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Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
11-30-2009, 11:30 PM
What *is* Traveller RPG to you? If you started with another science fiction rpg, please feel free to share why your particular system of choice resonates with you.

I began a thread on DnD, so it seems only fair that i begin one with the same question for Traveller RPG, for after all, its been around for over 30 years and i *know* many of our science fiction rpg players cut their teeth on roleplay with Traveller, and not DnD.

What i want from everyone is to dig deep inside and ask yourself: What is Traveller RPG to me? What unique qualities make one want to play this game for decades w/o ever getting bored of it? Is it the system, the essence, the feel it gave you when you first played it, the specific world in which its played in (this could be homebrew, which goes without saying), ...so what is it exactly?

For me, it is a great many things including the fear one feels for ones character when facing insurmountable odds with a small likelihood of surviving in a vast space knowing i am just a speck at best that will never be more than a speck of nothing in the grand scheme of things. It is the chill felt up ones spine when feeling that one is alone in the Black and a blip of unknown origin shows up on radar. It is the fear of always wondering whether if this will be my last trip in space, to be lost without a soul ever knowing. It is the fear that i may be caught by some unknown alien race to kept as a pet in a museum... or worse. It is a basic familiarity of a universe that i can recognize as a player that has aspects of Star Wars, Star Trek, Serenity, Wing Commander, Alien, Event Horizon, Lost in Space, and any number of movies that i have seen and books that i have read in my life. It is knowing that a ship of unknown origin is on our tail and aren't answering our hails. And, it is the knowing that there is no forgiveness for mistakes made and one could die at any time and for any reason, for in space, no one can here you scream. These are but a few examples that describes the essence Traveller to me... besides the flexibility of said system.

Remember, any and all answers are correct. Feel free to share edition favorites... mine is CT, with MgT coming in at a close 2nd.

If by chance you started your rpg'ing with a science fiction game other than Traveller, feel free to share the rpg and why it resonates with you, for after all, i do realize that all gamers aren't as old as i.

What is it about Traveller RPG resonates your soul? Basically, what makes one want to play this game over a lifetime compared to... lets say, Monopoly, or Life?

Again, if you enjoy another science fiction rpg, please feel free to share with the rest of us its magical affects you your person.

What share you?

Sascha
12-01-2009, 12:57 AM
Dying in character creation~!

(Somebody had to say it :P)

Never played Traveller, though I so would. Minus the 'death before play actually starts' bits. Sort of a Serenity or Millenium Falcon deal - just an independent trader lookin' for work on the edges of space.

Reminds me of Mutants in Orbit, a sourcebook for Palladium's After the Bomb and Rifts lines.

Earth's basically cut off from the rest of the system, due to killer satellites (or debris in counter orbit, or a few other reasons; some true, some ... not so much). What's left up there are seven (?) large space stations, which house the (possibly) last vestiges of civilization left in the system, each of which has their own political agenda. There are those who don't fit in, by choice or sometimes not, drifting from station to station, looking for a means to survive. And, if you look quickly, you just might catch a glimpse of strange, nonhuman craft lurking behind asteroids. Just don't go to Mars. Seriously. Giant bugs. Don't say I didn't warn you.

(Dangit. Now I gotta go roll up a tramp freighter. /Sigh.)

Mead
12-02-2009, 10:59 AM
Traveller was for me the gateway through to Asimov's entire Galactic Empire. It's always sort of been one and the same for me.

Umiushi
12-04-2009, 03:23 AM
Traveller was for me the gateway through to Asimov's entire Galactic Empire. It's always sort of been one and the same for me.
I'm reminded of that every time the party kicks up another covert psycho-history research institute.

To me, Traveller (or Classic Traveller, the only version I'm familiar with) mostly conjures up images of Blake's Seven. I think of the PCs actually feeling fear when they see a single automatic rifle pointed in their direction. I imagine stainless steel spaceships whose computers endlessly spin their over-sized magnetic tape reels to calculate firing solutions.

Whenever I play Traveller I'm always torn between giving it a more contemporary space opera style, like the Vorkosigan Saga (I guess even this is getting kind of dated), Crest of the Stars, or Revelation Space,or just going all-out retro where something that looks like a CRT TV stuck on top of a wheeled tray table is actually a planet-destroying super weapon. I like the fact that Traveller can largely support both of these styles.

I also enjoy the great potential of having so many mixed technology levels in such close proximity to one another. If anyone remembers an old Doctor Who serial called "The Ribos Operation," I always thought it would be nice to run something like that in Traveller: a medieval-tech planet is about to be sold on the open market because someone thinks they noticed an ultra-rare mineral among the local crown jewels (which is of course stuck in an underground maze and guarded by a giant monster).

