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Creation Date: March 1st, 2010 07:15 PM
Blue Ghost Blue Ghost is offline
Musings of a Knight of the Imperium.
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In Moot Member Blogs Why I still like Traveller Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #556 New May 29th, 2019 03:49 PM
Simply put it's a good hobby. Coming here allows me to indulge in that hobby, and in a sense reminds me of a happier time in my life when I was gaming with my friends and that sensation of wonder as you discovered the world.

Remember when you first drove yourself to a place you couldn't get to without having to take the bus or rely on your parents or a friend who could drive? Remember when you got your first VHS or Betamax video recorder, and you taped some show or movie that you might have to wait months or years to see again? Remember how you watched it again and again fascinated by the ability to see that episode or movie at your pleasure until you got sick of it? It's kind of like that.

I know I've talked about Hunter before, but back in 2005 to 2007 when we were talking about me writing for him, I was nervous. I didn't know the D&D system in terms of rewarding experience, so I had no clue as to how to write anything for the D20 system, and was scared of doing so thinking I would screw something up royally (so to speak).

The other truth of the matter is that I wanted to write for something like Dwarf Star's old Star Smuggler game, and write a few Classic Traveller adventures; i.e. get a license and charge like a dollar or two for them as they sold on the side while I remade my way back into local media. Well, now I can't write for the official game, and my media aspirations are dashed--and truth be told, for you regular readers, I've done a complete 180 on media based on Jeffersonian principles; i.e. his concept of free expression of media was to see everyone express opinions beautiful and ugly alike, which I think is the way of getting at the truth of matters in all realms of society. But, again, as per previous web log entries, media today is used to vicariously express fantasies, rude behavior, give examples of disparate social circles working in harmony. And again, we have greater divides, a ruder society, and just more social fragmenting than before. Ergo, to hell with film and video, and comics as well.

So, I'm back to the day's of where my friend bought me the Starter Edition of this game after perusing the supplements on the rack at the back of the game store. Those little black books with barely any illustrations, and then decades later discovering they're really law enforcement character scenarios, and the characters play out their retirement instead of playing out their earlier careers.

Even so, even though, again, as per previous web log entries, I understand the analogs that things like the Vargr (disparate tribal warfare beings), the Zhodani (military and law enforcement grade psychiatrists), Hiver (psychologists), Aslan (the ego, coded up as a Japanese alien analog), or even K'Kree (military paranoids), I still find the possibilities of the setting to be appealing.

It was the same time when Star Fleet Battles published it's first expansion, when Car Wars and Ogre were not new but given a new life and makeover that made them mainstream. And when I used to go to Pacificon the super majority of games were Car Wars and Star Fleet Battles, with a few rooms dedicated to Civil War miniatures, and some rooms dedicated to D&D and T&T.

In terms of gaming, it was, and still is, a good time to be alive. I still have gripes with certain idiocies of science fiction and fantasy fandom (so called "cosplayers" being the epitome of how does one put this politely; "gaming idiosyncrasy"), but gaming is now booming. It is now a mainstream segment of society. A far cry from the trickle of gamers who used to have to network through high school or college bulletin boards to find other gamers. When gaming cover art was usually on the low end of things, the old ziplock and deluxe box edition of Star Fleet Battles being the absolute epitome of junk cover art design, with Starter Traveller's box art and Alien Modules (along with a few Steve Jackson titles), being the pinnacle of excellent game cover art.

So, I post a few thoughts here and there, and tack on some fiction in the library section. And I guess I'm satisfied with that.

As per previous web log entries, the attraction of Traveller to me isn't just that it was part of my pre-teen and high school years, but it has a certain conventionality to it that really begs for things like a band of explorers dealing with a Japanese kaiju or a Star Trek Doomsday machine, or even to toss them into a fantasy medieval Europe setting where player characters could deal with things like orcs, dragons, a hamlet besieged by goblins or a warband. Traveller itself stated that it was a do-all science fiction Role Playing Game, but the truth is the official background, however rich and appealing, came to dominate what was supposed to be a generic set of tools to create a scifi game; everything from War of the Worlds to First Men in the Moon to Doctor Who.

But, I guess in that sense the shine has worn off. And going over the so-called CT-D20 Golden Era adventures, the motif for Traveller has always been gaming out post law enforcement and post military career security scenarios dressed up as Traveller aliens and real world analog settings. I'm up for that, but have had enough of being bounced around psychologically by local forces.

So, the Annic Nova, jump torpedoes, the Kinunir frontier cruisers, the Azhanti High Lightening, the elusive Book 9 robot module (which should have been one of the first things published) and all the rest have a place in things scifi.

I don't have too much more to say on the game, and I haven't played in years now (five or six? I can't remember).

So, I may bow out for a while, but it doesn't mean I'll be gone forever. But it does mean that other than current obligations, I'm out for a bit.

Remember that first time you were with your parents, and you were in the back seat looking out over fresh green mountains after a fresh rain, and with the sun shining through a patch of blue amidst a break in the clouds? Not just Traveller, but games and fiction as a whole are like that. When I used to go to the Tin Goose in San Francisco or Games and Things down in the Stanford Shopping Center (at one time a very middle class mall with a Woolworths, B. Dalton, and just ordinary everyday stores, but now a high end mall with fashion and jewelry shops). Book stores, record stores, it was all about exploration and discovery. And so it was when I would buy a model for Star Fleet Wars, or grab a copy of Barbarian Prince, take it home, read the rules, and just play.

I wish I had never sold my house. I miss leaning back in my chair and looking out the window at the clouds coming over the Santa Cruz mountains, and the water reflecting off the lagoon water and into my office. That was cool. Especially during the summer with the window open, and cool sea air streaming over the mountains blowing into the office as I read some book or played some game, or just vegged out. Cool times.

I'm still here. I'm still living. I'm still a Traveller fan, but I've got some other things to do.
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