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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Traveller Tuesday: Tech Level Spectra

"Tech Level Spectra" is me trying to use fewer words to say "Just because meson technology is TL 11, it doesn't mean that ALL meson guns ought to be TL 11. TL should go up as size goes down."
My use of Traveller setting and dress falls under
fair use guidelines for both Mongoose and Far Future Enterprises.
Reference last week's post about meson barbettes. In Mongoose Traveller, ALL meson guns are TL 11, which is just silly. Yes, there are ways to increase performance or reduce the tonnage as TL goes up, but per rules as written all you're doing is making a destructive weapon slightly more destructive, or turning a 50 dton bay into a 30 dton bay. There are no rules for when miniaturization kicks in enough that your bay can be turned into a barbette and your barbette into a turret weapon.

To be fair, I don't have rules for this either. I do however have some guidelines, and perhaps rules can be derived from them with some work.

My process can be summarized as "Establish the baseline, and then work from there." Example:

Meson technology is established in Classic Traveller High Guard as TL 11 for Spinal Mounts, TL 13 for 100 dton bays and TL 15 for 50 dton bays. Let's use these as rough guidelines.
TL 10: Prototype meson weapons.
TL 11: Meson spinal mounts.
TL 12: 100 dton meson bays.
TL 13: 50 dton meson bays.
TL 14: Meson barbettes.
TL 15: Vehicle mounts, making the barbettes portable. This gives us the Meson Sled of Striker fame. Fun fact: the Terrapin meson sled in GURPS Traveller: Ground Forces is GURPS TL, which corresponds to Traveller TL of 15. 
Each of these weapons can still gain improvements to performance and/or reduction in tonnage per the "Advanced Technology" chapter.

After this, things get a bit speculative:
TL 16: One meson gun per triple turret. (Oh, hi there, Darrians!)
TL 17: One meson gun per double turret.
TL 18: One meson gun per single turret
TL 19: Crew-served meson weapons. Think an energy version of the Ma Deuce.
TL 20: Meson Gun Man Portable (MGMP) with Battledress.
All of this seems reasonable to me, so let's try it with Particle Accelerators. Weirdly, both 100 dton bays and spinal mounts are listed in CT: HG as TL 8. This just goes to show that odd decisions about TLs have lasted as long as the game.
TL 7: Prototype particle beam weapons.
TL 8: Particle spinal mounts.
TL 9: 100 dton bays.
TL 10: 50 dton bays.
TL 11: Particle barbettes.
TL 12: Vehicle weapons (particle sleds).
TL 13: One per triple turret. Notice how this lines up with the current 1e Mongoose diktat regarding PAs.
TL 14: One per double turret.
TL 15: One per single turret. Now the Imperial Navy can truly kick ass and you don't need to edit the stats from your Fighting Ships supplement. 
I think that looks pretty good, actually.

Will I use this system in my game? I'm not sure, as I've introduced particle quad turrets into my game and I'm not ready to give them up. But I will say that this spectrum is a sight more logical and fair than the arbitrary "No triple particle turrets EVAR" and 1e High Guard gave us.

If you use this, please let me know.

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