Racial profiling in the OTU

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings

What OTU (non-human) race would you like to see in a dedicated Mongoose Traveller supplement?

Poll ended at Fri Jul 18, 2008 6:42 am

The crafty Vargr
12
41%
The honourable Aslan
5
17%
The manipulative Hiver
8
28%
The inscrutible Droyne
2
7%
The tasty K'Kree
2
7%
 
Total votes: 29
jonboywalton
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Racial profiling in the OTU

Postby jonboywalton » Sat Apr 19, 2008 6:42 am

I've got a question for the Mongeese, and I guess a follow on question for the Traveller fans out there:

To Matt, et al. - I'm guessing there's not rules included in the Traveller core rulebook regarding alien races - I didn't notice anything in the playtest-doc, and none of the previous iterations of the rules have incorporated other races into the basic rules. This is understandable, as the rules should be separate from the setting.

My question is, is there any plans on the drawing board for development of a book or series covering the major races (like the eight CT race books or the DGP Spinward and Rimward Races books)? Probably most of the old hacks could dummy up a Vargr or Aslan blindfolded using the core rules as a starting point, but it would be nice to have something "official" (and nicely printed and bound). :D

To the OTU players/fans/old curmudgeons (like myself) - if there was a MongTrav "Races of Known Space" series, what would you like to see first? Aslan? Droyne? Hiver? (Sit down, Gruffty.) Would you like to see one race to a release (like the CT series), Two or more spatially-related races (like the the great old DGP books), or one or more Major races and a couple of Minor races (like the GURPS releases)? Or would you like to see the Major Races as a single relesase?

FWIW, I'm leaning towards one Major and one or two Minor races to a release. And I'd like to see the Vargr get their due - they're cunning, loyal to the pack leader, and their noses glisten when they're healthy.

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Re: Racial profiling in the OTU

Postby AKAramis » Sat Apr 19, 2008 7:18 am

jonboywalton wrote:
To the OTU players/fans/old curmudgeons (like myself) - if there was a MongTrav "Races of Known Space" series, what would you like to see first? Aslan? Droyne? Hiver? (Sit down, Gruffty.) Would you like to see one race to a release (like the CT series), Two or more spatially-related races (like the the great old DGP books), or one or more Major races and a couple of Minor races (like the GURPS releases)? Or would you like to see the Major Races as a single relesase?
I'd say two significants and two-to-three lessers (one human), total 96 pages or so... Thematically arranged, and done seriously (no cheesy humor).
  • Aslan, Vargr, Dandy, and Daryen
  • Zhodani, Droyne, Chirper, Eiboken
  • Vilani, Geonee, Newt, Virush
  • Solomani, Vegan, Simian Uplifts, Cetacean Uplifts, Ursus
  • Hivers, K'Kree, Grugach'Kar, Ithklur (sans the san*klaus BS)
  • Ael Yael, Jagd-il-Jgd, Screechers, Symbeline chips
-AKAramis
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Re: Racial profiling in the OTU

Postby jonboywalton » Sat Apr 19, 2008 8:52 am

AKAramis wrote:I'd say two significants and two-to-three lessers (one human), total 96 pages or so...
Around a hundred pages seems to be something of an industry standard these days. Personally, I'm reluctant these days to by a hard copy of anything shorter than this (access to a colour printer helps with this decision ).
AKAramis wrote:Thematically arranged, and done seriously (no cheesy humor).
I coudn't agree more. There's a difference between making light of the subject - like the serious-but-funny "Epiphets for the Fifth Frontier War" from the old JTAS (No. 9, p. 27) - and the kind of lame jokes (or worse: tired in-jokes) that have shown up in different versions since (some of the TNE supplements were probably the worst offenders in this regard).

Personally I think the stabs at humour should be kept to the fora.
AKAramis wrote:
  • Aslan, Vargr, Dandy, and Daryen
  • Zhodani, Droyne, Chirper, Eiboken
  • Vilani, Geonee, Newt, Virush
  • Solomani, Vegan, Simian Uplifts, Cetacean Uplifts, Ursus
  • Hivers, K'Kree, Grugach'Kar, Ithklur (sans the san*klaus BS)
  • Ael Yael, Jagd-il-Jgd, Screechers, Symbeline chips
Can't fault this list. I think I'd be inclined to keep the page length, but reduce the number of races to two or three per (or keep the four and balloon the size to 128 pp). Looking back to the CT alien races releases, the guys had no trouble filling 48 pages for a single race.
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Postby rust » Sat Apr 19, 2008 9:33 am

I also think that AKAramis' proposal is very good.

