Megatraveller 1: the Zhodani conspiracy manual
USER GUIDE ---------------- A Letter of Introduction from Marc Miller Dear Megatraveller Computer Gamer, It's hard to believe that it's been 15 years since I began designing TRAVELLER. When the game was completed in 1977, I had no idea it would evolve into the most popular science fiction role-playing series ever created, as well as form the foundation of our company, Games Designers' Workshop (GDW). Here I am, in the 1990s, and TRAVELLER is taking another enormous step forward in its continued development - computerization! I've been asked many times why I feel TRAVELLER has been so popular. I believe there are several reasons for the game's success. First, TRAVELLER makes it easy for players to generate characters, create (with just a few die rolls) entire worlds, and design powerful starships. A player can pick up the basic game rules and find hours of exciting adventure and enjoyment without being marred in detail. Over the course of its history, TRAVELLER has always emphasised the enjoyment inherent in playing the game and building the background. Rules and background are also definite reasons why TRAVELLER has been so successful. The rules are realistic, understandable and easy to use - head and shoulders above any other gaming system. At the same time, the star- spanning empire that is the background for TRAVELLER is the ideal setting for a science-fiction game. The wealth of detail we have been able to put into it makes the game a living experience. You may be wondering why TRAVELLER was renamed MEGATRAVELLER. TRAVELLER is the name for the original role-playing system. In 1987, after 10 years of release, the game system had reached a point where it needed revision. Some rules had fallen by the wayside, while new ones had been written to address new topics. We at GDW decided to totally rewrite the game, incorporating everything we thought worked while discarding concepts that were not totally successful. MEGATRAVELLER is the name we use for the current, most up-to-date version of the classic role-playing game. I'm happy to say that this computer version carries the MEGATRAVELLER name. I've always said that TRAVELLER would make the perfect computer game for the same two reasons that it's a great role-playing game: rules and background. The background, and its wealth of detail, will naturally capture the interest of players. But it's the simplicity of the rules which makes the computerization possible. Most game systems provide completely different rules for each different situation that could potentially exist. TRAVELLER simplifies things by identifying the characteristics all situations have in common, and applying one universal method to resolve these problems. The foundation of TRAVELLER is its task system, which makes mountains of formal rules fall away. A task can be almost anything; an attempt to bribe an official, a shot with a laser pistol, piloting a starship, etc. The referee (or the computer) decides how difficult an activity is and what skills and personal characteristics affect the activity, and then determines the outcome. This is a routine perfectly adaptable to the computer, but not implemented in role-playing games until TRAVELLER. TRAVELLER is a never-ending pursuit for me. It has taken many years to bring TRAVELLER to the computer, and I can't express how excited I am that it is finally available. We're hard at work developing a sequel to this MEGATRAVELLER computer adventure, and we hope to bring you many interstellar computer adventures in the years to come. In addition, we're also developing another of our role-playing systems, SPACE 1889, for the entertainment software market. Watch out for it in the near future. I truly hope that everyone who gets a chance to play this game enjoys it as much as I've enjoyed working on it. So sit back, take control of five characters, let your imagination run wild, and venture to the far reaches of space for a wondrous tale of excitement, danger and intrigue. GDW and Paragon Software proudly present MEGATRAVELLER I : THE ZHODANI CONSPIRACY. Yours in Science-Fiction Role-Playing, Marc Miller. ------------------------------ TECHNICAL SECTION GETTING STARTED Note: The disks provided with the game are not copy protected and you are advised to make a backup copy of all the disks before you begin playing. Megatraveller should work on any Amiga with at least 512K and a floppy disk drive. The game will make use of extra memory, external drives and hard disks if you have them. If you only have 512K of memory, then it will be necessary to disconnect external drives and peripherals and to make sure that there are no other programs installed on your system. If you wish to play from hard disk then you will need at least 1MB of memory. Printouts can be made from within the Character Generator using the parallel printer port. Making Backup Copies 1. Make sure the original disks are write protected. (You should be able to see through the write protect tab). 2. Use the duplicate option on the Amiga workbench to make copies of both disks. 3. You may also like to format an extra disk to use for storing saved game positions onto. Put the original disks in a safe place and only use them if your copies become corrupted. Loading from Floppy Disks 1. Turn on your machine and at the workbench prompt insert your copy of Disk A into any disk drive. Megatraveller should now autoboot and after a few seconds will start playing the introduction sequence and ask you to answer a question from the manual. Installing onto Hard Disk Note: To run Megatraveller from a hard disk you will need at least 1Mb of memory and approximately 1.5Mb of free hard disk space. 1. Switch on your computer in the usual manner. 2. Put Disk A into a disk drive and when its icon appears on the workbench, double click on it to open up a window. 3. Inside the window should be an icon labelled Install. Double click on this and follow the prompts. 4. You will be asked where you wish to install it. Answer this with a name like: DH0:TRAVEL
To play the game, open up a window with the travel directory in and double click on the TRAVEL icon. Alternatively create a directory on your hard disk with a name such as TRAVEL and copy all the files from the disks into the directory using the CLI commands: MKDIR /travel CD /travel COPY df0:#? "" (insert Disk B) COPY df0:#? "" Then play the game by typing: CD dh0:travel travel GAME OPTIONS Because of the complexity and size of MegaTraveller, information will often be loaded from disk durimng the game. You should never change disks unless the program prompts you to do so. If you have more than one floppy disk then you may place disks in these drives to avoid swapping disks so often. If you have lots of memory then disk accessing will also be reduced. After the game has loaded you will see the title sequence. To bypass this, click a mouse button or press the space bar. COPY PROTECTION The game disks for Megatraveller I: The Zhodani Conspiracy are unprotected to make it more convenient for you. However, at the start of the game you will be asked to locate information from the manual packaged with the game, so keep it handy. All of the questions will refer to information presented in the many charts the manual contains. STARTING THE GAME Megatraveller is designed to be played entirely from mouse, although there are keyboard shortcuts for most operations if you prefer to use them. To select an object or menu item, move the mouse so that the pointer is over the object and then press and release the left mouse button. To Cancel or Exit from a screen, press and release the Right mouse button. To Drag an object, move the mouse so that the pointer is over the object, then press but do not release the left mouse button. With the button still pressed, move the mouse so that the pointer is over where you wish to move the object to and then release the button. You will be presented with a menu containing 4 options: START NEW GAME CONTINUE OLD GAME GET STARTED QUICK QUIT PROGRAM START NEW GAME This lets you create your own characters and make up your own party. Selecting this option brings up a further menu: CREATE PARTY DISK USE MY PARTY DISK USE DEFAULT CHARACTERS CREATE PARTY DISK Select this if it is the first time you have played and you wish to create and save your own characters instead of the default characters. Simply answer the questions asked and exchange disks when prompted. Note: Your Party Disk can also be used as a save game disk. USE MY PARTY DISK Select this if you have a party disk and wish to start a new game. USE DEFAULT CHARACTERS This option allows you to start a new game using the default characters provided. After selecting any of these options you progress into the main character generator. This is detailed in depth in the manual later on. CONTINUE OLD GAME If you have already begun playing the game, then this option allows you to continue with a saved game position. You will be asked to insert your save game disk and to select the filename of the saved game to continue. GET STARTED QUICK This starts the game using a default party if you are not interested in creating your own characters. PLAYING THE GAME This game is split into two separate stages: Planetary Surface Exploration and Combat Interstellar Exploration and Starship Combat You may only save your game at a starport. A starport is found on most planets very close to where your ship is parked. THE CHARACTER SCREENS During most of the game, the upper section of the screen displays the characters in your party, showing their armour and status icons. By clicking on any of the characters with the mouse pointer you can view all the important information about a character as well as manipulating the objects they are carrying. The character screens are split into 4 sections: CHARACTER SKILLS LIST OBJECTS USED OBJECTS SELECTIONS CHARACTER SKILLS LIST This is displayed in the left of the screen. If there are more skills than will fit in a page, click on the page up/page down icons. OBJECTS These are displayed in the centre. a) Objects may be moved by clicking on them. b) Move an object by dragging it to another slot. If there is something already in that slot it will be swapped. c) Move an object to another character by dragging it to a character at the top of the screen. d) Inspect an object by clicking on it twice. e) Use an object by dragging it to the Use object icon at the bottom of the screen. USED OBJECTS The bottom right of the screen contains space for used objects. There are spaces for: BREAKING EQUIPMENT ARMOUR PRIMARY WEAPON SECONDARY WEAPON These can be manipulated as described above. SELECTIONS On the right hand side of the screen are a list of selections. These generally provide you with more information about the character. Click on the selection to view the information. Press a key or click the mouse to remove that information. Exit from the character screen by pressing the right mouse button or the ESC key. Note: Time is frozen whilst in a character screen. Planetary Surface Exploration and Combat MOVEMENT Whilst on a planet you can move about by pressing the left mouse button over the main display area. The party will try to move towards your cursor. You party usually move around together displayed as one character having the colour of the leader. The marching order is displayed in the lower right of the screen and can be changed by dragging a character icon on top of another one. The characters will then exchange places. Some planets will have a shop where you can buy vehicles. To enter a vehicle move your character onto it. To exit, click on the vehicle icon on the bottom right area of the screen. There are some icons in the lower right of the screen which allow you to: CONVERSE WITH OTHER CHARACTERS EXIT A VEHICLE OR VIEW ITS STATUS GAME RESTORE OR QUIT TAKE OR USE ITEMS BREAK AND REGROUP THE PARTY You may sometimes need to use a passcard to get through a locked door. To do this a character must have the passcard in the primary or secondary weapons slot. Passcards open doors using a colour coding system. Each passcard has a series of coloured lines, which must correspond to the lines displayed in front of each locked door. COMBAT Sometimes other characters will start attacking you. If you want to fight back (rather than run away), you must go into combat mode. To enter combat mode, click on the Party icon in the lower right area of the screen. This will separate your party into individual characters which can be moved about separately. To exit combat mode select the party icon again. The middle right area of the screen will change into a combat status screen. Above the display are 5 colour bars to select the currently controlled character. Whilst in combat mode, the current character can be in one of these three modes: 1. Movement: Either the fire or throw icons are selected. In movement mode a character can walk about by clicking where you want him/her to move towards. 2. Fire Weapon: The fire icon is selected. In fire mode, click on the main display where the character should fire at. Continue clicking on the point to fire again. Change between primary and secondary weapons by clicking on the icon next to the weapon information. To reload click on the reload icon. 3. Throw Grenade: The throw icon is selected. In throw mode, select the type of grenade you want to throw and click on your target in the main display. ORDER MODE Rather than fight in real-time, you may give each character an order to perform. Click on the order icon to enter order mode. Then give each character an order in the same manner as above. Click on the order icon again and they will perform the action. Time will be frozen whilst you are giving the orders. SHOPS AND STARPORT Entering a building will often take you into a shop where you may buy or sell items. Simply follow the prompts to choose who will pay for the items, who will receive them and what you wish to buy or sell. Interstellar Exploration and Starship Combat Climb up the ladder of your spaceship to enter your spaceship. There are two modes when in your ship: 1. In-system travel - used to move your ship around. 2. Starship - used in combat to control the ships function and for ship to ship combat. IN-SYSTEM TRAVEL SECTION The right side of the screen displays some icons: STATION: Go to station mode COMMS: Go to communications mode JUMP: Do an inter-system jump QUIT: Exit from the game with no save If you are in orbit around a planet, you may also select: LAND: Land on the planet TAKE OFF: Continue your journey The main part of the screen shows the space centring on your space ship. The upper right of the screen displays a larger area of space. Click on the rotate and thrust icons to move your ship. Moving close to a planet will automatically put you in orbit. Moving close to another ship will place you in combat mode. Orbiting around a gas giant lets you refuel if you have fuel scoops and a fuel purification plant. STATIONS The upper section contains your characters. Clicking on any of these goes to the character screens. Click on the In-system icon or press the right mouse button to return to the system travel screen. Below these is the stations display. Each character may only occupy one station. To view a particular station, click on the station slot. To assign a character to a station, drag the character icon to its new position. If there is already a character there they will be swapped. The lower portions of most station screens contains combat map in the left and station specific controls in the right. Clicking on the icon in the upper left of the combat map expands it to a full screen map. PILOT Controls here are the same as on the system travel screen. Note that they only work when you are in combat mode and that your ship returns to the original speed and direction when you go back to the systems travel screen. GUN STATIONS (MISSILE AND LASER) There are two types of gun station depending on which weapons your ship is equipped with. a) Click inside the window to aim and fire. b) Click on the target icon to target the enemy ship if you have the target program running. c) Click on the fire icon to fire if you have targetted. d) Left and Right arrow icons rotate the viewpoint. Click on the reload icon to reload a missile. Lasers automatically recharge themselves. COMMUNICATIONS Click on an entry for further information. If in combat mode, click on the expand icon to select a ship to view information about from the large map. ENGINEERING Click on a system to begin repairing it. Only one system may be repaired at one time. COMPUTER The Load icon brings up a list of programs you have. Drag a program into a spare slot on the computer to start loading it. To run a program click in the area above the loaded program. To stop a program click in the yellow section. Computers may only be loading the one program at a time and will have a number of programs that can run at once. MEDICAL AND SICKBAY Characters to be healed must be assigned to the sickbay. To begin healing a character, click on the heal icon and then on the character to be healed. Only one character may be healed at one time. Return a character to duty by clicking on the return icon and then on a character. PIRATE If you successfully defeat another ship you get the chance to steal any items that ship was carrying by dragging items from the defeated ship and cargo hold into your own. Most ships have self destruct mechanisms, which will kill your party if they are still on the ship when it goes off. Click on the exit icon to leave the enemy ship. JUMP TRAVEL Click on the system you want to travel to. GAME PLAY SECTION THE FRONTIER WARS Man has always been fascinated by outer space. In this era of high technology and rapid discoveries, space remains the unconquerable frontier, filled with mysteries the human race has been unable to solve - despite thousands of years of effort. Still, the questions persist. Foremost among them is whether Earth is indeed the only planet with intelligent life. Science has yet to provide a definitive answer, but other forms of expression have all too-readily offered opinions. In the captivating science fiction role-playing game MEGATRAVELLER, the question is affirmatively answered with an amazing array of intergalactic societies, mysterious worlds, and exotic alien races. The Zhodani and the Third Imperium, the two largest human societies in charted space, have been in conflict since first establishing contact in the year 500 (5018 on the Earth calendar). Each society's gradual expansion eventually led to an historic meeting in a backwater region of space known as the Spinward Marches. Although their human physical appearances were exactly alike, several fundamental differences existed between the two great powers. The Zhodani's political structure was strictly authoritarian, whereas the Imperium was governed by the rule of the Emperor, a classic aristocracy. As the Zhodani race evolved, the human brain's potential was explored and mastered until the use of powerful psionics was a way of life. Mind-reading, telekinesis, extrasensory perception and clairvoyance became common among the Zhodani. The Imperium disdainfully outlawed the use of any form of psionics, believing these strange powers to be an invasion of mental privacy. Also, because the Zhodani utilized their superior mental ability in everyday life, many Imperial traders and merchants grew suspicious of their motives and avoided negotiations with the Zhodani. The Imperial race, lacking psionics, saw its development grow along creative, artistic and emotional paths. And as with any creative society, wondrous achievement and joy was often coupled with imperfections and greed. The Zhodani - viewing the Imperial race as dishonest, morally corrupt, weak and insecure - lived highly structured and unemotional lifestyles. With two powerful societies so clearly opposed in political and social beliefs, confrontation was inevitable. As the Zhodani continued to expand into the Spinward Marches, many worlds were peacefully integrated into the Zhodani Consulate. However, several independent worlds resisted the Zhodani, believing that they would lose their freedom and be forced to live under restrictive rule. The Spinward Marches became an intergalactic 'hot spot' and the aggressive advances of the Zhodani led to the first of several conflicts known as the Frontier Wars,the first of which began in 589 - 89 years after the two great powers first established contact. 1. The First Frontier War The initial Zhodani attacks were well planned and executed with speed, accuracy and precision. The Imperium was completely surprised and offered little resistance. Deadly battles between the two great combatants raged for the next 15 years. To strengthen their position, the Zhodani formed a strategic alliance with the Vargr, a race of intelligent beings with a genetic structure similar to canines. This alliance, known as the Outward Coalition, threatened Imperial territories in the Spinward Marches. The Coalition aggressively attacked Imperial forces in a strategic area of space known as the Great Rift. But after several devastating military defeats, the Outward Coalition crumbled, and in the year 604, the most conclusive battle of the First Frontier War was waged. A momentous attack, led by Admiral Olav haut- Plankwell, Commander of the Imperial Fleet, defeated a Zhodani force attempting to raid critical Imperial worlds. This battle brought the 15-year bloodbath between the Zhodani and Imperium to a welcomed end. Although the Imperium claimed victory, its losses in starships and manpower were appallingly high. The casualties suffered by both the Zhodani and the Imperium forced an official stalemate, followed by an armistice. Although this treaty marked the end of the First Frontier War, it was only the beginning of a long period of antipathy and continued border conflict between the two great races. When the First Frontier War ended, Admiral Olav haut-Plankwell returned with his fleet to Capital, the central headquarters of the Imperium. There he assassinated the Empress Jaqueline and seized rule of the Imperium in a bloody coup. A multitude of power-hungry Imperial factions were thus immediately thrown into a violent Civil War. 2. The Second Frontier War Eleven years after the end of the First Frontier War, tensions between Zhodani and Imperium again escalated out of control, erupting into the Second Frontier War, which lasted five years. The Zhodani and Vargr re-formed the Outward Coalition - adding a new ally, the Sword Worlds, an independent group of planets within the Spinward Marches. Imperial forces were battered early in the war by forceful Zhodani attacks in the Jewell subsector. Imperial Emperor Cleon V appointed a brave warrioress, Arbellatra Alkhalikoi, as Grand Admiral of the Imperial Fleet. Arbellatra hurriedly fortified weary Imperial forces and fought strategically brilliant battles against the Zhodani. In addition, the local resolve of several independent worlds within the battle zone strengthened the Imperium's chances against the Outward Coalition. The war finally ended when several Imperial Dreadnought Starships, the most advanced and lethal battleships ever designed, were complete and readied for battle. This, along with the arrival of reinforcements from trailing subsectors, led to a decisive engagement that ended the Second Frontier War. However, early defeats in the war took their toll on the weakened Imperium. Arbellatra was forced to sacrifice more territory to the Zhodani, and independent status was given to previously incorporated Imperial worlds won during the First Frontier War. Following in the footsteps of the late Emperor Olav haut-Plankwell, Arbellatra returned to Capital with her fleet. She confronted and defeated the remnants of the Imperial's Central Fleet, commanded by the new Emperor, Gustus. Her bold actions brought about the long-awaited end to the bloody Imperial civil war and re-established Central Imperial authority. 3. The Third Frontier War An uneasy peace between the Zhodani and the Imperium reigned for nearly 360 years, but was suddenly disrupted in 976 when constant distrust and hidden expansion led to the Third Frontier War. Both great forces were expanding their territories. This so-called peaceful expansion erupted into war when the Zhodani launched attacks against the Imperium. Imperial response was slow, and desperately needed reinforcements arrived late. A new method of warfare also emerged in this third great conflict: most of the combat took the form of commercial raiding, disruption of trading channels, and pirating of civilian trade ships. The Third Frontier War lasted six brutal years. The Imperium was forced to acknowledge its loss to the Zhodani, and the citizens of the Imperium suffered the most significant scars of war. Again, an armistice was signed in which the Zhodani received major territorial claims that gave them a long- desired foothold in the Spinward Marches. Following the Third Frontier War, The Imperial public, blaming the Emperor Styryx for the unforgivable casualties of war, rose against the throne and overthrew the Emperor in a historic revolution. 4. The Fourth Frontier War The fourth great conflict between the Zhodani and the Imperium began in 1082. Great naval battles between the Zhodani and Imperium were fought for two years. The final conflict was named "The Battle of the Two Suns", because it took place in the Regina System, which contains two stars. The battle led to an Imperial victory, though neither side gained substantial ground. The Imperium was able to reclaim two worlds lost in an earlier Frontier conflict. The Fourth Frontier War is often referred to as the "False War", because fighting lasted only 18 months and an armistice was signed before Capital could send instructions and reinforcements to Imperial commanders in charge. 