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  #11  
Old August 14th, 2001, 05:27 PM
Simon Jester Simon Jester is offline
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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by T. Foster:
[quote:
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Originally posted by hunter:
Sector Quadrant Books
These books will cover a quadrant with a sector (4 subsectors) and detail 32 worlds within that area along with basic regional information and adventure material. 128 pages each expected.
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This looks to be a great idea, but 128pp each seems a bit much (considering that Behind the Claw and Rim of Fire cover an entire sector in that much space). I'd prefer 64pp: with 1 page per world (like the world write-ups in Knightfall or Long Way Home) that leaves 32pp for general background and adventure material, which should be more than enough, and I know I'd be more likely to drop $12 for a 64pp book than $20 on a 128pp one (especially if you plan on releasing several of them).

[/B]<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I would like to see a book more along the lines of 96 ppg. long, with each world receiving a double-sided page dedicated to it. On one side would be the basic IISS and TAS reports on said planet, along with the icosahedral layout of the surface, and on the back would be the GM specific information and adventure hooks. In this way, the GM could simply hand the players a copy of what their characters would find should they desire to research their destination while keeping the secret info secret. It would still allow 32 pages for general information on the sector quadrant, hopefully to include some TAS reports relating to the area, for use by the players as well as the GM.

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  #12  
Old August 14th, 2001, 07:44 PM
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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Simon Jester:
I would like to see a book more along the lines of 96 ppg. long, with each world receiving a double-sided page dedicated to it. On one side would be the basic IISS and TAS reports on said planet, along with the icosahedral layout of the surface, and on the back would be the GM specific information and adventure hooks. In this way, the GM could simply hand the players a copy of what their characters would find should they desire to research their destination while keeping the secret info secret. It would still allow 32 pages for general information on the sector quadrant, hopefully to include some TAS reports relating to the area, for use by the players as well as the GM.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yeah, 2pp (one Library Data, one GM only) per world would probably work best, but then how much detail is QuikLink wanting to provide for all these worlds? After all, even The Traveller Adventure only details a dozen or so worlds enough to fill 2pp of text. If they're planning to release several of these Sector Quad books (which I assume they are), trying to provide too much info on too many worlds is going to quickly drain the idea pool and leave us with books full of by-the-numbers carbon copies and/or one-trick ponies.

To keep expectations realistic, I think a 'less is more' approach is probably best: in each Quadrant detail a handful of worlds (3-4) to full multi-page (Adventure) level, a dozen or so more to approx. 1 page 'interesting background' (Amber Zone) level, a paragraph or two (Patron Encounter) for the next 16, and the other 100 or so UWP-only. That, combined with the extra detail that will presumably be included in other adventures and sourcebooks set in those regions, should provide more than enough to keep most gaming groups plenty busy.
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  #13  
Old August 15th, 2001, 06:00 AM
Gallowglass Gallowglass is offline
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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Elliot:
Something I forgot to add - how about a sourcebook on nobles, the gateway nobility and the noble player character campaign - plenty of political intrigue, patrons, adventure hooks and a Yacht schematic!<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Now there's a model to conjure with. In parallel with the Quadrant books (General reference and adventure material), how about books keyed to particular spheres of endevaour / interest within the Domain? Each could detail a particular aspect/profession of Imperial life in the Domain, prominent people involved in that field, places / organisations of interest and scenario hooks, plus at least one substatntial adventure. With judicious writing, these can be useful reference works even if people aren't playing in a campaign that focuses on that aspect of the OTU

So, as suggested already:

Mercenary Companies
Nobility
Trade (Both Mega-Corps and Frre Traders).

As additional suggestions:

Explorers / Scientists (Archaelogy, Xenobiology etc)
Covert Agencies
Diplomacy (Possibly combine with Agencies?)

If these are done to cover a wider sweep of the domain, leaving the Quadrant books to paint in the details as it were, I think you have a nice combination.
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  #14  
Old August 15th, 2001, 08:36 AM
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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Gallowglass Re Quadrant books:
This is a definite winner I think, especially if the adventure material is good. I'd recommend at least a brief paragraph on every world, just to get people thinking. In CT terms, contrast the details on the Regina Sector worlds in Kinunir with the detail on the worlds in Aramis in the Traveller Adventure
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


Okay, I strongly disagree with this (and I know I seem to be going against the flow here), but I demand rigidly defined areas of uncertainty and doubt (nod to recently deceased author). I very definitely *do not* want to see every world detailed. In fact I don't even want to see most of them detailed. even if its just a paragraph (actually especially if its just a paragraph). At the very least half the worlds should be left absolutely untouched.


