Sunday, May 26, 2019

So Not A Traveller Post

Sorry - but I believe the next game we've got I'll be running a Fantasy Trip game. Probably 3 sessions, so the general plan is:

  • Session 0: Basic overview of The Fantasy Trip, Character generation, and an intro to the world. And they all meet in a tavern...
  • Session 1: Travel to the hamlet where the dungeon, err, mushroom is that the Dwarf mage wants for her client. We may actually start into the dungeon depending on how things go.
  • Session 2: into the (small) dungeon.
Three sessions as at least two of the players will be going to Origins. Last time I went I want to say was Origins 82 in Baltimore. That's where I ended up getting Cosmic Encounter from the original developers and not a whole lot more. On a high school budget!

As this is a more tactical game than some of the gamers are used to, we'll just see how combat goes. What I am hoping is to (1) keep people entertained and (2) let this intro work well enough to play more and longer games. I've added a Trello board that one of the players has access to. What I am hoping for is a shared world.

I've not developed a whole lot on the political, religious or any other aspects. The main thing is that Edge City is a relative metropolis that encompasses multiple races, and anything that can be bought can probably be found here. The intro to the adventure is below the overland map for the game below.


The weary travelers have come to Edge City to seek their fortunes, find lost loved ones, or have started some quest. The caravan that they have travelled with along the Downunder Route has past vast farmlands, strange woods, and they have seen the sound and fury of the East Sea as well as felt the calm ocean winds. They have heard the rumors of political unrest, of villages of witches and fey creatures. The caravan guards have joked about Stubboon as they also wondered about his lost fortunes. As they approach Edge City, they hear of the many various Guilds in the city, from the lofty Wizards Guild to the quiet rumors of the Thief’s Guild. They hear of the many temples, taverns, hostels, theaters that a large city encompasses. They hear of the myriad of races that inhabit, albeit tensely at times, the river-spanning metropolis.

As they crest the last hills, far past the farm lands, they can see the city walls, plumes of smoke from industries. Their journey as part of the caravan is coming to an end. Where will they go next?

Edge City

Edge city is a large, wall-encircled city that spans the F’urth River. There are dozens of small villages in the surrounding areas. Edge City is primarily human, but almost all races are present or have passed through. There is a City Guard that mans the walls and patrols the streets. Pretty much anything may be found in Edge City, for a price.

And the price for entrance is 1 silver. Passports of a sorts are given for visitors, and must have the official stamp. The stamp is good for 1 year. Local residents are generally known by the guard and rarely stopped. The guards are often quite talkative, and will, if asked, direct visitors to various inns and taverns. Some have family running inns outside the city walls, and those are generally a bit cheaper.

Housing ranges from $1 to 1GP/night, usually with breakfast. Dinners are extra.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Edge City Environs

Edge City is on the edge of the continent, straddling the F'urth River. It has an amazing resemblance to Ankh-Morpork as I've got that visitor's guide along with a really nice, large map. I've thrown in a few places that also show up in the various Fantasy Trip adventures, as well as my ancient mapping of Stubboon's Final Stand (which is where another Kickstarter lives, Woodfall, so Ive got a lot of material there. As well as realizing I did not put the name of that little spot there. Next iteration of the map).

I need to get a political narrative of the region, and a bit of the history. I've also been reading the Amazon 'zine I got, so that island is somewhere further off the coast. I do believe I may be bringing in some clandestine Amazons at some point.

But we do have at least some political intrigue: the Barony of the Foothills is in one of the adventures, and Woodfall is a town full of witches and others with no love for the current regime. Humans are the vast majority of people living in the area, but there are some small hamlets for goblins, orcs, halflings, and other groups. The great Edge City boasts a very diverse population, including various trolls that don't want to kill everyone on sight. But those are pretty rare. 

I put some windmills off the coast along the farmlands there. We've the Old Temple, the Temple of Dolosia and a few unnamed towns. I've also got to expand out my gods and goddesses lists. I've got yet another Kickstarter that deals with that from the other side: setting up cults and demons. So I am hoping that the group and I can build up this world. Although I do feel that a lot of the group really does not want to participate in that way, they would rather just bully their way through things it seems. Countering this, of course, we have had games where combat was avoided due to actually talking with the people. And I was pleasantly surprised when one of my Traveller player's came up with his people's name for the mechanical life. 

