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The Cleon Memorial Library For discussion of Traveller fiction, both official and fan-written. Fan-written drafts are explicitly welcome.

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  #11  
Old December 30th, 2017, 10:35 PM
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Thumbs up Enjoying the Jewell Riot

Yes! On Jewell, the reader feels threatened, feels for the fallen, wants the crew to help and Aston to vanguard where he can. We feel the sophont humanity as Aston watches someone die. There is visual and auditory stimuli. Taste sense is hinted at with the mention of dessert, a nice touch of homespun camaraderie. A shockwave or six that shakes the ground, shatters hotel glass, rocks the characters' world would create an added, tactile sensory input.

Spelling, a better word choice or two, but the story is supported by the causes of the protesting special interest groups. This is a scenario similar to one I pulled in my Ares Adventures Travellers. During the Fifth Frontier War, many innocent Vargr were repeatedly suspected of being forward spies for the Outworld Coalition. The more Extents a Vargr looked, the deeper the paranoid misconception. That's when some local on Regina spotted the shoulder insignia of the Dzen Aeng Kho on my Gvegh Scout-Courier. An arrest later, led to court and a defense with the Advocate skill by the ship's best 'lawyer'. Friendship was struck that day when Gevaudan was released on the lawyer's cognizance, long enough to get off-world again.

A time-stamp is hinted at in this Jewell story. Tensions between the Zhodani and the Imperials are heating up, if the reader notices. Guessing, I place this story between 1100 and 1105.

I am enjoying this episode. Keep up the good work! With each such short tale, episode, more of us on this forum get windows into the many worlds of Traveller, especially the Third Imperium.
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  #12  
Old December 31st, 2017, 01:28 AM
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Thanks Pakkrat. I just read through the first installment, and found myself grimacing at the run-ons. When you write, and you think it's good, you get a kind of natural high by thinking that you're dishing out genius prose to the masses. Then you go back and wonder how it is that you missed putting in a word, or skipped a thought or two, or whatever faux-paus you stumble across in your own writing, your head sinks between your shoulders.

As for the time, I'm thinking or year or two before hostilities break out. When I used to play a lot, like everyone else who comes here, most of our sessions took place in the Marches during the 5thFW, but most of the time it was a non-event or non-issue, because we simply forgot about it. None of the adventures made too much of a stipulation about the war, save for a few off handed mentions. So ... for stuff like Twilights Peak or Chamax Plague, or someplace closer like Research Station Gamma, none of the adventure authors really brought it up in spite of it being in the chronology and mentioned, I think, in the library data.

Ergo, when I think of the various wars we, the US, have fought, I wanted to try and capture a contemporary flavor of what it might be like on the border worlds of the Imperium with tensions running high.

That, and I dropped in some conventionalizations to ground the reader; i.e. chili dogs (which I think are cool), Boston Cream pie (which I also think is cool), the Marriot (because they run a decent 4-star 5-ish hotel) and so forth. It's just who I am and how I write.

One booboo I made is that I've got two science officers and a nurse, so the team is approx. 8 PCs, when it was meant to be 4 or 5 My bad, like everything else in it.

Ah yes, as I sit in my office chair, pounding on the keys, thinking I'm just cranking out sheer genius and then paste it into the posting field so I can joyfully hit the "Submit Reply" button, I am then struck with the reality that I just posted sheer and utter run-on dreck Oh well
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  #13  
Old December 31st, 2017, 07:53 AM
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Just to add here (broken record time); our groups put down Traveller more than once due to some game mechanic issues, but it had the allure in that it had solid "build your own starship and setting" rules, and the combat system was pretty straight forward.

Now, that aside, the GURPS like feel and promise that was grandfathered out, and yet stuck around with all the groups I was ever in, tended to compete or nudge the OTU during sessions. That is the Vargr were there as aliens, but the FFW wasnt'. The Droyne were, but how come they aren't involved in that war that's only loosely referred to?

So, to me at least, this is the thing about this game as a hobby, and that is as you try go navigate its setting for the purpose of adding onto it, things gel and just become a lot more clearer. Back in the day, from 80 up through 95 or thereabouts, and again in 2007 to 2009 I think, there's a kind of murkiness in terms of what's actually going on in the Marches between 1100 and 1113 (or whenever the war ended).

So, one of my aims is to try and clear up that shapeless background. If there's a war on, then how come the players don't experience more battles, or stumble across fleets duking it out? If it's space opera, then, well, where's the opera part?

I mean, after three decades of toying with the system, I understand it a lot better than ever I did as a pre-teen. But even that understanding gets curve tossed at it, ergo I'm more or less trying to sweep out the cob webs of ignorance.

