[Traveller] Favourite Traveller Versions

First Age

D&D h@ck3r and Hopepunk
Staff member
#2
I'm toying with getting Hard Times (the MegaTraveller supplement and campaign) out next year. It may be an appropriate game post Brexit.
Phew, you are right, pretty grim. Just the minor personal victories to stem the tide of the senseless destruction, or a real chance to turn the tide against the factional implosion?

You sticking with MgT2 or facing the destructive juggernaut with the T5 behemoth?
 

MartinP

Rune Priest
#3
You sticking with MgT2 or facing the destructive juggernaut with the T5 behemoth?
Now that's a choice I wouldn't want to make.

Hard Times with MgT2 would be a game with an underlying sense of disappointment and unfulfilled potential.

Hard Times with T5 would be a game akin to juggling chainsaws while doing the accountancy of the apocalypse.

Has anyone tried actually playing a game from the FFE landscape reprints of Classic Traveller, as opposed to just using them as source material? I always thought they were a bit unwieldy, but given the available options...

...Cepheus?
 

First Age

D&D h@ck3r and Hopepunk
Staff member
#4
I'm mostly OK with MgT2 as a base, but do have a cheeky eye on Cepheus, or MgT1 I suppose, with some indiscriminate personal spicing.

If I was starting afresh, I'd probably go down the Cepheus route as it is much more affordable and openly hackable. As it is MgT2, with a few exceptions, delivers a really solid game with some improvements to their 1e. I admit to not running much MgT2, or indeed any Trav, for quite a while. I must get back into it.

I sense Trav versioning could be re-threaded. I'll see if I can work out how to do that...
 

First Age

D&D h@ck3r and Hopepunk
Staff member
#5
I worked it out... hope this isn't a misjump? :LOL:

I have a small rules hack that introduces Luck Points and Signature Skill. The signature skill thing is a roll for advantage using that skill, but haven't played enough MgT2 to know how Boons and Banes work with other modifiers?

Luck points keep PCs alive, so depends on the sort of game you're looking for.

Does anyone have the Cepheus advanced Starship book? This almost drew me in to the whole range.
 

ltd

Rune Priest
#6
I like the Cepheus rules which provide a backbone for settings like Hostile. Arguably consistent with the vision presented in the Three Little Black books as a means to simulate a range of sci-fi adventures and environments. Never very interested in GDW's Imperium, always found it rather generic.

Cepheus Light is a nice distillation of the rules although the book is padded out with endless examples - I'd like to have seen 80% of them cut, and a bit more attention paid to editing/proof reading.
 

Dom

Administrator
Staff member
#7
You sticking with MgT2 or facing the destructive juggernaut with the T5 behemoth?
MgT2 but maybe with CT starships. Maybe. Or I could just drop the dogfight rules.

I can’t use my T5 book as a safety professional as it fails manual handling assessments. Sometimes I look wistfully at the latest 3 book version. Reality crashes back in when I see the shipping cost.
 

Guvnor

The Guvnor
Staff member
#8
Mgt2.
But I like @First Age signature skill and I would add something like 5e Inspiration or Blue Rose for driving personal agendas with a bit of bribery.
I found it very difficult to kill any PCs at all when running Secrets of the Ancients from end to beginning* a few years back.

* It's an Ancients thing, from their perspective they are rising to power as they coast time in the other direction for a while. **

** honest
 

First Age

D&D h@ck3r and Hopepunk
Staff member
#9
MgT2 but maybe with CT starships. Maybe. Or I could just drop the dogfight rules.

I can’t use my T5 book as a safety professional as it fails manual handling assessments. Sometimes I look wistfully at the latest 3 book version. Reality crashes back in when I see the shipping cost.
The three book set is now much more affordable in PDF, which works out much lighter than the books. I have no interest in them whatsoever, but super keen to have a play of 5.10 just to see how it has developed.

Yes, dropping the dogfight rules is high on my list of things to do to MgT2. I'd also want to have a hard stare at Boons and Banes. Not sure how much else. I liked the skill and the combat tweaks, plus it is still the rock solid Trav core feel.

I might add Cepheus Starships to my collection though...
 

MartinP

Rune Priest
#13
Isn't there a write-up on the net somewhere of Pirates of Drinax played with Ashen Stars?

I'm still searching for my favourite Traveller version. I think I've expressed my misgivings with MgT2 previously, T4 needs no further explanation and we don't talk about TNE. I never got into MegaTraveller, I'm not entirely sure why. Probably a combination of 'you broke the setting!' and being intimidated by the task system as a teenager. I actually really like the task system now.

