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Monday 7 December 2015

When Two Things You Like Are Blended Together...

...and you're just not sure.

I mean, I love chocolate, and bacon, but not totally sure about chocolate with bacon.    But it MIGHT be good, if made the right way.

Anyways, that's the dilemma faced in the Roleplaying world with the announcement of this:

Yes, that's Mindjammer, the awesome transhumanist space opera setting by Sarah Newton being combined with Traveller, the old-school hard sci-fi RPG.  It's part of a big kickstarter event going down for Mindjammer.

Now in theory, this should be great.  Some Trav fans might find little use for it if they're big-time Imperium fans, but in my own case of all the Trav campaigns I've ever run only two have been set in the Imperium (including the totally nutty one I'm currently running).

But I can't be quite sure. Traveller's system works really great for a certain tech level; go too low or too high and then it still works but not quite as great.  And what TL would the Commonality be anyways? Certainly way higher than the Imperium.

And then there's all the sci-fi stuff that has come down the tube in the last 40 years that Traveller never had to deal with because it could just flash its "geezer" card.  There isn't even a good way to handle cyberspace in Traveller, much less stuff like the personality-warping shit (or indeed, society-warping shit) you see in the Transhumanist setting of Mindjammer.

I guess it's just like chocolate and bacon: whether it'll be any good or not will depend a lot on how its put together.


Currently Smoking: Blatter Diplomat + C&D's Crowley's Best


  1. Not sure either. This should be a no-brainer for me as I really like the Mindjammer setting and I just can't stand FATE as a system. But I'm not sure Traveller is the best possible choice here.

    1. As much as I don't particularly gel with Snead's politics, he's a pretty good game designer. So I do have some confidence in the project.

  2. Thanks very much for the shout-out, Pundit! As a long-term Traveller fan myself, I'm really excited by the prospect of using the 2nd ed Mongoose Traveller rules to play in the Commonality. It's going to be a very different experience from playing Mindjammer with Fate - and you're right of course that it'll also be very different from playing Traveller in the Imperium. I'm working very closely with John Snead to ensure we get this right - memetic combat, culture conflict, the Mindscape, sentient starship characters, technopsi, and the whole "going post" transhuman part of the setting have to be done just right. We're also porting Mindjammer's take on worlds, star systems, and stellar bodies into the Traveller rules, as well as cultures and organisations, exofauna, exointelligences, and so on, as well as providing a whole new subsector for conflict, missions, and exploration. It's going to be a packed 288-pages.

    Regarding tech level, the Commonality runs from TL16 through to 21 in the Core Worlds around Manhome. Out on the Fringe, of course, it can be a *lot* less, meaning you should be able to find the sweet spot for your players and your game.




  3. Well, I'll be very curious how this turns out. If it ends up in a Print edition, feel free to send me a review copy.