Probably the most annoyingly wonderful thing about Traveller5 (the currently in-playtest fifth edition of Marc Miller's Traveller SF RPG) is that it appears to be really good.
In my last article I was frustrated with the system for Psi and had decided to return to my positive decision in running all my campaigns using GURPS. I'm still reluctant to shift from that view... but... Traveller5 is really comprehensive.
So... here's what I plan on doing...
Forget the Rules
Right now, given that we already have a campaign underway in GURPS and there are only so many games I can run (precisely one, to be exact), I have decided to forget about which rules system I want to use. Instead I am going to focus on creating the campaign that I want to run... one day.
There isn't much point in creating the game to play until you know the stories you want to tell. This first step, which for me is one I usually by-and-large skip, is an exciting and refreshing one to take.
Build the Premise
What's the campaign about? That's big question that will inhabit the minds of potential players and so it should be mine too.
I'm really torn about which period of Solomani history to focus on... but I have to admit that the "cold war" between the Imperium and Solomani Confederation really floats my boat. Looking at the period from 1105 to 1117 I can also envision a campaign that spans the run up to the Third Imperium's collapse during the Rebellion. My GM instincts tell me that from this point, perhaps the major point in Traveller canon that most people hate, I fancy creating my own "alternate dimension" version of the Rebellion, focused on the rise of the Solomani.
What's the campaign about? The story of one starship crew navigating the stormy tides of Solomani-Imperial relations; trying to make a few Credits whilst being drawn into a major conspiracy to set the two powers back to war. Sounds to me like a fun ride. It's about intrigue, power, profit and really wild things.
What's the premise? That the heroes, however insignificant they seem, can make a big difference to the future of Humaniti.
If You Build It...
I like making things for other people to enjoy. I've always known that if you build a cool story then someone will come along and play it. That's what makes roleplaying so much fun.
It could be that this game eventually gets played by anyone ranging from a spotty-nosed teenager at my school to a hardened, wizened RPG fanatic from my home group. Who knows. Frankly, that doesn't matter.
With a large enough vision of the future, and a really cool hook for the game, the reality is that sooner or later this will get played. One man's hobby obsession can quickly become an infection that runs through an entire group of players... or even just one player happy to try something new.
Whenever I dream of something new I have to remember: if it stays in your head it'll be forgotten and, ultimately, not get played; if you write it, build it and share it... well, then it can come alive.