Is there an Introduction to Traveller 2300?

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
Hopeless
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Is there an Introduction to Traveller 2300?

Postby Hopeless » Tue Jun 03, 2014 11:17 am

I was wondering if anyone has seen or heard of anything like this?

Its just that I'm in the process of picking up the Frontier Life supplement and it struck me there's precious little explaining either the back story or character generation for this setting other than the core rulebook and that seems rather odd considering the various discussion threads I've seen here.

So would anyone care to give their viewpoint on what Traveller 2300 is all about and if there's any differences between the original and Mongoose Publishings' version of that setting?

Thanks in advance!
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GJD
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Re: Is there an Introduction to Traveller 2300?

Postby GJD » Wed Jun 04, 2014 2:33 am

Hi Hopeless

This may ramble a bit...

Traveller 2300, or Mongoose 2300AD, is a hard science fiction roleplaying game set in the year 2300. It changes several of the basic assumptions from the core Traveller rulebook, most notably the classic J1, J2 etc. jump drive is replaced with a stutterwarp and Grav tech does not exist.

A stutterwarp drive operates by moving the starship instantaneously from one position to another without passing through the intervening space. This jump is only a few hundred meters long, so to achieve superluminal travel, the drive is cycled thousands of times a second, performing many short hops - stuttering. The drive system has an inherent limitation that it builds up a "charge" that must be discharged in a gravity well of 0.1G or greater, but the drive efficiency drops as the local gravity increases. If the drive is not discharged before the ship travels 7.7 light years, the drive destroys it self in an energetic release of hard radiation, that will kill the crew and ruin the drive (and your day).

Since there is no grav tech, there are no CG or grav plates, so artificial gravity is generated by using rotating sections on craft.

The background is an extrapolation of the Twilight 2000 timeline, although the details of the Twilight period are not well documented. Humanity has colonised space to a radius of about 50 Ly, and has met several alien species. Humanity remains balkanised, with France, Germany, UK, America and Manchuria being the main colonial powers, although Mexico, Azania, Japan, Australia and several other nations have outposts or colonies.

The star map is based on what was, at the time, the most accurate list of stars within 50 ly of Earth, the Gliese Catalogue of Nearby Stars 1969. Unfortunately we now know that several of the stars in the catalogue have wildly incorrect information so it's no longer the most accurate game map out there, but the map created from the catalogue is internally consistent, and is still used.

This places 2300AD, along with the potential divergence from our history with Twilight, into effectively an alternate universe, with stars in slightly different places, and the new dark age of Twilight starting.... about now.

The overall tech level is 10-12, with 10 being old commercial, 11 being new commercial and 12 being new military (cutting edge), although some tech is more advanced than the baseline Traveller.

Character Creation is broadly the same as the Core Book, but with several additions. Traits can be gained during character creation that are modifiers or descriptors, sort of like perks and flaws, but related directly to character choices, so a brawny character who is a Mesomorph body type will have traits that give advantages to checks relating to strength, but may be disadvantaged relating to dexterity. Other traits, such as enemy or fame or even wealth, are picked up as background life events.

There are a couple of extra careers that are translations of the old GDW careers, and some modifications to existing careers.

The background to 2300AD means that characters are much less likely to have their own ship. It's not impossible, but the crewing requirements for ships are much higher, typically 12-15 people for the smallest of vessels. Ships are also very expensive, so tend to be owned by nations or corporations (although there is a strong body of fan material that shows the costs are far too LOW when you consider the profits to be made from shipping cargo).

Published adventures in the past have tended to fall into one of three camps - The war against a race of belligerent aliens called Kaefers, exploration and survival on unexplored worlds, cyberpunk adventures in the high-tech core worlds (a late and rather tacked-on trope for the original 2300AD). The Kaefer war came to dominated the original line, with only a few published adventures not featuring the grumpy lobster faced antagonists in some way. I'm pleased to say that the new, original material published for M2300AD has been of the second category, exploration and survival.

