Author Topic: Merging Spacemaster with the Traveller universe  (Read 1934 times)

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Offline Robin Chang

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Merging Spacemaster with the Traveller universe
« on: October 29, 2019, 03:04:29 AM »
I was wondering if anyone has considered blending Spacemaster's detailed character, combat, and technology systems with the classic Traveller universe (Third Imperium). I like both systems but it seems players tend to gravitate to one or another. The realism of Spacemaster is a strong plus. But the Traveller world has access to it a wealth of supplements and adventures...
Robin Chang

Offline Peter R

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Re: Merging Spacemaster with the Traveller universe
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2019, 08:24:39 AM »
It rather depends on which way you want to go.

Converting Traveller adventures to Space Master is pretty easy, as is converting characters.

Going from Space Master to Traveller is much harder because you lose a lot of granularity and making SM and RM attack tables work on 2d6 is much more difficult.

At the moment I am regularly converting between Traveller and Rolemaster which is even more extreme going not only between systems but from hard science fiction to high magic fantasy.
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Offline Robin Chang

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Re: Merging Spacemaster with the Traveller universe
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2019, 10:41:06 AM »
It rather depends on which way you want to go.

Converting Traveller adventures to Space Master is pretty easy, as is converting characters.

Going from Space Master to Traveller is much harder because you lose a lot of granularity and making SM and RM attack tables work on 2d6 is much more difficult.

At the moment I am regularly converting between Traveller and Rolemaster which is even more extreme going not only between systems but from hard science fiction to high magic fantasy.

Thanks Peter. What you say makes sense and is very useful. It does seem Spacemaster would have to be the base with Traveller elements incorporated into it. Will report back as I work on this...
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Offline Hansuke

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Re: Merging Spacemaster with the Traveller universe
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2021, 04:26:17 PM »
I compared the Traveller Tech Levels (TTL) to the Spacemaster Privateers Tech Levels (SMPTL) and came up with a conversion chart. The similarities between the two game systems breaks down around TTL9/SMPTL17.

Traveller Tech LevelSpace Master Privateers Tech Level
00-1
12-5
26-10
311
412
513
614
715
816
917
1018
1119
1219
1320
1421
1522
1623
1724
1824
1925
2026
2130

Offline RandalThor

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Re: Merging Spacemaster with the Traveller universe
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2021, 07:34:09 PM »
I would LOVE to see a Traveller style character generation system for Spacemaster. That would be a hoot!
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Offline Hurin

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Re: Merging Spacemaster with the Traveller universe
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2021, 11:01:27 PM »
Can anyone give a brief summary of how Traveller differs from Spacemaster?

I am also wondering if one could use say Starfinder (Paizo's Space RPG) adventure modules for Spacemaster. Starfinder offers some high production value offerings, both in print and as adventures for VTTs, and I would love to have the resources to play Spacemaster in Roll20.
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Offline Hansuke

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Re: Merging Spacemaster with the Traveller universe
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2021, 02:07:36 PM »
The first difference that comes to mind is travel. Traveller (TRAV) communication cannot travel any faster than a ship with J-6 jump drive. TRAV ships cannot jump above 6 parsecs and each jump takes a week. If you converted to Spacemaster (SPAM), I think you should hold Translight drive ratings to a maximum of 2, or maybe 3 at the very most. And in SPAM all translight displacements would take a minimum of 7 days. So instead of travelling 2 light years in one day with a Translight Rating 2 ship, you would have to make a journey of 7 days for anywhere from 1 to 14 light years.

Offline Hansuke

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Re: Merging Spacemaster with the Traveller universe
« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2021, 02:14:47 PM »
I would LOVE to see a Traveller style character generation system for Spacemaster. That would be a hoot!

I was thinking about this also. I think one could take the basic character generation chart from 1st edition Traveller (or Starter Traveller since its free at DriveThru) and convert skills and characteristic results into percentages and see where that goes. But I think a skill conversion chart should be created first and then the relevant SPAM skills be put in place of Traveller skills.

Offline Hansuke

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Re: Merging Spacemaster with the Traveller universe
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2021, 03:54:42 PM »
Here is my Scouts Service Personal Development Table. I know this is piecemeal but I can only multitask so much.

