Traveller TNE?

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
Iron Warrior.
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Traveller TNE?

Postby Iron Warrior. » Sun Jul 08, 2012 8:19 am

I'd like to say that I think traveller TNE would be a good setting to reboot, especially given how popular the BSG reboot was. If someone were to reboot it and make the AIs not simply defective insane menaces to be hunted down and exterminated but made them a new type of life, evolving and surviving, something that players had to deal with and not just from a "How do we destroy this insane machine?" perspective I think it could be pretty good.

I'd like to see the AI descendants of the Virus fleshed out and made in some ways more like the Cylons in nBSG, and possibly even made available as player characters.

It might be more interesting that the old TNE's attitude of "Ugh! AI insane and evil! Smash AI!"

There could still be hopelessly insane, destructive and incurable AIs out there, sure, but suppose some strains of the virus stabilized and became rational? Suppose they are willing to work with organic sophonts to co exist and even terminate the unstable, destructive AI strains still around?

Anyone see any hope for a reboot of TNE like this?
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Re: Traveller TNE?

Postby andreav » Sun Jul 08, 2012 9:16 am

Actually TNE did this, Vampire Fleets introduces the sane evolved virus. And the setting was 'rebooted' with 1248 (personally I didn't like 1248, rather too 'epic' for my tastes, but that's just me).
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Re: Traveller TNE?

Postby 2330ADUSA1 » Sun Jul 08, 2012 1:58 pm

Actually the whole AI virus really SUCKED, and hope they drop it all together. BTW I own everything for it and I did not like it at all...but that is me as well too.
Last edited by 2330ADUSA1 on Sun Jul 08, 2012 7:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Traveller TNE?

Postby F33D » Sun Jul 08, 2012 4:25 pm

2330ADUSA1 wrote:Actually the whole AI virus really SUCKED, and hope they drop it all together. BTW I oqn everything for it and I did not like it at all...but that is me as well too.
Yes, none I played with at the time liked it either. Pretty lame story line just to change a setting. Machina ex machina :lol:
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Re: Traveller TNE?

Postby Wil Mireu » Sun Jul 08, 2012 5:29 pm

Virus was "insane" (read: purely destructive) at first, but then it evolved into "saner" (read: more rational) forms later. By 1248 the surviving Virus has mostly become a decent AI that humans can interact with.

TNE for me is pretty much the only decent Traveller setting (MT wasn't too bad). PCs can actually make a difference in it, and the decisions they make can affect a lot of people. And it turns space into an unknown frontier again, not a boring, fully-explored roadmap.
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Re: Traveller TNE?

Postby Captain Jonah » Sun Jul 08, 2012 5:58 pm

TNE was/is a fine and very playable era if you shuffle the dates a bit and drop the super virus wiped out humanity bit.

Go through the Rebellion era to the point where the powers were reduced to isolated cores about a sector in size where they stopped due to war exhaustion.

Then jump straight to the 1248 situation of the isolated cores each with a frontier zone and the wilds in between only it happens in 1148 instead.

So you have all the fun of TNE but with existing cores of the shattered Imperium. The Reformation rebuilds much earlier since there was no Virus wiping out everything. AIs arrive since the tech has been there all along but until the 3rdI fell they were illegal. With the 3rdI gone there is no one to prevent AI development so some powers bring them in as force multipliers in the fleets or elsewhere.

So adventures in the wilds TNE style or adventuring in the core regions which is just like classic.

Everything that makes up the “Good” TNE adventures without the silliness.
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Re: Traveller TNE?

Postby Iron Warrior. » Sun Jul 08, 2012 8:12 pm

I wouldn't be interested in it without the virus.

I looked up traveller 1248, thanks for telling me about that little known jewel, but ti seems hard or expensive to get.
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Re: Traveller TNE?

Postby Wil Mireu » Sun Jul 08, 2012 8:17 pm

IIRC all the 1248 material is available on the 2nd TNE CD-ROM available from FFE
Table of Contents is here: http://www.farfuture.net/Contents%20CDROM%20TNE-2.pdf
Order it here: http://www.farfuture.net/cdroms.html (the "The New Era-2" CD ROM).

Though given that pretty much everything else is available through DTRPG, I'm not sure why they don't make the 1248 material available again that way too.

It is well worth getting if you liked TNE though, and also if you're interested in moving the setting into its future, rather than being stuck in the CT era all the time.
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Re: Traveller TNE?

Postby 2330ADUSA1 » Sun Jul 08, 2012 8:27 pm

Instead of a AI virus I used a Bio-Hazard Zombie style-ish plague.

Makes for a much better story line ...I think so anyway!
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Re: Traveller TNE?

