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Future Traveller - Testing the Waters

Posted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 3:39 pm
by MongooseMatt
We have a number of 'what if?' things for Traveller sketched out - some more serious than others, some closer in timescales than others. However, I just wanted to float some ideas past you chaps and see what you thought...

SECOND EDITIONS
We have mentioned this before and, honestly, still have not done anything about it, so don't panic just yet :) However, I believe the game as a whole can be improved if we looked at doing second editions of Mercenary and High Guard. The latter has a multitude of options that could be added, and the whole design process could use some streamlining/integration. For Mercenary, I think the biggest change would be to actually running mercenary companies, and the inclusion of a seperate 'mini-game' for them.

What do you think?

THE SECOND EDITION
A grand work, this - a new core rulebook. It would mostly be tweaks and the bringing in of rules from supplements into the core (such as AP/SAP from CSC, hacking rules, etc). However, I am also thinking change of format, to perhaps something more like Legend, where everything is effectively an LBB (in the Legend format, not current LBB size), and everything is $19.99. What do you think?

MINIATURES - A WAR IN A BOX
This one could be much closer to fruition. We have been debating Traveller miniatures for a while now but have been looking for a way to do them. The current thinking is to have a number of 'closed' releases - that is, a box set (around $50) containing rules and two starter armies, and 6-12 blister/clamshell expansions. No more. These releases will basically revolve around a single war/series of battles in Traveller (we were thinking a 2300AD game, a clash against Kaefers, to begin with). A little later, we'll release another war (as box set a 6-12 clamshells) - all rules properly compatible, of course.

Re: Future Traveller - Testing the Waters

Posted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 3:45 pm
by Old timer
Ok, i am going to sound like some sort of 'squeeing' fan boy, but yes, yes, yes to all of the above, second edition of traveller in the smaller book size, yes, second editions of mercenary and high guard, yes, traveller miniature games, yes.
To sum up, yes, yes, yes :D

Re: Future Traveller - Testing the Waters

Posted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 4:51 pm
by 2330ADUSA1
Well speaking for myself, I would perfer any book that you design to offer both the full large version and the LBB. Now I will only buy the full large version, as I have not bought any of the new LBB's that you have put out. I like the larger versions and they fit my current HUGE libray. Long ago I put away my LBB and thats where they will stay. I much perfer the larger books for the amount of details one gets in thise books. Going to the LBB style, might be cheaper but one looses the amount of details otherwise gained in having the full sized versions of the books. Money isn't a issue for me so the savings one might get with the cheaper LBB doesn't matter to me, I'd rather have the more detials and fill in the full books.

You know having been a Traveller fan and collector now for 36+ yrs, AI am concerned that Mongoose might cut their own throat here opting to go to the LBB format in a attempt to cut costs and make it easier to put out more books. They are openning the door for T5 to take away from them their market playership and etyc. I bet you that T5 line will not print any LBB style and if they get their design machine up and running, and start cranking out books in a mill they will leave Mongoose sadly in the dust. Now I like Mongoose Publishing and have all the Traveller line and like it very very much....I just want them to continue is all and not do things that leads to their loss.

Re: Future Traveller - Testing the Waters

Posted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 5:01 pm
by IanBruntlett
msprange wrote:We have a number of 'what if?' things for Traveller sketched out - some more serious than others, some closer in timescales than others. However, I just wanted to float some ideas past you chaps and see what you thought...

SECOND EDITIONS
We have mentioned this before and, honestly, still have not done anything about it, so don't panic just yet :) However, I believe the game as a whole can be improved if we looked at doing second editions of Mercenary and High Guard. The latter has a multitude of options that could be added, and the whole design process could use some streamlining/integration. For Mercenary, I think the biggest change would be to actually running mercenary companies, and the inclusion of a seperate 'mini-game' for them.
I'd buy 2nd Editions of Mercenary and High Guard.
msprange wrote: THE SECOND EDITION
A grand work, this - a new core rulebook. It would mostly be tweaks and the bringing in of rules from supplements into the core (such as AP/SAP from CSC, hacking rules, etc). However, I am also thinking change of format, to perhaps something more like Legend, where everything is effectively an LBB (in the Legend format, not current LBB size), and everything is $19.99. What do you think?
I've only just shifted from CRB 1st printing to 2nd printing so any purchase will be Some Time From Now. Not too sure what "Legend Format" size is so can't comment on that.
msprange wrote: MINIATURES - A WAR IN A BOX
This one could be much closer to fruition. We have been debating Traveller miniatures for a while now but have been looking for a way to do them. The current thinking is to have a number of 'closed' releases - that is, a box set (around $50) containing rules and two starter armies, and 6-12 blister/clamshell expansions. No more. These releases will basically revolve around a single war/series of battles in Traveller (we were thinking a 2300AD game, a clash against Kaefers, to begin with). A little later, we'll release another war (as box set a 6-12 clamshells) - all rules properly compatible, of course.
I'm not sure I've got room for miniatures. And I've still got a backpack with the Babylon 5 : A call to arms in it so any wargaming I get up to will be B5:ACTA

