Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Traveller Tuesdays - T5 has arrived

I ordered a copy of Traveller 5th Edition (T5) through the Kickstarter campaign that Marc Miller started up to get this latest (and impressive) version of the game going. The finished product is fantastic. It is a bulky hardcover, weighing in at over 600 pages, chocked full of Traveller goodness. Here is a copy of the table of contents (note: no index):

Absent Friends 10
Traveller Is About... 11
Traveller is a Role-Playing Game 12
The Galaxy 14
A Brief History of the Universe 15
Foundations of the Universe 18
Basic Information Dice 22
Ehex 34
The Ton 35
Range and Distance 36
Benchmarks 48
Costs 52
Values 53
Size 54
Hot and Cold 55
Money 56
Humanity 57  
Characters and Life
Characteristics 58
Characters 68
Careers 78
Craftsman 83
Scholar 84
Entertainer 85
Citizen 86
Scout 87
Merchant 88
Spacer 89
Soldier 90
Agent 91
Rogue 92
Noble 93
Marine 94
Functionary 95
Life Pursuits and Experience 110
Genetics 112
Clones 118
Chimeras 122
Androids and Synthetics 124
Tasks 128
Skills 142
Personals 184
The Senses 197  

Personal Combat 210
The Armory 236
GunMaker 240
ArmorMaker 261
VehicleMaker 280
Starports and Starships
Starports 304
Starship Design 312
ShipSheets 352
Adventure Class Ships 358
Fuel Benchmarks 360

How Starships Work
Maneuver 363
Jump 366
Power Systems 376
Sensors 379
Weapons 386
Defenses 394
Starship Combat 404

Stars and Worlds
Sectors and Subsectors 418
Charting The Stars 420
Star Systems and Worlds 426
Mapping Worlds 444
Trade and Commerce 477
Technology 497
Computers and Consoles 514
Personalities and Brains 522

Psionics 527
Sophonts 537
Robots 560
BeastMaker 574
BeastMaker Events 586
The Beastiary 588
ThingMaker 596
ThingMaker Equipment 608
Adventures 631
EPIC Adventures 635
The Travellers’ Guide To Starships 641

It is quite an impressive offering.

picture of the book, from the Kickstarter site

I have not played this edition of the game yet, but I have created some characters.  It feels very nice, close to original 1977/1981 Traveller, but with some improvements.

I do like the new skill resolution method, but I don't know if I like it better than the original version of the game.

The original version of the game had skill resolution based on rolling 2d6.  If you got 8+ you had a success.  The GM would apply modifiers based on the difficulty of the situation, and you got to add in your skill levels for the appropriate skill, plus (sometimes) modifiers for extraordinary (either good or bad) stats.

The new version has the GM assign a difficulty to the task at hand, which determines how many dice the player is to roll.  Note that (appropriately, given the history of the game - other than that horrid New Era version) all dice are D6 dice.  So a reasonably easy skill will have the player rolling 2d6. Slightly harder might result in 3d6 or 4d6.  Very hard will result in 6 or 8 d6 and so on.  There is a formula for determining this, but I suspect a good GM will be able to eyeball it.  Now, the target number for your roll is your appropriate Characteristic number (such as Dexterity or Intelligence) plus your Skill level (such as Piloting, or Stealth).  If your total dice roll is below the sum of these two numbers (Stat plus Skill) then there is success.  Most of the skill descriptions in the book give a basic roll for common situations.  For instance, under the skill Acting, it reports that performing a role in a play is based on Acting skill, and requires a 3d6 roll, trying to get below the sum of (Education + Actor).

There are some special dice consideration (open ended dice, meaning those that you get to roll again if you get a certain result), and also some special results considerations - such as spectacular success and spectacular failure.

I like it (the skill system).  Much better (to me) than the old Task System from the Digest Group, that got rolled into Mega Traveller.  And also better than the Traveller: The New Era version of the game (which was based on D10, and honestly always felt like I was playing Twilight:2000 in space - probably because it was the same system!).

I will probably try my hand at some of the creation sequences in upcoming installments of Traveller Tuesdays.  I'll report back on each section of the rules as I try them out.

My version of the game came with a wonderful set of embossed Traveller dice (which I ordered as an add-on through the kickstarter campaign), as well as some really nice 25cr coins from the Third Imperium Traveller universe.  I also got a really nice Patent of Nobility id card with the name of a made-up nobel from the same universe, that was created just for me (neato!).

First glance: Lots of very good information, even if you don't play this version, it will give a GM loads of info for their Traveller games.  I give it a Gaming with Chuck thumbs up!

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