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Traveller HERO conversion to 6th edition


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Having been markedly disappointed with T5 thus far (as a RPG. It is a very lovely gaming universe builder), and liking the traditional Traveller feel, I'd very much like to have something like this come out, since I missed the original TH era.

Why were you disappointed by Traveller 5th Edition?

I'm curious because I was thinking of purchasing it at some point if it were not too expensive just to see how that version compared to the classic (LBB) version.

 

- Christopher Mullins

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Well, first of all, I'd like ot point out that I mean that I dislike it as it is written now. After much fan anger over the edition (which was pushed out before it was really ready) there is a massive re-write going on. So this could very much be like a video game that is unplayble when released but then patched to greatness.

 

There are lots of things to complain about, such as it being a ~700 page book with no index, but for me, the biggest thing is that the game simply isn't verhy playable. Classic Traveller, despite pseudo-realistic space velocity vectors and such, was predominantly a simple game. Mongoose Traveller even more so. This version, there is a builder for everything (in the Hero System rules you can emulate every kitchen appliance with a power framework of abilities, in T5, you kinda have to). The combat rules are wonky. Right now, I think of it as an interesting way to build a universe (and like all Travellers, a great way to make randomized character careers), but then to play the game using a different system.

 

Why were you disappointed by Traveller 5th Edition?

I'm curious because I was thinking of purchasing it at some point if it were not too expensive just to see how that version compared to the classic (LBB) version.

 

- Christopher Mullins

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There are places to complain and argue about T5, but this discussion really should stay focused on Traveller HERO, and on converting the existing Traveller Hero material to be compatible with Hero6 and Champions Complete.

 

An update: Kevin, myself (representing FFE/Marc Miller) and Comcast are reviewing the complete list of TH materials. FFE's goal at this time is to release that material in PDF form, along with any errata (so far, none reported) and conversion notes to H6/CC on a CD (like the many other FFE version CDs). Everything is positive, and we have the basics for an agreement, we're now seeing what all will be in that.

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I own nearly every part of TH and will definatly be buying a CD when it comes out :D

Tasha

PS If new material is written for the future, perhaps a discussion about how to use existing Traveller Career Generation as a Lifepath/ and how to convert traveller skill numbers to Hero. I believe that using the career generation from other editions gives a characer a more authentic Traveller feel.

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due to real life interfering badly, I am going to be out of touch a lot for the next couple of months... I was in a fairly bad traffic accident, that has left me with a back injury thats going to require 4-6 weeks of rehab care, with limited net access. I should be ok eventually, I was hoping to sit down with Don and Ken Burnside at Winter War and talk Traveller.. but thats very doubtful at this point. I can at least check e-mail daily. and folks can find me on my facebook page, should it be necessary. Mike Wallis on the Traveller RPG group has my conract info here at the facility if needed

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I believe that using the career generation from other editions gives a characer a more authentic Traveller feel.

That's an intriguing notion. How would you describe the "authentic Traveller feel", in terms of a character, to someone who is not familiar with Traveller's mechanics?

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For Classic Traveller, I always got a 'Hard Core Science Fiction' feel. MegaTraveller less so. Space Master II somewhat less.

 

Probably due to percentages of success for various things. Usually things that you depended on worked over 90% of the time. Things you were inexperienced with failed over 60% of the time (at least it felt that way for my characters). Everything else was either a 50% coin flip or complete failure most of the time.

 

Hard to pinpoint why I guess.

 

- Christopher Mullins

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That's an intriguing notion. How would you describe the "authentic Traveller feel", in terms of a character, to someone who is not familiar with Traveller's mechanics?

Again, probably not the best place to discuss, but here's what I have--

Hard science: not in the technical sense, since they have ftl, artificial gravity, and reactionless thrusters, but in that you don't run into "space storms" "cosmic strands" and negative atomic space wedgies all over the place.

Skill-driven adventures: sure the guy in powered combat armor with a plasma weapon is going to jack up the guy with balistic cloth and a knife, but what your character knows and knows how to do is more important than the cybernetics you bought or the psionic powers that you have (even though the game has both).

