Thursday, January 2, 2014

Classic Traveller Book 3

  • Law Level table only covers weapons
  • Misc equipment costs are in here, including food.  No standard of living table by SOC.
  • Reaction roll table modified by being a military retiree (+1), world population (-1 if 9 or more), and nothing else.  Oooo-kay.
  • Animals don't actually have stats; it's more like HD.
  • Also the question of animal armor, which I had been wondering out, is resolved reasonably.
  • Hiring local guides provides a +/-2 DM to the random encounter table when you're seeking a particular type of animal.  Good for safaris.
  • Rules for frequency of psionic institutes.  I am stealing these.  Scholarship rules for characters of high ability, too.
  • I quite like their psionics rules, I think.  Harder max caps on abilities, but no rolls to use most of them, and skill level gradually improves on its own until it reaches your personal maximum ability.
  • Also having a "Special Talent" category on the table is either an awesome idea or a GM nightmare, depending on the circumstances.
  • Good closing note:
    • Care must be taken that the referee does not simply lay fortunes in the path of the players, but the situation is not primarily an adversary relationship. The referee simply administers the rules in situations where the players themselves have an incomplete understanding of the universe. The results should reflect a consistent reality. 


  1. I still have a great fondness for classic Traveller even though I've hardly actually played it much. Oddly enough it's Traveller's semi-generic nature which puts me off running it. It's not totally generic so I feel I have a blank canvas and yet there isn't a full setting to jump right on into, like with the new 40K RPG rules.

    1. I agree that Traveller puts you in an odd "We have a giant default setting, but we don't talk about it in the core book where we instead give you rules for rolling up your own subsector" sort of position. My approach was always "Well OK, rolling up a subsector and then I'll figure out what the results mean in terms of a coherent setting once I'm done." Semi-generic is an accurate characterization, but in some ways it doesn't feel all that far from 3.x D&D in that regard; Greyhawk might've been the default, but besides its deities I don't know the first thing about the place.

      (Personally I've found the 40k games to be too mechanically heavy for my tastes - Traveller 40k I could see being fun, though)

  2. I love the near-total absence of a setting. I much prefer to use my own Alien/Ice Pirates/Outland/Blakes 7-type setting than anything published.