Too many rules

Sigtrygg

Emperor Mongoose
We can but hope the powers that be think so too - I picture and entire Traveller ------ Edition line. people could buy in with the introductory book of their choice (Explorer, Merchant, Mercenary, Space Patrol), and let's face it there are quite a few of us who will buy the lot anyway :) (The slipcase would be icing on the cake :))
Another variation would be Explorer's Edition - since it has the core rules - and then then follow up with the additional splats have career tables, additional rules specific to that splat - trade rules for Merchants, skirmish rules for Mercs etc.- a deck plan or vehicles and then a few adventure seeds - patron encounters - with a short adventure.
These should be as concise as possible.

One final note - to Matt and the powers that be - you now have a couple of free adventures up on drivethru, do those adventures have adverts for Explorer's Edition with hyyperlink? No. They should.
 

CordwainerFish

Banded Mongoose
The Travellers are landing a ship with a 1G M-drive on a planet with 1.1G gravity.

Referee A remembers that there are rules for this in a book somewhere [1] and applies them.

Referee B rules that, since the ship is streamlined and the world has atmosphere, it gets more than enough lift from aerodynamics. They just need to land somewhere with a runway.

Both referees are right.

[1] Solomani Front, p.184
 

nats

Banded Mongoose
The Travellers are landing a ship with a 1G M-drive on a planet with 1.1G gravity.

Referee A remembers that there are rules for this in a book somewhere and applies them.

Referee B rules that, since the ship is streamlined and the world has atmosphere, it gets more than enough lift from aerodynamics. They just need to land somewhere with a runway.

Both referees are right.
Its not that the referees are right, there is no wrong in a role playing game. Its more a case of having to find the rule for the dice throw for atmospheric disturbance/turbulance. Now yes you can just 'wing' this of course. But whats the point then in having 20+ books? I think like many I love buying new Traveller books but whether I will ever use 99% of them ....
 

Sigtrygg

Emperor Mongoose
I can understand a little of where nats is coming from. When Mongoose launched the 2ed of Traveller they made an attempt to include stuff that had appeared in the many supplements and adventures in the revised core rule book, High Guard etc.

Now that more 2e supplements and adventures have been published there are new rules for 2e that are not in the core rules found in Great Rift, Deepnight Revelation, Pirates of Drinax, Mercenaries.

No doubt that one day there will be another sweep and a 3rd edition that tries to distill them all into the core rules once again.

But

I really don't see what CE does "better" than MgT2e in the 2022 Traveller core rules for a typical night's gaming.
 

AndrewW

Emperor Mongoose
I can understand a little of where nats is coming from. When Mongoose launched the 2ed of Traveller they made an attempt to include stuff that had appeared in the many supplements and adventures in the revised core rule book, High Guard etc.
Yup, one of the goals with the 2nd edition High Guard was including stuff that was getting scattered across multiple books. Of course the process repeats itself as more stuff comes out.
 

Vormaerin

Mongoose
Its not that the referees are right, there is no wrong in a role playing game. Its more a case of having to find the rule for the dice throw for atmospheric disturbance/turbulance. Now yes you can just 'wing' this of course. But whats the point then in having 20+ books? I think like many I love buying new Traveller books but whether I will ever use 99% of them ....
IMHO, the point is that if you know something is going to be important to your gameplay, you can look it up in advance and be prepared for that obscure thing. If, on the other hand, it is an unexpected development and you just need to resolve it, then the basic mechanic works fine to keep your game moving.

I am not running a mercenary campaign or a naval command campaign, so I don't need those rules at this time. But if I did do that at some point in the future, the rules for it do exist.
 

nats

Banded Mongoose
TBH I am very surprised anyone is actually managing to play Mongoose Traveller games without just winging the whole game and using task throws all the time. Because a lot of the mechanics just dont work or are so complicated they take a degree to figure them out.

And many rules are just not thought out at all. Take for example the vehicle combat that someone else mentioned on this forum. No thought of how you calculate distance so you have to manually decipher the km/hr speed chart into speed per round to even begin to get vehicular combat working properly with the normal combat rules. But the rules dont tell you how to do all this you have to figure it out yourself.

Whereas Cepheus Deluxe does away with all that range and speed rubbish and just uses position to determine which vehicle has advantage - its brilliant! And so simple and easy to use. Now I feel I can run a vehicle chase and really enjoy it. Might be a bit abstract but at least it works.
 

Vormaerin

Mongoose
Whatever works for you is what you should do. There's a reason why RPGs exist that range from '1pg covers everything' to hundreds of pages long tomes of highly detailed tactical miniatures rules. D&D being the grand daddy of the latter hyper complicated ruleset style, which is why you have a wide range of simplified rules for it by various companies.

Traveller itself has a wide range of highly distinct rulesets. Not just different editions, like CT vs MgT, but entirely different concepts. D20 Traveller, GURPS Traveller, HERO Traveller. If you like Cepheus more, then play that. I don't tend to think that "suits my personal preferences" and "brilliant" are synonyms, but you can disagree if you want. :p
 

Yatima

Banded Mongoose
... just winging the whole game and using task throws all the time.

