New Era, how accurate?

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
User avatar
Ursus Maior
Mongoose
Posts: 190
Joined: Sat Nov 09, 2019 11:36 pm
Location: Germany

Re: New Era, how accurate?

Postby Ursus Maior » Fri Aug 07, 2020 9:29 am

Sigtrygg wrote:
Fri Aug 07, 2020 9:01 am
It is my contention that it was the Fifth Frontier War that critically damaged the Classic Traveller OTU. Gone were the adventure hooks and fascinating news articles, instead we got a few years of war reports. Gone was the setting were a small group of characters could get up to mischief and shenanigans, instead you had to worry about the battlefleet in the system you have jumped into.

It also subtly changed how the fanon viewed the Imperium. Pre-FFW the Imperials were often bad guys, then during the FFW they wee americanised and became the good guys.
I could not agree more. Indeed, I blame the era. The mid-to-late eighties were an era of intense wargames for GDW and the community absolutely supported militarisation of role-playing games. To publishing companies took that up like no others, FASA and GDW. This has to be seen in the context of the late Cold War, of course, but it changed how the industry worked and how it developed: Games that tried to be hyper realistic and simulationist(ic) saw the light of day and more narrative games developed as some sort of 'counter movement', i. e. Vampire in its 1st edition.

For Traveller this development meant a huge shift, indeed, as Sigtrygg wrote. Gone were the Imperium baddies, now Imperial Star Marines were cool and people did no longer unanimously want to play adventurer-type, Wild West in space style Travellers, but futurised special operations with pew-pew galore. Even West End Games own Star Wars RPG, which copied many elements of earlier Traveller went that way: Imperial and spec ops campaigns were a huge thing in the nineties.

The question would be: how huge was the impact of FFW by itself on that? Or would the industry and Traveller have gone into that direction either way?
liber et infractus
User avatar
Reynard
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 3544
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:03 pm

Re: New Era, how accurate?

Postby Reynard » Fri Aug 07, 2020 11:08 am

Wasn't the first three Star War movies war movies other media as well as RPGs emulated? I'd say there's you influence going into the 80s.

I gamed Traveller (as well as West End Star wars) back in the 80s. War was the background and flavor of the game at that time BUT in no way were any of us forced to run military scenarios and campaigns. Charted Space is big! There are a lot of places in the Spinward Marches unaffected by dreadnaughts and space marines your adventures can make history. Even the Rebellion and Virus was mostly background and far away if you operated in the Spinward Marches. Nice thing that isolation. And the Aslan incursions were far from the center of the Marches.
User avatar
paltrysum
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 845
Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2017 11:16 pm
Contact:

Re: New Era, how accurate?

Postby paltrysum » Fri Aug 07, 2020 4:42 pm

Sigtrygg wrote:
Fri Aug 07, 2020 9:01 am
It also subtly changed how the fanon viewed the Imperium. Pre-FFW the Imperials were often bad guys, then during the FFW they wee americanised and became the good guys.
So true. And the Zhodani were analogues for the evil Soviets...until Alien Module 4: Zhodani came out anyway. I really loved the way the Zhodani were portrayed in that supplement, which was written by J. Andrew Keith, Marc Miller, and John Harshman. There was little attempt to vilify them; more of a detached, matter-of-fact description of a human culture that does things differently, thanks to their mastery of psionics.
Ursus Maior wrote:
Fri Aug 07, 2020 9:29 am
Even West End Games own Star Wars RPG, which copied many elements of earlier Traveller went that way: Imperial and spec ops campaigns were a huge thing in the nineties.
Your post reminds me of this reddit group: https://www.reddit.com/r/EmpireDidNothingWrong/ :D
My published Traveller adventures on DriveThruRPG:
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/browse.php ... %20Griffen
User avatar
MyndkryM
Weasel
Posts: 31
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2020 11:05 pm

Re: New Era, how accurate?

Postby MyndkryM » Fri Aug 07, 2020 11:41 pm

Ursus Maior wrote:
Fri Aug 07, 2020 9:29 am
The mid-to-late eighties were an era of intense wargames for GDW and the community absolutely supported militarisation of role-playing games.
:?

