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