New player to Traveller

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
Bulletsponge
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New player to Traveller

Postby Bulletsponge » Fri Dec 22, 2017 1:22 am

Hello. I am a brand-spankin' new Traveller fan/referee. I have been buying and reading so many books that I can't fall asleep at night. I love it!
I have a few questions/suggestions though.
1. Is there a general guide to alien races? Like a Traveller version of a D&D monster manual, but for races? I have browsed the online wiki and am finding it to be a difficult learning tool. The supplement books/Trojan Reach are great for a single race each, but I need more. I've got the basics down, I think.
Being new to the game, I feel like I am interrupted by having to google what a Yont, Hiver, Droyne, or whatever is. A single book with limited information on a bunch of the popular races would be helpful for us newbies to get a feel for what this universe has in store.

2. How far do spacecraft communications reach? I get they are part of the sensor package and I have looked over the ranges of those in the core rules, but each individual part has different range. I just don't know where the comms fit in there. In my game, I made the call to use the radar/lidar range to open a communication with another vessel, but I'd like to make sure I'm doing it right. I have seen discussions on worldwide comms networks and that all makes perfect sense. Just ship to ship, I'm having trouble finding.

A few of my questions I found answers for browsing the forum, but I will likely have more and my sleep-deprived brain is shutting down. Thanks in advance for any help.
Jeraa
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Re: New player to Traveller

Postby Jeraa » Fri Dec 22, 2017 1:59 am

Communications should go a lot farther than the sensor table ranges. Remember, we had no trouble communicating with the astronauts on the moon (average of 384,400 km away). We also still communicate (but with a lag) with Voyager 1, which is billions of kilometers away. Communication anywhere within a system should not be a problem, though a time lag will have to be taken into account.

As for races, there is no Big Book of Races for any version of Traveller (as far as I know). There are various alien supplements, however, each covering one or more races. I don't think MgT 2e has any yet though.

Edit: Well, there are the library supplements. They usually give a paragraph or three on a race. Enough to get a general idea, but no mechanics/racial stats or anything.
Bulletsponge
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Re: New player to Traveller

Postby Bulletsponge » Fri Dec 22, 2017 3:08 pm

Thank you Jeraa!
NOLATrav
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Re: New player to Traveller

Postby NOLATrav » Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:11 pm

Jeraa wrote:
Fri Dec 22, 2017 1:59 am
Communication anywhere within a system should not be a problem, though a time lag will have to be taken into account.
Indeed. Just for reference, one light-second is roughly 300,000 km; comms with an object 1 billion km away will suffer a ~3333 second delay (~55.6 minutes each way).

There is a growing cry for a Traveller Aliens compilation volume but I don't see it happening anytime soon. The MgT 1e alien modules were great (I especially liked Aslan and Vargr) but at $20 a pop for pdf you may want to wait or keep poking at the wiki. The GURPS Traveller alien books are excellent and only $10, each covering two races, but you'd have to convert the stats. Also I think the GURPS license is expiring soon so not sure how long they'll be available.

Welcome and happy travelling!
ShawnDriscoll
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Re: New player to Traveller

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Fri Dec 22, 2017 9:44 pm

NOLATrav wrote:
Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:11 pm
There is a growing cry for a Traveller Aliens compilation volume but I don't see it happening anytime soon. The MgT 1e alien modules were great (I especially liked Aslan and Vargr) but at $20 a pop for pdf you may want to wait or keep poking at the wiki. The GURPS Traveller alien books are excellent and only $10, each covering two races, but you'd have to convert the stats. Also I think the GURPS license is expiring soon so not sure how long they'll be available.
The GURPS license thing has been taken care of. The PDFs will be around for a long time still. Its Alien books for Traveller are all right (background-wise). But there are no Mongoose Traveller stats of course. And no Mongoose Traveller chargen or careers for them either. What I did was buy each Mongoose Alien Module book as I needed them. Took awhile to eventually use all of them in my scenarios.
Bulletsponge
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Re: New player to Traveller

Postby Bulletsponge » Fri Dec 22, 2017 10:35 pm

Thanks all. I am trying to avoid buying each race module as I have purchased every Drinax related book, Trojan reach related book, the core rules, central supply catalogue, a Trojan Reach sector poster, and a starports book... all within the last few months. It's so much, lol.
I will look for the Gurps books. I feel like I just need familiarity with the basic information of what they are. Like, Hroal Irontooth has 2 Yonts in his retinue. I had to put everything down and go to my computer to Google it.

I made my players be humans for our first crack at the game. It just seemed easier, but if one (or more) dies, I will let them role Vargr or Aslan.
NolaTrav, thanks for the help with the times it takes. That will likely come in handy.
You guys are the best!
Condottiere
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Re: New player to Traveller

Postby Condottiere » Fri Dec 22, 2017 10:37 pm

Humans can be the most alien creature of all, so you could dispense with the rubber suit.

You could borrow cultures and societies from other RPG books.
Sigtrygg
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Re: New player to Traveller

Postby Sigtrygg » Sun Dec 24, 2017 12:22 am

The cheapest way to learn about the major aliens of the Third Imperium setting is to purchase the Classic Traveller cd from Far Future Enterprises - the company run by Marc W Miller (the guy behind the game and who owns the rights to the setting).
For $35 you get every Classic Traveller rulebook, supplement and adventure that GDW - the original publishers of Traveller - ever released and that includes the Alien Races modules.
Conversion between Classic Traveller and Mongoose Traveller is pretty easy.
steve98052
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Re: New player to Traveller

Postby steve98052 » Wed Dec 27, 2017 7:36 pm

For Mongoose race statistics, the classic Traveller CDs are the best resources. For detailed information, and abundance of races, I recommend the GURPS Traveller Alien Races books, plus GURPS Traveller Humaniti.

