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2300AD - Standalone RPG?

Posted: Sun May 07, 2017 11:29 am
by TrippyHippy
It's a while away yet for the new Traveller 2 version, but I've been giving my current copy of 2300AD (the Mongoose Traveller version) a flick through recently, mainly to pull out a few hard sci-fi ideas for my current Traveller campaign. It has a bunch of good ideas in the text, even though the presentation is a bit plain (apart from the cover, which is stylish), so even if you're not running the setting fully, you can still pull bits out of it for inspiration in a standard Traveller game.

Anyway, I was wondering whether the new Traveller 2 version might go standalone. There are a couple of reasons for this, firstly, it would give a distinct reason for buying the new book, outside of a presentational facelift, while on a practical level there are enough differences between the standard 3rd Imperium based Traveller and the worlds and systems of 2300AD that flicking between the two corebooks is actually quite cumbersome. The core system would basically stay the same, and there would still be some overlap, but people could just dive into that particular setting on it's own merit from the single book alone. Yes, some of the setting material may have to get pruned to make space, but as it stands I'd actually prefer to do this and build on the setting through supplements.

Some like the idea of having Traveller Core used for multiple settings, like Mindjammer, but my feeling with Traveller 2nd Ed is that the Imperium vibe is a little bit more apparent and ingrained than it was in the 1st edition. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. I regard the 3rd Imperium as a very diverse setting, within a certain mode of sci-fi, while the colour presentation has given it something of a more modernised feel. Why not take a chance to do the same with 2300AD, and insodoing make it a more distinct, standalone game and setting in its own right?

What do others think?

Re: 2300AD - Standalone RPG?

Posted: Sun May 07, 2017 1:42 pm
by Reynard
Game designers used to make a variety of games each with their own mechanics and no compatibility. By the 90s they all realized it was a waste of man power and resources. Having experienced both I agree heartily. If you have a winning game mechanic don't waste time and money reinventing the wheel and having to have separate staffs (staves?).

I have the old and the new 2300 rule books. The Mongoose rule book works just fine and I didn't need to learn a new rule system to play. Mongoose didn't have to hire an entire new staff for a second scifi game. It's not broken and an update is better than replacement. I'm intrigued as to what expansions and additions will accompany a 2300AD upgrade just like what we gained from Traveller 2e.

Re: 2300AD - Standalone RPG?

Posted: Mon May 08, 2017 1:16 am
by TrippyHippy
I'm not arguing that they need to shift the system. I'm arguing that the core book for 2300AD could include all the core rules needed to make it standalone, rather than requiring Traveller core. The actual mechanics themselves could be the same, baring particular differences - like the way space travel works for example.

As it stands, 2300AD already has its own 'department' - Chris Dunn!

Re: 2300AD - Standalone RPG?

Posted: Mon May 08, 2017 9:35 am
by Hopeless
I'd say yes.

I have the 1e books of T2300 I have the 2e core rules it would require something special to make me want to buy those books again!

Now combining a version of the core rules using the T2300 setting that would be interesting to me even today I'm learning new things about the Traveller RPG that I wasn't aware of before.

Examples of T2300 character creation is a big part of what I'd like to see in 2e version!

Re: 2300AD - Standalone RPG?

Posted: Mon May 08, 2017 11:39 am
by Reynard
Ah, sorry misunderstood how you meant that. I get what you mean now and it does sound good but I wonder if the decision was it would make the 2300 book huge duplicating that much of the Traveller core book even without any Traveller reference material and jacking up the price making it less attractive at first glance at the sticker. Yeah, I understand what it would cost to by both books but people could flinch at a single large price tag for one item yet think nothing to buy the core and a 'supplement'. So many other companies follow that working model.

Still, it would be interesting to see a possible standalone.

Re: 2300AD - Standalone RPG?

Posted: Tue May 16, 2017 6:40 pm
by Colin
That would be "Colin Dunn" :D

I do not see 2300AD 2nd Ed being released as a standalone book. If anything, some of character generation complexity would be dialled back to improve the compatibility with core traveller. However, the ship design book will be stand-alone. I'm reviewing new environmental rules, as more attention is needed in 2300AD to just how alien and hostile other worlds are. (Gravity, air pressure, temperature, hydrographic effects, and atmopheric contaminants (composition, particulates, allergens)

The book will be designed to minimise flipping back and forth. 2300AD is more about the setting than the rules, but of course, the rules have to support the setting. This book will be full-colour, with all maps being re-rendered to take advantage of this. Illustrations will have the goal of setting the stage for a hard SF game, with visual cues from Alien, Aliens, Avatar, Halo, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and the Expanse. No isometric deckplans...

I'm currently editing the manuscript to ensure consistency and voice. (Yes, it is mostly complete). Surface to orbit and orbital operations are being over-hauled, with more importance being paid to orbital space and orbital operations, given the limitations of the stutterwarp drive. Reaction drives are much more important now.

Re: 2300AD - Standalone RPG?

Posted: Sun May 21, 2017 5:33 am
by TrippyHippy
Apologies, Colin!

Re: 2300AD - Standalone RPG?

Posted: Fri Jul 07, 2017 2:30 pm
by Hopeless
Did a post asking about an update on this figured resurrecting this would be better than having it be copied or repeated!

Re: 2300AD - Standalone RPG?

Posted: Fri Jul 07, 2017 5:31 pm
by corsair1973
I agree, a standalone book would be a big help. It works well for the Gumshoe and Fate game lines. It helps keep the game play consistent within the setting book, rather than having to figure out which core rules match with a particular edition.

For example, I have 2e MgT and recently converted from GDW 2300AD to M2300AD. The auto fire value for a FAM-90 is 6, meaning 6 attacks in 2e. And what is recoil? I eventually figured out that in 1e auto fire is the number of dice for the attack(s) and recoil (in 2e) was simplified into the Bulky trait.

Minor issues maybe, but I think a standalone book is better value. Having said that I'm just glad to hear 2300AD is alive again!

Re: 2300AD - Standalone RPG?

Posted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 4:43 pm
by steve98052
Another possibility -- editor time permitting -- might be a core rules book specific to 2300, so that people who are willing to dig out rules from the regular Traveller core book don't feel like they're stuck paying for half a book that duplicates a book they already have, and people who don't have the regular Traveller book don't feel like they're stuck paying for the portion of that book that doesn't relate to 2300.

Of course if some of the books are already done that's probably not going to work until the next edition.

Re: 2300AD - Standalone RPG?

Posted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 7:51 am
by TrippyHippy
I just see Traveller: 2300AD (which is actually what the label will say, regardless of marketing issues suffered in the 80s, as it will be based on the Traveller system) will make an alternate, hard sci-fi/near future alternative entree into Traveller. It could be used as just an alternate setting for Traveller core, but honestly I think that will be more confusing these days. The advantages of having everything to start in one volume can't be underestimated.