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Old February 16th, 2008, 06:28 PM
Echo Echo is offline
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Default What I Like About Mongoose Traveller

Well, due to...er...popular demand, and a specific request, here it is:

The thread where y'all get to post why you like this upcoming game.

The reasons why I like it are:

1) Whatever else, this game is going to be heavily supported through supplements. No doubt, we will get a lot of material about the Third Imperium, which may be familiar to some, but a real discovery for a few others - and as such, there may be a larger community to create a playing group from in the future as the game expands into new markets. Not only this, but we know that Starship Troopers and 2000AD will end up being converted to this system, with the hope of more titles too (Cyberpunk?, Blue Planet?...). The system is also compatable enough to be able to utilise ideas from Classic, MT, T4 and T5 without too much difficulty, and it is going to be an open system, so the range of potential support is enormous really.

2) The groups I played with, which involved players that have never even heard of Traveller, were all pretty unanimous about how much fun the character generation system is. They had already tried out the new Star Wars Saga system (D20), and have more recently tried the 40KRP system too, but neither were a patch on their reaction to Traveller. Again, some players will already be familiar with the lifepath concepts, but there has been some refinement here (with connections, group packages, and a good supply of basic skills to achieve a decent level of competance for PCs, and a simpler approach towards pre-career experience) that just make it that more accessable to new players, I think. It's a gem, in other words, and ought to be celebrated as such.

3) Fundamentally, Traveller is a skills-based system, with the skills at the forefront. This is not the case for most other games these days (with the exception of BRP), which tend to mix attributes and skills in pools, or simply treat skills as types of feat (Star Wars Saga, 40KRP). Even T4 made this gaming assumption, with Characteristics being overly influential in task resolution. In this game, skill comes first, not only for determining success, but is very influential in determining the Effect too. Ideally, I would have prefered a variable DM based upon Characteristic vs Difficulty, but the fixed DM table nevertheless is totally workable, without overriding the importance of the Skills - and that's key for me.

4) The combat system is a bit different to the normal D20 fare. It actually rewards character skill and player choices, rather than simply being reliant on random rolls all the time. Even if you don't like the execution (and I do, actually), the aim is laudable. Contrary to the beliefs of some, the open roll (influenced by DMs) creates a reasonably smooth range of outcomes from 2-11(or more) for successes (averaging between 5-8), and 6 to -4 for failures. The fact is that the DMs (mainly based upon skill), in conjuction with player choices made, are actually more influential on Effect than the dice roll itself. That's nice.

5) We have seen a very subtle, but noticeable, modernising of technology in the game to include a few more sci-fi tropes like cybernetics, etc. We may yet see an modern updating of the UWP system too, based upon scientific analysis, depending on how the playtest was recieved. Again, this sort of thing is important in making the Traveller game a bit more interesting to new players, and adaptable to other settings, I think. Again, very nice.

I'll probably think of some more later....
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