GDW was first and foremost a wargame publisher that also published a few RPGs. It happened to be that those RPGs are pretty awesome.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Game_Desi ... 7_Workshop

In that link are wargames that are still being used by war colleges all over the world. Anyway, Traveller always had a military tilt. I was very excited when I got to buy the newly released Book 4: Mercenary. And let's not forget Mayday, Snapshot, and Striker. Old school Traveller joke; Q:Why is Forward Observer a skill? A:Marc Miller :lol:

Anyway....it appears that Mongoose is going to deep dive 1105. I'm cool with that and look forward to how they do the 5FW. I really like what they have done with Behind the Claw and the JTAS. I would LOVE a MgT2 treatment of Adventure 7: Broadsword :D
Condottiere
Warlord Mongoose
Posts: 8503
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:23 pm

Re: New Era, how accurate?

Postby Condottiere » Sat Aug 08, 2020 12:01 am

1. Think of the Vilani as Persians, the Terrans as Greeks, and the Third Imperium as Rome.

2. Apocalyptic events were introduced into various roleplaying games, in varying degrees of success and disruption of the setting.

3. Warhammer is always on the verge of destruction; Reconstruction appears to be going for turbocharging the factions.

4. With Dungeons and Dragons it doesn't matter, since they have a multiverse of settings; Forgotten Realms treatment seems more a series of tweaks.

5. ShadowRun seems to take the soft comic evolution approach, while pushing forward the timeline, requiring a distinctive divergence with ours.

6. World of Darkness always had a sell by date; and then apparently it got sold and rebooted. I don't think it matters, since it had more to do with the interactions of the characters and that twilight zone of the supernatural.

7. Battletech is really an excuse for some robot gladiatorial combat, because militarily it never made sense; what happened with the Clans was just the introduction of more factions to the fray.

8. The problem with Traveller is that the setting is an integral part of the game, and none of the changes felt a natural evolution of it, which is why GURPS rebooted it and ignored them (much like the Star Wars sequels are rumoured to be).
User avatar
dmccoy1693
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 1321
Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 3:23 am
Location: St Louis, MO
Contact:

Re: New Era, how accurate?

Postby dmccoy1693 » Sat Aug 08, 2020 2:26 pm

Condottiere wrote:
Sat Aug 08, 2020 12:01 am
7. Battletech is really an excuse for some robot gladiatorial combat,
You say that like it's a bad thing. :wink:
Download our newest book: Solomani Worlds: Vehicles of the Rim today.

Dale McCoy, Jr.
Jon Brazer Enterprises
User avatar
Erias
Weasel
Posts: 31
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2008 12:49 pm

Re: New Era, how accurate?

Postby Erias » Sat Aug 08, 2020 2:32 pm

It’s funny, based on GURPS Interstellar Wars, I’ve always viewed the Vilani as being inspired by the Chinese empire.
Last edited by Erias on Sat Aug 08, 2020 11:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Condottiere
Warlord Mongoose
Posts: 8503
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:23 pm

Re: New Era, how accurate?

Postby Condottiere » Sat Aug 08, 2020 9:59 pm

Which dynasty?

Also, sometimes to get ahead, bureaucrats had to give up something near and dear to their hearts.
User avatar
ShawnDriscoll
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 2997
Joined: Sun Dec 13, 2009 6:13 pm

Re: New Era, how accurate?

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Sun Aug 09, 2020 12:44 am

Erias wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 8:38 pm
I’m new and frantic about Traveller’s lore. I read In several sources (Wiki Traveller for a start) that the New Era’s virus wasn’t everybody’s cup of tea. Some hard Traveller fans didn’t like it. I’m reading about the Long Night, right after the fall of the Rule of Man and I am confused: in the Mongoose edition, has the New Era setting been completely obliterated? And, if so, what is the Long Night, how the Second Imperium fell
Some would say that the Mongoose Traveller core book takes place on the first day of 1105. 5624 - 5628 AD.
GypsyComet
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 2185
Joined: Tue Nov 13, 2007 4:09 am

Re: New Era, how accurate?

