[ExI] Traveller: A Classic Science Fiction Simulator

Adrian Tymes atymes at gmail.com
Sun Jan 12 02:51:49 UTC 2020

After many revisions, Traveller is starting to sell much better under its
current publisher, Mongoose Publishing.  Death during character generation
is optional (if you would have died, by default you pile up medical debt
instead), and then only if you roll really poorly (much moreso than earlier

I've written a little bit of the current edition - just some supplemental
stuff.  The bit I'm proudest of is the writeup of ship's cats - genetically
engineered felines that are safe to have on a spaceship (won't beg to go
into vacuum, inherently housebroken, et cetera) - which specifies in its
mechanics that, should you be using the optional Sanity rules (which can
get a bit Call of Cthulhu like), a ship's cat can help restore Sanity,
which was left a bit vague before.  Even the most grimdark,
rules-as-written campaign using this system now has a way to make minds
whole again.

Should anyone be interested in playing Traveller, I have (just today)
finished the (non-Traveller) campaign I've been running since June 2016,
and am now considering what to run next.  I suspect it won't start until
February or March, will be run by text chat (no voice) over Discord, and
will probably run 11 AM to 2 PM Pacific most Saturdays.  I have two ideas,
both in the Traveller 'verse: https://pastebin.com/FD7Fxis5 and
https://pastebin.com/k2B2APZ6 .  If interested, please contact me offlist
and state which idea appeals more or if both appeal.

On Sat, Jan 11, 2020 at 6:22 PM John Grigg via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> *Todd:* *Traveller* was the first major science fiction RPG, and it’s
> certainly the most influential. It was released in 1977, just three years
> after *Dungeons & Dragons*, by the tiny Illinois game company Game
> Designers Workshop (GDW). The success of that first boxed set, which we
> call *Classic Traveller* these days, helped propel GDW to the forefront
> of adventure gaming in the ‘80s and ‘90s. The first edition was designed by
> Marc Miller, with help from his fellow GDW co-founders Frank Chadwick and
> Loren Wiseman, and Dr. John Harshman.
> *Howard:* Character generation basically simulated your military career,
> where you picked up all kinds of interesting things like engineering,
> gambling, bribery, computers, administration, piloting, and gunnery. If you
> were dissatisfied with your skill set you could do another tour of duty
> before mustering out. Of course, another tour made your character older.
> *Todd:* And possibly dead.
> *Howard:* Yeah, there was a chance every tour of duty would kill you,
> which was a bitter twist when you were finally rounding out that hot shot
> space pilot. *Traveller* never sold quite as well as *D&D*—
> *Todd:* Probably because that game didn’t *kill you* *during character
> creation*.
> My personal favorite, among the early science fiction tabletop roleplaying
> games, was "Space Opera." But Traveler, was quite popular, and never really
> died out... I remember working on creating a character for the game, and
> twice in row, they died on me! Lol
> https://www.tor.com/2020/01/10/traveller-a-classic-science-fiction-simulator/
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