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Liftoff Unofficial discussion related to 13Mann's Traveller: Liftoff set. For official discussion, go to http://forum.13mann.de/wbb/index.php?page=Board&boardID=67.

Note: The project has been cancelled, but the Beta-1.3 files are still available from 13 Mann.


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  #51  
Old September 1st, 2016, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by flykiller View Post
seeing that d&d5e and star wars "are doing quite well", one observes that both are heavily supported with highly-developed pre-provided media of various classes.
5e at least doesn't have much in the way of GM support (it's pretty much all adventure campaigns beyond the three core books). That said the 5e DMG is fantastic, full of ideas and questions to answer about making up your own campaigns, worlds, classes, magic etc. It's truly a toolkit book. And honestly that's more than Traveller has ever had (and it desperately needed it).

If the young people of today are the dullards you claim they are (and they're not) then they'd just stare at that blankly and go "duh, gimme setting". Instead they're crafting their own worlds with it.

Last edited by Spinward Scout; September 2nd, 2016 at 06:11 AM..
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  #52  
Old September 1st, 2016, 03:25 PM
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5e DMG is ... truly a toolkit book. And honestly that's more than Traveller has ever had (and it desperately needed it).
(smile)

yeah, we sat at the table, looking at the blank hex space, 2d6 in hand, wondering, "what world do I put here ....?"
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  #53  
Old September 1st, 2016, 03:32 PM
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But a DM app with rules and utilities, accompanied with a Player App that the DM can send characters and gear and little bits too -- that could be interesting if done right.
such an app would make the entire ruleset available with a few menu button taps, yes. but how much would be immediately relevant? for example, what would you include that would not fit onto creativehum's dm screen? what exactly is to be gained by such an app?
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Old September 1st, 2016, 05:55 PM
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yeah, we sat at the table, looking at the blank hex space, 2d6 in hand, wondering, "what world do I put here ....?"
Traveller had tables to build some aspects of a setting, but no advice (which is in the part that you conveniently replaced with "..." when you quoted me). A proper creative toolkit isn't just a bunch of tools, it's also instructions and advice on how to use them.

Last edited by Spinward Scout; September 2nd, 2016 at 06:12 AM..
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  #55  
Old September 1st, 2016, 06:30 PM
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Traveller had tables to build some aspects of a setting, but no advice (which is in the part that you conveniently replaced with "..." when you quoted me). A proper creative toolkit isn't just a bunch of tools, it's also instructions and advice on how to use them.

Don't kid yourself that you were somehow better off or are somehow smarter for having nothing to help you figure it out in the 1970s. You weren't.
Without doubt original Traveller was a toolkit without instructions. I do think that Traveller Book 0: An Introduction to Traveller was a solid step in the right direction for an instruction set. But it might not be as solid as the material in 5e.

That said, original Traveller game out of a specific hobby mindset. And by that I mean, the publishers assumed anyone buying it already had a) a familiarity with war-games and probably D&D; b) a familiarity with the pulp adventure SF books of the previous three decades. Those were the original sourcebooks that people used as the soil to build their own campaigns.

I'm not arguing your point, flg. I'm agreeing with it. As I said to some friends recently, all my Traveller blogging is basically me trying to fill in all the gaps that were assumed for the game in 1977 and never stated clearly. But I do think it's worth keeping in mind how different the hobby circumstances were back then.
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Old September 1st, 2016, 06:35 PM
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I can't support this point except with an anecdote:

My friends at Harebrained Schemes made an awesome miniatures game called Golem Arcana. It's like Battletech, but with magical creatures. The miniatures are fun, the rules are fun. And there's an app you put on a tablet that lets the game handle all the calculations of firing, movement, and results. It saves a lot of time.

It didn't do very well.

Now, there are lots of reasons why it might not have done very well. But one of them might be that the people who like miniatures games don't want the game to do all that work. I honestly have no idea. But I think there's something to be said for digging into the fun people have and reasons why they are fun -- and that some things that seem like drudgery from the outside often are fun for the people in the middle of it.
The guys I've seen playing Golem Arcana in Anchorage are all under 25. They keep giving up and switching to 40K. Why?

I asked a few of them last summer...
1) 40K has LOTS OF PLAYERS
2) 40K has rules you can use without tech, in case "your mother war-dialed you about leaving the milk on the counter and killed your battery."
3) 40K is simpler to play unautomated than GA is automated.

The die hard will play (and teach) GA on the drop of a hat... but no one else sticks with it, and most of those play 40K.

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I would argue that this whole issues has nothing to do with the age of the consumers. Again, 5e is doing gangbusters right now. And a lot of that will be the younger market. If an RPG is so complicated it needs an app, I don't care whether it came out in the '70s or today, it'll have a tough road. That's an issue for anyone of any age.
5e, at comparable points in the product lifestyle, is well above the sales of 3.0, 3.5, and 4.X lines. 3.X, year for year.