5. The Fifth Frontier War Unlike the previous Frontier Wars, the fifth started as a well-organized and planned offensive by the Zhodani and the Outward Coalition, which consisted of the Vargr and the Sword Worlds. The Zhodani plan called for the secret shipment of military weapons and armour to dissident guerilla units on select worlds within the Imperium. These elite Zhodani rebel forces planned surprise uprisings against targeted Imperial military bases. This would divert major groups of Imperial troops, and starships, as well as the attention of the Imperium, as the Zhodani steadily increased their military forces in the Spinward Marches. Following the surprise uprisings, the Zhodani would launch their primary offensive against weakened and unprotected Imperial territories. The Zhodani conspirators planned to smuggle arms to the dissident forces within Imperial borders with the help of Regina subsect chief executive of the Sharurshid Megacorporation, Konrad Kiefer. Kiefer, unsuspectingly, planned the shipments using Sharurshid's facilities and resources, as well as his own contacts with black market smugglers, criminals and interstellar pirates. The Zhodani no doubt made lofty promises of power and wealth to Kiefer to turn him against the Imperium. Fortunately, Sharurshid's leading authorities already suspected Kiefer was illegally trading, embezzling corporate funds and forging company records. Lenara Raclor, a special agent from Transom, Sharurshid's intelligence agency, was assigned to investigate Kiefer's activities. She soon uncovered the Zhodani plot and found records of shipment dates and locations of secret arms deliveries. With the help of several ex-military travellers, Raclor obtained the holographic data and accompanying decoding keys and... Now it's your turn to write history! You control the five ex-military travellers as they set out to thwart the Zhodani conspiracy and capture traitorous Konrad Kiefer. The fate of the Imperium rests in your hands. How will the Fifth Frontier War unfold? Your actions will determine the outcome and change history forever! CHARACTERS AND CHARACTER GENERATION 1. Characters in the TRAVELLER Universe An exciting aspect of MEGATRAVELLER is the unique character generation system. You will be able to determine a character's strengths and weaknesses by choosing a set of basic ability scores you wish to develop. This approach is unlike other computer role-playing adventures, which assign characters a set of initial attribute scores that can't be changed. For example, if you want your character to be physically strong and agile, you can keep generating basic ability scores until the character has a high STR (strength) and DEX (dexterity). On the other hand, if you desire a character with a keen mental edge, you can choose a basic set of ability scores that include high INT (intelligence) and EDU (education) ratings. The MEGATRAVELLER character generator is simple to use, but detailed enough to give you the power to mould your characters into likenesses of your choosing. This is extremely important in a role-playing environment because your characters should represent your alter-ego. The characters are a direct link between you and the vast MEGATRAVELLER universe. Your characters will grow to mean more to you than just a computer graphic with a name. Other computer role-playing games offer little control over the development of characters, thus making it difficult to fashion a character to your specifications. The character generation process was designed for ease of use and enjoyability. More detail and more control means more fun! In your spare time, you may want to generate characters and add them to your character pool. If one of your characters perishes during game play, you will be able to add new characters to your party at a starport with recruiting facilities. There you can replace a fallen member of your team with one of the auxiliary characters you will have placed in the pool. It's not mandatory to generate extra characters; the character pool will already have several pre-generated characters to choose from. MEGATRAVELLER offers the most in-depth character building system ever designed for a computer role-playing game. With all its depth, the character generator remains exciting, easy and fun! Regardless, there are bound to be some players who don't enjoy the process of generating characters. If you're one of these players, you can choose pre-generated characters and get right into the game! 2. Character Ability Scores (Attributes) and the UPP Each character you create is represented by six basic ability scores that will affect nearly every action the character attempts in the game. Each of these abilities is represented by a number from one to 15, with one being the lowest and 15 being the highest possible rating. Next, each individual ability score is represented as part of a group, referred to as the UPP (Universal Personality Profile). Scores ranging from ten to 15 are represented by letters (A represents 10, F represents 15), because TRAVELLER uses a hexadecimal system to display the character's ability scores in the UPP. In hexadecimal notation, the numbers one to nine are represented by the common Arabic numerals, and numbers ten to 15 are represented by the letters A to F. Here is an example of a UPP: STR DEX END INT EDU SOC | | | | | | | |____|_____|_____|_____|_____|_____| The following abilities are used to describe a character: STRENGTH: Strength (STR) refers to a character's muscular power. The higher a character's Strength,the more effective related physical tasks can be performed. Strength also determines the amount of weight a character can carry without being encumbered and slowed. Most of the tasks requiring physical strength are combat related. DEXTERITY: Dexterity (DEX) involves a character's physical coordination or ability to perform detailed tasks. A character with a higher Dexterity will be likely to complete actions in a more timely manner than a character with a lower Dexterity rating. ENDURANCE: Endurance (END) is a character's physical stamina and ability to continue performing demanding activities over a period of time. A character's Endurance will be critical in combat situations. The higher the Endurance ability rating, the more damage a character will be able to sustain. Also, Endurance will affect the rate of oxygen consumption when travelling on the surface of a non-atmospheric world (vacuum) or any environment requiring the use of oxygen apparatus. INTELLIGENCE: Intelligence (INT) is a character's knowledge and ability to apply logic or arrive at competent conclusions. For example, Intelligence would be extremely beneficial to a character attempting to alter a computer program for a desired result. Intelligence helps to determine the number of skills a character is able to obtain and use during the game. EDUCATION: Education (EDU) represents the amount of formal and informal training a character has received. Along with Intelligence, a character's Education plays a part in determining the number of skills a character can learn and use at any one time. The higher an individual's Education, the more skills he can acquire and apply in various situations. SOCIAL STANDING: Social Standing (SOC) signifies a character's status within society. This social hierarchy is often based on military rank, wealth, achievement, and the social standing of the character's family. Individuals with a high Social Standing are accustomed to a much higher standard of living, and in most cases, aren't skilled at negotiating and bargaining. Also, Social Standing affects the way others treat an individual. The poor may look upon the upper class with resentment, whereas upper class individuals greet their social equivalents with friendship and camaraderie. In two instances, two different ability scores are combined to generate a characteristic that helps to further define characters. First, the sum of a character's INT and EDU determines the maximum number of skills a character can maintain and use at any one time. INT+EDU = maximum # of skills Secondly, a character's LIFE FORCE RATING - the amount of damage a character can take before becoming unconscious or being killed - is based on the sum of the character's STR, END and DEX scores. What ability scores make a well rounded character? As with any human being, there's no perfect combination. It depends entirely on the way you intend to solve the game. MEGATRAVELLER allows you to reach your goals using a variety of different tactics. If you're the hard core "shoot-em-up" adventurer, you'll probably want high (A to F) STR, DEX and END ability scores. If your forte is strategy and puzzle-solving, you should generate characters with high INT and EDU scores. Always remember, a party consists of five characters, so it's recommended you have a diverse range of individuals. The sum of a team is greater than its parts. You may be pleasantly surprised when a mediocre character who doesn't excel in any one category ends up being the most effective. When you begin the character generation process, you will choose a set of ability scores randomly generated by the computer. After you select a set of scores, you will begin developing the character. You will have several opportunities during the remainder of the character generation process to increase many of the basic ability scores. Once the character generation process is completed, a character's abilities will be set, and cannot permanently change during game play. However, there will be several ways to temporarily increase ability scores once the character is in the game. Most of these artificial ability increases will occur by using medicinal drugs or serums, and will primarily affect STR, DEX and END. 3. Enlistment and Drafting Procedures in the Military Services Each of the characters you develop will have a military service background in one of the Imperial forces. A character must must either submit to the draft, in which the computer will randomly choose a service, or attempt to enlist in a specific branch of the military. Enlistment in a particular service is not guaranteed, and some acceptance standards are higher than others. If a character is rejected, he will automatically be submitted to the draft. Military Services There are five distinct military organizations a character can get serve in: Army. A character that serves in the Army is placed in the Imperial planetary armed fighting forces. Training focuses on surface military actions, battles, campaigns, and tactical manoeuvres. Because of their excellent fighting background, many who serve in the army choose a career as a mercenary after their tour of duty is over. The army is the easiest service in which to enlist; acceptance is high. The ideal service for combat training, weapons and survival skills, the Army is also the military service easiest in which to increase in rank. Navy. The purpose of this branch of the Imperial armed forces is to protect and secure regions of space controlled by the Imperium. The interstellar space navy also patrols Imperial territory in search of rogue bands of space pirates that threaten trade channels. Naval qualifications are very rigid and re-enlistment is difficult. While in the navy, a character will gain skills vital to the operation of a starship. Marines. Similar to the Army, Imperial Marines are planetary surface fighting units carried aboard large starships. Often, Marines are responsible for dangerous missions such as boarding and securing crippled pirate vessels. Likewise, Marines are responsible for protecting Imperial starports and providing reinforcements to ground troops. The Marines have a fearsome reputation for "toughness", and are often the first to be called into battle. The rigorous training and responsibilities of the Imperial Marines is dangerous: life expectancy is lower than that of other branches of service. Throughout their tour of duty, Marines acquire numerous weapon and combat skills. In addition to these battle skills, marines, at times, gain several skills necessary to operate a starship. Of all the Imperial military services, the Marines have the strictest acceptance policy, and the opportunities for advancement are low. Scouts. The Scouts are members of the Imperial exploratory service. Scouts are responsible for exploring uncharted regions of space, mapping known or newly discovered regions, and maintaining lines of communication between territories. Although members of the Scouts do not acquire specific combat- related skills, they gain useful skills involving the operation of a starship. Although they are not trained for battle, Scouts are educated in the use of numerous combat weapons. However, the percentage of Scouts who see action in battle is very slim. Although acceptance standards for the Scouts are not as stringent as in other services, the job is just as dangerous in its own way. Many Scouts have lost their lives exploring new territories. There is no ranking system within the Scouts, but re-enlistment is almost always granted, allowing the possibility of acquiring a variety of exploratory skills. In addition, Scouts receive excellent benefits because of the highly dangerous tasks they are called upon to perform. Merchants. Merchants are not necessarily members of the Imperial armed forces. Merchants are individuals that engage in interstellar commercial enterprise. They serve on starships owned by large megacorporations, or work for independent wealthy traders. Like any profession that centres around the transfer of money, greed has been known to draw some Merchants into illegal smuggling rings. While in the Merchants, a character can acquire the vital trading and negotiating skills required of a proficient trader. Normally, it is difficult to enlist in the Merchants and chances for promotion are low. As mentioned earlier, since your party of adventurers consist of five individual characters, it's a good idea to develop a group that has experience in a variety of military branches. This strategy gives your party a wide range of skills. MEGATRAVELLER allows you to set your own gaming strategy. You can trade and pirate valuable cargo, set out to find hidden treasures or battle your way to your goal using elite fighters. By having a diverse group of characters in your party, all your options will be covered. Commissions, Promotions, and Rank Each Imperial military service, with the exception of the Scouts, has a specific ranking system. When a character's enlistment attempt succeeds, he becomes eligible for a commission. Commissions are necessary for service promotion. If a character is drafted, he is not eligible for commission until his second term of service. Once a character receives a commission, he is eligible for a promotion for each subsequent term of service. Promotion procedures are different for each branch of the military. Promotions are easier to attain in the Army, followed by the Marines, Navy, and Merchants respectively. The Scouts have no organized promotion system. What advantage does a character's military rank play in the game? The higher a character's rank, the more skills he receives for each term of service. In addition, rank will increase the amount of benefits, skills, items, and credits awarded when it comes time to muster out and leave the military. MILITARY RANKS Rank # Army Navy Marines Merchants 1 Lieutenant Ensign Lieutenant 4th Officer 2 Captain Lieutenant Captain 3rd Officer 3 Major Lt. Commander Force Commander 2nd Officer 4 Lt. Colonel Commander Lt. Colonel 1st Officer 5 Colonel Captain Colonel Captain 6 General Admiral Brigadier Owner Terms of Service When a character completes a successful term of service, he will receive a certain number of skills. The number of skills the character receives during a specific term of service is based on: 1. The branch of military in which the character is serving. A character receives one skill for each term served, with the exception of the Scouts. A character in the Scouts receives two skills for each term of service. 2. Commissions or promotions received during that term. A character receives one additional skill for any commission or promotion awarded during a term of service. There are special cases in which a character may be granted two extra skills for a commission or promotion. 3. Any special duty served during that term. If, during a term of service, a character is granted a special duty or assignment, he receives one additional skill for that term of service. Re-enlistment After a term is successfully served, a character can attempt to continue military service or he can muster out. To continue service, the character must attempt to re-enlist. If re-enlistment is successful, another full term is served - as long as no injuries are sustained. If re-enlistment is denied, the character is forced to retire from military service and muster out. On very rare occasions, a branch of military service can force a character into serving another term. Retirement Pay The total number of terms that a character serves in the military determines the amount of credits he receives as yearly retirement pay. A character becomes eligible for retirement pay after five terms of military service. After leaving the military, eligible characters receive 2000 Imperial credits for each term of service. 1 term of service = 2000 credits Retirement pay is issued on a monthly basis and can be collected at any class G to A starport (see Starports in the Interstellar Exploration and Starship Combat section of this manual). 4. Injuries, Operations, and the Death of a Character during Character Gen. It is possible for a character to die while being generated. In addition, at times, a character may sustain injuries caused by rare and unfortunate accidents that occur during military service. If an injury is sustained, the character can muster out and leave the service. However, the character loses one or several points from his STR, END or DEX abilities based on the severity of his injury. An alternative to mustering out due to injury is to let the character undergo an operation. Because operations are highly dangerous, there is a risk that the character will die during surgery. But if the character survives, the ability scores will not be lowered, and the character can continue his term in military service. The higher the character's END rating, the better chance he will survive an operation. If the character accepts the injury and leaves the military, credit is only given for a half a term. Since mustering out benefits are only awarded for full terms, the character cannot receive a commission or promotion. Luckily, the character still receives one skill for that term, even if it was cut short. Aging For each term spent in the service, a character ages four years (two years for a half term). As a character grows older, the physical burdens of a military career begin to take their toll. A character's Str, END and DEX abilities will decrease with age. At a much later age, a character's INT ability will also slowly decrease. The character development strategy is up to you. You must determine if you want younger and healthier characters with high ability scores, or more experienced adventurers with a greater number of skills, but lower ability scores. Age 4 years = 1 term. Age 2 years = 1/2 term Mustering Out There comes a time when a character's military profession must come to an end, whether by force or personal choice. At that point, a character is able to take his valuable skills and training and set out to brave the TRAVELLER universe. Luckily, the military rewards characters for their loyal service by offering mustering out benefits to help them get started on their new path in life. When a character musters out, he will receive a specified number of benefits from one or two areas: the cash table or benefits table. A character gets one choice from these tables for every term of service, and an additional choice is given for every two promotions in military rank. For example, if a character served five terms, and was promoted to the rank of General (rank 6), he would receive ten benefits for the number of terms served, and an additional three benefits for moving through the ranks. +1 benefit for achieving rank 1 and 2 Additional +1 benefit for achieving rank 3 and 4 Another +1 benefit for achieving rank 5 and 6 Any gambling skills acquired during a character's service will help him when choosing from the cash table. A character cannot draw from the cash table more than three times. The following benefits are offered: Weapons. The character is given a weapon along with some ammunition. The amount of ammunition depends on the type of weapon received. The character is always given a weapon in which he has at least one skill value. If a character receives a weapon a second time, he can opt for a +1 skill level in the use of that weapon. TAS. The Traveller's Aide Society offers free access to information about worlds or systems to its members. At times, this information is very crucial and can be helpful to travellers. There are many dangers within, and outside of, Imperial Space, and TAS can better prepare a character for unknown surprises. There is no charge for information, and most facilities offer free boarding and maintain well-stocked cocktail lounges. Ability Increases. A character can receive permanent increases to his INT, EDU and SOC basic abilities on the benefits table. Since INT and EDU combine to determine the maximum number of skills a character can possess, the benefits table offers a good opportunity to increase these two important basic ability scores. Armour. Protective armour and vacc suits (space suits needed to breathe on certain planets) can also be acquired during the mustering out procedure. However, these items, essential to any adventurer, are limited to very basic styles, and are not the most advanced forms of battle armour and space suits. Sophisticated armour and space suits are quite expensive and more difficult to come by. Imperial Release. An Imperial Release will grant pardon from a crime committed on a world under Imperial rule. These releases can only be obtained when mustering out, and should be used sparingly. An adventurer may discover that on more corrupt worlds, it may be possible to bribe the jailer into releasing him from confinement. 5. Skills MEGATRAVELLER allows a character to gain many skills during the character generation process. Skills are the most important part of a character because they determine the probability of successfully performing a task (action). Some skills are specific to performing a certain task, but many skills can be applied to a variety of situations. Each skill begins at the number zero, representing an untrained basic working knowledge. As skills are increased, the corresponding number will increase. There is no limit to how high a skill number can reach. The greater the skill level, the more successful a character will be when attempting a related task. The skill level is always displayed after the name of the specific skill. For example: Navigation - 2 There are two categories of skills in MEGATRAVELLER: basic skills and cascade skills. Basic skills pertain to the general ability of a character to perform a certain task. Cascade skills are a general category and offer the character an opportunity to gain a specialized skill. The following are examples of both types of skill. A basic skill : Medical A cascade skill: Gun Combat (The character would be allowed to choose one skill from the following list: Energy Weapons, Handgun, Laser Weapons, Neural Weapons, Rifleman, Submachinegun.) The maximum number of skill levels a character can potentially possess is equal to the sum of the character's INT and EDU. Each skill level is equal to one skill. For example, a character with a UPP of 777777 has an INT of 7 and an EDU of 7, allowing that character a total of 14 skill levels that can possibly be developed. If this character possesses the skill Submachinegun 4, then only ten skill levels remain for that character to make use of. It is possible for a character to improve a skill area by repeatedly using that skill successfully. A character can find out which skills he can improve upon by visiting a starport containing a training facility. Be forewarned: training isn't free, so be ready to pay a price if you want to improve a character's skills. Here is the complete list of skills in the game. A brief description follows the name of each skill. Cascade skills are handled differently. After the name of a cascade skill, there is a listing of the specific skills available under that Cascade skill. *Academic* cascade: Admin, Linguistics, Sciences, +1 Education. *Admin* The character is experienced in dealing with bureaucratic agencies and understands the requirements of successfully relating to them. *Aircraft* The character is capable of operating jet-propelled aircraft Assault Rifle The character is accomplished in the use of assault rifles. ATV The character is trained in the operation and maintenance of all types of All-Terrain Vehicles. Battle Dress The character is qualified to use battle dress, a high-tech military armoured suit. Blade Combat cascade: Dagger, Sword. Brawling The character is proficient in hand-to-hand combat, and is capable of fighting without weapons. Bribery The character is adept in bribing officials to circumvent regulations and ignore cumbersome laws. Carousing The character is a sociable individual who enjoys meeting and mingling with strangers in unfamiliar surroundings. *Combat-* The character is capable of constructing rapid field *Engineering* fortifications, utilizing camouflage, and assessing strengths and weaknesses of enemy locations. This skill also includes the strategic planting of mines. Combat Rifleman The character is efficient in the use of modern combat rifles Communications The character has a working knowledge of various comms systems, primarily those aboard spacefaring vessels. Computer The character is practised in the operation of electronic and fibre optic computers. Computer skills are vital to the operation of a starship's onboard computer. Dagger The character is trained in the use of a dagger as a weapon. Demolitions The character is well-grounded in the placement, handling, and use of explosive devices. Electronics The character is experienced in the use, operation, and repair of electronic devices. Energy Weapons The character is trained in the use of a variety of energy weapons, including the plasma gun. Engineering The character is skilled in operating, maintaining and repairing starship drives and jump drives. A proficient engineer is essential for effectively operating a starship. *Environmental* cascade: Recon, Stealth and Survival. Exploratory cascade: Pilot, Sensor Ops, Survey, Vacc Suit, Vehicle, and Survival. *Fleet* The character has a grounding in naval operations, formations *Tactics* and manoeuvres. An essential skill for space combat. *Forgery* The character is quite capable of faking papers, signatures and documents. *Forward* The character has professional skills in determining the *Observer* direction of artillery fire. Modern fire support is an effective weapon, but only if accurately directed. Gambling The character has expertise in various games of chance. *Grav Belt* The character knows how to operate a grav belt that can propel him through the air. Grav Vehicle The character is able to pilot all types of grav vehicles that glide above the ground. *Gravitics* The character is able to use and repair all types of gravitational devices. Gun Combat cascade: Energy Weapons, Handgun, Laser Weapons, Neural Weapons, Rifleman and Submachinegun. Hand Combat