Thinking about what I've written so far, what really attracts me to Traveller is its potential to have a huge variety of different scenarios while still maintaining a sense of overall continuity for the party. A single adventure might take a party from conducting diplomatic espionage on a high-tech waterworld with floating, amphibious cities, to being pursued across the surface of an asteroid in a vacuum-proof ATV, to the exploration of non-human ruins in a jungle infested with giant, hostile alien life.

Too many rpgs of all sorts are tied to a specific setting with its associated set of assumptions. Traveller has its Imperium, but it's much easier to jettison the official setting and use the rules to throw together a personal setting than for many rpgs that came out in later years.

Soft Serve
12-05-2009, 08:23 AM
A good planet generator...and....

.....hmm...........
..................................

Skygalleons
12-07-2009, 10:55 AM
Despite being a huge science fiction fan and holding the original three booklet black box in my hands when it came out, I never played Traveller. (I did end up buying that original set, but it was for a friend). I have always found the dying in character generation hysterically funny and even have a Traveller character generator program that I run a few times when I'm bored to see how many die (right around 40%).

When I first got into the Serenity RPG, I heavily mined my old GDW Challenge magazines for Traveller scenarios that I modified to the Cortex System, but actually trying to play or run Traveller, for some unknown reason, has just never entered my mind.

So in answer to the question of 'What is Traveller to me?' My response is a curiosity on why the game has never appealed to me. The setting is reasonable, detailed, and long-lived, but to this day, still doesn't interest me enough to try.

Soft Serve
12-10-2009, 04:06 PM
I saw a demotivational somewhere on Traveller that said "Do math for fun and then die in character generation."

Which is pretty much how the game looked to me until I actually read through it. Now I kinda like the injuries during chargen.

Frobozz
12-28-2009, 02:12 PM
It's that system I thought I always wanted to play but could never find a group to play it with. One of those great original system I never played.

oliphak
12-28-2009, 09:10 PM
Traveller is one of the most difficult rpgs to run at least in my experience. There is no good vs evil in the system just hard science and my gaming group has never been able to deal with role playing unless the gm holds their hand thru the campaign. I would love to find a group that truly appreciates the game. Ive gmed it on a number of occasions but not with the success the D&D or Champions have had.

templeorder
12-28-2009, 09:38 PM
I loved the setting and the politics. The mechanics - well, who really cared... they are not that memorable. Lethalty was good, physics good.

chrismata
01-01-2010, 10:35 AM
I stumbled upon the old Star Frontiers box set about 3 months after I discovered the red Basic D&D set in the back of an older neighbors closet. (I wasn't looking for candy.)

I read an reread it for a year before I actually convinced my DM to run it.

When he was fed up with not ever playing, I finally got the courage to run a Star Frontier session. One GM one Player. It was absolutely terrible and predictable.(I was 12.)

WE LOVED EVERY SECOND. Its one of the most memorable moments of my life.

It was 5 years before I every RP'ed again regularly but that one session, gave me the courage to become a great GM.

Star Frontiers is so simple and quick everyone should give it a go. Just once.

Gyrojet pistols for the win!!!!!!!

templeorder
01-02-2010, 05:17 AM
I'll post and pump the thread for Star Frontiers - still my favorite in terms of resolution mechanics.

But, Traveller beat it hands down for the setting and depth of materials. Great space opera settiing - in fact, its probably what i would use to compare all others against... which means its either that good or i'm that old :lol:

Soft Serve
01-02-2010, 10:49 AM
I'll post and pump the thread for Star Frontiers - still my favorite in terms of resolution mechanics.

But, Traveller beat it hands down for the setting and depth of materials. Great space opera settiing - in fact, its probably what i would use to compare all others against... which means its either that good or i'm that old :lol:


A combination of the two?

chrismata
01-02-2010, 07:04 PM
I'll post and pump the thread for Star Frontiers - still my favorite in terms of resolution mechanics.

But, Traveller beat it hands down for the setting and depth of materials. Great space opera settiing - in fact, its probably what i would use to compare all others against... which means its either that good or i'm that old :lol:

oh yeah nothing touches Traveller for history and depth. I think thats why I liked SJG version of it. They are great sourcebook creators and I owned the books for 6 years without ever playing it. Reading up on it was awesome.

With the right GM, playing Traveller would be an experience. (Granted any game with the right GM would be an experience.)

Playing in a campaign with a GM with a love of the Background over the system is always the best way to play. When thats married with either Vet players who know how to seamlessly fit in or new guys learning there place in the galaxy, a great game is born.

I just love games with history.

templeorder
01-03-2010, 09:21 AM
I think you could use the universe of one and the mechanics of the other. I've changed the probability of the SF skill chart to reflect what i think is a better learning curve. I have my own web based notes on converting between systems i like, so i think as long as you were consistent (consistently is always the hard part - documentation helps a lot), you could use the mechanics of one and setting of the other.

Equipment is the easy part, its character representation thats often at odds and needs to be figured out and tested for balance ahead of time.

