Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Jumpin' Out/Jumpin' In

I have found the soundtrack for all future Traveller play sessions that involve interstellar travel. Travelling through jump-space sounds like this:

Jumpin' Out
Unstoppable Momentum
Joe Satriani

Or maybe it sounds like this:
Jumpin' In
Unstoppable Momentum
Joe Satriani

What's your soundtrack for space travel?

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Laser weapons are coming

Beam Lasers are designated at TL-9 technology in Classic Traveller, as heavy weapons. TL 9 is noted on the Technological Levels chart as being approximately 1990-2000. Okay, so they were off the mark with that one. We were supposed to have fusion and contra-gravity by now. (Don't I wish) However, the tech of the Far Future is getting closer. Take a look:

What else could they call it except Dragonfire?

Behold the UK Dragonfire laser weapon system, currently on display at the 2017 DSEI exposition (Defense and Security Equipment International). According to the Janes' 360 website:
"The system aims to offer highly accurate targeting, allowing it to hit specific parts of an aircraft, for example. Such accuracy gives greater flexibility in target engagement, potentially allowing an LDEW [laser directed energy weapon] system to disrupt or dazzle the target, as well as to destroy it."
The Dragonfire is mounted aboard naval vessels and serves as an anti-aircraft and anti-missile platform. Sounds like the fore-runner of starship turret weaponry to me.

If your PCs are operating as mercenaries or involved in Striker battles on TL 8-10 worlds, the Janes' site offers information on real-world tech that can be upgraded and imported into your Traveller games. Check it out and find some inspiration

Thursday, August 3, 2017

More literary Traveller history

Many bytes have been committed to the discussion of what works influenced the development of Traveller. My little contribution here today is by no means ground-breaking or game-changing. I simply share with you a fun story I discovered yesterday, that has a few points in it that share common ground with Traveller's mechanics and setting. 

The story is Hide and Seek, by Arthur C. Clarke, published in "Astounding Science Fiction" v44 #1, September 1949. I found it in the Internet Archive. 
One man being chased by a starship should be out of luck, right?  Not so fast!

Monday, July 31, 2017

The Wreck in the Ring Now Available

I am super excited about this. I have played Traveller for 30+ years now, and for most of the time, I was making up my own adventures. Now I've got one published! New from Stellagama Publishing: 

The Wreck in the Ring

This adventure was written under the Cepheus Engine rules, which if anyone does not know, is the Open Game License version of Mongoose Publishing's First Edition of the licensed Traveller rules.  Now here at AF3, I'm a Classic Traveller guy, but getting a CT license to publish is harder to do. Plus, I have a great working relationship with the folks at Stellagama, doing reviews and indexing for these:

These Stars are Ours!
From the Ashes
The Bronze Case
The Space Patrol (my remarks forthcoming).

The adventure centers around the PCs exploring a wrecked starship. There are dangers to avoid and challenges to overcome, and puzzles to solve. The PCs might get rich, but if they're not careful all they'll get is a face full of hard vacuum.

The Brothers of St Cuthbert make an appearance too.

I'm happy to see my work in publication. Maybe in the future I will convert some of my home-brew universe into CE terms.

Game On!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Happy 40th Birthday to Traveller!

(so I'm a few days late. It happens.)

On July 22, 1977, the first edition of Traveller was published at Origins '77.
To the Stars!

I encountered Traveller in 1982 at the FLGS, and bought the Starter Traveller edition. I've been playing it ever since, with a brief foray into MegaTraveller in the early 1990's. Since 1996 or so, I've been back with the LBBs, until a friend gave me his copy of The Traveller Book a few years ago. 

I created my own Traveller Universe in 1997, and have played in it almost exclusively since then. 

Here are some links to help you celebrate:

Happy Birthday thread at Citizen of the Imperium.

Tales to Astound's birthday wishes

Omer Joel's elegy to the beauty of Classic Traveller.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Danger Aboard! Hazards of exploring derelict starships

Starships are a popular 'location' for adventures in Traveller. Probably every player and referee has drawn up at least one set of deck plans for a ship they've designed. Most of GDW's adventures had at least one starship in it, often with deck plans. Starships are an easy way to give the game a sci-fi feel.

Here's a question that the rules don't cover. What happens when a ship loses control?  Or is damaged by pirates/enemy navies? Or collides with an asteroid? Or fails a landing?

But the engineer assured me the drives would last another month with an overhaul!
It is my hope that soon I will see my first written adventure for Traveller in publication. The adventure centers around a crashed starship, and the PCs are there to recover crash victims and valuable scrap. What kinds of dangers could intrepid explorers face when investigating a crashed starship?  These came to my mind:

  • Exposed electrical conduits are a shock & fire hazard.
  • Unsound floor plates can lead to falls through the decks.
  • Weakened support structures can lead to collapses or falls.