Reading Cepheus Deluxe

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PrivateEye

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I enjoyed reading and writing about Aquelarre, so I'm now starting on Cepheus Deluxe which recently plopped through my letterbox, courtesy of DriveThru.

It’s a 230 page perfect bound softback (though also available as a hardback PoD).

It describes itself as a “Science Fiction Role-Playing Game”, ass being rules-light, and easily compatible with older rules sets (they mean Traveller) as well as Cepheus Light and Cepheus Engine Core.

It’s published by Stellagama Publishing, and authored by Omer Golan-Joel, Richard Hazlewood, Josh Peters and Robert L S Weaver.

It is laid out in two columns, and with black and white artwork. This is a bit variable, and not really up the the standard of many of the full-on commercial products you would see on the shelf of your local rpg shop - but I kind of like that, because it harks back to the early days of the hobby, and my memories of the original Traveller LLBs.


After the Legal Disclaimer, we get the Table of Contents, which is as comprehensive as you might wish, including Basic Rules, Skills, Character Generation, Personal and Vehicle Combat, Psionic, Space Combat, World Creation etc.

Next is the Introduction, with the obligatory “What is a Role-Playing Game?” and a helpful section highlighting the main changes from Cepheus Light.

These include: Characteristic DMs are back in (they were not a part of Cepheus Light or Sword of Cepheus); Pseudo-hexadecimal digit strings are now wholly optional; Less randomness and more choice in character generation (and no death); Damage is no longer applied to characteristics, rather applied to Stamina and Lifeblood; the main book now includes Character Traits, expanded and clarified cybernetic rules, robot design rules, and allows starship hulls up to 10,000 tons rather than 5000 tons etc

We then get a section telling us about the authors and about Stellagama Publishing before we get into the “meat” of the game.


Basic Rules

This starts with Dice Roll Conventions (generally 2D6 + modifiers, or D66 rolls) and a clear description of Task Notation - eg “throw Athletics/STR 8+”.

If a task is remotely feasible, a natural 2 is always a failure and a natural 12 is always a success, regardless of target numbers or circumstances.

For opposed rolls the higher score of 2D6 + Skill and Characteristic Modifier wins - on a tie the person with the highest total DM wins. If it’s still a tie, you roll again.

Unskilled rolls suffer a -3 Modifier.

Repeat attempts are generally allowed, unless circumstances make this impossible, and there are rules for Collaboration (essentially anyone else with the requisite skill can roll as well, and if they succeed they add +1 to the main guy’s roll).

There are also rules for Advantage (taking the best 2 of 3D6) which generally apply to things like Traits and Cybernetics.

There are rules for Fatigue (a simple -2 modifier to all rolls) and a list of common target numbers. As with other Traveller-related games, 8+ is the standard/average task.

There is also an optional section for adding Hero Points to the game. If you want to use these, each player starts each session with 2 HPs, and the group has a group pool of HPs equal to the number of players (optionally you can omit the group pool). Bad failures add a point to the group pool, and great successes add to you personal pool. You can use the points to get re-rolls both for players and NPCs and to re-roll on the Trauma Surgery, Cyborg Conversion or Bio-Reconstruction tables.

Comment: This is pretty standard, but I do like the addition of Hero Points for those wanting a more heroic campaign.


Skills

Skills are rated 0-5, which is pretty standard, and it’s recommended that all military PCs start with level 0 in Athletics, Driving, Gun Combat, Melee Combat and Zero-G, and that purely civilian characters start with 0 in Athletics, Drive and Zero-G.

By the way, level 0 skill means you don’t roll with the -3 penalty for being unskilled.

The skills are slightly different than the ones in Cepheus Engine Core: Repair is a combination of Electronics and Mechanics, Admin subsumes Advocate, and Carousing subsumes Gambling. This leaves us with 31 core skills which feels quite manageable.

Languages are separate from core skills - you start with your culture’s standard language, with additional languages equal to your EDU modifier - there are no Language Skill Modifiers - you either know the language, or you don’t. Obviously this doesn’t cater for someone who knows a smattering of a language, but it does streamline things.

There are rules for Skill advancement (and for learning new languages) by spending experience points. As in some other 2D6 games, there is a cap - you total skill levels may not exceed the sum of your current INT + EDU characteristics (look out for the effects of ageing on your character).

Nearly forgot - As an option you can improve characteristics (except Social Standing) by spending experience points. This is fairly expensive, and characteristics cap out at 15. Social Standing can only be improved through role-playing and successful adventuring.
 

Paragon

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It did a pretty good job of hosing down the excessive randomness of traditional Trav, though I think the random events can still be a little extreme.
 

The Butcher

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Man, I gotta pick this one up.

Please keep reading. Looking forward to the Combat chapter amd the random generators. (Comparisons to Mongoose Traveller, 1st edition would be particularly welcome.)
 

PrivateEye

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Character Generation

OK, so anyone who has played Traveller before knows that Character Generation can be…. A mini-game all of its own.

I’ll try to highlight what I think are the main changes as I go along.

Step 1: Characteristics

The six characteristics are the ones we are familiar with form other versions of OSR sci-fi games: Strength (STR), Dexterity (DEX), Endurance (END), Intelligence (INT), Education (EDU) and Social Standing (SOC).

The first big change - no random generation of characteristics. Instead, you assign an array of 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. Given the characteristic dice modifiers (DMs) this means you will have one -1 and two +1 DMs.

We then get the standard description of the characteristics, and how they will apply - eg STR DM adds to your melee damage, EDU 8+ allows you to roll on the Advanced Education column on the career tables and so on.

As expected there is the table of applicable DMs in this section.

A reminder for those who have forgotten/don’t know, in the classic OSR sci-fi games, characteristics were generated with 2D6 instead of the 3D6 used by D&D and similar games, so characteristics are naturally lower.
Comment: Arrays obviously avoid the risk of rolling a crap character, but of course you also can’t roll a “superman” either. This method puts PCs on more of an even footing, and you can tailor the character to match your vision. I appreciate not everyone will like this - but I do.


Step 2: Homeworld Skills

These represent the skills the PC has obtained by age 18, simply because of where they were brought up. The player chooses a homeward type (High-Tech core world, Water World, Capital World, Frontier Colony, Inhospitable Outpost or Primitive Backwater). Each homeworld type lists 3 skills at level 1 - and you choose one of them.

The original Mongoose Traveller had 14 Homeworld types, as well as a list of skill, form which you could select a number equal to 3 + you EDU DM. However each homeworld only had one available skill, and chosen skills were obtained at level 0.

Comment: I prefer this version - you only get one skill, but you do have a choice of 3, and you get the skill at level 1.


