In which Jeff and Bob discuss a very nice mailbag submission, recap the last Classic Traveller session of their Into the Void campaign, discuss their end-times transition to the Roll20 online system, and various other fun things like some rules finds! Also, Bob drops an f bomb that must be bleeped, thus revealing his true, dark nature!
We are honored and happy that Robert Eaglestone, of the Xboat ‘zine joined us for conversation on this episode!
For those who don’t know, Rob did a very successful kickstarter for a four issue Traveller ‘zine called Xboat: a Traveller5 Zine. It’s a great publication! Bob and Jeff talk with Rob about his beginnings in Traveller, the zine, and of course playing the game!
In this episode, Jeff and Bob discuss the length of the podcast, read some listener comments, look at the Classic Traveller rules for Cover/Concealment and the Medical skill, do a quick look at Gerry Miller Jr.’s excellet Agweedo-Girdena Traveller campaign, and do a quick discussion of our groups last Into the Void session.
This is a very rare SHORT episode! Only about 11 minutes! I quickly talk about a few things that have been going on, and about winning a great contest I didn’t know I’d even entered on the Traveller RPG Headquarters group on Facebook!
In this episode we discuss our usual Traveller stuff, including some internet finds, rules we wanted to talk about from Classic Traveller, and of course start off with the SAFCO Mail Bag! This is long one, folks, but we did stay on-topic! There’s just so much cool stuff out there to discuss! Then we talk about something a little different, Session Zero of our upcoming superhero campaign, called SuperTex, using the legendary Jeff Dee’s and Jack Herman’s The Mighty Protectors: Villains & Vigilantes 3.0 system. We’ll be playing it maybe every three sessions, and will also play it when our whole SAFCO Traveller group can’t meet.
- Omer’s Quick and Dirty Classic Traveller Vehicle Combat
- A Classic Science Fiction Simulator
- SF Adventure Assignment Generator
- Classic Traveller Character Generator
- The Armed Packet – ship design from The Great Dungeon of the North – great blog.
- Monkey House Games – source of the Mighty Protectors! And here is where you can find the Character Record Sheet!
- Monkey House Games Youtube channel’s Mighty Protectors live play examples.
- Every Conceivable Horizon – a track from the Speculative Machines Podcast by Trent Straughan. Theme music for this episode and the next few at least.
- Stan Shinn’s Traveller Binder video!
- MP Writeups
In this episode we discuss two of the systems generated by listeners in our Random Planet Generation Smackdown. We had considered doing more, but we’ll do two per episode until we’re done with them. We had got some nice mailbag comments, and we’ll do a recap of the last session of our Traveller campaign, Into the Void. And of course we’ll hit a few Internet Finds.
Art Gorski has made these awesome iPad apps for Traveller (mostly T5): https://naasirka.weebly.com/software.html
- The Mighty Protectors page on Facebook – where you can find Weird News You Can Use !
- Gaming & BS Podcast
Jeff found some interesting items on the internet, and used them for inspiration for a planet and a game hook.1. Inspiration: Photo found on Internet of a small mining “island” at the bottom of a deep well. Island is reminiscent of a sci-fi version of the computer game “Myst”https://i.redd.it/94k99magyx541.jpg Book 3 “Worlds and Adventures” (1981)E – Frontier Installation (Marked spot on bedrock for landing)Size: AsteroidThin atmosphere20% water0 inhabitantsNo law level, no governmentAbandoned outpost2. Inspiration: Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators – Russian nuclear power sources for lighthouses, in great disrepair, but still radioactive. Locating and transferring the cores to safety is very dangerous because of very short acceptable human exposure limits. https://bellona.org/news/nuclear-issues/radioactive-waste-and-spent-nuclear-fuel/2003-11-radioisotope-thermoelectric-generators Idea for session: The power source of a long-abandoned distant monitoring outpost is desired by a salvage company.
Random Planet Generation Smackdown
Krystian in the Chaste system (X-260620-7, De,Ni,Ri,N) Submitted by Colin Turvey
Orbits a class K5 star in its first orbit remarkably despite being a desert world it’s not just inhabited but bears a population in excess of 60 million mostly Belters as it’s a low gravity world with only one asteroid belt orbiting between it and it’s system’s sun.
It does have 3 gas giants it’s widely thought the massive amounts of oxygen permeating the system is the reason why Krystian remains inhabitable.
It was originally a prison colony particularly for political types despite the conditions the inhabitants and others continue to live here as a mark of defiance at their former oppressors.
The Naval base originally intended to prevent escapes now watches protectively over them such is the change of fortunes they have overcome.
Found a system generator the Chaste system now has a K5 type star with 8 orbits.
- Asteroid belt the main source of the Belters pay.
