What's Traveller5 like?

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
ShawnDriscoll
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Re: What's Traveller5 like?

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Wed May 08, 2019 8:08 am

NOLATrav wrote:
Tue May 07, 2019 1:40 pm
But the question still remains if the systems actually work: char gen, personal and space combat, the Makers, etc etc.
Anyone ever ask if the role-play works in T5? I see some typos in the Personals rules. Has anyone ever used them?
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Re: What's Traveller5 like?

Postby Moppy » Wed May 08, 2019 9:19 am

Reynard wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 12:33 am
If your Traveller Universe postulates there are forces in your universe's physics that regularly bend and break what we 'know' as physics and physical constants by the means of supernatural rather than natural forces then you have magic and science fantasy. If your universe produces results that are dictated to be natural such as jump physics, gravitic drives, man portable fusion weapons, very efficient fusion power and intelligent life on every tenth planet and our science today can't prove otherwise then you have science speculation. If you have a story that uses actual known and working concepts that could be possible if applied to a plot such as in The Martian then you have hard science fiction.

That Clarke definition of magic is fanciful but silly unless you realize he meant perception and point of view rather than some supernatural element to the construction of the real world. If a culture had no word or concept of magic they would see phenomenon as natural and straight foreword and just haven't learned enough to fully understand what they were observing. A bit like Vulcans.
Clarke definition is actually based on the scientific method. (Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_method). This is the formal name for the thing that defines what science is, and what "doing science" means.

If you're unable to explain something using the scientific method, either your science is wrong/incomplete or the device is magic. We probably agree on that. (These days we often add: "Or you live in a simulation" - but in that case the rules that govern the sim's parameters actually ARE magic to you, literally).

However, science can't tell you, right now, which of the two it is ... you can guess one of the two, but at that point, your decision is based on belief that world works the way you think, or disbelief in magic. You can only rule out magic after you do enough additional science to be able to say how the device works.

The definitions you've provided seem loose to me.

If there's magic but the magic is consistent and regulated, and can be explained by magicians, "this symbol draws energy from the higher spheres, and these icons and spoken words bind it into elemental fire" and everytime you do the same spell you get exactly the same answer - then it's an explainable natural force, and becomes science speculation? Edit: Or, basically, what are you classing as supernatural? Defies Physics? So anti-grav and the jump are supernatural?

Clarke is actually right and probably deserves more credit :-)
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Re: What's Traveller5 like?

Postby phavoc » Wed May 08, 2019 4:21 pm

The problem with Clarke's statement is that it works when you have people who are ignorant of higher science and it's possibilities. Humanity today still has a long way to go to understand the universe and the laws out there.

However we DO have an idea on all kinds of fantastical things. While we don't know how to go FTL, we do have some theories to get around that (current) barrier. We may not be able to create a 10 megajoule battery that can power a city and fit inside your pocket, but we understand batteries and energy storage. So it's more a question of figuring out the technology than anything else.

Magic (real) is all about sleight of hand and tricks. A butane lighter would be considered magic to a Roman, as would a .50 Barret sniper rifle. A Star Trek phaser rifle would not be considered magic to most people - though ignorance remains a pestilence among humanity, so that can't unfortunately be a blanket statement. Even things like flight seem magical even though the person who perceives it as "magic" accepts that birds can fly.
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Re: What's Traveller5 like?

Postby qstor » Wed May 08, 2019 5:12 pm

Moppy wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 8:25 am
IMO the best thing FFE can do to improve their product is hire a development manager. It seems a random mishmash of components that don't fully work or fit together properly. Having someone who can say "stop working on this, and fix that" would help lots. I still think the original Traveller was the most playable FFE one. (Mongoose 2 is the most playable ever).
I didn't do the first T5 Kickstarter and when I saw the HUGE print book at my FLGS I stayed away from it.

In response to the post above. I think FFE needs an editor as well. They should pair the 3 books down to about 500 pages, ie the size of the Pathfinder Core rulebook.

I didn't mind the T4 rules but I think the "chart bloat" from what I've seen from sections of T5 online, needs to be limited.

For now I'm happy with MgT.
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Re: What's Traveller5 like?

Postby Moppy » Wed May 08, 2019 5:31 pm

size and "bloat" is fine so long as everything is useful, fun or and unqiue - the bigger the better in that case

i don't have any issue with the size of T5, just that I'm pretty certain it doesn't work as a playable game without a lot of fixing first
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Re: What's Traveller5 like?