Detailing all the world might seem like a really good idea, but BtC showed fairly clearly that it isn't. You end up with just enough detail to stifle umpire creativity and not enough detail to make the world come to life. Much better to have a few worlds done to a respectable level than all done "just a bit"


What I'd like to see in a quadrant book is plenty of plot hooks, NPC's, some short adventures. Do one subsector in depth, and give a quick overview of the other three (give enough information to give the feel of a subsector as a whole, but leave plenty of wiggle room for umpire development).


[This message has been edited by Andrewmv (edited 15 August 2001).]
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  #15  
Old August 15th, 2001, 10:01 AM
Gallowglass Gallowglass is offline
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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Andrewmv:

Okay, I strongly disagree with this (and I know I seem to be going against the flow here), but I demand rigidly defined areas of uncertainty and doubt (nod to recently deceased author). I very definitely *do not* want to see every world detailed. In fact I don't even want to see most of them detailed. even if its just a paragraph (actually especially if its just a paragraph). At the very least half the worlds should be left absolutely untouched.

Detailing all the world might seem like a really good idea, but BtC showed fairly clearly that it isn't. You end up with just enough detail to stifle umpire creativity and not enough detail to make the world come to life. Much better to have a few worlds done to a respectable level than all done "just a bit"

What I'd like to see in a quadrant book is plenty of plot hooks, NPC's, some short adventures. Do one subsector in depth, and give a quick overview of the other three (give enough information to give the feel of a subsector as a whole, but leave plenty of wiggle room for umpire development).

[This message has been edited by Andrewmv (edited 15 August 2001).]
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

OK, can't comment on BtC (haven't read it). And I did realise after I'd posted that there is th equestion of the "blank spaces". But I'd still think at least a couple of lines beyond the UWP is a good idea. If a ref doesn't like the info, he can ignore it, but it at least gives him a hook to start thinking about how he'd interpret that UWP. I HATE staring at a UWP trying to think of something interesting to say with a bunch of players waiting on my words. And you just know that the planet in Jump range you have NO info on is th eone they'll take a shine to...

And within the context of a quadrant book, we are probably talking about a sentence or two for the non-detailed worlds, rather than half or quarter page paragraphs. But I agree that it is worth defining a certain level of "indeterminacy" to what is published.

As a side shoot, the one GT thing I _have_ taken a shine to is the planetary surveys. I like their tight focus and i particular the (usually included) side bar on varying the feel of th eplanet to suit a campaign style. A similar approach with the Quadrant etc books would be good. Plus I like the idea of leaving details _explicitly_ to the ref e.g. don't specify which world the pirate base is on, give three likely candidiates and some guidance on the different consequences...

In defense of detailing as much as possibly to some degress, if these supplements have to appeal to both Traveller AND d20 players, then they have to take the D&D/d20 appraoch and be written with the assumption they are holding a novices hand. Confident experienced refs (d20 or Traveller) will ignore what they don't need, but this appraoch maximises the market appeal I reckon.

Let's be honest, I'm thinking of the Quadrant books as something _like_ the Traveller Adventure, but covering 4 subsectors, not one.
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  #16  
Old August 15th, 2001, 01:51 PM
lucasdigital lucasdigital is offline
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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by hunter:

What other ideas do you have?

Hunter
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

If T20 is aimed at capturing new players, maybe players new to Science Fiction gaming I would make my initial releases detailing core SF elements such as STARSHIPS.

Traveller Adventure:1 was a fantastic balance between source material and adventure material. Kick-Ass deck plans are a must.


How about a World Sourcebook. Instead of detailing specific worlds create a book which helps novice referees create alien worlds.(Not create statistics but to breathe life into statistics such as the UWP.

You can detail play in different environments, with adventure hooks. For example you could detail play in deserts, include example flora and fauna, encounter tables.

Where would Traveller be without patrons
and a sourcebook chocked filled with potential adventure hooks.
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  #17  
Old August 15th, 2001, 02:28 PM
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I mostly agree with Andrewmv about the Quad Books. A sentence or two of detail isn't going to provide much more on-the-fly GMing help than just a UWP and will definitely handcuff and stifle GM creativity. I know I'm not alone in feeling that Behind the Claw has pretty much the opposite of its intended effect: for every world of the Spinward Marches I've now got a paragraph of 'official' description, but it's almost always substantially different (and usually, I daresay, less interesting) than what I would've come up with on my own, and in order to change it I have to make a conscious decision to "alter Canon" and thus forevermore brand my campaign as variant/Unofficial/Alternate Universe/etc.