Step 3: Career

The available careers are: Agent, Army, Belter, Colonist, Elite, Marine, Merchant, Navy, Pirate, Rogue, Scholar and Scout. This is the same number as in Mongoose 1e, but with some substitutions - MGT1e had Citizen, Drifter, Entertainer and Nobility - and each career had 3 specialisations (eg Army had Support, Infantry and Cavalry)

In a change from other versions, the Referee determines how many career Terms characters go through before the game’s start (each Term being roughly 4 years).

In the first Term you select a career and start at Rank 0.

You get all the career’s Service Skills at 0, and can raise one of these to level 1.

You then pick two skill levels from that career’s available skills tables (Service, Specialist or Advanced Education - but you can only pick from the latter if you have EDU 8+

A maximum of one skill level per term can be spent to improve and Characteristic by +1

You can’t end up with a skill level higher than 2 during the first term.

You then roll on the Career’s Event table - this might increase the number of skills you receive, or even cause an injury.

Finally you increase the character’s age by 4 years (to 22 years old) (or optionally roll 1d6 for the number of years they age this term).


For second and subsequent Terms, the number of skill levels available each term decreases according to the Master Character Generation Table…

As with the first Term, a maximum of one skill level per term can be spent to increase a characteristic by +1

Career Rank increases by 1 on terms 2, 4 and 6. This sometimes gives a particular extra skill level

Then you roll on the Career Event Table again and increase the character’s age by 4 years (or by 1D6 years if using that option).

At the end of Term 4 and subsequent Terms you have to roll for Ageing Effects (as in other similar games). Given the option for rolling to see how much you age, you start rolling for Ageing Effects at the end of Term 4 no matter how old you actually are (ouch…)


When you muster out, you roll for Mustering Out benefits on the relevant career table once, plus once per term served. As always you can choose to roll on the Cash Benefits or Material Benefits table for each roll. You can also purchase additional Rank levels as a Mustering out Benefit, which can grant additional bonus skills.

Optionally the Referee may grant additional level 0 skills, and/or grant the players access to a particular Skill Package, from which each player may select one (different) skill.

Finally you select one Trait for every two Terms served (rounding up)


Skill Packages

These are aimed at different types of campaign (Exploration, Military, Naval, Trading and Criminal). Each package contains 5 skills, clearly aimed at making sure the characters between them have the at east the bare essential skills to make the campaign style “work”.

I think this was first introduced in MGT1e, and is a great idea.

There is also an optional rule for allowing characters to switch careers.


The Career tables look very similar to the ones you’re probably familiar with. Each one has its own Event Table - a roll of 2 on 2D6 always ends up with an injury, requiring a ill on the Injury Table.


Mustering Out Benefits are pretty familiar, and I won’t list them. Suffice to say you can end up with a heavily mortgaged ship or the classic Scout Ship on the usual reserve basis.

If you served 5 or more Terms you also get a pension.


The Ageing Table is again familiar, and slowly nibbles away at your physical and mental characteristics. Optionally high tech may ameliorate this deterioration.


One possibility from some of the Event Tables is a spell in prison. If so, you spend a Term in prison, and get to roll on the special Prison Events Table - yay! As with the other Event Tables you might gain extra skills, or get injured. You might even get paroled for good behaviour!


The Injury Table can have no effect, or you may get reduced characteristics, or lose a limb, eye etc. You can’t die (hooray!) but you might be nearly killed and end up with a significant disability.

Luckily there is a handy Corrective Cybernetics Table straight after, so as long as you can spend the cash, disabilities can be compensated for.


Next you calculate your Stamina and Lifeblood. Stamina is END + Athletics skill, and represents the ability to take a hit and shrug it off. Lifeblood is resistance to injury, and is equal to twice your Stamina.

Finally you fill in the description of your character, making it fit the generation details, and give them a name.
A sample character generation follows - a Scout named Ennik Kazov.


Comments: Overall I like the fact that there is much less randomness involved - you will pretty much get the skills you want, and as there are no enlistment or draft rolls, you can follow the career you want.

On the negative side, as the referee determines how many terms you serve, you lose the option of some PCs being much younger and inexperienced, but with better characteristics v the older PC with more skills (and gear) but characteristics that may have been eroded by age.

The change to Stamina and Lifeblood sounds OK, but I’d like to see how it pans out in actual play.
 

AsenRG

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This thread is relevant to my interests...but I'm not sure I like the change to Stamina and Lifeblood. Need to examine them in more detail.

Also, there's no "too extreme" random events from what I remember!
 

PrivateEye

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Traits

Traits are new to the core rules, but were (if I recall) originally available as a supplement to the original Cepheus Light rules. As you will see from above, most characters will have one or two Traits.

Traits are divided into Skill-Related Traits, Combat Traits, General Combat Traits, Vehicle and Spacecraft Traits and Other Traits.

Traits give the character a special ability or advantage, as long as they have any necessary prerequisite.

Skill Traits: as expected these relate to particular skills, and sometimes have a particulate skill level as a prerequisite. They might allow you to roll with advantage in certain situations, or other benefits in defined areas. For example, Acrobat (Prerequisite: Athletics 2) allows you to roll with advantage when performing high-flying feats of athletics - swinging on ropes, running across wires, leaping from rooftop to rooftop. Juice (Prerequisite: Repair 1 or Engineering 1) allows you (once per session) to push a piece of tech to exceed one of its performance boundaries - sensors or weapons get an extra step of distance to range; you can re-roll a weapon’s damage device and take the better result, or get a second attempt to open a lock with your tools.

Combat Traits: these are divided into Gun Combat Traits and Melee Combat Traits. These relate to personal combat and include things like Crack Shot (Prerequisite: Gun Combat 2, one other Gun Combat Trait) which allows you to pick one firearm category (semi-automatic pistols, revolvers etc) and gain a +1D damage bonus when using them, or Grappler (Prerequisite: Melee Combat 1) which gives you advantage when attempting to grapple foes.

General Combat Traits: these cover more general advantages, such as Weapon Handling (Prerequisite: Heavy Weapons 1) which allows you to handle heavy weapons without penalty regardless of STR. Hard to Kill (no Prerequisite) grants 5 additional Lifeblood points, and the Trait can be taken multiple times.

Vehicle and Spacecraft Traits: includes Traits relating to animal riding as well as ground, air and space vehicles. The Traits include ones that give bundles to piloting/driving rolls (some just for a specific vehicle), Sensor Ace (Prerequisite: Computer 1) which grants Advantage when spoofing missiles, jamming enemy sensors or scanning for vessels). Finally, Starship (no Prerequisite) grants you a starship (200 ton trader, 100 ton prospector or 100 ton scout) with the usual 40 year mortgage…

Other Traits is the mixed bag of stuff including things like being Artistic or Attractive, being a Fast Healer or Radiation Resistant. You could also have improved cyborg compatibility (granting you three Cybernetic Points) or be a Latent Psion.

