Episode 89: Unchained Unicorn

This month, Mike and Roger rebuild the world, and chat with friend of the show Dr Bob about Astronautilus Productions.

We mentioned:

MegaTraveller, Traveller the New Era (both until 4 May) and Star Trek Adventures (until 11 May) at the Bundle of Holding, GURPS After the End, the cut-and-shut starship, the real HMS Zubian, GURPS Infinite Worlds, Benjamin Bathurst, Sliders, Brooke of Sarawak, Godbound RPG, Books by Tom Holt, Astronautilus Productions, Blue Planet, Traveller 2300/2300 AD, Cherryh’s Alliance/Union universe, and The Expanse RPG,

Here’s our tip jar.

Music by Kevin MacLeod at incompetech.com.


Sir Richard Francis Burton of practically everywhere.

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Supposedly somewhere in my family tree, but in a profoundly undocumented way and I’m not at all sure I believe it.

Actually, there were two canonical Traveller: The New Era campaigns. The one centered on Regina was the Regency, which was basically an Imperial remnant that decided to be a little more personally involved in the well-being of its member worlds, openly embrace psionics, and lock its borders. The Reformation Coalition was at the other end of the old Imperium and was the one into smash and grabs out in the Virus-infested wild lands. They were also being helped by the Hivers, and some people were less than happy with that situation.

And both Megatraveller and Star Trek: The Next Generation were products of the late eighties, not the late 90s. (1987-1994 for TNG, 1o87-1991 for Megatraveller, 1993-1995 for TNE).

Huh. I remembered it as later. Clearly I need to read this stuff again. Thanks!

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I really enjoyed you two discussing Traveller. If a suitable topic presents itself, I’d love to hear more.

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I think the problem (with hindsight) was that TNE and MT introduced two different things at the same time and in the same bundle: setting and system.
If GDW/DG had introduced a revised Traveller system, then it would have received a different response. Now I think MT was a major improvement of CT, and would probably have been well received, as indeed the system was. TNE, IMHO, was a crap system and would have been received poorly.
They then could have launched the Civil War storyline, and stated that it was statted up for the new system but refs could decide. In other words, the explicit choice that GURPS Traveller made could have been made earlier.
Ditto TNE… which whilst it struck me as far too fast a collapse and recovery for an interstellar setting (just adjust the timescale of the collapse), was quite interesting when separated from the rather poor system.

I would also suggest that if you have a history in place with period of Long Nights and the “rediscovery of what was lost” as the Known Space setting for Traveller already had, then setting it in the past, or the very far future, or (as Mongoose has in the Starter Set) a very long way away, is a better option.

I liked the Civil War, and after I got over the pain of Hard Times I started to grok the idea of a post collapse and recovering Splintered Imperium… then they effed it up with TNE…