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Traveller and Alternity


I am starting a Traveller game for my group and was thinking of using TSR Alternity for the character and combat part of the game, has anyone used Alternity for Traveller, and if so with what changes. Also, is there a site where I can find Traveller to Alternity ideals.
In issue #270 of the DRAGON MAGAZINE, April of 2000, an 8-page conversion of the Traveller Universe to the Alternity system, including all the alien races and tips on handling Traveller technology differences, entitled New Frontiers was published. Perhaps if you could locate that, it would prove most useful to you.

Padawan Jack

"Trust me Major, evil knows evil."
-- Dr. Zachary Smith, LOST IN SPACE
Try Cyberpunk 2020 for combat. Its really easy to convert, and the FFNF system is very accurate. It fits pretty well I have found.
I found Alternity lacking in several respects. Some short-term, some long-term. We were trying to pull off the standard Traveller style in the Star*Drive setting and found a few problems doing so...

Not enough skill points to start: On the theory that a character with actual levels is "special", we found that large sacrifices were needed to fill all the crew positions with the needed skills. We had to increase starting skill points JUST to see some "beyond the job" individuality.

Climbing skill costs: this cheery mechanic turned out to be the big killer, as we discovered over the next several levels of character "growth." Effectively drowning out the skill point growth per level, this meant that you were forced into extreme specialization (one skill increase) or into extreme generalization (buy lots more level 1s) until VERY high levels (when the large number of points might let you increase two skills at the same time).

Too Many Skills: Coupled with the two above points, this one left us floundering. Following the path of generalization, my TechOp character still didn't have the full set of Engineering skills until he hit 5th level. At that point, all those skills were level 1, with maybe one at level 2. Note that in gametime, he'd been running ship's engineering for nearly a year at this point...alone...

Crippling Task system: ALL of the above were bad enough, but what finally caused us to drop the game was the realization that those bleepingly expensive skills weren't worth jack in a difficult situation. A game that is already tough (d20 task basis) represents difficult tasks by ADDING dice. A moderately tough task might add a d10, turning a flat 1-20 roll into a bell curve centered at 16! Really nasty tasks add multiple d20s. Making 1 pt gains in this environment is pretty small potatoes, and for those gains to be so expensive...

In addition, this game had one of the squirreliest combat systems I've seen. It worked reasonably well for people, but the scale-up for vehicles and starships was delightfully wierd. No Golden BB here. Instead, the better your to-hit roll,the less likely you were to do any damage at all. You also had to literally pound a ship into scrap to take it; no ship-stealing piracy in THIS universe.

Finally, the technological levels represented in the fluff meant very little in an actual fight, and the weapon and armor Quality rules were only about 20% finished. We fixed those about the same time we decided (see above) that it just wasn't worth it.

If you REALLY want to run Traveller using those rules, a few suggestions might help:
-Either start everyone at 6th level (or random levels ala standard Traveller; recommend two levels per term) or give out EXP like water. Don't worry, you won't break the task system doing this...
-Don't use the rulebook weaponry and armor as "good" guidelines. I haven't seen the Alternity-Traveller article so I can't comment on it.
-The Quality mechanics are where you will find the best path to weapon and armor differences that mean something, but you will need to finish writing those rules first...
Hey Murph, do you have a website for your conversion stuff? I'm very interested in your Trav to CP conversion.
Once T20 comes out, I think the point here will be moot. I've been playing D&D 3E for over a year now and ran a Star Wars game last week. Other than the fact that Jedi are extremely boring in the Star Wars game (one you get 4 or 5 specific feats, you're basically unstoppable) combat ran very smoothly. The system is very easy to use - much like the MegaTraveller Task system.