Adventure In The Far Future With Traveller Second Edition
  • Adventure In The Far Future With Traveller Second Edition


    This is the Free Trader Beowulf, calling anyone…. Mayday. Mayday…. We are under attack…. Main drive is gone… Turret number one not responding…. Mayday…. Losing cabin pressure fast calling anyone…. Please help…. This is the Free Trader Beowulf…. Mayday…. Bold explorers and brave travellers journey between the stars in Traveller the science fiction roleplaying game by Mongoose Publishing.


    Traveller is a 240 page full color hardcover set of rules built off of Traveller 1st Edition by Mongoose Publishing and classic Traveller by Marc Miller. The game provides rules for science fiction adventures from recent times to the far future. Fourteen chapters cover character creation, referee tools like encounter building, starships, trade, world and universe creation, and a sample subsector called Sindal.

    Rules are included for combat, space operations and combat, and trade. PCs play travelers who may be small merchant traders, mercs, explorers, or a combination of them all. It is the combination of the subsector creation by the referee and the travelers moving from system to system looking for jobs that helps to build links that create campaigns.

    Traveller uses 2d6 roll over a Difficulty number to determine success. Degrees of success called effect are also used. Finally, the referee can assign a boon or a bane die based on immediate circumstances to make the roll easier or more difficult.

    Character creation is a life path system that starts characters at age 18 and walks them through life in four year intervals. Characters start out either trying to get into a university or military academy or go right into a career. Rolls are required to enter careers and more rolls determine skills learned and events that happen during that four year period.

    Each four year period of work and learning can be dangerous. A character can be injured during character creation. And they may get kicked out of a career and not be able to continue. The player decides when to stop trying to enter new careers. At that point, the character wraps up with a few final rolls and enters play.

    If two players agree, then any event rolled for one character can involve another. If an event is linked, then both PCs get one extra skill up to a maximum of two.

    Rules are included for two alien races, the doglike Vargr and the expansionist predatory Aslan. A character may also end up with psionic abilities. Characters earn money and gear during character creation and may enter play with a partially owned starship.

    Ground combat is dangerous with damage reducing a physical characteristic, thus making future rolls more difficult until wounds are healed. For starship combat there are seven roles that PCs can move between including captain, pilot, and engineer. Each PC can participate if they have the necessary skills.

    Within the Traveller setting, faster than light travel is accomplished via jump drives. A jump carries the vessel a number of parsecs equal to the jump number. When a referee creates a star map each hex equals one parsec.

    Referees have a variety of tools to create adventures. A referee can detail a subsystem, roll up worlds, and have the PCs enter the subsector to begin trading, exploring, or looking for mercenary work.

    For players and referees who want more there are several adventures in print as well as three tech books with extra gear, vehicles, and starships along with rules to create your own vehicles and ships.

    Traveller relies on sandbox play driven by PC choice and action. Worlds await exploration and possible exploitation at the hands of the travellers. All of the tools needed for play and to explore the universe are included in the Traveller Core Rulebook.

    Addendum: The Traveller Core Rulebook was published in 2016. Per TrippyHippy in the comments:
    It's the second edition of the first edition Mongoose Traveller rules (2008) that were, in turn based on the Classic Traveller rules (1977). The new edition represents an evolution of these rules rather than a revolution, so they are mostly backwards compatible, and are built with a sense of robust and easy use in play as much as anything else. The changes in this edition are mainly cosmetic - the full colour presentation and production quality is a significant step up - and polishing the functionality of the rules. Various subset rules have been expanded and/or clarified - like including a Prisoner career in character generation, tweaking the skill list, or tidying up the Initiative rules, or having starship combat work in conjunction with standard combat. They have also included a bonus/penalty dice system akin to advantage/disadvantage in other games, with an aim to reducing the emphasis on +/- modifiers from previous editions.