Comments: Obviously these abilities can make characters shine in one or two particular areas, and makes the game a little more “heroic”. I’m slightly dubious about one or two abilities - for example the Defeat Armour gun combat trait (Prerequisite: gun combat 1) allows the PC (when firing an aimed shot) to ignore armour with a to-hit roll Effect of +6 or better. This means you could potentially take out someone in full Combat Armour with a lucky shot. Again I would like to play using this ability to see how it works in practice.
 

AsenRG

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Yeah, I find most Traits to be a bit dubious, and the requirement to have the skill to begin with is...why is that even there, I mean:shock:?
 

Dyrnwyn

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I have Cepheus Light, and thought it was good, as well as a couple of related games (Sword of Cepheus and Barbaric!).

I am not sure what I think of these changes yet. It feels like it's drifting a bit from the original concept of the game. That said, I like options for non-random character generation (though random can be fun too).
 

AsenRG

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Yeah, I get the same impression of drifting, and getting closer to OSR. Which isn't a bad thing, by itself, but isn't a thing I play:shade:.
 

Dyrnwyn

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They've used Traits in some of their other products. Along with making characters more heroic, I think they also help differentiate characters as a result of having a streamlined skill list. So I can see the argument for them, but personally, I prefer the simplicity of just stats and skills (plus special powers like psionics where appropriate).
 

Savage Schemer

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That's kind of funny. I went through a phase where I added traits to my Traveller games years ago. Then I decided they were adding complexity to a game I cherished for its simplicity, so removed them again and never looked back.
 

PrivateEye

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I am still on the fence about Traits. Not all of them require specific skills and a lot of them apply in fairly narrow circumstances - for example only when you're using one specific weapon (your service revolver, the family hunting rifle, the laser pistol you prised from an alien's cold dead hand etc.

I think that Traits do allow a bit more customisation, and allow each pc to shine in one particular area. It does seem to fit with the slightly more cinematic approach the game seems to take.


Equipment

This starts with a brief section on Encumbrance. Rather than relate this to the number of kilograms carried, as in MGT1e, Cepheus Deluxe opts for the number of “items” carried, an item being anything of significant size: a gun, a medkit etc. You can carry 7 + STR DM with no penalty (Light Load) and up to three times the base amount (Heavy Load). If you are heavily loaded you suffer -2 DM to all physical tasks and can only use a maximum of one move action in a combat round. This is a bit simpler than MBT1e which used kilograms, light, medium and heavily encumbered, and two levels of negative DM. I prefer the Cepheus Deluxe version.


Tech Levels

This has always been an important facet of the game (and of most sci-fi rpgs). Cepheus Deluxe naturally uses them and they are broadly similar to MGT1e, but with some slight variations - I’ve highlighted some of these below, though this is not meant to be a completely comprehensive comparison.

TL 3 in MGT1e is described as early 19th century, whereas Cepheus Deluxe describes if as Great Britain circa 1770

TL 13 in MGT1e describes battle dress, whereas Cepheus talks about powered armour - this is probably simply a terminology difference - I’ll take a look at this later on

There is no mention in Cepheus of the development of Jump-5 which appears in MGT1e at TL 14, along with flying cities, which are also not mentioned.

There is also no mention of Jump-6 and Black Globe Generators at TL 15

Cepheus does have a TL 16 (which MGT1e does not have) which lists handheld plasma weapons and energy shields.


The next section is Living Expenses

In line with other changes, Cepheus slims this down from the 10 levels in MGT1e to 5. The spread of costs in MGT1e (per month) is from Cr400 up to Cr20,000 whereas Cepheus is from Cr200 up to Cr 15,000. So in Cepheus the poor and the rich get to live a bit cheaper!

Cepheus PCs at the lowest level (Starvation) are always Fatigued (see previously), and anyone with SOC 10+ who doesn’t live at one of the top two levels (High and Elite) suffers a DM-2 to all high society related social skill rolls, and may end up ostracised by their high-class contacts.


Now we move onto actual equipment lists


Armour

This is simplified from MGT1e - there are only 13 types listed as opposed to 21 in MGT1e. There’s no Ablat or Reflec in Cepheus.

There are 5 types of civilian/paramilitary protection listed: leather jacket, heavy duster, bulletproof vest, synth silk and energy shield. The latter is only available at TL 16 and is not available in MGT1e. There is no equivalent of the MDT1e Jack armour (protection 1), with the closest being a leather jacket (protection 2), but overall the types are quite similar.

Cepheus lists 5 types of “utility suits”: envirosuit, space suit, advanced space suit, hostile environment space suit, advanced envirosuit. Contrast this to 8 different vacc suits in MGT1e - mostly with increasing protection with higher TLs. Again it’s broadly similar, just with reduced options.

Finally we have combat armours. There are only three of these: heavy ballistic cloth, encased armour suit and powered armour. The powered armour offers the same protection as the highest TL Battle Dress in MGT1e (TL 14 in MGT1e, but only TL 13 in Cepheus). Interestingly the cost of Powered Armour is only Cr200,000, whereas the top Battle Dress is Cr3,500,000….

There are no options for armour in Cepheus, unlike MGT1e
 

AsenRG

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They've used Traits in some of their other products. Along with making characters more heroic, I think they also help differentiate characters as a result of having a streamlined skill list. So I can see the argument for them, but personally, I prefer the simplicity of just stats and skills (plus special powers like psionics where appropriate).
Yeah, I just don't need characters to be more heroic in my gritty games, and I tend to use Cepheus for gritty games...for that matter, I use almost anything for gritty games as well:shade:!

There are 5 types of civilian/paramilitary protection listed: leather jacket, heavy duster, bulletproof vest, synth silk and energy shield. The latter is only available at TL 16 and is not available in MGT1e.
Dune FTW:grin:!
 

PrivateEye

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A quick comment: the energy shield completely negates the first hit taken in combat (irrespective of damage) but is then depleted - each round you roll 1D6, and the shield regenerates on 4-6.

Cybernetics

This is termed Augments in MGT1e.

Cepheus grades cybernetics A, B, C, D & R and as well as the cost in credits, there is a cost in Cybernetic Points. Characters can have up to 6 Cybernetics Points of implants without difficulty (9 if the have the Cyber Compatibility Trait). Any more and they start t suffer form Cyber Dissociation which imposes a penalty to all Social rolls (except intimidation).

Cybernetics ranges from the simple (a replacement finger(!) or an internal storage pouch) through classics like retractable blades and subdermal armour and at the top end, a complete reconstruction of the entire organic body to grant superhuman agility and speed, vacuum adaptation, and the head bomb (widely illegal and rarely implanted voluntarily!).

Wides[read use of these options would make for a rather different campaign to many but might be pretty interesting. Most of the required Tis are between 9 and 13, so a lot of cybernetics would be accessible to a well-travelled pc.


