Traveller Store CotI Features New Posts Mark Forums Read Register


Go Back TravellerRPG.com > Citizens of the Imperium > General Traveller Discussions > The Lone Star

The Lone Star Meet, greet and socialize with your fellow Travellers in the Lone Star Lounge. Random Topics.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old May 21st, 2001, 04:30 PM
PinkSplice's Avatar
PinkSplice PinkSplice is offline
Citizen: SOC-12
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Cahokia, IL, USA
Posts: 148
Gallery : 0
PinkSplice Citizen
Post

Hmmm. Maybe the system and company don't matter. Lets seeeeee....

1) GDW

a- Classic Traveller (T1)
b- Mega Traveller (T2) w/Digest Group
c- Traveller, The New Era (T3)

also 2300, but we won't mention that. Maybe the Space 1889 cartoon would have saved everything.....

company defunct

2) Imperium Games\Sweetpea Entertainment

a- Marc Miller's Traveller (T4)

company defunct

3) Steve Jackson Games

a- GURPS Traveller (and maybe GURPS too, if you think of it as the spawn of TFT and CT)

company very active, but with license that expires in 2002. SJ cranking GT product out as fast as he can, while his license is still valid...set in Classic Traveller, no "Rebellion/Virus".

4) Far Future Enterprises

a- Classic Traveller Reprints
b- T5. Maybe.

one man band. reprints over, so perhaps is he...sorry, Cap'n.

5) the GRIP boys

a- GRIP software (counts as separate, due to computer environment)
b- T^20

track record essentially unknown.

So, we have 5 companies, and NINE, count 'em, 9 existing and planned rules systems for Traveller.

I submit that the only thing holding Travellers together is the setting.

Let the discussion begin.

Wally. (Traveller since 1978)
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old May 21st, 2001, 05:22 PM
Gatsby's Avatar
Gatsby Gatsby is offline
Citizen: SOC-12
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: GOOD OLD USA !!!
Posts: 244
Gallery : 6
Gatsby Citizen
Post

Well.....I don't think the reprints are over (heard something?) yet and T5 is FFE, as well.

-My hope is to see a traveller SYSTEM based on a CT and MegaTraveller foundation. I think the concept "because a system is old means it is useless" does not hold water. It has it's flaws but the whole kit and kaboodle is VERY widely accepted...for design systems and good balance of play/accuracy. All I'm saying is that CT held it's ground.
It is like when Movie Producers change the ending and plots of the accomplished works they 'adapt' for the movies....I think more out of ego then out of good sense. CT is a great foundation - perhaps the best of all the traveller works.
- After you get the system down - you provide the sourcebooks for any number of background timelines - very likely adding some MINOR rule adaptions to each sourcebook to reflect that intrinsic environment and time-line. This allows for a 'Unified Field' of traveller players despite the timeline of choice. And when the Fifth Frontier War grows a little weary on the player group, for example, it will be easy as pie to explore the Sylean Empire or fight the Virus. Note that there must be those pesky MINOR rule adaptions or the whole thing becomes a grey, homogeneous mush. A PPG-15 should really be different in design and use then a prototype PPG from the First Imperium....

This would provide a basic format to keep FFE afloat finacially. Not too many eggs in one basket, but enough baskets to bring home the bacon.
White Wolf's World of Darkness (hisssssss) IS successful with it's many lines based on the same system (though Traveller should be more coherent than White Wolf - it is always tough to fully integrate the WW books and I don't want to pay for the same system in each sourcebook). So, when 'Hunter the Reckoning' and 'Changeling the who-gives-a-damn' kind of fade out, you still got Vampire and Werewolf pulling the company.


Gats'
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old May 21st, 2001, 05:58 PM
PinkSplice's Avatar
PinkSplice PinkSplice is offline
Citizen: SOC-12
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Cahokia, IL, USA
Posts: 148
Gallery : 0
PinkSplice Citizen
Post

Oops. Should have written "when the reprints are over &c"

I agree, the CT system isn't valuless because it is a first generation RPG system. Indeed, the "minimalist" feel of the CT ruleset is ideal. CT thrived despite the holes in the system. All that's needed is a simple 2D6 task system (the DGP one wasn't bad) mechanic, and the integration of vehicles into combat. Simple. Pre-gen generic vehicles, not legnthy design sequences, High Guard as the outer limit for ship design.

I repeat, CT thrived, despite the (glaring) holes in the system. I submit that this is due to the match between system and setting.