Postby Hakkonen » Wed May 08, 2019 8:34 pm

Moppy wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 5:31 pm
size and "bloat" is fine so long as everything is useful, fun or and unqiue - the bigger the better in that case

i don't have any issue with the size of T5, just that I'm pretty certain it doesn't work as a playable game without a lot of fixing first
What is it that makes T5 unplayable?
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Re: What's Traveller5 like?

Postby Sigtrygg » Wed May 08, 2019 8:44 pm

Character generation, the task system and combat resolution.
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Re: What's Traveller5 like?

Postby Hakkonen » Wed May 08, 2019 8:47 pm

Can you be more specific? What's wrong with those systems?
NOLATrav
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Re: What's Traveller5 like?

Postby NOLATrav » Wed May 08, 2019 9:09 pm

Hakkonen wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 8:34 pm
Moppy wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 5:31 pm
size and "bloat" is fine so long as everything is useful, fun or and unqiue - the bigger the better in that case

i don't have any issue with the size of T5, just that I'm pretty certain it doesn't work as a playable game without a lot of fixing first
What is it that makes T5 unplayable?
I can only speak for myself but...

Version 5.09 of the T5 PDF (I do not have the printed Big Book) has several issues:
*table of contents and index do not refer to the correct pages (the PDF is 700+ pages so this is a huge issue)
*character generation is confusing, especially the sequence detailing pre-career options. ISTR an example that doesn't follow the rules but could be wrong
*skills are also confusing, in that they are broken out into knowledges, talents and skills and there is a cascade structure involved that is very fiddly and non-intuitive
*it is unclear how the different damage types (Bullet, Bang, Blast, Burn, etc etc etc, most weapons have more than one) are applied in personal combat; there are different rules for NPC hits and damage than for PCs
*the ALTERNATE personal combat damage system has never made sense to me (I'll say that's my fault but I've been playing RPGs since the mid-80's...)
*the new World Cultural Extensions such as Strangeness and Symbols are not explained well nor is there any advice or guidance on how to use them or what they are for
*animal creation is very detailed but basic stats for combat - mainly, how many hits an animal has - is curiously absent. Possibly there is a rule buried somewhere that I cannot find
*computers are likewise highly detailed but I'm still unclear as to why, since if I understand it correctly only one aspect of a computer affects a task roll

I suppose I could go on. Does this make the game unplayable? Not really, if you are willing to house-rule and improvise and skip over the broken bits. But many people find that unacceptable in a product they have paid for, and I would say they are right. It's one thing to have a sub-system that's problematic or even broken (MgT 2e's dogfighting rules come to mind, but I have never actually played them, just reading lots of threads about them). But when nearly every aspect of game play requires you to stop and puzzle out what the rules are or what they mean, well... that's pretty unplayable in my book.
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Re: What's Traveller5 like?

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Thu May 09, 2019 4:03 am

Hakkonen wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 8:34 pm
What is it that makes T5 unplayable?
There is no quick reference for anything. Games halt when the book is looked at. Lots of charts to digest and become familiar with again if not looked at since a previous game session. Hopefully, the Player's Handbook will have quick-run rules for more practical T5 game sessions.
Last edited by ShawnDriscoll on Thu May 09, 2019 10:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What's Traveller5 like?

Postby TrippyHippy » Thu May 09, 2019 9:14 am

Hakkonen wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 8:34 pm
What is it that makes T5 unplayable?
In the original T5 edition, the book was littered with partial explanations of ideas, littered with errors and it was, in any case, difficult to digest as everything operated through coded acronyms and mathematical formula. It also tended to provide multiple systems to run things, or define things, or whatever - almost like 'choose your own system' in affect. There was no index, critically important for a large reference book, and the general organisation of the book was not intuitive.

Now, I'm a scientist, so I like mathematical formula and the like, but when you actually tried to do something with the rules - like generate a character or run a combat it proved genuinely difficult to do so with the rules as written. It wasn't honestly fun to be frustrated either.

Now, I also own the most recent T5.09 PDF edition, and while I cannot honestly call it anything other than a complex system (and certainly a lot more complex than Mongoose Traveller), it is playable. Some systems are very detailed, however, and others left quite abstract. It won't be to everybody's taste, although it could be for some - and especially for those wanting some form of 'advanced Traveller' or at least, those wanting to see Marc Miller's final vision of the game he first created.
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Re: What's Traveller5 like?

Postby Sigtrygg » Sat May 11, 2019 9:23 am

Some updates as to what T5 revised will be like taken from the kickstarter updates.

