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Old May 6th, 2009, 12:32 PM
mbrinkhues mbrinkhues is offline
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Default Why pay more for less (from What you like about MGT)

Rawlins I have a Question:

If you have MegaTraveller, what do you need Mgt for? I have found little(Chargen) to nothing that Mgt can/does do better than MegaTraveller. And a lot that it IMHO does worse (Game Balancing etc.)

So why did/do you think it useful to invest rather large amounts of money in the Mgt rules set/supplements?
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Old May 6th, 2009, 07:20 PM
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I agree with mbrinkhues. MGT has too many problems. I'd stick with CT.
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Old May 6th, 2009, 08:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rawlins View Post
1) I like the basic outline of character generation. My players really like the event rules and the detail that the entire process gives them about their character's backgrounds.

Rawlins,

Players have always been able create their characters' backgrounds. You shouldn't need a bunch of tables to do the job for you. You've got the service, number of terms, skills, and mustering benefits plus branch and mission information from advanced chargen right there in front of you. You've got some major problems if, given all that information, you somehow can't come up with a back story for that character on your own.

Quote:
2) I like the basic task system. It is close enough to MegaTraveller and Striker without having the difficutly levels get too impossible for characters to have a chance to succeed on difficult tasks.
So it's basically the MT task system except for the fact that it lets players succeed more often? You think that's an improvement? Difficult tasks should be just that, difficult and impossible tasks should be, well, impossible. Letting the players succeed more through die rolling rather than role playing is usually not a good idea.

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3) I like the skill list. This has a been said before, but the list of skills is very comprehensive and very balanced.
It's neither comprehensive or balanced, but it does thin out most of MT's and TNE's excesses. Of course, you could have done that on your own.

Quote:
4) Most of all, I like the fact that Mongoose Traveller is close enough to both Classic Traveller and MegaTraveller that I can use most of my older Traveller material to run my campaign. I have been running Traveller since 1983 and it is nice to have a ready supply of extensive reference material. In particular I find both the Striker rules and the MegaTraveller ground combat systems to be very compatibe with Mongoose Traveller. This, for me at least, solves most of the problems with weapons and armor in Mongoose Traveller very nicely.
So, MgT is close enough to CT and MT that you can easily 'port materials between while two and the Striker and MT rules fix most of the weapons and armor problems in MgT?

Tell us why you're spending money on MgT again?

You admit MgT is very close to CT and MT, you admit you need to use older rules to fix MgT flaws, you could have pruned the MT skill list on your own, and a munchkin-friendly task system is no real improvement, so why is it that you've shelled out ~37 USD for the core rules and ~22 USD apiece for the supplements?

You could have bought all of the CT and MT rules and supplements on CD-ROMs for 35 USD each. What is it about MgT that made you pay more for less?


Regards,
Bill
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Old May 6th, 2009, 08:25 PM
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Odd, I thought this post was about what we LIKED about Mongoose...

I like the snappy pictures of each three branches for every career. Some of them are hokey but it gives it a bit more life. I love the Events table (not so much in the newer books though). The ship rules are getting better and remaining simple. Combat is easy and fun. Everything runs smoooooothly.
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Old May 6th, 2009, 09:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Whipsnade View Post
Players have always been able create their characters' backgrounds. You shouldn't need a bunch of tables to do the job for you. You've got the service, number of terms, skills, and mustering benefits plus branch and mission information from advanced chargen right there in front of you. You've got some major problems if, given all that information, you somehow can't come up with a back story for that character on your own.
Now you're being unfair, Bill. I like to think that I have a pretty good imagination, but I still love tables that provide it a springboard. Random generation tables are wonderful servants. They just make terrible masters. By which I mean that random tables should provide skeletons for one's imagination to put meat on, not straitjackets to stifle the imagination.


Quote:
So it's basically the MT task system except for the fact that it lets players succeed more often? You think that's an improvement? Difficult tasks should be just that, difficult and impossible tasks should be, well, impossible. Letting the players succeed more through die rolling rather than role playing is usually not a good idea.
Not for heroes, Bill. Using realistic percentages for heroes make for unrealistic stories. Real life hero tales are after the fact. They're about the people who beat the odds. We don't hear much about the hundreds of poor schmucks who tried but failed. And fiction heroes have the support of their authors. How many Conan stories would there have been if Howard had made an honest assessment of the odds against his hero and rolled dice to see if he made it? Role-playing games don't have either advantage (Well, I've heard from people who favor the realistic method: Keep rolling up new characters every time the realistic odds finishes off another one. Eventually you get one that survives long enough to accomplish something. I can't say I think highly of that approach, but if it works for them...).

OK, this is probably not what you were referring to. If the same rules are used for heroes and non-heroes, I agree that difficult tasks should be difficult. (Heroes just need a way for "fate" to intervene).


