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MegaTraveller Discuss of the MegaTraveller ruleset and the Rebellion Milieu

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  #11  
Old September 21st, 2003, 01:12 AM
kaladorn kaladorn is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Blue Ghost:

I like your analogy regarding MT as being CT++. I think that fits because if I recall correctly the only real thing different in character generation were the three-die stats.
I don't ever recall using 3 dice for a stat. I certainly don't now.... and I don't recall any text that suggested I should.

Quote:
If I recall correctly skill levels were readily (though probably not thuroughly) translatable from one system to the next.
MT put in some broader skills (like Rifleman that covered rifle, carbine and shotgun) for instance. I think every CT skill was valid in MT, just MT gave some overarching skills you might replace them with. I don't think any CT skill was done away with, so all CT chars should have been valid.

Quote:
That is you could take a character with handgun skill of one, take his personal stats from the 2d system and inflate them into a 3d system and he'd still be the same character he was in the classic system. I may be off on that, but that's how it seemed to me.
I've never seen any suggestion in the MT Player's Manual for using 3D. Now, TNE may have had stats that were different (were they D10? I forget), but CT and MT stats would have appeared identical. 2D6 plus mods as aging or mustering out or "<insert career> Life" tables would affect them.

Quote:
The setting thing didn't bother me, but I guess I'm not entirely surprised to hear that a portion of Traveller folks disliked it; sci-fi fans being meticulous sorts. Myself I loved the concept of a rebellion, and had no qualms regarding someone elses fiction either way. I mean ... the designers made the thing up ... it's their baby. I have a hard time comprehending why there would be nay-sayers to this. I can sympathize on one level, but it's like a fan asking his favorite author to change the ending of his book. It just isn't done. But that's just me. [img]smile.gif[/img]
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />

I guess some folks thought it "broke" their precious stable 3rd Imperium.
And I guess what you're telling me is that the creative power and owner of MT may have some interpersonal relation issues. That's too bad, if true.
</font>[/QUOTE]Not quite. The current 'intellectual rights' holder was associated with MT in some fashion, but I don't consider him the creative power behind MT. That I put in the hands of Marc and the Fulgates and a few others and they don't hold those rights. I think more is the pity... they did them justice. The fellow who has them (Sanger IIRC is his last name) does have the 'issues' however.

Quote:
I know a couple of other game designers who treat their customers like dirt; soldiers in their platoon or employees on the bottom rung. They both have BBSes, but only one really loses his head and blows his stack with his patrons. It's like the guy forgets he's running a business ... then gets all bent out of shape when sales drop because of his attitude on his boards. Oh well.
You are only as good as your last product or how you treated your last few customers. More folks should remember that.

Quote:
Someone posted an impromptu interview with MWM on another thread somewhere. According the responses MWM is entertaining an idea of issuing MT on CDROM. For myself that would be just fantastick. As much fun as me and my friends had with CT I really do miss the MT system.
I think this is old news (though there may be another set of negotiations). The first time I heard this, it was being attempted, but it got kiboshed by the demands of said property rights owner.

I think someone who may have asked him about a license mentioned something about six figures (and I'm not talking the cents part). If you know anything about the game design world, you'll realize that is nothing short of delusional and demented.... that's way out of whack with actual valuation. But, he has the rights, and he's sitting on them.

I'd love a CDROM with a good search feature and the errata applied. But I'm not expecting it anytime soon or perhaps I should say at all.

Quote:
The art; hmm, I can't say I was ever a fan of Keith's sketches in some of the original CT stuff (he tended to take other existing sci-fi artwork and sketch over them to create his own drawing ... check out the cover of FASA's Starport Hotel modual, or the Solomani fighter in the Solomani Aliens modual; it darn near looks as if it was taken from one of the old Stewart Cowley Spacebase Books). But despite all that, I personally found some of the interior art in MT slightly subpar. But again that makes little difference when what you reall want out of the books is the information contained within. Still, it's nice to have something good to look at.
Well, it may not all have been great, but it didn't suck *that* badly. And if the material is good, do I care about the art? Not much.