    Per Dire Bare in the comments: "There are around 10 different versions of the Traveller rules and settings published by several companies over the years, this version is the second edition of the rules developed by Mongoose in 2008 and is one of two current versions of the game!" (with the other version being Traveller 5th Edition by Marc Miller).

    contributed by Charles Dunwoody
    Comments 66 Comments
    1. counterburn's Avatar
      counterburn -
      Traveller has always seemed interesting but I've never known where to start.
    1. nitsua60's Avatar
      nitsua60 -
      I'm sorry, but a review of a product titled 2e and which is arguably the eleventh edition of a game that doesn't include--or at least link to--any sort of comparison seems grossly inadequate. I could see that this might not be the place for how MGT differs from many other companies' incarnations, but at least some discussion of MGT2 vs. MGT1 seems absolutely necessary. (And some comparison of MGT1/2 to T5, the current competitor, would be warranted, in my opinion.)
    1. Charles Dunwoody -
      Quote Originally Posted by counterburn View Post
      Traveller has always seemed interesting but I've never known where to start.
      Welcome to EN World, counterburn.

      The Traveller Starter Set is a great place to start. Has the rules and a great starter adventure.http://www.mongoosepublishing.com/rp...arter-set.html
    1. Charles Dunwoody -
      Quote Originally Posted by nitsua60 View Post
      I'm sorry, but a review of a product titled 2e and which is arguably the eleventh edition of a game that doesn't include--or at least link to--any sort of comparison seems grossly inadequate. I could see that this might not be the place for how MGT differs from many other companies' incarnations, but at least some discussion of MGT2 vs. MGT1 seems absolutely necessary. (And some comparison of MGT1/2 to T5, the current competitor, would be warranted, in my opinion.)
      This is a review not a comparison. The core rulebook is a complete RPG. And a great one.
    1. TrippyHippy's Avatar
      TrippyHippy -
      Quote Originally Posted by nitsua60 View Post
      I'm sorry, but a review of a product titled 2e and which is arguably the eleventh edition of a game that doesn't include--or at least link to--any sort of comparison seems grossly inadequate. I could see that this might not be the place for how MGT differs from many other companies' incarnations, but at least some discussion of MGT2 vs. MGT1 seems absolutely necessary. (And some comparison of MGT1/2 to T5, the current competitor, would be warranted, in my opinion.)
      Really?!

      It's the second edition of the first edition Mongoose Traveller rules (2008) that were, in turn based on the Classic Traveller rules (1977). The new edition represents an evolution of these rules rather than a revolution, so they are mostly backwards compatible, and are built with a sense of robust and easy use in play as much as anything else. The changes in this edition are mainly cosmetic - the full colour presentation and production quality is a significant step up - and polishing the functionality of the rules. Various subset rules have been expanded and/or clarified - like including a Prisoner career in character generation, tweaking the skill list, or tidying up the Initiative rules, or having starship combat work in conjunction with standard combat. They have also included a bonus/penalty dice system akin to advantage/disadvantage in other games, with an aim to reducing the emphasis on +/- modifiers from previous editions.

      The game is less deliberately generic than before. It's more focussed upon developing Marc Miller's original Third Imperium setting, and the default is assumed to be for that use primarily. You can, regardless, still use it as a generic engine (and the Third Imperium is so diverse and vast, it's easy to just develop your own subsector of space with your own setting, in effect), while there is a Mindjammer (transhumanist) supplement for making use of that setting instead and there is a 2300AD (hard scifi) setting coming soon too.

      The main advantage of all this is really felt in the supplements, however, where Mongoose is really pushing the button in terms of their ambition and quality of produce. The Starter Set, the Pirates or Drinax Campaign and soon to be coming Great Rift box set are arguably some of the best works in the game's entire history. This new edition reaffirms Traveller's place as the premier science fiction roleplaying game.
    1. Morrus's Avatar
      Morrus -
      Quote Originally Posted by nitsua60 View Post
      I'm sorry, but a review of a product titled 2e and which is arguably the eleventh edition of a game that doesn't include--or at least link to--any sort of comparison seems grossly inadequate.
      How sorry would you say you are, on a scale of 1-10?
    1. nitsua60's Avatar
      nitsua60 -
      Really?!

      It's the second edition of the first edition Mongoose Traveller rules (2008) that were, in turn based on the Classic Traveller rules (1977). The new edition represents an evolution of these rules rather than a revolution, so they are mostly backwards compatible, and are built with a sense of robust and easy use in play as much as anything else. The changes in this edition are mainly cosmetic - the full colour presentation and production quality is a significant step up - and polishing the functionality of the rules. Various subset rules have been expanded and/or clarified - like including a Prisoner career in character generation, tweaking the skill list, or tidying up the Initiative rules, or having starship combat work in conjunction with standard combat. They have also included a bonus/penalty dice system akin to advantage/disadvantage in other games, with an aim to reducing the emphasis on +/- modifiers from previous editions.

