Saturday, 14 January 2012
What is Traveller?
Traveller was originally just the three rulebooks and presented a particular type of hard science fiction environment. It was background free, but presented an easy way to generate your background. To this was added all the Third Imperium material. I first encountered Traveller when I bought the Traveller Deluxe edition in the early eighties. Those were great days as the players roared through the Spinward Marches creating chaos wherever they went. The ship's locker was awash with Battle Dress and FGMP-15s and I had a great time designing scenarios around all the Jack Higgins novels I was reading at the time. This gave the players plenty of opportunities to use all the hardware they had. Most excellent! Oh yes, and I really liked the idea that characters could die during character creation. :)
Looking back on Traveller I now find myself associating it more strongly with the background rather than the rules. The rules were a vehicle for exploring that background, but it was the background that we loved. What this means is that for me Traveller is more about the background than the specific rules. It is all about the organic growth of that background through the many publications that followed and it is about continuing to help that background grow within our campaign. As a result, when we start our new campaign, we shall be playing Traveller, regardless of the fact that we shall not be playing an RPG with the Traveller rules. We shall certainly be using elements of those rules for the metagame, but the rest of it will be played out with Laserburn, Tomorrow's War, Striker 2, 5150 and FutureWarCommander, among other rules sets. I can't wait.
I think that makes sense and, if you will excuse me, I now need to make sure that my air/raft is serviced and that the Type S Scout Ship Aurora is ready to fly. I'm off to survey the Spinward Marches for the IISS. Who knows what adventures I shall encounter on my twenty year mission to chronicle the development of this part of the Sprinward Marches?