Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Oh Me Oh My.

So, there's this thing where while I enjoy the Proto-Traveller model, I am also curious about the rest of the CT Oeuvre, and also I am a horribly addictable collector type. So I've laid hands on Scouts and Merchant Prince and am awaiting my copy of Robots. Oh please don't ask what I paid, it's ever so embarrassing.

I didn't like them.

I didn't like Scouts because the whole system is really very tied to the OTU, more so even than High Guard is in some ways. Beyond that, I think I could make it work IMTU but there's no huge need to. The only reason I can see to add it is if I were going to use Mercenary or High Guard. And while that's tempting, Especially for High Guard, it's not yet been tempting enough to make me abandon the ProTU...

But Merchant Prince really took the cake for me. I ran a bunch of characters using the Book 7 system, and each of them - regardless of how long they stayed in - were entirely over-skilled. Six skills after one term. Four and five term character hitting the Int+Edu limit (which was, apparently, instituted for the first time with Merchant Prince, which means they knew there was a problem when they wrote it). That, PLUS a heavy reliance on the OTU, and a trade system not remarkably better than the original book 2 setup.

This-all is one reason I've spent so much time hashing around with adapting Book 2 combat for larger fleet engagements: If I adopted High Guard, I feel like I'd need to take the book 5 CharGen too (no other way to include Fleet&Ship tactics, for one) and then I'd feel obliged to introduce the other advanced CharGen. Which ruins the already weak "Other" category, and also takes the mickey out of Supplement 4. Which, itself, relies on High Guard and Mercenary for balance, since it doesn't make any sense that pirates would have Ship Tactics skill where Navvies do not.



Blogger Omer Golan said...

Mercenary and High Guard chargen isn't overly unbalanced (though you get more skills than in LBB1/S4), but LBB6-7 is problematic in this regard, and LBB7 advancement is annoying (and you have advancement bugs preventing you from becoming a Merchant Captain IIRC). The LBB6 stellar generation tables are flawed, and the LBB7 trade system is kinda bland (no more specific goods; now everything is far more abstract). LBB8 looks cool, could easily be divorced from the OTU,, but the robot creation system is over-complex, a bit broken, and quite annoying to use (I've tried it many times).

So you should either stick to LBB1/S4, buy Mongoose Traveller which has a wide range of careers in the core-book (12 main careers, 3 sub-careers each), or write up expanded chargen for the careers which do not exist in LBBs 4-7 (Other from LBB1 and all the S4 ones).

9:55 AM  
Blogger Festeria said...

Yeah, 4-5 aren't so bad, I agree.

In the end, I'm sticking with LBB1-3, S4 if somebody really insists.

10:33 AM  

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