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  #31  
Old December 9th, 2004, 02:23 PM
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It seems that game designers are tinkerers, frustrated systems engineers, whatever. That alone might be why T5 is on any burner at all.
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  #32  
Old December 9th, 2004, 04:36 PM
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Quote:
Hey, Sigg, you might want to make a pitch... you just might get approval for such a thing. I imagine it'd have to be bigger than a TA, but otherwise, I think there's enough of a backing among Traveller fans to support an "ATU Construction Kit" book.
I already sent a pitch for this of to MJD many moons ago dear friends, never had a reply.

So instead I've had published a condensed version of many of the things I would have included in a travellers aide at

http://www.pocketempires.com/pe/drax000.htm

The above materials are of course T20 specific and tailored to M0, though other stuff not part of Traveller Canon has been written up fro GURPS as part of my own SPACE campaign which I will shortly make available elsewhere on the web. All of these alternative techologies could also have been included in the proposed works.
  #33  
Old December 9th, 2004, 07:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Malenfant:
Isn't that what GURPS Space and Star HERO and other such generic systems do though?

Can't comment on that...I don't have either of them...

There's the thing - what's "move forward" mean here? What would T5 add to Traveller that hasn't been done six times already - or can't be added to a version that's already being actively developed?
Move forward (in this context) means moving towards a system that eventually leaves the other systems in the past whilst incorporating the best parts/mechanics of the previous systems. This (IMO) also includes maintaining the "feel" of the game. I am hoping that T5 (when it arrives) will be the system that finally replaces CT/MT.

However, T20 and GURPS will continue to flourish because they are established systems that haven't encountered the problems GDW did.

I am not anti-T20/GURPS; neither am I one of the "CT is the best cos I played it years ago and I'm old now and don't want to change" brigade.

I'd just like to see T5 published and become a genuine contender in the RPG market.
  #34  
Old December 16th, 2004, 10:16 AM
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Gruffty sounds right to me. And I share his hopes that T5 may finally be an acceptable (to me) replacement of CT, MT, and T4. It is possible that Marc also hopes this. I suppose that means he has to be careful.

As far as becoming a contender in the RPG market: I hear the market is shrinking, so I doubt being a contender will be likely, nor would it mean much financially or culturally. For me, it's mainly just a hope that it'll be, as Gruffty said, an acceptable replacement for CT, MT, T4.


Marc is being deliberate. Very deliberate. He's taking each piece, each concept, of the game system, deciding how it fits into the whole game and how he wants it to be presented, and revising and redacting as he sees fit. He's getting to do what he could never do before: put time into his game.

He appears to be proceeding almost linearly. Note that his draft material is mainly synopsis, outline, and (finally) chargen. These seem to be of two kinds of material: context, for setting the stage of T5, versus actual rules and guidelines, which will be printed in the game books.

Chargen and the task system are the first rules of Traveller; hence, he worked on them first. In fact, he's still adding aspects of chargen, though I think (don't know) that he's basically "beta" with the material in playtest.


Having said all that, it occurs to me that there must be a bazillion different background things about Traveller that, if fleshed out, would help add color to T5. Not rules, nor even canon necessarily, but things that are nearly all color. Languages, for instance, are mostly very sketchy, with the exception now of Vilani and Trade Vilani. T5 might benefit from some linguist who would tackle Gvegh, or Trokh, or Sylean, or Oynprith.
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  #35  
Old December 24th, 2004, 03:21 PM
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I figure I've got some info from Marc that's not secret, so here goes.

Here are some replies to questions my gaming group had toward some of Marc's T5 material. I've edited his responses, to keep the generally informative stuff in and in context. I've also added some midrash.

1. This question was more of a comment about using d6 instead of, for instance, d100. His response is in essence, "we'll agree to disagree". However, on more than one occasion I have heard him say that T5 will ultimately (eventually?) be shaped by what the players want. It is possible then that he could leave the doors open, so to speak, for using other task systems.

Quote:
1. As to D6, I don't think that question can ever be resolved to the D6-opponent's satisfaction. So I'll move on.
2-4. These next questions had to do with why one would want to include sense rules in T5 (for instance, vision, hearing, stuff we take for granted).