Exploration and Personal Equipment

This is pretty much what you might expect. It includes things like a STR enhancing exoskeleton, radiation detector, spray sealant etc. But there are also a few items that are new to me - for example the Memory Randomiser (a disguise device which makes it impossible for witnesses to accurately describe someone).

Strangely some classic items, like the Motion Detector are missing from the list.


Pharmaceuticals

This is a fairly small list: Anti-Radiation, Catsight (grants night vision for up to 12 hours), Fast Forward (slows metabolism by a ratio of 60 to 1), Slow Motion (accelerates metabolism by a ratio of 1 to 60), Hyperspace (allowing you to function for up to 72 hours without rest), Longevity Treatment (the classic anti-ageing drug to be taken monthly), and Panacea (an “omni-drug” effective against most disease or poison).


I'll deal with robots and vehicles in the next post.
 

PrivateEye

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Robots

We next have a simple design sequence for robots. In essence you choose a chassis, which gives you your Stamina/Lifeblood, Build Points, Unarmed Damage, Base Armour and Cost.

You then add your CPU which will give you the robot’s Intelligence, Skill Points and Maximum Skill Level.

Then you choose a Type (eg Humanoid, Medical, Protocol, Security) which give you some Integral Modifications and some Base Skills (at level 1).

Finally, you get to add modifications and upgrades. This can include stuff like Additional Limbs Armour Upgrade, Flight, Self Repair, Weapons Mounts etc.

Of course, there is a cost involved, as well as allocating Build Points, and what is available will depend on the TL.

We then get a list of sample ‘Bots including an Autodoc, Warbot, Recon Drone etc.


Vehicles

An important point here - there is no Vehicle Design System in these rules.

We do however, have a comprehensive list of vehicles: 10 ground vehicles, 4 water vehicles, 17 air vehicles. These cover many TLs and range from a simple steamship up to a Grav Skiff.

As you would expect, vehicles are rated for TL, Cost, Agility, Speed and Range, Armour, Crew/Passengers, Cargo and Weapons.

Armour is rated as Unarmoured, Light Armour and Heavy Armour - more about this in the Combat chapter.


Weapons

This section starts with a description of the Stats (TL, Range, Damage, Magazine, Ammo Cost and Cost) and Aspects (Auto, AV Hits, Blast, Bulky, Laser etc).

We then get the list of Melee Weapons. This is pretty close to the list in MGT1e, though Cepheus includes Vibro-Blade.

Cepheus does not rate weapons for Mass of Heft (unlike MGT1e), instead relying on Aspects like Bulky, Two-Handed etc.

After Melee Weapons we get the list of Common Ranged Weapons. Whilst again broadly similar to MGT1e, there are differences. Cepheus has the Pulse Rifle, Gyrojet Pistols and Rifles and the Tangler (on a hit it erupts into adhesive, entangling strands) whereas MGT1e has the Accelerator Rifle and the classic Traveller Snub and Body Pistol.

Next we get Energy Weapons. Cepheus has 6 of these - Laser Pistol and Rifle, Plasma Rifle, Stunner and Blaster Pistol and Rifle. The latter are essentially advanced lasers with a built in removable/rechargeable power pack as opposed to a belt or backpack power pack as seen in the laser versions. Other than this the differences are really cosmetic.

Note that none of the above ranged weapons deal any damage against vehicles.


Heavy Weapons: These include things like Rocket Launcher, Plasma Gun, Fusion Gun, General Purpose Machine Gun and Grab Launcher.

Many of these (but not all) are capable of imposing hits on vehicles. The Plasma Gun and Fusion Guns are single devices, without the TL differentiation in MGT1e. The Grav Launcher (TL13) guides a floating plasma bomb to its target without needing to account for ballistic trajectories or inertia.

Grenades and Explosives are exactly what they sound. The list is a bit longer than the one in MGT1e, and includes things like EMP grenades, Molotov cocktails and Plasma grenades. Some of these can affect vehicles.

Gunnery Weapons: these all require a fixed tripod or a vehicular mount and include missiles (air-to-air, anti-tank), Autocannon, Fusion Gun, Laser Cannon, Advanced Laser Cannon, Plasma Cannon and Railgun. All of these can inflict vehicle hits.

Overall the weapons list seems more extensive and varied than the lists in MGT1e, with the terminology moving away from the original Traveller rules. Some of the damage codes vary slightly - but again they are broadly the same. I don’t have an issue with it TBH.


Environmental Hazards

This starts off with Disease and Poisons - very similar to MGT1e, though the list is a little shorter. Damage is a little higher than in MGT1e, probably reflecting the change in how damage is taken/recorded.

Extremes of Temperature is very similar to MGT1e as is falling - Cepheus limits damage to reflect terminal velocity whereas MGT1e does not.

Cepheus puts Radiation and Suffocation in this section whereas MGT1e deals with it under Spacecraft Operations. The rules are broadly similar though Cepheus doesn’t go into so much detail about the effects of radiation sickness.

Cepheus also has brief rules dealign with Starvation and Dehydration and Vacuum Exposure, which I don’t seem to find in MDT1e
 

PrivateEye

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Personal and Vehicle Combat

We start out with an overview of the combat procedure.

There are no real surprises here - the sequence is:

  • Check for surprise
  • Determine initiative
  • Start the combat round - everyone acts in descending initiative order, each character gets two actions with damage resolved immediately
  • Start a new round

As in MDT1e, rounds are about 6 seconds long, however I’ve noticed some differences.

First of all, Initiative in Cepheus is 2D + Tactics + INT DM. If you don’t have Tactics, you get the usual DM-3 for being unskilled. A character in Cepheus can roll Leadership/INT 8+ at the beginning of combat and if successful any character in the party can add the roll’s effect as a bonus to Initiative. In MGT1e initiative is simply 2D + DEX DM.

This does give an advantage to combat trained characters in Cepheus, and I would think there is at least a reasonable argument for using the INT DM rather than the DEX DM.

The next difference is that in Cepheus you get 2 actions per round, whereas MGT1e allows characters to have 1 significant action (which can be replaced by 2 minor actions), 1 minor action, unlimited reactions and free actions.

Cepheus has the advantage of greater simplicity, but I appreciate others may not like that.

Cepheus also gives an option for simultaneous combat, which makes combat significantly more dangerous and unpredictable - two characters could take each other out when exchanging fire.

Basic combat actions in Cepheus are: Attack, Charge, Inspire, Move, Overwatch and Other (covering all other potential actions such as drawing/readying a weapon, loading a weapon, forcing a locked door, operating sensors etc).

Inspire involves throwing Leadership/INT 8+ to add DM+2 to any single character’s next roll.


