Blaugust #07: travelling slowly

I’ve been thinking about Traveller again. It’s an intriguing roleplaying system and there’s no denying there’s a lot of crunch there and a great setting, but wow. It is hard work. There’s a lot of rolling on charts and tables — which admittedly I do sometimes enjoy — but I can’t actually imagine playing this with a group of people and it not being slow as molasses. I suppose, like any game, it would get quicker and easier with practise, but I might as well admit it, I’m pretty stuck in my ways at this point.

So I might be regretting my decision to use it for a solitaire game. I could do with a few more characters to round out a crew and character generation is an evening to itself; compared with the quick-and-dirty of Labyrinth Lord or Risus that I’m used to, it’s pretty interminable.

For example, here’s the character I generated in Traveller expressed in Risus:

3363172289_c7c56e7f62_oJane Doe

Clichés: Space pirate (4), Ex-merchant (3), Computer hacker (2), Vehicle driver (1)

Tools of the Trade: Cutlass, autopistol, data pad, 40,000 Credits.

…and she’s ready to play. If I was being really generous under the Risus rules, she could probably have her own (small) trading starship ready to fly, too. Obviously there’s way less detail there, but it did just take two minutes instead of an hour to make a character that could go on to have the exact same adventures — and I am very lazy.

I find in reality I like a system that’s somewhere in the middle; which is why I like Labyrinth Lord (which is basically B/X ed. D&D) so much. It’s got enough rules coverage that you can dig in when you really want to, but it’s not so clinically balanced that you can’t just wing it with a made-up modifier thrown in to smooth over the bumps.

Still, I’m glad I have the Traveller PDFs, because there’s a lot of good stuff in there. I’m just not sure I have the patience to learn it all until it’s comfortable right now!

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