T4 art (IMO) blew chunks as did the cover painting for the incredibly costly T20 hardcover Traveller's Handbook.

Quote:
Thanks again, Kaladorn. I think you've answered my questions. [img]smile.gif[/img]
Someone who actually has an axe to grind with MT may chip in and let me know if I'm close to correct....
__________________
"Tell them, that from this place we will deliver notice to the parliaments of conquerors that a line has been drawn against the darkness. And we will hold that line, .. no matter the cost." -- Cpt. Sheridan "The Long, Twilight Struggle"
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  #12  
Old September 21st, 2003, 01:12 AM
kaladorn kaladorn is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Blue Ghost:

I like your analogy regarding MT as being CT++. I think that fits because if I recall correctly the only real thing different in character generation were the three-die stats.
I don't ever recall using 3 dice for a stat. I certainly don't now.... and I don't recall any text that suggested I should.

Quote:
If I recall correctly skill levels were readily (though probably not thuroughly) translatable from one system to the next.
MT put in some broader skills (like Rifleman that covered rifle, carbine and shotgun) for instance. I think every CT skill was valid in MT, just MT gave some overarching skills you might replace them with. I don't think any CT skill was done away with, so all CT chars should have been valid.

Quote:
That is you could take a character with handgun skill of one, take his personal stats from the 2d system and inflate them into a 3d system and he'd still be the same character he was in the classic system. I may be off on that, but that's how it seemed to me.
I've never seen any suggestion in the MT Player's Manual for using 3D. Now, TNE may have had stats that were different (were they D10? I forget), but CT and MT stats would have appeared identical. 2D6 plus mods as aging or mustering out or "&lt;insert career&gt; Life" tables would affect them.

Quote:
The setting thing didn't bother me, but I guess I'm not entirely surprised to hear that a portion of Traveller folks disliked it; sci-fi fans being meticulous sorts. Myself I loved the concept of a rebellion, and had no qualms regarding someone elses fiction either way. I mean ... the designers made the thing up ... it's their baby. I have a hard time comprehending why there would be nay-sayers to this. I can sympathize on one level, but it's like a fan asking his favorite author to change the ending of his book. It just isn't done. But that's just me. [img]smile.gif[/img]
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />

I guess some folks thought it "broke" their precious stable 3rd Imperium.
And I guess what you're telling me is that the creative power and owner of MT may have some interpersonal relation issues. That's too bad, if true.
</font>[/QUOTE]Not quite. The current 'intellectual rights' holder was associated with MT in some fashion, but I don't consider him the creative power behind MT. That I put in the hands of Marc and the Fulgates and a few others and they don't hold those rights. I think more is the pity... they did them justice. The fellow who has them (Sanger IIRC is his last name) does have the 'issues' however.

Quote:
I know a couple of other game designers who treat their customers like dirt; soldiers in their platoon or employees on the bottom rung. They both have BBSes, but only one really loses his head and blows his stack with his patrons. It's like the guy forgets he's running a business ... then gets all bent out of shape when sales drop because of his attitude on his boards. Oh well.
You are only as good as your last product or how you treated your last few customers. More folks should remember that.

Quote:
Someone posted an impromptu interview with MWM on another thread somewhere. According the responses MWM is entertaining an idea of issuing MT on CDROM. For myself that would be just fantastick. As much fun as me and my friends had with CT I really do miss the MT system.
I think this is old news (though there may be another set of negotiations). The first time I heard this, it was being attempted, but it got kiboshed by the demands of said property rights owner.

I think someone who may have asked him about a license mentioned something about six figures (and I'm not talking the cents part). If you know anything about the game design world, you'll realize that is nothing short of delusional and demented.... that's way out of whack with actual valuation. But, he has the rights, and he's sitting on them.

I'd love a CDROM with a good search feature and the errata applied. But I'm not expecting it anytime soon or perhaps I should say at all.