Postby GypsyComet » Thu Oct 15, 2020 4:18 am

paltrysum wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 6:41 pm
IMHO, MegaTraveller had some of the finest supplementary material and best lore ever published for the game. DGP's Traveller Digest and MegaTraveller Journal, as well as the two alien modules they put out, were really top-notch gaming supplements.
The problem with DGP's coverage was that they really wanted to show us the Imperium at its peak, but were obligated to show it being torn apart. The upshot was that they gave the *edition* great coverage, but only grudgingly covered the era. Looking at the ads for new products that never appeared, we see that they were all Rebellion related. Almost like they either didn't want to write them, or didn't know how.

Which makes their end-of-edition gambit that much weirder. They wanted to extend the period of war by bringing in an external threat, but one that had not previously existed. GDW would reclaim Traveller as a result, but the damage of the Rebellion was done.

People complained that Virus and TNE "killed the Imperium." I disagree. The Rebellion killed the Imperium. Virus merely cremated the corpse.
CTMTTNET4GTT20THMGTT5
It's all Traveller, so it's all Good.
User avatar
Reynard
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 3544
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:03 pm

Re: New Era, how accurate?

Postby Reynard » Thu Oct 15, 2020 3:22 pm

"I dislike the TNE ruleset, but really like the setting. I’d enjoy a star viking campaign using MgT2 rules."

Already exist since day one. An incredibly huge apocalypse destroying worlds and billions of lives for many centuries to come. Some pockets survive to send brave explorers out to make contact with the remains of Charted Space and helping in reclamation taking centuries.

The Long Night. Remember Marc Miller's Traveller: Milieu 0 campaign and Pocket Empires?
Geir
Banded Mongoose
Posts: 221
Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:48 pm
Contact:

Re: New Era, how accurate?

Postby Geir » Thu Oct 15, 2020 4:12 pm

GypsyComet wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 4:18 am

Which makes their end-of-edition gambit that much weirder. They wanted to extend the period of war by bringing in an external threat, but one that had not previously existed. GDW would reclaim Traveller as a result, but the damage of the Rebellion was done.
My memory of events from that '91-'92 time period is a little fuzzy - lots of real life events going one. But are you saying the Virus was DGP's idea? I think the last MegaTraveller thing I own is Hard Times (Gannon by GDW, not DGP). I thought DGP wanted to 'buy the franchise' but Miller wouldn't sell his baby, so they went off to do their own thing, and that collapsed on them - well, they said their Mac hard-drive died, but I'm sure that was just the final straw.
Geir Lanesskog
www.geir.org
Geir
Banded Mongoose
Posts: 221
Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:48 pm
Contact:

Re: New Era, how accurate?

Postby Geir » Thu Oct 15, 2020 5:12 pm

Geir wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 4:12 pm
GypsyComet wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 4:18 am

Which makes their end-of-edition gambit that much weirder. They wanted to extend the period of war by bringing in an external threat, but one that had not previously existed. GDW would reclaim Traveller as a result, but the damage of the Rebellion was done.
My memory of events from that '91-'92 time period is a little fuzzy - lots of real life events going one. But are you saying the Virus was DGP's idea? I think the last MegaTraveller thing I own is Hard Times (Gannon by GDW, not DGP). I thought DGP wanted to 'buy the franchise' but Miller wouldn't sell his baby, so they went off to do their own thing, and that collapsed on them - well, they said their Mac hard-drive died, but I'm sure that was just the final straw.
And now to correct myself, after checking my 'archives' (basement) Arrival Vengeance in '92 was the last MegaTraveller product. It even says so on the back... so the Virus was definitely all GDW.
Geir Lanesskog
www.geir.org
Sigtrygg
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 1440
Joined: Sat Aug 12, 2006 9:23 am

Re: New Era, how accurate?

Postby Sigtrygg » Thu Oct 15, 2020 6:50 pm

MWM had left GDW by the time it was decided to reboot Traveller as TNE - that's why he doesn't know about the Empress Wave and how the TNE story would have played out in the future if GDW hadn't gone bust.

Charles Gannon took over the MT line from DGP for Hard Times, and many of his ideas would be used in the TNE reboot.