The kickstarter in now over $100,000.
What precisely have we done for this edition?
Posted by Marc "Traveller" Miller (Creator)

Inquiring minds want to know.
Soon after release of T5.0, Don McKinney began compiling an errata for the book. That material consisted of typographical fixes, formatting fixes, and rules clarifications, and general suggestions. Much of that was implemented in Traveller 5 dot 09, most notably the addition of an index.
After the release of 5 dot 09, I came to the conclusion that--for a reprint--a reformat to three Big Black Books was called for, and I restructured the material to meet that need.
In addition, I felt that the Personal Combat system and the Space Combat system could be improved, and I devoted some design time to perfecting them. I am especially pleased with both, and I believe they are significant improvements.
I work with a variety of enthusiastic and opinionated Traveller people who review what I write, note problems as well as format and textual errors, and provide constructive criticism. Some could care less about characters, but love ships, and vice versa. Their work has been invaluable to me, and this edition is much better for it.
I have also engaged a variety of lay or casual readers to provide their opinions and suggestions. Some of them have provided only minimal or casual responses, while others have given me detailed feedback. Their work differs from the experts, but also has been invaluable to me, and this edition is much better for it.
As to page counts,
T5 Beta (10 years ago) was 513 pages (plus 9 pages of title and contents),
T5.0 was 647 pages (plus 9 pages of title and contents).
T5.09 was about 731 pages (plus 9 pages of title and contents, and 19 pages of index).
T5.10 is three books with 828 pages:
Book 1 is 264 pages (plus 9 pages of title and contents, and 9 pages of index).
Book 2 is 280 pages (plus 9 pages of title and contents, and 9 pages of index).
Book 3 is 284 pages ((plus 9 pages of title and contents, and 9 pages of index).
What I find interesting is that in addition to the increased page counts, each version has shed about 10% of the previous page count as not-working, or uninteresting, or not-necessary.
Considerable examples have been added which help understand many of the processes. These include both narratives (basically combat examples and such) and pre-generated items using the systems.
I have within the last several months) recruited several volunteers to read the final texts, and their assistance has been helpful in making sure corrections have been made, and that the text properly conveys the ideas it is supposed to. In one instance, a proof reader misunderstood the purpose of a table, which prompted me to more fully detail the use of the table.
When I finished T5 dot 09, I was thoroughly immersed in the game rules, and it prompted me to write Agent of the Imperium. That exercise showed me aspects of the Traveller universe that mere rules could not. When you read it (or listen to the audiobook), you will similarly find that you see the Traveller universe in a new light. And by the way, the AudioBook CDROMs include an annotated text of the novel (in PDF) with 300+ footnotes providing details that may not be obvious, but are nonetheless important to understanding the OTU.
Is this edition perfect? No. Is it a substantial improvement over the previous? Yes. More playable, more coherent, and better than before.
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Re: What's Traveller5 like?

Postby Sigtrygg » Sat May 11, 2019 9:27 am

And now the latest update which covers the intent behind ship combat:
Space Combat In Traveller5
Posted by Marc "Traveller" Miller (Creator)

Some things need to age for a while, and if they do they are better for it. I concede that one of the weak points in Traveller5 has been space combat. It is patterned on boardgame or miniatures combat and concerns itself with spaceships shooting at each other. We all know how that works, and its how things have been done for a long time.
Space combat in T5.10 is a new take on that concept, and I have three talking points about it.
* It is more role-playing oriented.
* It is fast-paced.
* It is Schroedingerian.
Role-Playing-Oriented. All of the players have something to do in space combat. A battle can be resolved without characters, and it defaults to some basic task values. But a player character can participate and (with appropriate skill) have an advantage in gunnery, or maneuvers, or defensive actions. Each player character has a role to play in the success of the action.
Fast-Paced. Small ship battles move quickly. A pirate raid, or a small naval battle can be resolved in under an hour, and often in much less than that. The Ship Cards record battle damage, and its easy to see what still works, and where the holes are in the ship.
It’s Schroedingerian. You know the quantum physics thought experiment: there’s a cat in a box along with a random thing that might kill the cat, or might not. You don’t know until you open the box. In Traveller Space Combat, the battle produces Hits and Penetrations and Damages, but they are recorded as OOA- Out-Of-Action. You don’t know how bad (or superficial) it was until after the battle. All you know during the battle is – It’s Out Of Action. During the battle, there are reports that the Drive Compartment is Hit (mark it OOA), or the Gunner is OOA. Maybe someone can respond with Damage Control to bring the Drives back on line, or First Aid to bring the Gunner back into action.
Only after the battle can anyone find out how bad the damage was, or whether the drives still work. I call that Schroedingerian.
There is also an interplay of potential weapons and defenses that my friend Rob Eaglestone calls RDME: a Rich Decision Making Environment. Defenses like the Grav Scrambler are able to fire in defense against Gravitic-based attacks (like Plasma Gun) and if it succeeds, stop the attack (and disable the attacking weapon). Laser turrets can be allocated to Anti-Missile defense (but if so, can’t be used in the Attack this combat round). Weapons can knock out sensors as well as other weapons. So: overall a Rich Decision Making Environment).
I am pleased with how Space Combat has come out, and I wanted to share that.
Part of it was inspired by a space battle scene I wrote in Agent of the Imperium. In part:
“Their burst of strange particles reached us just as we fired: carefully chosen to ignore most matter; carefully timed to degrade into energetic bursts once they had passed through our armor. They rocked our interior. I felt vibrations through my feet. Visuals and audibles across the bridge signaled damage. I heard a comment that our jump drives were shredded. If we didn’t win this battle, that would be the least of our worries.”
This space combat system is capable of generating battle scenes like that, and more.
Thank you all for your support.
Marc
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Re: What's Traveller5 like?

