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  #1  
Old July 26th, 2006, 11:54 AM
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There are a couple of interesting discussions going on over at rpg.net concerning an ideal version of Traveller:

http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?t=276245

and what would you want to see as a skill/task system for T5:

http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?t=276602

just in case anyone's interested
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Old July 26th, 2006, 12:46 PM
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Warning: entire post is in <tongue in cheek mode>.

The entire thread was summed up by the opening statement of one guy:

Quote:
I think the fanbase has fractured the interest to the point where no new edition can actually succeed.
Well, it's obvious that you can't please all the people all the time.

I know we're all grognards on these boards when I hear (and think) things like "as long as it has these items on the list (A B C D E F G H J K L M N P Q R S T U V W X and Y -- I'll let Z be reserved for designer discretion), then I'll officially like it".


So, the kinds of things I see there narrow the scope to these options:

</font>
  • CT or MT or T4 or T20 or GURPS or Wushu. Or all those plus Exalted, Unisystem, True 20, FATE, FUDGE, Tri-Stat, MURPG, Palladium, Fuzion, HERO...</font>
  • Book 2 or Book 2 Extended or HG/T20 or GURPS or FFS3, or some complicated mix of them.</font>
  • "Simplified" (?) MT task system or UGM or CODA or (strangely enough) something closely resembling Sigg's CT+ task system.</font>
  • Book 3 or Book 3 hard-statted or GT: First In.</font>
  • Use old art. Use new art. Use Deitrick art.</font>
  • Just reprint CT (e.g. French version into English).</font>
  • Support the CT setting. Support the Proto-Traveller setting. Scrap all old settings. Do all of the above.</font>
  • Use metric. Don't use metric.</font>
  • Advanced careers. No advanced careers.</font>
  • And provide every possible alternative as supplemental material, where "alternative" is defined as whatever the poster doesn't think is critical.</font>
Also discussed on the thread are such tidbits as:

There is no entry market for Traveller.

There is an entry market for Traveller.

Unify the disparate chunks.

Unify and cancel all other licenses.

Diversify the disparate chunks.
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Old July 26th, 2006, 01:01 PM
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People can't even agree on what Traveller actually is now, let alone decide what an ideal version should be

Fans are the wrong people to decide what Traveller should be. So I guess Marc is doing the right thing by going his own way and making T5 something that none of the fans want...
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Old July 26th, 2006, 01:29 PM
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Heh! Yeah, looks that way. Put something up for a vote and you'll please nobody, including yourself.


First, most of us players appear to be on the wrong page. Before we can answer a question like "What should XYZ be?", we first have to answer the question Mal put up so long ago: why create a new version of Traveller?

If we're all for CT modified or MT modified or this or that modified, well then just house rule them to one's satisfaction. I've done that, and Sigg has done that. Like CT, but want a task system? Graft one on. Like LBB2, but want to wargame with it too? Tack on bits from HG. Lots of us have. Want to change the UWP to include atmospheric pressure and mass? Use your preferred world building system to figure them out and add a new couple fields to the UWP. Some of us have. But as Mal has pointed out, none of those reasons, even grouped together, warrant a "new" set of rules!


New rulebooks are for new rules. Expansions on current ideas that help the player interact with his world. Rules which help supplemental material focus on its subject rather than patching a weak core engine.

For CT, career-based or "lifepath" chargen and skills was the fundamental new rule (although, was there a precedent?). For MT, the task system was the fundamental new rule. All versions of Traveller extended and refined rules, but the fundamental rules are the most powerful. They are core to "when" and "why" the player rolls the dice. Where the player character meets the universe.

With that in mind, what could Traveller add, as an organic extension, to the rules? We already have at least a hazy idea of what Traveller, in most of its versions, is like in general. How could it GROW?
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Old July 26th, 2006, 11:28 PM
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I don't know, but I do think that T5 should be the LAST version. It's become information overload. Rules, schmooles - between the different versions, we can't even agree on whether or not Emperor Strephon died. You can only look at combat in so many ways, the same with your carousing roll. Kill, flirt, talk, or fix doesn't need that much variation. And everything else is 'history' or information. We need a very consise Imperial Encyclopedia. Wihtout a ruleset. And it should be pretty, and... and...

...and I've got 42 books last count!
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Old July 27th, 2006, 12:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sir Dameon Toth:

...and I've got 42 books last count!
Yeah, sounds like Travellers have information overload, though as Aramis has mentioned before, there is a core set of Traveller assumptions that the game is built on that don't change. Keep the books you use and sell the ones you don't.

