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Old December 1st, 2009, 11:11 PM
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The first time I picked up Mongoose's Conan RPG, I was stunned. It was the Atlantean Edition I was holding, and, wow, what a book to behold. As soon as I turned the pages I actually felt the Hyborian Age pulling at me.
From this, we know, that Mongoose can bring us some inspiring looking game books.
I've got this Mongoose Traveller Core Rule Book that a friend gave me (he hates the game and was going to toss it)...so, why don't I get that same feeling I had for Conan when I flip through the MGT book?
Well, mainly because the presentation looks like something I could do using Word and a decent printer. It looks fan made. Not professional.
Heck, some of the newer Traveller fanzines look better.

Let's take a look at the art, each illo and picture given to us in that book.

Very Traveller:
(Pretty Good stuff! Fires the imagination! Has a Traveller feel!)
The Vargr on pg. 46.
The action scenes on pg. 70.
The equipment illos. on pgs. 90, 96, 99, 100, 101.
The spacecraft on pgs. 135, 138.
The cover.


So-So.
(Servicable, "OK", art that is uninspired. Doesn't really fire the imagination the way it should.)
The Droyne on pg. 43.
The Hiver on pg. 44.
The Zhodani on pg. 47.
The action scenes on pgs. 51, 53, 54, 57, 58, 62, 74, 77, 81, 86, 95, 162, 172
The equipment illos. on pgs. 93, 98
Spacecraft on pg. 105, 112, 114, 117, 119, 121, 123, 126, 127, 129, 131, 132, 133, 136, 145, 148

Crap:
(No art at all would be better than these pics.)
The character art on pgs. 11, 13, 15, 17, 19, 21, 23, 25, 27, 29, 31, 33, 39, 159, 174
The aslan on pg. 42.
The K'kree on pg. 45.
The action scenes on pgs. 50, 56, 58, 65, 88, 103, 104
Spacecraft on 125
The world on pg. 180


Of course, this is just one Traveller fan's opinion, but, in my estimation, the Core book has very few pics that make me feel the universe and an overwhelming number of stuff that is either unispiring or just plain should be removed and replaced with white space or additional text if available.
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Old December 1st, 2009, 11:50 PM
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It IS done with word... or, more correctly, it all originates in MS Word, and the tags in the playtest docs bear out that.

It looks (peeking at the metadata) that they use In Design for layout; the PDF of the core rules is generated by In Design.

Now, the real question is, which printing? they changed the art at some point.
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Old December 2nd, 2009, 12:08 AM
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...Why do you keep doing this? Every so often you pop up in the Mongoose forum and fire off some sort of criticism at Mongoose Traveller. Anyone who's been reading this forum for any length of time already know that you don't like MgT, that you feel it missed the mark. Indeed, that CT is the perfect incarnation of the Traveller ruleset, and the OTU represents the best that Traveller can do. We get it. Many may agree, many likewise disagree, but everyone gets it.

It almost seems like you are either trolling for an argument, or else you want to scare any newbie off from either Mongoose Traveler or these boards.

If you have something constructive to say, cool. Or even something new to say would be welcome. The constant harping helps no one.

As you have pointed out many times, you still have CT, and CT's version of the OTU. Go play it. Have fun with it. Personally, I never liked CT that much, and to be honest your constant, glowing (and near-sighted) praise is starting to grate.

Leave the people who like, and play, Mongoose Traveller alone. Like it or not, MgT is what it bringing new players to Traveller. They may not play it the way you like, but so what? You play what, and how you want. Let them do the same.

For the record, I agree that much of the art in the initial printing isn't great, but so was much of the art in my version of Starter Traveller. <shrug> I still like MgT. Maybe not as much as TNE, but I still like it.
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Old December 2nd, 2009, 12:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Colin View Post
...Why do you keep doing this?
Well...it'd be nice if the Mongoose book looked as good as their Conan book, wouldn't it?

Wouldn't you like this incredible, Traveller-inspiring feast for the eyes...instead of, um..what it is?
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Old December 2nd, 2009, 12:19 AM
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Sure. But there hasn't been a good-looking Traveller rule book since, well, ever, (except for GURPS). CT was attractive, I suppose, in a minimalist sort of way. Today, though, it looks like something a kid threw together with MS Word and a laser printer...