Postby nats » Tue May 14, 2019 9:47 pm

No examples of what the books actually look like inside, no examples of illustrations, no video examples of playtesting, nothing on show for this Kickstarter at all of the quality of the final product other than a quick 3d rendered image of the books spines. Yet a lot of people have thrown good money into it based on some sort of misguided faith and nostalgia (I guess). I saw absolutely nothing worth giving my money to on that Kickstarter, and I just can't shake my strong doubts that this is just another cash grab for a reissued set of badly made rules to cover the poor bloke's rising medical bills and living expenses.

I mean I love the Classic Traveller, I think it was a masterpiece, but it was a masterpeice created by several people not just Marc Miller. So why do people think it is worth putting any good money up for a set of game rules that may have not even been changed from the last release, they might just be rearranged into three books, and we all know they were a complete shambles - it just really astounds me what some people will do with their hard earned money.

Now if this product comes into a local game shop so I can assess it, and if it ends up well made and if it has been properly playtested and if it is playable and fun - then I will be prepared to pay reasonable money possibly. But that is a heck of a lot of ifs.
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Re: What's Traveller5 like?

Postby Reynard » Tue May 14, 2019 10:49 pm

I bought my hardcopy of T5 through my local game store after I had a chance to go through it. I plan to do the same deal when this new one comes out. I'll more than likely appreciate the new one as I did the original as I have all the other editions I've acquired over the decades.
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Re: What's Traveller5 like?

Postby Gamerguy » Thu May 16, 2019 10:42 pm

I loved the Metaplots GDWs Traveller had, the 5th Frontier war wars so cool. I recall the WAR issue of JTAS. Amazing stuff.

Now, that is where a beloved Imperium rocks, defending an Imperium you loved made for great adventure in its day.

The last MegaTraveller published by GDW was so fun to play. It is still fun to play even now - Arrival Vengance.

T5 could really benefit from a metaplot with lots of cool adventures and amazing characters like Norris and Strephon.
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Re: What's Traveller5 like?

Postby NOLATrav » Thu May 16, 2019 11:42 pm

Gamerguy wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 10:42 pm
T5 could really benefit from a metaplot with lots of cool adventures and amazing characters like Norris and Strephon.
Ostensibly the T5 setting is The Galaxiad, that is, the Spinward Marches around 1900 Imperial.
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Re: What's Traveller5 like?

Postby Tay » Fri May 17, 2019 7:43 am

Didn't realize that.

Would be interested to see how the Worlds have changed over those years. Hoping the Wiki and Map have updates accordingly.
NOLATrav
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Re: What's Traveller5 like?

Postby NOLATrav » Fri May 17, 2019 3:22 pm

Not sure about the Wiki but Traveller Map already has some data posted. In the drop down menu where you can select map style, etc, you can also select the Milieu or era and the map displays it. The Marches in 1900 look very, very different.
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Re: What's Traveller5 like?

Postby Jackstar » Sat May 18, 2019 6:17 am

NOLATrav wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 3:22 pm
Not sure about the Wiki but Traveller Map already has some data posted. In the drop down menu where you can select map style, etc, you can also select the Milieu or era and the map displays it. The Marches in 1900 look very, very different.
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