For what it's worth, it's what I've run the most in the last 2 years. FFG Starwars is second. I can't fine a group of 4 to play Traveller when I can find groups of 6+ for Star Wars.
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  #57  
Old September 1st, 2016, 07:43 PM
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such an app would make the entire ruleset available with a few menu button taps, yes. but how much would be immediately relevant? for example, what would you include that would not fit onto creativehum's dm screen? what exactly is to be gained by such an app?
It gives the user the rules in electronic format. Lots of stuff is being sold as a PDF today, and, frankly, I doubt most of it is being printed out. PDF is "OK", and suffers from it's limitations. Try the enormous Starfire Solar Rule PDF. It's, what, 300-400 pages, lots of internal links, and they did a great job, but it still suffers, especially on a touch device. I'd love to be able to mouse over an abbreviation and get its definition right there.

But not just electronic format, but ideally a first class rules format, ideally something better than just links, contents, index, and search. For example, on a iPhone with "3D Touch", you can see a rule reference in the text: "Bullets do stated damage, unless the attack is Dodged, see (Rule 1.23)" and press over the link, and a summary of the rule shows up. If they tap, they jump to the rule, but the summary may well be enough.

You can have an active link: "Players who drink poison must make a Saving Throw against Constitution or suffer 2D6 of damage." Tap the Saving Throw button, and the dice roller app pops up, with the last Character (or NPC) in context (which may or may not be relevant, but the other PCs are right there), so you can tap the "Saving Throw" button for that character. 3D Touch the 2D6, and you get an instant roll.

When you update the "app", you get the Errata incorporated instantly, and correctly (i.e. the indexes are updated, etc.). Of course, you can annotate the rules as well with your own notes. Add your own footnotes, etc.

Ever read a GURPs book that references the Basic Set (or even another GURPs Book), those are all integrated seamlessly (assuming you purchased the relevant modules).

Of course, you have the Char Gen app, the Ship Design App, the Traders Worksheet, a "Play Session" page keeping track of characters, and combat, offering dice rolls, character sheets. Have the player tap the "Roll to hit" button on their app, and the ref gets not just the roll but whether it succeeded (and how well it succeeded). Up to the ref to decide if it DID succeed, but he can see the results of the roll, not just the actual number. He can even set up the context, so that there might be hidden DMs the player doesn't know about.

The ref can stand up combat by selecting the characters, and the relevant NPCs (since they're annotated in the game module): "Starport Bar: It's bustling, late afternoon, happy hour is just starting. If the players remain more than 1/2 hour, Bounty Hunters Rocko and Tex will show up looking for them." 3D Rocko or Tex, and get a quick summary. Click on the Starport Bar, and a map, with the NPCs and the players, may show up, ready for action.

So you end up with an integrated, extensible rules system. Adventures can integrate in to the environment. "Tex will grapple (Rule 2.34) the closest player." Never Grappled before? Well there's a handy reference right in the adventure.

There are all sort of opportunities available with the new medium. It's certainly not easy, but it's available. Over time, perhaps the ref won't need much more than a GM screen, but that doesn't mean that Play Management utilities won't be helpful in the long term.
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Old September 1st, 2016, 08:03 PM
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Have the player tap the "Roll to hit" button on their app, and the ref gets not just the roll but whether it succeeded (and how well it succeeded).
sounds good, but it has to be set up first and I can see that bogging down real quick, because someone will have to specify player/weapon/opponent/distance/whateverElse before the roll can be applied. that's a lot of menu buttons to hit, especially for the referee who has to run all the opponents simultaneously.
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Old September 1st, 2016, 09:09 PM
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CreativeHum... you're very gracious, thank you for that. And for your conversation as well. In the future I'll look a little longer when I figure attributions and such. I appreciate what you said about post count, but it's also clear I'm still getting the lay of the land.

As to Apps & RPGs... two of my worlds, colliding. And you're right - a lot of supposing. Not so much data. My personal feeling is that T5 is too complicated for adoption except for all but the most serious of loyalists or adept of mechanics. My long time with RPGs has this ringing my Spidey sense pretty loudly ( again, no real data ), as I very much would like to see Traveller flourish, using Aramis's point - where you can get a good-sized game together. For me, that's the def of success. I love reading, writing, and talking about it... but for me playing with a group wins hands down.

Games being successful or not is a pretty slippery set of eels to cajole, I'd think. I take a look at a bunch of aspects of Traveller as a game for sale and also as a culture, including the debacle this threat was created to discuss, and I feel like there's a lot of good work to be done. Only a small slice of which I am any sort of expert in.

And yea Flykiller... DnD definitely has some serious support, in many aspects. And the more successful it is, the more successful it becomes. It really doesn't need so much support, because it has a lot going for it from "go." From before that.

And Whartung, yes. To it all. Yes. This is my day thing for the most part, imagining just this then getting it designed. You expressed it better than I would have. As far as how the interface( s ) might go, Flykiller... figuring that is a helluva process. Complex, but good times.

Like Traveller.

Okay, time for me to shhhhhh a bit.
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