Traveller Out of the Box: Weapon Cards, 1977 Edition

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Some of you may know I made a set of weapon cards for the 1981 Classic Traveller. Each card lists a specific weapon, the +/-DMs for Strength or Dexterity, and a matrix that combines the DMs for range and armor from Book 1 into a single Throw number.

Here is an example of how the matrix works:

1. The DM for SMG against No Armor is +5.
2. The DM for SMG against the five ranges (as you note) are -4 +3 +3 -3 -9
3. When we combine these two DMs (which is what the Weapon Card matrix does) for No Armor at the five ranges, we get +1 +8 +8 +2 -4
4. We then applied these five DMs (which combine the DMs for range and armor) to the required hit roll of 8+
5. The final numbers printed on the card represent what the Player needs to roll or better on 2D6. So: No armor, close range is DM +1, meaning the PC needs to roll a 7+.

In this way, the Player only has to look down at the card and read the Throw number required.


I now have a set of the cards for the 1977 edition of Traveller. The big difference is the damage values. In the 1981 edition of the game all damage values are whole dice (xD6). In the 1977 edition of the game some of the damage rolls are modified by a +/-DM (xD6 +/-y).

Here’s an example of the card in action:

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The character needs to Throw the number in the matrix or higher to hit (excluding other DMs of course.)

In the notation above the character has a Blade-5 expertise and a DM +1 because of his Strength of 9+, and so he has a DM +6 when using blade. A character with melee weapon expertise can apply that expertise as a -DM to incoming melee attacks, thus the parry value of 5, for a DM -5 if someone attacks him with a melee weapon while he is defending with his Blade.

You can print the cards out, cut them pages into quarters, and hand a card to any Player with a PC carrying a given weapon. (I printed them on a heavier card stock, using pre-perforated sheets used for name tags. Each weapon card sheet divides neatly into equal quarters.)

As always, if you spot any errors let me know!

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14 thoughts on “Traveller Out of the Box: Weapon Cards, 1977 Edition

    • Hi Frank,

      As I as said in a previous post I don’t have the original files available right now. I created this mdoc by editing the PDF of the 1981 cards in Adobe Acrobat.

      • Ah, ok, sorry. I hadn’t thought about how easy it would be to edit the PDF… So I was thinking, “Oh, he must have done a new document for the 1977 cards”…

      • Well, the formatting makes the editing sometimes wonky with the touchup tool… but it can be done.

  1. Is there an error in the laser weapons section? Reflec seems to have no effect against either the carbine or the laser rifle. Unless I’m misreading the charts it should be at least as good as ablat.

    • I’ll look into that!
      Though maybe not for a few days….

      Again, there might be errors! Please let me know if anyone finds any.

      • Yes, there’s an error.
        Laser Carbine Reflec Row should read:
        18 15 15 15 16

        Laser Rifle Reflec Row should read:
        20 14 14 14 15

        I currently only have the PDF files (the original files are currently trapped in a downed laptop). Editing the PDF is almost impossible because of the original cell formatting… but I will look into it.

        For now I’ll be hand marking my set.

  2. Any chance of making a set that has just one copy of each, so it isn’t 49 pages long? I can copy more if I need it.

    • I just need to get off my duff and re-create Christopher’s work…

      It’s a shame all his effort is at least temporarily lost…

      I’ve a mind to recreate in Excel so you can fill in your skill and Str/Dex and have the numbers auto-adjust…

      • While I am saddened by the sorrow my crashed drive creates for so many… I feel compelled to point out the work isn’t “lost.” There are two PDF that are just fine. Two lines on laser weapons are off an can be fixed within seconds with a pencil.

        As for printing the pages… one can either delete the offending pages, or simply print the pages one wants. (I built the doc so I’d only have print them once.)

        And an important note! The original doc was built in Pages. (I don’t use MS products anymore. Everything gets too buggy.)

        Pages may not be an application lots of people have or use. Even if I had the original documents I’m not sure they would satisfy exactly what people wanted.

      • Sure, the end result isn’t lost, but the fully editable version is, of course being in a less common application format, it might not be as useful as those of us who want to hack might like…

        But it IS just a few hours of effort… I just need to get motivated…

        And when I do so, I might put Paul Gazis’s weapons in the format also…

        And collect any other weapons I can find Classic Traveller data for…

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