Fifth Frontier War

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Fifth Frontier War

Postby MrUkpyr » Sun May 20, 2012 2:18 am

Any word on when Mongoose will be producing the Fifth Frontier War?

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Re: Fifth Frontier War

Postby Dunia » Sun May 20, 2012 1:05 pm

MrUkpyr wrote:Any word on when Mongoose will be producing the Fifth Frontier War?

MrUkpyr
I hope that they will push the timeline forward, like GDW and GURPS does, I loved the Traveller News Network and often used the newscasts in my campaigns. Placing all books in 1105 and not pushing it forward, is making Traveller just like most other RPGs out there - the continuance that came with the news made the universe feel alive and made it fun for me as a GM by having me be excited and not deciding everything myself.

A very bad example is RIFTS from Palladium Games, they have played 50+ books in their timeline in the same year and continues to publish books in the same way.

So please push the story onward,
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Re: Fifth Frontier War

Postby AKAmra » Mon May 21, 2012 4:16 am

There are pros and cons to using the same year or pushing it forward. Harn uses a static 720 TR for all it's materials and does it very well; it allows the GM to not be worried about cannon future history being different than his own.

Moving the time line forward can be inspirational and give the setting a more "living" feeling for the GM - it also springs surprises on the GM within his own setting - which can be fun. This "benefit" is really GM specific, it allows the GM to take a passive role in the settings future and take "guidance" from an uber GM (the publisher).

I've seen both methods done well (and poorly) and don't have a preference for Traveller.
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Re: Fifth Frontier War

Postby locarno24 » Mon May 21, 2012 8:04 am

it allows the GM to not be worried about cannon future history being different than his own.
This is the big deal, really. Rolling campaigns with freedom of movement is good, but the problem comes if you undermine something the publisher later expects you to rely on.

This is why the format of the Pirates Of Drinax is good - I don't have the full detail of the campaign, but I know which characters the 'turning point' adventures rely on. As a result, I know which of them I really can't afford to let the characters shoot in the head without causing trouble later on.
Understand that I'm not advocating violence.
I'm just saying that it's highly effective and I strongly recommend using it.
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Re: Fifth Frontier War

Postby Captain Jonah » Mon May 21, 2012 8:44 am

While Traveller is one of the worst (or best) games around for cannon its your game and your Verse.

Most people ref’ing Traveller know about the upcoming invasion by the EVIL Psion Zho and how the noble and heroic Duke Norris will rise to rally the Brave Imperial soldiers, throw back the mind reading scum and make the Imperium safe for another generation :wink:

If you want to use it or not its up to you, in the same way that you can run a Dynasty campaign past 1116 without a certain rebel Arch Duke gunning down most of the Imperial family.

For my self I would like to see the timeline advancing. As a loooooooong term Traveller player and ref I know the 5th is coming, I know what happens in detail, I have maps, lists, adventures and all sorts. Its up to me if it happens in my verse since many of my players know about it as well. Which is why it started a year late the last time I used it :twisted:

Having everything set in the same year makes it a bit crowded. Having an advancing timeline spreads events out a bit, you don’t have to get involved with things and can always move the years if you like.

But for all those people new to Traveller through Mongoose who will not have seen all of the vast history, the 5th frontier war, the rebellion era, hard times, the new era etc and all the stuff that happened in between. Lets give the new generation a chance to live the history of Traveller.
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Re: Fifth Frontier War

Postby AndrewW » Mon May 21, 2012 9:12 am

Captain Jonah wrote:Most people ref’ing Traveller know about the upcoming invasion by the EVIL Psion Zho and how the noble and heroic Duke Norris will rise to rally the Brave Imperial soldiers, throw back the mind reading scum and make the Imperium safe for another generation :wink:
Those who lack such abilities often fear what they don't understand. The war is started to keep Imperial agression in check and remind you to keep your distance.
Last edited by AndrewW on Mon May 21, 2012 3:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Fifth Frontier War

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Mon May 21, 2012 11:22 am

A Fifth Frontier War would mean an assassination is in the timeline. You guys/gals want a Mongoose MegaTraveller to go there?
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Re: Fifth Frontier War

Postby Reynard » Mon May 21, 2012 11:49 am

To heck with the Fifth Frontier War! Let's get those Vampire fleets terrorizing known space and space vikings rediscovering said space.

