Traveller: the New Era 1248 and BotA
The past few months have been pretty dry for gaming. Schedules continue to conspire against the “Raiders of the Pter Nuum” BoL campaign, we’ve had a few almost sessions that have been cancelled at the next-to-last minute because of work or other conflicts. It’s enough to drive a guy crazy… To help fill the empty place in my tabletop gaming life I’ve been daydreaming off and on about continuing the Traveller game BB and I were playing last year. This was recently given a big boost by my acquisition of the PDF of Out of the Darkness, the first of four sourcebooks for Comstar Games’s sadly short-lived Traveller: the New Era 1248 (hereafter simply 1248).
I haven’t read the entire PDF yet, but so far I really like what I see. Things are more stable than in the original New Era (from what I understand), but the post-apocalyptic vibe of TNE still lingers. The Fourth Imperium and several other regional power blocs have emerged, and conflict between some of them is inevitable. Vampire fleets and Viral entities are still threats. The Wilds, vast stretches of unreclaimed space, contain lost worlds and pocket empires to be rediscovered. Where to set the action? I’m presently leaning towards the Terran Commonwealth due to its similarity to the homebrewed setting I used in our previous games and the presence of a clear villain in the Solomani Imperium, but I’ll wait until I’ve read the whole book to make a decision.
1248’s system-neutrality is prompting me to undertake a tinkering project I’ve been contemplating for quite some time: a hybrid ruleset that combines bits from MGT (my preferred Traveller edition) and Barbarians of the Aftermath. It’s not really that much of a stretch in my mind, not just because they both have a “2d6 + modifier vs. target number” core mechanic. No, my desire to streamline Traveller’s skill system was the catalyst that led to my discovery of BoL and its variants; the Career system seems a great way to distill a relatively long list of skills in a simple, elegant way that still allows for unique, specialized characters.
More on Origins, Psionics, Starships and other stuff as my tinkering continues.