I’ve stepped off the curb and am not looking at traffic.

Not really.   But here is the thing.  Mongoose has released Mongoose Traveller 2.0  I’m meh about it.  Some things I like, some things I don’t.  However Mongoose Traveller 1.x was released under the OGL so the basic rules are out their to play with, to include ship, system and animal design.  Granted there are a lot of things missing from the SRD to make it playable game, but I can deal with that.

And Wizards of the Coast has released goodly parts of D&D 5 as OGL.

I think you can see where I’m going.

I’m going to take the best parts of both systems and make the game I’ve wanted to play for a while.

Crunch-wise D&D style combat (or at least based on it), classes trimmed down to basically Fighter, Rogues and “casters”.  The D&D 5 backgrounds, which is where you get your skills from, will be done via the Traveller style career path.  Skills will be a mix of the Traveller SRD and the SRD5, with a little more emphasis on skills than in D&D 5.

Space combat will be vector based.

As far as fluff goes this is what my current though is:
Game is set in about 2020 or so. The NASA EM Drive actually works better than expected, so you can get multiple G of acceleration out of it. While messing about with it NASA found that once you get more than 100 diameters away from a large object (like, say the earth) you can force a jump, that lets you go about a parsec (3.2 light years or so) in about a week. You need to make a bubble of charged hydrogen gas around your ship to prevent it from being crushed in the jump.

Problem is two things.
1) We aren’t alone. Some time in the far past (say 250,000 BC) some elder race dropped by and scarfed up some Homo sapiens, Homo neanderthalensis and some Homo sapiens Denisova. They scattered them about the galaxy for their own reasons. The Elder Race, or Elders, about 200,000 BC or so had their final war, leaving the various types of humans to their own devices. Several branches didn’t fall back a far in to savagery as other and managed to keep a technological society, and was able to claw their way back to the stars, founding a stellar empire. Which leads us to the second problem

2) Multiple uses of Jump space attracted the attention of, well, Lovecraft’s worse nightmare. They awoke, and sent a wave of, well something, out from the places that were space/time was weakened by jump drives. As this wave of cosmic energy washed over planets, things changed. Magic started to work. Monsters aroused.

The Imperium has had 10,000 years or so to get used to this. It’s a natural part of their view of the universe now.

Earth, on the other hand, not so much with getting used to it.

Players will have the option of playing an Earth human, dealing with the fact that some of your friends now look like Legolas, Gimli or Frodo and that there seems to be, well, things, in the sewers. And dragons in most mountain ranges. Think “Blade runner” meets “Lord of the Rings“, with a side order of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer“.

Or they can play citizens of the Imperium out doing their thing, you know, trade, exploration, a war here and there and killing vampires.

The fact that the leaked energy from Cthulhu back yard is come from jumps isn’t known, not even to the Imperium.

Edge of Imperial Space:

I’m putting this project on hold, as I really don’t want to act as a spoiler.

As long as Mongoose keeps their “Book 0” as a free download on RPG Now, there isn’t really a reason to do Edge as such.  If and when Book 0 comes off the free list or Mongoose loses it’s license to make Traveller games, the making the SRD into a playable game (like Pathfinder did with the 3.5 D&D SRD will happen.)



Edge of Imperial Space. Ranges

Between the main Traveller SRD and the vehicle hand book SRD we can find the following for range data

Personal Less than 1.5 meters
Close 1.5 to 3 meters
Short 3 to 12 meters
Medium 12 to 50 meters
Long 51 metres to 250 meters
Very Long 251 meters to 500 meters
Distant 501–5,000 meters
Very Distant 5,001–25,000 meters
Extreme 25,001–50,000 meters
Continental 50–500 kilometers
Orbital 501+ kilometers

Great. For a normal RPG things would have ranges given in terms of those range band. But

This Is Traveller!!!