There is hope. I am may even create a Trello board to see if we can get more world building to happen. This is what is happening in the game we're in right now, DELVE. While the DM is mostly doing random rolls on various tables, we're creating the world. I fear I am not participating as much as a I could but I do tend towards a timid player. So: kettle meet pot :)

TFT: Adventures

As I am fairly certain / hopefully / terrified that I will be running a short session in June (possibly even shorter as two to the potential players are going to Origins) I have been reading over the Fantasy Trip and other fantasy game stuff to come up with some plans. By now readers should know I am one of those compulsive preparers. Fortunately I enjoy world building :)  The choices were for Traveller (continue previous game, new game) or The Fantasy Trip. I think TFT is a much easier sell.

Another option, straight out of the book, is having a naturalist want to hire the group to go on a delve to retrieve some rare mushrooms or other underground flora or fauna. It would smell less than the sewer dungeon! And I think the city map of Ankh-Morpork is perfect for Edge City. And handouts - first time there will be a 1 silver piece entrance fee to get their "passport". I have stamps and booklets, and can make more booklets.

I've played with making a FT style dungeon, a small and fairly simple 2 level dungeon. While one of the players may read this blog, just in case this may not be the final dungeon, nor am I going to put all my notes, to be written, in here. But in just looking over the map, one can see several areas for potential fun.

Last game we actually had a spiked trap, and the lead character did fall & get impaled. Fortunately he was our tank, so was less than half dead. My little half-elf mage would have died from the damage. I've not rolled well when leveling up in that game. Regardless, I want at least one trap in there, not too dangerous as this will relatively low level, starting characters.

In reviewing the existing traps for In The Labyrinth, as well as the far too many other things I've bought over the years, I think I'll just stick with 2 traps, one a nuisance trap early on to let them know to be aware, the other a bit more devious, and potentially dangerous.

Now, the thing about detect traps in this game as that the DM actually does the rolls. Not entirely sure I like that mechanic, so we will have to discuss that as part of session 0. I like rolling dice for my character, not having someone else roll them!

Additionally, the dungeon does need some critters and monsters. Pretty sure there will be the traditional slime or two hanging off the ceiling, a few nuisance critters, and perhaps some other critters that pose more of a threat.

The larger areas map out to the Melee or Wizard playmats - may as well get to use them as well. And I've got some beautiful art / maps from a few other Kickstarters or books or things I've managed to purchase over the years. While I can't cram all that in on this adventure, I also want the players to see this as part of a larger world. So I will need to expand out my little world a bit more. Figure out how to get rumors naturally into the game (this also applies to Traveller: I need to expand out my Pilot's guide to include that pirate supplement I got, along with the Space Patrol. And rumors, oh yes, make the world a larger place than just go here and kill that sort of thing).

I do need to stick a desert someplace there as I just got the desert creatures 'zine, and there are some cool things in there. And an island for the Amazons. Which may map into that Architect book of maps - there is a really nice small island detailed there.

Thursday, May 09, 2019

T5 Kickstarter

Kind of going full circle here: when I found the T5 Kickstarter, I jumped in. It was my very first Kickstarter, and no, the first hit was not free!  That lead me to a bunch of things, including rekindling my interest in gaming again, especially Traveller. So I found my old gaming group, who, after 30 years, were still gaming. I've actually been in touch with a couple of my college gaming buddies, but simply by email for the most part. Sadly this group does not play Traveller much, although there is some interest still.

I've gone ahead & joined the T5.10 release Kickstarter, even though I am pretty certain I'll never play it. For me, Traveller is a 2D6 roll over game, and changing that base mechanic to a multiple dice roll under just seems, well wrong. But there is a lot of stuff in there, and the dice mechanics do make some things have a better granularity for percentages. But honestly, you could do the same thing via a d100 roll if you want to get down the percentage points.

And the cards: we'll see how those look. I can make my own cards that fit my universe, but I am interested in the poker deck of cards.

And speaking of cards: the Fantasy Trip card Deck of Destiny is really going well. I'm in at the I Want It All again - spending more money on the Fantasy Trip than Traveller (well, maybe not: there's been quite a bit for Mongoose Traveller: the Great Rift, Element Class Cruisers, and now the JTAS).

And I may be dungeon mastering a short session in June for TFT. Which means I really need to read the rules a bit more, and see about a short adventure. As I've got that really large map of Ankh-Morpork which is a stand in for my Edge City on my maps, I am thinking a sewer crawl.