Melee Attacks

These are made by throwing Melee Combat/STR 8+. There is no option for using your DEX DM. There is a Frenzy option - if you have at least Melee Combat-1 and you kill or disable an enemy in melee combat, you can move 2m and immediately attack an adjacent enemy, and can do this as many times in the same combat round as your Melee Combat skill level.


Ranged Combat

The basic roll in Ranged Combat is Gun Combat/DEX or Heavy Weapons/DEX 8+. There are the expected rules for range, obscurement and cover, prone characters and darkness.

Aiming requires two consecutive actions and add a DM+1 to hit, and there are also rules for Automatic Weapons, Suppressive Fire and Thrown Weapons, Blast Effects and Diving for Cover, and Grappling.

Unlike MGT1e is no mention of Stance, and Dodge/Parry is an optional rule only, but broadly equivalent to the Dodge and Parry Reactions in MGT1e.

There is a lot of extra detail in MGT1e, particularly Battlefield Comms and Sensors. There are some rules in Cepheus dealing with some of these aspects, but they tend to be grouped with the piece of equipment in question, rather than in the combat chapter.

Comment: Overall Cepheus is simpler, and tends to fit my preferred play style a bit better - if you prefer more detailed combat, then it would be easy enough to import the rules you wanted from MGT1e

I’ll take a look at damage, healing and medical care later today (hopefully!)
 

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So life and the wife's birthday intervened...

Damage and Healing

Once you’ve hit, you roll the weapon’s damage dice and add the attack throw’s Effect (and the STR DM when using melee attacks or thrown melee weapons). Armour’s protection rating is subtracted from damage before it is applied to the character.

All damage that penetrates armour is applied first to Stamina. Once Stamina reaches zero excess or additional damage is applied to Lifeblood.

A high enough damage roll (before Armour) can cause Knockdown.

If you Stamina is above zero, you’re just bit scuffed/battered and there is no mechanical effect. If you have lost Lifeblood, but it’s still more than half of its basic rating, then you have a Minor Wound (DM-1 to all actions til healed). If Lifeblood falls below half, then you/re seriously wounded and have to roll to remain conscious - even if successful you are at DM-2. If Lifeblood reaches zero, that’s a mortal wound and you’ll be dead in an hour unless you undergo Trauma Surgery.

Massive damage might kill you outright at the GM’s discretion (this I presume to avoid something like a nuclear blast merely leaving you needing major surgery…).

Optionally the Referee may use grunt/mook rules, where any attack penetrating armour knocks a grunt out of combat.

There are also alternate rules (for lovers of the original game, or perhaps D&D fans) to use Armour as a penalty to hit, rather than absorbing damage.


Post Combat/Injury, Stamina recovers completely within 10 minutes - except for characters who have suffered a Serious or Mortal Wound.

Minor Wounds can be treated by anyone with Medicine-1 and/or a Med Kit. It takes 30 minutes if you have both, 60 minutes if you only have one. With no treatment you’ll recover with a day’s rest.

Serious Wounds need a medical facility - a starship medbay or similar - and treatment by someone with Medicine-2 or better. It takes 1 day per point of Lifeblood below half, and the final half will recover in a further day of treatment.

None of the above require a roll by the person providing treatment.

If you’re Mortally Wounded, you need Trauma Surgery within the hour. Ordinary medbays won’t suffice - you need a full-on hospital facility (or you have to have field surgery with a substantial penalty.

In any event, treatment does need a roll, and the sooner you get it, the lower the penalty to the roll. The outcome to the Medicine skill roll determines the outcome: Death, Significant Internal Damage, Radical Measures Required, Normal Recovery

Death and normal recovery are pretty obvious. The other two outcomes can be ameliorated with things like vat-grown or cybernetic replacements - if you have the cash and the available technology.


Looking at MGT1e, damage is also reduced by Armour but then first subtracted from END, then subsequently from STR and DEX. If either STR or DEX are reduced to zero you’re unconscious and if all three physical characteristics are reduced to zero, you’re dead.

There are only two levels of wounded - wounded or seriously wounded (if you have lost at least one point from each physical characteristic).

Healing is based on 1D6 + END DM per day of full rest (less if you’re not resting). If seriously wounded you only recover END DM per day. As the END DM is based on your current (not your normal) END, it’s quite possible to deteriorate and die without treatment.

First aid or surgery requires a skill check, and the amount of damage healed is related to the Effect. Medical care in a facility restores 2 + the character’s END DM + the Medic Skill.


There follows a 2 page worked combat example, which looks workmanlike, but which I won’t comment on.

Comment: I have to say I prefer the Cepheus version. To me it is slightly more forgiving, and the Trauma Surgery rules feel fairly “realistic” in the context of the game.

I’m not a big fan of the term “Lifeblood” but I can live with it.


Vehicle combat is next.
 

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So life and the wife's birthday intervened...

Damage and Healing

Once you’ve hit, you roll the weapon’s damage dice and add the attack throw’s Effect (and the STR DM when using melee attacks or thrown melee weapons). Armour’s protection rating is subtracted from damage before it is applied to the character.

All damage that penetrates armour is applied first to Stamina. Once Stamina reaches zero excess or additional damage is applied to Lifeblood.

A high enough damage roll (before Armour) can cause Knockdown.

If you Stamina is above zero, you’re just bit scuffed/battered and there is no mechanical effect. If you have lost Lifeblood, but it’s still more than half of its basic rating, then you have a Minor Wound (DM-1 to all actions til healed). If Lifeblood falls below half, then you/re seriously wounded and have to roll to remain conscious - even if successful you are at DM-2. If Lifeblood reaches zero, that’s a mortal wound and you’ll be dead in an hour unless you undergo Trauma Surgery.

Massive damage might kill you outright at the GM’s discretion (this I presume to avoid something like a nuclear blast merely leaving you needing major surgery…).

Optionally the Referee may use grunt/mook rules, where any attack penetrating armour knocks a grunt out of combat.

There are also alternate rules (for lovers of the original game, or perhaps D&D fans) to use Armour as a penalty to hit, rather than absorbing damage.


Post Combat/Injury, Stamina recovers completely within 10 minutes - except for characters who have suffered a Serious or Mortal Wound.

Minor Wounds can be treated by anyone with Medicine-1 and/or a Med Kit. It takes 30 minutes if you have both, 60 minutes if you only have one. With no treatment you’ll recover with a day’s rest.

Serious Wounds need a medical facility - a starship medbay or similar - and treatment by someone with Medicine-2 or better. It takes 1 day per point of Lifeblood below half, and the final half will recover in a further day of treatment.

None of the above require a roll by the person providing treatment.

If you’re Mortally Wounded, you need Trauma Surgery within the hour. Ordinary medbays won’t suffice - you need a full-on hospital facility (or you have to have field surgery with a substantial penalty.