With Gamma World, Blue Planet, Jovian Chronicles, or even SJGames various GURPS books and HERO, there's a form there. Blue Planet is about swimming around on a water world with things like uplifted Orcas, pirates, subs, all that jazz. Jovian Chronicles skews mech-like with shades of various Japanese anime space opera fare. GURPS, for all of its chameleon like forms because it's one basic system with a lot of iterations for specific settings, there's a feel for what it is when you sit down to either just read the supps, or actually play a session. Even HERO has a kind of superhero setting unto itself that's unique and apart from DC or Marvel.

But Traveller, to me, is a little tainted by Keith's sketches, in the back of the 76 patrons and 1001 character LBBs alludes to how you can emulate various characters and settings, but then says there an official OTU. Well, okay, but what does that look like? GURPS added some much needed texture to Traveller, but it still felt nebulous to me, ergo when I wanted to write for it in the early 2000s, about the time I joined the forum, and talked with Hunter about it, I just couldn't wrap my skull around the setting.

Upon reflection a lot of that was intentional, and not just to keep the game detached so that people could use it for whatever kind of gaming session they wanted, but perhaps also to keep it from being too tied to one face or type of presentation. And when you have that, from a writer's standpoint, it's tough to grapple with.

So, that's all a long headed way of me re-stating that I'm just sharing my vision of how the OTU might look and operate. And for all the bad prose I posted, it's actually been kind of a fun process. I've got oodles more stories for Aston and Vash (possible spoiler; at some point Vash was going to age faster than Aston, but I'm not sure I want to do that), but I've got other worlds to explore.

I've stated this in other posts, and I already know the answer and have had it addressed by both the staff here, mister Miller, and just my own genuine "Ah-ha!" moments of realization, but, before I had all that, I was baffled as to why other sub-genres of the scifi genre weren't addressed, and so in this way this is kind of my not-so-sneaky way of shoving in stuff like Dragons or cybogs and whatever else. I mean, it's all fan fiction for a game that has a certain bent to it. As such I feel freer now to play with it as a piece of clay to mold, than I ever did as a Ref running a session for my friends.

Phew! I had to get that out.

This has been an amazing experience. I'll keep writing for Aston and Vash for a while, and maybe toss in a Droyne or a Darrien at some point.

The short version; this has been a very liberating experience. It's all fan fic done in good fun. Thanks for the comments Pakkrat.

I may toss in Hunter Gordon as a character. I really miss that guy.
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Old January 10th, 2018, 09:13 AM
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So, I was thinking of revisiting some monster fiction I posted in another section of the BBS. It regarded a fighter squadron, or a squadron of long range attack craft (with also a fighter interceptor role) that come across something strange, mysterious, possibly hostile, but I'm kind of torn right now.

I've got so many good story ideas running through my head that I'm suffering from creativity-overload. Seriously, that's what it is.

There's some concepts I'd like to add to Traveller, but the powers that be so that certain scifi tropes are a no-no, ergo I might give them to an older setting I created eons ago about the same time my friends and I got into Traveller. Said setting is standard space opera fare, and unlike Traveller, isn't hampered by a need to gybe or otherwise synch with a known universe.

I'm also tempted to do a "samurai" story in the Vargr Extents ... imagine armies of Vargr wearing samurai armor with flags on their backs as they lay siege to a medieval Japanese castle occupied by a Vargr lord.

I've also run into a small snag with Aston and his age ... I'd like to take him into K'Kree and Hiver space, but I can't keep him a captain forever ... erm, well, I can ... and he is my character and my story, so ... we'll see.

I don't mind getting a touch personal here, and would like to thank everyone who has glanced on my prattle, and have supported or at least not hampered my efforts to become creative with my favorite scifi RPG. I'm at a state right now that is quite satisfying and pretty fun.

The skies the limit for Aston and Vash, and whoever else.

Thanks again, all. Much appreciated.
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  #15  
Old January 11th, 2018, 09:39 PM
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I've got some house repair issues to take care of in the next few days, so it'll be a while before I post anything else.

Many apologies.

I'll try and find a story that got accidentally purged when the site updated.
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Old January 16th, 2018, 12:25 PM
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So, I'm not really too happy with the ending for my latest offering. For those in the know, YES, I did have plans to exhibit damage from a creature that had been clawing at the ship a-la the Twilight Zone...I begged off because I didn't want to get dinged by the mods, and, more importantly, to me, that is my personal objective, is to do away what Dr. Sagan used to call the "demon haunted world" (linky; https://www.amazon.com/dp/0345409469...l_8ig9458yrd_e). A good ghost story is a good ghost story, but one of the few positive things to come out of television in the 1970s were the shows and cartoons for kids that showed how fraudsters, hucksters, con artists, and just plain criminal scum bags used things like supernatural phenomena to rip off people; i.e. shows like Scooby Do, Spirit of Seventy Six, and a host of others.

