This is Free Trader Beowulf, calling anyone . . . Mayday, Mayday . . . we are under attack . . . main drive is gone . . . turret number one not responding . . . Mayday . . . losing cabin pressure fast . . . calling anyone . . . please help . . . This is Free Trader Beowulf . . . Mayday . . .
In 1977, the first edition of Traveller: Science-Fiction Role-Playing in the Far Future was released to the public. In April 2008, Mongoose Publishing released an updated, more modern version of Classic Traveller (or CT) rules. In 2016, Mongoose Publishing released a second edition of what has become known to Role-Players as Mongoose Traveller (or MgT). It is very likely that MgT has its critics, but it also has its fans. This gaming system is worth buying for three reasons. This system is similar to, and compatible with, the CT rules, the rules are simply written and easy to understand, and it combines several different styles of role-playing into one system, which makes the game a little easier.
The first reason Mongoose Traveller is worth buying is because it is similar to, and compatible with, the Classic Traveller rules. First, the designers included many new features, such as new careers, equipment, and skills, that can make gameplay more exciting. Then, they took existing rules from CT, such as the computer rules, and updated them to match current-generation technology (compared to the 1970s computers that were around when CT was published). Finally, they added rules for vehicle operations and combat, something CT doesn’t have.
The second reason MgT is worth buying are the simple and easy to understand rules themselves. The writers put detailed examples of play with each set of rules, giving players a better idea of how a particular task is performed. Throughout the book, there are numerous cross-references to make finding things easier. It also has clearly written data cards for all mentioned vehicles, starships and small craft, equipment, and weapons.
The third reason MgT is worth buying is the designers combined several different styles of role-playing into one system, which makes the game easier, both for the player(s) and the referee. The skill check format (2D + relevant skill and/or attribute + any relative DMs) is simple and quick. The target number chart goes from simple tasks requiring a die roll of 2 or better to formidable tasks requiring a die roll of 14 or better makes the referee’s job simpler.
Some role-players may believe that MgT is not worth buying. One argument could be that it has no index. While this is a potential problem with a physical copy of the book, if you have the PDF version on Adobe Reader (which, by the way, is cheaper), the program has a search engine that takes the place of the index, thus resolving the issue. Another argument could be that the book has several typos and seems to be missing certain important bit of information such as hull points on starships. While this is true, there is a PDF ‘printer friendly’ version that comes with the standard copy that has the missing information.
In conclusion, Mongoose Traveller is worth buying because it is similar to-and compatible with-the CT rules, the rules are simply written and easy to understand, and it combines several different styles of role-playing into one system, which makes the game easier. Mongoose Traveller is a good buy for new role-players because trying to get hold of older editions of Traveller, like Classic or MegaTraveller, is getting more and more expensive.
N.B. This review was written by my son. He recently purchased MgT, and has been itching to share something to the blog. So I told him to write an essay. His mother approved.