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Old May 7th, 2009, 01:07 AM
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Some people apparently have problems reading. This thread was titled "what you LIKE about Mongoose Traveller". If you want to complain, there are other threads to do that in. Complaining here is threadcrapping, pure and simple.

Allen
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Old May 7th, 2009, 03:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Allensh View Post
Some people apparently have problems reading. This thread was titled "what you LIKE about Mongoose Traveller". If you want to complain, there are other threads to do that in. Complaining here is threadcrapping, pure and simple.

Allen
Off topic discussion pulled to own thread.

Allen: organic discussion often results in asking why. It was neither threadcrapping, nor complaining; it was organic flow off the main topic. It was, however, still off topic, and disruptively enough to warrant being pulled out to its own thread.
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Old May 7th, 2009, 06:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kilgs View Post
Odd, I thought this post was about what we LIKED about Mongoose...

I like the snappy pictures of each three branches for every career. Some of them are hokey but it gives it a bit more life. I love the Events table (not so much in the newer books though). The ship rules are getting better and remaining simple. Combat is easy and fun. Everything runs smoooooothly.
That's why I asked the question. I can understand someone prefering Mgt to Classic(1) but the Rawlings liked it better than MegaTraveller. And I still wonder why.

@Ranke:

I always considered the PC's in CT/MT to be a bit larger/better than the "average Joe" of the universe within each PCs specialities. Not overall but I freely admit that a "CanAll" character is a reason to terminate the player.

(1) Not much of a CT fan myself
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Old May 7th, 2009, 06:24 AM
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Short answer:

I bought the MGT books I did because I found things in each that made it worth it to me. I run it because my players like the mechanics with my game (they're not sold on the Imperium, though, so I've dropped it.)

Long answer:

Until a short while I owned the 3 1977 LBBs. Period. Great game, used with my own shipbuilding system, drive rules, and techniques of fleshing out a system and creatures in a system. I never bought anything else back when because my first exposures to HG and Mercenary were very negative, so I wrote all additional materials off and just stuck with what I had.

Then I picked up the CT and JTAS CDs a short while before MGT playtest was announced to get more pregen stuff for my game. These disks are a treasure trove, I plan to buy more of the CDs.

The material, however, had the inevitable tendency to pull my campaign more toward a standard Imperium milieau, since that's what the bulk was written for. After working on some conversions, I started planning to run a short campaign in the Imperium to see whether this would work for me and my players.

Also, a side job had entered my life allowing me some "mad money" to buy the CDs and generally increase the money I could spend on gaming without guilt. The Traveller CDs and a copy of the new Talisman were the first fruits of that.

About this time the Mongoose playtest came along. I suggested giving it a try to my players. Not all wanted to interrupt our current CT game, since it was nearing the dramatic climax, but the consensus was to go ahead and try it over the holidays since attendance was going to be spotty anyway.

We ran it, and my players liked it. The most positive response came from those who least wanted to interrupt our present game, my core group. I had no strong feelings one way or the other, but I felt it worthwhile to plan to buy the core book and run my Imperium campaign with it, even if it meant trying out two things at once, more or less.

I then went on to buy most of the books as they came out. In each case I felt that there was something worth buying the book for. Each is a mixed bag, but I never came away feeling "robbed" (as I had with MRQ.)

Core book:
Crappy art (which I understand has been changed), adds a task system I like better than the Fugate/DGP system I got on my JTAS CD (which I've only recently read. The purchase of the CDs did not result in an index download to my brain, after all.) I've come to like the personal combat system, despite initial misgivings and plans to go back to a more CT-like combat that I originally had.

Mercenary:
Didn't turn out as useful as I hoped, turned out a few characters with the new generation system. I don't like the results the book gives but using it gave me a template for my own expanded career tweaks. Enough of the new equipment is usable as-is to make the book worthwhile.

High Guard:
Big ships are presences in my campaign rather than characters, so I just use the simplified building rules and pre-gens to get generally logical big ships for the game. HG gives me enough to buy it for that. The careers are also better than those in Mercenary.

760 Patrons:
Roll-your-own Amber Zones. I like to use it for sub-plots, red herrings, and fleshing out NPCs quickly in a way that doesn't let my players typecast my NPCs too quickly. Some of my players have played with me for about 20 years, as original as I try to be each time, there's a limit. I also use the CT sources. The more, the better IMO.

Spinward Marches:
By itself it wouldn't have done it for me. With the CT materials it was very useful. I also didn't have to print it out myself. Turned out even more valuable than I expected.

Universe of B5:
An abomination of a book, but with enough good info in it to make launching a B5 campaign a whole lot easier for me. I have a lot of problems with this book, documented elsewhere here and on Mongoose's forums, but it was still worth the money for me.

