Playtest Update – Mongoose Traveller 2nd Edition (Public Beta)

The Mongoose Traveller 2nd Edition RPG playtest continues. Sometime in September Mongoose rolled out a “September Revision” for download. I actually didn’t find it until this weekend; after an initial spurt of dedication I rolled back on my playtest efforts. This weekend I “reengaged” a bit.

To Mongoose’s credit, many of my initial issues have already been cleaned up. “Traveller Creation” has been cleaned up with missing parts (like Commission rolls) showing up. For me, the “Skills and Tasks” chapter is the one I focused on before and I am happy to see many of my issues with the Boon & Bane mechanic were addressed. Maybe too well addressed; whereas the first draft used Boon & Bane (too) liberally this draft has the mechanic present, but little guidance on HOW to use it. With Boon & Bane being replaced in many places by die modifiers the “Combat” and “Encounters & Dangers” chapters are cleaner. “Equipment” is equipment; with the release of Central Supply Catalogue (CSC) (in a word document only) lots needs to be cross-checked. “Vehicles” has a dogfight rule which, although great in concept, suffers from total unrealism (both combatants must be within 1 km to initiate a dogfight). I still need to dig deeper in the “Psionics” and “Trade” chapters.

My greatest disappointment remains the “Spacecraft Operations” and “Space Combat” chapters. Without the publication High Guard (coming soon to another word document) for spacecraft there is actually little that can be done. At this point, to do a real playtest of spacecraft combat I must make more-than-a-few assumptions based on what I know of Mongoose Traveller 1st Edition as well as Classic Traveller. In my opinion, this is a MAJOR FOUL for a core book. I strongly believe the CORE RULES should be able to stand on their own – these don’t. I also have doubts as to the marketing strategy for the 2nd Edition, i.e. to be useful a player will have to buy BOTH the 2nd Edition Core Rule Book AND High Guard. Good for Mongoose; bad for my wallet.

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