Quote:
The art; hmm, I can't say I was ever a fan of Keith's sketches in some of the original CT stuff (he tended to take other existing sci-fi artwork and sketch over them to create his own drawing ... check out the cover of FASA's Starport Hotel modual, or the Solomani fighter in the Solomani Aliens modual; it darn near looks as if it was taken from one of the old Stewart Cowley Spacebase Books). But despite all that, I personally found some of the interior art in MT slightly subpar. But again that makes little difference when what you reall want out of the books is the information contained within. Still, it's nice to have something good to look at.
Well, it may not all have been great, but it didn't suck *that* badly. And if the material is good, do I care about the art? Not much.

T4 art (IMO) blew chunks as did the cover painting for the incredibly costly T20 hardcover Traveller's Handbook.

Quote:
Thanks again, Kaladorn. I think you've answered my questions. [img]smile.gif[/img]
Someone who actually has an axe to grind with MT may chip in and let me know if I'm close to correct....
__________________
"Tell them, that from this place we will deliver notice to the parliaments of conquerors that a line has been drawn against the darkness. And we will hold that line, .. no matter the cost." -- Cpt. Sheridan "The Long, Twilight Struggle"
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  #13  
Old September 21st, 2003, 04:49 AM
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The rights problem with MT has nothing to do with the ruleset or any of the supplements published by GDW, only the stuff published by Digest Group Publications. The problem is that during most of the MT period GDW was largely neglecting the game (focusing instead on their other games like T2K and Space:1889) and DGP was pretty much carrying the ball -- from 1988 to 1990 they released 6 MT supplements to GDW's released 5 (one of those being just a book of unadorned ship stats and another of them actually written by DGP even though GDW published it). Thus, with the DGP material off-limits, any MT re-release would feel incomplete, and rightly so.

As for people's complaints about MT, as far as I can tell they largely come down to the following:

TOO COMPLEX: MT combined all of the most complicated CT options into one package and made it the baseline. The problem was that people who didn't use all of the advanced rules now didn't have a choice. You could no longer design a ship using just Book 2, now you had to use a combination of High Guard and Striker. Likewise with combat (AHL), trade and commerce (Book 7), worlds (Book 6), and even tasks (no more "roll 8+ to succeed," now everybody had to learn the format and procedure of the DGP system).

TOO FLASHY: CT fans liked the minimal style of the LBBs, and MT didn't have that. Instead it had lots of flashy artwork (including that cheesy Jim Holloway cartoon on the cover of the Players Manual) and a pricetag to match ($30 for the MT set vs $6 for a LBB or $12 for Starter Traveller).

TOO MUCH STORY: In CT the setting was always in the background -- the Imperium isn't mentioned once in Books 1-3. In MT the Imperium, and specifically the Rebellion storyline, is all over the rulebooks. MT no longer feels like the wide-open ruleset for referees to design their own sf universes, now it just feels like a set of rules for playing in the Rebellion.

TOO MUCH ERRATA: The errata in MT was REALLY bad. Not just typos and screwed-up table formatting, but entire blocks of crucial text missing, rules misformatted so badly that the meaning is entirely lost or changed. Unless you've got a full set of the errata, key portions of the rules are essentially unplayable.

TOO LITTLE SUPPORT: As stated above, GDW didn't really seem to care about MT, and their own support for the line was very tepid (DGP's support was much better, but as a smaller company their material wasn't distributed as widely and they didn't have the GDW brand-name advantage). Thus even people who made it past the first four hurdles were hung out to dry unless they also knew about DGP.

And I think that just about covers it. I really liked MT, it was my introduction to Traveller and is still IMO the best set of rules for the game. But with all five of the above factors working against it it never really stood a chance. By the time GDW began to care about Traveller again (c. 1992) MT was buried in such a hole that rather than try to dig it out they felt it was better and easier to just make a clean break and start over (thus TNE).
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  #14  
Old September 21st, 2003, 04:49 AM
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The rights problem with MT has nothing to do with the ruleset or any of the supplements published by GDW, only the stuff published by Digest Group Publications. The problem is that during most of the MT period GDW was largely neglecting the game (focusing instead on their other games like T2K and Space:1889) and DGP was pretty much carrying the ball -- from 1988 to 1990 they released 6 MT supplements to GDW's released 5 (one of those being just a book of unadorned ship stats and another of them actually written by DGP even though GDW published it). Thus, with the DGP material off-limits, any MT re-release would feel incomplete, and rightly so.

