< ^ txtFri Jun 26 09:21:59 EDT 2015 Slept well enough. Sunny at the moment. It won't quite hit eighty today. It's our office picnic today. Goals: Work: - Review invoices Mostly done. I need to contact our rep about an issue on the Bullseye invoice. - Work on disaster plan updates Done. Home: - Fix Comcast bullshit Trying (in both senses of the word). Partially resolved. Awaiting a call from a supervisor for an additional $120 credit. - Work on Traveller character generator Maybe it would be fun to write a twitter bot this weekend.... A very interesting article about Classic Traveller at: http://www.irosf.com/q/zine/article/10119 Quote: The look and feel of CT is internally consistent and somewhat generic, yet still rather difficult to match with a precursor. One would expect a science fiction role-playing game set in a galactic empire to look like Asimov’s Foundation trilogy (1942-50), the granddaddy of all galactic empires, yet CT does not—eschewing Asimov’s atomic ashtrays, blasters, the full-metal planet Trantor, and a stardrive of such speed that a trip from the galactic rim to the core can be done in a honeymoon jaunt. Likewise CT does not look or feel like Frank Herbert’s Dune (1960s ecology SF), or Larry Niven’s “Known Space” (1960s hard SF), or E.E. “Doc” Smith’s “Lensman"(1930s space opera). It might seem strange that an SFRPG based on SF texts would somehow miss all the so-called classics, but the problem is that these classics are mutually exclusive—they cannot blend well together. What the creators of CT were after was science fiction adventure, featuring freelance “adventurers” (with all the connotations of gold hunters, mercenaries, and trail blazers that this term implies) who could live or die in the course of pick-up games. They seem inspired by adventure movies like The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The Wages of Fear, and The Man Who Would Be King; noir movies like Yojimbo and Kiss Me Deadly; “heist” movies like Rififi and Le Cercle Rouge. All of which amounts to the polar opposite of Star Trek (where everyone works together for the government, the government is good, there is a moral code in the “Prime Directive,” and nobody important dies). The amoral (or morally ambiguous) and violent nature of these adventures is attested to by the game’s rules: The key to adventure in Traveller is the patron. When a band of adventurers meets an appropriate patron, they have a person who can give them direction in their activities, and who can reward them for success. . . . A patron will, if he decides to hire a band of adventurers, specify a task or deed to be performed, and then finance reasonable expenses for the pursuit of that task. Some tasks may be ordinary in nature, such as the hiring of guards or escorts; other tasks may be the location and procurement of items of great value (Book 3, Worlds and Adventures, 25). The earliest mini-adventures published in the magazine The Journal of the Travellers' Aid Society followed this pattern: “The Ship in the Lake” (1979) describes a sunken treasure in a war zone; “Planetoid P-4638” (1979) is a job of industrial espionage and covert operations; “Salvage on Sharmun” (1980) offers sunken treasure on a proscribed world. The first double-adventures expanded the range somewhat: “Shadows” and “Annic Nova” (1980) are essentially two “dungeon crawls,” one in an alien pyramid complex, the other in a derelict starship. “Across the Bright Face” and “Mission on Mithril” (1980) are both “wilderness adventures,” one on a hot world, the other on an icy planet. Supplement 6: 76 Patrons (1980), goes much further, providing 60 basic jobs for adventurers. Of these missions, some 10 percent are morally good (three cases of missing persons, one case each of “find a hidden place,” anti-smuggling, and anti-theft) and 20 percent are neutral (bodyguard, ship work, and “guard a place”). The remaining majority of 70 percent are criminal activities, including eight burglaries (five in a Watergate style), four assassinations (two of them political leaders), two cases each of hijacking and kidnapping, and one noteworthy case of global terrorism with a weapon of mass destruction.
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