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Ian Cooper and Classic Traveller

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Hello @Ian Cooper,

I listened to your interview on the Grognard Files yesterday. Thanks, I really enjoyed it!

One thing caught my attention:

You mentioned that when your group first played Traveller (your first RPG!) you had a great time rolling up characters... and then didn't quite know what you were supposed to do with the game. 

But then, after playing games like Call of Cthulhu and others, you were able to go back and play it successfully.

Could you list some of the qualities, tools, techniques that you brought to Classic Traveller that let you play it on your second go-around? I'd really like to hear about this!


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Was there ultimately a reply?

My $0.02 would be that it would have been nice to have more generic traveller-style background development tables for players in RQG, and then have CAMPAIGN BOOKS for the regions that then offered detailed chronologies for the various relevant cultures.

Honestly, among the other to-do's that are on my list if I were to adopt RQG wholeheartedly, would be to make Traveller-style background tables for the backgrounds in RQG, plus maybe some more.  (No, unlike LBB traveller, you couldn't DIE).

While I like the concept, I found the way RQG presented history gen was not terribly satisfying (TBH I thought it was a bit-off-more-than-can-be-chewed moment; to try to parse the span of events of -arguably- THE MOST INTERESTING BIT OF GLORANTHA into a unified set of tables might have been a little...ambitious.  It was either going to sacrifice characters on the altar of a more-or-less linear timeline, or sacrifice the timeline to really be dynamically interesting).

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I can't speak for Cooper but I can testify that the original setting for Classic Traveller was very generic.  Sure, there was an Imperium out there somewhere that justified PCs possessing their service skills and maybe a used Honda Civic of a spaceship -- but it was far off and very decentralized and the adventurers were quite on their own.  There was no Prime Directive to restrain them and no Starfleet Command to protect them.  The local space warlord had a much bigger influence on their fortunes than some emperor dozens or hundreds of parsecs away.

What we think of today as the Official Traveller Universe evolved gradually as GDW published the Spinward Marches maps, the various alien modules, and assorted Journal of the Travellers' Aid Society articles.  By the time we got to MegaTraveller suddenly fun bits intended to spur a GM's imagination and maybe save him some work were locked into canon as official history.

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