What is the Deal with GMing Traveller?

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
Porsche
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What is the Deal with GMing Traveller?

Postby Porsche » Wed May 04, 2011 7:54 pm

:D

I've never GMed a Traveller game. I remember buying the little black books with my Dad 30 years ago. I was a D&D player at the time. We played around with Traveller but we never truly grokked the essence of the atmosphere... i.e. how to make an adventure interesting in a system that lacked monsters, hit points and potions. We were young and liked that sort of stuff.

Anyhow, I still wonder a bit. I see a lot of posts relative to technical problems or situations. I.E. jumping and gravity issues, etc. I wonder why some get so computative with such things in a role playing game? The Shipbuilding is interesting and should be done properly but do players really calculate jumps, gravity issues, etc.?

:o

What are you roleplaying in Traveller?

:shock:
zero
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Postby zero » Wed May 04, 2011 8:07 pm

SCIENCE-REALITY NOT SCIENCE FICTION!!! :o

In all seriousness, I get your point, its especially geeky and the discussions here would make God kill a city-planet full of catgirls, but funnily enough its kinda like making physics fun, if I had Trav in high school I probably would have had a better grade in science :lol:

Atm there is alot of discussion on profits for passengers and the space they take up, but talking about this on the forum helps the game for others and even inspires a few creations and furthers... stuff...

Tbh, I talk about this because I want to be given a bigger picture of a setting thats Core doesnt have much... setting. :roll: And it entertains me.
Thanks to Barnest2 for designing my Stubby 1.0 and for GJD in doing a model also!
Thanks to AndrewW and far-trader for deckplanning my new Darrian ship and Barnest2 for renders!
Porsche
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Postby Porsche » Wed May 04, 2011 8:12 pm

zero wrote:SCIENCE-REALITY NOT SCIENCE FICTION!!! :o

In all seriousness, I get your point, its especially geeky and the discussions here would make God kill a city-planet full of catgirls, but funnily enough its kinda like making physics fun, if I had Trav in high school I probably would have had a better grade in science :lol:

Atm there is alot of discussion on profits for passengers and the space they take up, but talking about this on the forum helps the game for others and even inspires a few creations and furthers... stuff...

Tbh, I talk about this because I want to be given a bigger picture of a setting thats Core doesnt have much... setting. :roll: And it entertains me.
These are good points. I do like some technical aspects of the game. And I get the science reality stuff. But, calculating profits isn't that enticing to me in this format (I play euro games that have these mechanics, etc. and they are wonderful). Just thinking out loud..

I want to provide a rich experience.
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Gevrin
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Postby Gevrin » Wed May 04, 2011 9:51 pm

Porsche wrote:I do like some technical aspects of the game. And I get the science reality stuff. But, calculating profits isn't that enticing to me in this format (I play euro games that have these mechanics, etc. and they are wonderful). Just thinking out loud..

I want to provide a rich experience.
Look at the scenarios available in the Signs & Portents mags on this site. I started my sons with The Rescue in S&P55. A shuttle crashes into a reactor on an airless moon, threatening the lives of the people living in the domed city now lacking power and life support. This short adventure involves flying ships and EVAs in a vacc suit, recon, rescue, combat etc. There's loads going on and there's not a trader in sight. I think it's a good example of using the hostile environment of space as an antagonist.

Good luck.

Dave
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Postby Gruffty the Hiver » Wed May 04, 2011 10:20 pm

Character generation, ship building and world generation are games within themselves, as well as being tools with which to construct the game universe.

The thing I always disliked about D&D was the "here's a dungeon, there's gold, kill the monsters to get to it" game. Maybe it was the D&D DMs I played under, but Traveller appealed to me because it offered more than that.

Some people like the Trader game - buying and selling cargo, making the books balance, paying the starship mortgage - accountancy in spaaaacccee! - and adventuring (with shooting) along the way.

Others like the Traveller game - hiking round space, getting into scrapes and adventures, shooting things/people, and so on.

Then there's the Mercenary game - gun pr0n, dropships, sentry guns, grav tanks (or tracked tanks), achieving a military objective (or not), blowing stuff (and people) up, getting paid and moving on to the next ticket.

The Diplomatic game involves intrigue, deception, lies/deceit, manipulation, double crosses, double-double crosses, wealth, mingling with diplomats and nobles, usually with the aim of pulling a fast one on the opposing side, or gaining the edge in some manner - such as a lucrative trade or arms deal, bringing a rogue noble to heel, or somesuch.

The Navy game is a starship variant of the Mercenary game, involving space battles, boarding actions, invasions (sometimes), ortillery, and blowing (big) things up. And shooting.

