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New blood or lack thereof.

Originally posted by chatdemon:
IMO, dumbing down T5 to serve as an intro game for T20 would be cutting off your foot to spite your leg.

First off, d20 players want d20, I don't imagine a whole lot of them will buy a non-d20 game to get ready for T20. They'll either buy T20 or find another game.

Second, what about all the people who don't play T20? If I, for one, got the impression that T5 was just a 'T20 Lite' type game, I'd probably pass. I'm honestly not in love with T20 and would like T5 to be something substantive, not just a crutch for other versions to lean on.

the dumbness is in the hands of the ref . a simple system makes for a less dumb game , as people use more immagination for the detail the want , and rely less on pre-prepared systems .
im not in love with over-complicated t20 either . thats why we need T5 with a simple , modular system and lots of good setting-based backup . which has nothing to do with D20 or T20 , but is basically an improved "classic" .
Just to throw my hat into the ring (and ignoring many others' fine posts) ... I can see two reasons why T20 has not taken off YET with the general d20 market:

1. Lack of background info:
If you want to run a T20 campaign you have to do a lot of work to create enough background material for your players and you to have a similar vision of the game world. Setting sourcebooks will do a lot to amend this - eventually the new T20 player will wonder what the fuss is with the Spinward Marches, because (OF COURSE) all the action is going down in the Gateway.

2. Lack of useable rules:
I love many things about T20 but the THB is not one of them - too many things were left out in the interest of reducing the pagecount for it to be an entirely useable system as it stands. The new Traveller's Guidebook will (hopefully) help with that by creating a more useable set of rules that happen to be OGL and not d20 (which allows them to put a bunch of other stuff in ).

As the resources available grow and QuikLink keeps marketing them as well as it does now, then people outside of existing Traveller players will get involved. I've already got two players in my gaming group that never player Traveller before - but understand the rules because they are d20. They are both potential buyers of the Traveller's Guidebook when it comes out (as am I), eventually they may become Traveller fans like I did and run stuff themselves.
Seems the tread needs some newbie input

Ok im a 29 old, who got into the rpg thing about 3 or 4 years ago. I was attracted by the art work of the soon to be released 3rd edition of D&D. Since that time i have come to realize that table top games can be much more fun and involving than the computer games i have played and loved in the past. I have been DMing the game since that time and have also played some other rpgs along the way.

So what brought me to the Traveller setting?

I have always loved Sci-Fi and since i have started playing table top games, Ive been looking for a good Sci-Fi game to play with my group. We do play Fading Suns, but i really think that the D20 system is the best platform on the market at the moment. The real turn off for me with the current Sci-Fi games was that they were all "old", the artwork looks as if it hasnt changed in 2 decades and the rules systems seem to old or revised one to many times. Meaning that one would have to buy many books to learn the current game. StarWars looked good but there was too much cannon and left little to the GMs imagination. And the other new D20 games just didnt fit into what i concider the classic Sci-Fi setting.

Anyway when i found out about Traveller T20 and knew it was a game that had stood the test of time, i was interested. After purching the rulebook i was very impressed, they filled alot of the gaps that were in the standard d20 game. I was equally impressed that the game was very much like a Lego set, letting the GM develop alot of the campaign and equipment. The one drawback from a newbie perspective is that T20 doesnt offer any eyecandy for new and upcoming gamers, and i also agree the above posting on no setting material in the core rulebook, but i was wise enough to see that the Gateway book will be coiming out soon. So im not going to going digging for hours on the net searching for campaign material.
One marketing idea to atract new players might be to incorpate some new artists and give the game a new look (something dark and edgy seems to work these days). Perhaps a picture of a Marine in Combat Armour would atract those who would like to roleplay a 40k space marine or a Halo marine. Or even the incorporation of Mechwarrior Mechs into the Traveller setting would apeal to alot of computer gamers.(just random suggestions not a statement i like the game the way it is, but I will be including the above ideas into my campaign to appeal to my gaming group)

Anywho the best way i know is world of mouth and a good traveller gaming session. The foundation of T20 is strong and i think once more books hit the shelves more people will see this isnt going to be a short lived rpg and that its a great entertianment investment.

Ok im out of breath
I also agree with Falkayn's comments. I'm a 20-year roleplayer, have played many systems (mainly D&D), including CT, and will begin running a T20 campaign in just over a week. I'm starting with four, possibly five players, none of whom have ever played any version of Traveller.

1. Lack of background info:
This was a problem for me. I knew there was a whole heap of background canon history out there. None is in the THB. So I had to go find some. (Which, incidentally, is how I ended up here). Yes, there is more to be published - but how long has T20 been out? Most of the first session, I expect, will be spent with me explaining ancient and recent history and how the Traveller universe "works".

2. Lack of useable rules:
Er, yes. I have to say I found the whole character creation process tedious and awkward. Admittedly this wasn't helped by my unfamiliarity with T20, but we spent ages flicking forward and backward through the book looking for tables, etc. Psionics looks unworkable or at least poorly balanced. There are other things I'm not sure will work well, but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt for now.

Having said all that, I really believe T20 is the way to go to ensure Traveller's continued survival and indeed, success. Despite my quibbles above, the players all had a good grasp of character creation (stats, feats, skills, etc) already. Its relatively easy to transfer over from D20 to T20. And who really has the time to go learn a new ruleset with every new game they play?

