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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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  #21  
Old August 14th, 2017, 05:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pendragonman View Post
As a player, here is my take.

A quick observation notes that it is a re purposed mining laser. As such, the computer controls are not designed to deal with rapidly dodging targets.

Therefore my team approaches in an alternate bounding-overwatch fashion. dodging in different directions and randomly. Our return fire is directed at the crew of the mining laser, specifically the controller and anyone who replaces the controller.

When within range, RAM grenade.

Yes, it is possible we will lose a couple characters, we might not, or we might lose everybody. But playing Traveller properly, you can lose wonderful characters in chargen. One of the things that the death in chargen is supposed to teach is to "not grasp these characters too tightly". Death in chargen should tell the players that death comes regularly and often.

As the saying goes: "Space is a harsh mistress".
This is pretty much how I thought my group would tackle the situation. Exactly down to the duck and cover and "let 'em have it" when in range. All the while the mining laser is clumsily blasting holes in regolith (I think it was a vaccuum world ... someone correct me on that) and spewing chunks of stone with near misses.

There's a few other examples of similar outcomes, but I can't remember them all. I just wonder if maybe I should have offered more description on the laser, and maybe dropped some hints as per your "repurposed" description (I really like that, BTW).

You know ... I guess some players are just wimps, and others are more brave (crazy), while the rest of us are a shade of grey between the two.

Oh well.
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  #22  
Old August 15th, 2017, 09:03 AM
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I don't encourage them to do anything (except marrying, if I run a dynastic game, because I need a source of new PCs-but I do that mostly OOC). After all, I also play to find out what is going to happen!

That said, there will be consequences if a group of mercenaries runs from some miners. Their reputation would take a serious hit, and their work offers would suffer as well, but that's part of the trade. It's not because I, as a Referee, am disappointed with them!

Of course, even such decisions might have a positive mixed with the negative effects, but mostly, that's not how the mercenary trade works.
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  #23  
Old August 15th, 2017, 09:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pendragonman View Post
I started playing D&D after the Avalon Hill gateway drugs, in 1976. Before Traveller (Yes Billy, the WAS a time before Traveller).
Started with AH in the early '70's; found Traveller and D&D in the summer of '78. Really wanted to adventure and build a starship and travel.


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Originally Posted by pendragonman View Post
As an early adopter of both D&D and Traveller, I can tell you why groups of players I have had for both games (same players, switching games for change of pace) didn't want to keep with Traveller on the long hall. NO SET METHOD OF PROGRESSION. In either game players can gather piles of cash, in both games players can garner piles of stuff, ownership of companies and noble titles.
I can't argue that the level system provides an easy growth path. However, most PbP games on RPG.net don't seem to last long enough for PCs to make major level changes. Yet hundreds of games go on. I was in a Mini6 game for almost two years and got XP once. Still loved the game.

On the flip side, there are lots of ways to progress Traveller characters. Cash, position, skills, stats. I've been in atpollard's game for nearly three years and there's been lots of change. Far as I can tell the game has a few more decades left in it.
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  #24  
Old August 15th, 2017, 02:59 PM
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I never run railroads for players. If they go off the tracks, fine.
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  #25  
Old August 15th, 2017, 08:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leitz View Post
On the flip side, there are lots of ways to progress Traveller characters. Cash, position, skills, stats. I've been in atpollard's game for nearly three years and there's been lots of change. Far as I can tell the game has a few more decades left in it.
The issue remains with the vast majority of players. They want a way to compare........"characters"

As I said, in Trav and D&D both a character can acquire wealth and political power, weapons and stuff.

With a level system, it is easy to compare two characters independent of money and stuff. Comparing two Trav characters is not that easy.

Ex: "My character has computer 4 and electronics 3"---"Oh yeah? Mine has Autopistol 4, medic 1 and Engineering 2"

Now, which one is more powerfull?
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  #26  
Old August 15th, 2017, 10:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pendragonman View Post
The issue remains with the vast majority of players. They want a way to compare........"characters"

As I said, in Trav and D&D both a character can acquire wealth and political power, weapons and stuff.

