New Paizo SF RPG: Competitor with Traveller?

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
ShawnDriscoll
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Re: New Paizo SF RPG: Competitor with Traveller?

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Tue Aug 22, 2017 1:47 pm

twodsix wrote:
Tue Aug 22, 2017 1:05 pm
Yes. Let's be honest here, a good chunk of the market exclusively plays D&D or Pathfinder. I don't like it, but that's how it is. I remember seeing adverts for Starfinder that basically went 'Starfinder is finally doing for science fiction what D&D did for fantasy', and realised that this wasn't being aimed at people who know that Traveller exists (it was on Facebook and I wasn't the only person commenting 'so it'll do for science fiction what Traveller did for science fiction?').
Maybe years from now, we'll be reading "Starfinder doesn't do for science-fiction what Traveller's been doing for almost 50 years."
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Re: New Paizo SF RPG: Competitor with Traveller?

Postby twodsix » Tue Aug 22, 2017 2:03 pm

ShawnDriscoll wrote:
Tue Aug 22, 2017 1:47 pm
twodsix wrote:
Tue Aug 22, 2017 1:05 pm
Yes. Let's be honest here, a good chunk of the market exclusively plays D&D or Pathfinder. I don't like it, but that's how it is. I remember seeing adverts for Starfinder that basically went 'Starfinder is finally doing for science fiction what D&D did for fantasy', and realised that this wasn't being aimed at people who know that Traveller exists (it was on Facebook and I wasn't the only person commenting 'so it'll do for science fiction what Traveller did for science fiction?').
Maybe years from now, we'll be reading "Starfinder doesn't do for science-fiction what Traveller's been doing for almost 50 years."
Maybe, I'd certainly like d20 to not be the market hog it still is (thanks to D&D and Pathfinder). I mean, I've enjoyed D&D, but it's annoying when you want to run a cool game, but because someone else offers to run D&D or Pathfinder the group doesn't give you a chance. The number of cool games I have just sitting on my shelf because I've never had a group willing to play them.

I mean, I'm not going to sit here complaining about d20 all day, it can be fun with the right group (although it's not the system used for any of the top 5 campaigns I've played in). I might even buy Starfinder, although levelled equipment really bugs me (why can't we use the same laser pistols at level 20, just having got better at using them?) and it's not exactly the kind of game I truly enjoy. But at least a few Traveller books come first (including 2300AD), because it's a system I'll likely love to run.

I'm hoping that the dominance of D&D and Pathfinder gets broken soon, and other games begin popping up in bookstores, but I'm not hopeful. It's annoying that I either have to go to specialist shops or order online for everything else (and I do literally mean every other system).
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Re: New Paizo SF RPG: Competitor with Traveller?

Postby Galadrion » Tue Aug 22, 2017 2:05 pm

Reynard wrote:
Sun Aug 20, 2017 10:57 pm
I saw they're selling the PDF for $10 to get people buying it.
Actually, if you look at the Pathfinder books on the Paizo site, you'll see that pretty much all of them have the PDF going for $10 or less. I think that's pretty much their pricing policy - it hasn't changed since they started offering the PDFs. (It might have something to do with the perception that gamers prefer having the physical books... and I have to say, there's probably some justification for that perception as far as full-sized gaming books go; it can be a bit difficult to read a PDF version on a tablet screen, and not too many gamers are going to haul a full-sized computer around to wherever the game is being run.)
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Re: New Paizo SF RPG: Competitor with Traveller?

Postby GamingGlen » Tue Aug 22, 2017 2:29 pm

Galadrion wrote:
Tue Aug 22, 2017 2:05 pm
Reynard wrote:
Sun Aug 20, 2017 10:57 pm
I saw they're selling the PDF for $10 to get people buying it.
Actually, if you look at the Pathfinder books on the Paizo site, you'll see that pretty much all of them have the PDF going for $10 or less. I think that's pretty much their pricing policy - it hasn't changed since they started offering the PDFs. (It might have something to do with the perception that gamers prefer having the physical books... and I have to say, there's probably some justification for that perception as far as full-sized gaming books go; it can be a bit difficult to read a PDF version on a tablet screen, and not too many gamers are going to haul a full-sized computer around to wherever the game is being run.)
But that's not what is actually happening. It's a lot easier to carry a portable computer than the many pounds of books. Pathfinder also has the PFSRD website with all the rules, and a few FAQ and clarifications scattered among the web pages. My group, but not me, uses Hero Lab to make and update their characters, and many are now playing the game viewing their character sheet from the computer screen. They stopped bringing books months ago. One, first time I've seen him be a GM, is running a PF campaign from his I-phone, mostly to reference the Bestiary (we've been playing for years so we hardly break out the rules anyway).
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Re: New Paizo SF RPG: Competitor with Traveller?