In any event, treatment does need a roll, and the sooner you get it, the lower the penalty to the roll. The outcome to the Medicine skill roll determines the outcome: Death, Significant Internal Damage, Radical Measures Required, Normal Recovery

Death and normal recovery are pretty obvious. The other two outcomes can be ameliorated with things like vat-grown or cybernetic replacements - if you have the cash and the available technology.


Looking at MGT1e, damage is also reduced by Armour but then first subtracted from END, then subsequently from STR and DEX. If either STR or DEX are reduced to zero you’re unconscious and if all three physical characteristics are reduced to zero, you’re dead.

There are only two levels of wounded - wounded or seriously wounded (if you have lost at least one point from each physical characteristic).

Healing is based on 1D6 + END DM per day of full rest (less if you’re not resting). If seriously wounded you only recover END DM per day. As the END DM is based on your current (not your normal) END, it’s quite possible to deteriorate and die without treatment.

First aid or surgery requires a skill check, and the amount of damage healed is related to the Effect. Medical care in a facility restores 2 + the character’s END DM + the Medic Skill.


There follows a 2 page worked combat example, which looks workmanlike, but which I won’t comment on.

Comment: I have to say I prefer the Cepheus version. To me it is slightly more forgiving, and the Trauma Surgery rules feel fairly “realistic” in the context of the game.

I’m not a big fan of the term “Lifeblood” but I can live with it.


Vehicle combat is next.
I must say, I prefer the MgT1e version. But then I'd have preferred the trauma to be expressed in damage levels, instead, like in TRoS/Usagi Yojimbo, so what do I know:grin:?
 

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Vehicle Combat

This starts with vehicle movement, which is divided into tactical (non-chase) and chase.

Non-chase movement is quite slow, to represent cautious combat movement through terrain to engage other vehicles (or personnel) at so called “knife-fighting” ranges and speeds. Faster-moving vehicles will simply pass through the tactical battle area in one round or less. This is pretty simple to use.

Chase movement deals with fast-moving vehicles and combat between them. This is dealt with in a slightly abstract way - the vehicles jockey for position with a contested relevant Vehicle Skill + Attribute DM with a small advantage to the pursuers. The vehicle with the “higher” position has the advantage, and vehicles with lower positions can only attack those in higher positions if they have a turret mounted weapon - and even then they are at disadvantage.

There are (short) additional rules for Dogfighting, Foot Chases and for possible vehicle manoeuvres such as Evasive Manoeuvres, Better Position, Obstacle Course and Ramming.

Ramming attacks are resolved on a Vehicle Collision Matrix where you compare the ramming vehicles armour (Unarmoured, Light Armour, Heavy Armour, Heavy Armour w/Ram) with that of the Target Vehicle. The results range from None through Surface Damage, Internal Damage, Critical Damage and Destroyed. Each type of damage is rolled for on a separate table (more on this later).

We also get the essential section on attacking vehicles. The system uses a (small) Vehicle Penetration Matrix rating Small Arms, Heavy Weapons and Gunnery Weapons against Unarmoured, Light Armoured and Heavy Armoured vehicles. Small Arms have very little chance of damaging any armoured vehicle unless a roll Effect of at least 6+ is achieved - even if it does achieve an effect, it will only cause surface damage.

Weapons with AV hits listed obviously do better, and each AV hit is rolled for separately.

The various damage effects are pretty much what you would expect, with things like Hull Breach, Cargo Damage, damage to weapons, locomotion, electronics, power plant etc. Critical Hits can seriously injure crew, knock out or destroy the vehicle.

There then follows a brief paragraph on Ground Force Weaponry against Starship Scale Targets and vice versa.

Obviously this is a little complicated, but it does seem to give some decent results that have a semi-realistic feel to them.

MGT1e on the other hand differentiates between closed and open vehicles, each vehicle has Armour and Structure, and you roll for damage, subtract armour rating, and look at the resulting damage on a table which tells you if you have damaged the vehicles, and if so how many hits you inflict. You then roll to see which location is hit (external, internal and robot/drone have different columns). You then look up the hit location in the following text, and that tells you how to apply the damage.

These two systems are obviously quite different. This is definitely one where I thing Cepheus is more streamlined and easier to apply in practice.

We then get a three page vehicle combat example based on a Grav Vehicle chase, which seems to illustrate the system quite well.


Psionics

This section is completely optional. If the GM allows psionics, they also get to decide whether to allow one or more psionic characters. If they are allowed you roll 2D to establish Psionic Strength, and automatically gain one Psionic Talent. For each subsequent Psionic Talent you want, you roll PSI 8+ to get the talent, with DM-1 for each Talent you already have.

An optional rule allows for more powerful Psions by rolling 1D6 + 6 for PSI

The five Talents are Awareness, Clairvoyance, Telekinesis, Telepathy and Teleportation. Each Talent has a number of abilities, all of which are rated for range, number of PSI points it costs to use, any rolls required etc.

There’s a short section on Psionic Equipment - essentially Booster and Inhibitor drugs, Psionic Shield Helmet and Psionic Shield.

MGT1e is similar in that Psionics are pretty much at the discretion of the GM. However, the 2D6 roll for Psionic Strength suffers a negative modifier for the number of terms they have served in character generation.

If you have a Psi rating then you have to get training by finding a teacher/institute, and stump up the hefty fee. You then have to make a Psionic Strength Test to learn each Talent (different DMs for each Talent and a -1 DM per check attempted.

The powers listed under each talent are broadly similar, though there are some differences. The main difference is that in MGT1e pretty much every power requires a Psi check and well as spending the Psi points, whereas in Cepheus you mostly just have to pay the cost in Psi points (with a few exceptions).

Comment: I think this is one where it comes down to personal preference. Cepheus is less “linked” to the Traveller universe, as it’s up to the GM whether psionics are banned, the existence of Psionics Institutes etc, though of course you could amend this in MGT1e pretty easily. The MGT1e makes life a bit tougher for Psi-using characters, so if you want a more psi-focussed campaign, Cepheus might be better for you.

On to starships next time.
 

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Is Cepheus Engine RPG the non-advanced version? Devoid of the extra fancy bits?
Cepheus Engine is the core, original version of the MGT 1e Open Content, fleshed out and with a set of careers put in. The hardcopy version is published by Moon Toad. Cepheus Deluxe is sort of like a github fork, and is part of Stellagaming's (honestly mostly excellent) various hacks on the rules.
 

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First I need to point out that back when I was looking at the section on vehicles in the Equipment section, I forgot to mention that there is a short table for converting Cepheus Engine SRD vehicle armour rating to Cepheus Deluxe Armour Class, which would probably be a good place to start it converting from MGT1e.

Starship Operations

Old MGT1e and Traveller fans will be familiar with most of the topics covered here.

It starts off with interplanetary travel, and a table to show the common travel times by acceleration and then moves on to Interplanetary Travel.

