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Referee's Lounge Discussion of how to (and not to) Referee Traveller and Cepheus Engine games. No edition warring allowed.

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  #51  
Old March 6th, 2018, 11:33 AM
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Out of the box, in MgT2, the skill advancement system doesn't support that kind of play. IIRC, the rules offer the same slow advancement that CT does, right? Maybe earn 1 skill point over a year's time (usually during downtime that precludes "adventuring").

Sure, you can run Traveller any way you want. This is true of any game. However, rules-as-written, Traveller doesn't really support the "level up" type of play.

Making Traveller support the kind of play that sulu244's players seem to want (lots of action, not a lot of character permanent injury/death, skill advancement) is very hard to bolt onto the rules.
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  #52  
Old March 6th, 2018, 11:55 AM
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An interesting quote from LBB-04, Mercenary: "Since the greatest asset an individual has their pool of skills..." (typographical errors fixed) (Page 14, under "Instruction")

It goes on to say the DM should limit what characters can learn. I have yet to see a functional reason for that. The DM can throw any size of challenge at the player characters without a lot of effort. In the game I'm running Ben Webb is learning to be a starship captain and a merchant. He's not fantastic at either, yet, but is working hard to grow into the roles. I see no reason to tell him he can't. I see lots of opportunities to challenge him as he grows, which will likely fuel his growth.

As noted, there are lots of ways to play Traveller. I'm not finding a lot of difficulty using the game mechanics to add high adventure or skill advancement. atpollard might say character death would have been preferable to meeting Angelo...
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  #53  
Old March 6th, 2018, 03:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Dray View Post
These things are not tangential. They are part of the same problem.

D&D and Pathfinder rules are built with a very specific (and powerful) reward cycle: explore, fight, gain XP, level up. Leveling up opens doors to explore new, more dangerous places and fight bigger, more dangerous monsters. Sure, people do a lot of other things with D&D/PF, but the reward cycle is still there, and anything you do differently has to take that into consideration.

Players who LIKE that reward cycle, or are trained to salivate and the ring of the XP bell, will have to adjust to Traveller, which has an entirely different reward cycle.

Traveller is built more like this: Travel, survive, profit, learn. The galaxy is dangerous and trouble should be avoided or skirted. Traveling to new systems opens up opportunities for profit and knowledge. You'll meet new patrons, build relationships with potential allies, make enemies, and gain leads that you can exploit for fun and profit.

You "level up" by changing your situation for the better, not by improving your character. If you own a ship, you keep it running and pay the mortgage, and you don't even really "level up" the ship by making it much better, either. Maybe you add a laser turret, sure, but you're not turning your 200-dT trader ship into a 5000-dT destroyer, ya know?

There are a lot of great suggestions in the thread.

I'd say you might also want to stop and talk to the group about what their group goals are in the universe, in a sort of "Session 0"-after-the-start. Traveller is very self-directed, too. If players are used to "DM has a module and we go and kill every monster and level up" situation, they will be lost here. It's best not to railroad the story in Traveller. Don't have a story in mind. Have factions and worlds and motivated NPCs in mind, and let the goals of the PCs drive the story.

If the PCs don't have a goal, the story will wander. Bored players are also more likely to just start shooting, because what else is there to do?
Yeah, this is what I was trying to get at, and I think it's a short coming of the game. Originally it was pretty dry in visuals and prose, but had a very rich combat mechanic and tangible starship design and operation mechanic. I think those have kept interest in the system--I know it has for me. But I'm not sure the objectives of paying off the starship and buying new and "better" equipment has been fully nor properly been stated for both Referees and players.

p.s. *edit here* I think the inference from the rules is that you buy gear from whatever world you're on with appropriate price adjustments, and that said equipment works on things at that TL and lower (depending on your interpretation of the rules), but that in order to get high TL equipment that's more expensive, you need to accomplish the adventure. This post script is hindsight on my part, and I could be totally wrong on this, but it seems like the impetus to keep adventuring was that you wanted better stuff so that you could keep adventuring. Ergo, you take on jobs or move goods, mail and people from place to place.
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  #54  
Old March 7th, 2018, 03:12 PM
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It is very clear that the CT ship game had a progression built in- use jump tapes, make money, buy Generate program, make more money, buy weapon, do mail contracts and start speculating, buy better and better weapon/ship programs, lose in battles and pay for repair, buy better starship weapons, etc.

The economics were definitely setup for high risk/high rewards and levelling up the ship and gear.
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  #55  
Old March 7th, 2018, 09:43 PM
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Quote:
The economics were definitely setup for high risk/high rewards and levelling up the ship and gear.
did anyone ever play it that way?
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  #56  
Old March 7th, 2018, 09:45 PM
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did anyone ever play it that way?
Nothing but. Scraping for MicroCredits is a drag.
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Old March 7th, 2018, 09:48 PM
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Nothing but.
really. I'm just remembering that recent poll that asked how often ship-to-ship combat figured in a game, and only one person said frequently, with most answers heavily tilted towards "almost never".
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Old March 7th, 2018, 09:51 PM
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Originally Posted by flykiller View Post
really. I'm just remembering that recent poll that asked how often ship-to-ship combat figured in a game, and only one person said frequently, with most answers heavily tilted towards "almost never".
That's why you build the ship's weaponry; to avoid the fights or make them so fast it's an afterthought. Most pirates won't take on a heavily armed merchant unless the odds are well in the pirates favor.
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