Really though, it kinda makes sense to issue campaigns in historical order. FFW is the logical first great event in the official timeline. In the meantime, use your search online or find older sourcebooks for timeline events and/or use your imagination to fill in gaps for your game. For me, these great events are vague, vast background to players' adventures and the minutiae is only if I would want to run an adventure with very specific historical accuracy. I don't.

The Official Traveller Universe is a very big place stretching over a long time past, 'present' and future. Anything is possible.
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Re: Fifth Frontier War

Postby Captain Jonah » Mon May 21, 2012 12:25 pm

"Hey Captain you catch the update. The Zho have attacked us again."

Captain franticly checks sensors and looks around. "What, where, I don't see anything/"

"No not here, up in the marches. Whole fleets of em invading and everything. News just got in that all those rumours we have been hearing for a month are true."

The captain checks his sensors noting the absence of certain types of ships within sensor range and the status of the ships weapons.

"Hey chill mon capitan. The marches are 50 parsecs away and the fighting is more like 75 parsecs. Nothing for us to worry about all the way down here."

The captain notes the jump flare of several ships close by.

"Hey those three are a bit close, Doggies by the look of them. Wonder what they are doing here? What the frak, they just altered course straight at us.

The captain hits the all hands to stations alarm.

"Raiders, here? But we are no where near the edge of doggy space, I'll go full power to evade till the security ships get. Here. Erm captain, you see any security ships nearby!"

The captain being an old navy man doesn't bother looking, he knows most of the fleet will have been sent up to the marches making the whole corridor and near core all but empty of ships. He opens the bridge locker, gets out an old naval gauss pistol and wonders if he will see his grandchildren again.


Things like the FFW are huge events that ripple out across the OTU. They can be exciting times for those who happen to be flying civilian ships in the marches or no more than a news story to those further away till the local fleets vanish when they are sent as reinforcements. Allied groups raided all over the Marches, Deneb, The wilds, The corridor and down to the core. Some fighting and others just taking the opportunity to raid.

In the same way 1116 is just news in the marches till the effects ripple outward.

I am of the belief that campaigns should have an over arching backdrop. Things happen in the verse. The players may be just a handful of people and a ship of three in the thousands of worlds of the Imperium and may not care that war has broken out since they are no where near the marches but any major event will send ripples across known space.

New adventures present themselves. On the Solomani frontier are the Solomani launching raids while the Imperium is distracted. Are the Imperial forces launching raids to demonstrate they are not distracted. What are the Aslan or the Hivers up to when the news arrives? After all it’s a year before news of the end of the war arrives.

Advance the timeline. A Ref can chose not to use the cannon events if he wants to, but they are there for use when wanted. A ref who has heard of the FFW and decides to spice up his Marches campaign has nothing (Mongoose) Official to use.
Traveller: Nonsense, those rumours about me and crashes, no truth in them at all. I never had a landing I didn't walk away from!

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Re: Fifth Frontier War

Postby MongooseMatt » Mon May 21, 2012 2:33 pm

We have talked about the FFW. It _may_ appear Secrets/Drinax style - but no decision has yet been made.
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Re: Fifth Frontier War

Postby AndrewW » Mon May 21, 2012 3:51 pm

msprange wrote:We have talked about the FFW. It _may_ appear Secrets/Drinax style - but no decision has yet been made.
It was also mentioned at one point in connection with Living Traveller...
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Re: Fifth Frontier War

Postby locarno24 » Tue May 22, 2012 12:35 pm

It _may_ appear Secrets/Drinax style - but no decision has yet been made.
+1 for this option from me.
A 'you lot got drafted' campaign would be superb....
Understand that I'm not advocating violence.
I'm just saying that it's highly effective and I strongly recommend using it.
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Re: Fifth Frontier War

Postby Captain Jonah » Tue May 22, 2012 1:49 pm

locarno24 wrote:
It _may_ appear Secrets/Drinax style - but no decision has yet been made.
+1 for this option from me.
A 'you lot got drafted' campaign would be superb....
If you can find them there are several very good adventures based on just that. A small ship and its crew called in as auxiliaries to ship a marine squad and cargo to a distant world. What could go wrong :roll:

More a Drinax Sandbox sort of thing than a Secrets campaign.