cascade: Brawling, +1 END, +1 STR, Sword and Dagger. Handgun The character is able to use a variety of handguns. Heavy Weapons The character can operate heavy weapons such as the light assault gun and rocket launcher. *High Energy* The character can use high energy battlefield weapons. These *Weapons* weapons are larger, more powerful and less versatile versions of the portable plasma and fusion guns. *High-G* The character has survived in environments with a gravity of *Environment* two Gs or greater. A high-G environment exerts considerable stress and bodily injury to those unaccustomed to extreme gravity. Inborn cascade: Carousing, Jack-of-Trades, and Leader. Interpersonal cascade: Admin, Interview, Liaison, Linguistics and Steward. *Interrogation* The character is proficient at the psychological art of interrogation. This skill includes the ability to extract more information from a subject than is normally possible. An interrogator has been trained to detect lying and assemble piecemeal information. *Interview* The character is trained in conversing with others on an individual basis. The character's knowledge of psychology, body language, and oral communication allows him to keep his subjects at ease, making them more apt to be open in conversation. Intrusion The character is experienced in clandestine methods of acquiring goods that belong to others. An individual with Intrusion skills can pick pockets, safes and locks. Jack-of-Trades The character is capable of handling a wide variety of situations and is very resourceful at finding solutions to problems. *Jet Propelled* The character is able to operate and pilot Jet-propelled *Aircraft* aircraft. Laser Weapons The character is trained in the use of most laser weapons. *Leader* The character is experienced in leading others through difficult situations, and has the knowledge and self assurance to be admired and trusted. Liaison The character is accomplished in the art of dealing with others. This skill is used in relation to military units, citizens in a community, or alien and foreign cultures. The character is capable of subordinating his or her own views and prejudices when they may conflict with the opinions held by those he is communicating with. *Linguistics* The character is experienced in communicating in foreign languages. Mechanical The character can operate and repair an assortment of mechanical devices. Medical The character has a thorough background in the medical arts. Mental cascade: +1 INT and +1 EDU Navigation The character is instructed in interplanetary and interstellar navigation. A starship navigator is responsible for plotting courses and ensuring information is available to the crew and pilot when it is required. Also this skill allows the character to interpret the data provided by the starship's scanners and detectors. Neural Weapons The character is educated in the use of neural rifles and pistols. Physical cascade: +1 DEX, +1 STR, and +1 END. Pilot The character is capable of operating starships and large interplanetary spacecraft. This skill allows the individual to control lift-offs, landings, refuelling and routine flights. *Recon* The character is adept at military scouting, and is capable of travelling through rough terrain without being detected. *Recruiting* The individual is familiar with the most effective methods of approaching others and presenting proposals for employment. Rifleman The character is drilled in the use of standard military weapons, such as the autorifle, carbine, and rifle. *Robot Ops* The character is capable of overseeing robots and programming them for specific duties. *Robotics* The character has a background in designing, building and repairing high-tech robots. Sciences The character has a background education in various areas of modern sciences. Sensor Ops The character is accomplished in the operation and interpretation of a variety of sensor readings. *Screens* The individual is schooled in the operation of defensive equipment developed for starships. These protective devices include nuclear dampers, meson screens and black globe generators. Ship's Tactics The character is experienced in the operation of a starship during battle situations. *Ship's Boat* The character is able to operate a small interplanetary craft known as Ship's Boat. These craft range from five to 100 tons and include shuttles, lifeboats and fighters. Space cascade: Engineering, Navigation, Pilot, Sensor Ops, Ship's Boat and Vacc Suit. Space Combat cascade: Screens, Spinal Weapons, Turret Weapons, Sensor Ops, Ship's Tactics, and Tactics. Space Tech cascade: Communications, Computer, Engineering, Gravitics and Vacc Suit. Special Combat cascade: Battle Dress, Combat Engineer, Combat Rifleman, Demolitions, Forward Observer, Grav Belt, Heavy Weapons, High Energy Weapons, High-G Environment, Stealth and Zero-G Environment. *Spinal Wpn* The character is prepared to operate major starship weaponry. Stealth The individual, trained in covert activity, is capable of remaining unobserved by moving quietly and taking maximum advantage of available cover. *Steward* The character is educated in the care of, feeding and entertaining of starship passengers. Streetwise The character can successfully deal with dangerous individuals without alienating them. This skill also enables the character to obtain information, hire persons, buy or sell illegal contraband, or engage in other "shady" activities. Submachinegun The character is trained in the use of a submachinegun (SMG) Survey The individual is capable of mapping and charting star systems and producing accurate maps of Imperial territories. This skill will help determine characteristics (UWP) of an unknown or unclassified world. *Survival* The character can successfully live off the land and survive life-threatening situations. The individual can find food and water, and build shelter in the harshest environments. Sword The character is trained in the use of the sword as a weapon. Tactics The character is experienced in small unit tactics. Technical cascade: Communications, Computer, Electronics, Gravitics, Robot Ops, and Sensor Ops. Trader The character has a working knowledge of techniques and practices of commerce. This skill allows a character to determine the real value of many items, increasing his negotiating power. Turret Weapons The character is accomplished at operating turret-mounted and fixed small craft weaponry. Vacc Suit The individual is able to operate a standard vacuum space suit. This also includes the use of armoured battle dress and other suits required on planetary surfaces with an exotic, corrosive or insidious atmosphere. Vehicle cascade: Aircraft, ATV, Grav Vehicle, Jet-Propelled Aircraft, Ship's Boat, and Watercraft. Vice cascade: Bribery, Forgery. Watercraft The character is qualified to operate all water-borne craft. *Zero-G Env* The character has been trained to function and perform physical activity in a Zero-G environment. Actions attempted in such environments can hinder individuals unable to compensate for recoil and inertia. Note: Not all of the above skills are important in MEGATRAVELLER I. Some will come in handy in future MEGATRAVELLER computer adventures. Each skill that does not play a part in this first adventure, THE ZHODANI CONSPIRACY, has an asterisk by its name. When generating your characters, you may want to include some skills which aren't necessary for THE ZHODANI CONSPIRACY, if you plan to use these same characters in future MEGATRAVELLER computer adventures. The skill system outlined here is the basis for the MEGATRAVELLER pen and pencil role-playing system, as well. Though some of the above skills are not essential to solving this first computer adventure, it would not have done the gaming system justice to remove them entirely. Even in the pen and pencil role-playing version of MEGATRAVELLER, not all of the character skills play an important role in every adventure. In addition, a unique feature of this MEGATRAVELLER computer adventure is that it allows you to print out information on characters you have generated. Therefore, the characters you generate can be used in the pen and pencil role-playing system. This compatibility would not exist if skills were eliminated from the above list. Characters are given a set of default skills as soon as they enlist or are drafted into a service, as well as when they achieve a certain rank in that service. These default skills are common to military life. For example, every character other than a merchant is given Gun Combat - 0 because the use of a weapon is initially taught to all soldiers, whether they be Army,Navy, Marines, or Scouts. The following are lists of skills that are picked up in each of the services: Army Hand Gun - 0, Combat Rifleman - 1, ATV - 0, Vacc Suit - 0. Army Lieutenant: Submachinegun - 1. Navy Hand Gun - 0, ATV - 0, Turret Weapon -0. Navy Captain: +1 Social Standing. Navy Admiral: +1 Social Standing. Scouts Hand Gun - 0, Vacc Suit - 0, ATV - 0, Sensor Ops - 0, Pilot - 1. Marines Hand Gun - 0, Vacc Suit - 0, ATV - 0, Sword - 1. Marine Lieutenant: Handgun - 1. Merchant Hand Gun - 0, Vacc Suit - 0, ATV - 0, Navigation - 0. 1st Officer: Pilot - 1. 6. Advanced Education Table Characters with an Education ability less than 8 are only entitled to three skill lists from which to select. When a characters' Education is 8 or greater, an extra list, the Advanced Education Table(AET), is added to the other three. The AET offers more non-combat oriented and specialized skills that aren't available in the basic soldier's repertoire. 7. Choosing from a Character Pool MEGATRAVELLER gives you the option of choosing pre-generated characters if you don't want to go through the character generation procedure, or if you want to become familiar with the rest of the game before generating your own characters. In addition, you can develop up to 15 characters and save them in the character pool. If one of your original characters is killed, you can recruit new members for your party at various starports. New characters recruited at starports will come from the character pool, so you may want to develop a wide range of characters with diverse skills and backgrounds. 8. Character Generator Procedures Here is a breakdown of the character generation system in MEGATRAVELLER. a) A set of basic ability scores is chosen for the character. These sets can be re-calculated until a desired set is displayed. b) The character must attempt enlistment into a specific service or submit to the draft. c) Once a character enters a service, the default skills are added to the character's list of basic skills. d) You are then told whether or not the character received any commissions, promotions, or special duties for the term being served. Based upon this information, the character is given an appropriate number of selections from the list of skill tables. If the character suffers from an injury, they must muster out, receiving credit for only a half-term, or risk an operation to continue. e) Skills for the character are determined from the skill tables you choose. As the skills are chosen, they are added to the list of the character's skills. f) As the character finishes a full term, his age is increased four years. Depending on age, certain ability scores are increased or decreased. g) After a term is served, the character must re-enlist, be forced into re- enlistment, or muster out. If at least five terms have been served, mustering out is considered retirement. When a character retires, he receives a monthly retirement fund. h) When a character leaves the service, he is allowed to make selections from the cash or benefits table. No more than three choices can be made from the cash table. Any gambling skills the character may possess will increase the amount received from the cash table. i) If a character has more skills than the sum of his Intelligence and Education scores, he must edit his skill lists. j) Once a character is fully developed, you must name him/her and save the individual in the character pool. INTERSTELLAR EXPLORATION AND STARSHIP COMBAT Between your visits to various worlds within the TRAVELLER universe, you will spend a great deal of time travelling the interstellar spaceways. These vast regions of space are traversed by far traders shipping cargo between worlds, Imperium fleet vessels protecting the interests of the Imperium, and dreadful pirates who prey on defenceless cargo ships. In the TRAVELLER universe the spaceways are futuristic highways. Just as someone gets in their car to go to work, individuals in MEGATRAVELLER can travel between worlds by starship. The Imperial Navy consists of formidable and powerful fighting starships constructed to protect the Imperium. 1. In-System Travel Screen Space travel in MEGATRAVELLER can be accomplished in one of two ways. Space travel within a star system is performed using the In-System Travel Screen. The space between systems is so vast that a special method, Jump Travel, must be utilized. For more information on jump travel, see the section: Jump Travel Screen. A majority of the In-System Travel Screen will consist of a large viewport. In this viewport you will be able to travel between worlds in your starship, the Interloper. Each star system has a star, situated directly at its centre. Orbits are drawn as circles surrounding that star. Some orbits contain worlds, gas giants, or an asteroid belt. These are all displayed graphically, as are any satellites (moons) the worlds might have. To get information about a world or a gas giant and its satellites, you must access the Interloper's communications station (see the Communications Station section). At the top of the viewport is an In-System Travel heading. The particular star system in which you are travelling is listed beside this heading. All ships travelling in the system are represented by a single icon in the viewport on the In-System Travel Screen. When combat is engaged, each different class of ship has its own icon in the 2D overhead view displayed on most of the Interloper's station screens. The Interloper can be distinguished from other starships because its icon is surrounded by a circle. When the circle around the Interloper encompasses another starship, you will be thrown into combat mode. Combat mode is where all space combat takes place. On the In-System Travel Screen, the system is displayed in quadrants shown in the top right hand corner of the screen. Your ship is represented by a single coloured pixel. The Interloper's fuel gauge is displayed in the lower left side of the In- System Travel Screen. This gauge is separated into three areas: NO JUMP, CAUTION (not labelled as caution), and JUMP. If the amount of fuel in the Interloper's tanks in in the NO JUMP area, it's impossible to make a jump. If the fuel line is in the CAUTION area, then a jump is possible, but there's a slight chance of a misjump. The JUMP area signifies that the Interloper has enough fuel to make a successful jump. Jump space is explained in detail in the Jump Travel Screen section of the manual. When a misjump does occur, the Interloper will jump into a system other than the chosen destination. This can be a major setback, as making a jump requires a significant amount of fuel. For this reason, after a misjump, you will have the added expense of refuelling the Interloper - which can be costly. Displayed in the bottom right side of In-System Travel Screen is a graphical key. This key explains the graphic representations used in the system map shown in the large viewport. These graphic representations include planets and accompanying satellites with and without starport facilities, and large or small gas giants. The Interloper can only land on worlds with starport facilities. Those without starport facilities aren't an integral part of the game and can be ignored. Large and small gas giants can only be used for refuelling the Interloper, but only if the ship is outfitted with the proper equipment (fuel scoops and a fuel purification plant). Fuel scoops allow the Interloper to trap raw hydrogen fuel from a gas giant's atmosphere. The fuel purification plant then transforms the raw fuel so that it is compatible with a ship's drives. Below the small system representation are five menu selections: STATIONS COMMO (abbreviation for communications) LAND (LAUNCH) JUMP REFUEL Selecting STATIONS will allow you to access the various stations within the Interloper. Selecting COMMO will immediately take you to the Interloper's communication station. Here, you can find pertinent information about a system, any gas giants or planets and accompanying satellites within the system. The communication station can also be accessed by selecting the STATIONS option, but since COMMO is probably the most commonly used menu selection on the In-System Travel Screen, it was given its own menu selection for easier access. LAND is selected whenever you wish to land the Interloper on a world's surface. To signify which planet you intend to land on, you must manoeuvre the circle surrounding the Interloper around the planet's graphical representation in the viewport. When you enter the Interloper from the ground, the LAND menu selection is changed to LAUNCH. After entering the Interloper, your characters will be placed in the stations they occupied when they last left the ship. From the station screens you must go to the In-System Travel Screen and use the LAUNCH selection to leave the planet. Selecting JUMP will take you to the Jump Travel Screen, where it's possible to jump to another star system. Selecting REFUEL will allow you to refuel the Interloper, as long as the ship is properly equipped. Similar to landing, the circle surrounding the Interloper must encompass the graphical representation of the gas giant before a refuelling attempt can be made. Lastly, if a mouse is being used, below the five menu selections are arrow icons used to control the Interloper. The arrow icons permit you to turn the ship left and right and to accelerate or decelerate. Also displayed is the current acceleration of the Interloper. Once the ship accelerates it will remain at that accelerated speed until a new speed is selected. The ship will continue to move forward even when a right or left turn is utilized. In order to come to a stop, you must decelerate an equal amount, or turn the ship entirely around and accelerate an equal amount in the opposite direction. 2. The Jump Travel Screen Jump Travel is the basic concept of interstellar travel. Theoretically, jump spaces are alternate spaces, only dimly understood from the standpoint of our own universe. Jump is defined as the movement of matter from one point in space (called normal space) to another point in normal space by travelling through an alternate space (called jump space). The benefit of the jump is that the time required is relatively invariable - approximately one week. Entering jump space is possible from anywhere in a system. Sometimes jumps do go wrong, these failures usually put the ship in a system other than the system of intended destination. For a ship to be able to make a jump, it must be equipped with a jump-capable drive. There are different types of drives, each allowing jump travel of a certain distance. The distance is displayed as a number after the name Jump Drive. For example: Jump - 2. The number means that the jump drive is capable of jumping a ship the distance between two hexagons. Hexagons are used to measure distance between systems on the Jump Travel Screen. At the moment, the Imperium's technology level is only high enough to produce jump - 6 capable drives, but even these are rare and very expensive. In this first MEGATRAVELLER adventure, you are limited to Jump - 2 technology. The Interloper's fuel gauge remains displayed in the lower left side of the screen, the same position as on the In-System Travel Screen. The bottom right portion of the screen, next to the fuel gauge, is used to display the name of the system and subsector the characters are currently in. Once a destination system is chosen, the name of that system is also displayed. The remainder of the screen is used to display a hexagonal grid map containing the eight systems in the game and surrounding space. Any hexagon occupied by a system bears that system's name. The name of the system the characters are currently in is highlighted. This highlighting can be moved to other hexes so you can choose the name of the system you wish to jump to. Remember to keep in mind the restrictions placed upon jump travel by the type of jump drive installed in the Interloper. If the Interloper only has a jump - 2 drive, then the ship can only jump a distance of two hexes. 3. Station Screens There are two ways you can get to the stations screens. The first method is selecting the STATIONS menu selection on the In-System Travel Screen. The second method is automatic: when forced into combat, you are immediately placed at the station screens. The nearby picture is of a station screen for the Interloper's pilot station. The top portion of the screen remains the same as it is throughout most of the game, with a few minor changes (explained below). The middle section of the screen is used to display the menu selections ASSIGN and VIEW. Next to these menu selections are the station blocks. The bottom of the screen is broken into two sections. Information displayed in these two sections depends on the station being viewed. This is detailed in the explanation of each individual station. The Interloper contains eight different stations that characters can occupy and perform work in. These stations are used to operate the various controls of the ship. The eight stations are: PILOT STATION GUN STATION #1 GUN STATION #2 COMPUTER STATION ENGINEERING STATION COMMUNICATION STATION MEDICAL STATION SICK BAY STATION Each is important and will have to be used at one time or another. Since there is a maximum of five characters in a party at any one time, characters must be strategically placed in the stations. Be sure a character with appropriate skills is placed in a station where his skills will improve his performance. For example, if you want accurate information from the communication station, the character in that station should have good communications or related skills. When the characters enter the Interloper for the first time, they will be placed in the stations by default. A character will be assigned to a station in which he is the most skilled. Every time you land on a planet, leave the Interloper, and return, the characters will be placed in the stations they occupied when they last left the Interloper. Using the station blocks in the middle of the screen, you can determine which character is in a specific station. Each station block consists of three sections. The first is a square displaying the service symbol of the character currently occupying the station. Below each of these squares, with the exception of the pilot and sickbay station, is the third section: a small rectangle telling you whether the character in the station is busy doing something or waiting for something to be completed. If the rectangle is not filled in, the character is not busy. If the rectangle is filled, the character is in the middle of some action. This rectangle does not appear for the pilot and sickbay stations because no time-consuming actions take place there during the game. If the rectangle under the following station is filled, the character in that station is doing the following: Gun Stations: The Character is waiting for his laser weapon to fully recharge or for the missile bays to be reloaded. Laser weapons can still be fired even if they aren't fully recharged, but the rectangle will remain filled until the laser is recharged. The missiles cannot be fired until they're reloaded into the missile bays. Computer Station: The computer is still loading new programs. Engineering Station: Repairs are still being made to one of the repairable ship systems. Communications Station: Information is still being processed and cannot yet be accessed. Medical Station: A character in the medical station is still in the process of treating a character(s) in the sick bay station. Characters can be switched from station to station - and you can view stations using the two menu selections next to the station blocks, under the heading STATIONS. Select ASSIGN to assign a character to a new station. If there is a character already in that station, then the two characters will be switched. Select VIEW if you wish to view one of the stations. A station cannot be viewed unless there is a character assigned to that station. The top of the station screen remains the same throughout most of the game, with a few exceptions. The marching order block is replaced with a square titled, "The Interloper". Below the title are some statistics of the Interloper. These stats include: the weapons in guns #1 and #2, the computer model, the jump drive capability, and the maximum acceleration of the Interloper. The ORDER icon changes to an IN-SYS TRAVEL icon. Selecting the IN-SYS TRAVEL icon will take you back to the In-System Travel Screen. Other than the above changes, the top portion of the screen remains the same. The character screens can be viewed as always. It is possible for a character to take damage in the GUN #1, GUN #2, and COMPUTER stations. In combat, some damage is also applied to these three stations. If the damage is great enough to destroy the weapons or the computer, the station is considered destroyed. Characters in a station when it is destroyed will suffer damage. 4. Pilot Station The pilot station is used to fly the Interloper during combat situations. When you leave the pilot station, the Interloper will continue to move on the same course and speed as when you left. To plot a new course or to change the Interloper's speed, you must return to the pilot station. The two sections of the pilot station consist of an overhead 2D view and the information and controls for operating the Interloper. The following is displayed: Controls identical to those in the In-System Travel Screen, which operate in the same manner, as well. The Interloper's fuel gauge. The status of those systems that can be damaged during combat: gun #1, gun #2, computer, manoeuvre drive, and the jump drive. 