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Tue Aug 22, 2017 2:46 pm

The stores I go to have most GMs using notebook computers. I rarely see them lugging around books.
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Re: New Paizo SF RPG: Competitor with Traveller?

Postby Reynard » Tue Aug 22, 2017 3:07 pm

Around my way at the gaming store, you see a room of filled tables with several gamers with books, a few with laptops and everyone else asking to borrow someone's book so they can build or update a character or look up yet another rule.
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Re: New Paizo SF RPG: Competitor with Traveller?

Postby twodsix » Tue Aug 22, 2017 3:24 pm

Most groups I've played with like books because they're easy to pass around the table. Hand written sheets are also generally preferred, as most of us scribble faster than we type (bar those who write in print rather than script). Of course we could always share a pdf, but most players I've met prefer not having a screen during the game (it seems especially common for scientists and engineers, go figure). I know I prefer playing with a printed copy of the book and a physical sheet (whether handwritten or typed).

PDFs are really better for those books you aren't going to be referencing often at the gaming table, or for the GM to check occasionally (as when running the game you have less chance to get distracted).
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Re: New Paizo SF RPG: Competitor with Traveller?

Postby paltrysum » Tue Aug 22, 2017 3:32 pm

One word in favor of PDFs: Searchability.

That said, I use books. I can't get past the tactile joy of a hardcover RPG book. I'm sure it's sentimentality from playing since I was a wee lad. :D
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Re: New Paizo SF RPG: Competitor with Traveller?

Postby Reynard » Tue Aug 22, 2017 4:29 pm

"One word in favor of PDFs: Searchability."

Long before I can complete a search, my fingers can flip the book open close to where the subject is then flip a couple pages to the exact page. Doing that page swipe thing or type in a search bar always seems so annoying especially if I'm in a hurry.
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Re: New Paizo SF RPG: Competitor with Traveller?

Postby kustenjaeger » Tue Aug 22, 2017 4:31 pm

As Starfinder was only $10 in PDF I picked it up as a curiosity. I'll report back when I have read more but from my initial glance through it does not really seem to address the same target audience as Traveller.

Edward
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Re: New Paizo SF RPG: Competitor with Traveller?

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Tue Aug 22, 2017 6:05 pm

kustenjaeger wrote:
Tue Aug 22, 2017 4:31 pm
As Starfinder was only $10 in PDF I picked it up as a curiosity. I'll report back when I have read more but from my initial glance through it does not really seem to address the same target audience as Traveller.

Edward
I been watching game session videos of it. The game is space-fantasy-d20. Taverns are made of steel instead of wood. It's not even space opera like Space Opera is.

I blame the players though, because they think sci-fi is only Star Wars.
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Re: New Paizo SF RPG: Competitor with Traveller?

Postby GamingGlen » Tue Aug 22, 2017 7:25 pm

I carry the PF Core Book and a tablet but only use the tablet to reference the PFSRD, and use my own designed character sheet (I do that for every game). It's about 50/50 for book/website and character sheets in our PF group. The DM for the Sunday D&D5E game insists on actual character sheets.

I skimmed through Starfinder at my store (trying not to abuse the book to be sold to a customer), noting the new races, glanced at spells, and saw that ships have a size category (of course) and influenced by Star Wars ship sizes. One spell stood out: Life Bubble, level 1, duration 24 hours/level, multiple targets (depending on level), immunity to hostile environments and breathable diseases and poisons.. pretty much a spell for creating a magical virtual vacc suit and way over powered for a 1st level spell. Although there is one drawback: being dispelled (can't dispel an actual vacc suit).

