Will you buy Mongoose Traveller when released?

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings

Will you buy Mongoose Traveller when released?

Yes. It looks great. I can't wait.
75
69%
No. I am no longer interested in buying the game.
34
31%
 
Total votes: 109
Supplement Four
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Will you buy Mongoose Traveller when released?

Postby Supplement Four » Fri Feb 08, 2008 3:08 pm

Since it is logical that people who are interested in MGT hang out at this forum, I completely expect this to be a lopsided poll in favor of MGT.

But, I'm curious. Sometimes a person can be surprised. MGT is taking a lot of heat over at CotI, and at the poll there, at least half of the responders say they won't be buying MGT. So, I'm asking the question and posting the poll here: Will you buy Mongoose Traveller when released (based on what you've seen here in the playtest)?

Feel free to illuminate your reasons, yay or nay, in the thread.
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Postby DaltonCalford » Fri Feb 08, 2008 3:33 pm

I used to hang out on the COTI forums, but after a while, I found that they where more interested in bashing than helping.

Traveller was the original RPG for many people and as such, is the focus of many flame wars but, I do not have the time for such foolishness.

If Mongoose puts as much effort into Traveller as they have in their other lines, I am sure that I will be spending a good deal of money on the line.
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Postby Smiling DM » Fri Feb 08, 2008 3:48 pm

I think most of the "heat" over at CoTI is based on a few vocal members who are possibly biasing the sample set. That and the general Pro CT nature of that audience. No different than the bias you imply will be present here.

I am encouraged by the various posts here that are constructively participating in the play-test (I especially like EDG's world gen fixes). Based on the few recent posts by Mongoose, they seem to be listening and making changes. I am late to the play-test, so I am not aware how well they have "listened" over time (v 3.2 is the only one I have seen).

As for me, I'll buy it as I am a Traveller slut. That aside, I do believe the publisher is making an effort to create a quality product.
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Postby Supplement Four » Fri Feb 08, 2008 4:03 pm

As for me, I was extremely excited when I heard that Mongoose would be publishing the new Traveller. I've felt for a long time that Traveller is too fractured in its multiple rule sets. It always feels to me as if the game is constantly being reinvented instead of moving forward with new ideas featured in an expanding universe.

I liked the early press that MGT would consolidate the game. I've seen Mongoose's Conan game, which I think is brilliant, and I felt if anybody could create a definitive Traveller game, it would be Mongoose.

The first hesitation I experienced was when I read that MGT and T5 would be compatible. This was before the first MGT playtest arrived. From what I knew about T5's mechanics (based on T4) and MGT's goal of being based on Classic Traveller, I knew then there was no way for the two games to be mechanically compatible. "Heck," I thought to myself, "How can they even promise this? We're talking apples (CT) and oranges (T5) here."

As the playtest has evolved, the official line has been changed. People have commented on the information coming out of Far Future about the compatiblility between the two games--that the two games would not be as closely connected as previously described.

My thoughts were, "Duh! Apples and Oranges. Any competent game designer should have seen that from the get-go."

Next, the playtest was opened, and I delved into it's primary mechanic, the task system. An rpg's task system is the most important mechanic in the entire game. It's the core of the game--the basis of so many other systems. At first, I was pleased. Mongoose chose to use the exact same mechanic I had chosen myself, a year and a half earlier, when I designed the Universal Game Mechanic for Classic Traveller. Upon closer inspection, though, I saw that MGT had run into a problem with the stats. Ever since MT introduced the mechanic to Traveller, Traveller games have been subject to stat-bloat, where the character's stat has more influence over the outcome of the task roll than the skill. This is bass-akwards thinking from Classic Traveller (where stat is rarely referenced at all during a task throw). MT isn't so bad, but a game like T4 is soaked with stat-bloat. I've seen it in playtests, too. ACT was the worst, and as I looked at MGT, it wasn't far behind.

How does stat-bloat effect the game? I'll give you an example. Take a character with Stat-11, Skill-1. This character's stat is effectig the outcome of the task roll by as much as this character's trained ability. Both stat and skill provide a +1 DM to the roll. If the character improves his stat to Stat-12, now his natural ability actually contributes more to the task roll (+2 DM) than his trained ability (Skill-1).

Upon close examination, this is crazy thinking. A character with Education-11, Explosives-1 tries to defuse a bomb. He's +2 on the throw (+1 DM for Stat, and +1 DM for Skill). Now, let's say that same character spends some time taking courses at his local college. He takes so many courses that his EDU is improved by 1 point.

This was a normal college with normal classes (history, statistics, literature, etc.).