Postby Infojunky » Mon Jul 09, 2012 1:16 am

Iron Warrior. wrote:
There could still be hopelessly insane, destructive and incurable AIs out there, sure, but suppose some strains of the virus stabilized and became rational? Suppose they are willing to work with organic sophonts to co exist and even terminate the unstable, destructive AI strains still around?

Anyone see any hope for a reboot of TNE like this?
Dude, that was TNE's Vampire Fleets.
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Re: Traveller TNE?

Postby GamerDude » Mon Jul 09, 2012 1:21 am

Iron Warrior. wrote:I'd like to say that I think traveller TNE would be a good setting to reboot, especially given how popular the BSG reboot was. If someone were to reboot it and make the AIs not simply defective insane menaces to be hunted down and exterminated but made them a new type of life, evolving and surviving, something that players had to deal with and not just from a "How do we destroy this insane machine?" perspective I think it could be pretty good.
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Re: Traveller TNE?

Postby Iron Warrior. » Mon Jul 09, 2012 1:35 am

You know, when the late, great Isaac Asimov started writing stories about robots, he was sick and tired of the old meme of the robot turning on it's creator and or all humanity and becoming yet another frankenstein monster.

So he created the 3 laws of robotics to offset this and end the tired old cliche' of the out of control evil robot

On the other face of the same coin I think that an equally tired old cliche' is that humans create artificial awareness, artificial life, and decide they must destroy it if it does not accept a servile role as it cannot possibly be (GASP!) equal to humanity!

So i'd like to break the meme of AI being something humans must destroy or subjugate and do a storyline that involves humanity, and others like the hivers, etc, being forced to accept that the AIs are a new form of life, they're here, they're not going away and you'd better xxxxing get used to that. :evil:

So that's sort of the meme I'd like to explore here, the idea that the AI are willing to try co existing, but can and will stop others from destroying them by any means necessary. Humans have to just deal with the fact that the descendants of their creations are no longer defective products to be eliminated, but thinking beings that must be accepted and lived with.
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Re: Traveller TNE?

Postby GamerDude » Mon Jul 09, 2012 2:14 am

If you want a fairly "good" look at how Asimov felt, watch the "fathers of science fiction" (or that's close, hey it's by Ridley Scott).

I think they do a bit of over dramatizing, sensationalizing but... get away from that its pretty good.
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Re: Traveller TNE?

Postby Iron Warrior. » Mon Jul 09, 2012 2:55 am

BTW, thanks for the info and links to 1248, I'd missed that one and appreciate the info on it.
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Re: Traveller TNE?

Postby AndrewW » Mon Jul 09, 2012 3:51 am

Iron Warrior. wrote:So that's sort of the meme I'd like to explore here, the idea that the AI are willing to try co existing, but can and will stop others from destroying them by any means necessary. Humans have to just deal with the fact that the descendants of their creations are no longer defective products to be eliminated, but thinking beings that must be accepted and lived with.
The Twilight Sector setting from Terra/Sol games has co-existing AI's. (Including one nation ruled by an AI).

http://terrasolgames.com/
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Re: Traveller TNE?

Postby GypsyComet » Mon Jul 09, 2012 5:40 am

Iron Warrior. wrote: On the other face of the same coin I think that an equally tired old cliche' is that humans create artificial awareness, artificial life, and decide they must destroy it if it does not accept a servile role as it cannot possibly be (GASP!) equal to humanity!

So i'd like to break the meme of AI being something humans must destroy or subjugate and do a storyline that involves humanity, and others like the hivers, etc, being forced to accept that the AIs are a new form of life, they're here, they're not going away and you'd better xxxxing get used to that. :evil:

So that's sort of the meme I'd like to explore here, the idea that the AI are willing to try co existing, but can and will stop others from destroying them by any means necessary. Humans have to just deal with the fact that the descendants of their creations are no longer defective products to be eliminated, but thinking beings that must be accepted and lived with.
What you are describing *was* the intended path for TNE before GDW was forced to close its doors. The New Era was just a whistle stop toward a later era that included co-existent AI. GDW felt, rightly I think, that there were interesting stories to tell in the Virus Night, so they set that edition of Traveller in what would really be "just past midnight" to later historians. They fully intended to keep moving, but events were to deny them the opportunity.

Many years later, Marc was approached about moving the timeline forward. The 1248 materials, while written with more than a little hyperbole, were written with Marc's supervision and approval. Late in the process Dave Nilsen, the architect of the New Era at GDW, resurfaced and confirmed that the 1248 material was "close enough" to the original plan's next steps.

