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Litmus Tests


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Due to some recent free time, I've been thinking about Traveller grognardism and gearheadism. What defines the two? How much overlap is there, and is there any correlation?

More fun: what's the stereotypical Traveller grognard? Gearhead?

And finally: how can you tell someone's a Traveller grognard or gearhead? Can a grognard scale be devised (0 = non-grognard, 10 = insufferable grognard)? I've arbitrarily rated myself as a 5.

You might be a Traveller grognard if...
You might be a Traveller gearhead if...
"You might be a gearhead if ..."
One point for each system you know the price/mass/volume of without needing references.

"You might be a grognard if ..."
One point for each system for which you have created custom design rules. :D
I'm knackered either way then...
Oh, and let's not forget the Canonista!

You might be a true Canonist if you can quote, from memory, an official source to back a trivial detail of Traveller rule. :D

If you don't INSIST that there is no other way to interpret or play said rule then you are only a small c canonist ;)
That's funny, because you two seem to be awfully considerate and reasonable; when used wrt Traveller the terms are generally derogatory. Mayhap I'm missing some ingredient in the mix?
I don't consider them derogatory in the slightest, I'm proud of the badges ;)

It's more of a question of allowing others an opinion (even when they are wrong ;) ), participating in reasoned discussion, and being willing to adapt to new rules etc.

e.g. I have designs for ships in every version Traveller is printed in, I also have a lot that make use of house rules.
I wouldn't argue the superiority of any particular set, but I will join in discussions about the merits and flaws of the different systems.
Presuming I'm the second in this act... ;)

I'm with Sigg, proud of my total waste of valuable wet-ware storage given up to our great game. And humbly honoured by your compliment GrognardRobject ;) I tries. I don't know that I've seen them used in a derogatory sense (ignorant in my bliss and peril sensitive glasses :cool: ). Well maybe sometimes, but I just put that down to jealousy

But seriously... nope, I got nothing

Actually come to think there have been times (not here though) that I've seen Grognard and Canonista used in a mean way :(

... :cool: Ahhh, that's better...
Whoa ....
I always considered "gearhead" to be decriptive rather than a slight.
And as for "grognard" ... if the term "grumbler" was good enough for Napoleon's Guard, then I would certainly be proud to wear it.

I hope I haven't inadvertantly mis-stepped through ignorance of net usage.
Please accept my ignorance as an excuse and my sincere apology if I have offended.
Nope, this isn't net-usage at all. It seems to be more of a Traveller thing -- that quality in the rules which, either by its nature or by its presentation, tends to act as a repulsor field to attracting new players. The strength and quality of such a field remains to be determined, of course...

P.S. I just found out that we can change our display name on COTI, and when I saw GrognardJeff's login, I had to jump on the bandwagon.
No worries Piper, not from this Grognardy Gearheadonist canonmonger at least ;)

In my lexicon they are all descriptive and not (without intent at least) derogatory. Much like my usage and interpretation of Newbie.
Yes, I guess I can see how the precepts work to exclude. I've always disliked that part of it but it's hard to excise it. I counter it by embracing questions from those who make it through the barrier and attempt to bring them into the fold as painlessly as possible.

It is odd, I don't recall the barrier being there when I first started playing. Of course that was at the dawn of time so maybe it's been slowly building.
Dan, you, Sigg, Oz, Piper, Jame, all aren't mean about it, I think. Generally people can talk to you guys, and I don't see y'all getting in a snit over what someone else does with the rules. As an example, the very fact that Sigg grabs rules from CT to TNE to blend in his own homebrew is evidence that he's not dyed-in-the-wool.
Drifting off topic I guess and getting serious...

What is it about Traveller that generates this repulsor field? Is it as Robject has in another post the strange format of Hex notation and shorthand Hex strings (UPP, USP, UWP) and abbreviations (Ag, Na, etc.)? Perhaps partly. But I think it's bigger, much bigger, I think it's the whole of Charted Space. That is it is the concept of a grand unifying OTU that seems to be the opposite. It seems more divisive and exclusionary that unifying. Even we followers of the Ancients can't agree on points and fall to petty bickering at times over obscure details that have no real point in "playing" the game.

Seems to me part of opening the game up to new players might be removing the OTU concept entirely. It's fine for us Grognards, we grew into it. When I started playing we had the first 3 LBB's and we made our own universe (albeit a small one) and our own adventures. As more material was published we got it, judged it, and worked in what we could. We were "discovering" the OTU and where needed making MTU adjustments. Now it seems some expect new players to instantly acquire the knowledge and materials some of us have been building for over 25 years. Yep, that'd be a turnoff for me if I were new to the game.

Maybe that's what T5 should be. A return to the roots of the game sans setting. No T5 OTU and no limits on the player or referee. Just make them build their own universe. Give them the space and let them play, don't make them earn a Doctorate in Imperial History first.

Anyway, rambling off topic time is up ;)
Originally posted by Piper:
And as for "grognard" ... if the term "grumbler" was good enough for Napoleon's Guard, then I would certainly be proud to wear it.
Just keep in mind that over time the Guard became an army unto itself. An army that was little used but also absorbed the cream of the veterans and material. It became so venerated and at the same time saw so little use in battle that its failure at Waterloo broke the entire French army.

Napoleon was always very good at PR while at the same time bleeding his country to the bone. He was also very good at writing his memoirs.

I don’t mind the usage as a term of respect for those who have gamed a long time. But I’ll still treat people on an individual basis.

(Casey prepping another post tilts da bicorn to a rakish angle)

[EDIT] fleshed out bits [/EDIT]