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creativehum March 20th, 2017 12:08 AM

What edition was your first encounter with Traveller?
 
  1. What edition was your first encounter with Traveller?
  2. When did it happen?
  3. What formed the first impression? (The cover? Text within the game? Someone describing the game to you? Playing the game?)
  4. What drew you to the game in that first impression? What was that first impression.

For me:

1. Little Black Box, 1977.

2. 1977.

https://talestoastound.files.wordpre...4-22-43-pm.png
-- This cover pulled me straight in

3. I saw it sitting on a shelf at the Compleat Strategist on 33rd Street in NYC. That stark cover with the distress call from the Beowulf pulled me in immediately. My imagination was seized with wanting to know what was going on with that ship. Why were they out there? How soon might help arrived?

4. What really grabbed me with the starkness of the design combined with the starkness of the distress call. Here was an SF setting where things wouldn't be easy.

There seemed to be a sense of isolation implied in the cover's design mixed with the distress call. The men and women on that ship were alone -- they were out in space and didn't know how they'd be getting back. And yet they could send out a signal. There were other ships that might get the signal. And yet it seemed that they might never get the help they needed.

The setting immediately conjured for me had nothing to do Star Trek or Star Wars but something much more dangerous, fragile, and (for me) interesting. A setting of exploration, frontiers, the spaces between civilization, men and women taking risks, a hard life but also a reason for doing it -- heading out to the frontier.

I grew up with the Apollo Program. Men going up into space was something I thought about a lot. Space was dangerous, a frontier, a place to go to some day.

That cover suggested we made it, we were heading out, that we had gone further... but that the danger and risk remained. And I found that fascinating and awesome.

Whenever I was thinking about Traveller in my youth I'd step outside and look at the stars at night and think about all the distance between them. Those empty gulfs were as much a part of the game for me as anything else. That's what that black cover was for me -- with that distress call emblazoned upon it.

aramis March 20th, 2017 01:51 AM

Pirated copy of CT-81... in September, 1983.

McPerth March 20th, 2017 05:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by creativehum (Post 561829)
  1. What edition was your first encounter with Traveller?
  2. When did it happen?
  3. What formed the first impression? (The cover? Text within the game? Someone describing the game to you? Playing the game?)
  4. What drew you to the game in that first impression? What was that first impression.

  1. CT (I guess 81 edition, but not sure)
  2. ITTR it was about 1982-83
  3. In the gaming club I was we have just begun with RPG (mostly AD&D) when a co-gamer showed up with Traveller
  4. Used to AD&D, it was somwhat difficult to adapt to the differences (no clases, no Xp, etc...). I liked the (probably relative) hard part of its science fiction.

The first Traveller product I could buy was TTB...

rhialto March 20th, 2017 06:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by creativehum (Post 561829)
  1. What edition was your first encounter with Traveller?
  2. When did it happen?
  3. What formed the first impression? (The cover? Text within the game? Someone describing the game to you? Playing the game?)
  4. What drew you to the game in that first impression? What was that first impression.

1. Little Black Box, 1977: my best friend picked it up at the Compleat Strategist, where we used to make regular pilgrimages from Connecticut.

2. 1979 or 1980?

3. Playing the game.

4. The draw was the sense of wonder and limitless possibilities of the rules: in simple, elegant and annoyingly vague fashion anything was possible...I've since overcome that annoyance ;)).

Bravesteel March 20th, 2017 09:26 AM

What edition was your first encounter with Traveller?

Mongoose Traveller, 1st Edition.

When did it happen?

Geeze, about ten years ago by now. We used to play D&D, often with my friend's Dad acting as the DM. He brought out Mongoose Traveller for something different once. We didn't play more than a few sessions, but I was impressed enough to buy the book for myself.

What formed the first impression? (The cover? Text within the game? Someone describing the game to you? Playing the game?)

I was impressed by the minimalist approach of the game, coming from (at that time) D&D 3.5 where character sheets are usually 3+ pages it was nice to have a character sheet that was clear and concise.

I also enjoyed how slim the main handbook was, but it still had everything you needed to get going.

What drew you to the game in that first impression? What was that first impression.

I think just creating characters really sparked my imagination. I had been exposed to Burning Wheel beforehand, so I was familiar with that type of character generation, but I had never seen a game that didn't gonzo science fiction, so it was refreshing.

GM Joe March 20th, 2017 10:04 AM

It's been so many decades that I'm not sure which happened first, playing the game or seeing all those little black books in the wire rack with the Traveller logo in the back of Games Unlimited in The Willows shopping center in Walnut Creek, CA. For the purposes of this exercise, I'll assume my first encounter with the game was when I played it at a friend's house.

1. I'm not sure which edition it was. It was the little black books, and the guy who owned them also owned the first edition of Gamma World, so they were likely 1977 edition. The group had been playing for far longer than I had, so they had older editions of everything, it seemed. Their AD&D manuals were older, with the mysterious (to me) additional mythos in the DDG. It was weird looking at the GM's RPG shelf and seeing all the familiar titles, but with different covers and/or contents.

2. I first encountered Traveller back when I was still not much more than a simple DM, having run little aside from B/X D&D and AD&D.

