Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A comment about my Traveller experience

I've realized that maybe I should not have tried to be so subtle. The medium isn't good for subtleties. So, what I felt might need clarification about my former post about Traveller is that it was consciously written with a subjective view of things.

Naturally not everyone will be feeling bored after reading through the Traveller trading rules, and thinking about Accounting! It was my way of showing how my disenfranchised mental process went along. I'm aware that some people like accounting. My problem was more along the line, why did I get enthusiastic about this in the first place?

Something else have occured to me as I've been thinking about the relation between expectation, rules, actual play and the social space that gaming is. Gregor Huttons elegant game 3:16 Carnage Among the Stars is another game where issues like this might affect the game. Taking a look at that game, it looks like it's all about rolling a d10 under your FA and then you killed some aliens. Lather, rinse and repeat. It's not a very exciting game when presented like that. Still, it can be very cool. I think I've gathered as much from reading what Gregor himself posted on The Forge, that if they players are not getting in the spirit of the game that is all you'll get. Roll d10, roll damage and why is this supposed to be worthy of awards? Buy in, baby. From everyone, GM included. If only we could make it happen by writing it in the rule book...


  1. It's like with a joke. If you have to explain it, it isn't funny. However, to "get it" there may need to be an explanation. Look at the character skills, skill check rules and the personal level possibilities. While I have yet to actually play Travellers, I look forward to it as the skills are not just hack 'n slash rules. You can negotiate your way out of a situation rather than blast your way out.

    The accounting stuff seems more like the tools for the GM to build the scenario with. Sure the characters may like doing their job, but why are they so depressed about the lack of pay? Oh, they have a huge debt and living expenses. Can't find a normal job, then take what you can. That's where the characters, plot and fun come into play.

    It took me a bit to figure out what seemed out of place in your posts. In this post the phrase, "why did I get enthusiastic about this in the first place?" made me ask myself why I like the possibilities of the system. That's where my answer came from. A Noble who has lost their public standing due to a scandal and asks the PCs to clear the mess up is the kind of thing I see in those rules. it doesn't come from the space travel, cool tech or the trading rules, but rather the character to character interaction rules and the possibilities of them.

  2. For some reason I never seem to get past those rules, to the "the character to character interaction rules and the possibilities of them" part.

    While I agree that it's nice to see rules for something else than hack 'n slash, I'm beginning to think that maybe it would have liberated me more if that were the case. I could have hand waved more freely.


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