Scouts - Personal Development Table

1d100Result
1-17+8 Strength (St)
18-33+8 Quickness (Qu)
34-50+8 Constitution (Co)
51-67Gun Cbt (+2 Skill Ranks)
68-83+8 Reasoning (Re)
84-100+8 Memory (Me)

If you roll Gun Cbt (Gun Combat) then roll again for the weapon category:
You can take both skill ranks in the first category that you roll or you can roll twice and take 1 skill rank in each category that you roll

1d100Gun Cbt
1-81-handed Projectile
9-152-handed Projectile
16-23Support Projectile
24-311-handed Energy
32-382-handed Energy
39-46Support Energy
47-54Portable Launchers
55-621-handed Edged Weapons
63-691-handed Crushing Weapons
70-772-handed Weapons
78-85Bows
86-92Thrown Weapons
93-100Pole Arms





Offline Hansuke

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Re: Merging Spacemaster with the Traveller universe
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2021, 04:13:56 PM »
Scouts Prior Service Table (1d100)

Enlistment 45+
>DM of +15 if Reasoning (Re) 30+
>DM of +30 if Strength (St) 60+

Draft 51-67

Survival 45+
>DM of +30 if Constitution (Co) 75+

Commission No

Promotion No

Reenlist 5+

Offline Hansuke

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Re: Merging Spacemaster with the Traveller universe
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2021, 08:45:35 PM »
I had some more time this afternoon and came up with my first draft for the Prior Service Table. In Traveller this is how you choose your profession and to see if you survive any given 4 year stint.

-NavyMarinesArmyScoutsMerchantOther
Enlistment60+75+20+45+45+5+
>DM of +5 ifReasoning (Re) 60+Reasoning (Re) 60+Quickness (Qu) 30+Reasoning (Re) 30+Strength (St) 45+-
>DM of +10 ifMemory (Me) 75+Strength (St) 60+Constitution (Co) 20+Strength (St) 60+Reasoning (Re) 30+-
Draft1-1718-3334-5051-6768-8384-100
Survival20+30+20+45+20+20+
>DM of +10 ifReasoning (Re) 45+Constitution (Co) 60+Memory (Me) 30+Constitution (Co) 75+Reasoning (Re) 45+Reasoning (Re) 75+
Commission85+75+20+-10+-
>DM of +5 ifPresence (Pr) 75+Memory (Me) 45+Constitution (Co) 45+-Reasoning (Re) 30+-
Promotion60+75+30+-85+-
>DM of +5 ifMemory (Me) 60+Presence (Pr) 60+Memory (Me) 45+-Reasoning (Re) 75+-
Reenlist30+30+45+5+10+20+

Offline RandalThor

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Re: Merging Spacemaster with the Traveller universe
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2021, 08:16:23 PM »
Neat. By those numbers I rolled real well - I was a Marine. Granted, not an Imperial Space Marine, but I will assume it would be similar. Not surprising I didn't get a commission, I don't think my Memory is even that 45.... 😎
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Rules should not replace the brain and thinking.

Offline Hansuke

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Re: Merging Spacemaster with the Traveller universe
« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2021, 10:38:52 AM »
Thanks for giving it a try. I need to revisit the percentages maybe, but I have been thinking about skills and character levels and that has not lead me to many solutions yet. I have a starting comparison list of Traveller skills and their corresponding SPAM skills. I haven't finished because there are some question marks that I have not decided on. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Traveller SkillPossible SPAM SkillMy Pick for SPAM Skill
AdministrationAdministrationADMINISTRATION (In/Em) (Static Action)
Air/Raft?AFV Driver-hover or grav?
ATV?AFV Driver-ground based?
BriberyBriberyBRIBERY (Pr/Re) (Static Action)
ComputerComputer Technics?
ElectronicElectronic Technics?
EngineerPower Systems EngineeringMECHANICAL ENGINEERING (Ag/Me) (Special Action)
----------• Starship Engineering
ForgeryForgeryFORGERY (Ag/Re) (Static Action)
Forward Observer?missile artillery,survellance?
GamblingSocial-gamblingGAMBLING (Me/Pr/ln) (Static Action)
Jack of all Trades?fabrication,gimmickry?
LeaderSocial-leadershipLEADERSHIP (Pr) (Static Action)
MechanicalMechanical TechnicsMECHANICAL TECHNICS (Ag/Me) (Special Action)
----------•Starship Technology
MedicalFirst Aid, medical diagnosis or practice or sciencesMEDICAL PRACTICE (Ag/Em) (Special Action)
NavigationN-space/Hyperspace AstrogationHYPERSPACE ASTROGATION (Re/In/In) (Special Action)
----------N-SPACE ASTROGATION (Re/Re/In) (Special Action)
PilotN-space or Hyperspace Pilot or Combat PilotATMOSPHERIC PILOT (Ag/Qu) (Vehicular Movement)
----------HYPERSPACE PILOT (ln/Re) (Vehicular Movement)
----------N-SPACE PILOT (Ag/Me) (Vehicular Movement)
Ship’s Boat? Atmospheric PilotORBITAL PILOT (Ag/Qu) (Vehicular Maneuver)
Steward?labor relations-cookeryCOOKERY (Re/Ag) (Static Action)
Streetwisestreetwise?
TacticstacticsTACTICS (Re/In) (Static Action)
Vacc SuitCBA/Body Suit AT9-12/PABSMANEUVERING IN ARMOR (Ag) (Moving Maneuver)
---------------
Blade CombatWEAPON SKILLS pick?
Gun CombatWEAPON SKILLS pick?
Gunnery?missiles/Projectile Gunnery/Mount. Wp. Ambush??

