Referee's Briefing

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
Linwood
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Re: Referee's Briefing

Postby Linwood » Thu Oct 17, 2019 10:54 am

So many great ideas.... Should we consider setting up a poll?
Old School
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Re: Referee's Briefing

Postby Old School » Thu Oct 17, 2019 11:42 am

Well, there’s only one person whose opinion really matters here (and I really appreciate him asking us what we want). Hopefully we’ve given him some inspiration.
Rikki Tikki Traveller
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Re: Referee's Briefing

Postby Rikki Tikki Traveller » Thu Oct 17, 2019 2:22 pm

Imperial Culture - it is mentioned several times, but what EXACTLY is that? Clothing styles, types of address, etc.

Also, these other Cultural regions - I would love more info on the CULTURES within the Imperium. Not full alien modules, but for example. I am walking down the street in the Starport and see 3 differently dressed people walking towards me. What can I tell about them from their dress and mode of walking? Where are they from? Things like that.
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M J Dougherty
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Re: Referee's Briefing

Postby M J Dougherty » Thu Oct 17, 2019 4:59 pm

Lots of good ideas so far. I'm not sure when I'll have time to steal... err, 'collate' them all, but don't let that put you off.
bklokis
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Re: Referee's Briefing

Postby bklokis » Thu Oct 17, 2019 8:42 pm

Speaking of culture...I would love more background on jump space culture. What are the routines, traditions, rituals that arise in the different societies that spend so much time in jump space?

For instance, we know Aslan ships typically have a shrine...how often do typical Aslan worship their shrine? are there specific prayers, rituals dependant on clan? What is the equivalent for human Travellers? a game room? what games do they play? space-beer-pong?

Are there typical sicknesses, paranoias or manias that arise in jump space due to isolation, homesickness, etc? If so how are long do they last, how are they resolved?

Is it typical for crew to 'tick' off the number of days in jump space with chalk on a wall? Is there a certain type of honor tied to number of weeks in jump space? Do some people enjoy jump space because it is a week with nothing to do besides basic crew assignments (ie as long as I'm in jump space, I'm not getting shot at...I hope)?
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Linwood
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Re: Referee's Briefing

Postby Linwood » Fri Oct 18, 2019 1:31 am

Don’t forget the ones that think something is lurking in jumpspace....

Along with cultures , maybe religions (or belief systems? Charitable organizations?) might be worth exploring.
PFarrell
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Re: Referee's Briefing

Postby PFarrell » Fri Oct 18, 2019 8:16 am

Entertainment would be interesting.

I’m imagining hordes of fans waiting at star ports for the latest series of Game of thrones/Dallas equivalent to be delivered or riots caused be spoilers arriving before the series...
GamingGlen
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Re: Referee's Briefing

Postby GamingGlen » Fri Oct 18, 2019 7:24 pm

Alternative tech, specifically what works on a world where electrical devices cannot be relied on, for example: modern/hi-tech steam engines, alternate fuels, efficient muscle-powered machines. This has come up when reviewing Tripwire and on the planet Emerald there's a local electrical anomaly that makes vehicles not function. The only option the adventure gives is walking, but with a campsite or facility of scientists at the destination I'm thinking there has to be other ways to get there. I've discussed this on reddit's Traveller sub-forum and there were several good ideas given there so I don't want to go into it here.

BTW, I hate space monsters. IMO, that's for space fantasy universes (read: Star Wars), not Traveller.
Glen
Moppy
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Re: Referee's Briefing

Postby Moppy » Fri Oct 18, 2019 10:04 pm

GamingGlen wrote:
Fri Oct 18, 2019 7:24 pm
Alternative tech, specifically what works on a world where electrical devices cannot be relied on, for example: modern/hi-tech steam engines, alternate fuels, efficient muscle-powered machines. This has come up when reviewing Tripwire and on the planet Emerald there's a local electrical anomaly that makes vehicles not function. The only option the adventure gives is walking, but with a campsite or facility of scientists at the destination I'm thinking there has to be other ways to get there. I've discussed this on reddit's Traveller sub-forum and there were several good ideas given there so I don't want to go into it here.