Barry
01-04-2010, 02:41 PM
Character Generation, Random Planet Regens

Jame Rowe
04-30-2010, 11:43 AM
My Traveller is each a mechanic and a style of playing space-opera or light-hard-SF games without a lot of Transhumanism.

Not that Transhumanism is bad; just that Traveller doesn't do it well (and is therefore good for those who don't want to play Transhumanism - like me).

Soft Serve
05-06-2010, 01:18 PM
Feel like travellers planet generator might have been used by James Cameron to make Pandora from Avatar...

tesral
05-12-2010, 01:36 AM
Dying in character creation~!)

At least it wasn't me.


Traveler? A game I played briefly and mine without mercy for my Trek Game. I like Traveler books. I snap up the GURPS traveler stuff every chance I get.

Soft Serve
05-12-2010, 10:03 AM
Traveler? A game I played briefly and mine without mercy for my Trek Game.


Don't we all do the same for our various sci-fi games?

tesral
05-12-2010, 02:52 PM
Don't we all do the same for our various sci-fi games?

Good ideas are where you find them. I am not proud.

Soft Serve
05-12-2010, 09:13 PM
I'm fine with it. You take the parts that appeal to you, that's only human.

...Well I guess since you're a bird made of flaming fire you don't have an excuse.

Yeah...feel it. :D

magic-rhyme
05-14-2010, 02:09 PM
I saw a demotivational somewhere on Traveller that said "Do math for fun and then die in character generation."

That stereotyping of Traveller always annoyed me. The character death was a counter against power gamers, that's all. To use an AD&D analogy, in Traveller everyone could safely begin at 1st level, but you could gamble at trying to start out at a high level, and each level more, you risked having your character die in generation. Those of us willing to begin at 1st level had no problem. The problem was the whining of the greedy powergamers who would go through hundreds of characters before one of them survived all the gambles to begin the game at 7th level (to continue the analogy).


To me, Traveller (or Classic Traveller, the only version I'm familiar with) mostly conjures up images of Blake's Seven. I think of the PCs actually feeling fear when they see a single automatic rifle pointed in their direction. I imagine stainless steel spaceships whose computers endlessly spin their over-sized magnetic tape reels to calculate firing solutions.

I agree.

There are a lot of game systems out there for playing Space Opera, the sort of SF found in Star Wars or Star Trek or the classic Lensman series. Traveller was the first system to encourage people to play Hard SF or SF without a magic system, and it remains one of the few commercial systems in that genre to this day.

When I think of Space Opera, I think of many commercial, indie, and freeware systems.

When I think of Hard SF, I think only of Traveller.

tesral
05-14-2010, 09:57 PM
The first edition of the game didn't have levels. Everyone rolled the military career charts. Everyone stood a chance of dying. It got made optional later.

Soft Serve
05-15-2010, 08:20 AM
That stereotyping of Traveller always annoyed me. The character death was a counter against power gamers, that's all. To use an AD&D analogy, in Traveller everyone could safely begin at 1st level, but you could gamble at trying to start out at a high level, and each level more, you risked having your character die in generation. Those of us willing to begin at 1st level had no problem. The problem was the whining of the greedy powergamers who would go through hundreds of characters before one of them survived all the gambles to begin the game at 7th level (to continue the analogy).

So it was pointless in the end? Kinda like the D&D rule of taking 20. When you have an unlimited amount of attempts you're bound to get it eventually...

Dark
05-16-2010, 05:10 PM
To me it was the best part of the game and my GM only gave you three chances at character creation after that you're SOL. :laugh:

tesral
05-16-2010, 06:39 PM
With a limit like that it becomes meaningful. Otherwise yea, rinse and repeat until you get the result you want.

malchya
05-28-2010, 04:03 PM
I was moonlighting as a security guard in 1983. I was scheduled for a 20 hour Saturday and 20 hour Sunday shift at an electrical switching station in the middle of nowhere. On my way to work, about a two hour drive one way, I stopped at the local game shop to pick up some Judges Guild items that I had ordered. They weren't there yet, so I shelled out some money on an unknown box that caught my eye: black with red printing and the quotation "Mayday, this is free trader Beowulf..."

It was a scorching day in July. The sun slanted in amber beams through the blinds and the dust motes dancing above the old gray steel desk in the office were thick and lethargic. The building smelled of ozone and neglect. I turned the black wire cage fan, circa 1940's navy, on and poured a cup of burnt coffee left from the previous shift. I sat in the rump sprung squeaky office chair and opened the shrink wrap on the box. I took a sip of truly horrendous coffee and...stepped into another dimension.

That's what Traveller means to me. David Drake and Glen Cook, Robert Heinlein and Richard McEnroe.... By the Gods but I loved it! I think I generated about 80 characters that weekend. I built a half dozen ships and roughed out their deck plans. I put together four subsectors that I still game in from time to time. It was...awesome.