Wally.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old May 21st, 2001, 07:05 PM
Gatsby's Avatar
Gatsby Gatsby is offline
Citizen: SOC-12
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: GOOD OLD USA !!!
Posts: 244
Gallery : 6
Gatsby Citizen
Post

Okay, yes.

Admittedly, as I work on the Striker spreadsheet, I DO wish for a HG type vehicle design.

Another thing I wanted from CT was brief explainations of the concepts BEHIND some oo the seemingly odd rules. I wanted a brief explanation that CT computers weren't just a very big motherboard and that thirty seconds of gameturn in High Guard represented constant barrages slowly finding their mark. Things that I would figure out later and have to re-explain to players that wonder about those broad generalizations.

Now, one of my current newbie CT players, searching the net, was crowing about Fire, Fusion and Steel design explaining everything he wanted to know. He is a MAJOR gear-head (god-love-him) who is saving up his credits for Battle-dress. So we had to work ovr what Battle-dress was...cause, admittedly, CT is very brief on descriptions.

I got my conceptualization of battle-dress from C J Cherryh's 'Rimrunners' and, of course, 'Starship Troopers'. But, he sees Battle-dress as a Japanese Anime type from 'Appleseed' or such. Both work, but if a new CT player didn't have either of these references(or some others), he might be going "Huh? What IS battle-dress?" {Oh and Combat Armor is widely thought of as Star Wars Stormtrooper armor....)

Well...you know...that could also have been one of CT's strengths.....I remember enjoying being a Slippery Jim Degriz type from 'Stainless Steel Rat' and doing comabt actions akin to "Hammer's Slammers" until we fell in love with the Imperium....

Could it be, simply, that Traveller requires ONLY a good background in Science-fiction literature and a system good enough but vague enough to enjoy the genre?

That's a big question....

Gats'
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old May 31st, 2001, 10:15 AM
Clay Bush Clay Bush is offline
Citizen: SOC-7
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Limon, CO, USA
Posts: 21
Gallery : 0
Clay Bush Citizen
Post

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> I repeat, CT thrived, despite the (glaring) holes in the system. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Okay, reality check. CT thrived, _past tense_. That does not mean it is the best system for new gamers, now.

RULES: CT was simple, minimalistic. Most gamers were new. Now they are not.

BACKGROUND: Gamers are not only experienced in technical aspects of gaming, they also have experience of a wide-range of universes, races, etc. It is harder to surprise and excite them about background.

CT survivability: People have gamed with CT rules throughout TRAVELLER's history. They will continue to do. They just don't recruit many new players. According to DGP and IP, not enough to support the costs of producing new product. [I have no personal experience with DGP's and IP's supprting data.]

MT and free-form playing: As a convention referee, I found it harder to wing it with this rules set. The defined tasks in my text were fine, but someone who went off on a tangent required a new set of tasks.
Task definition could get out of hand. I still recall seeing someone's proposed standard task for shooting a ATG at an armored vehicle. It would have made SQUAD LEADER and miniatures rules proud. And it didn't quite take up a full page while listing all the possible modifiers.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old June 1st, 2001, 12:42 PM
Darium Darium is offline
Citizen: SOC-10
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: London, Ontario , Canada
Posts: 73
Gallery : 0
Darium Citizen
Send a message via ICQ to Darium
Smile

Despite many gamers not "being new" to the hobby one fact now is predominate; RPG's have more competition for the attention of gamers. Computer games (all types), colectable card games and minatures all have grabbed their share. Not to mention the internet and all that entails. The current trend in gaming is simplicity, keeping the game rules simple and miximizing game play. CT is perfect for this market and should do well.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old June 24th, 2001, 02:16 AM
n2s's Avatar
n2s n2s is offline
Citizen: SOC-12
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Greater Grand Rapids
Posts: 161
Gallery : 0
Visit n2s's Blog
n2s Citizen
Thumbs down

Game is not over.

"Published" Traveller is the 3rd Imperium.

I know of a few 'long' term games being played in alternate Traveller universes. Some of these have been on the web since before GDW went away.

I know of a few more games that are set outside the Imperium.

Those things said. Traveller is
  1. <LI>a few sets of rules.
    <LI>a setting.

Classic Traveller, Megatraveller, Traveller the New Era, and Marc Miller's Traveller fit both definitions. GURPS Traveller and d20 Traveller fit both definitions. The assorted homebrew, house rules games out there fit both definitions. And lots of them share b.

Can you tell I'm an inclusive sort?

------------------
mark ayers n2s@qwest.net , philosopher serf, editor of n2s; the journal for an empty mind

[This message has been edited by n2s (edited 24 June 2001).]

