The Fifth Frontier War - Thoughts from the Author

I've enjoyed reading the different perspectives about this. Although I started ttrpg's back in the 1980's I only bought Traveller a few weeks ago after watching Seth S's YT stuff (and was bowled over by what I have been missing). Personally, I am looking forward to being around as some of the history of the TU is played out. This feels a little bit exciting.
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Perhaps the FFW could also play out to be different in character than the other frontier wars; much like the 100 Years War, the Italian Wars, or the many proxy wars of the Cold War in our own history. Mostly a low intensity war of raids, a few rare large battles, extended periods of truce, civil wars, peasant revolts, famine, plague, etc.. The actions and events don't even need to focus on direct confrontation between the Imperium or Zhodani, but how the conflict was waged through proxies - a perfect vehicle for characters to participate and just maybe make a difference. Only after the fact would historians look at the big picture and label it the FFW.
Imperium, Dark Nebula, Invasion:Earth, Fifth Frontier War.
Each of these turning points in Imperial history are determined by a wargame/boardgame - win/lose/draw

The "future history" and the extended Traveller timeline shows what happened in the OTU - although MWM is on record lately as stating that from a far enough point in future history the actual outcome doesn't really matter.

I quite like the idea of splitting these eras into their own campaigns with undecided outcomes. There are a couple of other pivotal events:

Ancients transporting humans and Vargr

the Empress Wave

the Rebellion era

To have the Virus, you first have to have Signal GK, Cymbeline, and those sentient silicon chips.
We could even do with retconning out the Empress Wave and Rebellion.
We can rewrite that history altogether. 1116, and Strephon is gravely wounded by a would-be assassin. He recovers, but abdicates. The Moot immediately appoints a successor ... one of the player characters.
Her Mum has a quiet word. When she knew him, he was just a Redcoat at Butlins. Fraternisation with the customers was not allowed, but she kept the child and the Traveller's Dad never knew ...
Congrats, cariad! You're Emperor now!
Jebus, why do you hate that player's character so much? What did he ever do to you?
I was at Butlins. I never liked that dodgy Redcoat, and I always had my suspicions when she roped me in to judging the Glamorous Granny competition for three hours ...
Why wasn't Strephon wearing a personal energy shield?

The assassination is in 1116, the personal energy shield is available in the core sector in 1105...
Now my coffee just tried to make an escape bid through my nose.
Take this to the Problematic Canonish thread! Don't do that again!

But you're right. Personal shields practically guarantee that Rebellion / Hard Times / Virus won't happen; not, at least, as described in GDW's reboot.

But to get back to Mongoose's FFW, the story must involve the player characters in some form. We're all looking at the Grandfather Poochie Monologue scene for an example of what not to do.
There are no rolls:
Personal Energy Shield
There are times when armour is needed but the
appearance of having armour is not.
visiting hostile territory, military officers inspecting
undisciplined militia, diplomats making first contact
and others may require defensive armour without
looking as if they are geared up for combat.
personal energy shield creates an invisible gravitic
field around the wearer, which repels ballistic and all
energy attacks except lasers.
The shield is powered
by a small, unobtrusive battery that may be worn at
the belt or beneath the clothing in order to conceal its
presence. A standard battery provides six hours
of protection.
It grants protection +12 (more if you mess around with it).

So how do you do enough damage with a pistol using the MgT rules to kill someone protected by such a device?
Not to mention, he probably has a half decent techie around somewhere to overload it to +24 or whatever it kicks up to. He can probably afford the extra batteries?

Though if you can overload it with sufficient skill, someone would have made it just run that way in the deluxe models....
Not to mention, he probably has a half decent techie around somewhere to overload it to +24 or whatever it kicks up to. He can probably afford the extra batteries?

Though if you can overload it with sufficient skill, someone would have made it just run that way in the deluxe models....
I'm sure they'd have created a special Imperial model just for the Boss and his family. Some of the other bigwigs gets the standard model.
Most people just have ordinary armour.
There are no rolls:

It grants protection +12 (more if you mess around with it).