There is a big difference between Cepheus and MGT1e here - Cepheus goes for common destinations of travel - Ground to Planetary Orbit, Ground to Typical Planetary Jump Point, Large Gas Giant to Jump Point etc, whereas MGT1e uses actual distances - 1000km, 400,000 km, 45,000,000km etc

As we all expect, FTL travel in this game is by way of Jump Drive, with the classic Jump Drive-1, 2, 3 etc. The number is the number of hexes on the star map (equal to one parsec) that can be covered in a single jump (all jumps last 1 week). The rules specify that jump drives require a significant gravity well at each end, so you can’t purposefully jump to a destination without a star system.

The jump fuel is consumed forming the “Jump Bubble” which radiates approx 5m in every direction from the hull - you can EVA within the jump bubble, but if you venture beyond it you will be lost (even if tethered).

The jump procedure is: Calculate Plot (requiring a Piloting/EDU roll), Engage Drive (requires an Engineering/EDU roll). Finally there is a Jump roll, which is 2D6 with a variety of modifiers (including the Effect of the Engineering roll to Engage Drive) - a throw of 0 or less results in a misjump. This results in a random 1D x 1D parsec jump in a random direction, but always ends up in a star system. This seems to mean that there is no way to travel into “deep space” with a jump drive in order to set up a secret installation or fuel dump. Needless to say Jump Drive doesn’t have to work this way in your campaign.

MGT1e is broadly similar. Misjumps however simply send you 1d6 x 1d6 parsecs in a random direction, and makes no mention of the requirement for a gravity well at each end.

MGT1e has more detailed rules for Costs and Maintenance, and has rules for Skipping out on Debts, Sensor Checks, Salvage, Radiation, Ship Security etc which aren’t really covered in Cepheus (at least not in any detail). MGT1e also deal with ship encounters here - Cepheus deals with them later on (but again not in as much detail)
 

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Trade and Smuggling

Another old friend, this section starts by covering the Speculative Trade Procedure. This consists of the following steps: Find a Supplier, Determine Goods Available, Determine Purchase Price, Travel to New World, Find a Buyer, Determine Sale Price.

Finding a Supplier is a straightforward Streetwise/INT 8+ roll, with DMs according to Starport type.

Determine Goods Available: there are two types of goods - common and trade. All suppliers have all common goods and 1D randomly chosen trade goods (again with DMs depending on Starport type. The actual available goods are then rolled randomly using D66 on the Trade Goods Table.

Determine Purchase Price: This uses a “Modified Price Table” and a roll using the better of the character’s INT or SOC DM plus their Liaison skill level. It’s also modified by the trade good’s Purchase DM based on world of origin as well as Traffic and Safety modifiers. Phew!

Selling Goods: This follows a process similar to the Purchasing process, only you are using the Sale DMs instead of the Purchase DM (of course).

There follow the various tables for Modified Price, Local Brokers and Traffic and Safety Modifiers (based on Starport Type and System Colour (Normal/Amber/Red).

We then get a section called “There is a Problem With The Deal”. This essentially gives the GM the option of complicating things for the players by selecting (or rolling) for why the deal went bad (eg the cargo already belongs to someone else, the local criminal element is interested in the cargo etc), the main antagonist (eg environmental activists, relic hunters etc), and a further complication (eg critical equipment failure, the cargo is contaminated with a virulent plague).

Finally we have Cargo Tags: a D66 table allowing the GM to spice up a cargo form time to time (eg The cargo is highly perishable foodstuff that has to be kept at exact temperatures or spoil, It’s a key piece of evidence in an investigation and Law Enforcement is very interested in recovering it.

There follows a 3 page example of speculative trade (which I haven’t read - see above!)

Comment: The MGT1e Trade process is broadly similar, but only has a very short section (a 1D6 Dangerous Cargo Table) to spice up trade.

Because of my own preferences, I find Cepheus better here - it is not quite so complex, and adds some nice wrinkles to make speculative trade a bit “spicier” for the players.

The next section is Ship Design and Construction, which I’ll try to take a look at over the weekend.
 
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Cepheus Deluxe's publisher and main writer here :-) I find this thread very interesting and am open to questions, if they will arise.

The discussion of traits was particularly of interest. I can see their flaws; their main goal is to help differentiate between characters with similar skills. You can easily do away with Traits if you want without destabilizing the rest of the system in any significant way.
 

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Ship Design and Construction

A familiar part of most Traveller variants, the process here is summed up in the Ship Design Checklist.

This follows 11 steps, starting with hull size/configuration/armour then adding manoeuvre and jump drives, and power plant. For jump capable ships you have to calculate fuel requirements.

Next you add a bridge and electronics, weaponry and shields, any additional components and carried craft. Then you determine crew and passengers, adding staterooms and cryotubes before allocating remaining space to cargo.

Finally you calculate the final cost and construction time, with a 10% discount for mass-produced ships.

Comment: This is not dissimilar to MGT1e, which uses a 12 point checklist.


Ship Hull: these range from <100 tons up to 5,001-10,000 tons in 8 steps. In contrast MGT1e only covers hulls up to 2,000 tons, and does this in 15 steps (it also doesn’t list a hull size below 100 tons.

In Cepheus Deluxe (form now on CD) hull sizes are rated for construction time, whereas in MGT1e they are given a hull code and a price (in MegaCredits).

Hull configuration is the same on both rulesets - Standard, Streamlined and Distributed.

Armour: There is quite a difference here. CD rates ship armour as Light or Heavy, and the armour type (titanium steel, composite alloy, crystaliron, superdense, bonded superdense or collapsed superdense) is rated for Tech Level, the tonnage (a percentage of ship tonnage), and cost (a percentage of hull cost). On the other hand MGT1e lists only 3 types (titanium steel, crystaliron and bonded superdense) but you can add it multiple times, each amounting to a 5% increment of ship’s tonnage.

Without looking at the figures in complete detail, it looks as though the armour tables in CD represent pre-calculated armour tonnage and cost that is essentially the same as the MGT1e armour tonnage/cost if you multiply it out.

The big difference is that MGT1e armour has a numerical armour rating - CD simply rates armour as light or heavy as indicated above.

Finally in CD you can add Stealth to you hull (at an additional cost. You can do the same in MGT1e, but also have the options to add Reflec (which increases your armour against lasers) and Self-Sealing (which repairs minor breaches and prevents hull hits from leading to explosive decompression).


Drives

The systems in CD are quite different from other editions. In fact I’m so used to looking at other editions that it took me a minute or two to fathom out

What we have is three tables, one for small craft (10-99 ton hull), one for larger ships, and one for Tech Level adjustment.

Essentially you select the performance you want (POwer Plant rating, how many G of acceleration, Jump number) and the table tells you how much hull tonnage it will take. The Tech Level adjustment will increase or decrease this. In addition there is a minimum TL for each level of Jump Drive.