5. The Gun Stations Each of the two gun stations represents a hard point on the Interloper in which a single weapon system can be installed. At the beginning of the game only one of the Interloper's hard points is occupied with a weapon system. Additional weapon systems can be purchased and installed at any starport with the proper facilities. There are three types of weapon systems available: beam lasers, pulse lasers and missile bays. There are also several types of beam and pulse lasers, as well as a variety of missiles. The bottom of the gun station is divided into an overhead 2D view, with the Interloper's icon in the centre and a viewport (as if looking out into space through a window). Below the viewport are the controls for operating the various weapons systems. At the top of the viewport is the name of the character manning the gun and which gun station is being displayed (GUN #1 or GUN #2). A small square containing an X resides in the upper left corner of the overhead 2D view. If MEGATRAVELLER is being played with a mouse, this X can be clicked on to increase the size of the display to fill the whole screen. The keystroke command of "x" will accomplish the same. This feature may come in handy because you can't see some enemy ships in the small viewscreen that are still in combat range. In combat, you will be able to fire lasers or missiles at a specific target, let lasers recharge or reload missile bays. Lines pointing in the eight compass directions diverge from the Interloper in the 2D view. Two of these lines will be highlighted. The area of space between the two highlighted lines represents the view seen outside the weapons window. You can rotate the view in both displays up to 360 degrees to view any enemy ships, missiles or mines around the Interloper. All targeting and firing of weapon systems is done from the controls under the gun stations viewport. See the INTERSTELLAR EXPLORATION AND STARSHIP COMBAT section of the manual for more information on how the weapon systems actually operate. The lasers will always recharge themselves, but the missiles have to be manually reloaded from the Interloper's auxiliary supply. The remaining missiles will be displayed graphically. The overhead 2D display is replaced with the missile reloads. Once you're finished reloading you can return to the overhead 2D display. 6. Computer Station The computer station is probably the most important station in the game. Many of the ship's operations require the appropriate program be running in the computer. These programs tell the ship how to execute the various operations it is assigned. Different models of computers have the ability to store and run a different number of programs. At the beginning of the game, the Interloper is equipped with a Model 2 Computer, but this can always be replaced with a different model. Each computer model can have a certain number of programs loaded into memory, so many of these programs can run at one time. A computer's STORAGE represents the number of the programs it can store. CPU represents the number of stored programs which can be run at one time. There are 12 programs which can be purchased. A program must be loaded into the computer and running for it to be effective. The programs are: Target (T): Helps beam and pulse laser weapon systems lock on a target. Lasers cannot be fired without this program running in the ship's computer. Launch (L): Helps a missile launcher lock onto targets. If this program is not running in the ship's computer, the missile weapon system cannot be fired. Jump-1 (J1): Must be running in the ship's computer before a jump-1 can be attempted. A better jump program, Jump-2 and higher, can also be used to make lower level jumps. Jump-2 (J2): This program must be running in the ship's computer in order to make a jump-2 Navigation (N): Controls ship through jump space to its chosen destination. This program is required to make any jump attempt. Manoeuvre (M): Enables the ship to manoeuvre. Without it, the ship cannot move left or right. Predict-1 (P1): Elevates a weapon system's accuracy, thus increasing the ability to hit an opponent. Predict-2 (P2): An upgraded and more effective version of the Predict 1 program. Predict-3 (P3): The most advanced version of the Predict 1 program. Insures maximum effectiveness of weapon system fire. Manoeuvre/Evade-1 (ME1): Loads various evasive manoeuvres that help the Interloper dodge enemy fire. Manoeuvre/Evade-2 (ME2): Upgraded version of Manoeuvre/Evade 1. It is more effective but requires two computer spaces instead of one. Auto Evade (AE): Serves the same purpose as the Manoeuvre/Evade 2 program, but needs only a single computer space to run. Displayed on the bottom portion of the screen is the 2D overhead view (left) and the computer information (right). Programs can be loaded and run using the LOAD and RUN icons or equivalent keystrokes. A program must be stopped before another program can be loaded. In addition to those programs loaded in the computer, there is enough storage space for 20 extra programs. When you choose to LOAD a new program, the overhead 2D view will be replaced with the extra programs in storage. When a program currently loaded into the computer is replaced, it goes into the computer program storage. For each individual storage space available in the ship's computer, a graphic block is shown. This block is divided into two squares and a small rectangle, one on top of the other. The graphic representation of the program is placed in the bottom square. When a program is loaded, the square above the picture of the program will fill, line by line, from top to bottom. When the entire top square is filled, the program is ready to be run. The rectangle on top of both squares is filled when the program is running. This way, you will always know which programs are loaded and which are running. Note: Some programs require two of the computer's storage spaces. These operate just like programs which require only one space, except for the additional space required. If your computer takes damage during combat, there is a chance that a running program will be destroyed. Once a program is destroyed, it is removed from the computer. 7. Engineering Station Characters in the Engineering Station can repair certain damaged systems on the Interloper. The systems that can be repaired are: gun #1, gun #2, Manoeuvre drive and the computer. The two sections at the bottom of the screen are the overhead 2D view (left) and the engineer's controls and important information (right). Each of the repairable systems has a bar indicating how much damage it can take. To the left of the bar there is a percentage of operating ability, telling you how much a system has been damaged. A damaged system can be repaired, but not to full operating capacity. Full repairs can only be made at a starport with shipyard facilities. Once a system is destroyed it cannot be repaired, it must be replaced. A character may repair only one system at a time. A character can quit repairing a system and begin repairs on a different one at any time. The ship's jump drives and structural points are displayed separately from the systems that can be repaired. Structural points can ONLY be repaired at a starport with shipyard facilities. When a starship is hit in battle, damage is distributed to several places. The systems mentioned (gun #1, gun #2, Manoeuvre drive) and the structural points. A system becomes inoperable when destroyed. If a character is in the gun or computer stations, they will sustain damage as well. Once the Interloper's structural points are reduced to zero (0), the ship is destroyed and your characters along with it. 8. Communications Station You can get all the useful information about the worlds within a system at the Communications station. You can also receive bits and pieces of information about other ships appearing on the In-System Travel Screen. The information is broken into three categories: System Information. This is a list of all the planets in the system, their characteristics, number of satellites, and the starport class. For example: MENORB SYSTEM SUN SMERA SIZE 2 TYPE M5 ORB CLASS UWP NAME SAT STPT 1 Planet D653523-D Trill 4 D The UWP (Universal World Profile) is used to describe the physical characteristics of a world. Like the Universal Personality Profile (UPP), all numbers are hexadecimal. In a hexadecimal system, the numbers ten through 15 are represented by the letters A through F, respectively. Numbers one through nine are the same as in the decimal system. Refer to the charts below to find out what each of the numbers in the UWP represent. The numbers in the UWP refer to, in order, Starport Size, Atmosphere, Hydrosphere, Population, Government, Law Level and Tech Level. (See the charts following.) For a list and description of all the starport options, see the STARPORT section. Planet Information: This information consists of all the data from the following charts that pertain to the selected planet. Ship Information: The accuracy of this information depends on the related skills of a character in the Communications station. The type of information given is: ship's class, owner, maximum acceleration, computer type, structural points and the number of hard points in which weapon systems could be installed. This information is given for all the ships that are currently the overhead view on the In-System Travel Screen. ---------------------------------- WORLD SIZE Code General Description Min Diameter Max Diameter R Asteroid / Planetoid Ring Multiple Bodies Under 1 km S Very Small 200 km 799 km 0 Asteroid / Planetoid Ring Multiple Bodies Under 200 km 1 Small 800 km 2399 km 2 Small (Luna: 3200 km) 2400 km 3999 km 3 Small (Mercury: 4800 km) 4000 km 5599 km 4 Small (Mars: 6400 km) 5600 km 7199 km 5 Medium 7200 km 8799 km 6 Medium 8800 km 10399 km 7 Medium 10400 km 11999 km 8 Large (Terra: 12800 km) 12000 km 13599 km 9 Large 13600 km 15199 km A Large 15200 km 16799 km SGG: Small Gas Giant LGG: Large Gas Giant R: A Ring orbits a world. S: A small body orbits a world or a star. 0: A planetoid or asteroid orbits a star. WORLD ATMOSPHERE Code General Description 0 vacuum 1 vacuum (trace atmosphere) 2 vacuum (very thin tainted atmosphere) 3 vacuum (very thin atmosphere) 4 thin (tainted atmosphere) 5 thin 6 standard 7 standard (tainted atmosphere) 8 dense 9 dense (tainted atmosphere) A exotic B exotic (corrosive atmosphere) C exotic (insidious atmosphere) D exotic E exotic F exotic WORLD HYDROGRAPHICS Code General Description Minimum % Maximum % 0 desert world 0 % 4 % 1 dry world 5 % 14 % 2 dry world 15 % 24 % 3 wet world 25 % 34 % 4 wet world 35 % 44 % 5 wet world 45 % 54 % 6 wet world 55 % 64 % 7 wet world 65 % 74 % 8 wet world 75 % 84 % 9 wet world 85 % 94 % A water world 95 % 100 % WORLD POPULATION Code General Description Population 0 low less than ten 1 low tens 2 low hundreds 3 low thousands 4 mod ten thousands 5 mod hundred thousands 6 mod millions 7 mod ten millions 8 mod hundred millions 9 high billions A high ten billions WORLD GOVERNMENTS Code General Description 0 NO GOVERNMENT STRUCTURE: In many cases, but not all, family bonds predominate 1 COMPANY/CORPORATION: Government by a company or corporation managerial elite; citizens are company employees. 2 PARTICIPATING DEMOCRACY: Government by advice and consent of citizen. 3 SELF-PERPETUATING OLIGARCHY: Government by a restricted minority, with little or no input from the masses. 4 REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY: Government by elected representatives. 5 FEUDAL TECHNOCRACY: Government by specific individuals for those who agreed to be ruled. Relationships are based on the performance of technical activities which are mutually beneficial. 6 CAPTIVE GOVERNMENT/COLONY: Government by a leadership answerable to an outside group; a colony or conquered area. 7 BALKANIZATION: No central ruling authority exists; rival governments compete for control. 8 CIVIL SERVICE BUREAUCRACY: Government by agencies employing individuals selected for their expertise. 9 IMPERSONAL BUREAUCRACY: Government by agencies which are insulated from the governed. A CHARISMATIC DICTATOR: Government by a single leader enjoying the confidence of the citizens. B NON-CHARISMATIC LEADER: A previous charismatic dictator has been replaced by a leader through normal channels. C CHARISMATIC OLIGARCHY: Government by a select group, organization, or class enjoying overwhelming confidence of the citizens. D RELIGIOUS DICTATORSHIP: Government by a religious minority which has little regard for the needs of the citizens. E RELIGIOUS AUTOCRACY: Government by a single religious leader having absolute power over the citizens. F TOTALITARIAN OLIGARCHY: Government by an all-powerful minority which maintains absolute control through widespread coercion and oppression. WORLD LAW LEVELS Code General Description 0 NO LAW (no prohibitions) 1 LOW LAW (body pistols and explosives restricted) 2 LOW LAW (man portable energy and laser weapons restricted) 3 LOW LAW (machineguns and automatic weapons restricted) 4 MODERATE LAW (light assault weapons restricted) 5 MODERATE LAW (personal concealable weapons restricted) 6 MODERATE LAW (all firearms except shotguns restricted) 7 MODERATE LAW (shotguns restricted) 8 HIGH LAW (blade weapons controlled, no open display) 9 HIGH LAW (weapon possession outside home restricted) A EXTREME LAW (weapon possession restricted) B EXTREME LAW (rigid control of civilian movement) C EXTREME LAW (unrestricted invasion of privacy) D EXTREME LAW (paramilitary law enforcement) TECHNOLOGY LEVELS Code General Description 0 pre-industrial (primitive) 1 pre-industrial (bronze or iron age) 2 pre-industrial (printing press) 3 pre-industrial (basic science) 4 industrial (internal combustion) 5 industrial (mass production) 6 pre-stellar (nuclear power) 7 pre-stellar (miniature electronics) 8 pre-stellar (super conductors) 9 early stellar (fusion power) A early stellar (jump drive) B average stellar (large starships) C average stellar (sophisticated robots) D average stellar (holographic data storage) E high stellar (anti-grav cities) F high stellar (anagathics) G high stellar (global terraforming) H extreme stellar STARPORTS Code General Description A All options available B All options available C All options available D All options available F Only DISK, BANK, PERSONNEL and CARGO available G Only DISK, BANK and CARGO available H Only DISK available X No starport facilities other than landing pads -------------------------------- 9. Medical and Sick Bay Station The medical and sick bay stations share the same station screen. The two sections at the bottom of the screen consist of the Overhead 2D view (left) and the following: The name of the character in the medic station. On the left side of the name of each character is the character's service symbol. The name of the characters in the sick bay station and two hits values. One is the current state of the characters hits value, the other is the character's maximum hits value. Icons (for players using a mouse) that allow you to heal a damaged character or return a character to duty. A character in sick bay cannot be healed unless there is also a character in the medical station. Healing characters in the sick bay can be done while the ship is on the ground or in space. A character in the medical station may treat only one character at a time. A character can cease treating one character and begin healing a different one at any time. 10. Starships While travelling through each system, the Interloper will encounter a great amount of stellar traffic. The Spinward Marches is a rapidly growing frontier territory and trade routes are steadily travelled by Independent and Megacorporation traders. As can be expected, there is also a thriving pirate population that roams the space outside the trade routes, waiting to prey on the wealthy Megacorporation trade ships. The ship Lenara gives your characters at the beginning of the game is a registered far trader of the Sharurshid Megacorporation. But because it was being used by Lenara for a special undercover assignment, it has a few features other ships of the same class don't have. There are seven classes of starships that can be encountered in this MEGATRAVELLER adventure: Small Interplanetary Craft: These craft aren't fitted with jump-capable drives. They are primarily used, by those who can afford them, to travel between worlds within a system. Small-time operators use this smaller craft to transport small loads of cargo. Trader/Armed Merchant: These vessels are fairly common and are often used by Megacorporations and independent traders. Their primary purpose is to deliver cargo in and between systems. To defend against suspected pirate raids, all trading ships are built with one or several hard points for the installation of weapon systems. Armed Escort: A lightly armed vessel used by the Imperial government and Megacorporations to protect the bigger and slower traders. This ship is also capable of carrying a small load of cargo, but not enough to make it an effective trader. Destroyer: A medium class ship designed for seek and destroy combat techniques. Moderately armed and manoeuvrable, these ships pose a threat to many unsuspecting pirate fleets. Also capable of carrying a small amount of cargo, these ships are sometimes captured and used by pirate groups. Corsair: A formidable heavy fighting vessel, the battleship of the future. The Corsair is a heavily fortified and armoured vessel used in most battlefleets. The ship has sufficient cargo space to carry military food, arms, and other miscellaneous supplies. Scout: Commonly used for exploration of uncharted regions of space, the scout class vessel is lightly armed and very manoeuvrable. X-Boat: These ships are used exclusively by the Imperial fleet for communication purposes. These ships are responsible for the transport of mail and information between systems within the Imperium. Ships encountered will have one of four types of owners. Different owners will only control certain ships. The Imperium's armed battlefleet (scout, destroyer, corsair, X-boat) A pirating organisation (destroyer, scout, escort, trader, small interplanetary craft) A megacorporation (traders, escorts) An independent owner (traders, small interplanetary craft) There are ten different Megacorporations. These are: 1. Oberlindes 6. Tukera 2. Ling Standard 7. Susag, LIC 3. Imperiallines 8. Delgado 4. Sharurshid 9. Zeneca 5. Naasirka 10 Gsbag If you wish to earn the credits you need to purchase your jump-2 drive, you may want to risk being a pirate. It is a profitable but dangerous way to make a living. 11. Starship Statistics The following statistical information on the various starships you may encounter includes the ship's weapon systems, along with the type of lasers and number of missiles, structural points, weapon hard points damage capacity, amount of cargo space, and the acceleration rate (G level). Small Interplanetary Craft cargo: x2 G level: 4 weapons: #1 TL 8 pulse laser pwr: 25 ship's structural points: 300 weapon structural points: 60 Trader/Armed Merchant cargo: x20 G level: 1 weapons: #1 TL 13 beam laser pwr: 25 #2 TL 13 beam laser pwr: 25 structural points: 1500 weapon struct. points: #1 300 #2 300 Armed Escort cargo: x5 G level: 2 weapons: #1 TL 8 beam laser pwr: 25 #2 missile bay w/8 missiles structural points: 1750 weapon struct. points: #1 350 #2 350 Destroyer cargo: x8 G level: 2 weapons: #1 TL 13 beam laser pwr: 25 #2 TL 13 pulse laser pwr: 25 #3 missile bay w/16 missiles structural points: 2000 weapon struct. points: #1 400 #2 400 #3 400 Corsair cargo: x12 G level: 2 weapons: #1 TL 13 beam laser pwr: 50 #2 TL 13 pulse laser pwr: 25 #3 missile bay w/12 missiles #4 missile bay w/12 missiles structural points: 2500 weapon struct. points: #1 500 #2 500 #3 500 #4 500 Scout cargo: x8 G level: 3 weapons: #1 TL 13 pulse laser pwr: 50 #2 missile bay w/16 missiles structural points: 1500 weapon struct. points: #1 300 #2 300 Imperial X-Boat cargo: none G level: 4 weapons: Tl 13 pulse laser structural points: 1500 weapon struct. points: 300 12. Piracy The more you pirate a Megacorporation's ships, the more protective vessels it will assign to subsequent trading expeditions. In fact, if you pirate a Megacorporation often enough you will encounter Imperial ships aiding the Megacorporation's trade ships. The Imperium dislikes using its own ships as an escort service, but sometimes it must. The Megacorporation within the Imperium are very powerful. It will take excessive piracy to get the Imperium to escort Megacorporation ships, mainly because the Imperial fleet is so spread out (due to the rumour of an upcoming frontier war and the current rate of piracy). But beware: the Imperial fleet is not a force to be reckoned with by a solitary pirate vessel. Those who live by the sword die by the sword. Remember also that the Interloper will often be the target of other pirating ships. It would be a serious loss if you just left a planet with a hold full of valuable cargo, only to have it taken by pirates. In order to pirate a vessel, the targeted ship must first have its weapon systems inoperable. This will require inflicting a lot of damage and some good guesswork. After the weapon systems are knocked out you must attempt to match course and speed of the vessel. If this is accomplished, the station portion of the screen (no matter which station you're currently in) will be replaced with the graphic display of the pirated ship's cargo hold. The area used for the 2D overhead view (bottom left) will be replaced by the graphic representation of the Interloper's cargo hold. You can then take the cargo from the other ship - as long as you have available space in the cargo hold of the Interloper. Note: Most ships have a self-destruct mechanism, often set when pirates board ships. This will limit the amount of time you have to take the other ship's cargo. Should your characters still be on-board a ship when it self destructs, both your characters and the Interloper will be destroyed. One of the major risks of pirating another ship is that, in the process, you're vulnerable to other attacking ships. Therefore it's a good idea to make sure that the area is secured of all other enemy vessels before attempting to pirate a crippled vessel. 13. Ship Movement The Interloper can be piloted from two screens: the In-System Travel Screen and the pilot station. Controls for piloting the ship are the same on both screens. The pilot you have flying the Interloper will play a big part in how well the ship travels and manoeuvres. This will be important in combat situations. It is, of course, possible for an unskilled character to pilot the ship, but he will not do so very well. 14. Cargo There are thirty different types of cargo that can be purchased throughout the eight systems in the game. The availability and price of each depends a lot on the world on which it is bought or sold. The types or cargo are: FOODSTUFFS 1. Streechen Wine 2. Foodstuff 3. Grain 4. Water 5. Spices INDUSTRIAL 6. Steel 7. Nonmetal Ores 8. Iron 9. Special Alloys 10. Radioactives 11. Pharmaceuticals 12. Ship Supplies 13. Tools 14. Petrochemicals 15. Explosives AGRICULTURAL 16. Animal Compounds 17. Livestock 18. Fertilizers 19. Plant Compounds 20. Lumber HIGH TECH 21. Electronic Parts 22. Medical Equipment 23. High Tech Parts 24. Computers 25. Robots MISCELLANEOUS 26. Starrghrite 27. Clothing 28. Raw Crystals 29. Textiles 30. Entertainment Equipment All of the buying and selling of cargo is done at starports with a cargo menu selection. The cargo hold of the Interloper has enough spaces to hold 20 units of cargo. 