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What do you want from T5?

What game engine would you want to see in T5?

  • I don't want any system included at all.

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
1. I want an entirely new system...if I'm gonna lay down cash, I want something new...I already have a 'refined' MT system ( imho anyways )

2. Either no setting...but if we have to have one, added booklets/modules that detail Imperium at different eras...the historic thread would be a fun read even if never played.

3 play?..I am not fortunate enough to have a gaming group that is convenient for distance/time issues on top of me.

4. I'm not optimistic that it'll be worth my hard earned cash...I'd have to see it first...hem and haw about it...then MAYBE buy it. ( sheesh..I haven't bought any Trav stuff in over a decade because..my god...how many rulesets can I use?..how much canon can I buy only to ignore? )

5. Trav fanbois don't *need* another version even if they all beg for it. We already have too many as it is.
Originally posted by Supplement Four:
I believe the market for Traveller is fractured, and I think that is killing the game.

We need a single rules set that all publishers of Traveller use.

The problems is: If that rules set is not based on CT/MT, I'm likely not to embrace it. There are others out there who feel the same about their TNE based games.

Where's the proof that the problem stems from market fractitiousness? I don't see it. Those who like GT buy GT stuff. They might or might well NOT buy other Traveller stuff if it didn't support GT (or they already were). Same with T20. Same with CT or MT. I buy it all, but the truth is, I see about as much need for a new ruleset as I see need for a fish to have a bicycle. (Thanks, Oscar)

I see nothing approaching proof that market fractioning is causing the problems. Now, I'm not a publisher. But it seems local problems at QLI have caused some grief, not so much the fractured market.

You can't put the genie back in the bottle. A lot of us grognards are holders of many prior versions. And like them. Just like you yourself seem to be. Try to drive us down one path, we may well say 'no thanks, I've got a few other options'. The PDFs are out there. There isn't much likelihood that you'll ever get Traveller back into 'one true way' nor do I think you want to.

I know if Marc started trying that and went to one true way and it wasn't the way that interested me, I'd sadly not be helping him much because I wouldn't be buying it. Now, of course, he could go with the mass and sell us all a CT+ or MT+, but that'd torque off the T4-ites, not to mention the poor red-headed step children (yes, TNE fans, I'm looking at you... *grin*).

It would seem to me the more REALISTIC approach to going forward is this: Acknowledge we have a plethora of rules and therefore don't need another set, especially a zenophobic one that doesn't play well with others. Instead, concentrate on writing cross-system compatible products (and some focusing into the timelines of particular settings that pertain to individual systems, as GT did). Worry more about adventures and whatnot and know that *we already have the rules*. Maybe publish a 'rules variants' book with Mal's cleaned up CT stellar generation, some chargen variants, and whatnot that people can bolt on to existing rules if they want. AD&D did that by publishing Unearthed Arcana and other such books and offering 'new things' over and above the existing rules. No reason Traveller can't do that.

I think trying to get us onto 'the one true path' will only further alienate the player base and also the distributor and author base (T20 authors, authors for other Traveller versions). Maybe some folks write Traveller for a living so are version agnostic, but I suspect a fair few authors write for their passion for the game and their favourite incarnation. So why turn them out in the cold?

No, One True Ruleset is such a GW-esque concept that I'll have to pass (emphatically). I'd rather play 20 question with a Zho Telepath....
I think Kaladorn summed it up pretty well.

With the additions as follows, as one of those Grognards, I see it thus, also:

Since CCG games killed of most of the roleplaying hobby stores, and smaller companies...

also, combined with the fact that .pdf scans via Kazaa, and BitTorrent scam money from rpg book publishers, (Yes, i realize Drivethru sells .pdfs also, sure) games are moving to minis, which can't be scanned easily and given away.

Lots of people who back in the day would have done roleplaying like we did in the 70's and 80's, are now FPS gamers, and online gamers, since it is dirt cheap at 15.00 a month to play games like EVE and I guess WoW.

When I was 15, 16 years old, I used to spend easily 20.00 a week, from my job, on roleplaying. So to them, it is cheaper. and less creative work.

And online games are time intensive, so that to be effective in playing it, you play every night, or nearly so, not just every or every other saturday, like most of the gamers I knew did. I mean, TV was the thing, or schoolwork. Gaming was the fun as hell thing I did on Saturdays, when people could get a ride or take the bus across town to meet up to slay an orc tribe.

