Prime Directive Traveller

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
zero
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Postby zero » Thu Jun 30, 2011 8:32 pm

Ok, cool I think if amazon uk will stock Traveller: PD at a decent price (say £30 or under - dont know what that is in US $, sorry) I am fully in this. :)
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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Postby zozotroll » Sat Jul 02, 2011 5:18 pm

Just what I needed, Traveller and SFB all in one book. Having collected much of both over the years, I dont see how I can possibly avoid this one.

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Postby IanBruntlett » Sat Jul 02, 2011 5:25 pm

zero wrote:Ok, cool I think if amazon uk will stock Traveller: PD at a decent price (say £30 or under - dont know what that is in US $, sorry) I am fully in this. :)
In my experience, Amazon UK aren't particularly good so I support my local FLGS. I think you already know about Mongooses' on-line store - check it out before going for Amazon :)
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zero
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Postby zero » Sat Jul 02, 2011 8:26 pm

Yah, forgot about that when I posted, since discovering it I plan to compare the prices and stock and see what suits 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!
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Postby Jean » Tue Jul 05, 2011 11:24 am

Just so you know, the emails are flying hot and heavy for the Team working on adapting Primed Directive to Traveller. Mike West is working on the TL issue.
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Postby Finarvyn » Wed Jul 06, 2011 6:41 pm

Just to throw in a couple of thoughts...

In general I'd rather see a rulebook without an introductory adventure in it. The adventure is cool for about a week, then once I've played it I've got all of these "dead pages" stuck in my rulebook. I'd much rather the rulebook only contain rules.

If an introductory story and/or adventure is produced, make it (them?) an inexpensive PDF download.

Just my two cents.
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zero
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Postby zero » Wed Jul 06, 2011 7:28 pm

You could have one side of a page that just has single paragraph, open to interpretation, "adventure seeds". You can get more ideas in the book that way, plus its only one side.

Example;

Empire A has been expanding their forces recently and Empire B are getting nervous. The PCs in the employ of a third party have to investigate Empire A and see why theyre bolstering their navy. Plus what is it that Empire B is hiding that makes them so nervous of their neighbour?

You can put in the actual names of factions for where I wrote Empire A or B and have that one for free :wink:
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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Postby Rick » Wed Jul 06, 2011 8:03 pm

zero wrote:You could have one side of a page that just has single paragraph, open to interpretation, "adventure seeds". You can get more ideas in the book that way, plus its only one side.

Example;

Empire A has been expanding their forces recently and Empire B are getting nervous. The PCs in the employ of a third party have to investigate Empire A and see why theyre bolstering their navy. Plus what is it that Empire B is hiding that makes them so nervous of their neighbour?

You can put in the actual names of factions for where I wrote Empire A or B and have that one for free :wink:
From what I can remember of the previous prime directive books they do have 'adventure seeds' or ideas in them, as well as a sample adventure. If you have a look on some of the sites where the pdf's are for sale, they often have an index as one of the sample pages, which you might find useful.
"Understanding is a 3-edged sword" bit like a toblerone, really.
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Postby Jean » Wed Jul 06, 2011 10:01 pm

Guys, the adventure based on the story is most likely going to stay. For one thing, it lets people who like Star Trek, but don't play Traveller to get a feel for the game. We want new people to join us. :) This will benefit both companies and you since there will be new, fresh players for you to indoctrinate ... teach your favorite games.

The adventure is all of eight pages in a much longer book. Considering the probable benefits, we think it is worth including. We don't want to tell new players, oh by the way, no, you cannot play this new game you just bought without having an internet connection and a printer handy. For some folks, that will be a huge turnoff. :(
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Postby zero » Wed Jul 06, 2011 10:10 pm

^ Wha? I need an internet connection and printer?? :shock:
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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Postby AKAramis » Wed Jul 06, 2011 10:30 pm

SteveCole wrote:[...] The background of the SFU is frankly more consistent and logical than the TV show, which was... a TV show. [...]

I might comment that you can go download some really cheap sample adventures using GURPS and PD20M rules from e23. Look for the code word "aldo" and you'll find two of them (and a third within a two weeks). The third one (Starship Aldo) may be very much "Travelleresque" in its set up (a bunch of ex-military types in a post-war galaxy driving around in a war surplus ship looking for enough salvage to keep the ship going until a really big score let's them all retire).

SFU is very big (probably as much total material as trek itself), and you can find a lot of things in it.

SFU is often said to be "very military" which isn't really true. We have certainly published a LOT wargames and the military parts of SFU are widely covered in those games, but the military is no greater percentage of SFU than it is of the world we live in. The RPGs cover the military but spend more pages on civilian stuff, culture, history, legal systems, political systems, medical systems, and so forth.

If you want to be a military officer, you certainly can be one in our published RPGs and in this one. If you want to do Bridge Crew Adventures (which I personally find silly and unrealistic) the rulebooks show you how to do it. If you want to be a prime team you can be, but you obviously don't have to be.
The two primary modes I've seen people play are bridge crew and primary action team. Without being in Star Fleet, the Kl DSF, or the Rom ISF, or their marine equivalents, it just utterly lacks the Trek Feel.

