New setting for Traveller needed

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
phavoc
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Re: New setting for Traveller needed

Postby phavoc » Mon Sep 09, 2013 6:19 pm

There's still plenty of adventuring available within the 3i universe. The non-imperial sectors are ripe for adventures, as would be the Spinward Marches. It really just depends on what you are looking to do. There are still plenty of star systems with relatively low tech levels, not to mention that most canon "systems" are comprised of the primary planet itself, with no background for the rest of the system.

If you want combat there's always pirates. Or if you are playing naval actions, you have Aslan to the south, Sworld Worlds, Federation of Arden and Zho to the east, and Vargr to the north (galactic direction wise). I don't think anything within the 3I setting restricts you from having a grand adventure. Yes, it's nice for someone else to do all the writing and adventures, but the framework already exists for sector-spanning adventures! All it takes is some imagination and effort to put pen to paper.
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Re: New setting for Traveller needed

Postby Somebody » Mon Sep 09, 2013 10:05 pm

Golan2072 wrote:
F33D wrote:
Golan2072 wrote: This is one of my per peeves with Traveller - not enough shiny gadgets at higher TLs (especially TL14-15). TL12 does have some shiny loot (Gauss Rifles, PGMPs, Grav Belts) and TL13 has Battledress (a bit high for powered armour, IMHO; should be TL11), but later TLs mostly give you better versions of the same things. Nothing mind-blowing for the most part.
Yes. It would be nice to have those TL's fleshed out more. Everything from vacc suits to food processing on ships, etc., etc.
Exactly. What Traveller needs is cool, revolutionary, life-changing gadgets for TLs 13-15. One problem with the OTU is that it is VERY conservative with technology and its applications, so life on a TL15 world looks similar to that on a TL12 world - once you get grav cars and grav belts, things don't change much. So a logical cut-off point is TL13. In OV, low-tech items are TL9, common tech is at TL10, high-tech is TL11, R&D is working on TL12, and alien artefacts are TL13. No need for TLs 14-15.
Why? Some of the better new SciFi settings (Vattas War, Serenity) of the last decade or so came without shiny new gadgets placing the focus where it should IMHO be in roleplaying: On the players and their wits/skills
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Re: New setting for Traveller needed

Postby dragoner » Mon Sep 09, 2013 10:43 pm

IMTU, it is higher than TL 15 (across the range really, there are also TL 5 steampunk worlds), plus the baddies are TL 17-18+ transdroyneist horror, so if you want to sell me supplements, the higher the TL the better. One of the things that keeps me liking mong over say T5 for now, are other books like Strontium Dog and the rules for mutants, though I have used some stuff from Judge Dread as well. If one wishes to remove grav tech and such, why change trav, why not move to 2300?
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Re: New setting for Traveller needed

Postby Chas » Mon Sep 09, 2013 11:53 pm

Just throwing toys at a new game setting probably won't be enough commercially. Players are a fair bit more sophisticated now and want a definite feel to each setting as well, gritty noir like Eclipse Phase or whatever.
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Re: New setting for Traveller needed

Postby dragoner » Tue Sep 10, 2013 12:26 am

Yes, as a consumer, I'm not as interested in new settings, especially if they change the paradigm of how things work, such as ships. I will buy things if they have something I can use in my campaign though.
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Re: New setting for Traveller needed

Postby Golan2072 » Tue Sep 10, 2013 3:53 am

Somebody wrote:Why? Some of the better new SciFi settings (Vattas War, Serenity) of the last decade or so came without shiny new gadgets placing the focus where it should IMHO be in roleplaying: On the players and their wits/skills
So did Outer Veil. But if you want a game where TLs 14-15 are meaningful, you need to have enough new technologies to make these TLs interesting and different from TL13.
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Re: New setting for Traveller needed