The actual reboot was done in house by GDW, primarily Dave Nilsen and Frank Chadwick. The decision was made to bring all GDW games into their d20 house system. Virus was used to flatten the rebellion era and also introduce somethings that were all over sci fi at the time but missing from Traveller (although I would debate this point) - cybernetics, AI, robots. Frank used the Cymbeline chip as discovered in A13 Signal GK as the basis for this. The other major setting change was the Empress Wave, the purpose of which was to remove the Zhodani as a society that could threaten the Regency and to facilitate the re-emphasis of psionics within the game.

There was a direction for the Star Vikings game that would lead to them committing an atrocity to solve the problem of the Black Imperium - from my reading of interview with DN and FC I think this would have been told via PC scale adventures and not great operatic off screen events.
We know the Guilded Lily adventure would have lead to the RC gaining a state of the art 3I ship construction facility - now run by sentient machines evolved from Virus (Sandman shows that some Viral strains would evolve to reason that working with humanity is a better long term bet than fighting a war against them). Sandman working with the RC grants them a sentient machine ally.
Meanwhile a group of Star Vikings would learn the truth behind Hiver involvement with humanity and make allies of the barbarian Ithklur.
The final strand to set the stage was for the RC to finally make contact with the Regency, which would lead to all sorts of problems, which could have lead to war.

Then the Black Imperium begins its expansion. Guild merchants go missing, ships sent to investigate find the 'Black Curtain' expanding. When the Black Curtain is lifted and the true horror of the Black Imperium revealed then an existential threat becomes apparent that requires the Regency, RC, Hiver Federation and feral Ithklur to work together to defeat the threat.

It is my belief that the final series of adventures would see Star Viking teams dispatched to commit the atrocity that would end the Third Imperium remnant that is the Black Imperium.

After that there is the Empress Wave phenomenon to investigate and track to its source, the rebuilding of charted space and a whole host of adventure possibilities.

Sadly this never came to pass...
User avatar
paltrysum
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 845
Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2017 11:16 pm
Contact:

Re: New Era, how accurate?

Postby paltrysum » Fri Oct 16, 2020 12:09 am

Sigtrygg wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 6:50 pm
MWM had left GDW by the time it was decided to reboot Traveller as TNE - that's why he doesn't know about the Empress Wave and how the TNE story would have played out in the future if GDW hadn't gone bust.
As you know, he does acknowledge it. It's even a plot element in Agent of the Imperium. And the Galaxiad.
My published Traveller adventures on DriveThruRPG:
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/browse.php ... %20Griffen
GypsyComet
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 2185
Joined: Tue Nov 13, 2007 4:09 am

Re: New Era, how accurate?

Postby GypsyComet » Fri Oct 16, 2020 3:18 am

Geir wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 4:12 pm
I thought DGP wanted to 'buy the franchise' but Miller wouldn't sell his baby, so they went off to do their own thing, and that collapsed on them - well, they said their Mac hard-drive died, but I'm sure that was just the final straw.
IIRC, they lost weeks of work on A.I. *twice*. That was the last straw.
What I recall about their preview materials was...not enticing. The same genre concept would (much) later become a successful game called Numenera, but the execution in the previews of A.I. was not worth pursuing.

DGP's end-of-Rebellion gambit was the summary article known as "Baddies From The Core". It was designed to turn the inward focused civil war of the Rebellion outward against a mysterious and uncaring foe. Many of the little things that DGP had sprinkled through MT were supposedly setups for it, including the Zhodani Exodus that GDW would adopt as a reaction to the Wave.

Marc nuked the Baddies angle with Agent, though. At least one of the other setup items was recast in that book.

Having reclaimed the progress of the setting, GDW looked at the damage done, moved the setting forward to 1125+ with Hard Times, and set up the funeral for the Imperium with Virus. Virus served another purpose, not often discussed, as it flattened the rest of the map to match the Imperium. Without that, the next step would naturally be predation by all of the surrounding powers. The Imperium was dead regardless.
CTMTTNET4GTT20THMGTT5
It's all Traveller, so it's all Good.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 105 guests