You have a number of major events, worlds attacked, fleet battles etc but between and around them there is a lot of room for all those 1001 missions that are ideal for small ships and crews. Military or star merc jobs, cargo runs, smuggling supplies to besieged outposts, hunt the Zho spies, diplomatic missions to the extents to swing doggy clans away from the Zho and back to a sort of peace agreement with the 3rdI. Or commerce raids across the border, disrupt Zho or sword world supplies, break the blockades of the Darian worlds or 3rdI worlds along the distant Zho borders or sword world borders. Rescue spies from Zho space or fallen worlds, sneak the Dukes children of that world that the Zho just took. All of these can be sandboxed around the key events which happen in order as the timeline progresses.

You could probably do one chapter for each big event and mix in chapters full of minor adventures in between. Plus as its a single consistent campaign everything you have done comes back to haunt you later on :twisted:

Tripwire is set just before this all kicks off so an update for the war years could advance the who tripwire adventure with its backgrounds to become part of the FFW as well.
Traveller: Nonsense, those rumours about me and crashes, no truth in them at all. I never had a landing I didn't walk away from!

ACTA-SF: Who are we, GORN. What do we want, Cruisers that can turn.... Wait, OK Escorts... Wait. I'll get back to you !
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Re: Fifth Frontier War

Postby AndrewW » Tue May 22, 2012 3:07 pm

Captain Jonah wrote:You have a number of major events, worlds attacked, fleet battles etc but between and around them there is a lot of room for all those 1001 missions that are ideal for small ships and crews. Military or star merc jobs, cargo runs, smuggling supplies to besieged outposts, hunt the Zho spies, diplomatic missions to the extents to swing doggy clans away from the Zho and back to a sort of peace agreement with the 3rdI. Or commerce raids across the border, disrupt Zho or sword world supplies, break the blockades of the Darian worlds or 3rdI worlds along the distant Zho borders or sword world borders. Rescue spies from Zho space or fallen worlds, sneak the Dukes children of that world that the Zho just took. All of these can be sandboxed around the key events which happen in order as the timeline progresses.
Don't forget recon/intelligence gathering missions as well.
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Re: Fifth Frontier War

Postby phavoc » Tue May 22, 2012 3:41 pm

If you wish to add this to your campaign, you don't need the entire war to create a setting. Big star empires that have battled in the past will likely continue to have skirmishes and duels. If you model your combat after how naval battles were done starting in WW1, you'll find that fleets rarely move out from their ports or positions to engage the enemy fleets because you can't afford to lose. So instead of large fleet battles, you are going to have numerous skirmishes and scouting and whatnot from smaller flotilla's, a handful of destroyers, or even smallish (<1000 tons) vessels probing the enemy systems.

Sometimes they are looking for something, or just making a probe, and will withdraw if attacked, or maybe just exchange fire before leaving. It's a perfect situation for adventure's because the Imperium cannot police all of its space and stations/systems. So the enterprising referee will have his players being able to follow adventures along the border systems, making probes into disputed space as 'merchants', etc.

Fleet battles are neat to read about, but a massive pain to have to deal with as a ref. It's not like your PC's will be controlling the fleets anyways. A pre-war setting would offer as much adventure possibilities without the bigger danger of being whacked by a warship. Auxillaries and such are better to fight against with a PC starship. At least that's how I would do it.

