Mongoose Traveller cross compatibility and immortality

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twodsix
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Mongoose Traveller cross compatibility and immortality

Postby twodsix » Tue Aug 15, 2017 2:40 pm

High everyone, I got a copy of Mongoose Traveller for my birthday a couple of months ago, although unfortunately it was 1e and not 2e as I was expecting. I was just wondering how cross compatible the editions are, can I for example pick up 2e High Guard and use the ship rules in there, or is it better to use 1e High Guard along with the 1e ship building rules? It's not that the 1e rules are terrible, it's just that I've heard the 2e rules are better.

I suppose the second thing, although it's lower on the list, is that I enjoy Peter F. Hamilton, especially the Commonwealth Saga, and am in the middle of making a Traveller setting inspired by it (because the rulebook itself is sparse enough in setting that I can actually bend the rules to include relatively cheap FTL travel and FTL communication without breaking anything*), and was wondering if anybody had any ideas on how to handle potentially immortal characters in Traveller. My current plan as to use the build point rules, although if there's an updated version specifically meant to deal with characters who have hit 100+ years floating around it would certainly be helpful.

Anyway, I'm off to strap some homebrewed reaction engines to these ships until I have the free money for the proper rules in pdf (probably the 1e ones unless the new rules are simply amazing).

* Yes, I know it's not the intent of Traveller, but it's close enough that things can flex to fit it.
AndrewW
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Re: Mongoose Traveller cross compatibility and immortality

Postby AndrewW » Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:01 pm

1st edition ships wont be identical in stats but would basically work with either edition rules, though maybe not for for the 2nd edition combat (with the addition of power requirements). Certainly some changes but more a cleaning up as far as the Core rules goes. There's no reason 2nd edition ships couldn't be used with the 1st edition Core rules as well.
ShawnDriscoll
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Re: Mongoose Traveller cross compatibility and immortality

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Tue Aug 15, 2017 4:04 pm

Ships from one edition can be shoehorned into the other. Both editions have their +/-. I use 1st edition because I already have all of the physical books for that edition, and don't want to re-buy everything. 2nd is better to get if you are new to Mongoose Traveller, and it is the version in print (if you like hardcopies of your books instead of PDFs).
twodsix
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Re: Mongoose Traveller cross compatibility and immortality

Postby twodsix » Tue Aug 15, 2017 4:10 pm

ShawnDriscoll wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 4:04 pm
Ships from one edition can be shoehorned into the other. Both editions have their +/-. I use 1st edition because I already have all of the physical books for that edition, and don't want to re-buy everything. 2nd is better to get if you are new to Mongoose Traveller, and it is the version in print (if you like hardcopies of your books instead of PDFs).
Print versus pdf isn't a massive deal for me, I prefer print but I can manage with pdf, which is cheaper, and I'll just print out the pages I need if I want a physical reference (unlikely unless there's a massive number of additional rules, I'll just make a couple of notes instead). I'm used to running from printed sheets, I homebrew a lot.

The main reason I posted was that, as I already have a 1e corebook, if it's overly important if I pay attention to the edition when getting new content. It sounds like it's not a massive improvement in quality, so I'll likely stick to 1e and get it in pdfs (or physical for 2300AD).
Jeraa
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Re: Mongoose Traveller cross compatibility and immortality

Postby Jeraa » Tue Aug 15, 2017 4:17 pm

The differences in ship design have been covered. The only other difference that may be a bit of a problem is in weapon ranges for characters. 1e uses a range band system, while 2e gives them an actual range in meters. I think armor may have had a bit of a change in DR numbers, but not a lot. Autofire works differently.

