Sometimes I don’t know what’s going on in the minds of the people working at Mongoose. Recently they released the digital version of a Starter Set for their 2nd Edition Traveller game – or as they call it “New Traveller”. There will be a boxed set in the near future. So far, so good. Unfortunately this starter set sets you back $39.99 for the PDF version, and I don’t really want to know what the printed version will cost.
Starter Sets are made to get new players interested in a game. They are usually inexpensive and include simplified rules for newbie players and GMs alike. Especially FFG has released a couple of great Star Wars Starter Sets which provided you with a lot of bang for your buck. Wizards of the Coast has done so as well with their D&D Starter Sets.
To Mongoose’s credit I have to mention that their Starter Set basically includes the complete Core Rules. It’s not simplified or restricted in any way. BUT in my opinion this defeats the purpose of a starter set. Their core rules book is sold at their website for £35.99 which is about $46. If the upcoming boxed set is similarly priced, it will cost about $60. Wow, that’s a lot of dough.
In my opinion a Traveller Starter Set should consist of a boxed set including dice, a couple of pregenerated characters, simplified rules in small booklets (reminiscent of the LBBs), perhaps a map of the Spinward Marches and a couple of deckplans. And all this should be sold for a more reasonable price.
What are your thoughts on Mongoose’s latest Traveller product? Do you think it was the right move or another bad decision? Please share your thoughts below.
If you are a fan of science fiction roleplaying games, then you probably know of Marc Miller. Back in the late 1970s he designed Traveller, which is without doubt one of the most well-loved scifi games out there. Last year I got in touch with Mr. Miller and asked him if he was interested in answering a couple of questions for our readers and luckily he agreed.
I have done quite a few interviews with game designers in the past, but this time it was special. As some of you may know, Traveller was the first roleplaying game I bought, and even though I played it less often than I wished, it always had a special place in my heart.
Just recently I started to read up on the history of Traveller, its ups and downs, and I also started collecting Traveller material (in print and PDF). But I still didn’t know much about its creator, his ideas and his dreams for the future of the game. So when I had the chance to ask for an interview I immediately grasped the opportunity. But I digress. Without further ado, here are our questions and his answers:
Stargazer: Let’s start at the beginning. Could you please tell us about how you got into roleplaying games in general? What was the first game you played and what made you want to write your own?
Marc Miller: When Dungeons & Dragons came out, I was a wargame designer. In a sense, the fantasy role-playing idea was new, but in another sense, it was a familiar concept. I had done political role-playing exercises in college: model UN and model Organization of American States, and some campaign simulations.
Continue reading Interview with Marc Miller
Recently Tristran Zimmermann got in touch with me and let me know about his awesome new Kickstarter project: “Archive: Historical People, Places, and Events for RPGs”. The book is already written, laid out and ready to print, they are basically looking for money to fund a first print-run.
So what is Archive all about? As the name implies it’s a sourcebook for the real world, it’s places, important persons, its history. You can use it to do some research for your game set in the real world or read it as a history book. By the way, it’s a follow-up of a book he kickstarted five years ago: “The GM’s Real-World Reference“, which is available on DriveThruRPG right now. So if you are intrigued by Archive, I recommend checking it out as well.
Of course it doesn’t cover everything, but it’s a collection of articles on various persons, places and events in real-world history. In the pages of Archive you find information on the Dartmoor, the Jakarta slums, the Hinterkaifeck Murders, and Omar al-Bashir, just to name a few. I had the chance to look at an advance copy and it looks just awesome! Each article not only gives you dry facts, but also provides you with tips on how to use the event, person, or place in question in your game. The book’s layout is simple, clean and spiced up with some gorgeous photos.
If you’re a history buff, or someone running a game set in the modern world (or its history), you definitely should check Tristran’s Kickstarter out!