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Old June 27th, 2005, 02:36 PM
Jeffr0 Jeffr0 is offline
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I picked up a copy of T4 the other day. It could have been what I've wanted in Traveller-- "everything you need in one book"-- but it has a distinct lack of zing.

What is 'zing?' Zing is evident when you pick up a game... see what's changed and what's there... and you have this feeling that this is really the way things are supposed to be. You kick yourself and wonder why gaming hasn't been like this until now. Zing! You also get this unsatiable urge to tinker with it. You end up having this "can't go home again" feeling that prevents you from looking at the old material the same way again.

(GURPS 4e has a surprising amount of zing, for instance. I especially like the limitations and modifiers. The Infinite Worlds default campaign setting is... just so GURPy. It fits.)

Anyways... in the percolation of my thoughts... it strikes me that "everything in one book" is probably not the way to go for a T5 with zing.

Here's my idea:

1) Make a Players book that includes all the major races and all the minor races you can cram in. I'm tired of being strung along with this sort of thing and having to shuffle a half dozen books if I do want get into it. Put it all in one place in such a way that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

2) Make a Ref's book that includes all the crunchy stuff for world design, trade, and starship design/combat. The basic "Travelling" concept is seperate from the usual RPG type thing. Capitalize on that by making the definitive guide to Travelling that can be used with any rpg system. GURPS, D20, Burning Wheel, whatever!

3) Give us the Imperium. I don't care what era it's set in, but give me the whole thing. Explain the map in such a way that a new person can grok it. I'm tired of the know-it-alls that keep saying how its too big for anyone to understand. Give away every UWP that you can on a central web site. Go in depth on a variety of subsectors... the goal is get across the basic feel of each major part of the Imperium. Include a Ludography explaining what's canon and what's not-so-canon so that new GM's can have an idea on which areas are well supported and which areas are dodgy. Include as-definitive-as-possible hints/tips on using the subsectors that are detailed and extending them with the online UWPs. (Sort of a "Robin's Laws" of good Traveller GMing....) Include beautiful color maps... and provide others for free online. Don't just rehash old material with this, but flesh out enough new areas so that there's a 'draw' for the old timers. Make the "11,000 star systems" bit into something more than a blurb on the back of the book.

So I'm thinking 3 full color hard bound 250+ page books. People that are already commited to one rpg system can skip the Player's Book. Traveller 'conniseurs' can skip the Ref's book if they aren't interested in new crunchy stuff. "The Compleat Imperium" should get everyone's attention. People that don't want to shuffle through the earlier editions can get everything they need from three books.
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