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Old September 1st, 2007, 11:14 AM
Echo Echo is offline
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Default 1st Preview up for Mongoose Traveller

Go to the pdf downloadable magazine Signs and Portents:

http://www.mongoosepublishing.com/ho...33&qsSeries=13

Points of note:

a) The design of the books looks very similar to Classic Traveller.
b) The corebook will fulfil the same function as the original three LLBs.
c) Core mechanic looks to be 2D6 + skill (+ Char-7) vs Target number....but the effect of Characteristics hasn't been decided yet.
d) Chargen will have random and points-based options.
e) Lots of supplements and gameworlds in support, including Classic Imperium setting, Starship Troopers, and the 2000AD lines, Strontium Dog, Judge Dredd and Nemesis(?). There is reassurance that Babylon 5 will remain a d20 line, but there may be some Traveller supplement in the future too.

Looking good to me!

I'd still be considering the core mechanic of having Characteristic bonuses/penaties if they are above/below the target number though and/or the MT option of Characteristic/5 or somesuch. 'Characteristic-7' looks a slightly high variable range for my preferences (Basically, +/-0-5). I like the notion of skill level representing 'years of experience', rather than just being totally abstract myself, although how this pans out in practical terms, I'm not sure. Still, I'm pretty happy it's a roll high system again.
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Old September 1st, 2007, 11:30 AM
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Saved it to read later. Thanks!
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Old September 1st, 2007, 11:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Echo View Post
Looking good to me!
I hope that the term "Games Master" instead of "Referee" isn't final...

Quote:
'Characteristic-7' looks a slightly high variable range for my preferences
As I said before: "Characteristic -7" is mechanically the same (exactly the same) as "Characteristic", without subtracting anything (and with the default difficulties being 7 points higher.) So what you are looking at is 2d6+Characteristic+Skill vs. TN.
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Old September 1st, 2007, 12:10 PM
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'Characteristic -7' isn't completely identical to 'Characteristic', because it starts at a -5 base. Because skills are only represented in positive number, and don't have a negative equivalent, it means that they are still technically more influential than Characteristic scores.

That said, I would prefer a smaller influence from Characteristic scores - more like: +/- 1 or 2 (3 in the extreme), than +/- 1 to 5.


Oh, and yes, I'd prefer the more generic "Referee" term to stay, if possible.
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Last edited by Echo; September 1st, 2007 at 12:13 PM..
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Old September 1st, 2007, 01:45 PM
Andrew Boulton Andrew Boulton is offline
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I'm cautiously optimistic...
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  #6  
Old September 1st, 2007, 02:48 PM
far-trader far-trader is offline
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I wasn't going to get back into this but as I can't get to the material I need to work on my pbp at the moment and, well, I am an opinionated sob so...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Echo View Post

I'd still be considering the core mechanic of having Characteristic bonuses/penaties if they are above/below the target number though and/or the MT option of Characteristic/5 or somesuch. 'Characteristic-7' looks a slightly high variable range for my preferences (Basically, +/-0-5). I like the notion of skill level representing 'years of experience', rather than just being totally abstract myself, although how this pans out in practical terms, I'm not sure. Still, I'm pretty happy it's a roll high system again.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tobias View Post

As I said before: "Characteristic -7" is mechanically the same (exactly the same) as "Characteristic", without subtracting anything (and with the default difficulties being 7 points higher.) So what you are looking at is 2d6+Characteristic+Skill vs. TN.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Echo View Post

'Characteristic -7' isn't completely identical to 'Characteristic', because it starts at a -5 base. Because skills are only represented in positive number, and don't have a negative equivalent, it means that they are still technically more influential than Characteristic scores.

That said, I would prefer a smaller influence from Characteristic scores - more like: +/- 1 or 2 (3 in the extreme), than +/- 1 to 5.
See my comments re this below, after the quote from Matthew...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Sprange from S&P

Traveller is a game that has always been close to my heart.
That's a comfort, especially considering the editor in charge (see the Chris quotes below).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Sprange from S&P
A chance conversation with someone who has worked on various Traveller projects finally got things into gear...
Who? Inquiring minds want to know. Well, not really but I am a bit curious, if only because they are soooo mysterious about it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Sprange from S&P
...we will be making the new Traveller Open Content, allowing anyone to publish (books or PDFs) their own ships, equipment, complete settings and universes – pretty much anything that can be imagined!
That sounds promising. Still not sure how that is going to fit with the whole "unfracturing of the fans and one set of eyes on the prize" or "and one rule to bind them all", to paraphrase.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Sprange from S&P

A lot of debate has taken place on the core mechanic that will be used behind the new game. At the time of writing, we are currently using what has been called the T5 Roll High mechanic, which is;

2D6 + Skill + (Characteristic –7), to match or beat a Difficulty target.

We are still tinkering with the effect Characteristics have on the mechanic,
and the –7 is by no means set to stay. We are aiming for a mechanic whereby a character’s skill is the most important factor but very good or truly awful Characteristics can have an effect.
Not enough debate then for many But it sounds like the goal is still being chased. At least it is a Roll High mechanic. Something will have to be done about that Characteristic influence though. As it is now it is unbalancing. A fellow COTI member had a pretty good system here a while back, until he went (imo) a little too far with the detailing and complication

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Sprange from S&P

As for character creation, that old chestnut of Traveller, yes, it will still be possible to die during the process!
Why? It is the single most ridiculed mechanic of the original rules and has been all but written out since the (second?) reprinting of the core rules. Still the "other" gamers laugh at Traveller and snigger about "your character died in character creation"

That said it was critical to a proper appreciation of the survival rule of chargen and I'm actually a fan of the rule. The watered down "injured out" option changed char gen for the worse imo. Without a serious consequence everyone rolled until they failed survival to maximize their skills and benefits. There was no reason not to. Even the aging rolls were not enough of a deterrent. The only thing that stopped the players from rolling was failing survival or reenlistment.

