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
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
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.