15. Starports There are a maximum of five menu selections available at a starport. The menu selections depend on the class of the starport, which can be found in the Communications Station section of the manual in the Starport chart. The five menu selections are: 1. DISK 2. BANK 3. PERSONNEL 4. CARGO 5. SHIPYARD Each of these menu items offers sub-sections. DISK: SAVE / GAME OPTIONS Selecting DISK will allow you to (1) save the game and (2) change the game options. (1) It should be noted that even though a saved position can be restored any time during game play, starports are the only place at which the game can be saved. It's a good policy to save the game every time you land on and leave a world. See the technical supplement for more information. (2) The various game options (sound, restore game, etc) are covered in the technical supplement. BANK: PARTY ACCOUNT / RETIREMENT PAY Selecting BANK will allow you to either (1) deposit and withdraw credits from the Party account or (2) receive any retirement pay a character may be eligible for. (1) The party account is an alternative to pooling all the party's credits to one character when you wish to buy something. It's a good idea to keep most of the party's credits in the PARTY ACCOUNT because the account can be used to pay for most all purchases made in the game. The only time you'll really need hands-on cash is when you bribe an NPC. (2) Retirement pay is issued on a monthly basis to eligible characters. You are informed of retirement pay when you generate a character who retires. PERSONNEL: RECRUIT / TRAIN Selecting PERSONNEL will allow you to (1) recruit a new character into your party or (2) train a character in skills that he has used often and successfully. (1) When you have lost a character(s), you can add a new one to your party at starports with personnel facilities. The characters that are made available for recruitment consist of the extra characters on your character disk. Note: To finish the game, you must have at least one character from the original character party. (2) There is a fee for training a character in a skill. A character must repeatedly use a skill successfully in order to train for an extra level in that skill. CARGO: BUY / SELL Selecting CARGO will allow you to (1) purchase any type of cargo that's available and (2) sell any cargo in the Interloper's hold. See the Cargo section for more information. SHIPYARD: REFUEL / REPAIR / BUY WEAPONS / SELL WEAPONS / BUY SUPPLIES Selecting SHIPYARD will allow you to: (1) Refuel the Interloper; you can purchase refined and unrefined fuel at any starport. Unrefined fuel is cheaper, but the chances of a misjump increase. If the Interloper is fitted with a fuel purification plant, then unrefined fuel is transformed into refined fuel when purchased. With a fuel purification plant, you will only be given the option for purchasing unrefined fuel because there is no need to purchase refined. (2) The REPAIR option allows you to repair structural damage and system damages that cannot be repaired by a character in engineering. See Engineering Station for more information. (3) The BUY WEAPONS option allows you to purchase weapon systems for hard points on the Interloper. If you wish to purchase a new weapon system, you must have an empty hard point on the Interloper. (4) SELL WEAPONS lets you sell any of the weapon systems you may have on the Interloper. (5)BUY SUPPLIES allows you to purchase all the other necessary equipment vital to the upkeep, operation, and improvement of the Interloper. At each starport there is a bulletin board. Pay close attention to it, because there is often a message to all Travellers visiting the world. MISCELLANEOUS STARSHIP EQUIPMENT Computer Programs MODEL STORAGE CPU COST (Imperial Credits) 1 4 2 20,000 1/bis 4 4 40,000 2 6 3 100,000 2/bis 6 6 180,000 3 9 5 200,000 Storage = The number of programs that can be loaded into the computer at one time. CPU = The number of loaded programs the computer can run at any one time. Pulse Lasers TL PWR Cost Damage 8 25 22,500 75 8 50 45,000 125 13 25 67,500 175 13 50 90,000 225 Beam Lasers TL PWR Cost Damage 8 25 25k 100 8 50 50k 150 13 25 75k 200 13 50 100k 300 Missiles Type Cost (Each) Damage mine 1,000 125/100/75 scatter mine 1,250 90/70/60 constant unguided 4,000 300/200/125 multiple const. unguided 3,500 130/110/90 constant guided 5,500 300/200/125 constant homing 7,500 350/250/175 Mines: These are ejected from the rear of the starship and remain stationary. If used correctly, set in strategic patterns, mines can be an offensive or defensive weapon. Scatter Mine: Shortly after being ejected from the Interloper, this mine disperses into three smaller mines. These three mines cover more area but are less potent. Constant Unguided Missiles: These travel in a straight trajectory. Most of the time these missiles have to be fired directly in the path of the intended target. Multiple Constant Unguided Missiles: The same as the constant unguided missile, except that when launched, this missile separates into three smaller warheads. This increases the chance of hitting the target, but the individual warheads do not inflict as much damage. Constant Guided Missiles: These missiles travel in a straight trajectory but accelerate and decelerate to match the speed of the intended target. Constant Homing Missiles: These missiles are the most effective and the most expensive. When fired at an intended target, these missiles home in on the target and will not stop until they hit a target or are destroyed by laser fire. 15. Systems There are eight star systems in the game. In the included IFF files, you will find maps of each system and the planets within it. Along with each system layout is the system's flag. 16. Space Combat Similar to ground combat, you must first go into combat mode to fight enemy ships. Combat mode is initiated whenever another ship moves into the circle surrounding the Interloper on the In-System Travel Screen. When in combat mode you are placed into the station screens. All the Interloper's operations are handled from the station screens. See each individual station section for more information. From the pilot station you fly and Manoeuvre the Interloper. From the two gun stations you fire installed weapon systems at enemy ships or incoming missiles. From the computer station you load and run necessary programs which allow you to do things such as firing lasers, missiles, manoeuvring, etc. From the engineering station you can partially repair certain ship systems that have been damaged. From the communications station you can get information about the vessels you're fighting. From the medical and sick bay stations you can heal injured characters. The 2D overhead view at the lower left side of all station screens lets you visually locate other enemy ships and keep track of their movements. All missiles and mines are displayed, as well. The area you see in this view is a small section of the combat area. The view can be enlarged to an entire screen to offer a wider range of view. When the view is enlarged, the circle around your ship represents the overhead 2D view. When enemy ships move off the full screen, they are out of combat range. Your ship, Interloper, is always centred in the screen. Lines pointing in all eight compass directions extend from the ship. These lines represent weapon facing from the weapon stations. To fire at the enemy ships you must go to one of the weapon stations. The whole bottom right portion of the screen consists of a viewport and controls for targeting and firing the weapons. Weapon systems can be fired up to 360 degrees. Two of the lines extending from the Interloper on the overhead 2D view will be highlighted at the gun stations. The area between these two lines represents the view from the weapon's viewport. All ships and missiles on the overhead 2D will likewise appear in the weapons viewport. All of the weapon systems will have a targeting and firing icon, as well as a left and right arrow icon to move the weapons viewport to the left and the right. As you move the weapon viewport to the left and the right, the two highlighted lines on the 2D overhead view will move to show the area of space displayed in the weapon's viewport. Beam lasers fire one concentrated shot. Afterward, it will begin to recharge to full capacity. You need not wait for it to recharge all the way. It can be fired at any time, but the damage it inflicts is based upon the amount of charge it has. Pulse lasers are fired in four small bursts. Once fired, they will also begin recharging. All fully-charged bursts must be used first. If the only remaining burst is partially-charged, then it can be used. The damage caused depends on the charge in the laser. Pulse lasers are effective defensive weapons against incoming missiles. Missiles have to be loaded into the missile bays before they can be launched. Each missile launcher has four missile bays. Once the missile bays are emptied, they must be reloaded with missiles in storage. --------------------------------- COMPUTER PROGRAMS AND WHAT THEY DO Program Size Cost Effects Target (T) 1 4k required to fire beam or pulse lasers Launch (L) 1 5k required to launch missiles from their bays Jump 1 (J1) 1 4k required to make a jump-1 Jump 2 (J2) 2 10k required to make a jump-2 Navigation (N) 1 5k required to make any jumpspace attempt Manoeuvre (M) 1 5k required to Manoeuvre ship Predict 1 (P1) 1 1k increases chances to hit opponent Predict 2 (P2) 2 5k upgraded and more effective version of P1 Predict 3 (P3) 2 15k upgraded and more effective version of P2 Manoeuvre/Evade 1 (ME1) 1 3k decreases the chance of your ship getting hit Manoeuvre/Evade 2 (ME2) 2 1k upgrade of ME1, further decreases hits auto evade (AE) 1 2k same effect as ME2, takes less space Size = the number of storage spaces the program takes up in the ship computer ---------------------------------- PLANETARY SURFACE EXPLORATION AND COMBAT 1. Introduction Throughout your adventure in the MEGATRAVELLER universe, you will visit a variety of worlds. Some of the planets will contain abundant green vegetation and high population, while other worlds will have harsh environments such as scorching dry deserts, non-atmospheric vacuums, or glacial, ice-covered terrain. You will also encounter many unique individuals along your journey. Some of the people you meet are barbaric and uncivilized, whereas others are members of sophisticated, high-tech societies. You will also come upon alien beings in your journeys. As you control your group of travellers you will meet new friends willing to help you on your way. Some will help you acquire more Imperial credits. Some will provide you with important information. At times, an individual may ask you to perform a task, for which he promises a reward. However, not everyone in the MEGATRAVELLER universe is friendly. There are many merciless and untrustworthy characters throughout known space. These felonious individuals include interstellar pirates, bounty hunters, professional assassins, and greedy criminals. These villains do as they please and live their lives in total disregard of the law. There is no room to negotiate with the dregs of the universe. It is best to deal with them on their own terms. Stand strong, fight hard and utilize your character's skills and training in combat. If a bounty is placed on your party, you will surely encounter some of the most dangerous and heartless offenders ever known. Get ready to fight! While exploring planetary surfaces, all actions take place on two game screens; the overhead view screen and the character screens. 2. The Overhead View Screen All of the ground exploration and combat action takes place on the overhead view screen. From this screen, you will be able to access any of the five character screens. Character Information The top portion of the screen displays important information about each of the characters in your party. Each character is represented by a square block which is divided into different sections. The following information is represented in the character block: A) The character's former military service symbol is displayed, along with his rank. B) A graphic representation of the helmet or headgear the character is wearing. If no headgear is being worn, a simple outline of the character's head is displayed. C) A graphic representation of the armour or protective suit the character is wearing. If no bodily protection is being worn, an outline of the character's upper body is displayed. D) The first of the two bars next to the character block represents the character's oxygen supply. As oxygen is used, the bar will become smaller. E) The second bar corresponds to the character's life force (hits value). When physical damage is suffered, the bar will become smaller. If the character is healed, the bar will grow accordingly. The life force bar is intersected by a white line. When the bar is reduced below the white line, the character becomes unconscious. If the bar disappears completely, the character dies. Next to the character information blocks is an icon that allows you to reorder your party of characters. Marching Order The Marching Order icon, next to the aforementioned icon, represents which character is in the lead position, and the order in which the other four characters fall behind. It is important to keep track of which character is leading. In most situations, the leader's skills and attributes are taken into account in determining the success or failure of tasks. However, during combat, each character is represented by its own icon on the overhead map. Therefore, when talking to non-player characters (NPCs), purchasing equipment, operating vehicles, etc., make sure that a character with the appropriate skills is in the lead position. All movement and combat will take place in the overhead display window. While moving about the planets, your party of characters will be represented by a single icon. When in combat, five smaller icons, representing each of your characters, will replace the large, single icon. Each character can be distinguished by a particular colour (or pattern). This colour (or pattern) will be the same as the colour used on the character's service symbol and character screen. Below the overhead display area, there is a text window which displays short messages and information to the player during the game. The bottom-right side of the screen is used for the following: During planetary movement and exploration, the movement of the lead character and vehicle icons is controlled using the arrows that point in the eight compass directions. These arrows are designed to allow movement of the icons using a mouse. When an important NPC is encountered by your lead character on the overhead display, a picture of the NPC will appear in this section of the screen. In combat mode, the rightmost portion of the screen is used to display important character information for combat. Information for only one of your five characters appears at a time. But you can easily cycle through the character information for each member of your party. The information displayed for each character is: Primary or Secondary weapon and the ammo in the clip currently loaded # of extra clips of ammunition # of radiation grenades # of explosive grenades # of chemical grenades From this display you can control your characters' actions during combat sequences. These combat actions are: reloading the primary or secondary weapon throwing grenades switching information between characters firing primary or secondary weapons In the lowest right corner of the screen are menu selections that control your party's actions while they explore on the overhead display. Some of these menu selections are broken down into sub-menus when they are selected. Note: All of the sub-menus have an ESC option which, if chosen, will take you back to the main menu selections. These primary menu selections are: CONVERSE GAME ITEM VEHICLE PARTY The CONVERSE Menu Selection Select CONVERSE when you want to communicate with an NPC. In order to communicate with a NPC, the lead character icon must be close to, and facing, the NPC icon. By selecting the CONVERSE menu selection, the following sub- menu options will appear: TALK BRIBE ESC If TALK is selected, the NPC will communicate with you in an enlarged text window. If BRIBE is selected, another sub-menu is displayed. You can determine the amount of the bribe you wish to offer from among five choices: 1,000 credits 5,000 credits 10,000 credits 25,000 credits and 50,000 credits. The ITEM Menu Selection By selecting ITEM, the following sub-menu options appear: TAKE USE ESC TAKE allows you to pick up an object you have discovered. USE lets your characters use any item in their primary or secondary weapon (item) slot. To take an item, the lead character icon must be on top of the object. If TAKE is chosen, you will be asked which character wishes to take the item. Once you select a character, the item will be placed in that character's inventory of items. If USE is selected, you must select the character wishing to use an item. A character can only use an item if it is in his primary or secondary weapon (item) slot. Any object or weapon in the primary or secondary weapons (item) slots is considered ready to be used. The VEHICLE Menu Selection The VEHICLE menu item offers the following sub-menu options: LEAVE STATUS ESC If your party is in a vehicle, the LEAVE option will allow the characters to exit the vehicle, with the lead character icon placed directly outside the vehicle. The STATUS selection allows you to check the condition of the vehicle. Various information, such as damage, is displayed. The PARTY Menu Selection The PARTY menu selection is used when you wish to enter your five characters into combat mode. When not in combat, your characters are represented on the screen by a single icon. In combat, each character has its own icon, so that each may be controlled individually. Choosing PARTY will bring up two other menu selections: BREAK REGROUP BREAK initiates the combat mode and generates five separate character icons. REGROUP ends combat mode and integrates the individual icons back into one. The GAME Menu Selection Selecting the GAME option will give you the following choices: RESTORE QUIT PAUSE SOUND OFF (SOUND ON) ESC RESTORE should be chosen to restore a previously saved position. QUIT should be picked to leave the game. Note: the game will not be saved. Be sure to save the game at the nearest starport before you QUIT. Although there is no PAUSE key, you can pause the action at almost any point in the game by going to a character information screen. If SOUND OFF is selected, the sound effects and music will be toggled off. The SOUND ON option restores sound effects. The name of the planet your characters are exploring appears directly above the main menu. In addition, the name of the star system containing the planet also appears. This information helps you keep track of where you are in the MEGATRAVELLER universe. You are advised to take notes about each planet and what you find there. Jot down any rumours you may hear. Note the TAS (Traveller's Aide Society) and library information you discover. It may all come in handy later. 3. The Character Screen There are several terms that should be explained before the character screens are described. You will encounter these terms often. 1. Weight: Each character will have a maximum amount of weight (kilograms) he can carry. The character will move slower when this maximum weight limit is exceeded. The more weight a character attempts to carry over his limit, the slower he will become. It is impossible for a character to completely stop, but he can be reduced to a crawl. 2. Primary/Secondary Weapon (Item) Slots: Each character has 19 inventory boxes on the character screen in which objects can be placed. In addition to these 19 boxes, four other boxes represent the character's armour or protective suit, headgear, and the primary and secondary weapons slots. Therefore, a character can have a maximum 23 objects and weapons on his person at one time. Note: some of the weapons take up TWO inventory boxes due to their size. The primary weapon (item) slot is used to represent a weapon or object that is in the character's hands and ready to use. In a combat situation, any object or weapon in the primary weapon slot will be used. The primary and secondary weapons (item) slots can be reversed at any time. The secondary weapon (item) slot represents a weapon or object that a character can quickly access. For example, if during a combat sequence a character wants to use a weapon or object that is not in his primary weapon (item) slot, he can easily switch to the secondary weapon slot. Additionally, the secondary weapon (item) slot is used for smuggling weapons through starport checkpoints. Any weapons a character wants to smuggle through the checkpoint should be placed in the secondary weapon (item) slot. Depending on several factors (size of weapon, personal skills), the character may successfully sneak the weapon out of the starport. If the character fails in his attempt to smuggle a weapon, it will be confiscated by starport security. Individual Character Screens Each of the five characters in your party has an individual character screen that supplies all needed information. On the character screen, you can view and move objects that are in the character's 19 inventory boxes. The background colour (or pattern) matches the same colour (or pattern) used in the same character's service symbol. The top portion of the character screen remains the same as the overhead view screen. The bottom portion of the screen displays: A) A list of the character's skills. B) Four menu selections above the 19 inventory boxes. The four menu selections are: PICK OBJECT USE OBJECT QUIT USING OBJECTS The above menu selections are used to move objects in the character's 19 inventory boxes. Also, these menu selections allow you to place headgear, ARMOUR, and a protective suit on a character. The primary and secondary weapon or object can also be selected using these menu selections. C) The character's service symbol, service name, rank, and individual name. Next to this information are the VIEW and CLOSE icons, used to access the menu selections mentioned below. D) Next to the above menu options is a larger list of selections that allow you to obtain a great deal of pertinent character information. This list of menu selections consists of: PERSONAL RECORD HEALTH PRIMARY WEAPON SECONDARY WEAPON WEAPON LIST ARMOUR GRENADES INSPECT OBJECT Selecting PERSONAL RECORD will display: The character's UPP (both original and temporarily altered). Weight the character is currently carrying and the maximum weight the character can possibly carry (in kilograms). The character's life force value (hit points). The character's title, based on Social Standing (ex: Baron). Amount of credits the character is carrying. The amount of credits in the party account. The # of terms the character has served in the military. The amount, if any, of retirement pay the character is eligible to receive each month. Selecting HEALTH will display: The character's life force (hit points). Name of any breathing equipment the character is wearing. The remaining oxygen supply. Selecting PRIMARY WEAPON or SECONDARY WEAPON will display: (If there is a weapon in the primary weapon slot): The name of the weapon in the primary weapon slot. The number of reloads the character has for that weapon. The current clip loaded in the weapon and how many shots are left in that clip. This is displayed with a bar graph. (If there is an object in the primary weapon slot): The name and picture of the object. The object's weight (kilograms). The base value of the object in Imperial credits. Selecting WEAPON LIST will display: An entire list of all the weapons in the character's inventory including weapons in the primary weapon or secondary weapon slot. Along with the name of the weapons is a display of the amount of ammunition being carried. Selecting ARMOUR will display: The name and picture of any ARMOUR the character is currently wearing. The weight of the ARMOUR, in kilograms. The condition of the ARMOUR or protective suit that the character is wearing. Selecting GRENADES will display: The number of radiation, explosive, and chemical grenades the character is carrying. Selecting INSPECT OBJECT will display: An object in the character's inventory must be chosen to inspect. You will then see: The name of the object chosen. The weight (in kilograms) of the object chosen. The base value of the object chosen. 4. Terrain Due to variety of worlds in the MEGATRAVELLER universe, many different landscapes will have to be traversed. Some ground can be covered on foot, but the use of a vehicle may be needed before your party can travel over rugged terrain. If your party cannot find a vehicle on the world they are exploring, an alternate form of travel must be discovered. All the explorable planets can be placed into three categories: 1. Desert worlds (some may have no atmosphere). 2. Green habitable worlds (some may have exotic atmospheres), 3. Ice worlds (some may have no atmospheres). Note: atmospheres are covered in the Oxygen and Life Support Systems section The following data on various terrains will aid you on your adventures. Many of the worlds have common types of terrain. Therefore, this data is compiled into a single list. Green Grass: Areas of lush green grass that allow easy and natural movement. Movement does not require the use of a vehicle. Farm Land: Areas of plowed grassland used for agricultural development. Allows free movement. Rough Grass: Regions of high, dense grass. Movement on foot is slowed. The use of a vehicle is not necessary, but helpful. Highways and Roads: Paved areas that increase the rate of movement on foot. Paved roads exist in most star cities and startowns. Wider highways help increase the flow of traffic. Pathways: Pathways are cleared areas of ground, usually near rougher terrain. Pathways better the chance of successfully negotiating seemingly inaccessible regions on foot. Bridges: Bridges allow movement over large expanses of water that cannot be crossed on foot. Like roads and highways, bridges allow faster movement. Swamps: Wet and sloppy areas consisting of small pools of water, soft mud and quicksand. On foot, these areas are inaccessible. However, at times, there are cleared pathways of solid ground. A grav vehicle can cross swampy regions. Mountains: Mountainous regions consist of high peaks and smaller rocky outcroppings. Movement through these areas is impossible, both on foot or by vehicle. Cracks: Small openings in the ground that prevent movement on foot. Cracks can be crossed in an ATV or a grav vehicle. Crevices: Similar to cracks, though much wider and deeper, crevices can only be traversed in a grav vehicle. Bushes: Dense shrubs and plant life making movement on foot impossible. To cross dense areas of bush, an ATV or grav vehicle is required. Trees: Densely covered regions of tall trees. The only way to journey through these areas is in a grav vehicle that is capable of flying over the trees. Rocks: Hazardous areas covered with jagged rocks and boulders that make movement on foot impossible. To cross rocky terrain, an ATV or grav vehicle is required. Even an ATV has a hard time crossing rocky terrain. Fences: Fenced areas are often used to surround farm land or wealthy estates in the hope of stopping vagrant trespassing. A grav vehicle can be used to fly over a fence if it is too dangerous to climb. Water: Large stretches of water can be crossed by bridge. Some worlds contain such vast expanses of water that bridges cannot be constructed between two populated areas. Therefore, a hydro foil or grav vehicle must be used to travel between these areas. Ice Plains: Flat, slippery regions of smooth ice. They can be traversed on foot, but at a slower pace than normal. Large Craters: Craters are caused by the impact of large meteorites on a planetary surface. Craters are quite deep and a grav vehicle is essential to cross them. Small Craters: Similar to larger craters, but not as wide or deep, small craters can be slowly crossed in an ATV or grav vehicle. Cactus Plants and Palm Trees: Found only on desert planets with an atmosphere, these areas of exotic plant life can only be crossed in a grav vehicle. Buildings: You will visit a large number of different buildings throughout the MEGATRAVELLER universe (see Buildings). You can fly above buildings in a grav vehicle. Otherwise, buildings must be travelled around. 5. Oxygen and Life Support Systems Some of the worlds that can be explored have a breathable atmosphere, very similar to Earth. A breathable atmosphere eliminates the need for any cumbersome protective suits and breathing apparatus. Other worlds have a variety of different atmospheres not meant to support human life. With the invention of engineered survival equipment, man can live in these harsh environments. Vacuums are the most difficult environments in which to survive. To enter a vacuum, a character must have some form of protective suit with proper breathing equipment. Failure to wear the proper equipment will result in instant death by implosion. See the Imperial Soldier's Weapons and ARMOUR Guide to determine what types of protective suits are suitable for vacuums. Exotic, corrosive, or insidious atmospheres require the use of a helmet or respirator with a filter. Atmospheres of this type are caused by unusual gas mixtures. If the proper equipment is not worn, physical damage is gradually suffered, resulting in eventual death. In these atmospheres, it is vital to keep track of your character's oxygen supplies. A lack of attention to oxygen supply will surely lead to death. Don't let your party of characters wander further than their oxygen supply can carry them. Auxiliary Oxygen tanks can be purchased at general utility stores. They are just like other objects in a characters inventory. When used, they completely restore a characters oxygen level. The rate at which a character uses his oxygen supply is dependent on two factors. First, the higher a character's END, the slower that character's rate of oxygen consumption. Secondly, oxygen use increases for all characters during combat because of high stress and physical exertion. 