Wednesday, October 21, 2009

longings for the stars

I've been on a little bit of a sci-fi kick lately, which undoubtedly started when I saved that old BattleTech scenario from geocities oblivion. That led to Klingon Armada, which got me thinking about all the fun possibilities of spaceship battles. Both of which naturally lead me to Traveller. For the first time in a couple of years I've recently added some new stuff to the Gateway Quadrant wiki, my attempt to preserve and expand the Trav material written by David Sering and published by Judges Guild.

Last night I flipped back through my copy of Mongoose Traveller. I continue to be impressed by how well the folks behind that one did at navigating the line between preserving the Traveller legacy and updating the material to make it more relevant. I really ought to try out these Mongoose rules at some point, especially when I already have a pretty large sandbox to play in. I kind of like the idea of putting the players in charge of a merchant exploration vessel and setting them loose among the weird mini-states of the Quadrant.

This just in: Swords & Wizardry is going into distribution. Huzzah!


  1. Having played the LBBs and the new MGT, I can never go back. The Mongoose book preserves the wide open feeling of the the LBBs, but with a system that doesn't threaten to break down into a schizophrenic fit of every damn skill needing a separate resolution.

    In a word, it rocks. I'm now working on a Pulp Science Fantasy, Post Apocalyptic campaign as an ode to Rifts and Fallout and planetary romance.

  2. Hm. I may have to break down a buy a copy of MGT at some point, when I'm done with my 6mm/Battletech spree (which consists of watching a ton of Ebay auctions and deleting them when they go past the $20 point).

    I'm hoping WinterWar allows me to run my BT/MW-horror mashup, I'm hoping to tempt you with that one...

  3. I'm in quite a quandry these days on the subject of what Sci-Fi RPG to use for my next 'big' campaign.

    I drift toward Traveller fairly often but try as I might I can't seem to get behind the Mongoose version. I'm not even sure why. Part of me thinks, if I have all the original materials and houserules I've made why do I need to use the new game?

    Strangley I'm not noramlly like that. I usually go with whichever edition of whatever game based solely on what works best.

  4. Anonymous1:31 PM

    If you're at all interested in Warhammer 40,000, the second RPG, Rogue Trader, just came out. You play... basically a free trader, really, only more grimdark.

    The equivalent of a basic newbie character Free Trader is 2km long, with a 5-digit crew.

    It's not for everyone, but trading and piracy gets more interesting when you can bombard the site from orbit if necessary... and when your boarding actions involve sending the enemy a shuttle full of freshly-thawed murder servitors.

  5. Maybe I need to take another look at Mongoose Traveller as well.

    I'm curious to see how they improved upon what I always thought was a pretty sound rpg to begin with (notwithstanding spaceship combat rules that I found difficult to adjudicate)

  6. Another vote for Rogue Trader here; I've always wanted to run a Traveller-type game, but always found it a bit dry, so RT appeals, seeing as it's essentially Traveller with a soundtrack by Iron Maiden. I hope to have my campaign up and running in the new year.

  7. MGT is one of the best versions, and it's OGL...just like Mutant Future. Anyone for Mutant Traveller?

  8. Anonymous1:51 PM

    I didn't mean to post that. I originally meant to post about MG:T, the post just kinda got away from me.

    It's a good game, but suffers from a little bit of the usual Mongoose problem of being insanely incompetent at anything more complicated than ASCII text. It improves a bit in the later supplements, and I think they posted improved versions on their website, but many of their deckplans are literally illegible. They're bitmap images with tiny text, and in some cases tiny text rotated and skewed at an angle. There are literally not enough pixels to make out the letters on some of their deckplans... and yet there are vast white spaces around them.

    Thanks for the effort guys, but just give me a blank grid and some crayons if you're going to go to that much effort.

    Thankfully, the game itself is good enough to make up for it, and there's not exactly a shortage of Traveller deckplans in the world.

  9. Jeff,

    Sorry to use your post as a newbie intro, but if one were interested in the OTU, but didn't know what version to pick up, what would you recommend?

  10. Mongoose Traveller is pretty good... (and I'm not just saying that because my name is in the books) but if you're really interested in the OTU, get the CT and MT CD-ROMs produced by FFE ( The TNE CD is now also available.

  11. This is another one of those weird things where a collective zeitgeist seems to sweep through the blogs all at once. I swear I hadn't checked my blog roll in a couple of days, yet just today, despite the fact that I've yet to run a sci-fi game to any degree of success and can't really foresee a time when I'll have a chance to try again, I felt strangely compelled to order Rogue Trader. This compulsion was no doubt probably sparked the precise moment kelvingreen typed this:

    "'s essentially Traveller with a soundtrack by Iron Maiden."

    Damn you sir!