But it's the constant criticism that is getting tiresome. You've even made the point about the artwork in MgT versus Conan before, too. More than once.
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Old December 2nd, 2009, 12:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Colin View Post
But it's the constant criticism that is getting tiresome. You've even made the point about the artwork in MgT versus Conan before, too. More than once.
I bring the Conan up as an example of what Mongoose can do.

If they'd done as good a job on Traveller as they did on Conan, we'd have a lot of happy Traveller players out here.
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Old December 2nd, 2009, 12:51 AM
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One of the things I liked about 30+ year old Traveller was the fact that the books had very little art, as opposed to the D&D and Gamma World and all the other stuff whose art work was amateur at best and childish at worst. By comparison, Traveller looked like it was actually marketed for use by adults.

So keep your artwork and put the budget into diagrams and maps that are useful play-aids.

And by the way, I love to introduce artwork into games. But until Traveller gets its art done by the likes of Wayne Barlow, I'll go right to the source, thank you very much.
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Old December 2nd, 2009, 06:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colin View Post
Sure. But there hasn't been a good-looking Traveller rule book since, well, ever, (except for GURPS). CT was attractive, I suppose, in a minimalist sort of way. Today, though, it looks like something a kid threw together with MS Word and a laser printer...

But it's the constant criticism that is getting tiresome. You've even made the point about the artwork in MgT versus Conan before, too. More than once.
Well I thought the DGP Alien Modules had excellent art. Doesn't come much better than Blair Reynolds, Mike Vilardi, William Jordan and Tom Peters.

And s4 does raise a valid point. There really is a lot of pretty poor art in all the Mongoose Traveller books but especially the first printing Core Rulebook. A shame as they have proven time and time again that they can get great art from fantastic artists. Doesn't detract from the game though and it is the game I'm playing at the moment (though I'd rather be playing MT or even 2300)
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Old December 2nd, 2009, 06:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colin View Post
Sure. But there hasn't been a good-looking Traveller rule book since, well, ever, (except for GURPS). CT was attractive, I suppose, in a minimalist sort of way. Today, though, it looks like something a kid threw together with MS Word and a laser printer...

But it's the constant criticism that is getting tiresome. You've even made the point about the artwork in MgT versus Conan before, too. More than once.
I disagree with that. Sure, Traveller-Books always had a "technical" layout. One that I found quite fitting for a SciFi game that swings more towards "hard SciFi" and "pro-Tech". The decorated sidebars of the Conan books look fitting for Conan but for Traveller this won't feel right. MgT's layout is generally ok with some things that may be errors (The boxes in the basic rules set that invade the page margin) or are errors (TheTextThatHasNoWhitespace). Just because it comes out of Word does not make a layout good or bad. Granted, LaTeX would make a good layout easier

But the Art in the elder Traveller books (MT, TNE, GT, T20) was overall better than most of what Mongoose currently uses. The ships are the worst thing in MgT lacking the clean, utilarian look of Traveller but many of the pictures are too "Cartoony" (like the "Merc Chick with BFG-9000" im Merc) or look to cheap. Sure the old books had bad ones too but they hit more often than they miss while MgT does it the other way round.
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Old December 2nd, 2009, 09:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Supplement Four View Post
Let's take a look at the art, each illo and picture given to us in that book.

Very Traveller:
(Pretty Good stuff! Fires the imagination! Has a Traveller feel!)
The Vargr on pg. 46.

So-So.
(Servicable, "OK", art that is uninspired. Doesn't really fire the imagination the way it should.)
The Droyne on pg. 43.
The Hiver on pg. 44.
The Zhodani on pg. 47.

Crap:
(No art at all would be better than these pics.)
The aslan on pg. 42.
The K'kree on pg. 45.
I find this very confusing. I am pretty sure that I have the first edition PDF, so perhaps we are looking at different images, but all of the illustrations from page 42 to 47 appear to be in exactly the same 'style', of exactly the same quality and (probably) by exactly the same artist. So how can they range from "fires the imagination" to "crap"?

They are also in a style nearly identical to the best of the Classic Traveller illustrations.

If we are indeed looking at the same artwork, then your criteria is not one of technical merit (the physical quality of the artwork) but a measure of the degree to which each images matches your view of what that image should look like. From your past statements, I would assume that your view of what it should look like is based on the original Classic Traveller artwork.

I mean at the core, these are basic SF alien tropes: Dog-like alien, Cat-like alien, tentacle alien, bird-like alien, and the MgT images appear to have captured the basics of those archetypes.
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