It's generally the case that if there's a GURPS book on a subject, it's probably the best gaming book on the topic, even if you don't like GURPS rules very much.
paltrysum
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Re: New player to Traveller

Postby paltrysum » Thu Dec 28, 2017 7:57 pm

So far the only alien race covered in MgT2 has been the Aslan in Pirates of Drinax Book 2. It's mostly rejiggered MgT1, but it's nice to have the updates. This book is out in PDF now and coming out in hardback next month.

I assume we'll see the Vargr again in one of the upcoming Spinward Marches/Deneb books that are to be published in 2018. Matthew has talked about publishing books that deal with the K'kree as well, which should be fun. I've long wanted to see a Hiver update with better Ithklur. The original Hiver/Ithklur book was written by Dave Nilsen and did not take the matter very seriously, I'm afraid.
"Spacers lead a sedentary life. They live at home, and their home is always with them—their starship, and so is their country—the depths of space."
Sigtrygg
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Re: New player to Traveller

Postby Sigtrygg » Thu Dec 28, 2017 9:08 pm

Ever read Dave Nilsen's comprehensive interview at CoTI? He took the matter very seriously.

He explained the reasons for that take on the Ithklur and what was going to happen if Into the Belly of the Beast had ever been published, and hinted at the role the Ithklur would take in helping the RC/Regency take down the Imperium behind the Black Curtain (Lucan's cyborg hellhole).

They were anything but silly.
Bulletsponge
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Re: New player to Traveller

Postby Bulletsponge » Fri Dec 29, 2017 2:23 am

Sigtrygg wrote:
Sun Dec 24, 2017 12:22 am
The cheapest way to learn about the major aliens of the Third Imperium setting is to purchase the Classic Traveller cd from Far Future Enterprises - the company run by Marc W Miller (the guy behind the game and who owns the rights to the setting).
For $35 you get every Classic Traveller rulebook, supplement and adventure that GDW - the original publishers of Traveller - ever released and that includes the Alien Races modules.
Conversion between Classic Traveller and Mongoose Traveller is pretty easy.
Thanks for this. I purchased 2 CDs from there. Each with a wealth of information. I cannot wait for them to come now!!
Mithras
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Re: New player to Traveller

Postby Mithras » Mon Jan 01, 2018 7:24 am

That's a great purchase, you won't regret it - there is so much stuff there, from ship deckplans to scenario ideas, library data to world information. Happy gaming, and happy new year!
Paul Elliott
HOSTILE: A Gritty SF setting inspired by Alien, Outland and Bladerunner - for Cepheus Engine https://www.paulelliottbooks.com/hostile.html
dmccoy1693
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Re: New player to Traveller

Postby dmccoy1693 » Wed Jan 03, 2018 2:50 am

Greetings!
Klooth Quethos
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Re: New player to Traveller

Postby Klooth Quethos » Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:46 pm

I'm brand new to Traveller as well. I had some weird sort of fascination back in the 80s that unless it had a "TSR" stamp on it, I wouldn't enjoy it. I could not have been more wrong. In the meantime, I have been poring over every bit of Traveller information, publications and data since September. It has been a worthy use of my time. I kick off a zero session with my group of players this coming Saturday. I feel slightly overwhelmed, but not in a bad way. I just want to be able to referee a campaign without appearing I've not done my due diligence.
When in doubt, use the ortillery.
Mithras
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Re: New player to Traveller

Postby Mithras » Thu Jan 04, 2018 12:23 am

Wing it wing it wing it. If in doubt, wing it. Nothing gets players more disgruntled than a ref with his head in a book looking up some rule. If in doubt. Wing it, Check it later. That is my advice and I first was introduced to roleplaying in 1982!
Paul Elliott
HOSTILE: A Gritty SF setting inspired by Alien, Outland and Bladerunner - for Cepheus Engine https://www.paulelliottbooks.com/hostile.html
ShawnDriscoll
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Re: New player to Traveller

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:32 am

Klooth Quethos wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:46 pm
I'm brand new to Traveller as well. I had some weird sort of fascination back in the 80s that unless it had a "TSR" stamp on it, I wouldn't enjoy it. I could not have been more wrong. In the meantime, I have been poring over every bit of Traveller information, publications and data since September. It has been a worthy use of my time. I kick off a zero session with my group of players this coming Saturday. I feel slightly overwhelmed, but not in a bad way. I just want to be able to referee a campaign without appearing I've not done my due diligence.
Wait until after a session to go over any questions with the players about the rules that came up. Tell this to the players before the session begins. Then the next session will run even smoother.
paltrysum
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Re: New player to Traveller

Postby paltrysum » Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:33 am

Like anything, it'll take a little time to iron out the kinks and make it really shine. But all that preparation you did is sure to pay off.
"Spacers lead a sedentary life. They live at home, and their home is always with them—their starship, and so is their country—the depths of space."
Klooth Quethos
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Re: New player to Traveller

Postby Klooth Quethos » Thu Jan 04, 2018 2:48 am

Thanks for the insight and support!
When in doubt, use the ortillery.
steve98052
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Re: New player to Traveller

Postby steve98052 » Thu Jan 04, 2018 6:50 pm

Wing it indeed. And make a note of it too. You can look up the rules later, and if the wing it result was significantly wrong, explain to players that you won't play it that way again. And if it's wrong and unfair, you can offer a limited undo.

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