Everything else in the core book is pretty similar, enough to not really be a problem.
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Re: Mongoose Traveller cross compatibility and immortality

Postby SSWarlock » Thu Aug 17, 2017 2:16 am

twodsix wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 2:40 pm
<snip>..was wondering if anybody had any ideas on how to handle potentially immortal characters in Traveller. My current plan as to use the build point rules, although if there's an updated version specifically meant to deal with characters who have hit 100+ years floating around it would certainly be helpful.
I have a Traveller character, rolled up 'way back in November 1985, who's essentially "immortal" thanks to a ridiculously high PSI rating (15; he's a Zho from the CT Zho supplement). He rolled a Special psi skill and the GM assigned a custom psi skill called "Rejuvenation" based on Awareness healing. "Immortal" doesn't necessarily mean not killable. Often it just means "ageless", as in the case of my Zho who must actively use the skill to stave off aging effects. And being ageless doesn't also automatically mean all-knowing or all-capable. Skill levels can still be limited to a cap such as INT + EDU. Immortal characters can still make bad mistakes with nasty consequences (imprisonment for life, anyone?) , gain and lose fortunes, and experience all the feelings associated with being shot, stabbed, burned, suffocated, crushed, immersed in acid, poisoned, etc.

My character has survived multiple campaigns and I've found his lack of getting old really didn't have much effect at all. Having the right friends and gear is what's made the difference.
Sir Dhaven Hevelin, IOD, Baronet of Fulacin
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twodsix
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Re: Mongoose Traveller cross compatibility and immortality

Postby twodsix » Thu Aug 17, 2017 7:50 am

SSWarlock wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 2:16 am
twodsix wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 2:40 pm
<snip>..was wondering if anybody had any ideas on how to handle potentially immortal characters in Traveller. My current plan as to use the build point rules, although if there's an updated version specifically meant to deal with characters who have hit 100+ years floating around it would certainly be helpful.
I have a Traveller character, rolled up 'way back in November 1985, who's essentially "immortal" thanks to a ridiculously high PSI rating (15; he's a Zho from the CT Zho supplement). He rolled a Special psi skill and the GM assigned a custom psi skill called "Rejuvenation" based on Awareness healing. "Immortal" doesn't necessarily mean not killable. Often it just means "ageless", as in the case of my Zho who must actively use the skill to stave off aging effects. And being ageless doesn't also automatically mean all-knowing or all-capable. Skill levels can still be limited to a cap such as INT + EDU. Immortal characters can still make bad mistakes with nasty consequences (imprisonment for life, anyone?) , gain and lose fortunes, and experience all the feelings associated with being shot, stabbed, burned, suffocated, crushed, immersed in acid, poisoned, etc.

My character has survived multiple campaigns and I've found his lack of getting old really didn't have much effect at all. Having the right friends and gear is what's made the difference.
Sure, my problem is that I want to bend the rules to something like Peter F. Hamilton's Commonwealth Saga, where technological means of biological immortality exist (in this case rejuvenating every fourty years or so). While it also has ways to come back from the dead, it's slow enough to be manageable and has psychological effects on most people ('my original might not be dead!').

I'm mainly worried about the character creation, ending up at potentially 50-60 terms being rolled for, not skill totals or anything. High skill totals can be mitigated (either through limited skill ranks or more difficult tasks). That's why I'm considering going for a set point buy total (leaning towards a bit high at 60-80), and instead have players potentially roll only events for their terms if that.
ShawnDriscoll
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Re: Mongoose Traveller cross compatibility and immortality

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Thu Aug 17, 2017 8:12 am

twodsix wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 7:50 am
I'm mainly worried about the character creation, ending up at potentially 50-60 terms being rolled for, not skill totals or anything. High skill totals can be mitigated (either through limited skill ranks or more difficult tasks). That's why I'm considering going for a set point buy total (leaning towards a bit high at 60-80), and instead have players potentially roll only events for their terms if that.
How does Hamilton explain careers for his characters? Do characters have more than one retirement (concurrent)? How long can a career last before a character gets bored of doing it, or the career goes bye-bye because of technology advancing?
twodsix
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Re: Mongoose Traveller cross compatibility and immortality

Postby twodsix » Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:27 am

ShawnDriscoll wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 8:12 am
twodsix wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 7:50 am
I'm mainly worried about the character creation, ending up at potentially 50-60 terms being rolled for, not skill totals or anything. High skill totals can be mitigated (either through limited skill ranks or more difficult tasks). That's why I'm considering going for a set point buy total (leaning towards a bit high at 60-80), and instead have players potentially roll only events for their terms if that.
How does Hamilton explain careers for his characters? Do characters have more than one retirement (concurrent)? How long can a career last before a character gets bored of doing it, or the career goes bye-bye because of technology advancing?
I've not got to the sequel series, but in the Commonwealth Saga there's people who have one career going throughout several of their lives, while others say in the same generic field but don't stay in the same job. Other people seem to retire for a life at a time and then either resume their old career or start a new one. People seem to have done everything from never being willing to stop working, to taking a break every couple of hundred years. Working in the same field through all your lives seems to be standard (and of course, with the way Traveller character creation works you have to change field eventually).