Now, next time the character has to diffuse a bomb, he's Education-12 and Explosives-1, which means he's +3 on the throw. He gets +2 DM from his general education and a +1 DM from his specific training in demolitions.

See how crazy that thinking is in game design? This character's general education is allowed to overpower his specific training in demolitions. How does that general education boost in history and economics justify an entire +1 DM when diffusing a bomb?

This is stat-bloat. Stats are allowed to overpower skills.

It shouldn't be that way, and it just gets worse if you consider our character is: Education-12, Explosives-1, Admin-1, Astrogation-1, Diplomat-1. The education boost effectively allows this character to be Skill-2 in all of these vastly different areas of expertise. What parts of those general college courses should justify such improvement (a +1 DM is a powerful modifier when speaking about a 2D6 system) in widely diverse areas of expertise as Explosives and Admin, Astrogation and Diplomat?

You see, stats are too powerful in MGT. I recognize this, and it turns me off.

Then, I saw TBeard1999's analysis of the T/E mechanic. It's clearly broken, and clearly, Mongoose is going to release the game with the broken mechanic.

For me, these are deal breakers. I am disappointed. I had high hopes in Mongoose. I definitely would have voted for them to carry on the Traveller torch, based on what I'd seen of Conan.

But now, I'm more than disappointed. My heart is broken (because I love Traveller). Mongoose Traveller feels (and reads) to me as a set of house rules developed by a GM who has not thought out all the angles rather than what I would expect from a professional game designer.

My verdict on MGT (albeit unpopular here in this forum) is "thumbs down". I'll give it a pass.

And, I can't recommend it to other Traveller players.

MGT isn't something G-R-E-A-T as I was hoping it would be. It's just another broken version of Traveller, and we've got several of those already.

-S4
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Postby Rikki Tikki Traveller » Fri Feb 08, 2008 4:56 pm

Well, I voted yes. I have already pre-ordered it and the Spinward Marches book (Mostly based on the reputation of the writer Martin J. Dougherty).

I would not say that it is GREAT though.

I too have some problems with the Timing/Effect mechanism. As an alternative to the basic Roll 8+ mechanic it was OK, but when it was competely integrated into the combat system, I was skeptical.

I am not a big fight guy in my games, so I am also the first one to admit that the T/E mechanism seems OK with the fixes offered and accepted, but I still don't know.

I HOPE they incorporate most or all of EDG's world gen stuff. I have offered some tweeks, but I doubt any of us will know what really got accepted until the stuff comes out.

Book 2 ship design is OK, but I would have preferred a fixed High Guard system, again, for small ship designs, it is OK.

Never used psionics, so I can't judge those rules. But they seem CT.

I DO like the new character creation. Low skill counts and complete tables for each class with a promise that Mercenary et al will NOT change the system just offer variations and specialization. I have even gone off and created several new character classes to fit MTU setting from the old days that I have been inspired to resurrect.

Basically, I am an old CT guy who is just now getting back into active gaming after 20+ years and I have decided that I like MGT enough to use it as my base system rather than CT.
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Postby -Daniel- » Fri Feb 08, 2008 5:04 pm

I think you should have had one more option. "Yes, but only because I collect Traveller Items."

I realize Mongoose does not care why I buy a book, but they will care if the fan base does not buy all of the books. At this point I am going to buy some of the extra background books, but I may pass on the core rule book.

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Postby Takei » Fri Feb 08, 2008 5:14 pm

I intend to buy it once it's been out a few months and I'm sure of the book quality.
/Paul
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Postby Klaus Kipling » Fri Feb 08, 2008 5:15 pm

Supplement Four wrote: Then, I saw TBeard1999's analysis of the T/E mechanic. It's clearly broken, and clearly, Mongoose is going to release the game with the broken mechanic.
Well, since TBeard's statistical objections do not apply once Effect is uncapped, as apparently it will in the release, clearly the mechanic is no longer broken after all.

Not wishing to start a flame war, I'd just like to say that most of the objections I see now are matters of taste and style. It seems it is actually impossible to produce the mythical perfect version of Traveller. The MGT rules function along nicely for me, and the most important thing of all, compared to CT, is that chargen is fixed and balanced.

Anyway, I'm more interested in the extra stuff Mongoose can bring to Traveller. I'm already quite pleased with the equipment section: it actually looks like a sci fi game now, instead of the 1970's with spacesuits. And the few hints about adventures and campaigns on various boards are definitely whetting my appetite.
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Postby Supplement Four » Fri Feb 08, 2008 5:36 pm

Klaus Kipling wrote: The MGT rules function along nicely for me, and the most important thing of all, compared to CT, is that chargen is fixed and balanced.
I'm not trying to derail my own thread, but I see this type of comment often.