The main thing is to make sure that NPCs have character and aren't all human. A Hiver diplomat trying to talk down a Vargr ambassador after the Vargr has had a few drinks at a post-war peace reception is a tricky situation, and can lead to all sorts of problems for the PCs.....

These are just a few of the possible game "types" for Traveller, but are the most common ones I've played or Refereed (others MMV). When it comes to things like plotting Jumps, docking starships, setting up an artillery piece whilst under fire, calculating a geostationary orbit, etc., the character's skills and attribute DMs come into play, along with any other DMs the Referee might throw in for good measure. The ref sets the task difficulty, the player throws 2d6 and adds the DMs, and you get a result (good or bad). You don't actually have to know how to calculate an orbit as a player (although sometimes it does help) and the Ref should be able to tell the players about the gravity on Zircon IV - "it's 0.6 G, so you can jump a bit higher, but coming down is tricky".

Here's an example from a game I played in - oooh -1980-lie:

My character and three others were walking across the underside of an Imperial Navy battleship in orbit (we had Vacc Suits on, obviously). Our goal was to plant a bomb on the communications relay, get out and blow it (before we were spotted). This would prevent the Imperials calling for reinforcements prior to our Solomani battleship arriving and destroying the Imperial ship. So, we made our way across the hull (magnetic soles, see?) and found the spot we were looking for. The bomb was planted without any problem and we all thought "job done, home and tea!".

Except for the fact that placing the bomb on the communications relay caused interference, which the Imperials then checked out and we got spotted. Marines were despatched out of an airlock in front of us some 20 meters away, so we turned back towards the relay and tried to run for it.

Whilst wearing Vacc Suits.

With magnetic soles.

In zero-G.

The character with the bomb trigger tripped and he failed his saving throw. He landed face down (up?) on top of the bomb trigger and set off the bomb. Our characters died from the blast.

The End.

In all of the above, we didn't need to calculate anything - the bomb's blast radius was 50 meters, we had moved 20 meters away from it when we were spotted and decided to turn back. The Ref had determined that wwe had to move at half normal speed due to the Vacc Suits and magnetic soles - about 1 meter every 2 seconds. Boom. Shredded Vacc Suits all round, barman, and a chaser of a hole in the Imperial ship's hull.
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Postby AndrewW » Wed May 04, 2011 11:46 pm

Gruffty the Hiver wrote:The character with the bomb trigger tripped and he failed his saving throw. He landed face down (up?) on top of the bomb trigger and set off the bomb. Our characters died from the blast.

The End.
At least you where able to accomplish the mission.

I hope the Solomani awarded all those involved medals posthumously.
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Postby zero » Thu May 05, 2011 12:42 am

^ Lol.

As for my further take on this topic, I personally like a mix between a Trader game and a Wanderer game, basically visiting a planet of the week and seeing what trade is there, pretty simple, and allows for some scrapes if the political regime is less than stellar on a certain planet.

At the moment my game is re-enacting the film Alien in a small merchant ship whilst it is in its "downtime" of its week in Jumpspace.
...In Jumpspace, noone will hear you scream! :o

I also noted with the planned Jumps that calculating a misjump is done before the Jump is even done, in future games I'm making the misjump roll upon exit of Jumpspace.

So far thats the only "...huh, well that'll suck when our chars find out, so what now?" moment Ive had.
Thanks to Barnest2 for designing my Stubby 1.0 and for GJD in doing a model also!
Thanks to AndrewW and far-trader for deckplanning my new Darrian ship and Barnest2 for renders!
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Gruffty the Hiver
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Postby Gruffty the Hiver » Thu May 05, 2011 4:41 pm

AndrewW wrote:
Gruffty the Hiver wrote:The character with the bomb trigger tripped and he failed his saving throw. He landed face down (up?) on top of the bomb trigger and set off the bomb. Our characters died from the blast.

The End.
At least you where able to accomplish the mission.

I hope the Solomani awarded all those involved medals posthumously.
Nope, they denied we were anything to do with them...... :lol:
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far-trader
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Postby far-trader » Thu May 05, 2011 4:49 pm

Gruffty the Hiver wrote:
AndrewW wrote:
Gruffty the Hiver wrote:The character with the bomb trigger tripped and he failed his saving throw. He landed face down (up?) on top of the bomb trigger and set off the bomb. Our characters died from the blast.

The End.
At least you where able to accomplish the mission.

I hope the Solomani awarded all those involved medals posthumously.
Nope, they denied we were anything to do with them...... :lol:
RPG Dictionary: Player Character - See entry: Deniable Assest

:)
Dan "far-trader" Burns

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Postby AndrewW » Thu May 05, 2011 4:57 pm

Gruffty the Hiver wrote:Nope, they denied we were anything to do with them...... :lol:
Did they have a message giving you your orders that self destructed¿

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