Quote:
2 . Traveller (CT MT TNE T4) really concentrates on humans. I want to include non-humans into the cosmopolitan eclectic universe of Traveller, which means (if they are to be more than "humans in rubber suits" like Star Trek) that we have to understand what they can see or hear or smell or whatever. As designer, I need to resolve the questions before T5 comes out rather than after. Thus, the ideas for defining senses.

3. Some of the sense items tell us what people can and can't do/see/hear etc. I think that is helpful to players and game masters as they play.

4. The previous email reiterates that the Sense rules are for the exception rather than the commonplace. But imagine the following situations in game play that are not currently possible in Traveller.

A. You discover an alien ship and its users see in the IR. Its markings are in the IR. What can you see?

B. You are sneaking up on a tribe of aliens on a primitive planet. When can they see you? Realistically?

Sense rules are much like [the Vilani language]. Most players will never see more than just a few example words. We do it for background and for fun.
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  #36  
Old December 24th, 2004, 05:01 PM
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Q: You discover an alien ship and its users see in the IR. Its markings are in the IR. What can you see?

A: I set my Combat Armour's visor to do a frequency sweep. When I discover marking in IR, if they make any sense or can be deciphered, I then can work with them. Technology can go a very long way (especially given 58th century computer) in dealing with a synthesized environments, analysis and parsing of multiple data streams, etc. So this shouldn't be a big challenge to advanced scouts or marines or similarly well equiped folks. If, OTOH, you are stuck without your gear, then yes, this does become a big question.
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  #37  
Old December 24th, 2004, 07:55 PM
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An active EMS scan shows them up...
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  #38  
Old December 29th, 2004, 01:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Flynn:

I just like to think of it in terms of the pleasure it brings to its creator.
I do too. And at the same time, T5 develops concepts further than previous versions.

For instance, inheriting from T4's multiple-dice task system lets the referee define different shades of Uncertain tasks. Using Intrusion to "case a joint" (3D) is a very Uncertain task (ref rolls 2D), while casing as part of a tour group is less Uncertain (ref rolls 1D).

Personal and space combat are fully integrated into the task system. We all knew that combat involved rolling against target numbers. Now it's to be standardized into the task system.

Alien race generation is new and organized. There will be a system for creating the Star Wars Cantina Effect.

Star system generation rules could be revisited, if someone had some new and reasonable rules to submit... (this, by the way, would be a great way to contribute).

And while I'm here...

As I've seen elsewhere on COTI, a blended, generic revision of FFS1 and FFS2 could be beneficial to every technical RPG out there, including T5. However, I can't really see Marc writing that. So someone else will have to do it.
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  #39  
Old December 29th, 2004, 07:23 PM
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Rolling X dice by Y difficulty has never been terribly successful a task system. (TFT, Alternity, T4, TFFV)

Rolling X dice by Y Skill has been quite successful:
WoD (VTM, WTA, MTA, FTC, WTR, VDA,MTSC,etc), D6 StarWars, Heavy Gear and Jovian Chronicles (Shillouette Engine), Deadlands, Arrowflight, prime Directive 1stEd.

Arguably, fixed dice systems still prevail, either 1, 2, or 3d systems, vs skill derived TNs, or roll+Skill vs TN by difficulty.
Dice + DMs vs Skill: Hero, GURPS, Hackmaster, AD&D, BRP/Runequest
Dice+Skill vs TN: Rolemaster/Spacemaster, Cyberpunk/Mekton (Interlock and Fusion), D20.

Marc's fixation of what has been commercially and critically unsuccessful is NOT a good sign... since the task system is the most heavily used part of a roleplaying game design. That he was lambasted over it during T4 should have shed some light on it....
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  #40  
Old January 4th, 2005, 01:41 PM
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Yah, he's tied the rules onto the use of N Dice = N Difficulty. Uncertain tasks mean that the referee rolls one or more of those N dice. Characters attempting a task at X Difficulty > Y Skill level get a heavy +2d6 penalty. I'm sure there's more.
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