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What *is* Traveller RPG to you? All other science fiction rpg players are welcome to participate.
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Thread: What *is* Traveller RPG to you? All other science fiction rpg players are welcome to participate.

  1. #1
    Arch Lich Thoth-Amon is offline Cursed by the Gods
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    Talking What *is* Traveller RPG to you? All other science fiction rpg players are welcome to participate.

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    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?
    Last edited by Arch Lich Thoth-Amon; 12-02-2009 at 05:32 PM.
    Thoth-Amon, Lord of the Underworld and the Undead
    Once you know what the magician knows, it's not magick. It's a 'tool of Creation'. -Archmagus H.H.
    The first step to expanding your reality is to discard the tendency to exclude things from possibility. - Meridjet

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    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.)

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    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.
    Hroath G'blon Brack Rothan



    Stoke me a clipper, I'll be back for Christmas!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mead View Post
    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.

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    Soft Serve is offline Cascade Failure FTW Community Supporter
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    A good planet generator...and....

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

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    I loved the setting and the politics. The mechanics - well, who really cared... they are not that memorable. Lethalty was good, physics good.

    Incarna; Role-Playing Game System
    www.incarna.net
    Running: 3+ campaigns set in single custom milieu world.

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    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!!!!!!!

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    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

    Incarna; Role-Playing Game System
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    Quote Originally Posted by templeorder View Post
    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

    A combination of the two?

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    Quote Originally Posted by templeorder View Post
    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
    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.

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    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.

    Incarna; Role-Playing Game System
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