But it had some issues for me. Two dimensional mapping of space really bothered me. Eventually, about a year later, I purchased Space Opera from FGU and it became my sci fi system of choice. But I still own Traveller and blow the dust from it and wish I had interested players....

Soft Serve
05-28-2010, 06:22 PM
wish I had interested players....


Summarized.

Although I would have done the same in your case with nothing but a traveller book and 40 hours. And paper...lots of paper....

DeadMike
06-05-2010, 03:31 PM
But I still own Traveller and blow the dust from it and wish I had interested players....

I'm interested! Wanna play online? Some others in this thread said they would like to play but could never find a group. Now's the chance folks!

As for what Traveller means to me, it means a game I wish I had got into a long time ago. I've been playing it for a couple of years (the game just ended as the GM has a bunch of real life issues). Like every other game out there, there are some issues. It's still a really fun game with endless possibilities.

JolieBlanc
06-19-2010, 02:29 PM
New girl chiming in -- Traveller to me was always "that game my best friend raves about endlessly that has weird dice mechanics I'm not used to". Then a friend of mine at work was mentioned in a blog because he runs the Traveller galaxy map, and I started to read about it with renewed interest. I love space. I love gritty space. Sometimes with cowboys. Give me Honor Harrington or Miles Vorkosigan or ships drifting in the black and I'm a happy gal -- but, precious few RP opportunities really deliver that kind of experience. Star Wars is all about Jedi. Star Trek is - well, not my cup of tea. Firefly was much better, but the Cortex system just hits my 'Meh' button.

So I've spent the last three days reading Traveller and I have to say -- character creation is a freakin' hoot and I've been enjoying the heck out of it. My friend's played in games previously but never GM'd, but I'm trying to talk her into GMing a one-shot or two for me so I can get a handle on the system and she can get some practice in GMing it. :) I'll be honest and say I barely know what I'm doing but I'm intrigued, and it seems like oodles of fun to me. Give me a Far Trader and a navicomp to steer 'er by and I'll see you sometime next year. :D

Soft Serve
06-19-2010, 07:32 PM
New girl chiming in -- Traveller to me was always "that game my best friend raves about endlessly that has weird dice mechanics I'm not used to". Then a friend of mine at work was mentioned in a blog because he runs the Traveller galaxy map, and I started to read about it with renewed interest. I love space. I love gritty space. Sometimes with cowboys. Give me Honor Harrington or Miles Vorkosigan or ships drifting in the black and I'm a happy gal -- but, precious few RP opportunities really deliver that kind of experience. Star Wars is all about Jedi. Star Trek is - well, not my cup of tea. Firefly was much better, but the Cortex system just hits my 'Meh' button.

So I've spent the last three days reading Traveller and I have to say -- character creation is a freakin' hoot and I've been enjoying the heck out of it. My friend's played in games previously but never GM'd, but I'm trying to talk her into GMing a one-shot or two for me so I can get a handle on the system and she can get some practice in GMing it. :) I'll be honest and say I barely know what I'm doing but I'm intrigued, and it seems like oodles of fun to me. Give me a Far Trader and a navicomp to steer 'er by and I'll see you sometime next year. :D

Traveler reads fine, it's everything else about it that keeps me away. Like the math...I don't like math...

The creativity involved is great. The number of things you can do to vehicles and characters. But trying to do it without an online generator kills my brain harder than cthulhu.

tesral
06-19-2010, 08:50 PM
http://phoenixinn.iwarp.com/SS_Modeler/RPG/advmath.jpg

Soft Serve
06-20-2010, 12:02 AM
Basic Spelling Skills

That demotivational pic needs it.

tesral
06-20-2010, 08:07 AM
Yup. I hadn't noticed. Time for some 1337 GIMP skills. (No, I didn't make it.)

The suggestion remains. RPGs do not need advanced math.

http://phoenixinn.iwarp.com/SS_Modeler/RPG/advmath.jpg

Happy?

Soft Serve
06-20-2010, 12:24 PM
I didn't mean to imply that you couldn't spell I knew you didn't make it.

Also did you even change anything? I was talking about the word "Really" on the bottom if you noticed/changed something else. And if you did notice/change something else then holy balls I can't believe you read all that.

tesral
06-20-2010, 02:38 PM
Yea, I changed the "realy" to really. It's changed on both because I changed the source for the graphic. No, I didn't get into the stuff in the "page".

Anyway, who said people that can do math spell?

At least Traveler changed what I consider the worse aspect of the old game. Dying in character creation,. That rather defeats the whole point of character creation. Mongoose has done a decent job with the old chestnut.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
06-20-2010, 03:39 PM
Wow, i'm still amazed that people are clueless on the reasons why Traveller designed in the possibility of death in character creation.

Soft Serve
06-20-2010, 04:19 PM
Yea, I changed the "realy" to really. It's changed on both because I changed the source for the graphic. No, I didn't get into the stuff in the "page".

Anyway, who said people that can do math spell?

