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Creation Date: March 1st, 2010 06:15 PM
Blue Ghost Blue Ghost is offline
Musings of a Knight of the Imperium.
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In Moot Member Blogs More Rain and MT Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #507 New February 26th, 2019 07:05 AM
I stayed up with the intent of writing, but it's like the lights flickered so I broke out the Rayovac camping lantern I bought when I first moved up here (four, no, five power outages in two months lasting 24 hours).

I have to clarify something here, I actually like Mega Traveller as a game, but I didn't get a lot of the whole high ranking NPC ranking thing. To repeat myself here, the old classic adventures and double adventures were aimed at security scenarios, and unless you were doing the Spinward Marches Campaign, you really didn't interact with Lucan, Dulinor, Margaret, much less Strepheron, or any five shades of gray separating your PC's from the movers and shakers in the Imperium. It depended on your Referee of course, but our group ran straight games without a lot of "high ranking intrigue".

Death Station, the Chamax Plague, Murder on the Arcturus Station, Shadows some home brew thing, they all dealt with kind of basic plots and stories that didn't bring in anyone above the rank of knight. Oh sure, maybe you ran into a Viscount or low ranking Marquis or something, but even then the rules were kind of murky on who did what and why in terms of nobility. Ergo that were almost an anachronism.

So, when Mega Traveller roles around gears seem to shift some. I mean I get the fantasy RPGs with kings, queens, maybe a duke or count here and there. You're going to interact with those folks because typically they're the ones dishing out the quests. Typically they don't have to govern billions or even trillions or even quadrillions of people and the armed forces to protect them, their economy and society. So typically you aren't going to meet the head of state for a sprawling interstellar empire. And that's why I was kind of not put off by MT, but somewhat overwhelmed and a little lost in terms of how to run a game. I simply didn't have the knowledge base needed to run a game that had a lot of factions vying power as a background. I guess in simpler terms I didn't understand it all that well. Oh sure, intellectually I got the idea, but I didn't have the experience needed to run an adventure where fleets and armies are posturing for a power grab.

And to be brutally honest what I wanted, and I think what our group wanted, was more adventures (stories). Truly we wanted the LBBs back. I didn't like the LBBs because it was a marketing scheme; i.e. "In this adventure we give you this device and weapon... in the next adventure we'll give you this device and this weapon! Ha!" But truly I think I preferred the LBB format as opposed to "the Big Supp" format from MT / DGP.

But, again, I guess people wanted more background material for the OTU as opposed to the Traveller equivalent of D&D's Adventure C5 or something (a quick lookup shows that it's "The Bane of Llewlyn", and no I never played it). But personally I wanted adventures that possibly followed the LBB format in terms of offering new material. Truly I liked the bigger books with clear diagrams and really solid equipment and weapon sheets, but I did feel high and dry when it came to trying to grok the new setting.

I guess in retrospect it was medieval Europe set among the stars. Or perhaps more correctly 19th Century European style intrigue set in the far future. At the time I simply didn't get that. I do now. More's the pity because I might have ran some really rocking adventures, but even so, to this very day, I do feel some what short shrifted by the switch in emphasis from adventures and character supplements to background and setting material. I mean if you read any of the classic D&D adventure modules they provide story and setting. I'm simply at odds with MT when it comes to that, because MT could have been a lot more by offering adventures that emphasized that kind of 19th century international posturing, and told a story on top of that as to how the fractured Imperium was to march on, and what was to become of it.

Whatever. It's a done deal, but boy, trying to conjure an adventure when you really don't have a full comprehension, or more rather appreciation and experience for that background, really puts a damper on your administrative obligations to your players. So much that we simply ignored the whole power grab thing, but again largely because there wasn't a whole lot of material coming out of either GDW or DGP to emphasize that the domains were at odds with one another. Again, sure, Knightfall and the Flaming Eye (I didn't get FE until a few months back), but it's like our group was like "Is that it? How come TSR publishes all those really cool and rocking adventures, and we don't get much and have to conjure our own stuff?" That was kind of the attitude.

You know something, I still have that attitude to this day. And I guess it's part of the reason of why I started the nobility verse royalty thread in the Wiki section, because for our group there was a lot of fog in MT in terms of how players were supposed to interact with the new setting. I mean like I say I get it now, but at the time you really needed to on top of pre First World War Europe to get a real good feeling for the setting in terms of the political structure.

For me it's like when my friend bought me the Starter Edition of the game for my birthday, I saw the Skywalker like dude on the cover in the really cool armor, with what I'm supposing is Mark Miller and his spouse on the cover standing on either side and behind him, to me that spoke of high tech adventure... something that was a mish mash of all the scifi and adventure novels I had read, maybe some of the comics, and some movies like the then new Star Wars. And where a kind of post Victorian European geopolitics makes for some interesting dynamics for players, it's like how do you formulate an adventure or story when you don't really get it?

And I guess that was my issue with MT. Starship engineering issues aside, I wanted more episodes of where to take the characters. And not just more episodes, but stuff outside the Spinward Marches, and maybe to even more exotic places like from the Terran Trade Authority, or since Traveller takes a lot of cues from the pulps, then how about something like Adam Strange's adventures on that world with his princess? But we, as fans and players, didn't even get that. I think people said they wanted more background, but in the end there's a reason story tellers, professional story tellers, are so prized. Because we can make up stuff and have our audience go through the perils and loves of the characters without forcing them to bash their brains against the wall to conjure some uninteresting and mundane basic plot; something more than "dog bites man" but not too far beyond it; i.e. "bank gets robbed" or something.

Like the rules, didn't get the setting, and no adventures until quite literally late in the game.

And those are my thoughts on MT. The errata doesn't bother me, because any competent players could figure out what was intended. We just wanted the powers to be to help take us to the fractured 3I.

Prepare to Jump! One. Two. Three. Jump!
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RSS Feed 2 Responses to "More Rain and MT"
#2 March 5th, 2019 12:44 PM
Blue Ghost Says:
I loved the production values and the whole atmosphere that was supposed to be the shattered Imperium. But where are the adventures? Where're the patrons? Where's the adventure where you fun that blockade set up by one of the archdukes? I don't know, I loved it, but it faded out, and would have hated it had I not been so busy with life at the time.
#1 March 4th, 2019 09:35 AM
I totes dug MT except for the Shattered Imperium which in the end I ignored and just used the Encyclopedia and Rules but skipped the fall of the 3I. And I loved the DGP stuff too. For me I guess it was the opposite, I made up my adventures and wanted more chrome which MT gave me in spades.

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