Saturday, July 24, 2010

Back to Gaming

It's been a very long time since I last posted in my blog. Work and real-worldly concerns finally caught up with me and I've had all I could to prevent me from updating my posts here. So far, things have eased up a little bit to allow a bit of gaming back in my life.

My Mutant Future game is on hold for the moment. A combination of lack of time and scheduling problems compounded by umpire burnout sort of doomed this game of mine to the archives for the moment.

What I've been playing lately is my other great old school rpg love: Classic Traveller. So far, I've been very lucky to be able to get a few Saturdays off in order to get a Traveller game running with a semblance of regularity. I also take my hat off to my players for being really patient and so willing to give my first SFRPG love a try. I've been running and playing games in the Traveller universe on an off since 1981 under a series of different game systems spanning the original Little Black Book (LBB) set from GDW, to the latest incarnation in GURPS 2nd edition. What I haven't done yet was to take Mongoose's Traveller version for a spin, even if I managed to buy a copy of the rulebook on PDF.

So far, I managed to walk my players through the basics of classic traveller after running them a pre-made adventure by GDW called Night of Conquest.

Traveller, in its earliest incarnation (being the 1977 version) consisted of three basic little black books. One for character generation and combat (unsurprisingly entitled Characters and Combat), one for space craft and space combat (entitled Starships - rather essential to a space operatic SF game) and a third one dealing with planets, systems, equipment and other rules (entitled Worlds and Adventure). Re-reading my dog-earned version of these rules (which are also referred to collectively as Classic Traveller or CT) just drove the point home to me how much these were more of a SF gaming toolkit which, when properly used, would allow an enterprising gaming group to create their own SF space opera game.

Without going into an extensive discussion of the influences of CT, the best way I found to describe the feel and nature of a Traveller game in more contemporary terms would be to say that playing in it would be more akin to Firefly or the remake of Battlestar Galactica rather than Star Wars (particularly the later Episodes One to Three).

The game does show its 1960s SF roots and the tech level of the seventies - what with an emphasis on safetech and the liberal persistence of slug throwers (ie. Bullet Firing Guns) in an age of faster than light drive and galactic-scale empires. Somehow, this has always resonated powerfully with me - or maybe it's just my advancing age showing through.

I do hope and expect to get more gaming and blogging in the next few weeks, what with the ever-present excigiencies of life always hanging above up there... While I have been following a lot of the posts of my friends and fellow gaming bloggers out there, I'd be lying if I didn't admit to wishing I had more available time to post and stay in touch with those in our great gaming community.

In any case, here's to more and fun gaming. We can always use more of this in our lives. :)


  1. @Timeshadows - yes, our return to classic traveller appears to be turning out to be a blast! thanks.:)

    @Bill - Great to be back. Hope you're doing well buddy. :)