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Re: Classic Psionics in Traveler

after years of loyal Imperial service a new character would muster out, grab their ray gun and go on a murderous rampage!

So many groups have noticed this effect that it seems like it must have been something about the game itself but it's hard to pin down what.

My recollection of Traveller massacres was something like this:

1. Some irresponsible player has their character fire on the first NPC they see.
2. A segment of the party think this is a criminal action, and fire on the PC in protection of the innocent NPC.
3. Another segment of the party this this is betraying a comrade in arms, and fire on the previous segment.
4. The only survivors tend to be characters who found really good cover early on.

The point is that the characters acting in phases 2 and 3 both felt they were role-playing their characters and acting as soldiers, etc., should. They saw themselves acting in an extraordinary way because they found themselves in extraordinary circumstances, not because their character's psychology was extraordinary. It was only the first character whose actions were completely unreasonable, but the chain reaction only needed one of those to start a cascade.


On 27 October 2016 at 01:29, Chris Nicole <chris.nicoleuk@gmail.com> wrote:
I liked the character creation system from Traveller. 
One thing seemed odd to me was that after years of loyal Imperial service a new character would muster out, grab their ray gun and go on a murderous rampage!
Maybe it was just the people I played with, but ew of our characters rarely lasted long enough on civvie street to gain anything more than a hangover and bodybag!
One of our most memorable games was an Imperial Navy campaign where our mustering out point became the characters current rank in service and we played on as Imperial officers or crew within the navy/marines.
It gave the game a lot more structure as we were ordered out on patrols or missions, but we could call on the navy and subordinate troops when we needed backup.


On Mon, Oct 24, 2016 at 7:31 PM, Tom Ellis <trellis66@verizon.net> wrote:

Hi Rick,

                When I used to GM Traveller I spent a good several hours with each player building backstory during the character development over their career, but I also modified house rules to allow for further growth.   No RPG rules are ever carved in stone despite what current game rules out there seem to want.  A former Marine of the Imperium could certainly increase his aim in my house while in game.

                I think one lesson here is that no system is perfect and we (GMs) need to manage that and allow for it.  A static character who can’t grow in skill can start to get boring for a player.  That all being said the psionic system was far better balanced in that regard than I’ve seen before or since.




From: tft-owner@brainiac.com [mailto:tft-owner@brainiac.com] On Behalf Of Rick Smith
Sent: Monday, October 24, 2016 12:23 PM
To: tft@brainiac.com
Subject: Classic Psionics in Traveler


Hi Tom.

  Welcome to the list.  


  I confess that the thing I liked least about basic Traveler was

that all character development happened before the game began.

Perhaps getting experience points and improving skills and 

attributes was less realistic than people gaining most of their skills

earlier in their career. 


  However, seeing the characters you spent time with was 

definitely more fun.


Warm regards, Rick.



On 2016-10-22, at 3:21 PM, Tom Ellis wrote:

Hi, people.  To answer the question, I preferred Classic Traveler vs. D&D psionics  because of how they balanced it.  Be skilled based vs. level based, Traveller made people make choices.  You could spend 20+ years in the service and have mad skills, but at that point you also wouldn’t be able to achieve your full psionic potential.  Then there was the whole drama of finding a Guild to study at.


So, as an introduction.  Hi again.  My name is Tom and I still have my paper D&D books from the 70s.  I look forward to more fruitful discussions on this list.