6. Healing Injuries A character can sustain bodily damage in a number of ways; combat being only one of them. When a character is injured, it is vital that he receive medical attention to heal the physical damage sustained. Without proper healing, a character will not survive in hostile situations. There are four methods that can be used to quickly heal a wounded character. Each of the methods has advantages and disadvantages. Hospitals: Hospitals are the easiest and most efficient, but most expensive healing option. Some more uncivilized worlds do not have medical facilities, so the hospital option does not always exist. However, advanced hospital facilities on high-tech worlds allow instantaneous healing due to the advanced technology of the Imperium. Medical Kits (med-kits): The major advantage of a med-kit is that in the hands of a skilled individual, a character can be healed from wounds suffered in combat situations. Although the kits can be used by anyone, they are most effective in the hands of a character with related medical skill. Starship (Interloper): Each starship is equipped with a medical station and an accompanying sick bay. Healing aboard a starship occurs slowly, and it may be a difficult journey to travel back to a starport with serious injuries (see Medical Station in the INTERSTELLAR COMBAT AND STARSHIP EXPLORATION section). Speed Healing Serum: Developed by the military, this healing serum can be used by a character who lacks competent medical skills. Only one dose of the serum can be used on an individual character (See Serums and Drugs). 7. Vehicles As previously mentioned, there will be areas where travel on foot is impossible or highly dangerous. In these areas a vehicle can be rented - if there is a rental location on the planet. There are three types of vehicles that can be rented: a tracked ATV (All Terrain Vehicle), grav vehicle (flying hovercraft), or water vessel. ATV: An ATV is a standard vehicle designed to traverse most terrain that would normally prohibit movement on foot. Although quite reliable in most situations, the ATV does have its limitations. It is not capable of travelling over mountains, crevices, and craters. Likewise, it is not able to float or cross a body of water. The heavy ATV, powered by a standard internal combustion engine, is capable of high speeds. Although some military versions exist, the ATV is mainly used for exploration and travel purposes. Although it is not as capable as a grav vehicle, it is easier to operate and less expensive to rent. Grav Vehicle: The grav vehicle is the most capable planetary vehicle. It is restricted only by the most formidable terrain, such as elevated mountain-tops. The grav vehicle is extremely heavy because of its protective armour plating. It is capable of very high speeds. It is fusion powered and can carry up to 10 persons. Grav vehicles are used on high-tech worlds for planetary transportation. The demand for these vehicles is high, and rental prices are costly. Hydro Foil: Some of the worlds you will visit consist of 60% or more water, making a water-faring vehicle essential. This water craft is charged by hydro foil power, generated by a powerful internal combustion engine. This water vessel is capable of high speeds, and can seat seven passengers including the driver. Vehicles can be obtained at a vehicle rental building. Not all worlds contain renting facilities, and some rental facilities do not carry all three types of vehicle. If your characters want to rent a vehicle, they will be asked for a fee and a deposit. If the vehicle is returned in suitable condition, the full deposit is returned. If the vehicle is returned damaged, then a portion of deposit is kept for repairs. If the characters don't return the vehicle at all, or if the vehicle is destroyed, then the entire deposit is kept to pay for the loss or retrieval of the vehicle. Once the fee and deposit are paid, the rented vehicle will be available outside the rental building. To place your characters in the vehicle, move your lead character icon onto the vehicle icon. The lead character will be the person who operates the vehicle. The EXIT VEHICLE menu selection allows the characters to leave a vehicle and proceed on foot. The vehicle is moved in the same fashion as the lead character icon. While in the vehicle, characters are still capable of picking up items on the ground, talking to NPCs, and accessing all the character information. This makes game play from a vehicle very easy. 8. Serums and Drugs Due mainly to military experimentation, a variety of serums and drugs have been developed to enhance physical performance. These serums can be purchased at any general utility store, but are very costly. Speed Healing: Each dose of speed healing serum can be used only once on a single character. When used, the serum will instantly heal bodily injuries that have been sustained. There are risks associated with this serum. It should only be used when the character is about to become unconscious. Fast Drug: This serum increases the body's metabolism, accelerating the speed at which a character can move and take action. The use of the fast drug has one major drawback; it places a strain on the resources of the human body and additional physical injury can result when it is used. When using the fast drug, it is a good idea to have a slow serum handy. Though rare, there have been several cases where death has resulted from fast drug use. Slow Serum: This serum was developed to act against the fast drug. If the effects of the fast drug are no longer needed, this serum can eliminate the impact of the fast drug. Combat Drug: This drug was designed to enhance an individual's STR, DEX and END, making a character more effective in combat situations. Like the fast drug, the combat drug extracts more than the human body is meant to give. It is not uncommon for the combat drug to cause physical damage to a character taking it. Unfortunately, no serum exists as an antidote to the combat drug, so it should only be used by a healthy character. In order to use a serum or drug, a character must have it in his possession. A character cannot use a serum or drug on another character. To use the serum or drug you must view the appropriate character's character information screen, and make sure the serum or drug is in the primary or secondary item slot. Next, you must choose the USE ITEM menu selection and select the appropriate serum or drug. The serum or drug picture will disappear from the primary or secondary slot and will immediately begin affecting the character. 9. Planetary Law Levels Just as you will encounter a variety of landscapes and alien societies, each world also has different levels of structured law. Some worlds are very restrictive, banning even simple hand-held weapons. Other worlds may have no law at all. Worlds with no legal structure are the most dangerous places to journey. The scum of the universe tend to assemble there. The following is a list of law levels and the weapon restrictions that apply: Level Classification Restrictions 0 NO LAW no prohibitions 1 LOW LAW body pistols and explosives restricted 2 LOW LAW man portable energy and laser weapons restricted 3 LOW LAW machineguns and automatic weapons restricted 4 MODERATE LAW light assault weapons restricted 5 MODERATE LAW personal concealable weapons restricted 6 MODERATE LAW all firearms except shotguns restricted 7 MODERATE LAW shotguns restricted 8 HIGH LAW blade weapons controlled, no open display 9 HIGH LAW weapon possession outside home restricted A EXTREME LAW weapon possession restricted B EXTREME LAW rigid control of civilian movement C EXTREME LAW unrestricted invasion of privacy D EXTREME LAW paramilitary law enforcement Law levels are cumulative. For example, on a law level 6 world, all firearms except shotguns are restricted along with the provisions set for law levels 1 through 5. Each time your characters land on a planet they will arrive in a starport. Each starport is surrounded by high walls with reinforced ARMOUR plating and only one, highly-guarded exit. At these checkpoints all weapons restricted by the planet's law level will be confiscated. On worlds with extremely strict law levels, you party of characters may be weaponless. If weapons are peacefully turned over to starport authorities, your party will be permitted to leave the starport and venture into the surrounding startown. If your characters refuse to hand over their illegal weapons, the guards may attack and your party may be forced to flee to its starship and leave the planet. Depending on the size and type of weapon, and based on a character's skill, a member of your party can attempt to smuggle weapons through starport checkpoints. In order to successfully smuggle a weapon, the weapon must be in the character's secondary weapon (item) slot. You will notice that when a smuggling attempt succeeds, all of the illegal weapons in the character's 19 inventory boxes are confiscated, but the smuggled weapon - in the secondary weapon (item) slot - remains. If the attempt fails, the weapon in the secondary weapon (item) slot is confiscated along with the rest of the character's weapons. On high law level worlds there are strict legal structures and virtually no corruption. By breaking the law, your party of characters may be imprisoned for a certain length of time. The jail sentence imposed will reflect the severity of the crime and the particular law level of the world. When your characters are released from jail, the weapons and objects they possessed before their incarceration will not be returned. After their release from jail, your characters will be escorted to their starship and ordered to leave the planet. Any weapons confiscated at a starport checkpoint are returned to the characters. A jailer cannot be bribed into releasing your character from prison. If your characters commit a crime on a world with a high law level, your party will be reprimanded when they return to the starport. You will then have the option of using an Imperial Release or paying a set bail. If your characters have to pay bail money, their weapons will be confiscated but will be returned when using an Imperial Release. Another, less risky way to be released from jail is to use an Imperial Release. If your characters possess an Imperial Release, they can use it to be immediately released from jail with full return of their weapons. Imperial Releases will be accepted on any Imperial world. 10. NPC (Non-Player Character) Interaction During the adventure, your party of characters will meet a large number of NPCs. Many of these will be friendly, but others should be avoided. It is advisable to converse with as many people as possible, because NPCs are an excellent source of information and potential money-making opportunities. Some NPCs will be willing to provide information as an act of friendship. But other, less-scrupulous individuals will seek a bribe or expect your party of characters to perform a specified task before they are willing to help or pay you. To interact with an NPC, the lead character icon must be close to and facing the icon of the character with whom you wish to converse. Your lead character is the person who will do the talking with an NPC. Be sure that a character with satisfactory interpersonal skills is in the lead character position during oral communication. Select the CONVERSE option from among the menu selections. The NPC will either: 1. Give a short and friendly response that reflects the fact that he doesn't have much to say and wants to continue whatever he was doing before you approached him. The short response is displayed in the text window beneath the overhead view of the world. 2. Appear in a picture that is displayed on the right side of the overhead view screen. The area of the screen that contained the overhead view and small text window will be replaced by one large text window. The NPC will communicate with you and his messages will appear in this large text window. If an NPC is coyly reserved, a healthy bribe may loosen his tongue. A NPC may ask your party of characters to accomplish a task for him. For example, a person you encounter may have had a valuable heirloom stolen from him in the past. He may offer your group a reward to discover where the item is located and retrieve it for him. Once your characters retrieve the item, they should return to the NPC and converse with him again. When the item is returned to its rightful owner, the NPC will give your party its promised reward. Since your lead character is the person who converses with NPCs, he will also be the person attempting bribes. Therefore, you may want your lead character to have personal bribery skills and control of the major source of your party's funds. If a NPC steadfastly refuses a bribe he may be trying to raise your price. With each bribe attempt the character stands a better chance of successfully bribing the NPC, so credits given in previous bribes aren't for nothing. 11. Buildings During your party's travels, your characters will continuously search for certain buildings on planets they visit. Most of the essential buildings are located in the startown or starcity, situated directly outside the starport where you land. However, some buildings may be in less populated areas of the world. Some of the buildings don't have an interior light source. In these cases, an electric torch or lantern is needed to see. Also, some doors may be reinforced so that unwanted intruders cannot gain entrance. A breaching or demolition charge can sometimes destroy the door. To make game play easier, the buildings that can be entered by your characters all have a road or walkway leading to their entrance. Abandoned buildings that cannot be entered and explored do not have such a walkway. Also, similar buildings will look the same no matter which world you are on. After some time, it should be easy to recognize each building by its picture. For example, a museum has the same building picture whether it is located on Efate, Alell or any other world. However, this does not imply that the museum on Efate will offer the same price for a valuable artifact as the museum on Alell. Here is a list of the buildings that appear most frequently on the worlds: Weapons Shop: (appears in red) Here a character can buy and sell weapon supplies. The level of weapons for sale at a weapon shop is dependent on the particular world's tech level and law level. The higher the world's tech level and the lower the law level, the greater the selection of weapons at a weapons shop. When purchasing a weapon, you will be asked what character wants to buy or sell arms. If a character opts to sell a weapon, he can only sell a weapon in his inventory and not weapons possessed by other characters in your party. When a character sells a weapon, all of its ammunition is passed along as well. The more ammo sold with the weapon, the more money a character will receive for the sale. If one of your characters managed to smuggle an illegal weapon through the starport checkpoint, a weapons dealer may be willing to pay a hefty price for the restricted weapon. If a character opts to buy a weapon, the selection of available weapons is displayed. Any weapon can be purchased from the list. The weapon will come with one clip of ammo, but additional ammunition can be purchased separately. Some weapons shop owners are known to sell illegal, black-market arms. But Imperial security forces have been heavily investigating and arresting such dealers. The chances of buying illegal weapons on a restricted world is slim to none. If a character plans to buy ammunition for his weapon, he can only purchase it for a weapon he is currently carrying in his inventory and for weapons that are permitted by the world's law level. The weapons shop has no interior overhead map. Upon entering the shop, a picture of the shop keeper will appear on the right side of the screen. A large text window, where all transactions will take place, will be to the left of the picture. This text window will replace the overhead display window. armour Shop: (appears in blue) At armour shops, a character can buy or sell any form of armour or vacc suit. The only factor that restricts the availability of merchandise in an armour shop is the tech level of the world. The higher a world's tech level, the more sophisticated and advanced types of armour and vacc suits available. A character can only sell armour or vacc suits that he possesses. A higher price will be paid by the owner of the armour shop for equipment that surpasses the tech level of the planet. For example, if a character wishes to sell a TL 12 Hostile Environment Vacc Suit on a world with a tech level of 7, he will command a very high price for the suit. When a character attempts to sell armour or vacc suits, any damage the equipment has suffered will depreciate the value. If a character wants to purchase armour or a vacc suit, a listing of available armour and vacc suits is displayed. As with the weapons shop, the armour shop has no interior overhead map. Buying and selling is done by communicating with the shop owner. General Utility Shop: (appears in white) A character can buy and sell any miscellaneous objects he has discovered, like gems, electric torches, demolition charges, etc. Be advised: some objects that can be sold at a general utility shop will generate a higher price from an interested NPC. Once an item is sold and your party of characters leave the planet, the item cannot be retrieved. The general utility shop has no interior overhead map. Buying and selling are handled in the same manner as with the weapons and armour shops. Jail: Jails only exist on planets with a law level of 1 or higher. Your characters will be arrested and imprisoned when they disobey the laws and regulations of a particular planet. Upon their release, they will be escorted to the starport of that planet to resume their lives. (The law enforcers hope lawbreakers take this subtle hint and leave the world.) Most jails have no interior overhead display map. When in jail, a picture of the jailer will appear on the right side of the screen and the small text window and overhead view window will become one large text screen used for communication. There are a few jails with overhead display maps. These jails are distinguished by a road or walkway leading to the entrance. Vehicle Rentals: Here a character can rent a vehicle to help his party travel across the surface of a planet. There are three types of vehicles that can be rented: an ATV, a grav vehicle or a water vessel (See VEHICLES for specific information). Not all three types of vehicles can be rented at every vehicle rental location. There is a limited supply of vehicles available, so be very careful with them when you rent them. When a vehicle is rented, both a fee and a deposit must be paid. When the vehicle is returned in satisfactory condition, the deposit is refunded. If the vehicle has been damaged, only a portion of the deposit is returned. If the vehicle is destroyed or never returned, the deposit is kept by the vehicle rental facility. Once the rental fee and deposit are paid, the vehicle will be waiting outside of the vehicle rental shop. Hospitals: A character can enter a hospital if he has been injured and seeks to be healed. A medical fee is charged based on the extent of injuries (See HEALING section for more information). TAS: The Traveller's Aide Society can be entered by any character, but its services are only available if the lead character of your party is a member. Membership can only be obtained while mustering out of the military. The purpose of TAS is to assist a traveller by supplying free lodging and important travel information. Granted, the facilities are not as luxurious as the famous Starfarer's Home super hotels, but they are free. The information available at TAS can provide some very important details about a specific planet that your characters plan to visit. Library: The library is a second source of available information. There is a fee charged for each piece of specific information obtained. At a library, a fee is listed above the first few words of the first paragraph pertaining to the information you seek. This provides a slight hint of what the information may pertain to and its price. Casino: These buildings are present only on worlds with a low law level. A character can come here with hopes of hitting it big and spend hard-earned credits on a game of chance. Many have struck it rich in a casino, but even more have lost the vacc suit off their back and left galactic casinos bankrupt. Hotels: There are many chains of hotels offering lodging to travellers, but none as elegant as the Starfarer's Home. Very powerful and influential people stay at a Starfarer's Home when on business trips. Bars: After a long hard day of exploration, combat and adventure, there is no better place to relax, socialize or just have a stiff drink than an interstellar bar. There are all types of clubs and bars scattered throughout the Spinward Marches. Many interesting people can be encountered in bars. Be careful, because on some of the low law level worlds these watering holes attract dangerous interstellar pirates and ruffians. Starport Building: These buildings offer all types of services ranging from outfitting a starship to depositing money in your party account. A character can also train and improve his skills at a starport building. It is best to visit a starport building as soon as you land on a world. Your game can be saved at this location. See STARPORTS section of the manual for more information. 12. Ground Combat All of the combat in the game is handled from the overhead view screen. To initiate combat, you must first enter combat mode. This is done by selecting the PARTY selection on the main menu list. 2. When on the ground, your enemies can fire on your party when it is represented by the large single party icon. If a hit is scored against your party, a randomly chosen character will sustain the damage. To retaliate, you must still divide your party into the 5 individual character icons. When thrust into combat mode, your lead character icon will be representing your entire party. The head of each individual character icon is the same colour (or pattern) used to represent the character throughout the game. Combat operates in a real-time environment and is not based on rounds of fighting. This means that time does not stop while characters fire/reload weapons, move or make decisions. While controlling your characters in combat, your enemy (enemies) will also be firing weapons, reloading, throwing grenades, etc. At this point, you can either utilise real-time combat as before or press the "O" to issue combat orders to the members of your party. Each of your characters has different movement ratings based upon the amount of weight they are carrying. Characters will move slower when they are encumbered (carrying more weight than their maximum potential). A sound strategy is to move encumbered characters behind protective cover so that they are not an easy target. When in combat mode, each character is capable of: Switching between primary weapon and secondary weapons, Firing a weapon, Throwing grenades, Moving. All character actions are controlled from the character information on the right side of the screen. Information is only displayed for one character at a time, but you can switch quickly and easily between characters. Use the 1-5 keys to change amongst characters. At the top of the character information are five rectangular blocks, representing the characters in your party. The blocks are the same colour or pattern as the character they represent. Below these blocks are the service symbol and name of the character whose information is being displayed. Below this is a character's weapon information. Displayed are: The picture and name of the weapon. # of reloads for that weapon. Graphic bar representing the remaining ammo in the clip currently loaded. Icons to allow reloading and firing of the weapon. A list of all the grenades a character is carrying. When in combat, the small pictures representing your character's opponent are displayed in the top right hand corner in place of the party's marching order For characters who are going to engage in combat, use the TAB key to target an opponent. If the character is going to throw a grenade, press the "T" key, choose the type of grenade you wish him or her to use, and press the ENTER key. Next, the target box will appear on the screen. Use the TAB key to target the opponent. (For multiple characters, press the TAB key repeatedly until the cursor box is located at the target you wish to fire on.) After targeting the opponent, press the ENTER key, and then use the 1-5 keys to move to the next character. For characters who are going to retreat or hide, walk the character to the position that you designate is safe. Next, use the 1-5 keys to move on to your other characters. After you have issued all of the combat orders, press the "O" key again. All combat action will now progress. Unlike many role-playing games where armour reduces an opponents chance to score a hit, MEGATRAVELLER uses armour to reduce the amount of damage sustained when a character IS hit. Each weapon has a penetration factor, and armour or protective suits have an armour value. When a hit is scored, the amount of damage caused by the attack depends on the penetration value of the weapon as compared to the armour value of the armour or protective suit. If a weapon's penetration factor is substantially lower than the armour value, the weapon will inflict a small portion of its base damage value. If the weapon's penetration factor is much greater than the armour's value, the weapon will inflict its base damage value. If the weapon's penetration factor and armour value are relatively the same, the damage caused by the attack will be half the base damage value of the weapon. Useful information for the weapons and armour can be found in the Imperial Soldier's Weapons and armour Guide. Each character has a life force (hits value) rating. This rating is broken into two sections, and is displayed using two methods. The first method is a representation using two numbers separated by a slash (2/2). This method is used on the character information screen. The first number is the amount of damage a character can sustain before becoming unconscious. The second number represents the additional damage a character is able to sustain before dying. Once a character becomes unconscious, he will continue to lose points at a slow rate. It is important to get medical attention to unconscious characters, because once the second number reaches zero, the character is dead. The second method used to display the hits value is done using a bar graph. This method is used on the overhead view screen next to each of the character blocks. The bar is separated by a