While I'm not such a hidebound canonista that I'm unwilling to swerve from the path at all, I'd just as soon avoid doing so where possible, and would rather not be forced into such 'moral dilemmas' over a single paragraph description that barely provides any more substantive info than a lone UWP would've.

But the 'wandering player syndrome' is also real, and few things are more annoying than watching them head straight for the areas about which you know absolutely nothing. Therefore, I think the worlds detailed in the Quad Books should be chosen strategically: roughly 3/4 of them should be close together, providing an area where the players will hit detailed worlds no matter which way they turn. GMs wanting more freedom can stick to the other subsectors, where only general trends and a small handful of worlds will be detailed (which I realize now is essentially the same as what Andrewmv just suggested; good to see we agree more here than on the T^5 task system ).

Another wish/suggestion: when choosing which worlds in a quadrant to detail, don't automatically go for all the 'interesting' worlds: if every HiPop, High TL, and weird UWP world is described in detail and the individual ref is only 'free' to detail a bunch of near-identical rockballs and low-tech Ag worlds then thanks for nothing. Detail a mix of world-types, including some 'boring' worlds, and leave some oddities and 'fun stuff' as exercises for the GM -- but make sure they're remote enough from the 'central area' that players won't immediately start heading for them before the GM has had time to work something up.

[This message has been edited by T. Foster (edited 15 August 2001).]
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  #18  
Old August 15th, 2001, 07:33 PM
Simon Jester Simon Jester is offline
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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by T. Foster:
Yeah, 2pp (one Library Data, one GM only) per world would probably work best, but then how much detail is QuikLink wanting to provide for all these worlds? After all, even The Traveller Adventure only details a dozen or so worlds enough to fill 2pp of text. If they're planning to release several of these Sector Quad books (which I assume they are), trying to provide too much info on too many worlds is going to quickly drain the idea pool and leave us with books full of by-the-numbers carbon copies and/or one-trick ponies.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I agree generally with your viewpoint, but the page layout I had in mind was something along these lines:
1. The top 1/3 would be taken up with the icosahedral surface plot of the planet, with a line plot of the solar system below it, with the various planets and moons represented along the solar ecliptic by the standard markings for gas planet, asteroid field, main world, etc. Together, these should take up 1/2 of the page.
2. In the right-hand column in the lower half od the page would be a basic description of the main planet, showing gravity, atmospheric composition, population, etc., esentially the same way the World Builder's Handbook does it, with suitable modifications to avoid copyright infringement. This should follow the same guidelined that a T20 world builder's book uses (suggested by Gallowglass, IIRC).
3. The remaining two half-page columns would provide sufficient space for a basic description of what the planet is like, as reported by an IISS scout or the TAS. This does NOT have to be accurate, of course.
4. The GM's side would be roughly the same, only showing the actual details of the planet and system. Not all of this space has to be used, but any unused space can be used by the GM for making notes, etc.

As for having too much detail for the book, we're only talking about 32 planets out of four subsectors, each hjolding anywhere between 20 and 40 planets. There's plenty of space left for the GM's creativity to run rampant.

Simon Jester



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  #19  
Old August 16th, 2001, 11:27 AM
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Actually, after thinking about it for a while, a grand epic type of supplement would be really great, like the Traveller Adventure. Something that would scream Traveller - and incorporate a lot of different ideas (please no Subsidized Merchants, tho!). Scouts, Mercs, Traders, Spies, etc... Maybe something that has 4 or 5 or so basic long-range/galaxy-wide adventures interspersed with a couple of handfulls of small one-shots and mid-range adventures. Definitely an Ancient adventure interspersed in there, and maybe something to do with the Emperor & knighting, etc...

Later,

Scout
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  #20  
Old August 16th, 2001, 04:27 PM
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As T20 is mostly aimed at getting the D20 crowd to try something new, the most important things after the core rulebook are adventures. Either a single book, Traveller Adventure style, or a set of linked modules like Wizards are doing with 3E. I'd probably say that the linked modules idea would go down better because they'd be more or less ready to run. As good as the Traveller Adventure was it still needed a fair amount of work from the ref.

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