Blog Archives


The Traveller role playing game is named Traveller because characters tend to be people at loose ends bumming around the galaxy. Large chunks of the game mechanics revolve around the mechanisms of, well, travelling — including how to pay for all that travel. Unless a character is lucky enough to get drafted into a service […]

The question of just what sort of game Classic Traveller really was at the beginning is among the greatest mysteries of gaming. Mind you, that’d be Traveller without the Third Imperium. Without the big ships of High Guard or the grav tank design sequences of Striker. Traveller without “advanced” character generation. Without the Spinward Marches. […]

In two posts I’ve outlined my Classic Traveller setting: first by rolling up an entirely random subsector and secondly by musing on the nature of one of the polities with a focus on its capital and its location within the polity it leads. The capital of the Empire of Reason is the Ladfaus system which […]

This is a game I’ve wanted to play for a long time: Traveller with just the original three little black books. Decoupled from the ponderous rules and “official” setting material that accrued steadily through subsequent releases and editions. I rolled up a character while the other players got into a scuffle at a psionics institute. […]

In my last post I was gearing up for a Classic Traveller Campaign by rolling up a Subsector and trusting to the fate of the dice. In that post I defined the basic layout of the Subsector Narzenia and the polities within it. Now, I focus a bit more on the largest political grouping in the […]

Space Opera seems to be in the air these days. And, I gues I’m not immune. I’ve been talked into it. It being running a Classic Traveller game. Which is the original and first Space Opera role playing game. The wrinkle we are taking is to play Proto-Traveller (term coined by this blog’s el jeffe […]

This show is just pure Traveller. And I don’t mean that it’s like the relatively obscure pulp sci-fi inspirations of the old game. No, this doesn’t feel like a battered old Dumarest of Terra paperback– there are no knife fights, no human cattle in low berth, no cybernetic commie infiltrators, no pacifistic space church. It’s […]

Bradford Walker continues to school the internet on the more obscure sources of the classic BattleTech game: In terms of BattleMechs, you really only get the Locust, so where the Crushers really come in is with the AeroTech and ground vehicle supplementary rules for the game. The primary Lance-scale Dropship is the Joe’s starship. The […]

In 1969, the pulp ethos was still alive and well. In this fourth volume of the Dumarest series which came out in that year, our hero finds himself on Logis. This civilized world has an institution called the “Bloodtime”, a three day period in which all laws are suspended. Pandemonium naturally ensues as people pay […]

This book has pretty much everything: transparent aluminum from Star Trek IV, space boots from Star Trek VI, ATVs from classic Traveller, a Hunter straight out of Supplement 4: Citizens of the Imperium, stellar maps from Starfire, and (most importantly) slide rules. Even better, there’s a solid reason for people having to use them out in […]

There are lots of ways to slice and dice the history of RPGs, and people like Sandy Antunes have written some incredible histories of the founding of the era.  Me, I’m a game designer.  I write rules.  Writing rules for games is one of the weirdest kinds of writing to contemplate, because it’s a combination […]

It’s hard to imagine, but the year 1968 might as well be ancient history now. Sure, it seems like just the other day that the Beatles were releasing “Hey Jude”, a song written to cheer up Julian Lennon in the aftermath of his parents’ divorce. In that same year, New Zealand reporter Peter Arnett quoted an […]