- Gas Giant
- Gas Giant#2
- Space Station (Naval base)
- Gas Giant#3
Literally the molten remains of a much larger world the only residents live aboard the refinery station that orbits this dwarf planet as it literally has no solid landmass!
A Research base is also located aboard and is largely focused on discovering what happened to the Chaste system.
Aegle Submitted by Ted Hale
C 454 227 9
Aegle was originally colonized by forced resettlement. The colonists were families belonging to the “Salvation Tears” religion. The organization’s rapid growth, and popular appeal was perceived to be a threat to several surrounding world governments. The religion was designated a cult.
Aegle, an unpleasant hot world with a thin, toxic atmosphere, was also a world rich in unexploited bitumen and other petrochemicals. Ling Petrochem saw an opportunity to fulfill a long unmet need for affordable labor on Aegle. The Subsector Duke and surrounding world governments wanted a politically acceptable means to rid themselves of the cultists. A deal was struck between the Subsector Duke, Ling Petrochem, and the various world governments concerned. The cultists were rounded up and deported to Aegle.
Once settled, the colony went through a period of rapid, and sometimes violent, change in government form. Theocracies gave way to autocracies, then dictatorships both popular and unpopular. Civil wars and bloody upheavals left the remaining Aegle colonists with a disdain for violence and authority. The Aegle Colonists currently employ an informal participating democracy to govern themselves. Their laws strictly prohibit firearms and violence. Spears are the most common form of weapon and are regarded as protection from local fauna, rather than from their fellow colonist.
Two generations later, the population of Aegle has dwindled. Young people eschew the faith of their grandparents and yearn for easier lives. Economic, academic, and social opportunities are quite limited on Aegle. Most Aeglians cannot afford passage out of the Aegle system. It is widely held hat this is by design to benefit Ling Petrochem.
Aegle’s starport is little more than a Ling depot for the interstellar transport of Aegle’s petrochem commodities. Ling and Aegle’s population are aware that the starport is a nexus for both human and illicit drug trafficking, but Ling Petrochem has not been inclined to address the problem, and Aegle’s government is ill equipped to stop it.
In Episode 8 we start with Mailbag! Thanks to everyone who has contacted us! Then we move on to Internet Finds and talk about some cook things on the internet! Then a session recap of our campaign. Then we talk about Marc Miller’s Agent of the Imperium. A fun talk! Random Traveller Planet Creation Smackdown! Roll up a Traveller or Cepheus Engine world/system, describe it, and submit it here! We’ll read the entries on the next episode! Should be fun!
Links noted in the show…
- Traveller Freebies
- Traveller Map
- Dumarest of Terra: Ultimate Spoilers and Trivia by Jeff Buser, whose page is beautifully oldschool.
- List of Traveller Books
- Martin Goldsack’s Traveller Models
- Thought Eater Podcast – by Jeremy “Frothsof” Smith
- Recap of session 11 of our Traveller campaign, Into the Void
- Cepheus Light
- Agent of the Imperium
After a quick review of the SAFCO mail bag and discussion of a couple of internet finds, we are honored to present our interview with John Watts, of Gypsy Knights Games, author of the Clement Sector and associated books compatible with Cepheus Engine and useful with any 2d6 science fiction RPG (our words, not his).
Relevant links mentioned in the podcast:
Marc Miller at GaryGon 2019 https://youtu.be/OCnMaR-mD-s
Stellar Reaches: Traveller site with great free PDF fanzine. https://stellarreaches.wordpress.com/issues/
How to Steal a Spaceship” https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ePq88UEMkiQ83p4h86KKGBeRDJJE51g27u0ac8io2Wc/edit
New from Felbrigg Herriot: Medico Service on DriveThroughRPG https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/290267
Traveller Con coming up – This weekend! (Oct 11th) http://www.travellercon-usa.com/schedule-of-events.html
Gaming materials created by Michael Brown https://www.drivethrurpg.com/browse/pub/9030/Michael-Brown?term=Michael+brown
In this episode we discuss our recent experience at the Lone Star Game Expo, an excellent gaming con held in Grapevine, TX, in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. We talk about the Classic Traveller session Bob ran, the Dungeon Crawl Classics game we played in, various seminars we attended, and the great talk by Marc Miller, author of Traveller and many other games via Game Designers Workshop and Far Future Enterprises. We also discuss the new X Boat Traveller Fan Zine, some internet finds, and some new gaming purchases.
Relevant links mentioned in the show:
- Marc Miller at TravellerCon 2017 part 1 (I was wrong about the year)
- The Path of Cunning – new GURPS fanzine in e-format.
- Freelance Traveller
- Traveller Map
- Gypsy Knights Games
- Cepheus Light by Stellagama Publishing
Bob’s Notes from the Marc Miller talk:
- Marc comes in a bit early, sits down on the stage, and just starts chatting with us about Traveller.