Postby Prime_Evil » Tue Sep 10, 2013 12:10 pm

phavoc wrote:There's still plenty of adventuring available within the 3i universe. The non-imperial sectors are ripe for adventures, as would be the Spinward Marches. It really just depends on what you are looking to do. There are still plenty of star systems with relatively low tech levels, not to mention that most canon "systems" are comprised of the primary planet itself, with no background for the rest of the system.
I think that there is a difference between those who are attracted to Traveller primarily for the OTU setting and those who are attracted to Traveller for its potential as a generic SF rule system capable of handling a wise variety of different settings - there's nothing inherently wrong with either approach and most players fall somewhere in the middle, but there is sometimes a certain amount of tension between the two approaches. Also, some people would like to see every square centimeter of the Third Imperium detailed in exquisite detail, while others want space to customise the setting to their own tastes.
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Re: New setting for Traveller needed

Postby dragoner » Tue Sep 10, 2013 2:54 pm

Limiting a setting to TL 13 actually takes a lot away, no more future or imagination.
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Re: New setting for Traveller needed

Postby F33D » Tue Sep 10, 2013 3:27 pm

Prime_Evil wrote:I think that there is a difference between those who are attracted to Traveller primarily for the OTU setting and those who are attracted to Traveller for its potential as a generic SF rule system capable of handling a wise variety of different settings
Considering how small of an RPG audience the game has AND how tightly tied the setting is in the rules, that formula needs revision. But, that can only be dealt with by the IP owner. Not players.
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Re: New setting for Traveller needed

Postby hdan » Tue Sep 10, 2013 10:06 pm

dragoner wrote:Limiting a setting to TL 13 actually takes a lot away, no more future or imagination.
Really? I guess if you mean that the next two tech levels that will come are already mapped out a little, then I guess I see your point.

But having a TL max of 13 in a setting is no more restrictive than a TL max of 15, especially in a setting that isn't as technologically static as the 3I.
/hdan
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Re: New setting for Traveller needed

Postby Mithras » Tue Sep 10, 2013 10:20 pm

Effectively, in Traveller, tech levels 13-15 are a singe TL, just slightly subdivided. They all seem to represent the Imperial maximum. Before TL 13, TLs are much more differentiated.
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Re: New setting for Traveller needed

Postby Boneguard » Tue Sep 10, 2013 10:57 pm

Mithras wrote:
Oracle wrote:Maybe create a Starting book that allowed the GM following a set of guidelines to design out a Colony ship, and then a set of rules design out completely with loads of details the destination star system and planet the Colony ship will reach. Then add in another set of rules for the GM to figure out based on the Colony ship and resources, how the colony grows over a period of time.
Now that is the way to do it ...!
Another option is to take the fluff/background of another existing setting and adapting it to Traveller. Of the top of my head, I'm thinking of Space Master...cool universe, somewhat cumbersome system -I love it, but a lot of tables.
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Re: New setting for Traveller needed

Postby dragoner » Wed Sep 11, 2013 12:37 am

hdan wrote:
dragoner wrote:Limiting a setting to TL 13 actually takes a lot away, no more future or imagination.
Really? I guess if you mean that the next two tech levels that will come are already mapped out a little, then I guess I see your point.

But having a TL max of 13 in a setting is no more restrictive than a TL max of 15, especially in a setting that isn't as technologically static as the 3I.
I already have TL 15+ items, items I have made as well as plenty more in the CSC and other books; but why stop at 15? But I don't see how moving things backward is a positive step, it is taking something away.
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Re: New setting for Traveller needed

Postby Ishmael » Wed Sep 11, 2013 1:43 am

I think focusing on different tech levels may be awkward given that they are an artificial abstraction within the game.
Different people enjoy different 'tech levels' for different reasons.
As for myself, I prefer tech-9-11 as it forces me to find solutions to problems within set limits, as well as being easier to explain given the science that we already know. Fewer handwaves = fewer unintended consequences ( imho )
Because of this, an ATU the would make me happy would fail for Dragoner.

If anything, a shared universe would have to be split into differing historic times to account for various preferred 'tech levels'. In such a case, keeping a satisfying historic timeline consistent may be difficult.

If anything, I'm starting to think that the commentary in this thread shows that a separate common ATU may not be possible after all; everyone would be looking from something different for the others.