As for people's complaints about MT, as far as I can tell they largely come down to the following:

TOO COMPLEX: MT combined all of the most complicated CT options into one package and made it the baseline. The problem was that people who didn't use all of the advanced rules now didn't have a choice. You could no longer design a ship using just Book 2, now you had to use a combination of High Guard and Striker. Likewise with combat (AHL), trade and commerce (Book 7), worlds (Book 6), and even tasks (no more "roll 8+ to succeed," now everybody had to learn the format and procedure of the DGP system).

TOO FLASHY: CT fans liked the minimal style of the LBBs, and MT didn't have that. Instead it had lots of flashy artwork (including that cheesy Jim Holloway cartoon on the cover of the Players Manual) and a pricetag to match ($30 for the MT set vs $6 for a LBB or $12 for Starter Traveller).

TOO MUCH STORY: In CT the setting was always in the background -- the Imperium isn't mentioned once in Books 1-3. In MT the Imperium, and specifically the Rebellion storyline, is all over the rulebooks. MT no longer feels like the wide-open ruleset for referees to design their own sf universes, now it just feels like a set of rules for playing in the Rebellion.

TOO MUCH ERRATA: The errata in MT was REALLY bad. Not just typos and screwed-up table formatting, but entire blocks of crucial text missing, rules misformatted so badly that the meaning is entirely lost or changed. Unless you've got a full set of the errata, key portions of the rules are essentially unplayable.

TOO LITTLE SUPPORT: As stated above, GDW didn't really seem to care about MT, and their own support for the line was very tepid (DGP's support was much better, but as a smaller company their material wasn't distributed as widely and they didn't have the GDW brand-name advantage). Thus even people who made it past the first four hurdles were hung out to dry unless they also knew about DGP.

And I think that just about covers it. I really liked MT, it was my introduction to Traveller and is still IMO the best set of rules for the game. But with all five of the above factors working against it it never really stood a chance. By the time GDW began to care about Traveller again (c. 1992) MT was buried in such a hole that rather than try to dig it out they felt it was better and easier to just make a clean break and start over (thus TNE).
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  #15  
Old September 21st, 2003, 04:49 AM
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The rights problem with MT has nothing to do with the ruleset or any of the supplements published by GDW, only the stuff published by Digest Group Publications. The problem is that during most of the MT period GDW was largely neglecting the game (focusing instead on their other games like T2K and Space:1889) and DGP was pretty much carrying the ball -- from 1988 to 1990 they released 6 MT supplements to GDW's released 5 (one of those being just a book of unadorned ship stats and another of them actually written by DGP even though GDW published it). Thus, with the DGP material off-limits, any MT re-release would feel incomplete, and rightly so.

As for people's complaints about MT, as far as I can tell they largely come down to the following:

TOO COMPLEX: MT combined all of the most complicated CT options into one package and made it the baseline. The problem was that people who didn't use all of the advanced rules now didn't have a choice. You could no longer design a ship using just Book 2, now you had to use a combination of High Guard and Striker. Likewise with combat (AHL), trade and commerce (Book 7), worlds (Book 6), and even tasks (no more "roll 8+ to succeed," now everybody had to learn the format and procedure of the DGP system).

TOO FLASHY: CT fans liked the minimal style of the LBBs, and MT didn't have that. Instead it had lots of flashy artwork (including that cheesy Jim Holloway cartoon on the cover of the Players Manual) and a pricetag to match ($30 for the MT set vs $6 for a LBB or $12 for Starter Traveller).

TOO MUCH STORY: In CT the setting was always in the background -- the Imperium isn't mentioned once in Books 1-3. In MT the Imperium, and specifically the Rebellion storyline, is all over the rulebooks. MT no longer feels like the wide-open ruleset for referees to design their own sf universes, now it just feels like a set of rules for playing in the Rebellion.