And don't forget the northern borders of the Marches. With the Vargr up there, you have a constant possibility of conflict, trade, etc. If you wanna stir the pot, have both the Imperium and Zhodani agitating and playing the Vargr. Who most likely will switch sides with annoying regularity. Plenty of adventure ideas!
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Re: Fifth Frontier War

Postby MrUkpyr » Sat May 26, 2012 7:17 pm

ShawnDriscoll wrote:A Fifth Frontier War would mean an assassination is in the timeline. You guys/gals want a Mongoose MegaTraveller to go there?
I have to respectfully disagree.

GURPS Traveller had the Fifth Frontier War as part of it's history but did NOT include the assassination of Emperor Strephon, and it worked quite well.

I also have to say that I would love to see a Mongoose version of the FFW. Doing in the format of Secrets/Drynax(or however it's spelled - grin) would work.

Perhaps the format being more Traveller News Service oriented, with a couple of "War Articles" that then include an adventure or scenario or two.

One thing I would LOVE to see is how Norris got his Imperial Warrant!
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Re: Fifth Frontier War

Postby AndrewW » Sat May 26, 2012 7:46 pm

MrUkpyr wrote:One thing I would LOVE to see is how Norris got his Imperial Warrant!
He stared at the emperor until the emperor blinked.
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Re: Fifth Frontier War

Postby Mytholder » Sun May 27, 2012 12:40 pm

Thinking out loud - I'd do a FFW adventure path as a series of one-shots interspersed with a continuing narrative. You create your PCs at the start of the campaign as the crew, I dunno, an Imperial recon ship of a few hundred tons or something - enough to have a military command structure, but not so big as to be unmanageable. Then, you alternate between their adventures and events elsewhere that affect them,which play out as one-shots with customisable pregens. So, one adventure might be a really big battle (and you're playing as a team of Zhodani saboteurs trying to break into an Imperial station), followed by a smaller-scale adventure where the regular PCs are sent to oversee the evacuation of a world following the Zho victory.

Make it feel almost like a historical documentary. Draw inspiration from World War Z, the old FFW board game and so on.
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Re: Fifth Frontier War

Postby Jame Rowe » Sun May 27, 2012 3:31 pm

Dunia wrote:
MrUkpyr wrote:Any word on when Mongoose will be producing the Fifth Frontier War?

MrUkpyr
I hope that they will push the timeline forward, like GDW and GURPS does, I loved the Traveller News Network and often used the newscasts in my campaigns. Placing all books in 1105 and not pushing it forward, is making Traveller just like most other RPGs out there - the continuance that came with the news made the universe feel alive and made it fun for me as a GM by having me be excited and not deciding everything myself.

So please push the story onward,
I actually want them to make at least one campaign for the 5FW. That'd be an excellent way of doing it.
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Re: Fifth Frontier War

Postby locarno24 » Mon May 28, 2012 9:50 am

Thinking out loud - I'd do a FFW adventure path as a series of one-shots interspersed with a continuing narrative. You create your PCs at the start of the campaign as the crew, I dunno, an Imperial recon ship of a few hundred tons or something - enough to have a military command structure, but not so big as to be unmanageable. Then, you alternate between their adventures and events elsewhere that affect them,which play out as one-shots with customisable pregens. So, one adventure might be a really big battle (and you're playing as a team of Zhodani saboteurs trying to break into an Imperial station), followed by a smaller-scale adventure where the regular PCs are sent to oversee the evacuation of a world following the Zho victory.

Make it feel almost like a historical documentary. Draw inspiration from World War Z, the old FFW board game and so on.
Nice idea!
The 'scenes' method from the Dynasty sourcebook would work well here. It'd be nice to see the cool bits of the war from both sides, as well.

One of the best things for this would be major fleet engagements - there are several 'house rules' for big (really big) fleet battles, but the best way of doing it is always to do your bit of the battle with the other stuff as a backdrop - well done backdrops (especially with some 'maps' showing the fleets manouvring into range) would look awesome.
Understand that I'm not advocating violence.
I'm just saying that it's highly effective and I strongly recommend using it.

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