Perhaps the OTU really exists because it is the result of a handful of individuals writing materials for print long before the 'net made sharing things so easy. AKA, the only possible shared setting was what could be purchased in a local game-shop. That's not the case these days.
A shared universe may be disappointing; A case of too many cooks spoil the broth.
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Re: New setting for Traveller needed

Postby GypsyComet » Wed Sep 11, 2013 3:53 am

F33D wrote:Considering how small of an RPG audience the game has
How big do you think this hobby is?
AND how tightly tied the setting is in the rules
A feature that is viewed as a positive in many games...
that can only be dealt with by the IP owner. Not players.
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Re: New setting for Traveller needed

Postby F33D » Wed Sep 11, 2013 4:11 am

GypsyComet wrote:
F33D wrote:Considering how small of an RPG audience the game has
How big do you think this hobby is?
Irrelevant. It is relative.
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Re: New setting for Traveller needed

Postby Prime_Evil » Wed Sep 11, 2013 4:58 am

F33D wrote:Considering how small of an RPG audience the game has AND how tightly tied the setting is in the rules, that formula needs revision. But, that can only be dealt with by the IP owner. Not players.
The IP owner has released much of the rule system under the OGL - between the Open Game Content released by Mongoose and the t20 product line, it is probably possible to reverse-engineer the core rules from scratch. I'm not convinced that the setting is tightly coupled to the rules. There are several publishers successfully producing their own custom universes that differ from the OTU in various ways - some of them only make minor tweaks to the rules while others opt for more drastic changes. Some of the alternate settings are probably better than others, but that's just the nature of these things.

I'm trying to understand where you are coming from. Are you concerned that if Mongoose tries to accommodate those who view Traveller as a generic toolkit, this will dilute the potential audience? Do you think that Mongoose would serve its audience better by exclusively concentrating on developing new products for the OTU?
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Re: New setting for Traveller needed

Postby Prime_Evil » Wed Sep 11, 2013 5:06 am

Ishmael wrote:If anything, I'm starting to think that the commentary in this thread shows that a separate common ATU may not be possible after all; everyone would be looking from something different for the others.
This is a common problem with SF games - unlike the fantasy genre where it is possible to fall back upon archetypal imagery with strong mythic resonances (magic swords, dragons, demons, dungeons, etc), every SF universe is designed from scratch and even basic features (FTL travel, weapons, armour) can differ wildly from one universe to the next.
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Re: New setting for Traveller needed

Postby High Orbit Drifter » Wed Sep 11, 2013 6:04 am

Prime_Evil wrote:
Ishmael wrote:If anything, I'm starting to think that the commentary in this thread shows that a separate common ATU may not be possible after all; everyone would be looking from something different for the others.
This is a common problem with SF games - unlike the fantasy genre where it is possible to fall back upon archetypal imagery with strong mythic resonances (magic swords, dragons, demons, dungeons, etc), every SF universe is designed from scratch and even basic features (FTL travel, weapons, armour) can differ wildly from one universe to the next.
Exactly!

Fantasy in the Western tradition was crystalized by Tolkien. Even the urban stuff features vaguely recognizable elves, dwarves, wizards and warriors.

SF didn't have a Tolkien. Closest was Azimov and the Gold Age SF, which Traveller is heartily all about. And while those are still good books, by their very nature they didn't crystalize the setting. Advances in science made the idea of jungles on Venus or atomic rockets as revelent as a tophatted, mustachioed villian demanding his rent money. The polar opposites of Boy Scout Star Trek and dystopian zombie-punk haven't done any better. They have followings but neither are universally accepted.

Any setting for Traveller that isn't going to be the Old Traveller Universe is going to be what? The rules generate characters that seem most at home in Gold Age-ish settings. Wiley merchants, stalwart millitary types, no-rules-for-me-thank-you explorers. Except Gold Age settings aren't as widely known today, since, as we all know, the younger generation doesn't know whats good for themhttp://quotationsbook.com/quote/44998/# ... 5iebM.dpbs

And thus you get Traveller Judge Dredd, Traveller Hammer's Slammers, Traveller Hello Kitty. Because you have to associate you're game with something. Or you can try to make something new, different, wonderful that last for decades - again.
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Re: New setting for Traveller needed

Postby alex_greene » Wed Sep 11, 2013 6:24 am

High Orbit Drifter wrote:Fantasy in the Western tradition was crystalized by Tolkien. Even the urban stuff features vaguely recognizable elves, dwarves, wizards and warriors.
I would not use the term "crystallised;" more "fossilised."
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