Re: Future Traveller - Testing the Waters

Posted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 5:36 pm
by phavoc
I would be interested in 2nd editions with the following qualifications:

1) That they ADD something new, and not be just pulling together tables from various releases. I already own most all of the books. It would have to be something along the lines of the Vehicle book. It FIXED the system. So yeah, if you made a 2nd edition of say High Guard, it would be nice if the ship design system was cleaned up and made better. Clean up the rules and descriptions, update the underlying technology so you have capital ships with capital weapons, change the engineering specs to be flat % of space for Maneuver-drive, J-drive, etc for any jump capable ship (from 100 tons to 1,000,000 tons).

2) Playtest, or at least involve more testers, the changes. Does the addition of point-defense make it harder to deploy missiles? Do we need to up the number of missiles that can be launched? Shorten the rounds from the absurdly high 6 minutes?

3) Ensure the 2nd editions go through the proofing process. It really sucks to buy materials that are full of stupid errors that are entirely preventable. Plus there's a huge waste of resources by MGP to fix the problem (and you still get kudo's for actually exchanging books when you screw up).

4) Better artwork and ship deck plans. Some of the ones published in the books are atrocious. Massive open areas with no thought put into things. If you are going to draw a deckplan, make it reasonable & logical.

So if it provides more value to me as a gamer, I'll happily purchase 2nd editions.

Re: Future Traveller - Testing the Waters

Posted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 7:31 pm
by AndrewW
phavoc wrote:1) That they ADD something new, and not be just pulling together tables from various releases. I already own most all of the books. It would have to be something along the lines of the Vehicle book. It FIXED the system. So yeah, if you made a 2nd edition of say High Guard, it would be nice if the ship design system was cleaned up and made better. Clean up the rules and descriptions, update the underlying technology so you have capital ships with capital weapons, change the engineering specs to be flat % of space for Maneuver-drive, J-drive, etc for any jump capable ship (from 100 tons to 1,000,000 tons).
One thing with a new design system is the need to maintain compatability with existing designs, but yes it would be welcome.

Re: Future Traveller - Testing the Waters

Posted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 7:32 pm
by hdan
I'd be in favor of a 2E MgT Traveller if it did more than just shuffle the rules around.

I wouldn't change very much, just add examples to help bring new players along, tighten up the rules that get the most questions, add the rules from the CSC, either simplify the current initiative system or introduce optional ones (fixed initiative numbers? CT-style simultaneous actions?).

Also, add some more examples of how certain typical RPG situations are meant to be played out for new players (Do you use recon/Int rolls when searching a room? How about an narrative example for both personal and spaceship combats?)

Re: Future Traveller - Testing the Waters

Posted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 7:33 pm
by torus
2330ADUSA1 wrote:Now I will only buy the full large version, as I have not bought any of the new LBB's that you have put out. I like the larger versions and they fit my current HUGE libray. Long ago I put away my LBB and thats where they will stay. I much perfer the larger books for the amount of details one gets in thise books.
The Mongoose LBBs have the same detail as the larger books, just a smaller page format. Currently the Traveller LBBs are simply scaled down versions of the larger books, which doesn't work so well. I think all future releases should go the way Legend has gone with digest size page formats (which is what Matt is suggesting I think), not only because it reduces costs but also because the PDF versions are much more readable.

Re: Future Traveller - Testing the Waters

Posted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 7:38 pm
by alex_greene
I've never been big on minis, but the "war in a box" sounds like the best option for starting off newcomers to mini play. Actually, by putting out complete mini games in a box, for Traveller and Legend, you could market these complete games and little expansions in mainstream stores such as newsagents, or wherever they sell partworks. You could also make the systems collectible.

Expanding marketing of games beyond the FLGS network allows you to draw the general public's attention to your products, and bring in more young newcomers to roleplaying and mini gaming. Fresh blood is always good.

As for the rules ... Start with Traveller Core Second Edition. THEN release Books 1 and 2, second edition, making sure they are completely compatible with the Traveller Core Rulebook, and also with extensive notes in each book outlining rules that the Second Edition supersedes in the first editions of their respective books.

Re: Future Traveller - Testing the Waters

Posted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 7:57 pm
by torus
alex_greene wrote:As for the rules ... Start with Traveller Core Second Edition. THEN release Books 1 and 2, second edition, making sure they are completely compatible with the Traveller Core Rulebook, and also with extensive notes in each book outlining rules that the Second Edition supersedes in the first editions of their respective books.
I agree with this. Not convinced I would get 2ed core book but interested in 2ed Merc & HG.

As for minis game, I think you want something which sets it apart from other skirmish games one might buy. Even if cheap, I don't see how Humans v Kafers is all that different from any WW2 or space marines game. Plus I reckon the name 'Kafers' will be a problem in the wider market..