TOO MUCH ERRATA: The errata in MT was REALLY bad. Not just typos and screwed-up table formatting, but entire blocks of crucial text missing, rules misformatted so badly that the meaning is entirely lost or changed. Unless you've got a full set of the errata, key portions of the rules are essentially unplayable.

TOO LITTLE SUPPORT: As stated above, GDW didn't really seem to care about MT, and their own support for the line was very tepid (DGP's support was much better, but as a smaller company their material wasn't distributed as widely and they didn't have the GDW brand-name advantage). Thus even people who made it past the first four hurdles were hung out to dry unless they also knew about DGP.

And I think that just about covers it. I really liked MT, it was my introduction to Traveller and is still IMO the best set of rules for the game. But with all five of the above factors working against it it never really stood a chance. By the time GDW began to care about Traveller again (c. 1992) MT was buried in such a hole that rather than try to dig it out they felt it was better and easier to just make a clean break and start over (thus TNE).
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  #16  
Old September 22nd, 2003, 12:00 AM
kaladorn kaladorn is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by T. Foster:
The rights problem with MT has nothing to do with the ruleset or any of the supplements published by GDW, only the stuff published by Digest Group Publications. The problem is that during most of the MT period GDW was largely neglecting the game (focusing instead on their other games like T2K and Space:1889) and DGP was pretty much carrying the ball -- from 1988 to 1990 they released 6 MT supplements to GDW's released 5 (one of those being just a book of unadorned ship stats and another of them actually written by DGP even though GDW published it). Thus, with the DGP material off-limits, any MT re-release would feel incomplete, and rightly so.
You positive? I had thought from what I had read that the rules could not be re-released either.

Quote:

TOO COMPLEX: MT combined all of the most complicated CT options into one package and made it the baseline. The problem was that people who didn't use all of the advanced rules now didn't have a choice. You could no longer design a ship using just Book 2, now you had to use a combination of High Guard and Striker. Likewise with combat (AHL), trade and commerce (Book 7), worlds (Book 6), and even tasks (no more "roll 8+ to succeed," now everybody had to learn the format and procedure of the DGP system).
All but the last one are valid comments. In the old game, it wasn't just 'roll 8+'. For all the weapons, there were two strength ratings and two modifiers (one on the low side, one on the high side). And some things specified rolls other than 8 IIRC. And there wasn't a lot of (IMO) logic to it. The MT skill system was actually something to learn (a minor thing), but in the end, it allowed you to run the game without any reference to the rulebooks (I actually did just that for over 2 years... rulebook references were minimal during play). I find the defence of the classic CT 'skill system' to be a dubious one.... (not saying you personally were saying that.... just commenting on the general sentiment some have advanced)

Quote:
TOO FLASHY: CT fans liked the minimal style of the LBBs, and MT didn't have that. Instead it had lots of flashy artwork (including that cheesy Jim Holloway cartoon on the cover of the Players Manual) and a pricetag to match ($30 for the MT set vs $6 for a LBB or $12 for Starter Traveller).
I guess I live in Canada, so I had a different perspective. I started with Deluxe Traveller, which set me back about 20-25 bucks at the time. And then to add high gaurd, scouts, merchants, and mercenary added about another 25 bucks. So I'd shelled out 50 dollars. And I got all that and more (as far as making characters goes) in MT for about 35 bucks.

Quote:
TOO MUCH STORY: In CT the setting was always in the background -- the Imperium isn't mentioned once in Books 1-3. In MT the Imperium, and specifically the Rebellion storyline, is all over the rulebooks. MT no longer feels like the wide-open ruleset for referees to design their own sf universes, now it just feels like a set of rules for playing in the Rebellion.
Of course, by the time you had added books 4-8 and various supplements and adventures, you had a lot of background. So although this comment is valid about the ruleset, CT did (when taken in the whole) have a lot of setting served up with it.

