One of these players, "Lex" Lothar, suggested converting Traveller to AD&D in order to give this remaining group more interest in the game. We found a copy of TSR's old Buck Rogers game, and started the conversion process. Immediately, we decided we hated the Buck Rogers class system and gave it the flick - an interesting decision, in light of T20's distinct split between class and archetype. Based directly on on profession, we felt the old class system worked for a stereo-typical fantasy setting (one person, one profession, limited set of fixed skills), but not for a science-fiction one (one person, multiple professions, many and varied cross-profession skills). Who knows - perhaps we were simply influenced by Traveller's existing careers, and the emphasis of acquired skills over inherent class abilities?
In any case, we had to come up with some numbers for the weaponry. The Buck Rogers weapons had too much of a space-opera flavour, not enough variety, and not enough of a Traveller "feel". As well as this, a critical part of the AD&D system is the weapon balance; no single weapon is better than any other, but they are balanced against each other. A dagger is a very fast weapon, but does little damage; conversely, a two-handed sword is much slower but does more damage. We decided that even though the weapons were primarily missile-throwers, not melee weapons, there still had to be a balance. Note that this is actually contrary to standard Traveller, where it is possible for a weapon to be king - for example, the TL 12 gauss rifle is THE longarm of choice.
Lex, being somewhat of an analyst, studied the problem and suggested breaking down a weapon's abilities into a series of attributes (eg. "magazine capacity"). Next, he derived a range of values for each attribute, working from Classic Traveller, Striker, and MegaTraveller. For example, 2 shots might be loaded into a double-barrel shotgun, 6 shots into a "6-shooter" (revolver), 15 rounds into a TL 13 gauss pistol, or a 40-round magazine into an submachinegun. The value for each attribute was then given a weighting (eg. a 20-round magazine has a weighting of +2). A weapon designer can pick and choose different attributes from the list and create a new weapon, as long as the +ve attributes and the -ve attributes add together to make zero. For example, to balance out the 20-round magazine (+2) a rifle may be designed with a 1/3 rate of fire (-2).
Lex and I reviewed each major Traveller man-portable weapon, decided on its basic attributes, and documented them for use with our Traveller as AD&D system.
For an added bonus, it is possible to make a "plus" weapon, for weapons manufactured above the average Imperial tech level (TL). For example, you could rule that a high-tech weapon is "+2", meaning that you can use the extra bonus points to create a "special" weapon. A "hunting rifle" built at TL 15 can have its damage increased to 3d4.
Damage is a little more complicated. Decide on the damage you want the weapon to do, and the damage spread, and then pick the closest Damage Dice roll that fits.
(Data provided with thanks to Lothar "Lex" Dienar).
|Die Type||Measure||Number of Dice|
|General Slug Throwers||RoF||1/4||1/3||1/2||1||2||3||4||5|
|AoE (radius in m)||0||1.5||3||4.5|
|AoE (radius in sq)||1||2||3||4||5||6||7|
|Mag Capacity||1, disp||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9|
|Squares from Target||0||1||2||3||4||5||6||7|
|Metres from Target||0||1.5||3||4.5||6||7.5||9||10.5|
|6 HD over 7 squares||Dice Spread||6||5.25||4.5||3.75||3||2.25||1.5||0.75|
|6 HD over 3 squares||Dice Spread||6||4.5||3||1.5||-||-||-||-|