With a level system, it is easy to compare two characters independent of money and stuff. Comparing two Trav characters is not that easy.

Ex: "My character has computer 4 and electronics 3"---"Oh yeah? Mine has Autopistol 4, medic 1 and Engineering 2"

Now, which one is more powerfull?
On computer tasks the one with computer 4. Traveller has always been about relatively average people in exciting places. The discord is that most RPGs create heroes in the comic book style and Traveller creates heroes or villains out of the ordinary. For me that is much more meaningful than someone who can't get hurt in battle. It involves role playing with consequences.
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  #27  
Old August 16th, 2017, 04:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Ghost View Post
How do you encourage your players to slug it out as opposed to running away without tipping your hand? Can it be done?
Assumption 1: The group exists to have and share fun.
Assumption 2: Fun is a moving target; defined by the plurality.
Assumption 3: Influencers within the group shape and manage expectations.

Rails, such as they may present, I believe, can only be justified where such facilitate group continuity. Put another way, I believe play, in and of itself, must be meaningful and purposeful -- the ends justify the means.

A catastrophic level of actual, in-game risk must be weighed against the level of actual, real-world group resilience. If the unexpected loss of a single character or (horror) a total wipe, could potentially result in the loss of continued player interest or the dissolution of the group, then expectations have been poorly socialized and player decisions are ill-informed.

While many in our hobby are socially/emotionally well-adjusted, there are individual player personalities that lean toward the tenderfoot or malcontent. Young or newly acquainted groups may have such individuals in abundance. That does not mean meaningful or purposeful play cannot take place, it simply means that the group needs structure that meets their special needs.

Many of the posts in this thread seem to follow the metaphorical elephant being described by blind men groping their distinct part of the beast. Without judgment, I observe that some embrace the crunchy, others the social; some lean into the letter others into the spirit of the rules.

To the OP, I venture that the concern expressed is connected to the attachment to expectations projected well in advance of the unfolding play. This attachment causes suffering at playtime. This attachment can result in lingering suffering so long as expectations and reality conflict.

The answer to the concluding question is an emphatic "yes." Managing expectations is at the heart of the "how." In RPG play, "managing expectations" takes the form of setting, plot hooks, and an observance of the three-hint rule (the strength of progressive hints being keyed to expectations).
  • For one-off or convention play, referee the game you want to play.
  • For sustaining play, you may often be called upon to referee the game that your group wants to play.
When the group and the referee share a common basket of expectations, the play transcends the sum of all participants and becomes the stuff of lifelong memories.

The referee that can deliver the transcendent experience for a group with a basket of expectations outside his/her comfort zone is the referee that has mastered his/her craft.
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  #28  
Old August 16th, 2017, 09:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pendragonman View Post
The issue remains with the vast majority of players. They want a way to compare........"characters"

As I said, in Trav and D&D both a character can acquire wealth and political power, weapons and stuff.

With a level system, it is easy to compare two characters independent of money and stuff. Comparing two Trav characters is not that easy.

Ex: "My character has computer 4 and electronics 3"---"Oh yeah? Mine has Autopistol 4, medic 1 and Engineering 2"

Now, which one is more powerfull?
Why are players asking that? My players don't really look at each others character sheets. They are interested more in the character they are using.
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Old August 16th, 2017, 09:36 AM
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And they never discuss their characters between sessions? Really?
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  #30  
Old August 16th, 2017, 01:52 PM
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I was in a Mini6 game for almost two years and got XP once. Still loved the game.
was involved in a d&d game for three years. gained two levels.

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Yet hundreds of games go on.
because they are rpg-lite and action-heavy.

http://www.travellerrpg.com/CotI/Dis...3&postcount=63
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