At least Traveler changed what I consider the worse aspect of the old game. Dying in character creation,. That rather defeats the whole point of character creation. Mongoose has done a decent job with the old chestnut.


When I posted that I still saw only one "L" but now I see it and I feel like a bad panda.

tesral
06-20-2010, 05:33 PM
When I posted that I still saw only one "L" but now I see it and I feel like a bad panda.

No, you were right, there was one "L". I said 1337 GIMP skills.



Wow, i'm still amazed that people are clueless on the reasons why Traveller designed in the possibility of death in character creation.

That might be the new game, but not the old one. Having played Traveler "in the day" you simply had a chance at your character dying. You went through an entire military career in a series of rolls. The game assumes everyone starterd military. There was no opt out or other career path. You also have no decisions to make. The dice decided everything.

The one character I remember retired an Admiral. WTF am I doing looking for work as a free trader? A retired Admiral is an old guy. He should be gardening and showing up for parades with a chest full of medals.

It needed reworking badly. A reworking I understand Mongoose gave it.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
06-20-2010, 06:51 PM
I wonder when folks make such statements if they really ever played the game. Note: the biggest fanbase of Traveller is with the Traveller CT crowd - even today.

magic-rhyme
06-21-2010, 01:33 AM
The first edition of the game didn't have levels. Everyone rolled the military career charts. Everyone stood a chance of dying. It got made optional later.

Yes, I know. That's why I specifically stated I was making an analogy.

I would expect anyone who posts about Traveller to know what an analogy is and therefore not be confused by my use of the term "levels" as part of the analogy. "Analogy" really isn't a difficult word to learn to understand.

Soft Serve
06-21-2010, 02:02 PM
No, you were right, there was one "L". I said 1337 GIMP skills.




That might be the new game, but not the old one. Having played Traveler "in the day" you simply had a chance at your character dying. You went through an entire military career in a series of rolls. The game assumes everyone starterd military. There was no opt out or other career path. You also have no decisions to make. The dice decided everything.

The one character I remember retired an Admiral. WTF am I doing looking for work as a free trader? A retired Admiral is an old guy. He should be gardening and showing up for parades with a chest full of medals.

It needed reworking badly. A reworking I understand Mongoose gave it.

Lol now I see!

Also travelers death in chargen was actually pretty fun for me. Mongoose I think made it so you can only get critically injured though right?

JolieBlanc
06-21-2010, 05:59 PM
The Mongoose version has you roll for survival and if you fail, rolling on a mishap table that can vary wildly (but that always ejects you from the profession). There're optional rules included for "Iron Man" style, wherein you can die in CG.

Personally I prefer failing a survival roll and losing an arm or a leg, or gaining an enemy and being tossed from my profession, etc. It's good RP fodder. I get the logic on the whole 'death is a risk you take to get more stuff out of chargen' but if you intend to play a reasonably young character it's kind of moot - you aren't super likely to end up dead anyway.

(BTW, the Mongoose variety is the one I'm most familiar with, though I think there's a copy of GURPS Traveller kicking around the house too.) :) And by 'most familiar' I mean I've spent the last few days making characters for fun. I've got a nice little caboodle of them at this point, and alas, nothing to do with them. :P One of them had spectacularly bad luck and (despite good overall stats) managed to fail survival rolls on not one but -three- seperate careers. She lost an eye, gained an enemy, and was tossed out on her ear with not a credit to her name.

If I ever did end up playing her in a game, I shudder to think what'd happen to her next.

Soft Serve
06-23-2010, 11:34 AM
The Mongoose version has you roll for survival and if you fail, rolling on a mishap table that can vary wildly (but that always ejects you from the profession). There're optional rules included for "Iron Man" style, wherein you can die in CG.

Personally I prefer failing a survival roll and losing an arm or a leg, or gaining an enemy and being tossed from my profession, etc. It's good RP fodder. I get the logic on the whole 'death is a risk you take to get more stuff out of chargen' but if you intend to play a reasonably young character it's kind of moot - you aren't super likely to end up dead anyway.

(BTW, the Mongoose variety is the one I'm most familiar with, though I think there's a copy of GURPS Traveller kicking around the house too.) :) And by 'most familiar' I mean I've spent the last few days making characters for fun. I've got a nice little caboodle of them at this point, and alas, nothing to do with them. :P One of them had spectacularly bad luck and (despite good overall stats) managed to fail survival rolls on not one but -three- seperate careers. She lost an eye, gained an enemy, and was tossed out on her ear with not a credit to her name.

If I ever did end up playing her in a game, I shudder to think what'd happen to her next.

I am almost on the same page. Didn't make a lot of characters but Mongoose is the only Traveler I know (so far) and I also never manage to find Traveler games, and I also spent some time making characters (although not a lot and never any worth keeping.)

I wonder if this thread will spawn a traveler game here in the chat.

wink...cough...hint... (someone do it...)