T5 intimidates me now like MegaTraveller did then, but in a black monolith sort of fashion. Still, at least I can isolate individual books from my set and try to beat them into submission.

CT has that nostalgic glow around it, but let's face it, it's a 70s ruleset and feels like it.

I have a mental note to investigate Cepheus, see if with all the various versions it fixes the issue I have with MgT2.

My favourite setting is probably Milieu 0 from T4, although the reason it works for me is because the CT Imperium exists, and it's essentially a flashback. Weird, I know.
 

First Age

D&D h@ck3r and Hopepunk
Staff member
#14
I'm still searching for my favourite Traveller version. I think I've expressed my misgivings with MgT2 previously,...
[Snip]
I have a mental note to investigate Cepheus, see if with all the various versions it fixes the issue I have with MgT2.
If you can, give a quick recap of your MgT2 issue?
 

MartinP

Rune Priest
#17
If you can, give a quick recap of your MgT2 issue?
TLDR: I don't think the books are polished enough, and I don't like losing at character generation.

The long version:

I guess it comes down to two things, one that is basically my problem, and one that is theirs.

'Their problem' is that MgT2 seems unfinished, or maybe unpolished. When I'm playing there seem to be numerous bits where there is most of a rule, or half of an explanation. The rule that particularly comes to mind (because we ran into it after I first posted about this but couldn't recall any examples) is the rule for healing serious injury. If you have 3 damaged stats you need surgery to recover. If you get to only 2 damaged stats, you can recover in medical care (3+ points a day). Otherwise...I dunno, I guessed you have to go have more surgery. But it doesn't say that, or give any indication how long surgery takes, or the difficulty of the roll. And if your medic is spending all day doing surgery, presumably they can't oversee the medical care of the other patients. Or can they?

It's annoying to have to guess at the answers to these questions, especially when a lot of GMs are going to end up in the same place.

That's only one example. Another example of unpolished came from Pirates of Drinax. In the first adventure, our heroes go to Theev, where the high port is called The Skull. This isn't mentioned until long after the characters have arrived, in the optional 'looking for this ship' section, where you have to infer that The Skull is the high port from the rest of the text. It's all actually explained in the Theev optional extra which is now included in the Drinax Companion. I'm guessing it was cut from the original for space and then not caught in proof-reading.

That's what I characterise as 'their problem', it doesn't stop you playing the game but it made me feel like I was constantly having to wrestle with the books to run it.

The 'my problem' bit is character generation. I love the life path, and the quirky events that add even more flavour. But MgT2 is stuck emulating its predecessors, where it was 'fun' to be able to lose at character generation if your dice hate you. And there is a lot of dice rolling, so you can get a lot of hate. I want a system that keeps all the cool random stuff, but you just take different paths instead of losing. Flunk out of university? Sure, get carousing-1 and gambling-0 instead of those boring academic skills. Fail commission? Get an enlisted skill instead of an officer skill. Even the events could be this or that, rather than this or nothing. As I say, that's a personal issue (although one prompted by my home group, who were all new to Traveller). I looked at the optional systems in the Traveller Companion, but they address different requirements.

Ok that wasn't as quick as I'd intended. Sorry!
 

First Age

D&D h@ck3r and Hopepunk
Staff member
#18
TLDR: I don't think the books are polished enough, and I don't like losing at character generation.

The long version:

I guess it comes down to two things, one that is basically my problem, and one that is theirs.

[Lots of thoughtful words.]

Ok that wasn't as quick as I'd intended. Sorry!
Thanks and fair enough! I wonder if cross referencing the incomplete bits with previous versions will give a version neutral consensus? Still, you'd hope to not have to do that.
 

MartinP

Rune Priest
#20
Thanks and fair enough! I wonder if cross referencing the incomplete bits with previous versions will give a version neutral consensus? Still, you'd hope to not have to do that.
I think it would, in many cases. I seem to recall that there were a few unexplained references in the book that I already knew from playing previous editions. One of the players would ask "What does this mean?", I'd give the rough explanation while looking it up in the book, fail to find it explained anywhere, and then have to give a more detailed explanation from memory.

I want to like MgT2, because it's the first Traveller version I've had that has really paid attention to how the book looks and feels, and it really seems like it wants to be accessible to new players. Sadly, both the content and the binding just don't quite live up to the graphics, layout and tone.
 
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