[Traveller] What do spaceships do, game mechanics-wise?


Rune Priest
Using Mongoose 2e I have so far avoided using space ships in a mechanical sense, they have merely been the set upon which the PCs sit while travelling and making sensor checks etc. But I know they have mechanics of their own, I've seen some of them in the rulebook. Mostly to do with power use, I think. I'm now fumbling my way around adding support for ships to the Roll20 character sheet, and I realise I have no idea what support is actually needed.

Can anyone shed a light on what it would actually be useful to have in a VTT ship sheet? What rolls are made by/for a ship, rather than a character? Presumably there's some damage tracking that needs to go on, with resultant penalties to dice rolls or something?


The Guvnor
Staff member
Not sure that i see the point.
  • there is a jump sequence but that's primarily using character skills.
  • they scan for stuff but again.. caharacter skills
  • there is a space combat seqeunce but again, that uses character skills.
  • they get damaged and blowed up, but do we really need a sheet for that?
  • there are some random tables that might be worth adding, but they are not on sheets and i am not sure if they can be ported between users anyway..
Traveller always tends to assume that it's the player's skills that matter, so you might add default crew with default skills for when a group has NPC crew, but.. is that a good use of your time.

I mean I really grok what you did to fix the MgT2e use of the Roll20 sheet.. but.. maybe @Dom or @Ezio can help with ideas?


Staff member
The ship doesn't make rolls as far as I recall.


Link above rewrites the starship combat rules in a similar flow to Starter Traveller / The Traveller Book.

You need to track damage and criticals which may impact rolls or options.
The ship will usually also have a debt and running costs which would be useful to easily calculate.

@Guvnor is right that adding an option for a default crew for a starship may be good. Could be abstracted to the core skills.

If there's a decent Roll20 sheet, please point me at it!


Rune Priest
I'm not going to claim hero - but I did fix the "can't have multiple sheets open" bug last week, coz it was annoying people. While doing that, I realised that it was (now) going to be easy to add new sheet "types", so I've made a single-tab NPC sheet (for me) and I figured I'd look at a sheet to keep the ship mechanics on (as it's been requested a couple of times in the last year).

So, it looks like the ship sheet needs to hold the info from the ship page and track damage/criticals, basically?


Rune Priest
Even that is an equipment list surely?
With 'encumbrance' rules as that would affect speed and manoeuvrability, would it not? What you'd be going for is basically ship-to-ship combat for pirates in space, so think of your golden age of piracy ship builds.

I'd also say that inter-system encounters basically don't happen because of volume (unless a tracker has been inserted into the cargo); so you'd only need worry about only intra-system encounters.

So, spaceships are important are important to get your characters from A to B, with the action happening at either end and hand-waving transit, or if things go horribly wrong in transit - system failure, crew failure or stowaways (think Alien).


The Guvnor
Staff member
Cargo doesn't affect acceleration or manoeuvrability in Traveller. They are pre calculated for the default displacement. Burning fuel also has no effect. Given the granularities of highly abstract dice rolls on a highly abstract map, let's just not go there, eh?