Offline Hansuke

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Re: Merging Spacemaster with the Traveller universe
« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2021, 03:35:20 PM »
I worked on this last night. I think its the way that I am going to go for now. I put the development points in the charts for character development in the later game. I am still on the fence regarding how to treat character levels.

Traveller SkillSpacemaster SkillDev. Costs
AdministrationADMINISTRATION (In/Em) (Static Action)3
Air/RaftDriving*Chart
ATVDriving*Chart
Blade CombatWeapon Skills Close*Chart
BrawlingBRAWLING (Re/In) (Maneuver)4
BriberyBRIBERY (Pr/Re) (Static Action)2/6
ComputerCOMPUTER-TECHNOLOGY (Re/Me) (Special Action)3
ElectronicELECTRONIC TECHNICS (Re/Me) (Special Action)3
EngineerStarship Engineering  (Ag/Me) (Special Action)5
ForgeryFORGERY (Ag/Re) (Static Action)4
Forward ObserverTRACKING (ln/Re) (StatifrAction)3
GamblingGAMBLING (Me/Pr/ln) (Static Action)2/5
Gun CombatWeapon Skills Ranged*Chart
GunneryHeavy Weapons*Chart
Jack of all TradesFABRICATION (SD/Ag) (Static Action)3/5
LeaderLEADERSHIP (Pr) (Static Action)2/6
MechanicalStarship Technology (Ag/Me) (Special Action)3
MedicalMEDICAL PRACTICE (Ag/Em) (Special Action)8
NavigationNavigation*Chart
PilotPilot*Chart
Ship’s BoatORBITAL PILOT (Ag/Qu) (Vehicular Maneuver)5
StewardCOOKERY  (Re/Ag) (Static Action)2/5
StreetwiseSOCIOLOGY  (Em/Re) (Static Action)3
TacticsTACTICS (Re/In) (Static Action)3/5
Vacc SuitMANEUVERING IN ARMOR (Ag) (Moving Maneuver)*Chart


* Choose one from charts below:-----
----------
Driving*Dev. Costs
CREW/MEMBER AFV (In/Ag) (Vehicle Maneuver)3/9
DRIVING (Ag/Qu) (Vehicular Maneuver)2/4
MARINE PILOT (Ag/Qu) (Vehicular Movement)3/6
----------
Weapon Skills Close*Dev. Costs
1-handed Edged WeaponsSee Wpn Cat Cost
1-handed Crushing WeaponsSee Wpn Cat Cost
2-handed WeaponsSee Wpn Cat Cost
BowsSee Wpn Cat Cost
Thrown WeaponsSee Wpn Cat Cost
Pole ArmsSee Wpn Cat Cost
----------
Weapon Skills Ranged*Dev. Costs
1-handed ProjectileSee Wpn Cat Cost
2-handed ProjectileSee Wpn Cat Cost
Support ProjectileSee Wpn Cat Cost
1-handed EnergySee Wpn Cat Cost
2-handed EnergySee Wpn Cat Cost
Support EnergySee Wpn Cat Cost
Portable LaunchersSee Wpn Cat Cost
----------
Heavy Weapons*Dev. Costs
MISSILE ARTILLERY (In/Ag) (Maneuver/Offensive Bonus)8
HEAVY ENERGY PROJECTORS (In/Ag) (Offensive Bonus)6
MOUNTED WEAPONS AMBUSH (In/SD) (Special Action)6
PROJECTILE GUNNERY (In/Ag) (Offensive Bonus)7
----------
Navigation*Dev. Costs
NAVIGATION (Re/In) (Static Action)2/6
N-SPACE ASTROGATION (Re/Re/In) (Special Action)5
HYPERSPACE ASTROGATION (Re/In/In) (Special Action)7
----------
Pilot*Dev. Costs
ATMOSPHERIC PILOT (Ag/Qu) (Vehicular Movement)4
COMBAT PILOT (In/Ag) (Vehicular Maneuver)10
HYPERSPACE PILOT (ln/Re) (Vehicular Movement)6
N-SPACE PILOT (Ag/Me) (Vehicular Movement)5
----------
MANEUVERING IN ARMOR*Dev. Costs
Light Body Armor (5-8)1/*
CBA/Body Suit (9-16)2/*
CBA/Exoskeleton (17-20)3/*
Power Armor6
----------
Weapon CategoriesDev. Costs
#12/6
#23/5
#34/9
#45
#57
#69
#712

Offline Hansuke

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Re: Merging Spacemaster with the Traveller universe
« Reply #14 on: March 26, 2021, 04:08:59 PM »
Just to play around with characters, I used the Classic Traveller Character Generator and came up with this after a couple of tries.