BTW, I hate space monsters. IMO, that's for space fantasy universes (read: Star Wars), not Traveller.
Why is shielding not possible? (Apart from the fact that it's a "cool" plot device...)

By the way, there is no need for steam. We can build diesel engines that don't require electricity, and have been able to do so for many years, though modern engines use it for efficiency.

You don't get to use fuel injection, and have to use some alternative method of starting the thing, but once it's started it can generate sufficient heat from air compression to keep igniting fuel. A number of starters have been used historically such as a heating element which of course being a big metal lump can be heated with an open flame. (Imagine a metal tube that starts outside the engine and runs into the cyclinders; you just heat one end of the tube with a blow torch).

edit: I did a search on youtube, and there's a lot of videos on starting diesels with an open flame. Here's one. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=35HboBCS82I

Also I regard Traveller as space fantasy, until someone can explain the deal with Zhodani Zedi Knights, Grandfather's devices, and the jump drive (although I can give you a pass on the j-drive since it's quite common in sci-fi. Grandfather and the Zedi, though, no chance). Once you go beyond known physics, you're entirely in fantasy land, at least until you invent said physics yourself to be able to explain it. Imagine if I asked you what the rules in Mongoose Traveller version 4 would be - what could you usefully say?
Linwood
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Re: Referee's Briefing

Postby Linwood » Sat Oct 19, 2019 1:56 am

Hmmm... Lords of Space and other games?
Condottiere
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Re: Referee's Briefing

Postby Condottiere » Sun Oct 20, 2019 5:55 am

Image

Starship shrine.
arcador
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Re: Referee's Briefing

Postby arcador » Thu Nov 07, 2019 1:17 pm

Did they sell well?

I have half of them, I think. The mercenary one and the spaceports one were pretty good, albeit short. But that was part of the design.

Is it within the Referee's briefing topic to include Game mastering advice? The Companion contained a few pages, but a lot can be written here, of course, tailored for Traveller.

Some interesting topics:

- Lethality - meta explanation on Referees how to gauge lethality of the encounters, so they (and their players) are not surprised.
- Threat - ways to manipulate the threat level of an encounter, sans firepower/armament - ambushes, manipulation of authorities, intelligence levels, tactics, terrain, preparation, creating and taking value, etc...
- Pace - in a film the director can direct the pace. In a game, it's not predictable. Yet, there are ways to get a hold on the pace. Examples of pace from storytelling.
- Progress - advice on how to slow or increase the perceived progress of a campaign. Dangers of giving too much or too little, and how that might affect the experience of the game.
- Hooks - types of methods many writers use in order to hook the players - for those moments where the players need a poke, or a kick, in order to reboot the momentum.
- Ref Shield - the Referee is only one. Players are many. It's only natural for them to discover plotholes and exploits. Methods to protect from exploits, so it won't appear cheesy or hinder the suspension of disbelief. And ways to avoid that in advance.
- Expectations set - minor advice on how to prep the game, so neither players or the Ref has their expectations unmet (to a realistic degree).
- Tips and tricks - minor things on how to streamline the game, combat, ship management, space combat, etc, i.e. things which will help track things, and release the Ref from some of the overhead.
- Mistakes - everyone makes mistakes during their Referring. Some common ones, and how to avoid them, or - how to repair them. (Giving too much money, too powerful item, favouring one player too much, etc)
- (edit: the most important one) - going with the flow - experience tells most attempts of leading the Travellers will result in resistance, thus failing to comply. Ways to embrace the unknown and go with the flow. I.e. steering the plot, and not driving it.

This is solely advice based on experience. An experienced GM would have faced those or similar situations, and most likely is having some sort of resolution, yet this advice would be appreciated, especially by new Refs.

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