I disliked the combat mechanics in the original version, and the system of skills and checks is more or less the same between the two versions. The skill list for the Mongoose version is slightly more compact, but I have just converted 30 odd NPC from one version to the other, and there wasn't one I couldn't easily switch over.

I'm a big fan of 2300AD in all its forms (I bought the first run of the original Traveller:2300AD the week it was available in the UK) and I think the new Mongoose version is the best version so far. If you are looking for a sfrpg with a hard science basis I recommend it.
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Re: Is there an Introduction to Traveller 2300?

Postby Epicenter » Wed Jun 04, 2014 10:17 am

Hopeless wrote: any differences between the original and Mongoose Publishings' version of that setting?
Beyond mechanics, one difference between MongTrav's 2300 and GDW's original 2300 is the nature of the Twilight War. The GDW original was the Twilight: 2000 world taken to the year 2300. In Twilight: 2000, World War III is fought roughly by NATO and the Warsaw Pact in the west and the Soviets and their allies versus China in the east in the late 1990s. The world economy (understandably) collapses, and it spends the next century or so rebuilding. That's why a lot of the technology in the original 2300 felt more like it might exist in the year 2200 - human civilization essentially loses about 100 years rebuilding.

Since we live in the year 2014 and the events of Twilight: 2000 are outdated a bit quaint now (like "no more Soviet Union"), the events of "Twilight" are deliberately kept vague. The outcome is pretty similar, but there's no more outdated war to laugh about.

There's also a greater emphasis on biotechnology in 2300, one I'm a little iffy on myself because I feel the implications of biotechnology, particularly the section in Mong 2300 about DNAMs is lacks the consideration of implications: If DNAMs, which are pretty much modifications of the human genome, performed "on the fly" on living and often adult humans as opposed to modifying the genetic code of ova and sperm to create modified humans, then why are anagathic regimens in 2300 considered so expensive and exclusive? For DNAMs to work the way they do, you'd have to have a really good knowledge of how cells work. For DNAMs to be relatively cheap and Anagathics to be so expensive makes no sense to me.
Hopeless
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Re: Is there an Introduction to Traveller 2300?

Postby Hopeless » Wed Jun 04, 2014 11:09 am

I have been trying to get a better idea of how to handle this setting and have been having problems in that I really don't understand the part about the stutterwarp drives although your explanation made more sense than what I've unravelled so far.

I've been looking at having jump drive capabilities that allow jumps from say Earth to Mars, then to Jupiter more or less and then out to Pluto with the idea that any extrastellar travel requiring them to be at least as far out as Pluto before making the attempt.

That idea was more or less inspired by Mass Effect with the idea that an artefact was found there that allowed travel to another star system with another Gate with human colonisation being limited by their ability to support such efforts since I imagine their resources would be stretched quite thin just trying to maintain what they have now.

Not a fan of the gene modification part from the character creation since it really doesn't explain why they can do that, given that would leave the recipient vulnerable to something their treatment has removed and not been accounted for.

More inclined towards the Babylon V explanation for analgathics in that the only reliable means is not just illegal but would be immediately outlawed by any form of civilisation with any scruples once they figured out how they're produced.

Can't help getting Firely flashbacks for some of the scenery and explaining how folks are getting off Earth...

Game ideas that I have had so far have been more or less helped by a couple of actual plays I've read using the pdf adventures released for Traveller 2300 based around a fallen french satellite and the efforts of the French to recover it albeit with the British and Germans trying to get there first!

My version is looking at adding the Americans and explaining a bit about the Bavarians who i recall having merged back with Germany at some point in the timeline I read (well I did remember something!) with the French being less idiotic and more characteristically arrogant instead.

As i said I have alot of catching up to do! :D

Just received my copy of the Frontier Living book, will be busy perusing that to see what else I've been getting wrong! :shock:
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Re: Is there an Introduction to Traveller 2300?