Combined with not having to generate a scenario, it makes it easy these days for younger guys ..and girls to log on to online games, and blaze away.

The same might be said for roleplaying, as a player, less work.. but with no referee - no game.

Though, since I came up from wargaming AH, SPI, VG, and other companies, and then moved in to roleplaying, an online game is not ultimately satisfying, to me. I need a story, and plot.

I read a study that said that kids in high school can't be bothered to read, to learn by sitting in class and over 35% surveyed would just quit, if they thought they could swing it.

A subset of these are the people that would have been roleplayers, and writers. I think it is just that there is not a strong enough development of the creative writing talent and skill in younger people these days in schools.

And a good Referee / DM pretty much has to have at least some writing talent, especially for sci fi games like Traveller, and oh, Star Trek, and to a lesser extent Star Wars (which relies on action, rather than theme.)

So, I guess what I want from T5 is.. something simply to play, easy to use, that has basic directions, pretty complete on how to generate and run scenarios, sufficient to spark the imagination, such that the younger crowd can find it, the way I found Classic Traveller back in the day, in the late 70's.

For me, personally, yeah, cleaned up rules. But basically a return to simplicity. Too much complication bogs down what I have developed as my storytelling style, these days. Star Wars d6, was a real eye opener for me as to breaking away from the wargamish elements, and LUG Star Trek solidified it for me.

I don't need all the FF&S design rules, none of those numbers matters to me, as the story is the key. I'll say Tank, and Cargo Ship, and War Ship, and be done with it, without all the numbers.

Sorry for the rambling. Those are my constellation of thought on this.
Originally posted by kaladorn:
Where's the proof that the problem stems from market fractitiousness? I don't see it.
Evidently, MJD does. He says the proof is in the Traveller sales.

Look HERE for his comments on the matter (multiple posts...in a thread you participated in).

I don't always agree with MJD. I sure as heck don't like his ACT system. But, he supports the thoughts that I've already had about Traveller's fractured market. Coming from the most prolific person turning out Traveller material right now, I tend to believe him on this topic.

I buy it all, but the truth is, I see about as much need for a new ruleset as I see need for a fish to have a bicycle. (Thanks, Oscar)
Correction. I didn't say that we necessarily need a "new" ruleset. I just said we need one "official" ruleset that all publishers of Traveller must use. The "official" rules set may be a new one, or it might be one of the older ones...or even a modifcation of an older one.

I see nothing approaching proof that market fractioning is causing the problems. Now, I'm not a publisher. But it seems local problems at QLI have caused some grief, not so much the fractured market.
MJD, a publisher of Trav items, disagrees strongly with that those three statements.

I tend ot agree with MJD on this.

There isn't much likelihood that you'll ever get Traveller back into 'one true way' nor do I think you want to.
Actually, I do.

If it were up for a vote, I'd vote for a return to CT, or some updated variation of it.

Actually, I believe it's Traveller's only hope to be vibrant again.

Otherwise, I think we're all just fleas sucking on a dying dog.

On the fractured market:

While I own and play a good number of systems, my preference boild down to four:

+ With a group of roleplayers and/or scenarios that are battle-light I normally use GURPS. This includes stuff like Vampire/Werewolf, most Fantasy stuff and all Traveller/2300AD stuff that is not merc/soldier oriented

+ With a pick-up game or an action orientes scenario I use a T2K V2.2/TNE with a home-made chargen. This includes action/merc oriented Traveller, 2300AD, Merc:2000 and a StarGate run(1)

+ With RTal. products I normally use Fuzion these days since it captures the feeling of the games and is decend enough(2)

+ With RIFTS I use the Palladium System

+ I actually played a few T20 sets on conventions, poaching D&D thingies

On the other hand I own quite a bit T20 Material since all but the most system-specific stuff (Weapons, Vehicles) are useful and adventures are easy to convert to GURPS. I even own Fighting ships, transforming needed crafts to GT. This is mostly fact of the rather straigh-forward systems used for skills and tasks in the original GDW games (The Challenge Article: Just How Good is Sidearm-5 helps a lot)

So I might not pick up the base T5 rulesbook unless it uses a TNE/T2K variant system but if the supplements are written in a useful way and provide information that enhance the game universe, I will likely buy them.