My personal favourites would be the Droyne, because - in my opinion -
they are somewhat more "alien" than Vargr or Aslan, but of course
Vargr, Aslan and Zhodani are more important for the OTU setting.
I am also very interested in material on the uplifted dolphins, because
they play an important role in my setting, and on other aquatic races.
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Postby nezeray » Sat Apr 19, 2008 10:45 am

I think I'd like them with each race getting their own book, with a ton of rules/fluff/ships. So it's easier to allow/disallow races in you MGT mixed games and players don't have to hae the whole library.

example: I'm going to start running a Starship Troopers game but one of my players saw a preview for the Aslan and really wants to play one.

Do I make the player go buy the "races of Traveller" compendium just to play one race, then go get "Alien Ships, volume 3" to get a race specific ship... Or can he just go buy "Everything you wanted to know about the Aslan".

James / Nezeray

Who will probably get the library of THIS edition of Trav too once he decides if he likes the rules. T20 is hard to leave.
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Postby Smiling DM » Sat Apr 19, 2008 3:55 pm

I would have to add my support to Aramis's listings. Looks to me to be a great outline for a series of supplements.

I would also agree with Jon-Boy on the page count issue - I have also have a tough time buying thin hard-covers. When I encounter such products, I just wait and buy the pdf version. As a customer, I'd much rather see the page count increase and pay a higher cover price if I am going to buy a dead-tree version.
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Postby Gruffty the Hiver » Sat Apr 19, 2008 5:31 pm

Hivers, K'Kree,
...uhm not in the same book please, no...
Grugach'Kar,
...huh? hoo dem?...
Ithklur
...in the same book as the Hivers with the Gurvin and the other one (I forget the name - Za'achatk or something?)...
(sans the san*klaus BS)
...oh yes indeed. *Definitely* Ithklur without the san*klaas crap (but keep the Four-Fold/Tetramous Way stuff :) ).
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Postby Gruffty the Hiver » Sat Apr 19, 2008 5:34 pm

Personally I'd prefer a book per major race that includes some of the minor races in the major race's area of space a la GT i.e. Hivers + Ithklur + Gurvin + The Other Ones + ships/weapons/gear + a sector of UWPs and maps...

...and then he fell out of bed and woke up...
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Postby Supplement Four » Sat Apr 19, 2008 5:47 pm

Racial Profiling?

I'd say the Vargr are treated like second class citizens in many parts of the Imperium. :)
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Postby Golan2072 » Sat Apr 19, 2008 6:10 pm

I've voted for my second most favorite race (Hiver) as the Solomani weren't shown. Probably someone is mopping the floor nearby in satisfaction... :twisted:

Anyhow, I'd vote for Traveller race books in the CT format - each race should have a book devote to it including background (biology, psychology, sociology, history), game information, ships, chargen options, starships and probably some astrography as well. This way players who use only part of the races could devote their money to purchase material they'll use in actual play (for example, I probably won't purchase anything for the K'Kree or Zhodani, but would love to have Solomani, Aslan and Hiver books).
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Postby broken serenity » Sat Apr 19, 2008 10:34 pm

as a newb when it comes to the traveller sytem i'd just like to say i cant wait for any alien race guides as i find the info ive descovered about the races of the universe in traveller to be some of the most original and intriguing of any scifi setting ive seen over the years .


i voted hivers coz i think u can never do without a good race of shifty buggers to keep your player on there toes.
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Postby Cryo921 » Sat Apr 19, 2008 10:35 pm

Supplement Four wrote:Racial Profiling?

I'd say the Vargr are treated like second class citizens in many parts of the Imperium. :)
That's immediately what i thought when i saw racial profiling as well. I didn't think he was referring to a book describing each of the races, i thought he was talking about racial discrimination in traveller.
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Traveller Aliens

Postby towerwarlock » Sat Apr 19, 2008 10:59 pm

Personally, I am in favor of any alien books being done, prefer that the Aslan and Vagr be done first. By the way, can anyone please tell me how come the Solomani became to think that they are the master race? I mean come on, what happened to turn them into the New Nazis? Than human supremist thing sounds more like something the Vilani would do. They were out there centuries before anyone else, built an empire that said everyone had to do it their way. The Vilani attitude seemed more to becoming the Human Supremist way.
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Re: Traveller Aliens

Postby jonboywalton » Sun Apr 20, 2008 12:00 am

Cryo921 wrote:That's immediately what i thought when i saw racial profiling as well. I didn't think he was referring to a book describing each of the races, i thought he was talking about racial discrimination in traveller.
Sorry about that - gimicky subject line to get people's attention. Although while we're on the subject, I don't think everywhere in the Imperium would necessarily show racist tendencies (at least not on a purely racial basis). I think the locals on some worlds will look at anyone who steps off a starship as an outsider, while on other worlds difference might be celebrated, or even fetishized (ObTrav: Strangers keep approaching the PCs on one particular wanting to get their photo taken with your Vargr navigator because they just don't see that many around these parts).