white line. If the bar travels below the white line, the character is unconscious. If the bar completely vanishes, the character is dead. The bar method operates the same as the numerical method mentioned above. If a character is rendered unconscious during battle, he can be picked up by another character in the party and carried off the combat field. It is still necessary to get the unconscious character medical attention soon after the combat encounter. If all of the characters in your party are rendered unconscious, they will soon die. Therefore it is absolutely necessary to keep at least one character conscious. If the battle is going badly and you think it best to live to fight another day, you can let your characters retreat. To retreat, regroup your party and run. There are three types of combat: hand-to-hand, direct fire and non-direct fire. Most of the game will probably be played utilizing direct fire combat. Direct fire refers to projectile weapons which require a target to be in sight and in range. For example, two direct fire weapons are a pistol and a rifle. Indirect fire includes the throwing of grenades, for which a target does not necessarily need be in sight, but you must know its general location. Artillery fire at unseen distant targets is the most common type of indirect fire. Hand-to-hand combat is fought with knives and swords at an extremely close range. This type of combat will most likely take place on planets where firearms are prohibited. When using a direct fire weapon, you will not be able to shoot at targets behind buildings and other obstructions. The only targets that can be hit are those in the character's (not player's) LOS (Line Of Sight). A simple mental test is to imagine a straight line between the character and the intended target. If there are no high obstructions in the way, the target can be hit. Some examples of high obstructions include buildings, exterior walls and vehicles. Grenades, on the other hand, can be thrown at targets behind an obstruction. For example, if there are three opponents on the other side of the wall, you can lob grenades over the wall. Range is not taken into account because of the small distances involved in a combat encounter. All weapons can be fired at any target on the overhead display screen. The only exception is with hand-to-hand combat, where a character's icon must be next to, and facing, the intended target. --------------------------------------- DESIGNER'S NOTES When Paragon Software acquired the development rights for the MEGATRAVELLER computer game, we were finally given the chance to create a computer "role- playing" game. Needless to say, we were quite excited and couldn't wait to get past the preliminary scheduling and preparation stages and into the design and programming aspects of development. One might think that since there was a pen and pencil version of the game, there was probably little computer game design required. If only that were true! As a matter of fact, it was exactly the opposite. The computer game designer has a lot of people to please and excite about a product (programmers, management, artists, and most importantly, you, the computer gamer). Additionally, the designer must work around numerous hardware limitations that can't be implemented within a reasonable amount of time. This is a much easier task to prepare for when you start from scratch, because you're designing the game with all the existing limitations and guidelines in mind. In the case of MEGATRAVELLER, we had to "modify" the existing material to fit within the development criteria. We though it was important to include both interstellar exploration and adventuring on planetary surfaces, both very important aspects of MEGATRAVELLER. In order to accomplish this, we had to generalize the design of each, which meant eliminating a lot of the small details. Space combat was taken from the May Day rules, a board game implementing ship to ship combat utilizing the MEGATRAVELLER rules. The game retained the TRAVELLER feel, but was simpler than Starship Combat in the original rules. We wanted to include all the different varieties of starships, a starship construction option, and all the advanced offensive and defensive weapons available in the pen and pencil game, but we just didn't have the disk space or the time. It is our hope to continually build upon this computer game with future MEGATRAVELLER adventures and supplements. The character generator follows the basic character generation procedures in the pen and pencil version. It has been implemented in exactly the same manner as in the original game, with the exception of mustering out benefits. We had to remove some of the available benefits and add new ones that the player would find more useful in the computer version. We unquestionably wanted to create a link between the original role-playing game and the computer version. For this reason, we kept the character generator as faithful to the original as possible, with the exception of the above changes. This compatibility means that those of you who play the pen and pencil version can print out characters from the computer version and use them for MEGATRAVELLER role-playing. As a matter of fact, you can use the character generator to create characters for the pen and pencil role-playing version of MEGATRAVELLER without ever using them in the computer game. It wasn't possible for us to allow the creation of alien player characters. Such a feature would have used up too much critical disk space that was needed for other, more important features. Therefore, we integrated many of the aliens in MEGATRAVELLER universe as NPCs you will encounter during your adventures. This worked out very nicely, adding a real science-fiction and MEGATRAVELLER feel to the game. We even went ahead and created a few bizarre alien creatures of our own - though most of these are quite unfriendly. When creating the surface maps for the planets in the game, we wanted all the important locations to be easy to find. There's nothing more agonizing than an incredibly large area to explore with very little to accomplish. What fun is it to spend most of your time wandering over a large map in hope of finding a specific building, location, or person(s)? We felt that quality of the game play is much more important than the quantity. So we tried as hard as possible to match the gaming environment with the game design. I could continue with explanations of why we did or didn't implement certain features, but I think I've said enough. One final word of thanks to all the MEGATRAVELLER fans that called to offer their support and encouragement. Thanks to Digest Group Publications for the material they sent us, it was a great help. We would especially like to thank Marc Miller, president of Game Designers' Workshop and creator of the TRAVELLER universe, for his generous support and research material. --------------------------------------- IMPERIAL SOLDIER'S WEAPONS AND ARMOUR GUIDE The Imperial Creed I proudly stand as an Imperial Soldier, and hereby swear a solemn oath to live my life, to the best of my ability, in the name of the Imperium. May my actions be brave and my judgement be clear, May my service always honour the Imperium. I firmly resolve to resist greed, corruption, and self advancement against the Imperium. I promise to preserve peace and to accept alien races with friendship and equality so long as their intentions do not threaten the welfare of the Imperial Empire. In the name of honour and justice, I steadfastly swear to lay down my life for the preservation of the Imperium. Though my life may end in the call of duty, I promise to obey all orders given to me by my superior officers, and I pledge to exhaust every ounce of strength, courage and will to defeat my enemies. ---------- WEAPONS Welcome to the Imperial Armed Forces. You can take pride in knowing you have earned the right to serve the Imperium, the greatest and most just universal power ever known. May your service in the armed fighting forces always honour and preserve the ideals of the Imperium. As you are fully aware, the Imperium contains an array of unique worlds. Some of these planets are inhabited by highly civilized races who have achieved startling technological advances. Other worlds contain primitive cultures that continue to use rudimentary, hand-held weapons. This Imperial Soldier's Weapons and ARMOUR Guide is devised to assist you in identifying military arms discovered within the Imperium. A picture of each weapon is included along with pertinent statistical information that will help you determine its strengths and weaknesses. The statistical information is as follows: Rounds/Clip: This represents the number of rounds (bullets) that can be loaded into the weapon. In some instances, ammunition is contained in a clip, which is loaded into the weapon. Penetration Factor: The higher the penetration factor, the more effective the weapon will be when fired against armoured protection. You should compare the penetration factor of the weapon against the ARMOUR factor of an opponent to determine how effective your attack will be. If the penetration factor is greater, you assault will be very damaging. The greater the difference between the two factors, the more effective the weapon will be. Damage: The base amount of damage caused by the weapon. Damage is also affected by the protective ARMOUR an opponent is wearing, and the various skills of the weapon's user. Weight: The weight of the weapon in kilograms. Cost: All monetary transactions are carried out using Imperial credits. The credit amount represents the base cost of the weapon. This cost can increase or decrease based on the personal bartering skills of the buyer or seller, and the tech level of a particular planet. Tech Level: The technology level needed to create the weapon. You may find that travellers have purchased high tech level weapons and sold them on low tech worlds. Law Level: The law level of a world indicates the level at which the weapon is prohibited. Some worlds with stringent law levels will confiscate certain weapons outside of starports. It is not uncommon for weapons to be smuggled past starport checkpoints. Punishment for weapons smuggling is severe. These statistical categories will provide you with a basic knowledge of the known Imperial weapons. Always be aware that weapons can kill. Remember your education and training, and always use clear judgement in any circumstance that requires you to raise your weapon. Above all, honour the Imperium through committed service in all your actions. Long Live the Emperor. Long Live the Imperium. Duke Commander Sir Norris of Regina, Commander in Chief of the Imperial Armed Forces, Spinward Marches. 1. Personal Slug Throwers "Slug Thrower" is term used to describe a firearm or weapon that fires a projectile within your line of sight (LOS). These weapons range from a simple revolver or shotgun to the gauss pistol, the most advanced slug thrower in the Imperium. All of the slug throwers are either single shot weapons that fire one round for each pull of the trigger, or fully-automatic firearms that fire bursts of several rounds when the trigger is pulled. Ammunition for slug throwers is always purchased by the clip (magazine) or an amount necessary to fully load the weapon. Ammunition is never sold by the individual shell. Revolver (7 mm) Description: A fairly obsolete firearm, the revolver is often used on lower tech worlds. One round is fired for each pull of the trigger. Six bullets can fit into the revolver at one time. Ammunition for the revolver is purchased in packages of six. The 7 mm revolver has a very low penetration factor and is not very effective against most types of armoured protection. Rounds: 6 Penetration Factor: 1 Damage: 3 Weight: 5 Cost: 125 Tech Level:5 Law Level:5 Magnum Revolver (9mm) Description: The 9mm magnum revolver is a larger and more powerful version of the 7 mm revolver. It fires a larger shell and has a higher penetration factor. One round is fired with each pull of the trigger. The pistol holds six rounds which are always purchased in a group, not separately. The magnum revolver can be found on many lower tech level worlds and is slightly more expensive than the 7 mm revolver. Rounds: 6 Penetration Factor: 3 Damage: 3 Weight: 1 Cost: 300 Tech Level: 5 Law Level: 5 Snub Pistol (10 mm) Description: The snub pistol is a low-velocity revolver that fires a 10 mm shell at 100 to 150 meters per second. Although designed for use on starships or in a zero-G environment, this weapon has a good penetration factor and damage rating and is formidable when used at close range. An ammo clip is not used; instead, six individual cartridges are loaded into the pistol. Ammo for the snub pistol is always purchased six at a time. Rounds: 6 Penetration Factor: 6 Damage: 4 Weight: 5 Cost: 150 Tech Level: 8 Law Level: 5 Body Pistol Description: The body pistol is often smuggled into high tech level worlds. The pistol is small and easy to conceal. Designed to evade detection devices at starports, it is constructed of non-metallic material. The magazine holds six rounds and is loaded into the pistol's handle. Rounds: 6 Penetration Factor: 1 Damage: 3 Weight: 5 Cost: 500 Tech Level: 8 Law Level: 1 Auto Pistol Description: The auto pistol is the most commonly used automatic weapon. It fires bullets at 400 to 500 meters per second. The weapon is fitted with a magazine that can hold up to 15 rounds of ammunition. A favourite among ex- military travellers, the auto pistol is small, inexpensive and quite effective against opponents not protected by armour. Rounds: 15 Penetration Factor: 2 Damage: 3 Weight: 1 Cost: 200 Tech Level: 5 Law Level: 3 Gauss Pistol (4 mm) Description: The gauss pistol fires a needle-sharp projectile that spins through an electromagnetic field. The gauss pistol is silent. There is no kickback when firing the gun. Gauss weapons are rare, and can only be purchased on high tech and law level worlds. Rounds: 15 Penetration Factor: 4 Damage: 4 Weight: 5 Cost: 600 Tech Level: 13 Law Level: 5 Carbine (7 mm) Description: A shorter version of the 9 mm rifle, the carbine fires a smaller round at 900 meters per second. Ammo is held in a 10 round magazine that is loaded into the underside of the weapon. The carbine is a cost efficient weapon. It is light and easy to carry. It does not require extensive training to fire; amateur shootists can operate the weapon. The carbine can be purchased on lower tech worlds. Rounds: 10 Penetration Factor: 2 Damage: 3 Weight: 3 Cost: 200 Tech Level: 5 Law Level: 8 Rifle (9 mm) Description: Much heavier and longer than the carbine, the 9 mm rifle fires a longer projectile at a velocity of 900 meters per second. The rifle is loaded with a 20 round clip. It has a high penetration factor and is effective against armoured opponents. Rounds: 3 Penetration Factor: 5 Damage: 2 Weight: 5 Cost: 1000 Tech Level: 7 Law Level: 8 Auto Rifle (7 mm) Description: The 7 mm auto rifle is a much more refined weapon that the 9 mm rifle. Because of its automatic fire capability, the auto rifle is restricted by most worlds in the Spinward Marches. During combat, the weapon must be reloaded frequently, because the ammo-clip only holds 20 rounds. Rounds: 20 Penetration Factor: 3 Damage: 3 Weight: 5 Cost: 1000 Tech Level: 6 Law Level: 3 Gauss Rifle (4 mm) Description: The 4 mm gauss rifle is considered the state-of-the-art direct fire slug thrower. Using the same technology as the gauss pistol, it fires a needle-shaped projectile through an electromagnetic field at a velocity of up to 1500 meters per second. The weapon is good value, considering its fully- automatic firing capabilities and high penetration factor. A very effective rifle against armoured opponents. The gauss rifle is a very rare weapon and can only be purchased on high tech worlds. Rounds: 40 Penetration Factor: 7 Damage: 3 Weight: 3.5 Cost: 1500 Tech Level: 12 Law Level: 8 Shotgun (18 mm) Description: The shotgun is a powerful weapon built not for accuracy but for shock effect at short range. The shotgun fires shells containing a large number of tiny pellets at 350 meters per second. A 10-round clip is loaded under, and parallel to, the gun's barrel. While the shotgun is very powerful, it has a low penetration factor. It is nearly useless against most forms of armour. Rounds: 10 Penetration Factor: 1 Damage: 4 Weight: 4 Cost: 150 Tech Level: 4 Law Level: 8 Auto Shotgun (18 mm) Description: The auto shotgun is very similar to the regular shotgun, but offers fully automatic fire. The ammunition clip can hold 20 rounds. The cost for an auto shotgun is higher than the normal shotgun. Rounds: 20 Penetration Factor: 1 Damage: 4 Weight: 4 Cost: 500 Tech Level: 7 Law Level: 8 Submachine Gun (9 mm) Description: The submachine gun is a small, lightweight automatic weapon. A 30-round magazine is loaded in the underside of the weapon. It's much easier to smuggle this weapon through starport checkpoints then some of the larger auto rifles. The submachine gun is a favourite among ex-military adventurers and rebels on lower tech worlds who can't afford advanced or expensive armaments. Rounds: 30 Penetration Factor: 3 Damage: 3 Weight: 2.5 Cost: 500 Tech Level: 5 Law Level: 3 Assault Rifle (7 mm) Description: This weapon is similar to, but lighter than, the auto rifle. It fires a projectile at velocities of up to 900 meters per second. A 30-round clip is loaded into the underside of this fully-automatic rifle. Ammunition is inexpensive and is purchased by the clip. The assault weapon is not permitted on any world with a law level of three or greater. It is difficult to smuggle the weapon past starport checkpoints. Rounds: 30 Penetration Factor: 3 Damage: 3 Weight: 4 Cost: 400 Tech Level: 7 Law Level: 3 Advanced Combat Rifle (9 mm) Description: More sophisticated than the assault rifle, the advanced combat rifle fires an explosive bullet at a velocity of 900 meters per second. The weapon is fully-automatic, and ammunition is purchased in 20-round clips. It can only be bought on high tech worlds with a low law level. Rounds: 20 Penetration Factor: 4 Damage: 3 Weight: 3.5 Cost: 1000 Tech Level: 10 Law Level: 3 Light Assault Gun (LAG) Description: This heavy rifle requires a sling to assist in its firing. It blasts a 20 mm shell at velocities of 400 to 500 meters per second. Although the weapon is cumbersome, it has a high penetration factor and is effective against armoured opponents. Rounds: 5 Penetration Factor: 8 Damage: 4 Weight: 7 Cost: 600 Tech Level: 8 Law Level: 5 2. Personal Energy Weapons Personal Energy Weapons are activated by power packs worn on the body. These power packs energize a weapon and allow it to fire a set number of rounds. Personal energy weapons are only found on high tech worlds, and are often restricted by most law levels. Some of the more powerful energy weapons are used for military purposes, Energy weapons have excellent penetrating power and are very effective against armoured foes. Laser Carbine (TL 8) Description: The laser carbine, powered by a backpack, fires high-powered energy bolts. Like all energy weapons, the powerpack is connected to the weapon by a strong cable. The laser carbine fires a 9mm concentrated energy beam that is aimed using an optic sight. Rounds: 40 Penetration Factor: 7 Damage: 3 Weight: 5 Cost: 2500 Tech Level: 8 Law Level: 2 Laser Pistol (TL 9) Description: The laser pistol functions in the same way as the laser carbine. However, it is lighter, and does not have efficient penetrating power. Rounds: 40 Penetration Factor: 4 Damage: 3 Weight: 1 Cost: 2000 Tech Level: 9 Law Level: 2 Laser Rifle (TL 9) Description: The laser rifle is the standard high energy weapon. It is heavier and more powerful than the laser carbine. The rifle fires a concentrated beam of energy that strikes a target with an intense burst of light and heat. A strategic advantage of the laser rifle is that it can be fired twice as much before its power pack requires regeneration. Rounds: 80 Penetration Factor: 9 Damage: 3 Weight: 6 Cost: 3500 Tech Level: 9 Law Level: 2 Laser Pistol (TL 12) Description: The TL 12 laser pistol is a more advanced version of the TL 8 firearm. It has a higher penetration value, and is powered by a pack that allows the weapon to be fired many times. This pistol is rare and can only be purchased on high tech worlds with very low law levels. Rounds: 120 Penetration Factor: 5 Damage: 3 Weight: 2 Cost: 3000 Tech Level: 12 Law Level: 2 Laser Carbine (TL 12) Description: This upgraded version of the laser carbine is very powerful, and has a higher penetration value against armoured foes. It has a greater firing capacity. This very rare weapon utilizes state-of-the-art scientific technologies. Rounds: 120 Penetration Factor: 10 Damage: 3 Weight: 4.5 Cost: 4000 Tech Level: 12 Law Level: 2 Laser Rifle (TL 12) Description: The most powerful laser weapon ever created, the TL 12 laser rifle can be fired often before the power pack needs recharging. The weapon also has a very strong penetration value. This rifle is expensive, rare and found only on high tech worlds. It is quite heavy and cumbersome. Rounds: 120 Penetration Factor: 18 Damage: 3 Weight: 9 Cost: 8000 Tech Level: 12 Law Level: 2 PGMP (Plasma Gun Man Portable TL 12) Description: The PGMP is energized by a portable power pack that connects to the weapon via a flexible power link. The powerpack uses a laser ignition system to heat hydrogen fuel into a plasma state. The plasma is then fired through a magnetic field. One powerful plasma bolt is fired for each pull of the trigger. It is the most powerful weapon a person can use; very few forms of armoured protection can withstand it. It can only be found on high tech level worlds with an exceptionally low law level. Rounds: 40 Penetration Factor: 20 Damage: 12 Weight: 6 Cost: 10000 Tech Level: 12 Law Level: 2 Neural Pistol Description: The neural pistol, nearly impossible to purchase, is the rarest weapon in the universe. A blast from the pistol disrupts brain activity and causes immediate unconsciousness. The weapon is effective against most forms of armour. Even if you could find it for sale, it would probably be too expensive to purchase, because it's so technologically advanced. Rounds: 20 Penetration Factor: 10 Damage: Unconsciousness Weight: 1.5 Cost: 225,000 Tech Level: 16 Law Level: 2 3. Grenades and Rocket Launchers This classification includes any weapon which fires an explosive rocket, or any thrown projectile (grenade) that explodes on impact. Grenades and rocket launchers are highly restricted weapons. They are only found on worlds that have no laws. These weapons are very useful because they can affect a group of enemies as opposed to a single target. Also, grenades can be thrown over obstacles such as walls, trees, or rocks. TL-7 Disposable Rocket Launcher Description: A very powerful and costly rocket launcher. It is totally independent of a rifle, and can only be fired once before being discarded. This disposable rocket launcher has an extremely high penetration rating. It is restricted to worlds with an appropriate tech level and no existing law level. Rounds: 1 (then must be discarded) Penetration Factor: 36 Damage: 6 Weight: 3.5 Cost: 4500 Tech Level: 7 Law Level: 1 Rocket Launcher (TL 10) Description: This weapon can fire three rounds before having to be reloaded. It has a slightly lower penetration value, but is potentially as damaging as the TL-7 Disposable Rocket Launcher. The Rocket Launcher (TL 10) is a very effective, but expensive and rare weapon to purchase. Rounds: 3 Penetration Factor: 32 Damage: 8 Weight: 5 Cost: 7500 Tech Level: 10 Law Level: 1 Explosive Grenade (TL 7) Description: This grenade explodes into flying shrapnel when it strikes the ground. It is a very effective weapon against groups of enemies in a small area. Rounds: 1 Penetration Factor: 9 Damage: 8 Weight: 1 Cost: 500 Tech Level: 7 Law Level: 1 Chemical Grenade (TL 11) Description: A deadly grenade that explodes into shrapnel and intense chemical heat when it strikes the ground. This grenade is difficult to purchase and more expensive than other grenades. It has a high penetration value against armoured foes. The chemical grenade is only permitted on worlds with no law level. Rounds: 1 Penetration Factor: 13 Damage: 8 Weight: 1 Cost: 750 Tech Level: 11 Law Level: 1 Radiation Grenade Description: Upon explosion, this grenade throws off intense radiation. Everyone in the small contaminated area of the explosion suffers from temporary radiation sickness. This radiation sickness cannot be prevented by armoured protection. Radiation grenades are often used strategically to create a contaminated "area" separating you from your opponents. Rounds: 1 Penetration Factor: NA Damage: Area of effect Weight: 1 Cost: 750 Tech Level: 11 Law Level: 1 5. Melee Weapons (Hand to Hand) Even though we are in the advanced age of high energy laser and plasma weapons, the very basic weapons, used for thousands of years, still play a part in today's combat. Some worlds have restrictions imposed by governments forbidding any weapons except knives and swords. Hand-to-hand weapons can not be thrown at an opponent. They can only be used for close-range fighting. All melee weapons are constructed of sturdy, high-grade steel, with the exception of the plastic knife. Dagger Description: A small, double edged weapon that can vary in style, workmanship and length. Most daggers are approximately 200 mm in length. Penetration Factor: 2 Damage: 2 Weight: 1 Cost: 10 Tech Level: 1 Law Level: C Sword Description: The sword is the most common hand held combat weapon. On several low tech worlds, the sword is commonly used as the main armament of militant forces. Throughout the centuries, the sword has been a symbolic, decorative weapon worn by many nobles and upper class citizens. Swords are forged in a variety of styles and sizes, with single or double edged blade construction. Penetration Factor: 4 Damage: 2 Weight: 1 Cost: 150 Tech Level: 1 Law Level: C Plastic Knife Description: This knife is similar to a regular dagger, but constructed of a dense hydrocarbon plastic. After the weapon has been melted or misshapen, it can return to its normal shape by tapping firmly against a firm base. This plastic weapon cannot be discovered at starport weapon detection areas. Penetration Factor: 2 Damage: 2 Weight: 1.5 Cost: 300 Tech Level: 9 Law Level: C armour AND PROTECTIVE SUITS There are many worlds within the MEGATRAVELLER universe, and each of these planets has unique societies and environments. Many times it will be necessary to protect your body with armour or protective environment suits designed to allow survival in severe atmospheric conditions. There is a large variety of armour and protective suits available. The availability