What's needed is a new penalty that will re-instill that "game within the game" of balancing another term or service against the chance of failing to "survive" it. Something like losing not only the benefits of that term but the previous term as well (skills, wealth, promotions). Something to put the "gamble" back into the generation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Longhurst from S&P interviews

Q - Are you looking forward to working on Traveller?

A - Yes! Which is surprising considering that I’m not a fan of sci-fi in general. I see this as a great opportunity to extract all the best bits and Do It Right – update it for the 21st century, that sort of thing. I’ve got the omnitalented Gareth Hanrahan – so great that his secret identity is Batman – doing the core rules and I’m negotiating with a Traveller expert to do the first setting (the Spinward Marches, a region of space so turbulent it makes the inside of a spin cycle washing machine look static and so famous it got a speaking part in Terminator 3), so I’m optimistic.
Well, that starts off rather frighteningly. "not a fan of sci-fi" in charge of Traveller. That's a bit discomforting to me.

The "Do It Right" sentiment may be ok, as long as he doesn't mean everything becomes all nanotech and cyborgs and microcomputers and AIs. Those things ARE NOT Traveller. Do we need an omni-talented superhero by day working on this by night?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Boulton View Post
I'm cautiously optimistic...
I wish I had your level of hope Andrew. But then I think I'm firmly in the camp of "not interested thanks" on this, which Mongoose at least recognizes as a valid position and respectfully is willing to let us continue while they go their way. Which I in turn respect, if grudgingly.
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  #7  
Old September 1st, 2007, 03:40 PM
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It seems like a pile of shit to me! I can't see anything new other than yet another crap task system and an attempt to sell us the same old stuff (with extra's)...
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Old September 1st, 2007, 03:51 PM
Echo Echo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by far-trader View Post
Well, that starts off rather frighteningly. "not a fan of sci-fi" in charge of Traveller. That's a bit discomforting to me.
I think the term is 'professional writer' - he writes for the company, not for personal interest.

Quote:
The "Do It Right" sentiment may be ok, as long as he doesn't mean everything becomes all nanotech and cyborgs and microcomputers and AIs. Those things ARE NOT Traveller. Do we need an omni-talented superhero by day working on this by night?
Don't forget that this game is supposed to be able to hang multiple sci-fi settings on. Some settings may well include nanotech, cyborgs, microcomputers and AIs, and a sci-fi game system should be able to include these things well.
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Old September 1st, 2007, 04:17 PM
far-trader far-trader is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Echo View Post
I think the term is 'professional writer' - he writes for the company, not for personal interest.
Sure, but you wouldn't hire a carpenter who wasn't a fan of paint, preferring woodstain, to repaint your house, professional builder or not. Not if you want the painting done properly.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Echo View Post
Don't forget that this game is supposed to be able to hang multiple sci-fi settings on. Some settings may well include nanotech, cyborgs, microcomputers and AIs, and a sci-fi game system should be able to include these things well.
Is it? Really? I was under the impression that this was Traveller and that the hanging of other settings on the Traveller core rules was the way it was working. So any setting specific differences from Traveller would have to be included in the specific setting book. It's Hunter and others that are working on generic sci-fi rules since Marc has decided that the only license for Traveller will soon be Mongoose (and GURPS).

RTT (or whatever) is not supposed to be any more generic than GT, and presumably much less even since RTT is supposed to be compatible with T5.

I do agree, a generic sci-fi rule set should include all that, but RTT is Traveller, not generic. Unless I missed a memo.
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Old September 1st, 2007, 05:18 PM
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I agree with you Far Trader. As far as the choice of writer goes I suggest the comparison would be more like a classical composer and a rock and roll musican. He's not a fan of sci-fi in general so he's not really interested in StarTrek, Star Wars, Firefly, Isaac Asimov, Frank Herbert, etc. and by extension Traveller. He's talking with a 'Traveller expert' to (re-)create the Spinward Marches. Why doesn't Mongoose just hire this 'expert' on a contract basis to write this material, they would probably be more interested in the material and it's faithfulness to being "Traveller".

As to the additions of nanotech, common AI's, trans-humanism to a "Traveller" core book that is supposed to be the basis of all of Traveller I agree with Far-Trader in saying that isn't Traveller. If other settings have that type of material it should be detailed in that setting book, not in the core rule book.

I'd be a shame to see nanotech, cyborgs, powerful AI's, trans-humanism to be incorporated into the Traveller core rulebook and then see omissions of basic starship construction (like in LBB2) or basic world generation (like LBB3) because those details will be presented in other supplemental 'core' rulebooks.

IMO

And in Chris Longhurst's interview in S&P it lists his dislikes as science. SCIENCE? Mongoose is going to have an author that dislikes science to write Traveller material? That's the best they can do? They can't contract with Loren or Hunter or Martin, etc. to write this material? This is beginning to appear more and more like looking into a black hole (Chris, you can look here to get a basic understanding of black holes and maybe the joke if you're interested (but I doubt you'd do that considering your dislikes).)
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Last edited by RandyT0001; September 1st, 2007 at 05:53 PM.. Reason: Add last paragraph.
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