      This contains much of the "comparison" I'd have found useful in the original: 2e is compatible with the previous edition, largely changes to presentation and some minor rule fixes/tweaks. Those two bits would have made the original review feel like more than just someone summarizing the back of the book/ToC to me.
    1. nitsua60's Avatar
      nitsua60 -
      Honestly, a 2 or 3. I do feel badly because I don't know the author and feel a little hesitant to criticize a stranger. But I felt it was enough of a deficiency in the review that I'd go ahead and put my name to pointing out where I thought it could be improved.

      The thing's titled "Adventure in the Far Future with Traveller Second Edition." Please do tell why there's a second edition.
    1. Charles Dunwoody -
      Quote Originally Posted by nitsua60 View Post
      Honestly, a 2 or 3. I do feel badly because I don't know the author and feel a little hesitant to criticize a stranger. But I felt it was enough of a deficiency in the review that I'd go ahead and put my name to pointing out where I thought it could be improved.

      The thing's titled "Adventure in the Far Future with Traveller Second Edition." Please do tell why there's a second edition.
      I appreciate that. In the review I point out it is built on Mongoose Traveller 1E and classic Traveller. You are reading a review at EN World. Do you honestly not know why 2nd editions are done for RPGs?

      And to give you the benefit of the doubt, even if you don't know why RPGs get 2nd editions do you believe a 600 word review on an RPG game website is the right place to explain why RPGs get 2nd editions? I don't.

      Traveller (by Mongoose the 2nd edition) is a complete RPG in one book. It is great sci-fi adventure and even includes a sample setting. The review does not need to cover more than the book itself. It is a review.

      If you honestly need some insight into 2nd editions, check this out: http://paizo.com/pathfinderplaytest/faq#v5748eaic9we0

      And a quote from that 2nd edition:
      Why publish a new edition?
      When we created the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game back in 2008, we'd already built up a decade of professional experience with the 3.0 and 3.5 rules and had a pretty good idea how they could be improved to make the game more fun, easier to teach, and better at telling the kinds of fantasy stories we like. Ten years later, we've had similar experiences with our own game, with a similarly long list of things we can improve upon.
    1. Charles Dunwoody -
      Quote Originally Posted by nitsua60 View Post
      This contains much of the "comparison" I'd have found useful in the original: 2e is compatible with the previous edition, largely changes to presentation and some minor rule fixes/tweaks. Those two bits would have made the original review feel like more than just someone summarizing the back of the book/ToC to me.
      You are assuming I wrote the review for current Traveller players. Why would I do that? I am going to be honest. I believe you know something about Mongoose Traveller 2E already. If not, my review will fill you in.

      If I want to look at a new game I want to know what it does, how characters and combat work, what tools are there for GMs, and are there any adventures or sample settings for me to use? I covered that in my review. I even explain how combat reduces physical characteristics, something which is important to know if you want to understand combat.

      I also explain what type of campaigns a referee can run using the book. And how the book supports doing so.

      I covered how starships work. What PCs do in starship combat.

      In other words, I tried to cover everything that would matter to me when looking at a sci-fi RPG. The Traveller Core Rulebook covers it all. I indicate that and give examples.

      How about you tell me what is in the core rulebook for referees and players that I did not cover. What info is missing that doesn't explain what is in the book AND how the referee can use it.
    1. nitsua60's Avatar
      nitsua60 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Charles Dunwoody View Post
      I appreciate that. In the review I point out it is built on Mongoose Traveller 1E and classic Traveller. You are reading a review at EN World. Do you honestly not know why 2nd editions are done for RPGs?

      And to give you the benefit of the doubt, even if you don't know why RPGs get 2nd editions do you believe a 600 word review on an RPG game website is the right place to explain why RPGs get 2nd editions? I don't.
      I'm not asking for an analysis of why RPGs get second editions, I'm suggesting that a simple statement of why this RPG got a second edition. Some RPGs' second editions are minor updates and completely backward-compatible. Other RPGs' second editions are completely different games from their firsts. Reading your review I'd have no idea which this is.
    1. Morrus's Avatar
      Morrus -
      Quote Originally Posted by nitsua60 View Post
      I'm not asking for an analysis of why RPGs get second editions, I'm suggesting that a simple statement of why this RPG got a second edition. Some RPGs' second editions are minor updates and completely backward-compatible. Other RPGs' second editions are completely different games from their firsts. Reading your review I'd have no idea which this is.
      I think you're mistaking it for a history lesson. It's a short review of a current game; that's all. Who cares why the game exists?

