Thursday, January 31, 2013

Traveller - Prelude To Foundation

Today is the end of January? Already?! Good grief time flies...

I've been so busy lately with so many things (work, games, side projects), I didn't even realize January had slipped by so quickly. At the same time, in a sort of paradoxical way, I was and am acutely aware that the month of February is upon me.

February is a lot of things. My birthday is this month, as is that of my ex-wife Selina, not to mention our old wedding anniversary. Valentine's Day is in February as well. My grandmother, who I still miss very much, was born in February, as was my father, who is also no longer with us.

February is a lot of things for me.

In my attempt to feel more positive about life in general, I am going to focus my attention on a very cool, new thing happening this February...Traveller!

Our campaign starting point and home base. Ain't she epic?

On Saturday, Feb. 9th of 2013, I am going to transport nearly 11 players three thousand, six hundred years into the future and begin my first, full fledged Traveller campaign in nearly fours years. In addition, this will be my first real ongoing Science Fiction campaign in nearly that long. I've had several one-shots, brave attempts and false starts but this time I am in the zone and bringing my A-Game. If anyone has any other appropriate sports lingo please let me know. I am terrible with sports lingo.

Getting my notes together and preparing both my campaign book and the players' versions to serve as a guide to the campaign and a place to store any handouts for each of them, I am looking at the following:

There will be 11 players and PCs if everyone shows.

At least 4 of the PCs own a ship (the most I've ever seen in a single campaign of Traveller).

There are no alien PCs (I find that weird. That's just me).

While we've covered most of the major careers, there are a few no one went with that I am very much used to seeing. As of this writing there are no Army characters, Barbarians, Belters, Flyers, Law Enforcement characters, Nobles, Pirates or Rogues. I can't recall a previous campaign with no Barbarians, Law Enforcement and/or Pirate characters.

A good portion of the players (more than half I believe) have a backstory for their characters that fits directly into some of the story happenings I have planned for the sector of space they are in completely without either them or myself having any idea of what the other party was working on.

I am running this very much in a classic, full on sandbox style with the addition of my Storybox idea that their are adventures and stories out there, going on with or without the PCs involvement. They can, of course, get involved. They can also not get involved but the story does not stopped just because they ignore it. There will be ramifications later if no one checks some of these things out. Otherwise, PCs are free to go wherever their brains, brawn, know-how and luck can take them.

Spica Sector, Subsector 'J' - Flux

I am super excited about this game. I have been working like a...well...a hard working animal...maybe something that herds or hunts or'll come to me.

Expect to see more pre-production notes, production notes and a full on review as we get underway. February is Traveller Month here at Barking Alien!*

Barking Alien

Incidentally, this is my 601st blog entry. Wow.

*OK, except...I still really want to tell you all about my experiences at RECESS. Also, their is a Supers idea I want to play around with. Alright, February is Mostly Traveller Month here at Barking Alien!


  1. Tease Tease! That's a lot of PC's. They have their own fleet!

    You know Traveller subsector maps would fit very nicely on an iphone/ipad screen. That image of yours has the wheels turning. What if something like that was the default screen and touching a system hex brought up the stats for that system, and finger-swiping slid over to the next subsector? If you could add notes to the system info screen you could have a very handy way to keep the campaign info in one place.

  2. Astronavigation? There's an app for that.


    Your idea is awesome. I lack to technical know how to make it happen but I would surely use it, especially if you (the user) could enter notes on the system yourself (thus customizing the app to fit your campaign).

  3. I have never come into contact with the Traveller game, and everyone that I've ever spoken to about Traveller has had nothing but bad things to say. I can't imagine a veteran space RPG can be bad (hello... it's a SPACE RPG), so I think I just need to get the book and dig in. Is there one book over another that I should get, a certain edition, or should I just get the biggest, baddest Traveller book I can find?

    1. In my opinion, and this really is only my opinion based on nothing more than personal preference, I recommend getting either the original, Classic Traveller books (available as Deluxe Traveller on DriveThruRPG or the reprints by Far Future Enterprises) or MegaTraveller (the original three manuals for that are also available on DriveThruRPG).

      While I don't use MegaTraveller's setting/story, preferring the classic Traveller setting mixed with my own stuff, I do like how MegaTraveller put all the pieces together from the old books and updated some elements.

      I am not a fan of Mongoose Traveller but I want to say emphatically that there is nothing really wrong with the game. It is well put together, easy to learn and understand and very well supported. I simply don't feel that it has the same feel or personality as the original, rough patches and all.