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Classic Traveller Discussion on the granddaddy of them all, Classic Traveller!

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Old November 6th, 2012, 02:38 PM
hdan hdan is offline
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Default If only we could "Restate" Classic Traveller

I was just reading through a "restated D&D" game I got from that ReaperMini kickstarter, and it it got me thinking about how it's a shame that we can't get Classic Traveller "restated". I realize this is not possible due to licensing, and I'm certainly not suggesting anyone do such a thing, but as an interesting thought experiment:

If you were going to take Classic Traveller, Books 1-3 and rewrite them to fit more modern rules layout, what parts would you clarify, what parts would you bring in from Books 4+ into the core rules, what tweaks would you make that still maintain the flavor of CT?

Note that "old school rewrites" (which are almost entirely versions of D&D at the moment due to the OGL) strive to maintain the feel and rules of the original game, just fold in some generally accepted house-rules and official clarifications. Or at least that's my favorite type of "rewrite", and what I'm going for here.

For me, I'd have Gun Combat select a "style" of weapon (Slug Pistol, Energy Rifle, etc.) instead of an actual weapon (Autopistol, Laser Rifle). With this added flexibility, I'd expand the weapon table to include snub, gauss, and other Book 4 weapons.

I'd rename ATV as Vehicle(ATV) and Air/Raft as Grav Vehicle, since that's what's really going on.

The character combat round sequence is a fertile ground for bringing in other rules, either Snapshot or some other version of Traveller. Or maybe even just a simple variation of the "Surprise" rules - each round, both teams roll d6, highest gets to choose movement order and then shoot first. Ties run simultaneously.

I'd leave Book 2 alone for the most part, though I'd make sure the Pulse/Beam clarifications were made clear, fold in the missiles supplement, and give a worksheet for programming the ship's computer that was broken down into phases to make those rules more accessible. I'd also add some of Merchant Prince's more advanced trade rules and cargo generation tables, but I'd err on the conservative side on that one.

Book 3 would get "Atmospheres" folded in, and "Scout"'s system generation rules.

(On second blush, how permissive is Mongoose's OGL? Most of the OD&D OGL attempts use the 3e license to recreate OD&D rules....)
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Old November 6th, 2012, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by hdan View Post
I was just reading through a "restated D&D" game I got from that ReaperMini kickstarter, and it it got me thinking about how it's a shame that we can't get Classic Traveller "restated". I realize this is not possible due to licensing, and I'm certainly not suggesting anyone do such a thing, but as an interesting thought experiment:
You could do pretty much that with MGT SRD. Numeric formulas aren't copyrightable. Just rework how you want.
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Old November 6th, 2012, 03:05 PM
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Try searching for CT+ or classic Traveller + threads from a few years ago.

If I won the lottery and could buy the rights to CT from Marc here is what I would produce:

CT in the three LBB format.

Changes I would make:
LBB1 - charcter generation - add the special duty line to careers - add a couple of automatic skills to balance skill allocation from each career - allow for more level 0 skills based on career and terms in career.
Skill - cut them down to the bare minimum, mainly by combining weapons skills into handgun, rifle, brawling, 1-h weapon, 2-h weapon, weapon and shield that sort of thing
Task - use the two target number system 8+ or 12+
Combat - use a hybrid if T4/T20 armour as damage dice reduction.
Add a common equipment section.

LBB2 - cherry pick from the two versions of LBB2 and include rules for ship armour, barbettes, particle accelerators, energy weapons, weapon bays and screens.
Use the range band movement system with combat tasks for more characters to perform.
Add a vehicles section.

LBB3 - revise TL chart slightly and modify the planet generation numbers.
Add a section for referee advice with scenario generation, campaigns, and ripping off sic fi sources.
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Old November 6th, 2012, 03:32 PM
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As Mike said, this is the CT-Plus idea. Dig back into the forum to see what we were thinking about it.

As Traveller5 evolved, I found less need for Classic Traveller's core rules. I still rely on the reference material heavily.

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Originally Posted by hdan View Post
For me, I'd have Gun Combat select a "style" of weapon (Slug Pistol, Energy Rifle, etc.) instead of an actual weapon (Autopistol, Laser Rifle). With this added flexibility, I'd expand the weapon table to include snub, gauss, and other Book 4 weapons.
That's how we build guns in Traveller5, as well as how combat skills work.