Starship Aldo reads like a D&D module, not a Trek one. It isn't even very travelleresque... Traveller's classic tropes are Mercs on the ground, merchants on the spacelanes, and enigmas to be solved; Aldo is in the much derided smash-n-grab motif. (The Prime Team mission in the mid-90's Tournament pack is a FAR better Trek adventure - it highlights both trek tech and the Prime Team mode much better.)

Re Playing a bridge crew:
A ship's bridge crew on duty doesn't, in normal ops, interact with the drive crew, the deck department, or the gun crews. Let alone the mess crew, the laundry crew, the medical crew, nor the electronics crew. They interact with each other, and with controls. The Drive Crew don't OPERATE the drive systems; they maintain them and monitor them, and when damaged, fix them. The Gun Crew doesn't fire the gun, but loads, maintains, and repairs it. The Deck Crew sweeps, mops, paints, and totes... but have no bridge-directed duties. The Deck Officer directs them based upon priorities set in regulation, and by the skipper. The Medical Department does what it does autonomously, even in combat, unless someone on the bridge is hurt.

The only guy whose gunnery skill matters in gunnery is the guy inputting the fire solution parameters; the other guys maintain it, maybe feed the ammo on cue (so their ammo handling skill might matter for ROF), and keep it in shape.

The only helmsmen who matter are the one or two on the conn stations at a given point... the others are off shift. Same with the Navigator.

The only comm tech who matters is the one feeding info to the command crew; the others report stuff to them (and are actually surprisingly few, anyway - often only 1 comm tech per shift).

The sensor techs, when not on the bridge, report interesting stuff which gets relayed to the command crew, but again, only the guys ON the sensors matter, and if the sensor tech on the bridge is the best on shift, he's going to take over that sensor remotely anyway if he can...

As for the other hundreds? They perform maintenance. They try to repair stuff. They can easily and successfully be abstracted much as they are in SFB: damage control ratings and minimums for extended operation.

And those hundreds also mean not having to use the same NPC's every week, and having a few you can lose dirtside.

Task Force got it mostly right in the style of play: Military Crews on military missions; their miscalculation was no bridge crews. Just go back through the SFUBBS archives and see what people asked for in PD1: ship crews, and more races.

After all, we don't see: Star Trek: Rules of Acquisition on anyone's radar... Tho' I'm certain that Arman Shimmerman could carry such a show, it would lack the trek feel badly, even if it had all the Trek tech.

And FASA's rules for merchants were quite playable, yet, I've never actually met anyone who used them, in 20 years since they came out... I've encountered 4 groups playing KDSF bridge crews of D6's and D7's, and one playing a Fed KFD7 (yes, I had a group of feds capture a D7 rear hull in a pre-PD Trek campaign set in the SFU).

Deck Plans: My copy of FASA Trek shipped with full plans for both the Kl. D7 and Fed CA, in 7.5mm scale. 9 sheets 11x17 for the Enterprise, 6 for the D7, each double sided, and a 32 page book for the plans' text. Later, rereleased in double size for use with 15mm minis...

But to run a bridge crew game, I don't need them. I need a bridge plan, officer's quarters, Sickbay, Shuttle and Shuttlebay, and main engineering spaces, a chunk of crew quarters hallway, and a guide to what's on each deck. (Funny, that... all those happen to be in the SFTM, no?) I can use full plans; they ARE useful, but are not essential.

The G1 is useless to me for several reasons:
1 - it's Klingon... my players are likely to want to be feds and feds only
2 - it's short ranged... even if playing Klinks, it's not an autonomous ship
3 - it's a pure combat vessel. Again, even if playing klinks, it's not the kind of ship suited to non-combat missions
4 - RPGing isn't just Tactical Character Scale Minis any more.*

* well, outside of D&D.
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Postby Nerroth » Thu Jul 07, 2011 12:29 am

Rather than the military G1 gunboat, I would sooner imagine players being given access to the U1 workboat; a civilian variation with a longer range and service life, and which was sold in some numbers in Federation space, to boot.

There may be no Federation workboat* (or rather, none based on a Star Fleet design), but there are still Orion, Klingon, Romulan, Gorn, Kzinti, even ISC and Jindarian workboats which a private individual or group could acquire and use for their own adventures.


*In the "normal" timeline, anyway; SFB Module C3A looks at the alternate timeline the Darwin was shifted to in Y195. Apparently, in that dark future, Star Fleet did end up adopting PFs in "their" Y198 out of sheer desperation. That still might not have had any excess capacity available to build workboats, though; given the whole out-of-sheer-desperation thing.
The above post is 100% unofficial.
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Postby Iron Warrior. » Thu Jul 07, 2011 3:01 am

After my personal experience with SVC while involved with starfleet battles I must say I will never buy any product connected to him in any way whatsoever.
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Postby Jean » Thu Jul 07, 2011 3:45 am

AKAramis, I'm sorry you didn't enjoy Starship Aldo. It takes different adventures for styles of playing. While this adventure can be "all about the loot," a wider adventure would have the group finding out which ship it was and figuring out how to salvage it. Last year, our adventure started out with a kidnapped planetary survey team. We're already playing with what to do next year.

