Saying hi and starting GMing my first game.


Hey guys, girls, and everyone on the spectrum in between, it's a pleasure to join this community.
As you noticed in the title I am starting running my first game of Mongoose Traveller (1e, because I already had the books for it).
I'm taking some general tips from Stellaris for my worldbuilding, rather than playing the core setting, but I am mixing and matching the two as needed.
We've got a large group, 8 players total. Engineer, Scientist/Doctor, Marine (security), Helmsman, Steward, Navigator, Captain/negotiator, and sensor operator. The ship we have picked is a Merchant Trader type RX (from the Merchants and Cruisers supplement, basically the iconic Type R trader with an extra hundred tons of hull to accommodate armour, a vault, better computers, luxuries, a couple of extra staterooms, and some similar perks. No weapons yet, but with 5! hardpoints and 4 points of crystaliron armour I suspect the Profit Margin will end up being rather pirate resistant, at least within our own weightclass.

We are all pretty new to traveller and are still learning the game (the game I originally bought the books for fell through, hence them gathering dust for the last 15 years), so any advice and suggestions are welcome!
That's a good sized group and a solid ship to get your group rolling in.

I'm pretty new here too but I'll wish you all the best with refereeing the game and I hope everyone has a great time :)
Glad to hear it. House-ruled 1e core remains one of my favorite systems.

advice and suggestions

Learn and teach the task chain system early.

Set expectations around guns and armor early. I learned to tell players before it ever came up they could expect to use their biggest guns and best armor some of the time but not all of the time. That in cities and civilization they're best off presenting as civilized, and that NPCs will usually be operating under the same rules. And as GM, follow through on that. A combat or ambush on a high law world will probably be NPCs with stunners not sniper rifles, or a "hit" might take the form of being challenged to a duel by a ringer rather than a ninja trying to kill you in your sleep. And conversely, give them some hostile xenos and irredeemable pirates from time to time as well.

Keep the game moving. Once you learn the skill system and personal combat it's better to make a ruling and move on than to stop the game to look up obscure rules or stats.

DO use the whole skill system, including the unfun parts - time increments, cumulative -2 to everything for doing multiple things at once, encumbrance and recoil in combat, etc. It brings the whole thing together in the long run, especially combined with task chains.

If you haven't already, in your spare time work up a couple of alien creatures for a couple of different biomes. I used to do "ecologies," one of each kind of possible encounter, but really one predator, one pack and one other will get you started anywhere.

Also work up some NPCs, but focus on stats and short punchy personalities rather than backstories.

A campaign tool: list all PCs, all their contacts, and all major NPCs or factions (can be as vague as "Scouts" or "Planet" as well) across the side and top of a spreadsheet. At the intersection of each, fill in their connection as appropriate (so PCs to NPCs may be contact, ally, rival, etc., or just left blank). Now fill in some of the other intersections as well. Can be literal connections (two different PC's contacts have their own alliance or rivalry by chance), or can be a possible point of connection (two NPCs want the same artifact/business deal/Imperial sinecure or whatever else). Not every intersection needs to have something, everybody doesn't know everybody, But between the small world principle and the fact that you won't get to use everything it can be busier than you'd think as well.

Keep a notebook on you at all times, and use it jot down ideas for aliens, NPCs, encounters, scenes, etc.

Cool ideas first, rules second. Sometimes I got good ideas for creatures or gear by starting outside the rulebook and only statting it up later.

With 8 players this hardly needs said, but run every session regardless of absent or late players. Consistency builds campaigns. And with Traveller you've got a built in excuse, characters may stay on the ship to watch it, or pursue their own interests off screen.
I should clarify that I am running this Play By Post, so I have a little bit of time leeway thanks to the nature of the medium. Still, excellent advice. My players are really liking the system thus far.
I should clarify that I am running this Play By Post, so I have a little bit of time leeway thanks to the nature of the medium. Still, excellent advice. My players are really liking the system thus far.
Welcome, and cheers to your new campaign! 🍻

Just wanted to throw out there if you haven’t seen them, the Spica Publishing Career Books have a lot of great stuff in them that open up character creation in ways that the more focused 1e books don’t. And they are great for drifters and random NPCs, can really help flesh out a port/world/setting.

You can find them on DTRPG as well as any MgT 1e book you might be missing but curious about. Any 1e book you’re curious about is probably worth getting but some of them can be pretty fiddly and complicated. Just depends on you and what your game wants/needs.

Best of luck with your new game!