[This message has been edited by n2s (edited 24 June 2001).]
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old June 24th, 2001, 02:54 AM
danejohnson danejohnson is offline
Citizen: SOC-6
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 17
Gallery : 0
danejohnson Citizen
Post

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by PinkSplice:
Hmmm. Maybe the system and company don't matter. Lets seeeeee....

(snip)

So, we have 5 companies, and NINE, count 'em, 9 existing and planned rules systems for Traveller.

I submit that the only thing holding Travellers together is the setting.

Let the discussion begin.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Several points:

o I think Traveller has the RPG record for the number of different rules sets all using the same setting for background. Glorantha has two (Hero Wars and RuneQuest). Nine is hard to beat . Plus, you aren't even counting the number of different character (Traveller, MT, TNE, T4, Snapshot, AHL, Striker, Striker II, At Close Quarters (BITS))or ship combat systems (Traveller, MT, TNE, T4, Mayday, High Guard, Brilliant Lances, ???)

o An old "First Generation" RPG system is not valueless just because it's old. How different are 1st and 6th edition Call of Cthulhu? They changed experience dice from d6 to d10.

o Traveller has (IMHO) lasted because it is different from all other RPGs, much like Call of Cthulhu was for many years.

Traveller is, as someone else mentioned, both detailed and vague. It's detailed enough to present a "hard"-ish SF feel, but vague enough to allow the Referee and Players to put their own mark on the setting (This is also a strength of D&D -- it's "generic fantasy"). Many SF games get this wrong, going too detailed or too specific in too many places. Many licensed games in particular fall into this trap, IMHO, although I thought WEG Star Wars was pretty good.

It's also unique in it's modularity. I can't think of another system that has so many alternate, published ways of doing the same things. And I don't just mean between editions -- CT has four cannon character combat systems (I don't have Striker or the combat parts of AHL, so I can't really accurately compare them to Striker) and BITS' At Close Quarters.

If you look at the published GDW CT Adventures and Double Adventures, you'll notice that many of them are almost games in and of themselves. The plots are presented, along with a set of details. But it's not a map of a starport with encounters in every landing bay -- it's a description of a kind of problem, the kinds of situations and settings the problem needs to set it up, and possible courses of action the players can take to "solve the problem".

Take Exit Visa -- the bad guys are starport administrators who won't give you clearance to leave the planet.

That's different than most (all?) other RPGs.

o Every game is "about the setting, not the rules" in at least some sense. Some RuneQuest player wrote up some rules for using the WEG Star Wars rules to play in the Glorantha setting. That's using a Space Opera SF rules set for playing in a High Fantasy setting.

Likewise, I think Pendragon could make the core of a pretty interesting SF system. The better the rules set, the more easily they'll be useable to play in a wide variety of settings.

&lt;Shrug&gt;

Yes, Traveller's long life is (at least in part) attributable to the setting. It's compelling enough for people to want to play in it without having to play Traveller.

It's also attributable to a kind of complexity through modular, simple systems (sort of like Unix ) and a willingness to get out of the way of the player and referee which was quite ahead of it's time. I think that it's only in the last 5 years or so that the gaming industry as a whole has moved en mass towards the sort of clean, almost minimalistic rules sets that Traveller pioneered 20 years ago.

IMHO, anyway.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old June 24th, 2001, 03:02 AM
danejohnson danejohnson is offline
Citizen: SOC-6
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 17
Gallery : 0
danejohnson Citizen
Post

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by danejohnson:

It's also attributable to a kind of complexity through modular, simple systems (sort of like Unix )
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I should also point out that Traveller has always recognized that different people like different aspects of gaming (and SF gaming in particular) and worked to provide something for everybody.

People into different cultures, history, and astrophysics could develop worlds, subsectors, and sectors. Gear heads had starships and vehicles to design. Wargamers had interstellar (Trillion Credit Squadron), "Intersector" (FFW), and ground (Striker) wars to fight. Role Players were given adventures long on interpersonal interactions or problem solving (Prison Planet, Murder on Arcturus Station, etc., etc.). People who liked more action got interstellar intrigue (Signal GK) or spy missions (Expedition to Zhodane).

Traveller didn't focus on one kind or style of adventure. It really conciously tried to explore the limits of what sort of different kinds of entertainment could be had with it's proposed setting and ran with that.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

This website and its contents are copyright ©2010- Far Future Enterprises. All rights reserved. Traveller is a registered trademark of Far Future Enterprises .
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright (c) 2010-2013, Far Future Enterprises. All Rights Reserved.