Traveller: Ranged Combat WIP

Ranged Combat WIP

Latest attempt at collecting thoughts over RPG ranged combat based on Traveller but applies to all gun combat where the lethality of the weapons makes things like hit points seem silly.

Combined some earlier posts.



  • combat as a series of interesting decisions
  • combat that feels realistic in cinematic terms i.e. if you pictured an RPG combat as a movie scene it would be cool
  • fast and dramatic
  • some element of tactics: suppression, fire and movement


Key Point

  • lethality of weapons unless target behind cover or running to cover
  • hard to hit under those circumstances, easy to hit otherwise
  • maybe target roll: 12+, 11+, 8+
  • sci fi armor can reduce this lethality issue



  • melee, guns and energy weapon types
  • weapons should all represent an interesting decision e.g.
  • shotgun/smg good at short range if low skilled
  • pistol good at short range if skilled
  • rifle good at long range if skilled
  • energy weapons good in zero g
  • sniper shot takes a turn to aim


Fire Mode

  • semi, burst and auto
  • reason is to provide tactical decision
  • burst and auto have chance of multiple hits at short range
  • main purpose is suppression
  • suppression, no damage but easier to score a hit
  • suppression chance: 6, 8, 10
  • suppressed character morale check to not miss turn
  • downside is ammo usage
  • if roll a 2(semi), 3(burst) or 4(auto) -> low ammo condition



  • minor importance unless sci fi
  • passive armor: mesh (melee), cloth (ballistic), reflec (energy)
  • weapons do nd6 damage
  • armor reduces total or armor reduces each die or armor gives a saving throw
  • active armor: combat armor
  • material has properties which diffuse energy of attack
  • effectively gives armor hit points
  • replacement plates / repair options -> tactical decision



  • exo-skeleton
  • power armor
  • gadgets



  • shotgun
  • pistol, rifle
  • ballistic or energy
  • semi, semi+burst, burst+auto
  • sniper scope
  • RAM



  • highest weapon skill goes first



  • weapon skill as defensive DM if in cover or running to cover



Sci Fi Armor: medieval analogy

  • padding, mail -> coat of plates, plate mail -> plate
  • mesh/cloth/reflec -> combat armor -> power armor



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