Quote:
TOO MUCH ERRATA: The errata in MT was REALLY bad. Not just typos and screwed-up table formatting, but entire blocks of crucial text missing, rules misformatted so badly that the meaning is entirely lost or changed. Unless you've got a full set of the errata, key portions of the rules are essentially unplayable.
I can't think of many portions that I'd call 'unplayable' unless you're a gearhead. But the errata was *very bad*.

Quote:
TOO LITTLE SUPPORT: As stated above, GDW didn't really seem to care about MT, and their own support for the line was very tepid (DGP's support was much better, but as a smaller company their material wasn't distributed as widely and they didn't have the GDW brand-name advantage). Thus even people who made it past the first four hurdles were hung out to dry unless they also knew about DGP.
Until the advent of Hunter and QLI, I'd say that problem was persisting up to today. (Well, maybe Mr. Jackson should get some kudos too.... I'm thinking of T4 when I criticise).

Quote:
And I think that just about covers it. I really liked MT, it was my introduction to Traveller and is still IMO the best set of rules for the game. But with all five of the above factors working against it it never really stood a chance. By the time GDW began to care about Traveller again (c. 1992) MT was buried in such a hole that rather than try to dig it out they felt it was better and easier to just make a clean break and start over (thus TNE).
Though, depending on where you were to have taken a hold of the situation, it seems to me that Norris was right and the Imperium could have been hauled out of the slide.... up to a certain point in time.
__________________
"Tell them, that from this place we will deliver notice to the parliaments of conquerors that a line has been drawn against the darkness. And we will hold that line, .. no matter the cost." -- Cpt. Sheridan "The Long, Twilight Struggle"
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  #17  
Old September 22nd, 2003, 12:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by T. Foster:
The rights problem with MT has nothing to do with the ruleset or any of the supplements published by GDW, only the stuff published by Digest Group Publications. The problem is that during most of the MT period GDW was largely neglecting the game (focusing instead on their other games like T2K and Space:1889) and DGP was pretty much carrying the ball -- from 1988 to 1990 they released 6 MT supplements to GDW's released 5 (one of those being just a book of unadorned ship stats and another of them actually written by DGP even though GDW published it). Thus, with the DGP material off-limits, any MT re-release would feel incomplete, and rightly so.
You positive? I had thought from what I had read that the rules could not be re-released either.

Quote:

TOO COMPLEX: MT combined all of the most complicated CT options into one package and made it the baseline. The problem was that people who didn't use all of the advanced rules now didn't have a choice. You could no longer design a ship using just Book 2, now you had to use a combination of High Guard and Striker. Likewise with combat (AHL), trade and commerce (Book 7), worlds (Book 6), and even tasks (no more "roll 8+ to succeed," now everybody had to learn the format and procedure of the DGP system).
All but the last one are valid comments. In the old game, it wasn't just 'roll 8+'. For all the weapons, there were two strength ratings and two modifiers (one on the low side, one on the high side). And some things specified rolls other than 8 IIRC. And there wasn't a lot of (IMO) logic to it. The MT skill system was actually something to learn (a minor thing), but in the end, it allowed you to run the game without any reference to the rulebooks (I actually did just that for over 2 years... rulebook references were minimal during play). I find the defence of the classic CT 'skill system' to be a dubious one.... (not saying you personally were saying that.... just commenting on the general sentiment some have advanced)

Quote:
TOO FLASHY: CT fans liked the minimal style of the LBBs, and MT didn't have that. Instead it had lots of flashy artwork (including that cheesy Jim Holloway cartoon on the cover of the Players Manual) and a pricetag to match ($30 for the MT set vs $6 for a LBB or $12 for Starter Traveller).
I guess I live in Canada, so I had a different perspective. I started with Deluxe Traveller, which set me back about 20-25 bucks at the time. And then to add high gaurd, scouts, merchants, and mercenary added about another 25 bucks. So I'd shelled out 50 dollars. And I got all that and more (as far as making characters goes) in MT for about 35 bucks.