So how do you do enough damage with a pistol using the MgT rules to kill someone protected by such a device?
Buried on page 27 (well not buried, it's a column-wide text box, but still, obscured in a supplement to a supplement) of the Mercenary Specialist Forces book is a section titled Snipers and Assassins:
If the criteria for a one-shot takedown are met –
the target is unaware and not moving much, and
the attacker is free to act without distractions
such as being under fire – an aimed shot can
be made at DM-2. If this shot hits, damage
is increased by 1D for every point of Effect.

Now this would only work if Strephon were distracted and looking the other way (and Iolanthe and Ciencia - maybe doing some Vilani-ish ceremonial thingy - or more likely only Strephon was using energy armour, 'cause maybe there's an interference effect if multiple shields get too close) and of course the Aslan ambassador would never insult the Emperor by wearing anything other than extremely elaborate but tissue-paper thick ceremonial armour.

Would also help if Dulinor had a smart gun, lots of skill and maybe a smart bullet or five to boot.
Or, this could all just be a way to say the assassination was botched - welcome to the Lorenverse.
(Which wouldn't hurt my feelings much - the Third Imperium could persist nearly another century, if able to withstand the 'secondary effects' of the oncoming Wave, mainly hordes of Vargr and Zhodani heading rimward...

(Plus, for some inexplicable reason, I always liked Trin, and got a bit pissed about that little incident in 1139 (I thought it was '35, but the wiki says '39 and I don't have access to all of my horde piles selection of books right now) @%*!# the Virus!)
The assassination was not rolled for with dice. It was a narrative event. No game mechanics were involved. No loopholes in the rules. No long, convoluted twisting of the situation to maximise the Effect of the attack (IF Dulinor was not drunk ... IF he could slip past a million bodyguards ... IF he could get that gun past ALL the sensors .. IF IF IF ...)
The author just decided that it would happen.
And I bet they're regretting it to this day.

In the original GDW Trav, there were no personal shields. In MgT, there are.
Strephon could survive being shot. The Imperium may never suffer Rebellion and fall.
Time can be rewritten.
More to the point, the future history of the Imperium should be rewritten. Particularly due to the presence of the Travellers.

The game should be about the Travellers, as participants in history, not as spectators. If they're on Capital and accidentally stop Dulinor, saving Strephon's life, that changes the whole of the future of the Third Imperium. And we can make it canon, and consign GDW's whole timeline from 1116 to oblivion.
OR... something else could happen which triggers a similar sequence of events (rather than an assassination, something goes wrong with a grav car, leading to the same four victims dying, and the overarching sequence of events plays out, possibly with Dulinor and/or Lucien claiming responsibility and/or succession rights). This is the type of thing people are talking about - from a more remote historical perspective, different "routes" to similar circumstances are possible. Personally, I didn't particularly like the assassination/rebellion arc, but Hard Times made for some interesting game situations - I could easily visualize a second economic/social crisis leading into an Imperium-wide (or maybe event beyond) Great (Grand) Depression, a Hard Times era, and maybe even a second Long Night cycle. (Bam. No need for a Rebellion/Civil War, no need for a Virus release, but the Third Imperium goes into a massive slowdown/contraction, opportunities become tougher to find and harder to completely exploit, piracy and other types of crime increase while safety declines... it doesn't have to be as catastrophic as the previous version to promote more adventuring opportunities. My biggest problem with the Rebellion/Hard Times/Virus cycle was that it was so drastic and so extreme that the status quo ante was not only burned down, but completely to the bedrock. That's too extreme of a change, unless the players are helping to drive it along.)
I don't see any advantage to Mongoose in even touching that future. It is extremely divisive and poorly done. So they aren't going to get any good will from redoing it. If they change it, they'll annoy a bunch of people. If they don't change it, they'll annoy a bunch of people. And, frankly, it is not the sort of events that would easily fit into the vast majority of campaigns. While you certainly can run a campaign set in the Imperial Core and dealing with political intrigue and the affairs of the Imperial Court, I strongly suspect that very few people do.

Anyway, the start of the FFW product line is months away. So we should be safe from any dives into the quagmire of 10 years into the in game future for a long time, hopefully.