Background-driven traits: The actual Traveller game system has always had (despite an optional point buy method as well for some versions) a character creation method which gives past life experiences (and resultant learned skills and received permanent wounds) based on random die rolls. Specifically, you decide what career to (try to) enter, and whether to keep going after each 4-year stint, but the rest is all dice rolls. This gives traveller character backstories and personalities a shifty, shabby, survived-by-their-skills, fly-by-the-seat-of-the-pants, people-who-believe-in-moral-absolutes-don't-last-long, everyone-has-had-one-amazing-success-story-and-a-hundred-"I shouldn't be alive"-stories, kind of feel. There's a reason so many gamers saw Firefly and said, "that looks familiar."

 

So, no tricorders, no prime-directive, no starship damage is auto-repaired at the start of the next episode, you're not Kirk or Picard, and you aren't Luke or Han either, since you aren't doing something so noble as conquering the evil empire.

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I'm trying to suss out how the classic career generation system of Traveller contributes to the feel of the resulting characters. Players choose a career path, but then the skills and stuff they get from it is random. In Hero, players choose a package deal and get whatever skills are built into it, plus whatever extra skills they buy on top of those. It is the usual random vs. selected dichotomy.

 

So is the "authentic Traveller feel" tied to the random nature of the skills (and mustering out benefits) a character ends up with? Or is it tied to detailed backstories? Not all Traveller players will bother to construct elaborate backstories that explain the hodgepodge of skills and gear their characters end up with, so is the authentic feel of the game dependent on players who make that effort? If so, wouldn't the same players go to the same effort to explain any extra skills they buy in the Hero System? I would expect the feel of the characters to be determined more by the skills and gear available in the game than the particulars of the subsystem that distributes them. But I could certainly be wrong about that.

 

As a game world, the Third Imperium is built upon an unusual mix of hard-ish sci-fi and nostalgia-driven anachronisms, and that's easy for me to see just by reading the game books. It is harder for me to peer into the character generation system and extract how its design results in a "feel" that all characters obtain by having been produced by it. It is a fascinating notion, especially from a game design point of view.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I'm late to the party as usual...

 

As my longtime Traveller Hero campaign is gearing up for the next "season" of play (probably to start sometime late this year), this is highly relevant to my interests...

 

I think some work needs to be done to allow for the use of some of the options in the Advanced Player's Guide (such as page 13, Mental Defense As A Characteristic, or page 70, Mental Powers As Skills) or possibly the Advanced Player's Guide 2 (page 70, Mental Combat).

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Glad you could join us...

 

Actually, I'm the delay at the moment, I believe.

 

Late in January or early February every year, I run a game convention in Illinois, so I put all my Traveller activities on hold for that. So the legacy errata projects, my long-stuck Mongoose alien book (Droyne) and, yes, Traveller HERO, are all on hold at the moment so I can run a game convention. Hoping after this coming weekend things will unstick.

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Rest in Peace Randy Hollingsworth... I just found out about his death from Eodin today... Randy was out partner in crime on Traveller Hero, and will be greatly missed... there will be a dedication to him and also Dave Sering who another inspiration to me, Dave was the production manager and Traveller line editor at Judges Guild

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Rest in Peace Randy Hollingsworth... I just found out about his death from Eodin today... Randy was out partner in crime on Traveller Hero, and will be greatly missed... there will be a dedication to him and also Dave Sering who another inspiration to me, Dave was the production manager and Traveller line editor at Judges Guild

 

I'm sorry to hear that. I've just recently started reading Designers and Dragons, so I've been slowly learning the names and places to all the history behind these games.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just an update that we are progressing. We're now at the actual financial part, so things are slightly delayed while everyone waits for me to do actual math, and then coordinate between Comstar and FFE. I've also done the basics on identifying what needs to be converted in the core TH books.

 

My biggest question: should I focus TH efforts here, or on COTI (http://www.travellerrpg.com/CotI/Discuss/forumdisplay.php?f=145)... I prefer to keep everything one place.

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