Quote:
TOO MUCH STORY: In CT the setting was always in the background -- the Imperium isn't mentioned once in Books 1-3. In MT the Imperium, and specifically the Rebellion storyline, is all over the rulebooks. MT no longer feels like the wide-open ruleset for referees to design their own sf universes, now it just feels like a set of rules for playing in the Rebellion.
Of course, by the time you had added books 4-8 and various supplements and adventures, you had a lot of background. So although this comment is valid about the ruleset, CT did (when taken in the whole) have a lot of setting served up with it.

Quote:
TOO MUCH ERRATA: The errata in MT was REALLY bad. Not just typos and screwed-up table formatting, but entire blocks of crucial text missing, rules misformatted so badly that the meaning is entirely lost or changed. Unless you've got a full set of the errata, key portions of the rules are essentially unplayable.
I can't think of many portions that I'd call 'unplayable' unless you're a gearhead. But the errata was *very bad*.

Quote:
TOO LITTLE SUPPORT: As stated above, GDW didn't really seem to care about MT, and their own support for the line was very tepid (DGP's support was much better, but as a smaller company their material wasn't distributed as widely and they didn't have the GDW brand-name advantage). Thus even people who made it past the first four hurdles were hung out to dry unless they also knew about DGP.
Until the advent of Hunter and QLI, I'd say that problem was persisting up to today. (Well, maybe Mr. Jackson should get some kudos too.... I'm thinking of T4 when I criticise).

Quote:
And I think that just about covers it. I really liked MT, it was my introduction to Traveller and is still IMO the best set of rules for the game. But with all five of the above factors working against it it never really stood a chance. By the time GDW began to care about Traveller again (c. 1992) MT was buried in such a hole that rather than try to dig it out they felt it was better and easier to just make a clean break and start over (thus TNE).
Though, depending on where you were to have taken a hold of the situation, it seems to me that Norris was right and the Imperium could have been hauled out of the slide.... up to a certain point in time.
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  #18  
Old September 22nd, 2003, 12:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by T. Foster:
The rights problem with MT has nothing to do with the ruleset or any of the supplements published by GDW, only the stuff published by Digest Group Publications. The problem is that during most of the MT period GDW was largely neglecting the game (focusing instead on their other games like T2K and Space:1889) and DGP was pretty much carrying the ball -- from 1988 to 1990 they released 6 MT supplements to GDW's released 5 (one of those being just a book of unadorned ship stats and another of them actually written by DGP even though GDW published it). Thus, with the DGP material off-limits, any MT re-release would feel incomplete, and rightly so.
You positive? I had thought from what I had read that the rules could not be re-released either.

Quote:

TOO COMPLEX: MT combined all of the most complicated CT options into one package and made it the baseline. The problem was that people who didn't use all of the advanced rules now didn't have a choice. You could no longer design a ship using just Book 2, now you had to use a combination of High Guard and Striker. Likewise with combat (AHL), trade and commerce (Book 7), worlds (Book 6), and even tasks (no more "roll 8+ to succeed," now everybody had to learn the format and procedure of the DGP system).
All but the last one are valid comments. In the old game, it wasn't just 'roll 8+'. For all the weapons, there were two strength ratings and two modifiers (one on the low side, one on the high side). And some things specified rolls other than 8 IIRC. And there wasn't a lot of (IMO) logic to it. The MT skill system was actually something to learn (a minor thing), but in the end, it allowed you to run the game without any reference to the rulebooks (I actually did just that for over 2 years... rulebook references were minimal during play). I find the defence of the classic CT 'skill system' to be a dubious one.... (not saying you personally were saying that.... just commenting on the general sentiment some have advanced)

Quote:
TOO FLASHY: CT fans liked the minimal style of the LBBs, and MT didn't have that. Instead it had lots of flashy artwork (including that cheesy Jim Holloway cartoon on the cover of the Players Manual) and a pricetag to match ($30 for the MT set vs $6 for a LBB or $12 for Starter Traveller).
I guess I live in Canada, so I had a different perspective. I started with Deluxe Traveller, which set me back about 20-25 bucks at the time. And then to add high gaurd, scouts, merchants, and mercenary added about another 25 bucks. So I'd shelled out 50 dollars. And I got all that and more (as far as making characters goes) in MT for about 35 bucks.