of this equipment is largely determined by the tech level of the world. On high tech level worlds, all types of equipment can be found. However, on low tech worlds, armour and protective suits are very basic. Obsolete armour can usually be purchased for a bargain price on high tech level worlds. Likewise, advanced equipment can be sold for a profit on worlds with a low tech level. However, buying and selling is largely a part of your character's communication and negotiating skills. Jack armour Effective against blade weapons (sword and dagger), jack is a leather covering worn over the torso, arms, and legs. Although jack is ineffective against firearms and energy weapons, it is useful on high law level worlds which permit only blade weapons. It is light, inexpensive, and easy to purchase on nearly any world. armour Value: 2 Weight: 1 Cost: 50 Tech Level: 1 Mesh armour A slightly upgraded version of jack armour, mesh can be a natural of synthetic suit reinforced with a metal mesh. It is more costly, but heavier and more durable than jack armour. Mesh is most effective against blade weapons. But, like jack armour, offers little protection against firearms and energy weapons. armour Value: 2 Weight: 2 Cost: 150 Tech Level: 7 Flak Jacket A flak jacket is an inexpensive form of ballistic cloth fashioned into a protective covering to guard the torso. A flak jacket offers limited protection against firearms. However, it will not defend you against personal energy weapons. armour Value: 3 Weight: 2 Cost: 250 Tech Level: 6 Cloth armour An upgraded version of the flak jacket, cloth is a protective suit made from a heavier stock of ballistic cloth. This armour absorbs the impact of a projectile and distributes the blow over the entire area of the suit. It is highly favoured because of its low cost, light weight, and protection against firearms. armour Value: 5 Weight: 1 Cost: 500 Tech Level: 7 Ablat armour An inexpensive material designed to ablat (vaporize) when struck by laser fire. When the material vaporizes, the energy of the laser fire is carried away, offering protection to the wearer. Ablat will eventually lose its effectiveness against laser attacks because the armour wears away each time is is directly hit. armour Value: 1 (6 vs. lasers) Weight: 2 Cost: 75 Tech Level: 9 Reflec armour Reflec armour is extremely effective against laser weapons, but virtually useless against most other types of attacks. This armour is constructed of a reflective material on a plastic base. It is worn underneath clothing. This armour is rare, difficult to purchase, and very expensive. armour Value: 1 (10 vs. lasers) Weight: 1 Cost: 1500 Tech Level: A TL 8 Vacc Suit This suit is not manufactured specifically for combat situations. Instead, it is meant to protect the wearer from extreme temperatures, pressure variations and atmospheric conditions. The vacc suit is a basic survival tool on worlds classified as desolate vacuums. The TL 8 vacc suit is more unwieldy and uncomfortable than more advanced suits. However, this suit serves the same purpose at a lower price. armour Value: 5 Weight: 10 Cost: 6000 Tech Level: 8 TL 9 Hostile Environment Vacc Suit (HEVC) The TL 9 HEVC is a more advanced version of the TL 8 vacc suit. It is less cumbersome and provides suitable armour protection in combat situations. However, the main purpose of the suit is to offer protection against the harsh and dangerous environment of a vacuum. armour Value: 7 Weight: 8 Cost: 8000 Tech Level: 9 TL 12 Hostile Environment Vacc Suit Similar to the TL 8 and TL 9 HE vacc suits, the TL 12 offers protection in vacuum environments as well as armoured protection against enemies. The main advantage of the TL 12 over the other vacc suits is its flexibility and mobility. Overall, it is the best suit and armour combination, next to military combat armour and battle dress. armour Value: 8 Weight: 2 Cost: 10,000 Tech Level: 12 TL 12 Combat armour Combat armour is restricted to Imperial combat troops and is not sold on the open market. But due to a thriving black-market for military supplies, the armour can be purchased on high tech level worlds. The armour, which also serves as a vacc suit, is constructed using advanced forms of metallurgy and synthetic research. armour Value: 9 Weight: 10 Cost: 125,000 (est.) Tech Level: 12 TL 13 Battle Dress An advanced and powerful version of combat armour, battle dress is the ultimate form of personal protection. Battle dress is restricted to military use. However, it can also be purchased on the black-market of high tech level worlds. Detailed information on battle dress is not available because it is considered highly classified in Imperial military circles. armour Value: 11 (est.) Weight: 26 (est.) Cost: 200,000 (est.) Tech Level: 13 --------------------------------- BOUNTY HUNTER AND ASSASSINS JOURNAL THE IMPERIUM'S 10 MOST WANTED BOUNTY HUNTERS AND ASSASSINS... REWARDS OFFERED. Amrhein Alazar Professional name: The Annihilator Amrhein Alazar had an extensive career in the Imperial Marines, serving six terms and eventually achieving the rank of Force Commander. Three of his six terms of service were spent in the Marine's Special Service unit, the most highly-trained and elite combat group in the Imperial Marines. All military information and data on Alazar is top secret and restricted. However, it is known that Alazar was dishonourably discharged for dealing smuggled anagathics, rare and expensive age-retarding drugs. After being discharged from the military, Alazar put his deadly skills to use as a professional assassin. An expert with nearly all forms of weaponry, Alazar is most lethal with early tech level automatic rifles and pistols. His record of assassinations is unblemished. He has murdered hundreds, including several high level Imperial government Ambassadors. Alazar has thus far been able to elude Imperial authority, leaving many dead Imperial agents and independent bounty hunters in his wake. According to a recent rumour, he is hiding out somewhere in the Regina subsector of the Spinward Marches. Alazar is considered the most dangerous and merciless assassin in the galaxy. The Imperial Military Security Agency is offering a bounty of 250,000 credits to anyone who neutralizes him. Medical: 2 Battle Dress: 2 Laser Weapons: 2 Assault Rifle: 4 Brawling: 1 Forgery: 1 Survival: 3 Streetwise: 3 Katerenya Viridion Katerenya Viridion is beautiful and charming. Masked by physical beauty, she is actually one of the deadliest assassins in the Imperium. Many unsuspecting males have fallen victim to her graceful allure. Viridion relies on her seductive appeal to lure her prey within striking distance. She continues to thwart Imperial Forces, who have pursued her for years. Viridion was born on the planet Efate in the Regina subsector. Her father was a military arms supplier who raised Viridion as he would have a son. She was taught at a young age to live off the land, fight and use a variety of weapons. Years later her father was murdered by interstellar pirates. Viridion believed that her father's business competitors were actually responsible for the murder, because they were known to fund pirating operations. Taking matters into her own hands, Viridion set out to settle the score against her father's enemies. She gained revenge and began a career as an assassin for hire. Though she is an attractive woman, do not take her abilities lightly. Viridion is an expert in the use of a variety of energy weapons. The Regina Subsector Law Enforcement Agency is offering a 225,000 credit reward for her capture. Energy Weapon: 3 Stealth: 2 Streetwise: 3 Intrusion: 2 Medical: 1 Handgun: 1 Gainus Ozar Professional name: The Butcher of Boughene Gainus Ozar is a savage and sadistic individual. His criminal life began at the age of nine, when Ozar murdered the headmistress of the orphanage he was confined to, on the planet Boughene. Those who have met Ozar claim he suffers from severe mental illness. Others say he is possessed by wicked demons. Regardless, Ozar is one of the most sought-after assassins in the Spinward Marches. Ozar enjoys his work. He never kills in a quick, efficient or painless manner. He is known to torture and terrorize his victims, sometimes taking several days to kill them. He has been known to dismember his victims one body part at a time; thus the name The Butcher. A variety of Imperial enforcement agencies and Megacorporations have joined forces to offer a 200,000 credit reward to anyone who can capture this heinous murderer. Streetwise: 3 Stealth: 2 Sword: 1 Demolitions: 1 SMG: 2 Handgun: 2 Brawling: 2 Gambling: 2 Andolus Zelexian At one time a prosperous trader, Andolus Zelexian turned to smuggling in hope of reaping great riches. While most of his illegal actions focus on smuggling and pirating intergalactic trade routes in the Regina Subsector, Zelexian does put his lethal capabilities to use as a paid assassin when the bounties are high. As of late, Zelexian has been repeatedly striking trade ships owned by the SuSAG, LIC Megacorporation, a large chemical and pharmaceutical firm. Zelexian is an expert laser rifleman. Through his smuggling contacts, he has access to all the latest energy weapons and military defensive armour. In addition to leading pirate forays against SuSAG, LIC, he has also been striking interstellar starships owned by the Sharurshid Megacorporation. The Regina Subsector Law Enforcement Agency, in conjunction with SuSAG, LIC and Sharurshid, are offering a reward of 175,000 Imperial credits for the neutralization of Zelaxian. Trader: 4 Laser Weapon: 3 Handgun: 2 Liaison: 2 Pilot: 3 Maximillian "Maxie" Mortis Maxie Mortis is an ex-Imperial marine presently serving as a professional assassin for a powerful organized crime syndicate. During his stint in the military, Mortis served four terms and became proficient at weapons combat. He is especially dangerous with powerful energy weapons such as the TL 12 Plasma Gun Man Portable. Even in the military, Maxie was rebellious, never wanting to abide by the strict guidelines imposed by the Marines. According to published reports, Mortis disappeared after shooting, and critically wounding, his commanding officer on the firing range. Because of his insurgent actions, Mortis never received a commission or promotion, though he served four terms of service. Like most men in organized crime, Mortis prefers to kill his victims quickly and cleanly. Imperial intelligence sources indicate that Mortis is operating in the Regina or Jewell subsector. The Imperial Law Enforcement Agency has posted a 150,000 credit reward for the capture of Maxie Mortis. Jack-Of-All-Trades: 3 Bribery: 2 Energy Weapons: 3 Stealth: 2 Gambling: 2 Szen Sanai Szen Sanai is a cunning assassin with expertise in nearly all forms of weapons combat. After serving in the Imperial army for two terms, Sanai began his underworld business, selling black-market military arms. He ran this highly successful business until Imperial agents discovered his operation. A dozen Imperial officers stormed Sanai's secret warehouse and neutralized his cohorts. However, the seemingly successful raid became a bloodbath when Sanai single-handedly killed every member of the Imperial strike force using his keen intelligence and deadly weapons skills. Word of the slaughter spread through the universe quickly, and Sanai was soon approached by countless underworld figures to carry out assassinations. Sanai's first business was destroyed, but a promising new career was born. The Imperial Law Enforcement Agency has offered a 125,000 credit reward for the arrest of Szen Sanai. Forgery: 2 Trader: 1 Assault Rifle: 3 Heavy Weapons: 2 Handgun: 2 Recruiting: 1 Battle Dress: 3 Rhevah Hamache Professional name: The Triggermaster Rhevah Hamache had a long and distinguished career as a starship pilot in the Imperial Scouts. After leaving the military, Hamache purchased his own starship and began trading in the Regina subsector. Hamache always had a reputation as a fair and honest trader. After the accidental death of his wife and daughter, Hamache underwent a personality change. He began to smuggle cargo and pirate defenceless ships. Money became his passion, and he soon became "The Triggermaster", a malicious killer for hire. Those who know him well say that on the fateful day he lost his family, his conscience died as well. Hamache is the leader of a band of interstellar raiders based at a secret hideaway somewhere in the Regina subsector. The Imperial Law Enforcement Agency was offering a small reward for his capture until Hamache assassinated Duke Annatoly Gruss, the leader of a planet in the Forboldn system. The reward has been raised to 100,000 credits because of diplomatic pressure from the Forboldn ambassador. Pilot: 3 Handgun: 2 Navigation: 1 Communications: 1 Laser Weapons: 2 Vacc Suit: 1 Name Unknown Professional name: Bolo Bolo, a renowned captain in the Imperial Army, was thought to have been killed in action during a planetary surface conflict on Emerald, a world in the Jewell subsector. He was given the name Bolo by the loyal Imperial soldiers under his command. During his military career, he was decorated with several awards of merit for bravery and heroism. Recently, evidence surfaced proving Bolo is alive - and operating as a hired assassin for an unknown source. His victims are mostly powerful megacorporation executives. Having served three terms in the Imperial Army, and battle-hardened from combat, Bolo makes an excellent assassin. His main weapons of expertise are small arms which can be smuggled through starport checkpoints. The Imperial Army Military Police Force is offering a reward of 75,000 credits to anyone who can take Bolo prisoner. Leader: 2 Hand Combat: 3 Assault Rifle: 1 Demolitions: 1 Recon: 3 Battle Dress: 1 Laser Weapons: 1 Demetrieye Jannev Born in the Aramis subsector, Jannev is a master criminal. Armed robbery, pirating and murder are just a few of the felonies of which this career criminal has been convicted. Jannev was sent to the planet Mithras, an Imperial prison world in the Glisten subsector, to serve a life sentence. With the aide of underworld contacts, Jannev managed to escape the savage world. Now a bounty hunter and assassin, Jannev is rumoured to be operating in the Regina subsector. Jannev is heartless and distant. He has fulfilled dozens of "blood contracts" on known smugglers. The Regina Subsector Law Enforcement Agency is offering a 50,000 credit reward for the arrest and capture of Jannev. Gambling: 2 Streetwise: 3 Brawling: 2 Handgun: 2 Liaison: 1 Fallous Cepholon A small-time assassin for hire, Cepholon has managed to terminate a few unknown victims of little importance. Cepholon is not a very skilled gunman. Some unconfirmed reports claim he accidentally shot himself in the leg during a heated battle. However, Cepholon is trying to make a name for himself, so he might have some scheme up his sleeve. The only reason a reward of 25,000 credits is being offered is because no agency wants to spend valuable time or resources to search for him. Dagger: 1 Handgun: 1 Intrusion: 1 Streetwise: 1 ------------------------------------ -------------------------- GLOSSARY Alell One of the eight star systems in the Zhodani Conspiracy. Alell is a binary system (two stars) with three planets the characters can explore. (See system) anagathics Rare and expensive longevity drugs. A steady supply prolongs life and prevents aging. armed escort A type of ship that will be encountered in the game. Escorts will often be in a caravan protecting merchant ships. Army The Imperial Army is a planet-based fighting force. These soldiers fight in surface battles and campaigns. (see Service) Aslan The Aslan are a race of intelligent beings resembling Terran lions. Aslan females outnumber males three to one. The major goal of an Aslan male is to own land, while the female is concerned with trade, industry and knowledge. Boughene One of the eight star systems in the Zhodani Conspiracy. There are two planets and one moon to explore in this system. The mainworld is the planet where the characters are supposed to meet Dr. Arik Toryan. character The character refers to the fictional role in the role- playing game. In the Zhodani Conspiracy, one player controls five characters. corsair The largest ship in the Zhodani Conspiracy. It can have up to four weapons and can carry cargo. credit A monetary unit in the MEGATRAVELLER universe. destroyer A large, well-armed ship with limited cargo space. Droyne The Droyne are an intelligent race of small, winged herbivores. They are about one meter in height. Droyne society follows a rigid caste system. Efate One of eight star systems in The Zhodani Conspiracy. The game begins, and ends, on Efate's mainworld. There are two other planets and three satellites to explore in this system. hexadecimal Numbering system based on 16. Digits 0 through 9 are represented the same as in the decimal system. Numbers 10 through 15 are represented by the letters A to F. The hexadecimal system is used throughout MEGATRAVELLER (see UPP, UWP) hexes Short for hexagons. Hexes are used in MEGATRAVELLER maps, both on ground and in space. The distance of a jump from one system to another is measured in hexes. (see jump, system) Hivers Hivers are an intelligent race in the TRAVELLER universe. Hivers have six limbs, one of which is their head. The head has six manipulative tentacles and six eye stalks. The other five limbs end in six-fingered hands and these limbs are both used as arms and legs. Imperium, The The interplanetary government of the MEGATRAVELLER universe. The present government is the Third Imperium, founded 1,107 years earlier. Interloper The name of the Sharurshid ship Lenara gives to the characters at the beginning of the game. (see Raclor, Lenara) interplanetary One kind of ship the player will encounter. These craft travel between planets in the same system. They are small and fast with limited cargo space. jump Faster-than-light travel from one point in space to another. A jump is made by leaving normal space and travelling through an alternate space called jumpspace. key, code The keys referred to are complex computer files necessary to decode encrypted files. The code keys are stored on holographic cartridges. Kiefer, Konrad One of the major NPCs in the game, Kiefer is the major foe of the player. He is the Subsector Executive of Sharurshid Megacorporation and is smuggling Zhodani arms into the Imperium. He will hire bounty hunters and assassins to harass the player throughout the game (see Sharurshid) K'kree The K'kree, once called the Centaurs by humans, are the most massive of the major alien races. The K'kree are covered with short gray fur with a dense black mane. The K'kree are social creatures and live in herds. Louzy One of the eight star systems in The Zhodani Conspiracy. This system has three planets for the characters to explore. mainworld The mainworld in each system is usually, but not always, the most populated world in the system. The system is named for the mainworld. Marines Members of the armed fighting forces primarily carried aboard starships. They battle piracy and are used to board enemy ships in space. Imperial Marines also protect starports and bases that belong to the Navy and supplement other ground forces as needed. (see Service) Menorb One of the eight star systems in The Zhodani Conspiracy. Only the mainworld of Menorb and its moon can be explored by the characters. Merchants Traders. They can be employed by large trading corporations or they can be small independent traders who carry cargo and passengers between worlds. Merchants can deal in conventional trade and commerce or they can become involved in less-than- legal smuggling. (see Service) Navy The Imperial Navy patrols interstellar space. Ships and worlds in the vastness of space are subject to attack from pirates or unfriendly governments. The Navy seeks to protect interstellar trade lines and Imperial territory from pirates and foreign powers. (see Service) NPC A Non-Player Character is a character in a role-playing game that is not controlled by the player. Lenara and Kiefer are two prominent NPCs in The Zhodani Conspiracy. (see Kiefer, Konrad and Raclor, Lenara) Pixie One of the eight star systems in The Zhodani Conspiracy. Pixie has three planets to explore. player The individual playing a role-playing game. In The Zhodani Conspiracy, five characters will be controlled by the same player. Psionics The use of mental powers such as telepathy, telekinesis, clairvoyance, or teleportation. The Imperium considers the use of these powers to be a criminal act. The Zhodani is a psionic-using society, and that adds to the radical dissimilarities between the two cultures. (see Zhodani and Zhodani Consulate) Quaam, Viktor Viktor is Kiefer's right-hand man. He is responsible for the kidnapping of Dr. Arik Toryan. The characters must defeat Viktor in order to rescue Arik and continue the scenario. (see Kiefer, Konrad) Raclor, Lenara Lenara is the Transom agent investigating Kiefer. She has Kiefer's encoded file, which she gives to the characters (in addition to the ship and some money). She sends them to Boughene to meet with Dr. Arik Toryan. Lenara is the player's major connection to the scenario. (see Transom) Scout Ship One of the ships that will be encountered. The Scouts often give old ships to ex-scouts as a reward for excellent service. Scouts The Imperial Interstellar Scout Service is an exploratory service. The scouts are responsible for exploring and mapping new territories. In addition to this, the Scouts are also information couriers. They man the X-Boats, the high-tech Imperial postal service. (see Service) sector A division of the Imperium made up of sixteen subsectors. The Spinward Marches is the sector in which The Zhodani Conspiracy is set. The Imperium is composed of roughly 27 sectors. service The career of the character before adventuring in the MEGATRAVELLER game. In MEGATRAVELLER, there are 18 different services. In The Zhodani Conspiracy, the five most common are used. (see Army, Marines, Merchants, Navy, Scouts) Sharurshid Sharurshid Megacorporation is one of 13 mega-corporations in the Imperium. Sharurshid's business activities emphasize trade in luxury and novelty goods, transport of goods between worlds, and service industries. Sharurshid has conducted limited trade with the Zhodani Consulate. (see Kiefer, Raclor, Transom and Zhodani Consulate) skill Acquired by characters while in the service. These skills will affect the ability of the characters to succeed at certain tasks. There are 72 skills in The Zhodani Conspiracy, from Academic to Zero-G Environment. Spinward The frontier sector of the Imperium, as it borders the Marches Zhodani Consulate. In addition to the two major powers, there are also numerous independent territories in the Marches. This sector has been settled since the year 400, but has potential for exploration and development for centuries to come. (see Imperium, sector, Zhodani Consulate) startown The section of the city near the starport. This area has a tendency to enforce law and order less strictly than in more provincial areas. There are more casinos and illegal weapon stores and fewer jails and security guards in startown than in the city. subsector Each sector in the Imperium is divided into 16 subsectors; each is named for the capital world. The Zhodani Conspiracy takes place in the Regina and Jewell subsectors on the Spinward Marches. (see sector, Spinward Marches) system A star, its orbiting planets, and associated satellites. One world in the system is designated as a mainworld, and the system is named for that world. task An action that a character attempts to perform during the game. Every task is assigned a difficulty that determines the number needed to succeed at that task. Difficult tasks will require a higher number than routine or simple tasks. Applicable skills will lower the number needed to succeed. (see skill) Toryan, Arik Dr. Arik Toryan is the Computer Operations Office Manager for Sharurshid. Toryan created an encoding scheme for Kiefer that needed two decoding keys - one specified by Toryan, the other by Kiefer. When Lenara approached Dr. Toryan and asked for his decoding key, he agreed to help. Dr. Toryan is followed to Boughene, then kidnapped by Viktor Quamm. The characters must rescue Arik in order to win the game. (see Kiefer, Quaam, Raclor, Sharurshid) trader A trader is a merchant ship (sometimes called an armed merchant). These ships carry cargo between systems and are often a target for pirates. Transom Transom is publicly known as an auditing division of Sharurshid. It has secretly developed into an agency that investigates embezzlement, theft and fraud of Sharurshid employees. (see Raclor, Sharurshid) Uakye One of the eight systems in The Zhodani Conspiracy. Uakye has three systems to explore. UPP The Universal Personality Profile summarizes a character's attributes as a sequence of six hexadecimal numbers (0 to F). The attributes, in order, are Strength, Dexterity, Endurance, Intelligence, Education and Social Standing. A character with a UPP of 777777 is average in every respect. A character with a UPP of A47CD8 is stronger than average (A), not very dextrous (4), and has an average endurance (7). The character is very intelligent (C), and extremely educated (D), with a social standing just slightly above average (8). (see hexadecimal) UWP The Universal World Profile is a series of letters and numbers used to summarize the characteristics of a planet. The characteristics, in order, are: Starport, Size, Atmosphere, Hydrosphere, Population, Government, Law Level and Tech Level. Efate, with a UPP of A646930D, has an excellent starport (A). It is a medium size planet (6) with a thin-tainted atmosphere (4) and it is a wet world - with 60% water (6). The population of Efate is in the billions (9) with an oligarchy (3) for government. There is no law (0) and the tech level is average stellar (D). Vargr The Vargr are an intelligent race resulting from genetic manipulation of Terran canines. They are bipedal carnivores, with hands similar to those of humans. The Vargr have no central government. X-Boat The X-Boat system is the Imperial "postal service" that is maintained by the Scouts. The characters will occasionally encounter an X-Boat. (see Scouts) Yres One of the eight star systems in The Zhodani Conspiracy. There are two planets and two satellites to explore in Yres. Zhodani The Zhodani are a branch of humanity similar to other human races. The most important difference is their use of psionics. The Zhodani have been battling with the Imperium for 500 years along the Spinward Marches. Zhodani The Zhodani Consulate is the government of the Zhodani people Consulate (equivalent of the Imperium).
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