Friday, 23 April 2010

What the fudge...? Traveller confuses me...

So, I've been doing some more reading regarding Marc Miller's 'Traveller' and the more I read the more I'm regretting buying 4th edition. Everything is virtually the same with regards to the system and game itself, but the task resolution is different. Where the Classic and new Mongoose editions used the 2D6 with skill and difficulty modifiers versus a target number of eight, 4th edition uses a set target number based on skill and attribute totals and the difficulty is decided by the number of dice you roll against that target number - the more difficult the more dice you roll, and the low rolls are better. That all sounds fine, yes?

Well, I was hoping to get closer to Classic Traveller, to be honest, the game my players know. I'm wondering if I should have just got the new Mongoose Traveller books so that I can stay in line with the material that's coming out now, and with the Classic players who have been running the game since day one.

Bummer. I just bought a virtually brand new copy of T4's 'First Survey' book, as well. I should have hung on to my old copies of MegaTraveller, at least that game was closer in line with Classic. I'll run some games, see how we get on. It'll all come out in the wash.


  1. T4's task system? Ah yes. There's something of a revision that dropped the half dice. See the BITS Task system for particulars. If it's not to your liking I'd suggest getting the Mongoose Traveller SRD in the Developer's Pack free download and extract the task system and anything you find useful.

    Or use the BITS Task system (I think Freelance Traveller has a copy, if the BITS site doesn't) to convert between T4 and CT or MGT.

    Oh and you may want to look for the updated vehicle and space ship design systems online if you start using those. Missouri Archive IIRC should still have them somewheres.

    First Survey? Oi, erm, is that the one with the repeated Social stat for *every* world in the book? I hope you didn't pay much for it. :( The T4 setting to get is the hardcover Milieu 0 Campaign which combines First Survey (and sorta fixes it), Mileu 0 softcover and includes additional material.

    T4's set around the expanding core of the then new Third Imperium. Good potential but T4 didn't quite realize it IMO. DonM's site has a decent idea on tweaking the premise. But really, do what you will with it, there's plenty to start with and discard the chaff.

    Hope this helps.

  2. Oh and earlier I had mentioned Mongoose's Traveller was what I wanted T4 to be. T4, or to be more precise, Marc Miller's Traveller, was supposed to be the return of Traveller, with GDW gone and the original creator back to the fold. He brought in a lot of skilled people to do art, sub-system design (the BTRC guy did the gun design system for example), was to merge some of TNE's innovations (Fire, Fusion & Steel for example, and more careers) with classic stuffs and...

    and it was run by the company that brought us the D&D movie, Sweetpea. At least they didn't also bring up a Traveller movie of similar caliber. Also one of the line editors is rather interesting. His latest POD enterprise sparked a rather heated thread over on

    My opinion of Marc Miller's greatness really tanked and I subsequently missed most of GURPS Traveller (which has some great material) until Traveller d20 came, which worked better for me than T4. Needless to say I'm not enthused for Marc Miller's T5 which keeps much of T4, piles on more and more tables and isn't finished yet, years after T4.

    Mongoose Traveller ain't perfect by any means but it's workable, has much of post-CT stuff that I like and has the advantage of not being tied at the hip to the Third Imperium setting, which is one thing TNE was planned to do but never got there fully. Essentially it's T4 + TNE in spirit but mechanically similar to CT.

    Sorry for the length of the post, but the sitch is somewhat complicated. Again, HTH.