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kanageddaamen
July 20th, 2018, 16:34
Hello all,

I am a long time D&D player but completely new to Traveller, other than a really old PC game I played back in the day (The Zhodani Conspiracy.) I decided to check out the tabletop so I picked up a copy the rulebook and the "Marooned on Marduk" adventure to get a handle on how it plays.

In the very beginning of the adventure I noticed something that is confusing me. There is a shuttle that is violently maneuvering, requiring the players to make a Hard (10+) Athletics(dexterity) check every round, taking 1 point of damage on a failure. They must repeat this check every round until they succeed.

What if the player has no level in athletics and a dex of 8 or lower? At best they will have a -3 and never be able to roll a 10 or higher. Does this mean the player just dies as they are tossed about the shuttle, unable to save themselves? I cannot imagine that is true. Even with a 9-11 dex and no athletics, I did some test rolls and never rolled a 12 before the character died.

I feel that I must be missing something here. I don't know if armor would help in this situation, but even if it could, the adventure strips players of most armor in the beginning anyway!

Any insight would be much appreciated.

Trenloe
July 20th, 2018, 18:38
Welcome to the Fantasy Grounds forums kanageddaamen!

Probably a better place to ask questions like this is at the product publisher (Mongoose) forums here: http://forum.mongoosepublishing.com/viewforum.php?f=89&sid=15a305d8e27e397068c6cd2cd1b33b78

Sorry, I don't want to just push you somewhere else. But this scenario isn't converted to Fantasy Grounds, so all you're going to get in the Fantasy Grounds forums is hearsay and conjecture. You'll have a much better chance of getting a more official answer from the publisher.

Of course, as with any adventure, the referee can always change the difficulty, number of checks, etc.. And, the specific section in the adventure you refer to does say" "The referee may choose to impose additional damage on the Travellers or require checks to avoid harm if they choose to remain unsecured, but it is not desirable to discommode Travellers at the very beginning of the adventure. However, this must be balanced against the natural consequences of bull-headed stupidity. Travellers who insist on rushing around the passenger area while the shuttle is manoeuvring violently will inevitably get hurt."

So, it's really up to you. If the players are trying to get their PCs strapped in, then maybe let them roll for a few rounds, take some bumps and bruises and then finally get strapped in. If they keep willingly moving around the area then keep the rolls ongoing.

kanageddaamen
July 20th, 2018, 21:23
Thanks for the input.

Unfortunately I signed up for an account on mongoose publishing's forum several days ago, but i have yet to be approved by their moderators :-\

Am I correct pure RAW though that this check may be impossible for some characters and as such leave these characters with no recourse? I just want to make sure I am not missing something

Trenloe
July 20th, 2018, 23:29
Am I correct pure RAW though that this check may be impossible for some characters and as such leave these characters with no recourse? I just want to make sure I am not missing something
Maybe, if you purely look at those couple of sentences in isolation. But they are not in isolation. The text I quoted above is in the same paragraph, immediately after the couple of sentences you're reading. This is obviously moderating the possibility of the athletics check being impossible for a lot of characters and basically saying: don't leave the PCs too beaten up, unless they're being stupid.

Trenloe
July 21st, 2018, 00:08
Traveller, by it's very nature, can produce very competent, and completely incompetent, starting characters. So as a referee it is your job to recognize possible situations that are too challenging (or even too easy) for your party. Which, in this case, you've done.

It's entirely up to you as to how you run any scenario. In this case I wouldn't even think RAW (in any case, it's more Scenario-As-Written). Even if the author didn't explain their reasoning and how to approach the challenge (which in this case they did), it's always entirely up to you what happens. Reduce the difficulty, have the same challenge buy only have it last for a few rounds, avoid it entirely. Do what works for you and your group.

And always remember that situations like these should not be each PC in isolation. For example: here is a possibility for an incredibly tense situation - where the stronger PCs in the party have held on and strapped themselves in. But one or more less athletic PCs are being thrown about the cabin taking damage. What happens? Surely the PCs already safe don't just look on as their comrades get battered and bruised? Can they come up with some plan to aid their party members in their time of need? This could be a great situation to get a starting group, perhaps unfamiliar with each other, into working together. 1 point of damage per failed skill roll will take a long time to actually kill a PC - so there are plenty of opportunities for the party to band together and ensure everyone survives.

Anyway... what I'm trying to say is don't get hung-up on the written letter of the scenario mechanics. It's good that you recognised that the challenge could be too great for some individuals. Adapt it to your party, or follow the advise of the author in the very same paragraph, or see how it plays out and adapt based off party actions, good/bad rolls, etc..

kanageddaamen
July 23rd, 2018, 13:52
Thanks for the input!

backwardoracle
July 23rd, 2018, 17:52
The scenario as written is as follows:

An Average (8+) Athletics (dexterity) check will be sufficient to grab something and avoid being bashed about, with Travellers taking D3 points of damage if they fail. Anyone with Athletics (dexterity) 1 or better will instinctively secure themselves and avoid coming to harm.

*This gives even a low stated character quite a good chance

The shuttle continues to make violent manoeuvres, forcing everyone to struggle to a seat or some other means of securing themselves. Getting to a seat and strapping in requires a successful Difficult (10+) Athletics (dexterity) check each round with any Traveller who fails taking one point of damage until they finally manage to reach safety. The referee may choose to impose additional damage on the Travellers or require checks to avoid harm if they choose to remain unsecured, but it is not desirable to discommode Travellers at the very beginning of the adventure.

*So it really gives you an out,

However, this must be balanced against the natural consequences of bull-headed stupidity. Travellers who insist on rushing around the passenger area while the shuttle is manoeuvring violently will inevitably get hurt.

Samarex
July 24th, 2018, 13:19
Anyway... what I'm trying to say is don't get hung-up on the written letter of the scenario mechanics. It's good that you recognised that the challenge could be too great for some individuals. Adapt it to your party, or follow the advise of the author in the very same paragraph, or see how it plays out and adapt based off party actions, good/bad rolls, etc..

Just remember any RPG except maybe the Society games are purely Guidelines. the GM has the Great power of Modification...