Navy Lt Cmdr Quentin Martin    37ACB9    Age 34
4 terms                        Cr71,000

Skills: Electronics-1, Gunnery-2, Mechanical-1, Ship's Boat-3

Benefits: Travellers' Aid Society, Travellers' Aid Society

Service History:
Attempted to enlist in Navy.
Enlistment accepted.
Voluntarily reenlisted for second term.
Voluntarily reenlisted for third term.
Commissioned during third term of service as Ensign.
Promoted to Lieutenant.
Voluntarily reenlisted for fourth term.
Promoted to Lt Cmdr.
Denied reenlistment after fourth term.

37ACB9 gives me
St 9 changed to minimum of 20
Qu 59
Co 89
Re 99
Me 97
Pr 84

Skill Levels
Electronic Technics 1 (5)
Heavy Energy Projector 2 (10)
Starship Technology 1 (5)
Orbital Pilot 3 (15)

I need to run a few more characters to see if the skill set matches the age of the character.

1d1002d6
11
22
3-93
10-144
15-245
25-396
40-597
60-748
75-849
85-8910 (A)
90-9711 (B)
98-9912 C
10013-14 (D)
10115-16 (E)
10217 (F)

Offline jdale

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Re: Merging Spacemaster with the Traveller universe
« Reply #15 on: March 26, 2021, 10:10:49 PM »
I am still on the fence regarding how to treat character levels.

Original Traveller made no effort whatsoever to balance characters against each other. So if that's the spirit you want to follow, it would make sense to me to either give 1 level per term, or a chance of going up a level each term (depending on how wide a range of levels you want these characters to have). You could tie that to promotions (e.g. increased chance of leveling if you get promoted), or give a bonus on promotions based on the level achieved; makes sense if ability is at least related to rank. These sorts of things make sense to me if you are using this as a random character generator, or if you want PCs of widely diverging ability (which personally I don't, but you never know).

If you want the characters to come out fairly equal, the skills could just specify things you had access to learn, but the character still gets normal development with whatever DP are left. In that case the system is developing some backstory for the character but it's not the whole thing when it comes to stats.

I made approximately a million characters in Traveller, far more than I ever played. I think everyone did.
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Offline RandalThor

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Re: Merging Spacemaster with the Traveller universe
« Reply #16 on: March 27, 2021, 06:40:38 PM »
I made approximately a million characters in Traveller, far more than I ever played. I think everyone did.
Because its so damn fun!
Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Scratch that. Power attracts the corruptible.

Rules should not replace the brain and thinking.

Offline Hansuke

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Re: Merging Spacemaster with the Traveller universe
« Reply #17 on: March 28, 2021, 04:09:20 PM »
One of the great things about Traveller (and also Empire Galactique (EG)) is all the mini games that can be played solo for enjoyment. I have made many Traveller and EG characters over the years. I also like to roll up star systems; both single planet  and also Scouts book versions just for fun. EG also has a fun star system generator and also a alien generator.

I got carried away after seeing Robin's first post and completely went on a tangent, because I thought some kind of meaningful random character generator could be done for SM as well. But I got discouraged with the minimal skill system in classic Traveller. Today I was thinking about what I was trying to do and realized that maybe I was going about it wrong.

GURPS Traveller had a conversion formula for characters that were already created using Traveller and they also had a method whereby Traveller characters could be created using the GURPS traveller method with a deeper skill set. I am wondering if this might be a way to move forward. jdale got me to thinking about the this and got me out of my one-way mind set. :)

Offline jdale

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Re: Merging Spacemaster with the Traveller universe
« Reply #18 on: March 28, 2021, 04:53:19 PM »
I didn't really think about them as "mini games" but that's exactly right. They were fun. The chance of not surviving character generation seems nutty for a character generator, but as an element of a mini game it makes perfect sense.
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Offline pantsorama

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Re: Merging Spacemaster with the Traveller universe
« Reply #19 on: June 23, 2022, 08:17:40 AM »
I love this, and reading it has me thinking that such a setup may be the antidote to the lack of use of the secondary skills, and the GMs who want to enforce non-combat professions on players for several levels.