Quote:
TOO MUCH STORY: In CT the setting was always in the background -- the Imperium isn't mentioned once in Books 1-3. In MT the Imperium, and specifically the Rebellion storyline, is all over the rulebooks. MT no longer feels like the wide-open ruleset for referees to design their own sf universes, now it just feels like a set of rules for playing in the Rebellion.
Of course, by the time you had added books 4-8 and various supplements and adventures, you had a lot of background. So although this comment is valid about the ruleset, CT did (when taken in the whole) have a lot of setting served up with it.

Quote:
TOO MUCH ERRATA: The errata in MT was REALLY bad. Not just typos and screwed-up table formatting, but entire blocks of crucial text missing, rules misformatted so badly that the meaning is entirely lost or changed. Unless you've got a full set of the errata, key portions of the rules are essentially unplayable.
I can't think of many portions that I'd call 'unplayable' unless you're a gearhead. But the errata was *very bad*.

Quote:
TOO LITTLE SUPPORT: As stated above, GDW didn't really seem to care about MT, and their own support for the line was very tepid (DGP's support was much better, but as a smaller company their material wasn't distributed as widely and they didn't have the GDW brand-name advantage). Thus even people who made it past the first four hurdles were hung out to dry unless they also knew about DGP.
Until the advent of Hunter and QLI, I'd say that problem was persisting up to today. (Well, maybe Mr. Jackson should get some kudos too.... I'm thinking of T4 when I criticise).

Quote:
And I think that just about covers it. I really liked MT, it was my introduction to Traveller and is still IMO the best set of rules for the game. But with all five of the above factors working against it it never really stood a chance. By the time GDW began to care about Traveller again (c. 1992) MT was buried in such a hole that rather than try to dig it out they felt it was better and easier to just make a clean break and start over (thus TNE).
Though, depending on where you were to have taken a hold of the situation, it seems to me that Norris was right and the Imperium could have been hauled out of the slide.... up to a certain point in time.
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  #19  
Old September 22nd, 2003, 12:50 AM
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Mind you, My Lords, I care mostly for the quality of roleplaying rather than rules minutae on the whole, but...

I for one thouroughly enjoyed the zen-like simplicity given by CT. MT, from the minute I bought the book (I am a completist, after all...) It was a very big disappointment to me. The whole Rebellion plotline seemed like a warmed-over
L. Ron Hubbard scenario, which is not meant as a complement, by any stretch...

Mechanically, I found the entire task system as, uneccessary, unimaginative, and clumsy, and the vehicle design rules just plain awkward and overcomplicated, as if the defense department and the guy who wrote my VCR Manual had written them...

My group at the time went right back to CT, saving some MT stuff for background data...

It sort of seemed as if MT was designed and executed to buy into the "fad" game mechanics at the time, and came off as a Johnny Come Lately...

Strange, My own "Long Night" from gaming came shortly after its release... a particulary edifying period of time... I viewed most other games of the period as crap, and was "bummed" that Traveller had sunk to meet the occasion...

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Old September 22nd, 2003, 12:50 AM
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Mind you, My Lords, I care mostly for the quality of roleplaying rather than rules minutae on the whole, but...

I for one thouroughly enjoyed the zen-like simplicity given by CT. MT, from the minute I bought the book (I am a completist, after all...) It was a very big disappointment to me. The whole Rebellion plotline seemed like a warmed-over
L. Ron Hubbard scenario, which is not meant as a complement, by any stretch...

Mechanically, I found the entire task system as, uneccessary, unimaginative, and clumsy, and the vehicle design rules just plain awkward and overcomplicated, as if the defense department and the guy who wrote my VCR Manual had written them...

My group at the time went right back to CT, saving some MT stuff for background data...

It sort of seemed as if MT was designed and executed to buy into the "fad" game mechanics at the time, and came off as a Johnny Come Lately...

Strange, My own "Long Night" from gaming came shortly after its release... a particulary edifying period of time... I viewed most other games of the period as crap, and was "bummed" that Traveller had sunk to meet the occasion...

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