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MegaTraveller Discuss of the MegaTraveller ruleset and the Rebellion Milieu

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  #1  
Old July 19th, 2018, 02:07 PM
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Default Rebellion Redux

I have seen a lot of criticism of how the Rebellion history was presented in MT.

Let's grant that Dulinor does the deed. Maybe he's lightly wounded by the Aslan ambassador, but he still manages to murder the Emperor, Empress, and Grand-Princess.
His men kill the Emperor's men.

But the coup on Capitol fails and he's forced to flee back to his home sector.

Okay.

What about the canonical events that follow strikes you as implausible or un-fun?
What seems good?
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Old July 19th, 2018, 07:00 PM
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Oh, and if the Rebellion era appeals to you just as it was published, please tell me.

I have seen the MT books, but I never had the chance to play it.
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Old July 20th, 2018, 01:34 AM
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From what I've read, MT was supposed to be 'classic version 2' with a lot of scattered rules gathered and cleaned up and a task system with difficulty levels introduced instead of all the various mods from classic.

I hadn't played classic, so I can't speak to which was better, but that was the main thrust of the designer's notes. The MT system works fine, we ran games with it, there were bits that people could quibble with if they wanted, but find a system without those.

The Rebellion itself - again, from the designer's notes, it seemed to be an attempt to let PC groups do heroic deeds of derring-do. The difference was, instead of a bank job in 'the Imperium' that would make them hunted by police all across Strephon's Imperium, you could pop across into enemy territory, do your derring, and be home in time for cornflakes.

But.

Lots of implausible stuff happens, because it was 'in the script'.

Most of the scripted events were of the un-fun variety, frankly. MT's 3I was set up as a place for the PCs to save the day, but they trashed the whole Imperium to do this. Worse, almost the only material released were the core books, telling you what the latest nastiness was. And no faction was winning, so everything just ground down.

I think there was some staff turnover at one point, and there actually were some adventure materials done later in the period - Astrogator's Guide to Diaspora, Arrival Vengeace, Assignment Vigiliante. Those were all good, but not worth trashing the Imperium for. But by then, the horse was out of the barn.

Eventually the company called it a day, got out the broom that was Virus, and swept the whole mess into the New Era so they could try to pick up the pieces. TNE got blamed for 'ruining Traveller' but I think the Rebellion really broke things. I mean really, the Emperor and his family are assassinated but the assassin fouls up so badly he has to flee - what good is going to come from that start?

The Imperium was big enough that it could offer anything a group of PCs could want. Yes, if they decide to be bad guys, they're going to get chased.

So, no, I did not like the Rebellion timeline. The above products were good, I enjoyed the COACC book a lot, the Referee's Companion has lots of good background info. There was a lot of though-provoking commentary in later "Traveller News Service" updates in Challenge magazine. There's a lot there that could do you well in any Imperial campaign.

I *do* recommend MT for its character generation, though - I'd suggest that if you want 2d6, use MT rules. Or if you want d20, use TNE rules, also good chargen rules. But for the sake of the tens of billions of innocent Imperial victims, don't play Rebellion background.
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Old July 20th, 2018, 05:44 AM
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I disagree with jcrocker in many points.

First of all, I agree with him about the MT rules (ship combat and trade excepted) being quite good, but I undertand this is quite off topic, as what we're asked here is about the background.

I see MT history and setting as quite flawled too, not finiding much logic on it, but, unlike jcrocker, I think this less stable setting gives quite more place for adventure (though players are unlike to "save the day" as he says), so not putting it in the un-fun cathergory 8just the illogical one).

The part I see less logical is the Vargr incursions. As the Vargr are described both in CT:AM3 and in MT:V&V, I don't see the mas having large ships fleets strong enough as to confront even Imperial reserve and planetary squadrons (the fall of Gemid, a TL 16 Industrial system client state is a paradigm of the absurdness of it, IMHO).

As I expressed several times (and many have disagreed to me, so it's quite a personal opinion), the disgressing among what rules would allow and the results of the Rebellion (mostly in Ship Combat) is another thing that disturbs me about the rules/setting combo (but that happened too with FFW, mostly in the SW front, where the SW fleets would have been easily whiped out by a single IN squadron just for computer difference if played with HG rules).

