Moving from MGT1 toMGT2


So I bought the two new Ancients modules and think they are great. But I had MGT1 Rule books. So I have gotten hold of a friend's MGT2 Starter Set and Companion to look at updating my rule set. Do I need to? And if I do are there any Character Gen books like the Green books 03:Scout, 04:psion, 05:Agent? I liked the expanded career options in these (particularly the Scout book) but it seems these don't translate.
I don’t think you need to update as the systems are very compatible. There are some differences in skills and mechanics but very few. The biggest differences are in spacecraft, Smallcraft and vehicles, they use completely different systems but you could just pick the one you prefer. I will say I like the 2e Core rules a lot better than 1e - the design, layout and art are all much better and the rules tweaks make the game feel a lot smoother.

I don’t know if 2e will expand on the careers any further but I’ve used tons of 1e stuff in my 2e game, especially careers. Hopefully someone who has the new Imperial Navy sourcebook can chime in about whether it offers expanded career options for Naval characters.
Do I need to?


You might, I like several of the changes made (around the trade system, ship building with tracking power output and usage, others) but you don't need to. Least of all to run any of the new adventures. The skill lists are very similar, and the ranges of skills and stats should be fully compatible.
While it is not a dramatic overhaul, personally I liked the changes in version 2 a lot since they ironed out some problems I had with 1st Edition. Original Traveller feels like a simulation created by computer scientists. Mongoose Traveller 1 essentially kept that feeling with some adjustemts. Mongoose Traveller 2 strays away markedly from OT in several places but this was clearly done to improve the rules as an RPG.
My favourite changes are the way stun weapons work (they were clearly OP in MGT1) and the simplified stats for animals which makes things a lot easier for Referees and also removes the strange effect of a dinosaur-size creature having negative DMs of -6 or more when they are only moderately hurt.
Also it is now clarified what your characters can do with their ship shares or benefit starships when the campaign is not designed for starship owning Travellers.
Having Hit Points for ships is also a more straight forward way of handling space combat.
Mongoose did a great job of fixing all the problems I had with MGT1.
The only thing I dislike is the general Science skill that is simply not plausible. I think they went overboard and oversimplified this. Mongoose seems to agree with me since the Traveller Companion has an option to use a middle ground between V1 and V2 science skills.

From a graphical design POV MGT1 and MGT2 are night and day. MGT1 uses crap drawings dating back to the seventies. I don't want to attack the artists but standards have evolved in the last 40 years. MGT2 has high quality graphics that add a lot to immersion. This high standard is very consistent and applies to all products of the MGT2 product line. While MGT1 only had few, bad illustration, MGT2 has an image for pretty much all (!) items, ships and major NPCs. Very good stuff!
The only drawback here is that again they went overboard and decided to include flashy isometric deck plans, which are absolutely unusable if you want to have them as printouts for miniatures or graphics in VTT. But again Mongoose seems to backtrack and newer products, like the 2022 update of the rulebook, went back to 2D deckülans.
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Another question: Is there conversion rules in MT 2.0 so that you can transfer a character from MT1 to MT 2 without having to rebuild it or is the system the same?
There's no meaningful difference between the characters in the two editions. Sure, a few skills were massaged a bit, but nothing that requires major work. The skills still work the same, just some of them might be organized a little differently.
Pretty much just copy everything over to the new sheet.

Some cascade skills have changed. Gun Combat has fewer specialties, and a new Electronics skill collects Comms, Computers, Sensors and Remote Ops as specialties. But everything's on the same scale, so there's no formula to apply, and you'll pretty much see what to do with any skills that have changed.
A couple of them were also folded into other skills. (Zero-G -> Athletics/Dexterity, Battle Dress -> Vacc Suit.)

Engineering/Electronics also disappeared since that's now presumed to be covered by higher ranks of the Electronics specialties.
Nothing will break if you use the same skills you have now the same way they are. But you can apply the new organization scheme of a few skills (generally to your character's benefit) without any issue.
While it is not a dramatic overhaul, personally I liked the changes in version 2 a lot since ...

I should say more often on this board that 2e really grew on me over time. I think they did a good job over all. I like the new High Guard, I like a lot of the individual changes to subsystems. And I say this as someone who doesn't at all share your critiques of 1e, and in fact stuck with 1e initially.

Its just the inner autist in me that answers the question "do I need to convert" with "no, you don't need to convert." Least of all to run an adventure from one in the other; they should be compatible. But you might elect to convert for other reasons.