      (Well, you do, clearly).
    1. Charles Dunwoody -
      Quote Originally Posted by nitsua60 View Post
      I'm not asking for an analysis of why RPGs get second editions, I'm suggesting that a simple statement of why this RPG got a second edition. Some RPGs' second editions are minor updates and completely backward-compatible. Other RPGs' second editions are completely different games from their firsts. Reading your review I'd have no idea which this is.
      1. Like Morrus says, who cares?
      2. If you are familiar with the 1st edition you know why there is a 2nd edition (Marc Miller wanted a starter set and 2E worked better for it, go to full color, update the rules, if you're truly not in the know).

      I reviewed Talislanta and you didn't question what edition it is. I reviewed Warhammer and you didn't ask about edition. And I reviewed Dark Sun. No edition question.

      In fact, no one reading my reviews questioned the edition of the game. Until now. Why is that?
    1. Charles Dunwoody -
      I want Traveller to thrive. Whatever edition we play. So does Marc Miller by all indications. Let's make Traveller welcoming for everyone.

      I suggest anyone who wants to review another edition of Traveller to EN World to make a pitch to EN World (see main page for freelancer details). There is room for all Traveller games in the world. Let's spread the word! Play Traveller! It's fun.
    1. Duo Maxwell's Avatar
      Duo Maxwell -
      Character creation was always fun in the previous editions, almost like a fun mini game. You mentioned your character can be seriously injured during the course of their career. Can you outright die like in older versions of the game?
    1. Charles Dunwoody -
      Quote Originally Posted by Duo Maxwell View Post
      Character creation was always fun in the previous editions, almost like a fun mini game. You mentioned your character can be seriously injured during the course of their career. Can you outright die like in older versions of the game?
      I did not come across a rule that kills a character outright in this edition. You can lose an eye or limbs, although modern medicine can offset that to a certain degree.
    1. Tranquilis's Avatar
      Tranquilis -
      In all fairness - and as a general observation - if an article/review/whatever is deemed good enough or important enough to be elevated to the front page news section of Enworld, it needs to be able to withstand a bit of scrutiny.

      I find nitsua60 had some legitimate questions, but the reactions have been... escalated.

      Emissaries should be, well, emissaries.
    1. nitsua60's Avatar
      nitsua60 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Charles Dunwoody View Post
      1. Like Morrus says, who cares?

      2. If you are familiar with the 1st edition you know why there is a 2nd edition (Marc Miller wanted a starter set and 2E worked better for it, go to full color, update the rules, if you're truly not in the know).
      I'm not. I've only played Classic Traveller. That sentence there ^^ I think would have been a good one to have in the original review.

      I reviewed Talislanta and you didn't question what edition it is. I reviewed Warhammer and you didn't ask about edition. And I reviewed Dark Sun. No edition question.

      In fact, no one reading my reviews questioned the edition of the game. Until now. Why is that?
      I don't know why anyone/no one else has done anything. I believe this is the first review of yours that I've read. When I read it I thought to myself "I wonder why there's a second edition--is it a new game or just a minor update?" Seeing a reply button I contributed that in the hopes of improving things. Sorry for taking the time to try and give you useful feedback. I'm signing off.
    1. Vicente's Avatar
      Vicente -
      Quote Originally Posted by nitsua60 View Post
      I don't know why anyone/no one else has done anything. I believe this is the first review of yours that I've read. When I read it I thought to myself "I wonder why there's a second edition--is it a new game or just a minor update?" Seeing a reply button I contributed that in the hopes of improving things. Sorry for taking the time to try and give you useful feedback. I'm signing off.
      You were not giving useful feedback, you were criticizing the review in pretty negative terms, those are two very different things.
    1. Duo Maxwell's Avatar
      Duo Maxwell -
      Is the Starter Set worth getting? I'm thinking of getting it, but has anyone ran the campaign that comes with it?
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