Tenacious-Techhunter wrote:What dice would make Traveller a better game, regardless of “economics and convenience”?
A well-stated question. The first answer that comes to my mind is for backwards compatibility with MgT 1e material. Then again, that may fall under the "economics and convenience" umbrella. As far as probability, I actually prefer a system with more numerical granularity than 2d6 (d100 being my favorite), but I don't have any evidence to back that up.
Regrettably, "backward compatibility" does
fall under "economics and convenience". And it can be a major bugaboo in some cases; I cite Microsoft's decision to simply not support older 16-bit software on Windows 7 - because maintaining that support would outright defeat some aims that they had for answering some of the - validated - charges against Windows over security. It nevertheless caused a bit of a ruckus because people were still using 16-bit software for mission-critical functionality. (This has bitten my own organization at «day job»; recently, a decision was made to punt all Windows XP workstations off our ActiveDirectory network - and then we discovered that a couple of divisions were reliant on some 16-bitware, and needed time to acquire or have developed a Windows-7-compatible version of that LOB functionality.)
The problem I have with TT's continued questioning of the long-established 2d6 isn't the questioning itself, but that he has been advocating polydice - or "not-2d6" - without even providing the groundwork of a case. I can assert that the current 2d6 makes Traveller
the best game it can be, on the basis of people with more knowledge of game design having chosen it over the contemporary polydice system - but I still don't know what basis they chose it on, even if it was
economics and convenience.
I don't know what criteria TT is using for "best possible game". I don't know what he considers "better" v.
"worse". He has steadfastly refrained from posting anything other than "consider polydice". No reasons, no evidence; at most the argument that he himself has discredited, of polydice being the most popular. That kind of posting, no matter how reasonably phrased, is not honest debate; it is trolling.
For what it's worth, there was, in fact, a version of Traveller
that explicitly wasn't 2d6, and in fact used polydice, with compatibility with an OGL version of that most popular competitor. It didn't go over very well; the polydice system used "offended" long-term Traveller
players, and it didn't really succeed in drawing in new players from the experienced polydice crowd. The problem (as I see it) was that Traveller
and Dungeons & Dragons
/D20 developed completely different styles of play, and those styles were more-or-less embedded in the rules - Traveller
assumed pre-development of characters (the whole Prior Career thing) and little or no in-game advancement, while Dungeons & Dragons
assumed more-or-less raw material tossed into the deep end at the beginning of the game, and in-game advancement was assumed and more-or-less inevitable. Traveller
didn't assume comparatively large rewards, or equate reward with character advancement; Dungeons & Dragons
... pretty much did. Traveller
... mostly ... wasn't about setting up enemies for the PCs to knock down and grab their Stuff; Dungeons & Dragons
... mostly ... was. Trying to reconcile the two was going to be the next best thing to impossible, and what is admirable about Traveller20
isn't that it succeeded, it's that it didn't crash and burn abjectly (just crashed and burned).
So, yeah, polydice Traveller
has been tried. It wasn't the only possibility for polydice, but it was the most likely one to be looked at, and the memory is going to make the old hands a bit leery of anything like it. That's why, if you want to advocate anything off the fundamental 2d6 of Traveller
's history, you've got to make your case.
I've said before that I don't have a problem with the idea
of universally replacing 2d6 with 2d8 or 3d12 or whatever, since all that does is change the granularity without changing the fundamental mechanic. But even there, if you want to advocate a change, you've got to make your case - because if you're not actually changing the fundamental mechanic, why bother changing the detail of which dice to use?
A well-made case here (on the forums, whether or not it's in this particular thread) for using different dice with Traveller
would be welcomed - and would probably generate a request from me for the author to expand on it, into an article long enough for Freelance Traveller
- not because I'd agree with it, but because it would have been a well-made case, showing why it's compatible with the established Traveller
"mores" and "ethos". That's the sort of thing I live
for, when wearing my hat as Editor of Freelance Traveller
. If you haven't seen that sort of thing previously, well... I can't print what I don't get sent.
But I won't play with trolls. Make your case, or quit trolling.