DeadMike
06-28-2010, 04:59 PM
I am almost on the same page. Didn't make a lot of characters but Mongoose is the only Traveler I know (so far) and I also never manage to find Traveler games, and I also spent some time making characters (although not a lot and never any worth keeping.)

I wonder if this thread will spawn a traveler game here in the chat.

wink...cough...hint... (someone do it...)

I like to check out the CT rules, even though I have only played the Mongoose version. Thankfully the original books can be got cheap on CD at the Far Future site. http://www.farfuture.net/
Mike

tesral
06-29-2010, 09:21 AM
They are about what you might expect of the D&D of the Era. Sketchy incomplete, rules with holes you could drive a cruiser through.

Time has if anything enriched the setting and improved the rules.

fmitchell
06-29-2010, 12:51 PM
Wow, i'm still amazed that people are clueless on the reasons why Traveller designed in the possibility of death in character creation.

Count me among the clueless. It's a waste of time to roll on tables for half an hour only for an unlucky roll to make you start all over. Like fiction and history, RPG are about the survivors. Therefore, it makes sense to assume that any character generated survived his career(s), no matter what other dire consequences he suffered.

Imagine if D&D had an Infant Death Saving Throw at character generation, or the Background Events table in Mongoose's RuneQuest II -- rolled last during character generation -- included "Killed by a Disease Spirit in his teens. Create a new character."

(Mind you, a game where a character died during generation and was still playable would be interesting ...)

Sascha
06-29-2010, 02:15 PM
(Mind you, a game where a character died during generation and was still playable would be interesting ...)
(There's always Wraith: the Oblivion, but I don't think it quite counts :P)

tesral
06-29-2010, 04:26 PM
On the positive side, Traveler paper minis.

http://www.crowstuff.co.uk/rpg/traveller_minis/traveller_minis.htm

Jame Rowe
07-09-2010, 06:30 AM
I am almost on the same page. Didn't make a lot of characters but Mongoose is the only Traveler I know (so far) and I also never manage to find Traveler games, and I also spent some time making characters (although not a lot and never any worth keeping.)

I wonder if this thread will spawn a traveler game here in the chat.

wink...cough...hint... (someone do it...)

I know I'm late to this (I usually am) but I actually wouldn't mind that.

DeadMike
07-10-2010, 02:31 PM
I know I'm late to this (I usually am) but I actually wouldn't mind that.
Are you up for GMing Jame?

Jame Rowe
07-11-2010, 07:08 AM
Are you up for GMing Jame?

Well, admittedly I was hoping to play... But if if noone else is - and let's first see if anyone else is - I could be persuaded (it'd be the first time I've done it and maybe I should step outside my comfort zone).

DeadMike
07-13-2010, 06:05 PM
Well, admittedly I was hoping to play... But if if noone else is - and let's first see if anyone else is - I could be persuaded (it'd be the first time I've done it and maybe I should step outside my comfort zone).

Well, I'm game as a player. Too much going on for me to GM.
Mike

Soft Serve
07-14-2010, 01:21 AM
Well, I'm game as a player. Too much going on for me to GM.
Mike


Same.

Jame Rowe
07-15-2010, 11:33 AM
Traveller is, to me, my favorite sci-fi rules.

Fersboo
07-22-2010, 09:36 AM
Sandbox Traveller in chat? Could work. Anyone familiar with Pocket Empires? That could work with spreadsheets and chat and would give everyone multiple characters to play in a sandbox environment.

I'd be interested in GMing or co-GMing and playing something like this. What kind of time frames would work?

Jame Rowe
07-23-2010, 08:36 AM
Sandbox Traveller in chat? Could work. Anyone familiar with Pocket Empires? That could work with spreadsheets and chat and would give everyone multiple characters to play in a sandbox environment.

I'd be interested in GMing or co-GMing and playing something like this. What kind of time frames would work?

I am not familiar with Pocket Empires (having come into actually playing it shortly after Imperium Games, that book's publisher, went out of business), but if there's anything you can send me - and do NOT break copyright - I'd like to learn.

Any time is good for me; now as I have summer break (I work for school and we're out now) I can be on at any time.

DeadMike
07-23-2010, 02:13 PM
Sandbox Traveller in chat? Could work. Anyone familiar with Pocket Empires? That could work with spreadsheets and chat and would give everyone multiple characters to play in a sandbox environment.

I'd be interested in GMing or co-GMing and playing something like this. What kind of time frames would work?

Not familiar with pocket empires, but I am open to play most any day except Tuesday evenings right now.
Mike

Fersboo
07-24-2010, 11:01 AM
Not familiar with pocket empires, but I am open to play most any day except Tuesday evenings right now.
Mike


Sounds like we have some interest. Give me until mid-August to pull together the pieces. I have a few different versions but would want to run this in either Mongoose or Classic, with a preference to Mongoose. Give me a day or two and I'll set up a thread and a group for this.

magic-rhyme
07-24-2010, 07:49 PM
Count me among the clueless. It's a waste of time to roll on tables for half an hour only for an unlucky roll to make you start all over. Like fiction and history, RPG are about the survivors. Therefore, it makes sense to assume that any character generated survived his career(s), no matter what other dire consequences he suffered.