Just winging it all with task throws is the actual design of the game since about 1980.

The greatest innovation Traveller brought to the world was the Unified Task System - appearing first in the pages on the Traveller's Digest zine, then powering Mega Traveller, and now also an integral part of Mongoose 2e. Before the Task system, even though the 8+ is a success rule existed, every skill and situation had a spot rule - a list of special cases with a mass of DMs, ifs, buts and maybes. A nightmare.

After the invention of the task system you have the referee deciding how hard something is (back then it was Simple, Routine, Difficult, Formidable) and each level of difficulty had a target number (3, 7, 11, 15). Players got to use two assets (either two skills or a skill and a characteristic bonus as a DM.

So it all boiled out to "Hmmm, the air/raft looks pretty busted up, getting the grav modules back online will be Difficult" So 'Difficult' means roll 11+ on 2D6, and you decide that the character's Gravitics-2 skill and their EDU bonus (+1) are assets, so you roll 2D6+3 to hit 11 or better to succeed. No need to look anything up anywhere, ever. Bliss.

Nowadays it's basically the same system - but the difficulty levels in Mongoose are a bit different Simple (2), Easy (4), Routine (6), Average (8), Difficult (10), Very Difficult (12), Formidable (14). But the idea is the same. You can run the entire game with just that core system, all else is optional detail. Once you grok this, refereeing the game is easy - the hard bit becomes creating interesting dilemmas for the players.


Footnote:
  1. If you can't decide the difficulty of the task, Marc Miller invented the 'Situation Roll' for just this situation. Roll 2D6, that's your difficulty. Also saves you having to look shit up.
  2. The point of all the books is not to add spot rules and mechanical detail, it's to add optional design systems, Interesting dilemmas (adventures) and background detail to set the scene.
 
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Sigtrygg

Emperor Mongoose
The 8+ is a success rule was from Andy Slack, it was never an official rule.

And you didn't need to look up every skill example - because that is all they are, examples of how to decide things. No two engineering throws need to be as described in the skill, it is just one example.

It took me a few decades to realize it but CT does have a rule for skill saving throws, it was hidden away in the 77 rules and dropped from later editions unfortunately - although by then there was the guidance to throws in A:1 and later The Traveller Adventure.

The rule, that took me years to recognize and finally understand:

Skills and the Referee: It is impossible for any table of information to cover all aspects of every potential situation, and the above listing is by no means complete in its coverage of the effects of skills. This is where the referee becomes an important part of the game process. The above listing of skills and game effects must necessarily be taken as a guide, and followed, altered, or ignored as the actual situation dictates.

To add a couple of notes:
1 - the 2d situation roll can be made more difficult by rolling 3d for the situation throw
2 - using 2d, 3d, 4d and 5d to generate target numbers is a way to fix T4 and T5 - the referee rolls the difficulty dice and then the player has to equal or better it on their roll of 2d + assets
 
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southernap

Mongoose
Is anyone else getting to saturation point with Mongoose Traveller with the number of different rules spread all over their books?

It seems that a month doesnt goes by without having new rules added into the mix.

When you look at D&D there are, what, a few pages of rules? That it you can play the game after reading maybe six pages. Everything else is background reading and stats that you use when you need to, such as when using a new monster. No need for looking at several books whilst playing the game.

I mean I dont mind their being lots of background info in Mongooses new books. I love for example the Companion the way they have enhanced Starports and Spaceports with new things to think about when designing one. But its all the new rules during gameplay - such as combat rules additions and new rules for spaceship battles etc etc. Nobody could remember all this stuff! It really is all just starting to put me off.

Yet when you take a look at something like Cepheus Deluxe everything is so nicely simple. Rules systems like that encourage you to actually dive in and actually play the game rather than reading the rules books. I think Mongoose really need to reconsider this and tone it all down. If they add new rules systems ina book then they should also be incorporated into their core rule book. If they arent important enough to be in there they probably arent necessary at all ....

The best part of Classic Traveller (and now Cepheus Deluxe is continuing that) is that you can play the game with minimal rules to remember, and then the referee can make up anything else on the fly using the task system. No need to have a specific rule for it all !!!
I think that like most TTRPGs all the extra splat books you can add what you want as you need. I mean I remember all manner of DnD splatbooks in the 3.x edition and all the other books that existed in the D20 GL and later OGL licensing where folks added things of all manner and there was plenty of GMs putting out that only "approved" books could use for character generation.

I will say this as well, I also understand some of your complaint. Since I have played games which had rules and rule erratas spread across so many splatbooks that it was impossible to keep up with what dice modifiers or what special action came in to play or how. Let alone trying to make photo copies of the various splat books pages or write up on a word processor and try to some how homebrew my own errata booklet instead of dragging all the books I needed to run an adventure or run specific to my table.

