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Old April 16th, 2018, 05:22 PM
bjjones37 bjjones37 is offline
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I know this is about the PDF update, but I could not help but to say a few things about the hardcover book I have. It is the 2016 edition. My first exposure to Traveller was playing the Megatraveller 2 cRPG (video game). I was hooked. I spent some time going over the game manual, which of course had very little in the way of rules as the computer is the referee. I purchased some CDs from Far Future Enterprises and Lo and behold, they were not video games! This was quite awhile ago. They spent a lot of time on the shelf. I purchased all the CT reprints that Marc sold over time and would look them over from time to time, but never encountered anyone else who had even heard of Traveller. It was just fodder for the imagination.

Since my retirement I find I have a lot more time on my hands. So I tried out some of the newer Windows RPGs but they are all DnD. One of the great appeals of Traveller to me personally is not so much the combat, though it has it's place. It is the idea that, at least in a Gaming environment, I can find solutions to problems using Chemistry and Physics and Geology. What they do with magic in DnD, science and technology serve the same purpose in Traveller.

So to the book. Just the cover is a big draw. Space travel with the implication of both exploration (asteroid belt) and conflict. A short but nice table of contents followed by an overview of it's potential and what is available accompanied by pleasing color illustrations to stimulate the imagination. Then a simple explanation of some of the basic mechanics and we are ready to get into the meat of the material.

"Can I cook or can't I!"

The elements of what makes a person are introduced and Character generation begins. I must confess I do not much care for their line diagram but I am sure it was beneficial to someone else. To me the explanations were clear and concise. The table were well laid out and the material nicely formatted. Tabular data is much clearer to me than just paragraphs with strings of works. The entire character creation process seem clear and attractive with the opportunity to acquire a wide variety of very basic kills that is quite appealing to me personally. Nice large pages of well formatted layout made it easy for me to conceive of extending it out with an additional career that was more suited to my tastes. Task definition is straightforward so it makes me feel like I could come up with a scenario to test my character fairly easily. I have not done it yet, but at least the intimidation factor is not there. The skills are nicely varied, well defined, and desirable to me, recommendations made on how to use them with the characteristics. Had to get used to the thought of not having specialized weapon skills (I really liked having Advanced Combat Rifleman), but contented myself with the thought that at least I could acquire my beloved Gauss Rifle.

While the section on animals did not do a whole lot for me (I am used to thinking of animals as either a companion or a precious ecological resource), I found the Encounter tables to be particularly inspiring. I can see my algorithm right now at some point in a module making a random roll against the tables to bring variety to an adventure. Not there yet, but it all starts with seeing it in my mind.

The equipment takes me right back to Megatraveller 2, but there is more of it. And I subconsciously keep looking for the penetration factor that is not there, but there is the familiar old Laser Rifle even if it's TL has been downgraded a bit. Vehicles were just something you rented. But I had a Far Trader with six crew slots that had to be filled with a team of five so you swapped around periodically depending on the PC skill sets. (Couldn't afford to have a crewman that was JUST a Turret Weapons gunner.) So on the surface at least, the space vehicles seem to be a bit different. But the stats chart and the colored illustrations and deck plans are nicely portrayed. And the ship descriptions suggest possibilities for careers and plot lines.

Nothing there for an equipment designer. But for a beginner, the universe is big enough and complex enough already. There is plenty there to get started with. On the whole I love the layout and organization and sheer readability of the book.

So yeah, I like the Mongoose 2nd Edition Core Rulebook. Doesn't mean I won't use anything else. But I'll probably never give it up either.
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