Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Traveller 5th: Do I Need It?

The news came out today that Traveller 5th ("preliminary") Edition will finally be shipping. I was not among those who pre-ordered, but I'm a card-carrying Traveller Grognard, Junior Grade, and have been following the production cycle of this product with certain interest.

The thing is, now that its here, I don't know how high this is going to be on my list. I've really been enjoying going back as of late and rereading all my Classic Traveller books. There's so much out there I still want to get to and so much I want to find that is rare and tough to come by (legally).

In my eyes, Mongoose Traveller has been a success (and pleasant surprise), at least with the main book. Here we have a product that borrows heavily (and properly) from its legacy, and the result is a cleaned-up RPG with strong links to the past. I have that, I have Traveller 20, and I have a slowly growing patchwork Classic and MegaTraveller collection. In many ways, its more than I need. Yes, I'm a collector when it comes to Traveller--but right now, I have enough work to do with prior editions of the game. And the few houserules I employ in tandem with the basic CT ruleset work pretty well.

In the end, I'm almost certain somewhere along the way I'll end up with a copy of T5. But I don't feel a rush. Much like the Imperium itself, Traveller is so vast that there's plenty to do wherever you may find yourself. And waiting until it isn't "preliminary" any more might turn out to be a good move.

If nothing else, there is one important effect T5's release has had: all FFE CD-ROMs are currently 50% off in celebration of the release.

Is there anyone out there who did preorder Traveller 5th Edition, or plans on picking it up as soon as possible? Any of you out there waiting, or simply not interested? Got another edition of Trav that's doing it for you? Share your thoughts!


Bonemaster said...

Actually, I not sure if you need it. As one of the people who pre-ordered then got slightly screwed on the release, It's hard to say.

Originally, I think the vision was something like, T5 version would be compatible with the Mongoose version. However, after about month two of the delay, they came out and said that this was no longer the case.

Those that pre-ordered were allowed access to a website that had some the alpha and beta documents. Initial, I read these but since I couldn't use them in an actual game, I quickly lost interest. With the massive delays, I'm actually surprised that it got out today at all.

Traveller is a funny thing, I don't think there is an RPG with more versions. Here' my list

-LBB (including the Traveller Book)
-Traveller : The New Era
-Traveller 4
-GURPS : Traveller
-Traveller 20 (T20)
-Hero Traveller (Traveller via the Hero System)

It's funny, I was once asked is what makes Traveller, Traveller? is the system or the setting? The thing is I still don't know and I don't think T5 is going to help me in that manner.

Kiashu said...

I have already got CT and MGT, and even went ahead and ripped off CT for the SixLetterSystem, I don't need to burden myself with someone the authour described as a preliminary release...

Rob Lang said...

Does 'need' really come into it? Surely most RPG purchases are 'want' driven? ;)

BeRKA said...

Rob said it! I have nothing to add...

Zachary The First said...

Indeed, Rob! Ask then, "As far as a want, goes, do I need it?" ;)

I think I might be ok with the multiple versions I have of Traveller now. There's enough GDW/FASA/Game Lords stuff to track down to keep me busy and rich in Trav detail.

And I'm really sketchy on laying out money on any "prelim" product...

Anonymous said...

The only decent version was the original/Traveller Book. It's elegant in design and purpose. The later editions just take advantage of that, adding more complications and unnecessary material. Stick with the original.


Bonemaster said...

OK, I think people are bit to hung up on the "preliminary" context. This CD is mostly what was advertised almost a year ago. This will not mean to be a print book. This was suppose to be the master data from which a print would eventually be published from.

@Zachary - Like all things do what's best for you.

Rob Lang said...

@Zach, Do you consider yourself as a collector? If you do, then you should certainly seek any opportunity to complete your collection. The the objects are purely for practical play uses then perhaps no but a collection... well that's a different thing entirely.

Ah go on, buy it. And, perhaps, when you buy it, go and download something of my blog for free and that will balance out the purchase: you've been both spendthrift and frugal, which balances out to a reasonable monetary policy!

Zachary The First said...

@ Rob: I think that's what I'm struggling with; with Traveller, I do collect, but I don't think I'm a completist. That said, I do think I'm going to let that dog lie for now, and revisit it. No rush, right?

And I'm downloading far more free stuff than I'm buying these days! :)

Thanks for all the comments to this point!