[kick into the pit…]

So, no, ranges aren’t given that way. Ranges are given, for things other than vehicles weapons any way as Natural Attack,Melee (small blade),Melee(large blade),Thrown,Pistol,Shotgun,Assault Weapon,Rifle,Rocket. These range names are taken from various weapons in the Mercenary SRD. Of these, the only one we really have any number on is thrown, from the Mercenary SRD we can find this:

Parabolic Weapon Ranges

Weapon Type Personal Close Short Medium Long Very Long Distant
Thrown Out of
–1 –2 –3 Out of
Out of
Out of
Launcher Out of
Out of
Out of
–2 –3 Out of
Out of
Artillery Out of
Out of
Out of
Out of
+0 +0 –1

So what does this tell us? Other than the ranges for artillery are not based on any thing like reality in the Mercenary SRD? (A topic of another rant). Not much, other than giving use the DM’s for thrown weapons.

Now, of course, I have both dead tree and PDF version of the Traveller Main Book, so I could look them up. But…. That’s cheating. So, let’s look at some OGL options. First thing what other things are out there? Well, there is “Hyperlite: The Sirius Treaty” and there is “Worlds Apart”. Hyperlite would be the ideal source, but, despite having a copy of the OGL in their document, they don’t declare what is or isn’t Open Game Content. Bad! No cookie for you Tim Bancroft! Worlds Apart, on the other hand has this wonderful statement

All text in this work is Open Game Content, excepting the name Worlds Apart, company names, logos, artwork, and the author and artist names.

OK. From the Mercenary SRD we know that bows are either Assault Weapons or Rifles for range reasons, with the TL 1 versions being Assault weapons, the others being Rifles.

So, let’s see what bow range DM we can get.

Name Close Short Medium Long Far
Longbow -1 +0 +0 -1 -2
Shortbow -1 +0. +0 -1 N/A

Mike Cheats, looks at TMB… Fairly close, but not really.  Plus the range bands don’t really mean the same thing.   cheats some more, looks at Hyperlite Damn, even if I get a OGC statement worth having, it’s not the same either.  So, it looks like Edge is going to have it’s own range table, based on what I think are rational ranges for weapons.

So, according to the Worldwide Equipment Guide, Vol 1, Ground systems, a British .303 Cal Rifle Lee-Enfield has an effective range of 500 meters.  We will call that Rifle range.

A Russian 7.62-mm Assault Rifle AK-47/AKM has an effective range of 300 meters.  That’s sort of the default assault weapon.

The definition of effective range is “effective range – maximum range at which a weapon may be expected to achieve a high single-shot probability of hit (50%)”

So, in game terms, that means either a 7+ or 8+ to hit at those ranges.   I’m going to assume level 0 skill with the weapon, and tend toward the miss more than hit more side of the options.

So based on that data and needing to get a 8+ to hit, assuming level 0 and standard level of dexterity, we get something like this:

Weapon Type Personal Close Short Medium Long Very Long Distant
Pistol -2 0 0 -2 -4 NO NO
Shotgun -2 0 0 0 -4 NO NO
Assault Weapon -3 -1 0 0 -1 -2 -6
Rifle  NO  -1 0 0 0 -1 -2
Rocket NO NO 0 0 o 0 -2

Current version here:Edge Of Imperial Space

I have too many on going projects

That are all at about 33% to 50% complete. I need to choose one and finish it.

I think that I’m going to make finishing the basic rules for “Edge of Imperial Space” my primary project, then tie the rest of them to it and Traveller. This also means, alas, that I’m going to have to give up the Foreven License for a lot of stuff. Which means I’m going to need to come up with a back story that is the 3I back story with enough of the serial numbers filed off that it’s not really the 3rd Imperium any more.

Edge of Imperial Space – Pt III

I just noticed another major missing table in the Mongoose Traveller SRD.  The DM due to range based on weapon type.  Actually weapons in general are sort of missing in the MgT SRD, but a lot of them are back filled in the Mercenary and Vehicle SRD  files, so coming up with stats is going to be not as hard as it could be.