- Asks who had read Agent of the Imperium. I had. He mentions the Vang series, by Christopher Rowley. http://www.christopherrowley.net/novels/VangSeries.php
- Mentions cosmopolitan nature of the Traveller universe, but notes that humans are still 51% of the population of the Imperium.
- Mentions that he wanted (and has) an Alien Generator in T5.
- Mentions various Traveller media projects. A
- Possible Traveller “starter set”, similar to the D&D starter set, at retailers.
- He considers the new T5 set to be a tool kit. “Want to do [insert something like robots} – here it is … pats the book.
- Talks about world generator – using imagination to reconcile seemingly illogical world stats like low tech level with high starport level.
- Talks about origin of the hobby in tactical wargames, how he learned gaming, “This is a great hobby to be in” “Good clean fun”. Talks about direction of historical wargaming having young guys who were enamored of Nazi kind of stuff – fetishized it – and he thinks D&D saved the gaming hobby, by providing a setting in which people can roll play sketchy/evil people but not have it tied to offensive, real world, horrible evil like the nazis.
- question about all the dice rolling — why? (talking about the random generation of worlds, people, and creatures). Marc says that using that kind of random generation helps “allow interesting things to happen”.
- origin and creation of the Spinward Marches
- Beside Dumarest, Vang, what novels/series does he recommend and which were really super influential in the origin of the game. He says stuff by H. Beam Piper, Space Viking, Cosmic Computer, John Varley, Citizen of the Galaxy.
- I comment that I appreciate that he has always kept the bar high — high standards. Traveller never goes low. Never incorporates creepy, sexist, gross-out, lowbrown stuff, and that from getting the boxed set when I was a kid the game was uplifting and “made me feel smart.” He says many people have told him the game changed their lives, and he appreciates that. Later in the talk, with regard to potential movies/TV, he reiterates his desire not to allow lowbrow lowest-common-denominator stuff (My words, not his) to be associated with Traveller.
- Talks about Zhodani core expeditions a bit.
That’s all I got, folks. It was a 2 hour talk, and really fun.
I got a chance to really look at the new hardback Book 1. I have the PDF, and I found the PDF overwhelming. Looking at the book in person, I found it easier to understand. This isn’t an official review, but it this looks really good, seems well-organized. Looking at it as a toolkit makes a lot of sense. He mentions that it will be $100 for the whole set – compared to $150 for the 3 D&D 5e books, so its a bargain! Oh, the art is pretty good in the books. Mark mentioned that he prefers descriptive art in his books so you can see what things look like, as opposed to “atmospheric” art. The new book very much adheres to this.
Christopher Rowley: Novels — The Vang Series www.christopherrowley.net
In this episode we discuss a couple of internet finds, which lead us to some talk about Traveller, and then discuss the merits of being highly descriptive and dramatic in your RPGs.
Links to stuff in the show:
- Traveller System Reference Document
- High Level Traveller Character – from Ancient Faith in the Far Future blog
- From that same place – Traveller is not a Power Fantasy
- Felbrigg Herriott’s podcast page, with links to his adventure modules.
- Hiverlord’s Hijinks – with his Doldrums Setting, based on the Dumarest Saga.
- Lonestar Game Expo
- Links from Denis McCarthy: His blog https://dungeonfantastic.blogspot.com/ , his play by post https://rpol.net/game.cgi?gi=56335&date=1562097277, and his Northport GURPS Dungeon Fantasy setting https://gwythaintny.wordpress.com/ .
- Michael Brown’s stuff on DriveThruRPG.
- As always, you can find our Into the Void Traveller campaign materials on Bob’s gaming blog.
UPDATE: John Watts, of Gypsy Knights Games, sent me this clarification regarding the Traveller System Reference Document, including info on use of the name “Traveller”. Thank, John, for helping and not calling me a dummy!
Just a quick note: The Traveller SRD that you’ve found online is the portion of Mongoose 1e which was made OGL by Mongoose (with permission of Marc Miller). It can be used by anyone for any purpose so long as the proper reference is made in the required recitation of the Open Game License in the back of whatever publication in which this is used.
The Traveller SRD does NOT allow you to call your product Traveller, state that the product is compatible, or use the logo. That requires a direct license from Marc Miller or participating in Mongoose’s TAS program.
This is why Cepheus Engine, Universal Machine, and Clement Sector products cannot have the name Traveller (or, indeed, use the word “Traveller” in them) on their product. While most everyone knows that these products are usable with existing Traveller products, it can never be legally stated that they are compatible.
But thanks for mentioning it! Much appreciated…and yeah…tons of backstabbery. LOL.
Incredible Traveller art below by William H.Keith Jr.