The Power Plant rating must at least equal the rating of the higher of the manoeuvre or jump drive.

The cost is based on the tonnage of the component.

Fusion power plants in CD include their own fuel, replenishment of which takes place at (and is included in the cost) of annual maintenance. A starship using its Jump Drive uses 10% of its tonnage in fuel per parsec jumped - a 100 ton ship performing Jump 2 uses 20 tons of fuel - this is the same as n MGT1e

MGT1e uses 24 categories of J-drive, M-drive and P-plant, each categorised for tonnage and cost. What you select has to be cross-reference with the Performance By Hull Volume table, which then tells you what acceleration and jump you ship is capable of.

MGT1e power plants consume fuel and a separate table tells you how much.

Comment: There is a distinct difference in approach - in CD you select the performance you want and that tells you how much tonnage and cost is associated. In MGT1e you select the components and then work out performance. MBT1e looks more complex and time-consuming to me, but I haven’t done a run-through to see how it works in practice. CD ships need a bit less fuel (because they don’t need it for the power plant) which probably makes them a bit more efficient.


I’ll carry on with this next time.
 

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Starship Bridge: all ships of 100 tons or more need a bridge, and this is based on the ship’s total tonnage (both in terms of size and cost). Minimum bridge tonnage is 10 tons on a starship, 5 tons on a system ship. This is broadly the same in MGT1e except that the bridge is subject to a maximum of 60 tons for ship hulls of over 2000 tons - but then the MGT1e basic rules don’t cover ships above 2000 tons anyway.

CD has a couple of paragraphs dealing with small craft cockpits and accommodations, but MGT1e doesn’t. On the face of it any small craft in MGT1e needs 10 tons for this - but this doesn’t seem feasible.

Electronics: CD rolls the computer and other electronic systems into one. A single table deals with the necessary TL, cost, the tonnage it takes, max jump rating and the sensor DM. The model can be upgraded at increased costs which pushes the jump number it can calculate up by one, leaving other stats the same.

MGT1e on the other hand has separate table for computer and for electronics. Computers are ranked by Model, TL, Rating and cost, and can be upgraded for Jump Capacity, or for Hardened Systems (against electromagnetic pulse) - the latter seems to be standard for CD. Electronics have 5 ratings (from standard up to very advanced), covering TL, Sensor DM, type (radar, lidar, densitometer etc), Tonnage and cost.


Armament

Four pages to unpack here.

Ship weapons are rated for TL, Type (Light, Intermediate, Heavy or Main Gun) and Hits (the number of internal damage rolls the weapon inflicts on the appropriate damage table.

Turrets: as expected you can fit one turret to each hard point on the ship (one hard point per one hundred tons of hull as expected).

We then get a simple table showing the TL, tonnage and cost of fitting single, double, triple and pop-up turrets and fixed mounting.

Looking at MGT1e I see that CD turrets are more expensive and take up more tonnage.

Turret Weapons: CD lists nine types that can be fitted to Turrets - Missile Rack, Pulse Laser, Sandcaster, Particle Beam, Mining Laser, Beam Laser, Plasma Beam, Fusion Beam and Gravitic Lance. All are listed for TL, Type, Hits, Cost and some have Notes.

MGT1e only lists five types - Pulse Laser, Beam Laser, Particle Beam, Missile Rack and Sandcaster. They are rated for TL, Optimum Range, Damage and Cost. It does have the Particle Beam, Fusion gun and Meson gun available for Bays (as does CD).

The Particle Beam is cheaper in CD.

Unlike MGT1e CD has the option for Large Weapons in turrets (they take up all the room in a triple turret). These include Laser Cannon, Torpedo Launcher, Particle Cannon, Plasma Cannon, Fusion Cannon, Gravitic Lance. These are (obviously) more expensive than their smaller equivalent, and inflict more Hits.


Bays: these are described as massive military scale gun emplacements. Each displaces 50 tons and uses 5 Hardpoints. Contrast this with MGT1e which uses the same displacement, but each bay only takes up 1 Hardpoint, but also takes up an extra ton for Fire Control.

Bay Weapons: CD lists the following - Mass Driver, Laser Cluster, Torpedo Bay, Particle Gun, Meson Gun, Fusion Gun, Gravitic Lance and Cherenkov Cannon. In contrast MGT1e only lists Missile Bank, Particle Beam, Fusion Gun and Meson Gun. The CD weapons are more expensive (sometimes much more) than the MGT1e versions (150MCr v 50 MCr for a Meson Gun).

Because they aren’t in MGT1e I’ll briefly describe the Gravity Lance and the Cherenkov Cannon.

Gravity Lance: fires shearing beams of Gravitons - very powerful but affected by hull configuration, with a DM attack penalty on Streamlined Hulls and a positive DM on Distributed Hulls.

Cherenkov Cannon: fires tachyons that can easily penetrate armour (the armour category is reduced by one level against this weapon).


Main Guns: MGT1e does not have these. They include Particle Cannon, Advanced Particle Cannon, Meson Cannon, Advanced Meson Cannon, Gravitic Disruptor and Cherenkov Projector. These all displace 1000 tons and use 10 Hardpoints. They are about twice as damaging as the equivalent Bay Weapon but cost around 10 times as much. Really only for the really large capital ships.


Shields: Called screens in MGT1e the Meson Shield and Nuclear Damper are identical in tonnage and costs, but in CD they simply halve the number of Hits by the relevant weapon.

CD also includes Gravitic Field which halves hits from all weapons at the cost of a negative DM on outgoing attacks at lower TLs. It also includes Force Field which completely protects against one attack, but then has to try to regenerate (on a 4-6 on 1D) each round.


I will finish this section and hopefully Space Combat over the weekend.
 

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Cepheus Deluxe's publisher and main writer here :-) I find this thread very interesting and am open to questions, if they will arise.

The discussion of traits was particularly of interest. I can see their flaws; their main goal is to help differentiate between characters with similar skills. You can easily do away with Traits if you want without destabilizing the rest of the system in any significant way.
Welcome to the Pub:smile:!
And the discussion was, as all forums discussions are, a matter of personal preferences. I know I can remove them, they weren't in other versions of Cepheus and nothing was broken...:wink:
As you can note, we also had quite different opinions, which is par for the course for personal preferences.
 

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Welcome to the Pub:smile:!
And the discussion was, as all forums discussions are, a matter of personal preferences. I know I can remove them, they weren't in other versions of Cepheus and nothing was broken...:wink:
As you can note, we also had quite different opinions, which is par for the course for personal preferences.

The important comment was that in Deluxe they aren't doing anything loadbearing, which is not necessarily going to be true even if it was true in other versions. Its easy to pull out things that don't look important, and then discover as you get into the guts of a system that they actually are.
 
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