Final word on this subject with the respect to all the rules. I have found bringing the core rules (which to me is Core Rulebook, High Guard, Vehicle Design Guide, and CSC) I need in physical form; while having a tablet of decent size with me that has all the PDFs for a game system either on a cloud drive, usb drive, or a portable HDD. So if I want to refer to something else or take from somewhere else I at least have them accessible easily. I think that having the PDFs accessible now is great and makes storage and knowing what to bring to the table much easier vs years in the past.
 

nats

Banded Mongoose
The main problem with just winging it and using task rolls is, if you dont have a very good imagination and can't describe the action in real time and keep it interesting, that can be a fairly dull for players. I guess you can run the event through your mind from the perspective of a film etc you have seen that portrays the same sort of action so you can visualise it better in your mind.

And I suppose if you know you are going to do an in depth piece of action in a game that requires specific rules you can always write the relevant rules on a cheat card to avoid having to constantly look through the books during the game.

I am not against the MgT rules, it's just that there are holes and inconsistencies or confusing statements a lot of the time that need sorting, or that often need to be covered in other books, before the rules can be used fluently in an actual game. As if they havent been play tested ahead of publication by actual people.

Just trying to run a simple chargen using the MgT rules was a bit of a confusing nightmare. I can't speak for the new version but I bet these issues haven't been sorted out in those either.
 

Yatima

Banded Mongoose
The main problem with just winging it and using task rolls is, if you dont have a very good imagination and can't describe the action in real time and keep it interesting, that can be a fairly dull for players. I guess you can run the event through your mind from the perspective of a film etc you have seen that portrays the same sort of action so you can visualise it better in your mind.

The thing is, Nats that this is not a problem the rules will solve for you, no matter how well curated and short they may be. Refereeing well is a matter of practice and of taking a chance, and when you do this you will find that it's not as scary or as taxing as you anticipated. I am very much the kind of person who needs to feel in control, needs to figure out what might happen and feel on top of all the rules and outcomes that could happen - so I'd prep every session to death, and in doing so I'd prep the fun out of it too.

I learned that the best thing I could possibly do is to set the players a problem, know the first few steps to set the situation up, and then see what happens next. If you prep interesting dilemmas rather than detailed plots, you'll find that the players will do at l;east half of the lifting in making any session fun and interesting. You'll find your imagination is just fine when you're responding to player questions based on the dilemma you set:

- " Is there a ventilation system we can use to get inside, through tunnels. You know, like in Alien?"
- "There is, but you can see all of the AC equipment is up on the roof, so if you can get into the vents it'll have to be from there. How do you propose to get up there?"
- ...
Q&A spreads the load, means it's not just on you to conjure up the world, and that practice makes perfect. The rules beyond the task system are a distraction when you're starting out, ignore them.

Just go for it, what's the worst that can happen?
 

Vormaerin

Mongoose
I've been gaming since 1979 and I don't think I've ever encountered a game system that made chases fun just because of their mechanics. Not saying there isn't one, but I've never found it. What I want from the rules is to give me an idea of what I need to consider and some guidelines about how to do things. I feel like Traveller does that for me. If I wanted super detailed, precise mechanics to resolve the chase, I'd play a board game like car wars :p

I'm not going to tell anyone what they should like or dislike. There's a whole range of games and game styles for a very good reason. I personally like Traveller because it gives me that range of options. The core mechanics let me "wing it" and keep the game moving most of the time, but it has those additional mechanics if I need them. I was never the guy who busted out Striker or Snapshot to resolve things in more detail, but I liked that they existed and I could get ideas from them.
 

MongooseMatt

Administrator
Staff member
And many rules are just not thought out at all. Take for example the vehicle combat that someone else mentioned on this forum. No thought of how you calculate distance so you have to manually decipher the km/hr speed chart into speed per round to even begin to get vehicular combat working properly with the normal combat rules.
That is not how it works, you don't need to deal with KPH at all - that is what Speed Bands are for, to remove all of that. Dogfights/chases only kick in when vehicles get close to one another. Check page 136, 4th paragraph - km is only listed on the Speed Bands table for reference, to give a sense of how fast each band is.

Hope that helps!
 

Avestite

Mongoose
I'm not toooo bothered about there being additional/ optional rules in various books, but what I struggle with is -finding- them.
One thing that might be handy is an officially updated index of supplemental rules and which book they are in. Cases in point - I was trying to compare Mongoose world & system generation to the Megatraveller+ era stuff I cut my teeth on and had to scribble down which bits were in the System Construction Guide and which were in the Rift boxed set. Similarly, having to remember that rules for Dolphins weren't in one book but another (Solomani Front / Behind The Claw).
Might even lead to sales if someone has a real desire for rules on X, looks them up in the Index of rules and spots a sourcebook/JTAS that they haven't got.
 
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Weiland

Mongoose
I would love to an index of rules over several products. I don't use all the rules but I like some of the rules for quite specific situations. It's just hard to remember where I saw them.

Many rules are only used for specific campaigns. Like the mercenary stuff. I would love to play a mercenary campaign but the way the rules are structured I find that extremely hard. I wonder if someone has made a game master screen or something with flows charts and tables for mercenary campaigns? That would be so useful! It could also be made for other types of campaigns, like exploration.
 
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