Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog

Microgames, Monster Games, and Role Playing Games

A First Look at Traveller-5’s Core Rules, CD-Rom, and Dice…

I knew this would be big. But it really hadn’t sunk in that this thing would be as big as three GURPS 4e hardbacks… or four 3e GURPS perfect bound books. This thing is just massive. Flipping to the “Absent Friends” page, I nearly teared up. I was very pleased to see classic William H. Keith drawings. And… was that a Liz Danforth picture I saw?! Yep. Right there on page 62…!

I admit, my expectations were not high. I’d seen bits of the earliest playtest drafts and was sort of expecting a rehash of T4. And that table of contents that was floating around towards the end of the Kickstarter– that thing really had me scratching my head. (Not to mention all those vocal “fans” that were savaging it.) But now that I have it in my hands… I have to say, this really came together. Yeah, everything is overdone and cranked up… it’s a sprawling “kitchen sink” monster game. But it maintains that clean, understated tone of the original three books through out.

Just at first glance, this really does seem to be a credible attempt to take the original classic Traveller rules to the fifth power. For instance, you get a classic polyhedral world map projections for every single size code. And the many system level map forms that you get here are just beautiful. There are things in here I didn’t know I wanted. And the various design sequences that sounded so chintzy at first… they actually look worth looking at.

In all my years of playing Traveller, I have never heard of a serious referee that just stuck to a single system. It seems like most people glom pieces from every single edition together  to get the exact version of the game that they want. These are some of the… uh… most discerning gamers in the hobby.

For me… right now… the world mapping stuff is being immediately dropped into my game. This is the sort of thing that the other editions never quite touched… and this strikes me as being everything that should have ever been done on this particular topic. And all those forms…. No matter what edition you play, they make great handouts. They are just right on that intersection point where useful gaming data meets believable props.

And while I don’t quite expect T5’s system to really be able to compete with GURPS or any of the D&D flavored systems out there (there’s a reason why the line went over to GURPS Traveller and T20 in previous decades), there is something to be said for having Traveller be its own thing. Still, I am looking forward to digging into this…!


4 responses to “A First Look at Traveller-5’s Core Rules, CD-Rom, and Dice…

  1. Charlie Warren June 19, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    I have to admit that I was worried this would be a warmed over T4 but it looks pretty amazing to me!

  2. Ben September 5, 2013 at 5:13 am

    What exactly are the contents of the CD-ROM ?

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