I used to think CT chargen wasn't balanced between advanced and basic characters too. Then, I realized that I was house ruling some things.

Many (should I say most?) GM house rule the Survival rule in CT. They use the optional survival rule, or they use some house rule.

It's amazing how much this unbalances CT chargen. I did a statistical analysis not so long ago, and I found the culprit for the non-balance between advanced chargen and basic chargen is the tweaked Survival rule.

The systems in CT were designed to be used with the Survival rule. It's important for CT GMs to enforce that rule. And, I would heavily recommend that the Optional Surival Rule NOT be used.

Here's why: With the Optional Survival Rule, a player will just keep on in character generation until he fails survival. Statistically, a character will go 2-3 terms before flunking survival.

Now, if you enforce the Survival rule as originally written, a player will be more careful. If he flunks survival, then that character is gone. Roll up a new one. So, if the player gets lucky and rolls up stats like this: AB9A89, he's got a pretty good character on his hands. Knowing that these nice stats all go away if he fails a survival throw, he'll be picky about which career he joins, and he'll be choosey on whether he wants to enlist for another term.

You see, in Advanced Chargen, that could mean as many as 4 more survival throws. In Basic Chargen, that only means one more Survival throw.

Thus, if the rules are played as written, your Advanced Chargen characters will typically have less terms under their belts than your Basic Chargen characters. So, skills to either type of character will be about the same.

And, to back this up, I draw your attention to Supplement 13: Veterans, which provides characters created using Advanced Chargen, to the characters presented in Supplement 1: 1001 Characters, which provides characters created using Basic Chargen.

You'll see that the characters are quite compatible.

Thus, Advanced Chargen CT characters and Basic Chargen CT characters are inter-changeable, but only if you follow the rules as written, without house tweaks.
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Postby Kristovich » Fri Feb 08, 2008 5:41 pm

Perhaps, I want to buy it, but I don't know if it will just be a waste of money or my group will actually play it.

Wait and see, we'll just have to do that.
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Postby AKAramis » Fri Feb 08, 2008 5:42 pm

I can't say it looks great, but I will buy it.

Why? Because the stuff I do like about it is a good basis for houseruling into the new TU I'm thinking of.

Some elements are worthy (character generation, for example, is great).

If my variant TU develops well, I may just release it as a supplement.

I see only a few things being badly broken as of 3.2: Trade, ship combat (due to power), ship operations (You can't make them misjump!), and a autofire.

I see several things which are flawed, but not fatally: weapon damages, tasks, psionics. Combat itself works fine aside from weapon damages.

The task system can be solved mathematically by having timing and effect, as they are now, be goal high, but making the task total goal low, and only using stat and skill DM's on the goal-low task success. It's simpler, and it makes hard tasks only successful with low timing and effect, and makes high skill able to get good success.

As for Atts versus skills: I understand WJP's issue, and simply disagree with him on it.

I also believe him wrong about stats being rarely referenced in CT... since the majority of defined rolls have a DM for low and a DM for high stat, I'd say that they are fairly commonly used in CT. At least, in My CT games of the 1980's, they certainly were important! Of course, the majority of defined-in-the-rules rolls are in combat... and I ran merc games back then.
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Postby captainjack23 » Fri Feb 08, 2008 5:47 pm

Well, is it just me, or do the choices for the poll seem silly ?

I can't vote either choice, given the "rah rah vs boo hiss" wording, and if I vote the direction of my choice,, I can expect to enjoy the sight of it being used to support something I probably won't agree with.
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Postby Dyrewulf » Fri Feb 08, 2008 6:17 pm

Traveller is the launch point for many gamers, it holds a special place in my gaming folder of memories even though I didn't start with Traveller.
I think Mongoose will put out a great product line, they have a great record so far with all their products and they have obviously taken extra care with this title.
I think after all the flame wars over the correct use of Atmosphere on the world builder, or the power system on space ships being broken, you only have two questions to really answer:

1) did you and your group have fun PLAYING?
2) did the rules HELP you with playing?

If they did, buy the book...if you are stuck on the fact that the developers wouldn't listen to you and your fixes on how to make world building unbroken, don't.
I have yet to play a game where I have used 100% if the rules as they were in the book...without modification. I don't think any of us do...so just answer those 2 questions and you will be able to determine if you are going to buy the book. If you are so unhappy with the rules...write out the system the way you want to play them.
I have already pre-ordered my copy.
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Postby captainjack23 » Fri Feb 08, 2008 6:23 pm

Dyrewulf wrote:Traveller is the launch point for many gamers, it holds a special place in my gaming folder of memories even though I didn't start with Traveller.
I think Mongoose will put out a great product line, they have a great record so far with all their products and they have obviously taken extra care with this title.
I think after all the flame wars over the correct use of Atmosphere on the world builder, or the power system on space ships being broken, you only have two questions to really answer:

1) did you and your group have fun PLAYING?
2) did the rules HELP you with playing?

