- What edition was your first encounter with Traveller?
- When did it happen?
- What formed the first impression? (The cover? Text within the game? Someone describing the game to you? Playing the game?)
- What drew you to the game in that first impression? What was that first impression.
1. Little Black Box, 1977.
-- 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.