In retrospect, would *you* have accepted a TNE set in 1380, jumping straight there from 1128 (where Hard Times left the timeline) with the intervening 250 years described in cold historical terms as the Fourth Imperium, fully AI integrated with little explanation and risen to about half of the Third Imperium's size, is poised on the brink of a new period of "interesting" events? You would have been denied the juicy details that allowed you to play during the dark years that were the closest Humaniti has come to true extinction in 300,000 years. And you would have wanted to know more.
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Re: Traveller TNE?

Postby daryen » Mon Jul 09, 2012 4:02 pm

Go through the Rebellion era to the point where the powers were reduced to isolated cores about a sector in size where they stopped due to war exhaustion.

Then jump straight to the 1248 situation of the isolated cores each with a frontier zone and the wilds in between only it happens in 1148 instead.
OK, I am gonna call BS on this. I have seen this line of thought before, and it flat out doesn't work. Sorry if that sounds harsh, but this idea doesn't work and everyone espousing it would look way better if they stopped proposing it. (BTW, this is not an attack on the original poster. That is why I took out the name attribution for the quote. It is an attack on the idea.)

The reason this doesn't work is because the Imperium was surrounded by hostile powers that were extremely aggressive. If the Imperium is reduced to the rubble of a few pocket empires, then the other empires are going to come in and clean up. There would be no rebuilding, as the rubble would now all be owned by a non-self-destructive power. Simply put, the Aslan, Vargr, and Solomani would simply carve up the wreckage for their own. Once 'Hard Times' rolled around, there was no chance for a recovery. Something needed to blow away the rest of the setting to allow for even the chance of a Fourth Imperium.

The point of the Virus was to make sure all of the other major powers were decimated, too. Just reconstructing the Imperium was insufficient; everyone else had to be removed, too. (In fact, that was the primary reason for the Empress Wave: the Zhodani were protected from Virus, so they had to have something different that flattened them. Enter the Empress Wave. And, since it was primarily a psionic phenomena, its effect is purely limited to the one empire it is supposed to destroy, with no real collateral damage.) Whether the Virus and Empress Wave were the correct, or even good, tools to use for the destruction is individual taste. I am not arguing for or against either. I am saying, however, that something was required to fulfill their role.
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Re: Traveller TNE?

Postby daryen » Mon Jul 09, 2012 4:07 pm

BTW, I think this thread, even at just barely two pages, shows pretty conclusively why Mongoose will not be touching TNE (or probably even the Rebellion) at any point. The setting is just too polarizing and inflammatory for them to bother with. Why open that can of worms when they still have lots they can do with the setting they have now?

Heck, remember that it is still an open question as to whether they are even going to try and move the timeline to or through the Fifth Frontier War. If they are unwilling to even move the timeline through that, why would they even consider any of the later settings?
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Re: Traveller TNE?

Postby GJD » Tue Jul 10, 2012 12:44 am

daryen wrote:BTW, I think this thread, even at just barely two pages, shows pretty conclusively why Mongoose will not be touching TNE (or probably even the Rebellion) at any point. The setting is just too polarizing and inflammatory for them to bother with. Why open that can of worms when they still have lots they can do with the setting they have now?

Heck, remember that it is still an open question as to whether they are even going to try and move the timeline to or through the Fifth Frontier War. If they are unwilling to even move the timeline through that, why would they even consider any of the later settings?
I think quite the opposite. GDW threw all of their eggs into one basket with MT and then TNE - there was no going back or publishing material for CT once MT arrived, and for CT and MT when TNE arrived.

Mongoose is in the position that they could, if they chose to, publish a rebellion, hard times, Virus Night, Reformation Coalition and 12XX book, and still carry on supporting CT, as well as 2300AD, the 2000AD titles, Hammers Slammers and so on. It just becomes another setting book. If you don't like Virus, stick with the CT books.

G.
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Re: Traveller TNE?

Postby Wil Mireu » Tue Jul 10, 2012 2:59 am

daryen wrote:BTW, I think this thread, even at just barely two pages, shows pretty conclusively why Mongoose will not be touching TNE (or probably even the Rebellion) at any point. The setting is just too polarizing and inflammatory for them to bother with. Why open that can of worms when they still have lots they can do with the setting they have now?
You mean the "lots" that has already been done before? Many times?

I would like to see a version of the OTU moved further ahead in time. Go past 1248, explore what lies beyond. The CT-era fans have had more than enough material to keep them happy over the year, so they can't really complain about the setting moving forward - the people who do want to see what lies in the future of the setting on the other hand have barely anything official to work from. As for being polarizing, I don't recall many people complaining about 1248 when it came out, because there were other CT-era alternatives available.

In my opinion Traveller needs to stop wallowing in its past and start moving into its future again. That will not happen if MGT continues to rehash CT books, and all indications are that it will not going to happen with T5 either.

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