I've just launched a B5 Traveller campaign using MGT and the players are very happy. I've come to like MGT a lot more than I did initially. Each book has been valuable to me, in spite of problems. As testament to this, I've been having to put off sending back Mercenary and HG to Mongoose for replacement until I can do without the books for a week or two (I expect to send them back in the next couple of weeks.)

I spent money I could afford to spend, and actually enjoyed getting to spend it at the FLGS--much of what I like to buy for gaming isn't carried by Alliance.

Now, I also bought a copy of T4 last week at a local used book store. From my CT-centric viewpoint, I'm seeing where a lot of MGT comes from in that. However, the task system isn't 2D6, and everything is roll-low rather than roll-high. But I like it even though I'm not likely to ever run it. I think the book itself is great even though the art panels aren't the greatest (the Elmore stuff. Where did that rubber-mask alien PC come from? ) I also find Foss's art in the plates too far on the space fantasy side for my taste with Traveller--in general I like his stuff--but the presentation on plates is much nicer than mixing it with the content or putting huge borders on the pages with lots of fancy salad to build the feeling of atmosphere.

Even with the flaws and the fact that I'll almost certainly never use it live, the T4 core book was well worth it to me. It's a joy to read, even if it does have about as much errata as an MGT book.

Now Bill, I think I've done my part to justify my purchase of MGT. People spend a heck of a lot more money on things I see a lot less value in. Satellite TV sports packages, frex. You buy one package, but if you actually want to watch the games you have to spend more per month on yet another programming package than you pay for everything else. And enough dollars get spent to buy everything ever published for Traveller well before the season's out. I'll read box scores on the internet and buy books, thank you.

I bought it and play it because I like it, and it works for me. I'm pretty sure I'm not stupid, and not just because I've got pieces of paper like the Scarecrow. I understand that you like other Traveller rules better--CT in particular if I'm not mistaken. Great! CT is wonderful, and the CDs for it and other editions are great bargains. Same goes for MT and the others. Saying good things about MGT doesn't invalidate that. I'm sure you can see that one ruleset doesn't have to get praise at the expense of another, and that where comparisons are drawn they're to illustrate a personal preference, not as an absolute statement of virtue as fact.

Anent comments about character career events, this has been responded to. Going on about it further isn't going to convince anyone that the MGT books are bad just because chargen gets more flavor text. There's no perfect puritanical standard for creating characters when a wide variety of players is involved. Different things work for different people, and my experience is that MGT chargen draws in some intelligent, capable, imaginative people in a way that CT chargen doesn't. And the extra hasn't hampered anyone who did well with CT--they know I'm willing to work with them if the want to deviate from the description in the book--though they'll still want a shot at picking up a positive DM from the entry on the table.

The same goes for task systems. The target numbers can change without nerfing the game. Pretending otherwise is sophistry.

I'm also not at home to arguments that MGT may work fine for a highly skilled and experienced ref like me (is my halo showing? ), but what about some hypothetical poor lesser being who blindly reads the words and plays them as written?

Assuming I believed in such a being, OJT and learning to use what works, ditch what doesn't, is what being a ref is all about. And if some kid blows his summer earnings on the full set of MGT books, I can think of worse places it can go--MWM gets something out of it, after all. If they find COTI and ask some questions, I'll bet sometimes the answer is gonna be that they consider picking up some non-MGT Traveller materials. Two lawn mowings will cover the cost of a Traveller digital library on CD from FFE (or once across my 2.5 acres with money left over.) Even if not, so what? It's their money.

Yeah, MGT ain't perfect. Whether it's worth the money is something I'm willing to leave up to the individual. I'm interested in specific discussions of its flaws and strengths, and people's likes and dislikes--as I am for any ruleset in which I have an interest. But there comes a point where repetition of prior arguments and strawman arguments turn considered opinion into something less valuable.
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Old May 7th, 2009, 07:31 AM
mbrinkhues mbrinkhues is offline
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@Saundy:

Actually the question was leveled at someone who owned and was used to MegaTraveller (Rawlins to be exact) so YMMV. My interest was/is in what makes Mgt a better TRAVELLER rules set than MegaTraveller or TNE

But since you bought into the "universal" aspect of Mongoose "Traveller" the question gets's even more interesting:

+ If you don't like what IMHO is the main/only argument FOR Traveller, why invest money in Mgt when there are cheaper and/or better Universal games out (Fuzion with Lightspeed, GURPS, Hero 5ed,...)

@Supplement Four:

I don't consider Mgt as "flawed" or riddled with problems. But IMHO it's mechanics are no better and in some cases worse than MegaTraveller or TNE and it still suffers from 1st Edition sickness. And since I can get these two systems for the price of the Mgt basic book the question is

+ Why should one buy Mgt instead?
+ Why does one that already HAS MegaTraveller buy Mgt?
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