More interesting and distinctive would be a ship boarding minis game. That's an iconic sci fi theme. Call it Snapshot if you like.

Re: Future Traveller - Testing the Waters

Posted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 10:15 pm
by alex_greene
I recommend "Chafers," not "Kafers." "Chafer" is probably the optimal term since they are chafers, or bugs. "Kafers" is waay too close to the old Afrikaans Apartheid term for black people for my liking.

Re: Future Traveller - Testing the Waters

Posted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 10:36 pm
by Captain Jonah
Re the books, yes I would be interested if, and thats a big IF, they improved the rules, dropped the mistakes, cleaned up the way everything is described and worked etc etc.

As for minitatures. Hummm.

The only figures you would need to be unique would be the Kaf/bugs, there are plenty of people doing very good Tanstafl style militia or regular army troops so a boxed set with a human force would be a bit of a duplicate.

However no reason why this would have to be just battles. If you were to release a series of small sets for Traveller skirmish type fights such as boarding action with pirates and doggy raiders against mixed ships crew or some of the ever popular and all but impossible to find aliens. For example a boxed set with Hiver and Ithklur against Kkree or Aslan against Imperials. You could also do some 28mm-30mm good quality deck plans for ships for this game but use someone decent for the deck plans please and get them peer reviewed.

A boxed set of 10-12 on each side and blisters containing 2 or 3 individuals. Cover both regular armies and a wide mix of militia, ships crew and shady adventurer types that would be perfect for the role playing as well as the skirmish stuff and I suspect you would have Traveller players rioting at your door for the figures.

Not just Mongose players either, getting proper Traveller figures for the aliens is one step away from imposible these days so I think they will be popular. :D

Re: Future Traveller - Testing the Waters

Posted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 10:51 pm
by dragoner
A Ghalak supplement would sell me as would amber zones and minor aliens.

2nd edition stuff, no.

Re: Future Traveller - Testing the Waters

Posted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 11:41 pm
by AndrewW
dragoner wrote:A Ghalak supplement would sell me as would amber zones and minor aliens.
One on a minor alien race is already coming.

Re: Future Traveller - Testing the Waters

Posted: Tue Nov 06, 2012 12:02 am
by dragoner
AndrewW wrote:
dragoner wrote:A Ghalak supplement would sell me as would amber zones and minor aliens.
One on a minor alien race is already coming.
Hopefully not another "proud warrior race", I swear if I read that again I will throw up and go blind.

Ideally, there could be a sourcebook with more than one, 10+ would be nice.

Re: Future Traveller - Testing the Waters

Posted: Tue Nov 06, 2012 12:08 am
by alex_greene
"Minor Races Of The Spinward Marches," "Minor Races Of Zliafrplians," "Minor Races of Gvurrdon," maybe? Also known as the Also-Ran series ...

Re: Future Traveller - Testing the Waters

Posted: Tue Nov 06, 2012 12:48 am
by dragoner
Not even, just detail some minor races to throw out there. I made a pdf for my Nyadhel(Blue Darrians), CT, I'll gussy them up for mong/t5 at some point, they are live right now though.

Re: Future Traveller - Testing the Waters

Posted: Tue Nov 06, 2012 5:31 am
by GypsyComet
dragoner wrote:
AndrewW wrote:
dragoner wrote:A Ghalak supplement would sell me as would amber zones and minor aliens.
One on a minor alien race is already coming.
Hopefully not another "proud warrior race", I swear if I read that again I will throw up and go blind.
:roll:
A few random thoughts on this reaction.
-Tropes are important to playing a race, either as a PC or when encountered. "Noble Savage" is one of the easier tropes to wrap your head around. What needs to be avoided is very many races where this is their *only* defining trait.
-There are hundreds of minor races just in the Imperium and nearby space. Trope overlap is inevitable.
-Many of those tropes should be available to a campaign regardless of where that campaign is. While the handful of Minor Races with enough gumption to spread out can take up some of the tropes across large areas the locals *will* need to pick up the slack. If they don't, then you'll need a major race to fill in, and those can be much harder to make work if they go against that race's standard set of tropes.
-T4 had a race with no pride once. They were even more of a bad cartoon than usual.

Re: Future Traveller - Testing the Waters

Posted: Tue Nov 06, 2012 6:24 am
by dragoner
GypsyComet wrote: -Tropes are important to playing a race, either as a PC or when encountered.
I disagree, tropes just become planet of hats, avoid them at all costs; nothing can replace good writing. IIRC MWM said it as well in an interview on RPG.net.

Re: Future Traveller - Testing the Waters

Posted: Tue Nov 06, 2012 6:27 am
by AndrewW
dragoner wrote:Hopefully not another "proud warrior race", I swear if I read that again I will throw up and go blind
No, not a warrior race. At least not the one I know about.