3. I was invited to sit in on a one-shot of Gamma World that a friend's GM was running over the weekend. I went over there after lunch on a Saturday, and we finished the short scenario prematurely, just before dinner. After dinner, he pulled out those little black books.

3. My first impression was that it was a completely different RPG. And that it was a little mysterious. The well-worn covers of those books were (still mostly) black, with the little stripe and a few words. And the characters with their string of hexadecimal digits (which I knew about since I'd been programming my Atari 8-bit computer for a while by this time). And, seemingly, a limitless universe to explore!

Everyone else there had played Traveller a lot, while I was mostly a D&D guy. But they got me up to speed with this strange game that only needed mundane dice. :)

Gamma World was fun, too, but figuring out what an artifact did wasn't fun, and it didn't seem all that different from D&D, fundamentally speaking. But Traveller was the SF of star travel, something I enjoyed and was very familiar with. And it wasn't a class-and-level system. It was very different than D&D!

And yet, to me, Traveller seemed to be the D&D of SF. Not in the sense of the game system, but in the sense of it being a game for whatever setting you could dream up, rather than something tied to a specific setting like Gamma World.

That was my first impression, anyway. The importance of the travel time and communication constraints of the system didn't occur to me until later, after I'd bought and read my first edition (which was Deluxe Starter Edition, with the black cover on the box and the Beowulf text used for earlier editions, but with the two letter-sized books from Starter Edition, plus Book 0, Adventure 0, the big Spinward Marches map, and the Additional Rules booklet -- the one on the right in the image below).

After playing Traveller that one time, I wanted to play it again. And, being a TSR guy, I wanted to run Gamma World! So I bought the latter, and my friend (the only member of our group who sometimes DMed so I could play) bought Traveller. We ran them, and....snoozefest! Both of 'em. A few months later, we swapped and tried again. Success! Huge success! Two of the best campaigns I've ever experienced. I guess I was meant to run Traveller, while he was meant to run Gamma World. :)

http://www.waynesbooks.com/images/gr...811983sets.jpg

Quint March 20th, 2017 11:33 AM

A trip down memory lane...

1- I'm calling it CT81.

2- I'm pretty sure I encountered CT between 1979-80 based on where I was buying gaming stuff and what I can remember - I was all of 10-11 years old at the time. It was at Walker's Hobby Shop downtown St. Charles IL, and it's where I bought my first gaming "stuff" other than Dragon magazine (which I actually bought at the Townhouse Books just down the side-street before I was gifted with a subscription one year).

3- The Little Black Box text was fascinating and evocative.

4- I think there was a combination of playing the game, my best friend was gifted Deluxe Traveller at some point and I think that is when we really started playing. AD&D was the mainstay for awhile until we met a couple of other guys and either the Traveller Book or Starter Traveller came out and that jump started us again. In Traveller our games were crazy mixes of Dr. Who, Star Wars, the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and whatever latest bit of science fiction we'd last read. It in the re-start we settled down and started playing more canonical, 3I Traveller. Unlike AD&D which seemed irretrievably linked to Tolkien or something like it if you wanted to be serious about it, early Traveller was an excuse to go crazy with our imagination - until the 3I came along.

D.

Spenser TR March 20th, 2017 11:48 AM

( borrowing Bravesteel's formatting )

What edition was your first encounter with Traveller?

To lay my hands on materials - MegaTraveller. I actually was aware of Traveller much earlier from Dragon magazine, the ads and articles. I picked that up at #59, but the first article to really grab me was a treatment of Luna ( Terra's moon ) done my Marc as a series of articles about the moon in various scifi games of the time. I was intrigued, but never bought anything. No one around me played or had any of the books and this was way before you could read about things on the internet.

When did it happen?

I did my undergrads at Illinois State University. I had a good friend who did typing work for GDW who sometimes got paid in product instead of cash : ) He had piles of MT books and often asked if I wanted his extras; that's where my near-complete set of physicals came from. I never played, but I read those things until I was blind. Such a great setting.

What formed the first impression? (The cover? Text within the game? Someone describing the game to you? Playing the game?)

The intricacy of the setting, the story. it was my first exposure to non-linear storytelling, and I was also amazed at that and adopted the style for my future games, regardless of setting or system.

What drew you to the game in that first impression? What was that first impression.

Character creation, in addition to the things mentioned above. I was mostly a DnD guy before this, in various versions and MT was my first deep dive into something else. Quickly after that it opened the door to other games for me. Shadowrun ( 1st edition ) followed closely, and I was again blown away by the idea of different systems and stories.

Silverhawk March 20th, 2017 12:20 PM

CLassic Traveler 77 - My high school game club played it for a few months in 1979. I was the only freshman with a bunch of seniors and juniors. Kept putting on the list for Christmas until I got the TTB.

Eventually was able to get the 77 LBB second hand a convention auction. :)

ffilz March 20th, 2017 12:40 PM

I'm not sure exactly when I picked Traveller up, it was early enough to get the 1977 edition. I do remember the first attempt to play with a friend and we tried the trade game with a Free Trader, that was probably some time in 1979.

I didn't really start playing until maybe 1980-1981 or so when I was exposed to Paul Gazis's game.


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