After all as a TNE fan I might be the black-clad stepchild of the family but as they say in the service: "You don't need that scenario material Zip, do you?"

The biggest problem with Traveller is not so much the "many systems" but the "LARGE HEAP". Getting into the universe requires a lot of starting effort from GM and Characters(3) with little to no shortcut. Two or three decend novels(4) would be of help. That's actually the beauty of TNE, the characters can start without much universe knowledge.

(1) Tip to StarGate GMs: Infantry Platoons and light Tanks can change the games feel a lot
(2) Conversion to GURPS is doabel quite easily, TNE might work
(3) And the often suggested "Firefly/Serenity" session might turn away players - Serenity without Firefly is not understandabel/useabel and Firefly is a so-so series (Not great, not bad)
(4) No need for Tolstoi, the original Battletech or RIFTS Trilogy as a target would be enough
Hey, if some people want to continue a discussion of the Traveller Market, can you split it into another thread? ;)
Traveller is just too dilute.

i) 6 going on 7 official rulesets.

ii) 5 or so areas of space surveyed, in official products.

iii) 5 different eras.

Any one of these factors would not fracture the game so, but in combination, it means no area or era has got full justice out of the support material.

Case in point: we have 5 or so different versions of the same Type S, or Type A1, whereas 5 different scoutship or free trader designs would have been more useful.

With hindsight it's easy to see how it might have been done better, such as keeping all the action in official products set in the Spinward Marches. This way every new version of the rules would have further embellished the setting so that by now we would have a very detailed and common version of the Marches, and plenty of room to sculpt our own TU.

As it is there is little room left for a ref to make stuff up and still keep it canon compatible. Published adventures are scattered all across known space, meaning groups can only use the handful set in their area without heavy modification, or spend years of game time travelling between them.

More to the point, now I've had a chance to look at every version except TNE, I see Library Data that is identical through all eras. Usually verbatim, without embellishment. I'd have expected to see some new material included in each version.

This has improved in the last decade. GURPS and now QLI and Avenger products are embellishing and adding new material to established settings. There's been some excellent development of District 268 (by far the most interesting subsector in all of Traveller), and the Golden Age Ships and the Epic Cruiser products have more or less tripled the number of vessels available to players. I'd like to see this continue, but Avenger are (obviously) concentrating on 1248 now.

This is history. We can't change that. But perhaps there is a way to make the Traveller canon more holistic again.

The many rulesets doesn't have to be a problem, if they can be made intercompatible.

Instead of new rules, how about a guidebook that seeks to integrate everything back together.

Official rules and guidelines on how to translate from one version to the other. Yes, it is doable, but I'm guessing everyone does it differently.

A general setting book dicussing the 3I and it's neighbours, covering all it's history. This would be a collation of all the existing stuff, along with new material covering eras neglected (the First Civil War, for instance), plus extra stuff never covered before, like migration routes and timescales and how trade has effected colonisation and development. Also, military type games have been very well served; how about some similar exposition on trading, exploration, and criminal activity. There's alot of great stuff out there, but it's scattered through dozens of different books, and is hard to manage. The Traveller Bible, perhaps?

The problem with T5, as far as I've seen, is that it continues the old method of dissipation, against the trend developing from QLI/Avenger, creating a whole new lot of support material (alot of which will probably cover old ground), rather than capitalising on the great stuff that already exists.
I disagree that the Traveller market is fractured or dilute, but instead view it as broad-based. No other gaming background has got rulesets in so many different systems. The OTU can be played by all the major game systems out there, and that brings in a lot of players.
Yes, there is a place for a relatively big name Traveller product out there. However, I did also vote for a generic product supporting many milieux. I rather like the idea of keeping faithful to the GDW roots of the game by keeping CT/MT as the hybrid, as the learning curve on those games was small and it keeps the cranks relatively happy. T5 for me would represent a template from which I could happily crank out different Science Fiction universes whilst maintaining some loyalty to what has gone on before it. Contradictory. Absolutely. But, I think that is the quandary that Marc faces every day that he looks at the project. Essentially, how to create an IP that will last the test of time whilst being adaptable enough that it becomes little effort to port in different universes.