Postby Reynard » Wed Jun 04, 2014 6:58 pm

"The star map is based on what was, at the time, the most accurate list of stars within 50 ly of Earth, the Gliese Catalogue of Nearby Stars 1969. Unfortunately we now know that several of the stars in the catalogue have wildly incorrect information so it's no longer the most accurate game map out there, but the map created from the catalogue is internally consistent, and is still used. "

Or try this one,
http://evildrganymede.net/2012/02/13/st ... -star-map/
Hopeless
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Re: Is there an Introduction to Traveller 2300?

Postby Hopeless » Thu Jun 05, 2014 2:09 pm

Been looking at the Lift off adventure pdf and got the urge to consider that being run under the 2300 rules.

Is it likely I can start this game off by explaining the PCs are convicts being sent to a mining facility before being carted off to perform a mission for the French as they've lost contact with a colony and decide they want to send in some guinea pigs to find out what happened?

Just how do the various world powers of the T2300 era behave with each other?

Who would be willing to deposit some alien bugs on a rival powers' colony just to test their effectiveness and what reason would they have to be unwilling to send in the marines and send in a dirty dozen team instead because they suspect something else is going on and intended to use the PCs to set off the trap... :twisted:

Of course as we all know, no plan survives contact with the PCs... :lol:
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GJD
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Re: Is there an Introduction to Traveller 2300?

Postby GJD » Thu Jun 05, 2014 11:09 pm

The nations treat each other much like nations do today - little overt action unless there is a clear cassus belli.

The French secret service has a reputation for dirty tricks, and hard labour could well be a punishment (ref devils island and Papillion). Bear in mind that there's no FTL communication, though, so losing contact with a colony requires someone to have GONE to the colony and then not been able to reach them, unless you are talking about an outpost on the same world or another planet in the same system.

As far as who would be willing to dump bugs somewhere - my first thought would be The Pentapods. They have inexplicable and alien ideas about humanity, individuality and the sanctity of life compared to "hey that's an interesting biological, lets eat it and see what it's DNA tastes like".

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Hopeless
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Re: Is there an Introduction to Traveller 2300?

Postby Hopeless » Fri Jun 06, 2014 9:36 am

Regarding the dna modification, is that supposed to be standard as in anyone travelling offworld has it done because of the resistance to deterioration due to the lack of gravity?

Its just that I've been noting a new series called Almost Human where they rigged a virus that targetted those using a specific vaccine thereby killing them rapidly and it struck me that the dna modification would be an easy way to tag anyone travelling offworld so I was wondering does it mention a means of analysing them in case one has a virus specifically designed to spread to those deemed a target by the virus's creator?

Does it mention anyone countering such efforts?

And what books, dvds, etc would you recommend to get the feel for this setting?
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GJD
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Re: Is there an Introduction to Traveller 2300?

Postby GJD » Fri Jun 06, 2014 8:44 pm

No, the DNAMS are for specific reasons. Some, like the KING DNAM are required for life on a certain world, and some give benefits, but it's personal choice. One thing to note is that DNAMs are banned from Earth, so if you are a colonist who has had a DNAM to make life easier on your homeworld, you are never back to Earth, or you have to have a RETROGRADE DNAM (capitalise4d because each DNAM regime is named) that essentially removes prior DNAMs.

For mood, any gritty scifi is good. Alien, Outland, Silent Running, Moon, 2001/2010, Avatar, Pitch Black, Outcasts, Space Above and Beyond, Halo, Deus Ex, System Shock, Legacy of Heorot, Dragons of Heorot, Beowulfs Children, Red/Green/Blue Mars, Rendezvous with Rama, the Near Space stories by Allen Steele some aspects of cyberpunk from things like Bladerunner, Ghost in the SHell, Gibson's Sprawl, Appleseed and so on.
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GJD
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Re: Is there an Introduction to Traveller 2300?

Postby GJD » Fri Jun 06, 2014 8:50 pm

I'd also direct you to the 2300AD Facebook page. There's a really lively community there and lots of stuff being posted that should inspire you.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/2300AD/

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