits.
Computer operator gets stuck under seat looking for data cube.
Someone is using the data cube tray for a cup stand and the data cubes are missing or thrown about by maneuvers.
Computer needs to be turned off and on.
Native Player Turn A-E. - Pretty much anything that went wrong for the Intruder can happen to the Native Player. Just reverse the players in the descriptions.
Game Turn Interphase
Gaming group runs out of pizza.