We need more votes here, people. Even if you don't have much of an opinion on T5 already - please take a look at the questions and answer them!
There are essentially two things I want from T5. Firstly, that it should be a fully-functional, properly-proofread, professionally published product. Secondly, that it should be the last version of the rules, so that we can focus on developing the game rather than constantly trying to re-learn it.

I think Traveller has suffered greatly from the plethora of rules versions, combined with long periods of dead time. There is a lot of potential in T4, but it is let down by the infamous production quality, combined with the lack of any real sense of integration. Also the fact that T4 completely changed all the items and terminology, for no apparently good reason. Maybe I'm a sad old man, but for me Traveller has gauss rifles and cloth armour. I have no idea what a c0898 or whatever is, and nor do I feel motivated to learn.

What drew me into Traveller back in the 80s was above all else the quality of the background, and the way that everything I bought fitted together neatly and added to that background. Each rules book, each scenario, each magazine brought new part of the Third Imperium alive for me. I confess I'm one of those who have never forgiven Marc for choosing to smash the Imperium up. I think that T5 needs to regain that sense of cohesion and of purpose. It also needs some commitment to actually pursue and develop it. I think that a game like Traveller can withstand new rules systems provided the setting remains familiar and cogent, or can survive a radical change in setting if the rules remain familiar. Twice now Traveller has tried to change everything all at once, IMO for the worst in both cases, and has paid the penalty.

For me, the ideal would be a core rules system based on MT, but refined and cleaned up, drawing on the many discussions there have been over the years. I would then like to see something along the lines of FF&S for T5, to give full reign to the gearheads amongst us, together with simplified design systems for ships and vehicles which are actually compatible with the detailed system. I have recently spent some time trying to get CSC and FF&S2 and Emperor's Arsenal to marry up with each other, and have come to the conclusion that I would have had more success trying to nail a jelly to the ceiling !

What we need after the rules, IMO, is a primary setting. My personal preference would be something 1248+. The recent 1248 books were the best Traveller material I have seen in years, and even though I find the setting depressing in some ways, they still managed to revitalise my interest in the game. By all means have alternative periods if you wish, but let's have one focal one that can be used to market the game and pull people in, the way that the 3I did for me and so many others I know.

I suppose that what I want from T5 more than anything is the kind of professionalism that marked CT in particular, and which was so painfully lacking from T4. I firmly believe that if we have a strong quality product with a good background then Traveller can be revived. The quality of the older material stimulated the imagination and made writing for the 3I a positive pleasure. If fans like us can spend a bit more time generating material and a positive buzz, and rather less time producing Volume 27 of the Revised Errata, we might be able to get the game we love back on its feet.
OK I know the voting numbers are low to gain any real view of this issue BUT out of 47 peoples votes 0 want a new system for T5 and am I correct thats whats T5 is to be.
Simon, you're echoing one of the things that Bryan Gibson also commented on today -- Traveller needs relevance to young gamers.

And, noone can dispute your production quality concerns!
Talking about the presentation of the product, I guarantee you that T5 would be laughed out of the gaming stores if it was presented like CT. People expect a LOT more than basic two-column pocket-sized books with no art. They want thick 8x5 size books, preferably hardback, preferably with full colour art (but either way, it's got to have art and it's got to be a much higher standard than the stuff in the CT supplements). Heck, even B&W softbacks sometimes get sneered at today.

Maybe you can get away with the black/red cover style, but the innards have to be a lot prettier. That's the reality of today's market if you want a game to be taken seriously. TNE, T20 and GT are the examples to follow - not CT.
Yup as much as many grognards would like to see the old style LBBs back, they won't cut it in today's market.
Originally posted by hunter:
Yup as much as many grognards would like to see the old style LBBs back, they won't cut it in today's market.
Which also means well written narratives (fluff) that sell the OTU.

As a grognard these have,at times, made my heart sink in new games. But, they are the way to sell the setting and its assumptions - and at least we have natural candidate(s) for the task.
Well to be honest, what most fans like about Traveller is one of the reasons it won't ever be a huge seller. Realism (or mostly realism...).

Look at the games that sell well. They have a lot more of the 'fantastic' in them than Traveller does. They also tend to be B/W as far as theme goes. Generally good vs. evil. Traveller instead is very gray.