Just my two cents worth,

Let me add that with backgound info there is a plethora on the web - more than any one game company could come up with. I happened to like the Julian Protectorate and started developing bits of that on my website, but 80% of what is there came from stuff I'd found on the web.

Some great background (both text and art) sites are:

Don McKinney's Integrated Timeline

BeRKA's Supplement P03: The Space Atlas

Peter Trevor's Traveller StuffOnline

Brook's Traveller Lowport

Ted Lindsey's Traveller Art

Jesse De Graff's Traveller Gallery
Pax Citizens,

I thought it was time to de-lurk (funny how the 'end of the game' threads bring us out) and add some fuel to this debate. I have been a Traveller player since '81. I've loved and suffered through the various incarnations.

I am fortunate(?) enough to currently work at a FLGS. (I'm calling it a 'sabbatical', my wife is not so sure.) I'll base my comments on my observations at the store and add my modest hypothesis.

Traveller is no longer 'THE' science fiction roleplaying game.

Pains me to say so.

Indeed given the wide range of what consitutes 'sci-fi' RPGs, I'm not sure if there is one dominant standard.
I do know that not a lot of gamers know what to do with Traveller, which is a shame.

The current RPG industry is based on the concept of 'support'. Gamers are unwilling to shell out for the corebook unless they are going to be showered with supplimentary splatbooks and adventures. Traveller (in pretty much every incarnation) provides a very bare-bones background and a few hooks. Nothing at all like the 'rich detail' systems that are currently running the show.

I've always maintained that Traveller is a literate game. Reading sci-fi (particularly the HUGOish kind) is as important as knowing the rules. The popularity of reading lists on this board is a heartening example of this. But honestly you good folks are the exception.

Most gamers shy away from this style of gameplay. Even the ones that read. It's a lot of work really. When there is a slick, easy to use adventure ready to go...why bother.

Traveller IMHO was, is and should be a DIY system which allow players and refs to create and imprint their version of of the universe. I've been to Roup several different times, each time different and I'm pretty sure it was different from your visits. I'm not about to tell you what was 'official' or right.

Should Traveller add Mecha, Kaos Marines or other such stuff? Not at all. If I want giant robots, I'll play Heavy Gear. It does giant robots better than Traveller ever could.

Besides...the shelves of our gamestore is filled with crapola systems that tried to add everything and everyone and wound up sucking.

Does that leave the Traveller system on the fringes and only played by a dedicated few? Probably.
But that's not so bad either.

There's a lot of games nobody plays.

Thanks all, sorry about the length. I'll attempt to keep future diatribes a little more civil.
I never liked the idea of Mechs, big lumbering targets run by 1 person; it takes two to operate a fighter/bomber effectively and takes 3 or more to operate a tank. So I'd prefer them not to be added to Traveller. Instead, the small "mech", or soldier in full "battledress" could be emphasized in some cover art ("War! In the twenty-fifth and a half century!" er, sorry. :D ) for an army/marine/mercenary T20 "splat" book (come to think of it, CT's Book 4 was a splat book ;) ).

Originally posted by Gaming Glen:
I never liked the idea of Mechs, big lumbering targets run by 1 person; it takes two to operate a fighter/bomber effectively and takes 3 or more to operate a tank. So I'd prefer them not to be added to Traveller. Instead, the small "mech", or soldier in full "battledress" could be emphasized in some cover art ("War! In the twenty-fifth and a half century!" er, sorry. :D ) for an army/marine/mercenary T20 "splat" book (come to think of it, CT's Book 4 was a splat book ;) ).

Gears could be thought of as MiniMechs or BFB (Big F***** Battledress

Even Duck Dodgers would want one...
Does anyone know how BattleTech got started, aside from being a FASA product?

Also, have any of you noticed that the rate of posting on these boards has dropped?
Originally posted by Jame:
Also, have any of you noticed that the rate of posting on these boards has dropped?
Not sure what makes you say that. We are sitting at 46 active topics today as I write this and traffic to the site is higher than ever.

I've enjoyed Traveller Classic since it's inception. While my collection of LBB's did not survive due to divorce, fire, theft, and military moves, I still retain a deep devotion to the concept of an open framework for SFRPG's, of which Traveller is the best example.

The hassles that I keep running into are:

1) Near-religious resistance to any home-made adventures or other materials that are not part of the original Traveller 'canon'.

2) Lack of readily available gaming resources. This may be due to lack-luster marketing, or fast-handed collectors.

Notice how these two hassles kind of feed off each other?

On the one hand, it is not possible to walk in to any local (Anaheim, CA) gaming stores and find Traveller materials on the shelf (or a storekeeper willing to order any). On the other hand, having to write one's own adventures takes a lot of time away from family, business, and school. Also, independant efforts are viewed as second-rate because they were not authorized by Marc Miller, GDW, or whomever holds the license at this moment.

As an experiment, I once tried to pass off an original Traveller adventure ("Darthanon Queen" - Judges Guild) word-for-word (with a different title) as my own to a group of players. They did not want to play it because "It was not Traveller material." The next week, I showed them the cover of the original adventure. They could not wait to run through it, because "This one was written for Traveller", even though it was the same adventure.

Thanx for enduring my rant.


Traveller is not my religion, it's just the best game I've ever played.
That's pretty snobbish of them. Suggestion: stick the pages of your own adventure inside the pages of a published one.

I've rarely used any published adventures, of any game. The few I've used were heavily modified.