I doubt anyone in our PF group will run it. If they really want to play a sci-fi campaign (and rarely do), they will ask if I will run a Traveller game.
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Re: New Paizo SF RPG: Competitor with Traveller?

Postby GamingGlen » Tue Aug 22, 2017 7:28 pm

And a thought just crossed my mind: the spells might make for additional Psionic Powers for Traveller. Life Bubble would be a great Awareness power. Or would it fit better under Telekinesis?
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Re: New Paizo SF RPG: Competitor with Traveller?

Postby Mark A. Siefert » Tue Aug 22, 2017 7:36 pm

In my neck of the woods, Traveller is practically unknown save for a few old gaming grognards like me. When it comes to role-playing in Milwaukee, if it isn't Pathfinder or 5E, no one is interested. Believe me, I've tried and I've spent too many afternoons at the FLGS in front of an empty table trying to get people interested in a non-d20 title while dozens of other gamers play PF or D&D around me. Where I live, if anyone is interested in Starfinder it's because it's a sci-fi version of Pathfinder. Traveller has nothing to worry about. :cry:
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ShawnDriscoll
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Re: New Paizo SF RPG: Competitor with Traveller?

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:13 pm

GamingGlen wrote:
Tue Aug 22, 2017 7:28 pm
And a thought just crossed my mind: the spells might make for additional Psionic Powers for Traveller. Life Bubble would be a great Awareness power. Or would it fit better under Telekinesis?
There might already be life bubble in Mongoose Traveller. I know I've read such a thing in one of the books. But ya, you can just make up any Psionic skill on the spot for Mongoose Traveller.
Mark A. Siefert wrote:
Tue Aug 22, 2017 7:36 pm
When it comes to role-playing in Milwaukee, if it isn't Pathfinder or 5E, no one is interested. Believe me, I've tried and I've spent too many afternoons at the FLGS in front of an empty table trying to get people interested in a non-d20 title while dozens of other gamers play PF or D&D around me.
Make YouTube videos, and they will come.
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Re: New Paizo SF RPG: Competitor with Traveller?

Postby Reynard » Wed Aug 23, 2017 1:20 am

Browsing the Starfinder forums. One topic is about making SF hard SF. Seems we are not alone.

Another topic, a person wants to build worlds which the main book doesn't address. First answer was, wait for it, the Traveller world generator.
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Re: New Paizo SF RPG: Competitor with Traveller?

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Wed Aug 23, 2017 1:25 am

Reynard wrote:
Wed Aug 23, 2017 1:20 am
Browsing the Starfinder forums. One topic is about making SF hard SF. Seems we are not alone.
Hard SF using a d20 leveling system... Since there is no such thing as hard SF, I don't see a d20 game making it any easier to do.
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Re: New Paizo SF RPG: Competitor with Traveller?

Postby Sigtrygg » Wed Aug 23, 2017 3:57 am

The Expanse is fairly hard sci fi.
It was written based on one of the author's d20Future campaign.
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Re: New Paizo SF RPG: Competitor with Traveller?

Postby Galadrion » Wed Aug 23, 2017 5:11 am

Well, I've started to look through it and, in answer to the original question, I've got to say that Starfinder is not, in my opinion, really competing with Traveller - except maybe in the same sense that Jane Eyre competes with, say, Anne Rice's Vampire series. Yeah, they're both part of the same industry, but any given target customer is either solidly in one camp or the other, or they're going to get both and there's not really any competition involved.

Starfinder is different enough in tone and content that it's not really the same sort of game as Traveller. It's a fairly early impression, but I get the feeling that the goal was some sort of a fusion of Spelljammer - or maybe Dragon*Star - with the gaming feel of X-Crawl. Or maybe a role-playing version of Warhammer 40K, but not as gritty-feeling and distopian. In any case, it doesn't feel like Traveller... which isn't to say that you couldn't houserule one to be more like the other, but is there really anyone here who doesn't understand that sort of process anyway?
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Re: New Paizo SF RPG: Competitor with Traveller?

Postby h1ro » Wed Aug 23, 2017 5:22 am

For those of you who visit the Starfinder forums, are they full of people bitching about typos and rules they don't understand?

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