It's one of the reasons I'm such an avid classic Star Trek fan, and why I really miss that show and others like it. And so when I had Richard Aston just beat Roy and render him senseless with a couple of choice blows, I winced a bit and rethought the ending.

I'm going to leave it stand for now, but I actually have a better ending in mind ... eh, one that may or may not include the classic TZ ending, or something TZ-ish or TZ-like

Anyway, there is a distinct lack of "Ghost, you botched this" or "Ghost, I don't get that" here, but, whatever. I'm not too defensive about what I write ... unless it's about Kirk and Spock era Trek, dag-nabbit

I thought of including one of those Orange blob four-legged thingies from the whispering space sector, but that's a fan creation and I have no experience with them. Likewise tossing in a Hiver would've been nice, but I've almost zero-experience with their kind.

Oh well.

Either way, thanks for reading my stuff
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Old January 18th, 2018, 03:23 AM
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So, I botched the geography on the liner's deckplans. The bridge is AFT of the lounge area in the primary hull, not forward ... erm, it'd been a while since I looked at the liner's layout. Whatever. Try to ignore it until I rewrite it.

Aston punching out a hepped up psidrug junkie isn't exactly what I had in mind. This latest thing needs a rewrite. I'll think about it some.

Over 2k views. Thanks
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Old January 20th, 2018, 03:36 PM
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I must apologize for not putting up another installment. I just got my "new" TV up and running. Eh, I've seen better, but it was discounted because the box had been damaged, otherwise it's brand new. It's some aftermarket brand that I've never heard of, ergo when I move again I'll be splurging on a SONY or other name brand.

2100 views. Wow. Thanks
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Old January 21st, 2018, 03:27 PM
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As I've said before, BG, the more windows into the OTU the writers can give the fans, the more vivid Traveller becomes. The wide universe of Charted Space becomes palpable, tangible and less overwhelming. Aston travels all over the Third Imperium. That is a boon as well as it tells players that they are not just limited to a single sector or subsector of stomping ground. The more we cover of the Third Imperium, Aslan Hierate, Vargr Extents/Enclaves, Zhodani Consulate, Julian Protectorate, Solomani Confederation and many others, the more fans can come to understand what is out there.

And yet, each writer is going to give their take on the Official Traveller Universe, Charted Space. I almost cringed when on the liner, Jump Space was described with star-lines. But until we got a definitive description of what a starship's jump bubble or field looks like, how are we supposed to know?

I am heartened to see characters, mine own included, who aren't FGMP-toting, Battledress-encased, trigger-happy Marines. Though one of my characters is a Marine, she did not muster out with such heavy firepower. Traveller shows us that former military doesn't mean overpowered. I have a Relict Clone of a Knighted Dame who has more power in her pen than any Marine. The characters deal with the situation at hand with what they've got. And they are potent people, Travellers. They have the wanderlust and the skills and experience to stay alive in those travels.

"Who was that, Dam?"

"That was a Traveller, hun. You steer clear of them types. They can be...problematic."

More real characters. Mortal characters. Characters dealing with stuff that dirtsiders only dream of.

Keep up the good work, BG.
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Old January 21st, 2018, 06:10 PM
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Well, right now I'm playing catchup on paper work, so it may be a while. I've got lots of stuff to catchup on before I can post and show my creativity is back to norm. I've got many dozens of story concepts for Aston and Vash ... include Peter as well.

I guess one of my issues with Traveller, as a game, is that it's diverged from its generic do-all scifi RPG roots to a more "here's the official backdrop" kind of experience. So, as I write, I try to expose places untapped.

As per another post on another thread ... I can't remember where ... I view Traveller as a mash-up of Star Wars meets Blade Runner. You've got space opera elements and gritty "true crime" stuff happening all at once. How anybody else receives it or views my perspective on the classic Third Imperium, I don't really know, and I'm not too concerned, save for the fact that you're the only one other than myself who's posted on this thread.

I can't write professionally anymore for Classic Traveller with Hunter's passing, but I'm having a good time sharing what I've wanted to do for Traveller for ages. The last couple of months have been phenomenal, to say the least.

To quote "The Right Stuff"; "There was a demon, that lived in the air. They said whoever challenged him, would die. That old demon lived out at mach one....a speed where the air could no longer get out of the way. They called it, the sound barrier."

And so it goes. If you have any questions, please feel free to post them, and I'll try to get to them when possible.

Just an FYI, there are other universes and places to write about. I'm going to try and achieve my writing goals as best as I can.

Thanks for the reply.
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