New from Mongoose Publishing!

Traveller is a science fiction roleplaying game of bold explorers and brave adventurers. The Traveller Core Rulebook contains everything you need to create one of these adventurers and begin exploring the galaxy.

Spaceports, ancient civilisations, air/rafts, cold steel blades, laser carbines, far distant worlds, and exotic alien beasts – this is the futuristic universe of Traveller, the original and classic science fiction roleplaying game.

Come visit the future.

The Beta Playtest edition of the new Traveller Core Rulebook allows you to dive in and directly affect one of the world’s favourite sci-fi RPGs.

66 thoughts on “New from Mongoose Publishing!

  1. I dont understand that move. If you want to get new sales, then use state of the art chargen approaches, not “sorry kid, I know you were excited about playing a badass space marine but the dice say you’re a drifter.”

  2. Full disclosure, I am in beta for my own starship crew sci-fi RPG, Free Spacer.
    I’m not sure what I think of this: I ran mongoose traveller and like everyone else I loved the space opera, but I struggled with imbalanced skill system and the accounting. 

    I like the life path system that traveller uses, but to get full benefit from life paths, they need to tie your character into the setting, which I don’t feel they did.

    I also think it is odd that Mark Miller’s Traveller 5 is also out at the same time. It makes it seem like an IP war.

  3. Here’s what I really like about T5, after I read about 200 pages of it.

    It has a really great “what is Traveller” intro. It made me excited to play this game. A “what is this game / what is a RPG” section hasn’t ever done that.

    It has “A Brief History of the Universe” section that summarizes Traveller canon in a way that I have never seen. Everything you need to know in a nutshell. With the “Foundations” section, it’s only 7-8 pages.

    Two pages, right up front in the book, lay out the dice system, DMs, mods, flux, and all the main dice mechanics. Bam.

    Then the book does something really clever. (Too clever? I don’t think so. It solves a real design problem.) It introduces the Universal Personality Profile (UPP, the code that lists a character’s six stats), which is old hat for Traveller grognards, but offers different “DNA” (called Genetic Profile or GP) that lets you substitute slightly different versions of each stat with another, for different sophont races. 

    The stats are coded as C1, C2, C3, etc. and C2 is usually Dexterity (for humans) but it can be Agility or Grace, too. If you have an 8 Dexterity, you have a 4 Grace and a 4 Agility (half). Why this is cool? A human with 8 Dex interacts with an alien machine designed for sophonts with Agility. Interacting with the device requires an Agility check, so the human character has an Agility of 4 (Dex/2). I there there are cooler possibilities in C5 (Education / Training / Instinct) and C6 (Social Standing / Charisma / Caste).

    There’s a way to make a character using a Genetics system that takes random attributes from each parent (or multiple for aliens with different DNA systems), adds mutations, and comes up with stats. Weird, but kinda cool. There are rules for synthetics (manufactured beings) and clones, too.

    Now some of this stuff might have been in an earlier version of Traveller that I just don’t know much about. My experience is with Classic Traveller and Mongoose Traveller and a little of T2300. It’s possible some of this stuff was in a supplement or something.

    Chargen has an extended education system now, including college and military academies. You can earn degrees and military awards. You can use your Social Standing for pull to get in if you don’t naturally make admission. There’s also a special Training system for nontraditional cultures, and it has apprenticeship / mentoring / training stages.

    Knowledges are special applications of a skill. The first two points in any skill are knowledge, and the third and subsequent points are true skill. Knowing about it isn’t the same as doing it.

    All tasks are described using a universal task formula. It’s a lot like the way Moves are stated in Apocalpyse World and PbtA games. Here’s an example of one:

    “To establish comm contact with a pinnace crew.
    Average (2D) < (Edu + Communications) + Environ" There's a rule called "This Is Hard!" that applies when a task has more dice than the character has skill levels. This increases the difficulty one level. Jack of All Trades helps with this. When you have no skill, it's Hard by default, right? Simple. Difficulty is now expressed in dice. Gone is the "2D vs. target" of earlier Traveller versions (that I've seen). Roll dice and try to get under the skill + characteristic or whatever the formula requires.     1D is Easy.      2D is Average.     3D is Difficult etc. Want to make something harder? GM just adds a die. Simple. Want to complete something faster? "Hasty" halves the time but adds a die. "Extra Hasty" gets the task done before any others, but adds two dice. On the other side, "Cautious" doubles the length of time but reduces difficulty by one die. Simple. There's an object system called QREBS (quality, reliability, ease-of-use, burden, safety) that describes /stuff/. You find a very old crate containing a 100-year-old radio. QREBS=-1 -2 +0 +1 +0. Generally, you can quickly generate these with a single 2D-2 roll for quality, then roll Flux for each of the rest.  Flux is a D6-D6 roll generating a number between -5 and +5 on the same curve as 2D6-7. It's used to great effect throughout the rules to generate "jitter" on various things. Like the reliability of an old radio or something. There's a very detailed Senses system with great guidelines about when NOT to use it. On the other hand, when you want to get really awesome science-fictiony, break out weird alternate senses for an alien race and let the characters explore a culture where touch is more important than sight, or where they talk in chemicals. This is how you make playing a Science Officer (a la Star Trek) fun. It's really Big-Sim design, but I haven't seen another RPG do this. And that's how far I've read.

  4. Adam Dray I also have T5 and it is the largest and densest tome on my shelf. It has everything you could ask for from traveller. The system has a lot of really interesting mechanics, some that could support entire games on their own. The generational mechanics is similar to a video games generational systems.

    If you want to play T5 though, it requires a commitment and a good degree of system mastery. If  you’re going to read it, start at the beginning and make sure you understand the  jargon, it is essential for the next 650 pages. I tried skipping around and was rather confused.

  5. Mark Delsing I’m not sure why. It’s big, but you don’t need all those rules at once. You need to make characters (largely the problem of the players), you need some kind of adventure (which can be a sandbox with “We’re Travellers. Here’s a ship. Here’s the system you start in. Now make your mortgage payments or else.”) The GM should understand the task and combat systems. That’s about it. No one needs to memorize the Makers (subsystems for making different things). Just use the things from older versions.

    Christoph Sapinsky I agree in part. It /helps/ to read straight through, but really, if you get a decent grounding in the task system and in QREBS, there’s not that much you have to understand for the later parts, right? (I haven’t read those parts yet, so I could be totally wrong.)

  6. Adam Dray I suppose, but come on. 600+ pages and Miller couldn’t have included stats for the most iconic, most-used ship in the history of the game?

    Compare that to The Traveller Book. That has everything I need to run an entire campaign. I so wanted T5 to just be a denser, more modern version of that.

  7. I must! T5 is out but it’s still a work in progress. They’re still collecting errata on the Citizens of the Imperium forums and still gathering playtest feedback. I believe Don M is applying errata that people report.

    I guess there was the T5 Kickstarter release. Then in June, they released T5.09 to OBS for download. It’s in a pretty weak shape (lots of typos and editing problems) but they’re selling it and it isn’t labeled as a Beta in any way on OBS. But it’s my understanding that they’re still working on this.

    There’s a comment on OBS that says, “There is also no actual cover, either, but that is, perhaps, because it is ‘pre-release,’ i.e., the release to iron out the final kinks, at which point they will release 5.1.”