A lot of jobs have gone bye-bye due to technology in the setting, although due to a desire to keep AI relatively basic there's quite a few jobs that seem to be 'watch over the bots and know enough to make decisions', and a preference to have some jobs done by people.

If I was actually adapting the setting itself to Traveller it would be even more complex due to spaceships generally being obsolete (it's a lot more efficient to just set up a wormhole linking the surface of two planets, humanity hadn't built a starship at the beginning of the novel for this reason). As it is I've managed to easily port the elements I want setting wise, it's just I'm trying to see if anyone's come up with a decent way to generate immortal nontranshuman characters.

EDIT: I did have the idea that immortal characters got a handful of benefits for their past lives (generally allies, contacts, rivals, and enemies), then you'd generate their recent history as normal, although I'm not sure how well it would work out.
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Re: Mongoose Traveller cross compatibility and immortality

Postby BigDogsRunning » Wed Nov 22, 2017 9:25 am

twodsix wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:27 am
ShawnDriscoll wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 8:12 am
twodsix wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 7:50 am
I'm mainly worried about the character creation, ending up at potentially 50-60 terms being rolled for, not skill totals or anything. High skill totals can be mitigated (either through limited skill ranks or more difficult tasks). That's why I'm considering going for a set point buy total (leaning towards a bit high at 60-80), and instead have players potentially roll only events for their terms if that.
How does Hamilton explain careers for his characters? Do characters have more than one retirement (concurrent)? How long can a career last before a character gets bored of doing it, or the career goes bye-bye because of technology advancing?
I've not got to the sequel series, but in the Commonwealth Saga there's people who have one career going throughout several of their lives, while others say in the same generic field but don't stay in the same job. Other people seem to retire for a life at a time and then either resume their old career or start a new one. People seem to have done everything from never being willing to stop working, to taking a break every couple of hundred years. Working in the same field through all your lives seems to be standard (and of course, with the way Traveller character creation works you have to change field eventually).

A lot of jobs have gone bye-bye due to technology in the setting, although due to a desire to keep AI relatively basic there's quite a few jobs that seem to be 'watch over the bots and know enough to make decisions', and a preference to have some jobs done by people.

If I was actually adapting the setting itself to Traveller it would be even more complex due to spaceships generally being obsolete (it's a lot more efficient to just set up a wormhole linking the surface of two planets, humanity hadn't built a starship at the beginning of the novel for this reason). As it is I've managed to easily port the elements I want setting wise, it's just I'm trying to see if anyone's come up with a decent way to generate immortal nontranshuman characters.

EDIT: I did have the idea that immortal characters got a handful of benefits for their past lives (generally allies, contacts, rivals, and enemies), then you'd generate their recent history as normal, although I'm not sure how well it would work out.
It seems like immortal characters are by definition "Transhuman".
That said, it would seem like having an extraordinarily long lifespan would change your perspective. After the first 50 years or so, a term might double, then double again after 100 years. As we age, each passing year is a smaller portion of our overall experience, and it feels like it. that's why you hear older people saying that time just seems to be flying bye. When you were a kid, a summer lasted forever. After 50, it's like, yeah, that was a great new years eve party, hey, is it halloween already? So, those immortals aren't going to keep improving the way that young people do, unless they've devised a way to restructure the brain and how we organize memories and experiences.
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Re: Mongoose Traveller cross compatibility and immortality

Postby SSWarlock » Wed Nov 22, 2017 1:34 pm

BigDogsRunning wrote:
Wed Nov 22, 2017 9:25 am
It seems like immortal characters are by definition "Transhuman".
That said, it would seem like having an extraordinarily long lifespan would change your perspective.
Some of the Transhumans may become extremely risk-adverse resulting in severe paranoia to preserve their life or they can become the opposite and seem almost fanatically reckless in an attempt to escape from the boredom of decades or centuries of seemingly repetitive life experiences ("My life is so boring. What this place needs is a good global war. Let's cause one!") Some Transhumans would look on other lives as relevant only as long those lives contributed to the Transhuman's personal goals. And then there's the financial requirements of such a lifespan.

