this is longer than I'd planned
Setting up a computer system could definitely be as built-out as some of the other minigames Traveller has - creating worlds or planetary systems, characters, robots, doing trade, creating a weapon, animal, vehicle and so on. I'm not sure I'd partake in that myself, but I like the idea of it.
My own vision of redoing how (computer) systems are approached in this scifi game would include:
- revamping the clunky economy of bandwidth, except when dealing with higher TLs or certain types of programs (more plot-based exceptions than common expressions). This is for both personal/item-sized systems and ship/facility systems. The present system doesn't make much sense given what we know today, and the dichotomy between personal devices and those for larger systems seems done in a way that hasn't aged well. Along with this, I'd tune up charge times/durations, access, and related matters.
- revamping of how interfaces and interface programs, again for modern sensibilities, efficiency, and inclusion in a more enjoyable kind of play.
- same with AIs, digital friends, agents, etc... "personas," if you will.
- streamlining of the process or tasks related to hacking/intrusion, and related software.
- development of a specific career and shipboard crewmember dedicated to system management. The inevitable "hacker" of the group who'd also update the party's and ship's systems during downtime, as well as develop exploits to engage the systems of "the opposition," whoever they are.
- a framework to understand comp systems - of a weapon or device, starship or starport, or planetside facility or agency so such a thing could be included in a Traveller game. Along with what you'd need to know about worldnets and mobile comms.
We already have such rules for trade, for personal combat and ship combat, to call out a few. These have simple applications that make combat or trade situations simple and straightforward for the Ref and table that don't want to spend a lot of time in the details, but are robust enough to support campaigns devoted to them if you and your table are into the minutiae, and everything in between. Wanna build a sweet gun or robot from the ground up? You can totally do that. Want to get very much in the weeds with this new rifle for your merc company? You can do that too. Let's get the same done for systems, operators, and hackers.
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