• Welcome to the new COTI server. We've moved the Citizens to a new server. Please let us know in the COTI Website issue forum if you find any problems.

Gurps JTAS (worth it?)


Hey there.
Does anyone on these boards subscribe to GURP's JTAS online magazine (http://jtas.sjgames.com/)? Was the subscription worth it? What value did you get out of it?

I've waffled over the past few weeks over subscribing. Any suggestions?
I'm in my second year subscribing. I find it worth the value for the quality of the articles and, in many cases, the conversation board. Additionally Brubek's allows for more conversation interaction.
It's a very low cost for the stuff you get. Not everyone will like all of it, I personally find the editorials one of the most interesting bits.
You do get full access to the archives though.

Yes I'd say it is worth it.
After 18 months of subscription, I have mixed feelings.

On the plus side: Low cost, extensive searchable archives of all previous issues, variety of support info (encounters, adventures, deck plans, etc.).

On the down side: Relatively static interaction. I do not post on its boards largely because I see more activity here. The editorials can be amusing, but often I get that feeling of listening to a long-time gaming industry veteran ranting for the sake of ranting so that he can have an editorial to print (like Gygax's articles in Dragon magazine).

SUMMARY: If I couldn't access several years worth of weekly issues for various game materials (mostly adventures) I'd let my subscription lapse.
I've been a subscriber since day 1. I've found the articles to be very helpful for the Traveller games I've run and the discussion boards are very high signal. As a new subscriber, spending $15 to go through the archives for the various articles is a better deal than any three gaming supplements you could buy for the money.
After years of waffling I finally took the plunge and subscribed a couple few weeks ago. My impressions: $15 for a 2 year subscription (plus full archive access) really isn't a whole lot of money, but just the same you can get much more material of equal or better quality for free elsewhere.

The editorials are by-and-large just Loren Wiseman reminiscing about the good ol' days at GDW -- usually pretty interesting, but nothing even close to crucial. The feature articles I've read (which is by no means all of them) are typically of average quality, not IMO up to the caliber of the articles in the old print JTAS or Travellers' Digest, and frequently they're at least somewhat GT specific (which severely limits their usefulness to me). The Discussion Boards are put to shame by these boards, which have a MUCH better interface, higher traffic volume, larger group of active participants (90% of ther posts on JTAS seem to come from the same half-dozen or so posters), and (IMO) more generally interesting/useful topics. Plus, these boards are free.

So, if between this site, the TML, and the various other free websites (Freelance Traveller, Traveller Downport, etc, etc) you STILL feel the need for even more online Traveller, go ahead and subscribe, as the fee is really just nominal. But rest assured that if you choose not to subscribe you're really not missing all that much.
Now, this may be a dead topic (I found it on the 16th page of "all topics, after all), but in response to Smiling DM (whom I haven't seen here in a while), posting here seems to be in decline now. This is likely due to the fact that there are no major holidays around now, but still...

This decline in use isn't because of me is it?
Since you resurrected this thread, let me officially retract my earlier post. At only $15 for two years, JTAS Online is definitely worth the investment. Quality of articles has (IMO) been climbing in recent issues, and the discussion forums still seem to have more depth and substance (and much less noise) than here or the TML. Plus you get full archive access (including Traveller articles from Pyramid online), which is a tremendous bargain. So, unless you really can't afford $15, or have a serious aversion to GURPS (most of the articles are pretty generic, but some GURPSiness does tend to seep in around the edges) I'd wholeheartedly recommend a subscription.
I could consider supporting Online JTAS if I could see more from SJG, in the way of freebies. Not much really, just continue the practice of PDF scans or let Loren's editorials be Public Domain (read: free) and that might entrice me into the articles. [That is if Loren provides a quick summation.] Right now the little taste, that I get just makes wish for a paper version of the Best of JTAS to actually come out.

But, I sympathize with SJG but an exclusive e-zine seems to not a wise business strategy over the long run. As much as I am an environmentalist, nothing quite beats that paper, in terms of an archival document.
Well, I didn't mean to ressurect any thread, but while it's up I'll say that I'd subscribe if (1.) I had money (I'll wait for an income) and (2.) trusted the Internet more. And SJ Games should still support GT more, though I hear that GT: Starships is supposed to be coming out...

I stand by my comment on Smiling DM's comment, except to modify it that most of the older members seem to be less likely to come here, though this is likely due to real life concerns than anything with this board.
Oh sure I realize there are plenty of reasons for not subscribing to online JTAS (heck, it took me 2+ years to get around to it), it's just that my earlier response read like "even if you're considering subscribing, don't bother" which in retrospect seems too harsh. If you can spare $15 and are interested in a Traveller web-zine JTAS is a good deal, especially since current economics make it very unlikely we'll see a print-format Traveller 'zine anytime soon (and no I'm not happy about that either).
As for a decline in traffic, I think perhaps you're imagining it. There still seems to be pretty much traffic here to me (more than JTAS, MUCH more than here before T20 was announced). If there's been some drop-off from 3-4 months ago that's probably due to both people having more free time to post during the holidays and there not having been any new Traveller releases in a while -- once the Gateway Domain Sourcebook drops and/or summer starts I imagine traffic will pick up again (for better or worse).

As for MIA old members, AFAICT most of the old members who ever posted in any quantity (i.e. 50+ posts) are still here, it's just with all the new members around we tend to get lost in the crowd. Avery (Marc Miller), alas, is a notable exception -- all over the boards during the first month or two, never seen since.
Originally posted by Jame:
And SJ Games should still support GT more, though I hear that GT: Starships is supposed to be coming out...
Working on it. The best-laid plans go oft awry, but I'm hoping to have a fairly consistent release schedule once we get a couple of much-delayed books out the door.
And, what does that mean Jon?

So far, I know about SJG plans for Starships, Humaniti, Nobles. What are the other goodies that you have planned?
I recently subscribed. The $20 I spent was dollar for dollar some of the very best gaming money I've spent in *years*

It was worth the price of admission just to get access to the archives. While quality does vary there is plenty of volume to make it up. There should be lots of nuggets there for most any Traveller fan.

I've only just started perusing their boards - it took me a while to set up an NTTP client and the web interface, quite frankly, sucks. But it's very easy to use a news reader and the signal to noise ratio is very good - probably because everyone who posts there has paid for the privelage. Cuts down on the 'random internet troll' effect quite effectively.

Yes it's a bit GT-centric -- which should come as no suprise, but not snobbishly so, and (as has been said) everyone seems to acknowledge CT as common ground.

Definitely worth the price of a nice lunch out.