An interesting example of how someone with all the above could really go off-center would be Moriarty in the second of Robert Downey Jr.'s "Sherlock Holmes" movies. Moriarty caused World War 1 after investing in those industries that support war: munitions and medical supply manufacturers. He loved both the money and the feelings of power from manipulating world events using other people to achieve what he wanted. And he wasn't immortal.
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heron61
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Re: Mongoose Traveller cross compatibility and immortality

Postby heron61 » Wed Nov 22, 2017 8:48 pm

While fairly different from Hamilton's Commonwealth, you might want to take a look at the Traveller version of Mindjammer (Mindjammer Traveller, put out by Modiphius for Mindjammer Press), where the default assumption is that characters will be virtually immortal. I think we handled the rules for playing exceedingly long-lived characters quite well. http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/202 ... er-Edition
twodsix
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Re: Mongoose Traveller cross compatibility and immortality

Postby twodsix » Sun Nov 26, 2017 8:02 pm

heron61 wrote:
Wed Nov 22, 2017 8:48 pm
While fairly different from Hamilton's Commonwealth, you might want to take a look at the Traveller version of Mindjammer (Mindjammer Traveller, put out by Modiphius for Mindjammer Press), where the default assumption is that characters will be virtually immortal. I think we handled the rules for playing exceedingly long-lived characters quite well. http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/202 ... er-Edition
I've been eyeing out, the problem is that if I wanted the more transform elements of Mindjammer I already own Eclipse Phase. I might pick it up, although I've been saying that for the Fate version as well.

Not really enamored by the Mindjammer setting, from what I can find out it feels like is trying to be the Culture without half the aspects of the Culture. Might be worthwhile though, even of I'm going to be sticking with reaction drives when I finally get to run a game instead of the various reactionless drives which appear so much in high powered sci-fi.
heron61
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Re: Mongoose Traveller cross compatibility and immortality

Postby heron61 » Sun Nov 26, 2017 8:17 pm

twodsix wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 8:02 pm
I've been eyeing out, the problem is that if I wanted the more transform elements of Mindjammer I already own Eclipse Phase. I might pick it up, although I've been saying that for the Fate version as well.

Not really enamored by the Mindjammer setting, from what I can find out it feels like is trying to be the Culture without half the aspects of the Culture. Might be worthwhile though, even of I'm going to be sticking with reaction drives when I finally get to run a game instead of the various reactionless drives which appear so much in high powered sci-fi.
There are pretty big differences between the Culture and Mindjammer, from my PoV, Mindjammer is 2 parts Cordwainer Smith's Instrumentality of Mankind and 1 part Banks' Culture.
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Re: Mongoose Traveller cross compatibility and immortality

Postby steve98052 » Sat Dec 02, 2017 6:41 pm

Are these characters immortal in the sense of invulnerable and unaging, or in the sense of being unaging and immune to all known diseases, but still vulnerable to trauma, resource starvation, and diseases that are too new to science to have cures?

In any case, there's a rule in character generation that limits the total number of skill levels on the basis of intelligence or education. I'm not sure how that's supposed to be ruled -- if you reach the limit, do you stop gaining skill levels, or can you discard an old skill to gain a new one?

I would put a cap on attribute gains, or maybe just use points for attributes (with a fairly high limit, since even basic unaging characters are transhuman).

- - -

Immortality trivia:
An actuary ran human lifespan calculations with all types of "natural causes" mortality removed, and estimated an average lifespan of about 600 years.
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Re: Mongoose Traveller cross compatibility and immortality

Postby Condottiere » Sat Dec 02, 2017 8:58 pm

There's a story in the Sector General series of an alien who uses regeneration to become somewhat immortal, though the process each time wipes out his memory, so he keeps a detailed journal in order to catch up.

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