A player had full control over when his or her PC mustered out. The original idea was that your PC would muster out fairly quickly, which meant your PC had very little chance of dying. However, each additional term your PC remained in the military, you had a chance for even more freebies with which to begin play -- and therefore, each term you remained out of a munchkin greed for ever more freebies with which to start, you had a chance of your PC dying.

If you were a wise player without much greed to you, you would opt out early and therefore avoid any real chance of dying.

If you were a greedy or powergaming player, you would keep rolling and rolling until your PC died, then start over again, all the time blaming the game mechanics for your PC's death when the real cause of your PC's death was your own greed or powergamer tendencies and nothing but.

Munchkins complained endlessly about these anti-munchkin rules, blaming them for their PC's early deaths, instead of bothering to recognize the simple truth that they were themselves to blame.

It's really not that difficult a notion to grasp:
the Traveller death rolls were there to discourage greed and powergaming.

However, game masters who didn't "get it" kept allowing players to roll continuously until they ended up with enough of a twinked out PC to satisfy their gamer avarice instead of manning up and allowing only a handful of tries, with those who died every time forced to sit out that game session. I remember players who would generate several hundred PCs before they finally managed to survive with enough freebies to overpower every other beginning PC in the entire campaign!

So, really, it was an excellent idea, but because most game masters didn't enforce it and because the powergamers and greedheads did such a good job complaining about it, it ended up failing.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
07-24-2010, 08:28 PM
Exactly.

Sascha
07-24-2010, 08:54 PM
What I never understood 'bout the whole death result is, it seems like a better deterrent to avarice is not to have "abusable" rules in the first place.

Jame Rowe
07-25-2010, 07:39 AM
I would be available on Sundays, Mondays or Thursdays after about 3 PM.


What I never understood 'bout the whole death result is, it seems like a better deterrent to avarice is not to have "abusable" rules in the first place.

The Mongoose Traveller rules, which is the new, in-publication one, has the "Death" chargen result as optional. If you fail a survival roll, you roll a mishap and get an injury/rival/story factor or such.

Which begs the question ... when we do this, which rules should we use?

Sascha
07-25-2010, 12:10 PM
The Mongoose Traveller rules, which is the new, in-publication one, has the "Death" chargen result as optional. If you fail a survival roll, you roll a mishap and get an injury/rival/story factor or such.
Yeah, I understand the system of checks and balances, and the optional status of dying in char-gen in later editions; I just don't get why they chose *that* method in the first place, instead of simply capping all starting PCs at levels below where you'd start the survival rolls. It's a weird design choice, for one of my philosophy :P

tesral
07-25-2010, 01:11 PM
Yeah, I understand the system of checks and balances, and the optional status of dying in char-gen in later editions; I just don't get why they chose *that* method in the first place, instead of simply capping all starting PCs at levels below where you'd start the survival rolls. It's a weird design choice, for one of my philosophy :P

I don't remember the mustering out being at player option to start with either. At least the way my GM played it. We are taking Dark Ages Traveler when we had to chisel the characters sheets from stone.

I disliked the whole process because everything was random. You had no choices in the kind of character you got. The setting, the game itself is cool beyond casual words. But take it our leave it character creation, not so much.

Early Traveler also assumed everyone was ex-military. There was no mechanism for someone that came out to the trades, was a scholar, or any other form of character. The kind of character mix you have in Firefly would be impossible.

Later versions of the game, much better. I'm fond of the GURPS Traveler. I own more of that single setting than any other GURPS thing.

Fersboo
07-25-2010, 04:09 PM
......
I disliked the whole process because everything was random. You had no choices in the kind of character you got. ........Early Traveler also assumed everyone was ex-military. There was no mechanism for someone that came out to the trades, was a scholar, or any other form of character. .......

I've got the entire Classic Traveller Catalog on disc from FFE, the original source for the game, and have to disagree with most of what you claim Tesral, but I really don't want to get into a version war as I like them all. I personally like a bit of randomness in the chargen, it helps with the backstory and additionally, I don't really like people trying to create their "Matrix" persona when playing. Step up and accept the challenge of playing someone else. Isn't that the reason for this form of entertainment, pretend to be someone/something else?

DeadMike
07-25-2010, 08:12 PM
Isn't that the reason for this form of entertainment, pretend to be someone/something else?