If they did, buy the book...if you are stuck on the fact that the developers wouldn't listen to you and your fixes on how to make world building unbroken, don't.
I have yet to play a game where I have used 100% if the rules as they were in the book...without modification. I don't think any of us do...so just answer those 2 questions and you will be able to determine if you are going to buy the book. If you are so unhappy with the rules...write out the system the way you want to play them.
I have already pre-ordered my copy.
That works.

1. Yes
2.Yes

I preordered some time ago...and glad I did, as family economy issues right now would preclude it for a while.

and, FWIW, I like your perspective on the issue(s)
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Postby Zowy » Fri Feb 08, 2008 6:36 pm

Not sure, there are a number of things that would need house ruleing on just to make things work for me ( mainly starship building and trade rules for the type of games I play ). I will wait and see what the OGL finished set looks like fisrt.

Allso rules are still missing a number of things. Small ship design for one. Drop tanks and external cargo pod use needs to be addresed ( they can change the nature of wars and trade ) and are part of cannon.

Pesonally I am fine with demountable tanks. But in my TU you need a dispersed structure transport or use up hardpoints and tonage for extra attachments and braceing cargo pods. Drop tanks can not be dumped just before a jump to lower your dTonage, you must take them with you. ( You are going to drop large metal tanks in/near a forming Jump field!!! Are you out of your mind!! )
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Postby captainjack23 » Fri Feb 08, 2008 6:49 pm

Zowy wrote:Not sure, there are a number of things that would need house ruleing on just to make things work for me ( mainly starship building and trade rules for the type of games I play ). I will wait and see what the OGL finished set looks like fisrt.

Allso rules are still missing a number of things. Small ship design for one. Drop tanks and external cargo pod use needs to be addresed ( they can change the nature of wars and trade ) and are part of cannon.

Pesonally I am fine with demountable tanks. But in my TU you need a dispersed structure transport or use up hardpoints and tonage for extra attachments and braceing cargo pods. Drop tanks can not be dumped just before a jump to lower your dTonage, you must take them with you. ( You are going to drop large metal tanks in/near a forming Jump field!!! Are you out of your mind!! )
wish this had come up earlier.......yeah, they really can change campaigns.
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Postby Supplement Four » Fri Feb 08, 2008 7:32 pm

captainjack23 wrote:Well, is it just me, or do the choices for the poll seem silly ?

I can't vote either choice, given the "rah rah vs boo hiss" wording, and if I vote the direction of my choice,, I can expect to enjoy the sight of it being used to support something I probably won't agree with.
Sorry you dislike the wording. But, the poll is simple. Yes or No: Will you buy MGT when it comes out.

Simple as that.
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Postby Supplement Four » Fri Feb 08, 2008 7:35 pm

AKAramis wrote:I also believe him wrong about stats being rarely referenced in CT... since the majority of defined rolls have a DM for low and a DM for high stat, I'd say that they are fairly commonly used in CT.
Go back and look through your CT materials. Most throws published in the game and supplements do not reference a stat, by a wide margin. Yes, character generation does. So does combat. And, there are a few throws, here and there, where stats are referenced. But, the majority of them do not reference a stat either way.

EDIT: Perfect example of what I'm talking about, take the throw to revive passengers from low berth. It's a 5+ throw. Skill is referenced. Not stat. Most CT throws, in the rule books, supplements, and adventures, are written this way, without reference to stat.
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Postby captainjack23 » Fri Feb 08, 2008 7:39 pm

Supplement Four wrote:
captainjack23 wrote:Well, is it just me, or do the choices for the poll seem silly ?

I can't vote either choice, given the "rah rah vs boo hiss" wording, and if I vote the direction of my choice,, I can expect to enjoy the sight of it being used to support something I probably won't agree with.
Sorry you dislike the wording. But, the poll is simple. Yes or No: Will you buy MGT when it comes out.

Simple as that.
Did you change it ?

Becuase what I see is:
Yes. It looks great. I can't wait.

No. I am no longer interested in buying the game.
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Postby Supplement Four » Fri Feb 08, 2008 7:42 pm

captainjack23 wrote: Did you change it ?

Becuase what I see is:
OK, don't vote. Nobody is going to cry or care if you don't.

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