This, actually, is good.  One of the things I have issues with Mongoose Traveller is weapon range and it’s anti-armor system, so doing a re-write isn’t an issue.  Among other things, there needs to be a “Sub-machine gun” range between “Pistol” and “Assault Weapon”

I’m looking at the following weapon types

  • Melee weapon, short.  This would include natural weapons and any hand held weapon under 30cm in length. Uses the Melee (short) skill
  • Melee weapon, long.  This would be hand held melee weapons between 31cm and 1.5 meters or so.  Uses the Melee (long) skill
  • Pole arm.  Melee weapons over 1.5 meters.  Uses the Melee (pole arm) skill
  • Pistol.  Projectile weapon made to be used at short range and held in one hand.  Uses Gun Combat(short arm) skill
  • Shotgun. Projectile weapon made to fire multiple projectiles at one time.  Normally held by both hands.  Uses Gun Combat(long arm) skill
  • Sub-machine Gun.  Projectile weapon that fires the same ammunition as a pistol but has a longer barrel and is designed to be held by both hands.  Normally full auto. Uses Gun Combat(short arm) OR Gun Combat(long arm) skill
  • Assault Weapon.  A projectile weapon firing a round heavier than a pistol round, but not as powerful as a full rifle round.  Modern example would be a AR-15 or AK class weapon.  Can have the option of automatic fire.  Uses the Gun Combat(long arm) skill
  • Rifle.  A ‘Full caliber’ weapon firing a heavy high speed round.  Normally does not have an option of automatic fire.  Uses the Gun Combat(long arm) skill
  • Heavy Weapon.  A weapon designed to be fired from a bipod or tripod.  Full machine guns as an example.  Uses the Heavy Weapon (portable) skill

Weapons will have, in addition to what class they belong to DM’s based on their design and maximum ranges based on their ammo.


Edge of Imperial Space Pt. II

Damn.  Not going to be possible for it to just be a re done version of the SRD.  There isn’t “how to roll stats” and the characteristic DM chart isn’t given.

However…  The stat names ARE given, and under Aliens you are told that large creatures roll 3d6 for strength and endurance and 1d6 for dexterity.  Also small creatures are given 1d6 on strength & endurance plus 3d6 on dexterity.  From this it can be determined that the base role is 2d6 for creatures other than large or small.  This is further expanded by noting that animals Instinct and Pack are rolled on 2d6, so an assumption of 2d6 per stat is reasonable.

Now we need to come up with exactly how to roll those dice.  Options would include

  • 2d6 straight down
  • 3d6, use the higher 2
  • A pool of dice
  • 1d6+a number per stat
  • a point buy system

I’ve got fondness for the pool of dice theory and I am basing it on the autofire system given in the SRD.

So, that means that for generating stats in Edge of Imperial space the rule is:

Roll 12d6,  arrange in groups of 2, assign to the stats

The DM chart is a bit trickier to back fill, however by looking over the robots and drones section I find the following

Score Mod
0 -3
1  -2 assumed
2 -2
3  -1
4  -1 not given but has to be.
5  -1
6  +0
7  +0
8  +0
9  +1
10 +1
11  +1 assumed
12  +2
13  +2 assumed
14  +2 assumed
15  +3

My assumed are based on table symmetry and +/- 3 being as good or as bad possible.

So, part one, how to roll up characters and what the meanings of the various scores mean can be, if not taken from the SRD directly sussed out of it.

I’m going to keep uploading various versions of EoIS as I finish parts

Edge Of Imperial Space

Edge of Imperial Space

In the Facebook “Traveller” group, I started a rant about 3rd party publishers and not following the Open Game License right.  A point got raised in the following discussion about the fact that you really can’t play Traveller just out of the SRD.

I don’t think this is the case, so I’ve added a new project to my list of projects, “Edge of Imperial Space”.  This is going to be an 100% open game content version of Traveller, taken, as much as possible from the SRD.

First part will be the player’s handbook analog.