I think part of what SVC was trying to get at was that the Amarillo was designed to be a merchant ship. The crew members are not fully developed yet, but will include the bridge crew. SVC may not like sending "the main characters" out exploring, but you'll notice that "my" character would be one of those "bridge crew" types and yes, she'd be going with the guys if I were playing. :)

The thing I like about the RPG world is that no matter how different we are, we tend to get along and enjoy the adventure. We grow our characters in the direction we like and we have different takes on the exact same adventure. Our GM at Origins noticed that this year as he ran the same adventure with three different groups who played it very differently. With next year's Free RPG Day adventure, I hope there will be 600+ variations on it.

:lol: Zero, that is the look we want to prevent! Whether it is young people who want instant gratification or some of the folks who watched ST back when it was first on TV and don't want to have to go print stuff off before playing, we want to hook them in from the start! Those of us here may not believe it, but there are still people who are Not Happy with having to go to the web and print things. They are the people who come to the library and want the real paper books -- not an ebook, not an audiobook, but a "real" book.
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Postby Jean » Thu Jul 07, 2011 3:52 am

Iron Warrior, I am sorry to hear that. Not much I can do to alter the fact that the Star Fleet Universe is SVC's creation and this product thus is connected to him. I hope you enjoy the other aspects of the Traveller games.

With respect,
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Postby Scarecrow » Thu Jul 07, 2011 7:55 am

I think an important thing for many of us to keep in mind is that this is not a Star Trek: TOS supplement for Traveller, it is a Prime Directive supplement and whilst they may look the same at first glance, they really aren't. The TV series sent it's bridge officers off on away team missions because it couldn't afford two ensemble casts (bridge officers and prime team), Prime Directive's approach makes much more sense but doesn't feel like the TV series - because it isn't the TV series. It's Prime Directive.

As for non-Fed characters, personally, I can't imagine why anyone would want to go into (what looks like) the Star Trek universe and play a merchant. But then, I could never imagine why anyone would want to play in a Star Wars game and not play a Jedi - but many I've encountered don't.

Diff'rent Strokes and all that (Watchoo talkin' 'bout, Willis?)

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Jean
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Postby Jean » Thu Jul 07, 2011 12:01 pm

Crow, I think you are right.

Back when we did the original Prime Directive books, we had a lot of complaints that you couldn't be anything BUT a member of a prime team. People wanted ways to create not only the NPCs, but the folks who had retired from Star Fleet and were starting a new career -- one perhaps a little more shady and geared towards making money. We need to accommodate that group of people here as well.
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Postby billclo » Thu Jul 07, 2011 1:13 pm

Iron Warrior. wrote:After my personal experience with SVC while involved with starfleet battles I must say I will never buy any product connected to him in any way whatsoever.
I can understand that viewpoint. He's can be a tad crotchety and difficult to deal with at times. I used to just try to avoid him. But after meeting him at Origins and playing a couple games of Terrorwerks with him, he seems to have taken a shine to me for some reason. (he says it's the bond of guys fighting with each other - though it's just Airsoft, it functions much the same way apparently :D

Though to be sure, he's run off quite a few players over the years, and as such, I can see why you might feel that way.

But if you don't want to buy his products, sorry, your loss. Have fun with whatever you are playing.
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Postby zero » Thu Jul 07, 2011 1:37 pm

With the fun I'm having playing Cstars with a non-merchant crew (they are a crew of Wardens flying on a ship acquisitioned from the Saturn Republic Navy), I am for once (and also the players), not worrying about trading or getting the creds for that month.
It leaves me free to make little sub-plots that are free from the "client has a job for you on the planet of the week" variety.

When I get a copy of Prime Directive: Traveller, I'll be playing exactly what the TOS did, a bridge crew that also goes down to the planet as a prime team, because the PCs will be on the bridge and will want more action than button-pressing. But thats just me, it may not be realistic, but it will be fun.

I'm still wondering about what race my first character will be, the Kzinti look cool (I like the look of them from the animated series, the tiger-headed ones Ive seen pictured, not so much), but I may reign it back and play a Human or most probably a Romulan (rping the other races doesnt appeal to me as is, but I do think the Gorn was cool back in the day, may go with that yet :lol: ).

With the fun I'm having GMing my Cstars game I wouldnt mind GMing a PD: Trav game here when the time comes.

Just one last question (for now): Do I need any other product other than the Traveller Core and perhaps High Guard and the CSC to play this?
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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Jean
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Postby Jean » Thu Jul 07, 2011 3:37 pm

Zero, we dont know yet what all you will need to play the game because it isn't written yet. We're still doing some of the "figuring out" stuff. We've sort of worked out tech levels and Mike is hard at work doing "ship design stuff" from the looks of what he's checking out on the ADB BBS.
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