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I'd rename ATV as Vehicle(ATV) and Air/Raft as Grav Vehicle, since that's what's really going on.
You're still referring to the skills, right? I agree.


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Originally Posted by mike wightman View Post
LBB1 - charcter generation - add the special duty line to careers to - add a couple of automatic skills to balance skill allocation from each career - allow for more level 0 skills based on career and terms in career.

[...]

Combat - use a hybrid of T4/T20 armour as damage dice reduction.
Add a common equipment section.

LBB2 - cherry pick from the two versions of LBB2 and include rules for ship armour, barbettes, particle accelerators, energy weapons, weapon bays and screens.
Use the range band movement system with combat tasks for more characters to perform.
Add a vehicles section.

LBB3 - revise TL chart slightly and modify the planet generation numbers.
These are also what Traveller5 is doing.
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Old November 6th, 2012, 03:44 PM
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If you want to make your own version of Traveller - for personal use - go ahead. Just don't distribute it.

I scanned, OCR'd, and customized my CT books in the early '90's.

If one got a hundred Travellers together - and let them each house rule the game - you'd end up with 102 'restated' versions!

hdan - have you tried MgT? Its basically a 'restated CT'. Its mechanics are definitely 'updated' and it does incorporate quite a bit of errata and gronard influenced changes.

The MgT SRD, btw, is quite permissive, but it would restrict some things re: chargen, IIRC.
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Old November 6th, 2012, 04:05 PM
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The MgT SRD, btw, is quite permissive, but it would restrict some things re: chargen, IIRC.

No, use what's in the SRD or create your own. No restriction.
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Old November 6th, 2012, 04:44 PM
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I'll definitely search for CT+ in the archives; it looks like my topic has already been done.

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If one got a hundred Travellers together - and let them each house rule the game - you'd end up with 102 'restated' versions!
That's no joke! That's why it would probably best to focus on combining existing rules rather than creating new ones.

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hdan - have you tried MgT? Its basically a 'restated CT'. Its mechanics are definitely 'updated' and it does incorporate quite a bit of errata and gronard influenced changes.
I have a number of the MgT books, and for me it's a very near miss. So much is good about it, but some things just feel wrong. The task system is elegant, the ship design rules are (mostly) Bk2+ in flavor, the armor system is nice but has some odd numbers, etc.

Still, MgT *is* the first version of Traveller since CT that still feels like "Traveller" to me. I'm not overly fond of the number of skills characters get, and the "Level 0" thing, while elegant in concept, in my experience leads more to the "character sheet is my playbook" style of roleplaying that a game like D&D has.

MgT's "0 level service skills" nicely helps illustrate what someone in a given service would know, I prefer a more open ended "A navy guy would know how to do [simple shipboard task]" approach.

I do seem to recall that the published careers are not part of the OGL, and I suspect the CT career tables can't just be nabbed without license for the same reason.

Eh, it's a daydream. I'm not invested enough in the idea to really pursue it; it just seemed like a fun topic of conversation.
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Old November 6th, 2012, 05:05 PM
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hdan - despite my earlier joke - I could have posted word for word what you just did re:MgT (just I'm wordier)!

After a few years with MgT, I've gone back to my limited CT (basically Bks 1-3 and some sys gen from 6) - and actually got motivated enough that I indeed started to rewrite the books for myself. To the point of exactly replicating LBB size, fonts and layouts directly in PostScript. (Even several of the forms and IDs from Supp 12).

But I didn't get too far before losing interest - I'd rather play.

[Or make up my own game - fully computer supported that is... but I haven't gotten that motivated - yet.]
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Old November 6th, 2012, 05:22 PM
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I do seem to recall that the published careers are not part of the OGL, and I suspect the CT career tables can't just be nabbed without license for the same reason..
The basic SRD has Scouts. HG SRD has the naval career. Merc SRD has those careers. All skills are in there. You could remake and publish a new Trav in all except TM'ed name of game. Basically, the 'cat is out of the bag' for anyone who wants to write their own "fluff" and publish for free or fee...

Also, all versions have rules that need to be cleaned up. So, there ya go.
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Old November 6th, 2012, 05:41 PM
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Quote:
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Eh, it's a daydream. I'm not invested enough in the idea to really pursue it; it just seemed like a fun topic of conversation.
It is a daydream, but it's still a valuable exercise to try.
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