I don't think there would be any kind of institutionalised Imperium-wide discrimination. To the government, doesn't matter what kind of skin your in (or scales, or fur...), you're just another source of revenue.
towerwarlock wrote:Personally, I am in favor of any alien books being done, prefer that the Aslan and Vagr be done first. .
As someone that spends more time in the Marches than the Solomani Rim, I'd agree.
towerwarlock wrote:By the way, can anyone please tell me how come the Solomani became to think that they are the master race? I mean come on, what happened to turn them into the New Nazis?
This is covered in some detail in the almost-impossible-to-find Solomani and Aslan book by Digest Group Publishing (DGP). It's also discussed (to a lesser degree) in Martin Dougherty's Traveller 1248 book, Out of the Darkness, from Comstar-Avenger.
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Postby gnytro » Sun Apr 20, 2008 3:46 am

I voted Vargr. I will probably pick up any alien supplement type books that come along, but I feel that the Vargr are the most playable of the major alien races, in terms of PCs. The others are just too alien for my liking, I usually use them as NPCs.
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Postby Gruffty the Hiver » Sun Apr 20, 2008 8:17 am

Golan wrote:I've voted for my second most favorite race (Hiver) as the Solomani weren't shown. Probably someone is mopping the floor nearby in satisfaction... :twisted:
...<mopmopmop....Hiver...huh? ;) ...mopmopmop...>
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Re: Traveller Aliens

Postby Golan2072 » Sun Apr 20, 2008 9:06 am

towerwarlock wrote: By the way, can anyone please tell me how come the Solomani became to think that they are the master race? I mean come on, what happened to turn them into the New Nazis? Than human supremist thing sounds more like something the Vilani would do. They were out there centuries before anyone else, built an empire that said everyone had to do it their way. The Vilani attitude seemed more to becoming the Human Supremist way.
One factor contributing to this is that many Earthers have felt that their destiny was stolen from them by the Vilani. Think about that - centuries of pre-starflight Earthers dreaming about brining Humanity to the stars, about going boldly where no man has gone before, about Humanity's interstellar destiny. Then when they finally go out and explore nearby star-systems they found that Humans were already there for millenia - that Earth is a minor world on the edge of civilized Human space rather than the sole origin of Human exploration.

Another factor is the fact that the puny little Terran Confederacy has managed to defeat the massive, invincible, millenia-old, multi-sector Vilani Ziru Sirka.

This gives the Solomani Movement mighty psychological strings to play on. The actual Solomani Movement is the result of the 3rd Imperium's imperial court turning from favoring Solomani/rimward business interests to favoring Vilani/coreward corporations. The Solomani businesses decided to have a state which would serve their interests and not their Vilani competitors. The ideology they've used to draw the masses behind them was Solomani nationalism - and as I've said, this nationalism has very effective strings to play on.
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Postby Gruffty the Hiver » Sun Apr 20, 2008 11:17 am

AM6 Solomani, Supplement 11 Library Data N-Z wrote:The Solomani Hypothesis, first proposed by Magis Sergei haut-Devroe, theorized that all of the many widely scattered human races of the galaxy originated on Terra, and he thought that they were transported to their current homeworlds by an alien race (called the Ancients) for purposes which even today remain unclear The approximate date of the scattering has been established as -300,000.

When Terra was incorporated in the Imperium in 588, a small historical mission verified much of haut-Devroe’s work. The hypothesis was already generally accepted by the majority of the human population in the Imperium.
By extension, the Solis reason that they are the only race fit to rule Charted Space. It's a bit more involved than that but essentially that's where the Solis idea of their supremacy comes from.
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Postby jonboywalton » Sun Apr 20, 2008 1:26 pm

Gruffty the Hiver wrote:By extension, the Solis reason that they are the only race fit to rule Charted Space. It's a bit more involved than that but essentially that's where the Solis idea of their supremacy comes from.
A case of "The Original, and still the Best".

Interestingly, the 1248 supplements have the Vilani asserting themselves as the rightful heirs to the Imperial legacy after the Second Civil War (the Rebellion) and the collapse of the Third Imperium.
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Postby Emperor Herdan » Mon Apr 21, 2008 7:51 pm

I would like to see the Hivers / k'kree (hmmm yum) in more depth.

I don't know about everyone else, but I've the access to the Gurps side of things, and thus would use them as canon source for the Zho's and Vagr...

Why "re-do" when you can "do-anew". Yes I'm aware of the TNE info on H/K but maybe its time to do it more seriously.. I mean its for the game aye? And maybe get them to do one of the Sectors where Humaniti, Hivers, and K'kree exist together....


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