Not for me. I was never into barbies or gi joes and that stuff. The whole talk as if you are them and pretend you are them I didn't get. I like to take a character and guide him/her through their life, build them up. Part of the reason, I think, for liking the randomness of the characters. Just like WFRP. :-)

tesral
07-25-2010, 10:05 PM
I've got the entire Classic Traveller Catalog on disc from FFE, the original source for the game, and have to disagree with most of what you claim Tesral, but I really don't want to get into a version war as I like them all. I personally like a bit of randomness in the chargen, it helps with the backstory and additionally, I don't really like people trying to create their "Matrix" persona when playing. Step up and accept the challenge of playing someone else. Isn't that the reason for this form of entertainment, pretend to be someone/something else?

All I can go on is how I remember it in 1977. I have some of the books around here somewhere. I do remember creating characters rather vividly, and remember having no real choices.

As to "playing someone else" I DO that. I prefer however to decide on a character concept and to create my character not be told what my character is. Totally random creation has generally resulted in characters I had no connection with or actively disliked. A little random is not a bad thing, total luck of the dice for every aspect of the PC? No.

Fersboo
07-26-2010, 09:27 AM
..... I have some of the books around here somewhere. I do remember creating characters rather vividly, and remember having no real choices.

.........

And there are those aspects depending on the type of game, i.e. the mercenary campaign, the scout campaign, the navy campaign. So I see your point. But the GM can by choice remove some of that randomness also.

DeadMike
07-26-2010, 02:51 PM
I do remember creating characters rather vividly, and remember having no real choices.

As to "playing someone else" I DO that. I prefer however to decide on a character concept and to create my character not be told what my character is. Totally random creation has generally resulted in characters I had no connection with or actively disliked. A little random is not a bad thing, total luck of the dice for every aspect of the PC? No.

The newer versions, Mongoose I am most familiar with, does give you some choices. Unlike WFRP you get to choose your "class", it's your skills and history from the point you are 18 til you start playing that are random. One thing I really enjoy is building a character from the time you start playing it is more in your control than anything else.

tesral
07-26-2010, 03:11 PM
Traveller Map (http://travellermap.com/). I found it some time back (waaay back in Intertubes terms). It was easy to find with "Traveller galaxy Map" in Google. Aparently the program used to make it is now public domain.

deaconabyss
11-06-2010, 11:29 AM
Traveller was the first Sci-Fi game I was introduced to and I still enjoy it. I didnt start playing till 79-80 just shortly after I played D&D for the first time. I can agree partially on the character generation system "now" at 44 years of age. However back in my early teens, rolling dice and character creation was mighty fun stuff. Now please remember this was way before MMO's and the gaming consoles we have today. I can see why some folks have issue with the character generation, point systems allow for more min/maxing not that thats a bad idea. Life is not on a point system or are action/sci-fi movies...ect ect. I think Mongoose has a point variant system anyway. I got a chuckle reading an above post about not having "abusable" rules. Ok I will end here with "Traveller" is what it is, much like the phenom behind "WoW" you either love or hate it as a system. The content and galactic history is rich so I love the system nostalgically and the background as well.

THEPRISONER
01-24-2011, 11:22 AM
I remember the box set when it first came out. Over at a friends house when i was 15. We were a bunch of nerds and geeks who played every type of RPG, AD&D, Gamma World, Top Secret, and Boot Hill to name a few. Traveller was without a doubt the best game ever for role playing, It was the only game system that was not rigidly set in a class system that the players had to follow. Freedom from a class system gives way to great role playing. I recently picked up the Mongoose Traveller and have yet played with a group. But from reading the books that i have I like it. Hope to start GM'ing a group soon made up of 3.5 D&Ders. Going to be fun turning roll players into role players.

Skunkape
01-26-2011, 07:05 AM
I like the Mongoose Traveller version, it can be fun to play. Was in a short campaign that a friend of mine was running for about 6 months or more. Game fell apart and haven't played any since. Only issue I have with the Mongoose version is that some of the books past the basic one that I saw didn't seem to be quite worth the money. Looked to me like they were lacking content, but that's just my opinion and I haven't bought any since we were using the GMs books.

gnombient
06-01-2011, 03:46 PM
I'm a relative newbie to Traveller. I played CT for the first time back in 2006, picked up the LBBs and then the Mongoose edition when it came out. Prior to 2006, my sporadic SF gaming was done with Star Frontiers, Gamma World, and Fading Suns.

My biggest issue with Traveller -- which isn't really saying much -- is that I'm not a Hard SF guy, I'm a space opera and science-fantasy guy (and a lazy one at that), and it seems that some of Trav's subsystems are geared towards the folks who want more Science in their games. I really like the 2d6 vs. DM mechanic and the character creation system, but I handwave or houserule a lot of the extra-fiddly bits like trading and space combat.

My favorite published Traveller setting is New Era 1248. Things are a bit more stable than in TNE but the post-apocalyptic vibe lingers. There are some established and growing power blocs and looming struggles, but there's still plenty of rebuilding, exploring, and re-exploring to do. The setting seems wide open, and the future is blessedly free from 30+ years of canon...