"Asperance T. Hood swaggered into The Golden Nut and took a look around at his old stomping ground. It seemed like a lifetime ago since he had last set foot in here, celebrating his graduation with Honours from the University of Halo. Three weeks later he had been in training with the IISS and now, some 12 years further on, he was a renowned local hero responsible for three major discoveries on worlds across the Alderamin and Albadawi subsectors. He was the first of his kind in several generations to have access to a starship, even it was on detached duty from the service, and one of the very few Bruxx inhabitants of Halo to be known across the system. Basically, as he walked into the bar and looked around, Asperance was famous. He raised a finger and ordered a pot of sweet-juice."
When I was very young, cusping into my teens from childhood, some friends of mine introduced me to a neat little game called Traveller. This was a cool set of small A5-ish books with plain black covers gathered in a little black box and containing rules for SF roleplaying. It was very exciting and very addictive to read and play. I got hooked.
30 years ish later I have just spent the better part of my weekend tinkering around the edges of the latest drafts from Marc Miller (the designer of Traveller) for T5. Not being able to say anything about the content of the work, what I wanted to say is that his latest drafts are as intriguing, engaging and addictive as ever they were. For fun, I've been delving into the past background of the Solomani Rim to find a home for my new sophont species, the Bruxx, creating them as a usable race in the game, and then creating a character from the species to play with. While the rules have a lot of raw edges the outcome has been nothing short of inspiring.
Inspiring what? Well... tales of adventure and intrigue, for starters. Inspiring how? Well, now that's worth blogging about.
What hooked me about Traveller in the beginning and still does today are two things:
So many games, especially in the SF genre, essentially try to emulate the same hackneyed stereotypes that have fed through to our TV and movie screens from 1950s and 1960s Sci-Fi. What Miller did was stretch the vision of the future into the 1970s, 80s and (eventually) 90s. Traveller has a certain feel to it which balances hard-SF with soft-SF, adventure and fun with a set of grounded and believable (if not sci-accurate) rules.
- The character creation system being a game and story in and of itself.
- The inclusion of as much detail balanced with playability as the author dares.
Beyond this, the systems of Classic Traveller encouraged the telling of a story through the playing of a game from the very outset. Putting aside the instant-death rule for new characters mid-career development, the journey was always fun. It also allowed you play solo, when you had a few spare minutes for creativity, and make a hero, a starship, a world, or any number of other things. If I'm honest, Traveller might just be the biggest reason I became a GM.
So what's the point of my ramble? Maybe it's to say that Traveller lives and I keep rediscovering it. Or maybe it's to ask what's wrong with rolling some dice and making up some little tidbit of extra detail for your own version of Known Space. I dunno. What I do know is the Bruxx are a really cool addition to My Traveller Universe.