I can (by making an effort) even accept the Imperial fragmentation (after all, and giving no names to avoid RW politics, we've lived the quick fragmentation of what was seen as stable states).

The Solomani front is the one I can accept the easiest, once the Solomani see the internal struggle in the 3I, but the fact they were so easily stoped so short of their goals with the IN quarrleing among themselves puzzles me, to say the least.

And I see as one of its history line maiun flaws the appearence of the Virus as a setting killer when many earlier supplements (at least in their literary introductions) pointed to a latter reunification of the Imperim (though if there was a hint as how, I missed it).

Of course, YMMV...
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Old July 20th, 2018, 10:22 AM
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The Vargr incursions are preposterous - an AI sim unites disparate Vargr groups and launches an assault on the vulnerable Imperium - but that is not as suspender snapping as the Aslan invasions...

too much god mode maneuvering of fleets that the in game communication lag makes impossible...

a total lack of attention to what a group of Travellers would do in the setting.

The game should have started in 1125 with new characters having had the opportunity to have served in the battles and conflict, with detail of the safes and wilds much like Hard Times eventually provided IMHO (I really like the Hard Times era for adventuring possibilities).
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Old July 20th, 2018, 01:21 PM
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I liked the civil war concept.

The execution, however...
The switch to Challenge from JTAS, while sensible on its face, cut the Traveller content too much to allow good support. Most of the support was in the TAS Newsfeed, which continued in Challenge.
Likewise, the cancelling of the majority of 3PP licenses meant much less material. DGP and Seeker are the only ones that come to mind. Even DGP, tho', divided their time between MT and 2300.

The shift to MTJ also was an issue. (pun intentional). It really didn't address running the rebellion.

It was to be a ref's playground, but, as noted, it didn't provide the support for that.

Still, it runs the classic era just fine, and it's UWP compatible with Bk5, so the older fans with Bk5 could just use Bk5 instead of the cumbersome MT design sequences.
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Old July 20th, 2018, 02:43 PM
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Does anyone know if the Rebellion was "Big Gamed" at all?

i.e. Did the designers perhaps take a stab at grabbing a faction and game out a few years just to give it a go?

Or was it just all narrative.

Because what the Rebellion taught me was two things.

One, was how bloody ship combat was. and Two, how little depth the Navies had.

This is why they were able to move quickly initially, but stalemated very rapidly. The fleets blew each other to flinders, consuming themselves very quickly. But despite the industrial might of the Imperium, they out fought their replacements and burned their supply.

The slow replacement rate combined with the slow travel times plus the fragility of the infrastructure was a bad recipe for an extended campaign.
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Old July 20th, 2018, 03:04 PM
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So:


#1 fleet movements of questionable nature given the comms limitations

#2 too many improbable successes for Vargr and Aslan conquerors, as opposed to opportunistic raiders who might seize some poorly defended peripheral worlds

# Virus (though this applies to the end part of the Rebellion Era, not the set-up and early years)
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Old July 20th, 2018, 03:12 PM
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Virus was not a thing in the Rebellion or Hard Times era.

Chuck Gannon who took over the MT line and tried to breath new life into it with Hard Times had a very different version/vision of where things would go - I have the outlines of his ideas saved someplace. He was going to move the setting forward and even introduced a lot of the themes that would make it into TNE - Virus was never mentioned.


Virus was Frank Chadwick's idea for the final nail in the Rebellion era coffin, and brainstorming it with Dave Nilsen the intent was to use it as a mechanism to introduce the now standard sci-fi tropes of intelligent machines and computers into the Traveller OTU.
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Old July 20th, 2018, 04:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whartung View Post
Does anyone know if the Rebellion was "Big Gamed" at all?
From the limited descriptions given... it was more a story-team type meeting. After which Marc went back to work on Europa.

There's very little evidence released, but if it had been, Marc would likely have put it on the CD. He did put the GG on the 2300 CD.
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