Taveller. Just what is it?

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
Bellicose
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Taveller. Just what is it?

Postby Bellicose » Fri Feb 12, 2016 2:39 pm

Hey guys, I didn't want to hijack anyone else's thread. I have a question, just what exactly is Traveller? I have heard of it for years, but I never got into it. I have played Noble Armada, Full Thrust, and Starmada Nova. Just how does it compare to those games, or is it something completely different? What is in the new rule book? What exactly are the ship construction rules to port other genres like (hypothetically a noble fleet from Noble Armada)? It sounds like a ship combat game with a large helping of rpg thrown in. Like I said, I really don't know anything about the game. Please help this ACTA refuge know if this is something he would like to get into. Thanks in advance.
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Re: Taveller. Just what is it?

Postby Torbyne » Fri Feb 12, 2016 2:51 pm

I am far from an authority on Traveller but the first thing to jump out at me is your focus on fleet combat games. Traveller can be used to run games like that with little to no modification but that also ignores massive swaths of the game that focus on characters instead of ships.

The focus of the game from the rule book's perspective if following a group of players who may or may not be on a ship that may or may not be armed. in combat each player can take control of some aspect of the ship but the team is usually only controlling one ship at a time. And they leave the ship to go do other things a lot.

Think about a good Sci Fi show, maybe Firefly or Babylon 5 or Battlestar Galactica, Traveller lets you re-enact all of those kinds of moments. Viper dog fights, cataclysmic fleet clashes and just as well it lets you run politicking between officers of a flag ship in times of peace, smuggling cattle between different moons or dodging psychic police forces out to control your thoughts.

What kind of game are you looking to play?
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Re: Taveller. Just what is it?

Postby hdan » Fri Feb 12, 2016 5:14 pm

Maybe an analogy will do:

Traveller is to the games your used to as Dungeons and Dragons is to Warhammer or "De Bellis Antiquitatis".
/hdan
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Re: Taveller. Just what is it?

Postby tolcreator » Fri Feb 12, 2016 5:56 pm

As others have said, it is a roleplaying game, whereas those other games you mentioned are wargames. Traveller has wargaming aspects, and previous editions had full blown wargaming offshoots, but Traveller itself is an RPG.
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Re: Taveller. Just what is it?

Postby Bellicose » Fri Feb 12, 2016 6:11 pm

Thank you. Like I said, I have heard of the game, but realy nothing else about it. I've looked through a couple of the Traveller threads, but most are over 100 posts, at least one has over 1100, so I which is why I would just rather get it straight in one thread. I guess I'm torn on jumping in or not. I have only ever played the three games I mentioned earlier, so no D&D. What I want to avoid is buying a game that requires 15 supliments to play.
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Re: Taveller. Just what is it?

Postby hdan » Fri Feb 12, 2016 6:39 pm

Well, the current (first) edition of Mongoose Traveller is a full game with only the core rule book.

Also, you can still get "The Traveller Book" printed from RPGNow!, which is pretty much the same as the Mongoose version in terms of scope, but using the "classic" edition of the rules from back in the 80's. This is an "Old School" RPG though - characters die a lot, and there is no guarantee that player's characters will be at all "balanced" against each other. And yes, this is the edition in which you can actually die during character generation, and there are algebra equations and vector math diagrams in the space travel section.

Mongoose's edition has a more entertaining character generation sequence and is easier to digest, though as usual people have quibbles with some of the rules. (Which is pretty typical for Traveller - it seems nobody plays any edition "stock".) Mongoose Traveller is the closest thing to "Classic Traveller" that I've seen while not actually BEING "Classic Traveller", and many people find that it fits the modern RPG gamer's mindset better than cruchy ol' lethal Classic.

The 2nd Edition of Mongoose Traveller that's just now appearing can be played with only the core rule book, and I like the direction they've evolved the rules for the most part, but a fair amount of the basics (most notably starship creation) is slated for later books.

To be fair, people disliked the fact that "Classic" and "1st Edition" had two different spaceship design sequences, so dropping the "quick and dirty" system wasn't a completely illogical choice.
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Re: Taveller. Just what is it?

Postby phavoc » Fri Feb 12, 2016 7:25 pm

Traveller started out as a pure RPG, a sci-fi version of D&D... INNNN SSSPPPPAAACCCEEEE!!!

Then people asked to build BIGGER ships than what came, and hence High Guard was created for people to build and smash fleets together. HULK SMASH!!!

Now we still have the blended versions. You CAN build a massive dreadnought to insert into your RPG campaign, complete with monthly costs and such. OR you could just say "you are on a dreadnought" and keep your RPG campaign away from it.

The bottom line is you have a set of tools to move up or down the adventuring scale, depending upon your interests and needs. It's not perfect, but no gaming system is.
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Re: Taveller. Just what is it?

