Travelling Further...

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.


Game on!

Labels:

UbiquitousRat's Roleplaying Dreams: Travelling Further...

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Travelling Further...

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.


Game on!

Labels:

4 Comments:

At 20 November 2011 at 16:44 , Blogger Swelter said...

The stories are always what matters. Systems themselves are the provenience of the mechanic... not to say that the systems are unimportant, or that they do not inform and shape the stories, but that I tend to use systems themselves as resources to tell stories regardless of which system I might use to communicate these stories to players.

I'm perfectly comfortable purchasing an entire game system and its attendant supplements for the express purpose of mining them for material useful to my campaigns.

For this reason I tend to prefer systems that are a bit fuzzy on mechanics but heavy on background.

I like the premise, it sounds reminiscent of Firefly but whereas the Firefly arc took place after the defeat of a rebellion, following the escapades of 'former' rebels your arc seems to dwell in the period from just prior to the fist shot being fired to the tumultuous cascade of the early days of the actual war.

Are your protagonists beginning their story invested in one side or the other?

Will divisions of thought on the war be a part of the game?

Will players be getting secret messages or orders from sources outside the group. (NPC story hooks)

Finally I love settings where the players actions have a direct impact, even if relatively minor, on the evolving larger story. Your willingness to deviate from canon here, if the story drives it, sounds very exciting!

 
At 20 November 2011 at 19:58 , Blogger ubiquitousrat said...

It's great that you are excited by the premise. Your questions are good...

For me, the protagonists can be of whichever affiliation the players would choose. That being said, the classic cast would feature heroes initially ambivalent or slightly hostile to the perceived "racial purity" doctrine of the Solomani Confederation. In time, through the actions in the story, they might be shown the true greyness that lies between the choice for or against the Imperium.

My own temptation will be to show how, as the Imperium falls, the Solomani Cause becomes a viable route for the survival of civilisation. Failure in the face of civil collapse, with the attendant threat of another Long Night, could drive good people to support questionable actions.

But then... That's just me. ;-)

Suggestions welcome.

 
At 21 November 2011 at 13:55 , Blogger Rev661 said...

Better the devil you know? Would a group join the dark side if it was the only choice to save a civilisation?

Could they decide to try to change the forces from within?

Sounds fun - when can I play?
Ian

 
At 21 November 2011 at 17:49 , Blogger ubiquitousrat said...

@Rev: All we need is a date in the diary and some players. Let me know when you're free. ;-)

 

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