Everyone from the wimpiest schoolkid from a low gravity planet to the biggest, buffest bodybuilder from a high gravity planet appears to do 1d6 damage when they punch someone. Should we be adding the Strength DM to the damage roll?

I can't find anything relevant in the rulebook. I've got Mongoose Traveller 1e but am happy to use rules from 2e if there are some.


2 Answers 2


In 1st Edition Mongoose Traveller, you do not add your strength DM to melee damage.

It's incorporated into your roll to-hit, which indirectly affects damage.

On page 61 of the core rulebook:

The standard skill checks used in making an attack are:

Melee attack = 2d6 + Melee (appropriate specialty) + Strength or Dexterity DM (attacker's choice)

Subsequently, on page 65, under Damage:

Each weapon lists the damage it inflicts as a number of d6. Add the Effect of the attack roll to this damage.

The usual target number is 8+, so to hit someone you're wanting your total to be 8 or more (plus or minus whatever situational modifiers are going on).

The Effect here is the margin of success of the the attack (p50, Effect section). So for every point you get over 8 on your dice roll you inflict an extra point of damage. This means that high strength increases both your accuracy and maximum damage, but only if you choose to use your Strength DM for the attack roll.

In summary: When rolling to hit in melee, use the better of your Strength or Dexterity DMs. Don't apply Strength to the final damage total.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Wow! I think my players are about to abruptly become much more dangerous in bar brawls. \$\endgroup\$
    – DrBob
    Jul 9, 2016 at 14:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ In my opinion it's a little bit strange that being super-beefy makes you more accurate when punching/stabbing people, but there's a precedent in Dungeons and Dragons and it lets you play beefy bruiser archetypes without them also having to be ninjas in order to hit anything. Plus in game-balance terms it means Dexterity isn't a complete must-have for all forms of combat. \$\endgroup\$
    – Quil
    Jul 9, 2016 at 21:00

From p74 of e2 core rulebook

Melee Attacks When a melee attack is successful, the attacker adds their STR DM to the damage rolled for the weapon. Bigger things hit harder!


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