Clutter is bad!
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Old July 27th, 2006, 03:11 PM
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I think what we want is a ruleset that is playable out of the box with no inconsistencies and no errata and that holds as far as possible to the laws of physics.

CT+ may be the way, but we'd want it published nicely with good production values and an 'official' stamp. House rules are all well and good but it seems Traveller has always required house rules just to be minimally playable.

We all like the core concepts of Traveller else we wouldn't all still be here (I see these as Prior History and generalist skillsets, for the most part, with a hard-headed conservative bent when it comes to future history and technology), but not one version has achieved a completely usable system.

CT had it all there but was compromised by some lazy fudging (ship design, world generation) and inconsistent chargen (Bk4 etc compared to COTI)

MT just complicated matters with an unneccessarily arcane Task system and skill bloat, even before the controversy over the setting.

I've not seen TNE (there's only so many pdf's one can buy) but from what I can gather it changed the fundamental system along with trying to rationalise the post-cyberpunk technology.

T4 was again over complicated, and has some very awkward rule systems, along with atrocious production values and the least interesting setting.

Hate GURPS, but the campaign resources are good. Just very hard ot convert back into CT/T20 if you don't speak GURPS (and not willing to learn)

T20 is a successful iteration, with the central core concepts of Traveller translated into D20 as far as they go, along with some great D20 innovations (such as the armour rule). The problem here is that Prior History is almost incompatible with D20 style advancement - it's a reet bugger to juggle and calculate all those skill points. I have great mental arithmentic but the tally of skill points the pc should have with whats marked down on the sheet never seem to match. There's almost too many choices, and I often end up with a character quite different from what I first envisaged.

Btw, one way around this is to use the expanded CT prior history tables for the careers that have them instead of the T20 ones, to get more detail (for instance, Commando school can denote multiclassing into Mercenary, and Intelligence school Rogue).

A second issue is the surprising lack of depth in the OTU. Having collected the reprints, then T4 and MT, I see a huge amount of data just reprinted. There seems to be a deep reluctance to embellish and develope the setting. Instead we have pages and pages of more or less worthless UWPs (the biggest rules error ever in Traveller).
GT has at least added detail and richness to the setting, and Avenger's sourcebooks have at last done the same within a CT/T20 framework. Notice that MJD has concentrated on District 268, which is the almost the only interesting subsector in nigh on 30 years of published material.

What I'd like to see is CT+ worked up into a publishable pdf (complete with artowrk). I'd also like to see a proper consistent chargen, more detailed than basic but not as complicated as the expanded tables, with 18 careers listed (see list below). I have some ideas on this. A proper world generation ruleset (over to you Mal), and crucially a comprehensive weapons and armour table on a single (or double) page. No referencing half a dozen books for a short firefight.

Alot of those CT weapon rules were alot more complicated than they needed to be, and lookup tables slow down combat.

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Old July 27th, 2006, 05:28 PM
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I'm interested in CT+ as well, but it won't be T5. At best, it will be a cleaned-up, hopped-up CT, which is cool. But it's a different goal.
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Old July 27th, 2006, 08:00 PM
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Klaus: THe MT Task system is HARDLY "Arcane" unless one is mentally incapable of addition and integer division.

It is simple in execution, and includes a wider flexibility than any of the alternatives put forth. It is clearly a baseline from which other games on the market have grown.

It fits on a single page cheat sheet, including all the options.

The 5 page section in the ref's manual is excessively detailed.

As for skill bloat, it reduced 40+ firearms skills down to a half dozen: Rifleman, Pistol, Combat Rifleman, Shotgun, Heavy Weapons, High-Energy Weapons, Laser Weapons. It narrowed the dozen melee weapon skills to Small Blade, Large Blade, and Polearm.

And yet you accuse it of Bloat? The dozen skills added are mroe than made up for by not having individual weapon skills.
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  #10  
Old July 27th, 2006, 09:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Aramis:
THe MT Task system is HARDLY "Arcane" unless one is mentally incapable of addition and integer division.
This coming from a guy who claimed that my revised stellar generation tables were "too mathematical" because they had lots of conditional (plus/minus) modifiers? [img]graemlins/file_23.gif[/img]

It seems that people clearly have different standards for what they consider to be "arcane" or "over-complex" or "too mathematical".

And actually I'd agree with Klaus there, it's "arcane" because you've got all these variables to worry about - you've got to formulate and express the task in the correct manner, gauge the difficulty correctly, figure out how long the time increment of the task should be, etc. It's a bit more complicated than saying "Ok, you need a 7, roll the dice".
 

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