The characters, after a long overland journey, are left at the gates of the great Edge City, a bulwark against the invading (hmm, invading what? It is on the eastern edge of the continent at the mouth of a river. Invading Vikings? Orcs? What lives to the east that would be invading every few decades?)

At the gate they are met with the city Guards, who can direct them to a jobs house or some good taverns. They've gotten to know each other a little on the way to the city, so hopefully decide to stick together. One of the guards will mention that unless they can pay for hostels, they can't stay in the city unless they are working or can keep themselves solvent. The will mention that there is some pretty easy money for the next sewer sweep.

The sewers are large, megahex wide natural and manmade caverns beneath the city. It is also part of the natural water system, so is not as bad as it could be. However, bandits and creatures sometimes make their homes there, and sporadically the guards organize a sweep. They hire a lot of newcomers and provide some basic weapons should the players not have their own.

I do need to look at the character generation, and keep them a bit poor to begin with. But at least I should be able to use my fantasy coins in a real game.

I'll have to plan a basic dungeon, or try the random dungeon from the box top. I'll try that this weekend to see if that is a viable plan.

I know I've posted this map before, but I need to look at it again and see where I can place a few other things I've got.

Saturday, May 04, 2019

Traveller Cards

Just throwing these out there for the half dozen people who read this blog...

Making a card sheet. not sure if I should do an image on one side and the info on the other yet. Versions below are trying to put it all on one side.

And May the 4th be with you!

Traveller 5 - a new Kickstarter

For once I am actually on the fence about a Traveller Kickstarter to republish the book, this time in a 3 volume set reminiscent of the original books but just really, really large. While I do like many aspects of T5, I just don't see playing or running it. And $100 for the books (and I'll admit it, should I back it, it will be at the $150 level) seems high. Yet I've spent more than that on the Fantasy Trip stuff. I just feel I am getting more for my money with TFT: the game play is the same as it was, just really nicely updated components. And a lot of components it is indeed!

The rolls so many dice under the target roll just does not suit me for Traveller. I played the 2D6 for years and that is part of the Traveller charm. And the fact that I would be paying again for something I already bought, with no real guarantee that it is actually better this time around (the PDF for the table of contents has spelling issues. It is only 3 pages and I found issues there already) does not help.

I will get the PDF - that is free at least as I did back the last one. I'd rather get the PDF first to be able to see if I want to actually get the hardbacks.

Some of the add-ons I've already got - the book and the, to me, disappointing deck plans. Hence not the owner on board level. The cards are somewhat meh to me. Too generic, not enough of the Traveller vibe. Perhaps I am just too nostalgic for the old days.

For me, the cards would be a lot more useful if they did an entire deck for weapons, and armor, and miscellaneous things. There have been several people who have made weapons cards over the years, and those are very useful. One of the reasons I backed the card game was hoping to get some useful cards that could be used as play aids. Alas, that did not really happen.

I bought the Paladin deck of spells for my D&D game. I don't have a players guide or anything, and spells are one of the more complicated parts of D&D. The cards are a great idea to make it easier to play: I just put out the spells I have in front of me, no need to borrow a books, spend 15 minutes trying to find the spell, and breaking the game flow. The Fantasy Trip's latest kickstarter is going down that path in large part. I don't think the spells are there per se, but weapons, armor and NPCs, beasties and other game things are. So the games should flow a lot easier as well.

For Traveller, it needs to have a nice set of weapons cards that have the image on one side, and the stats and info on the other. I keep thinking I'll get to that (the ones I have from COTI are classic, and my combat is more damage soaking / Mongoose style than Classic). Cards for vacc suits, vehicles, things like that. The world cards are pretty nice.

Actually - I just picked up the few cards I do have, such as the staple gun. Assuming I could figure out combat in T5 (supposedly they have fixed in in 5.10) those would be the cards that would be useful. There just needs to be a much wider range. Heck - just a PDF so we could print it ourselves would be okay. I think there are only about 12 or so weapon cards: there needs to be an entire deck of them.  A smart choice would be to make them 2 sided: 1 side for T5 stats, the other Mongoose or, dare I say it, Classic. But Mongoose would work as it is actually in print, and having dual use cards would be useful I would think.

So maybe I need to get crafty beyond the ID cards I already did, and see about some weapons cards. And vacc suits - after all, we are in space!