Postby Condottiere » Fri Feb 12, 2016 8:24 pm

I like to think of it as Mid Life Crisis, since characters tend to hit that age in order to have a significant number of skills, and appear to want a change of pace.
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Re: Taveller. Just what is it?

Postby Bellicose » Fri Feb 12, 2016 9:29 pm

hey phavoc, or really anyone. Could you give me an idea of what the ship to ship combat is like? I appreciate.
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Re: Taveller. Just what is it?

Postby phavoc » Fri Feb 12, 2016 11:19 pm

Bellicose wrote:hey phavoc, or really anyone. Could you give me an idea of what the ship to ship combat is like? I appreciate.
small ship combat is not too detailed, or at least not as much as other gaming systems (like Star Fleet Battles, Starfire or Renegade Legion). there's no vector movement or anything like that unless you want to come up with your own rules and maps. If you are looking for space combat to be a relatively basic add-on for your RPG on the ground, you are in luck. If you like to fight starships and do lots of tactical and strategic things, I'd suggest looking at another game system to use for space combat.
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Re: Traveller. Just what is it?

Postby alex_greene » Sat Feb 13, 2016 12:25 am

Ship combat is very basic.

Hostiles tend to appear at extreme sensor range and close in. Ships exchange laser fire, throw "sand" (basically, chaff in space) or fire off missiles, and depending on whether they want to destroy the ship or just board her and loot her cargo, combats are usually meant to be brief.
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Re: Traveller. Just what is it?

Postby alex_greene » Sat Feb 13, 2016 12:38 am

I think that the best way to describe the game is Science fiction adventure.

In one session, your characters might be operating as crew on board a ship which is under fire from pirates; in another session, they could be hacking their way through dense jungles to locate a crashed ship that belonged to an expedition which disappeared forty years previous.

The game is based on the individual Travellers, not ships or vehicles. Your first game session is about statting up the Travellers, for instance. Not their ships.
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Re: Taveller. Just what is it?

Postby Infojunky » Sat Feb 13, 2016 4:10 am

Bellicose wrote:Thank you. Like I said, I have heard of the game, but realy nothing else about it. I've looked through a couple of the Traveller threads, but most are over 100 posts, at least one has over 1100, so I which is why I would just rather get it straight in one thread. I guess I'm torn on jumping in or not. I have only ever played the three games I mentioned earlier, so no D&D. What I want to avoid is buying a game that requires 15 supliments to play.

He asks What is Traveller.... Man what a open question.

At it's core Traveller is a collection of mini-games that allows you to Role Play in a Science Fiction Setting. Said Micro-games include character generation, personal combat, starship combat, world creation, trade. Throughout the the years there has been a Fleet Simulator, 3 or 4 ship to ship combat games, trade and/or empire economics simulators, Strategic wargames, and probably some that I am missing.

With all that Traveller has inspired a large number of of secondary games, you have played Full Trust which is Heavily inspired by Traveller (all the GZG's games firmly have their roots in Traveller)....

As for the number of supplements... Traveller is a Toolkit and the various supplements are your tools.
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Re: Taveller. Just what is it?

Postby High Orbit Drifter » Sat Feb 13, 2016 8:50 pm

If you like the role playing aspects of a game, or want to try that out, you might want to look into Traveller. If you're more into space combat in and of itself, and don't want to deal with all that rp drama of whether or not you should fire on that enemy cruiser, then you will probably find this version of Traveller too light for you. There are a lot of previous versions, since it was first published back in the 1970s, and all versions have their fans so most are still available.
That said all are abstractions, since game maps are 2d as compared to real world 3d. I'd like to see a 3D space combat game for Traveller, but afaik that isn't anything like that out there in the Intertubes.
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Re: Taveller. Just what is it?

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Sat Feb 13, 2016 11:11 pm

Bellicose wrote:Hey guys, I didn't want to hijack anyone else's thread. I have a question, just what exactly is Traveller? I have heard of it for years, but I never got into it. I have played Noble Armada, Full Thrust, and Starmada Nova. Just how does it compare to those games, or is it something completely different? What is in the new rule book? What exactly are the ship construction rules to port other genres like (hypothetically a noble fleet from Noble Armada)? It sounds like a ship combat game with a large helping of rpg thrown in. Like I said, I really don't know anything about the game. Please help this ACTA refuge know if this is something he would like to get into. Thanks in advance.
If you want to play simulated space battles on a battle map using ship minis (or with some substitute tokens) from the Traveller universe, the minimal game books you'll need are GURPS Third Edition, GURPS Traveller Second Edition, and GURPS Space Third Edition. For more ship types, you'll need most of the other GURPS Traveller books to get their stats, builds, etc.
Last edited by ShawnDriscoll on Mon Feb 15, 2016 3:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Taveller. Just what is it?

Postby Bellicose » Mon Feb 15, 2016 3:27 am

Thank you all. While it does sound interesting, I think I'll give Traveller a pass. I do appreciate the responses.

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