I STILL remember the day back in late 1979 I discovered three Little Black Books (LBB). Since then, I have been a (mostly) loyal Traveller RPG player. The game has gone through many versions from the first (now Classic) Traveller with the latest from original creator Marc Miller called Traveller 5 (T5).
T5 is an interesting beast. Funded through Kickstarter in 2012, the game eventually delivered a beta disk, softcopy, hardcopy, and a revised version 5.09 via softcopy again in 2015. Many people were disappointed in T5.09. Personally, I found it unplayable as a game but a great toolkit for setting creation and worldbuilding. I was not as negative as some and used it to support Mongoose Traveller First Edition and now Cepheus Engine after the Great Mongoose Traveller Debacle.
Marc Miller sent an update to T5 backers this week announcing T5.10. Three Big Black Books (BBB) of about 800 pages of content.
If I am reading the announcement correctly, as an original T5 Kickstarter backer I am going to get an electronic version of T5.10 automatically. If I want to get the physical books for T5.10 I need to back the Kickstarter. The three Big Black Books are going set one back $100. That’s a bit of change….
I’m torn. Marc says the plan is to relase the electronic version in July-August just before physical copies are sent. This means I am really taking that Kickstarter risk – buying the new game relatively sight-unseen.
Then there is the question about the original Kickstarter and whether it’s really finished:
By popular demand, we have committed to producing the Traveller5 Player’s Book: a handy digest-size rules reference tailored for use by Players but without the (primarily) Referee’s rules. We expect to produce a printed version in Spring 2013, but every Backer who orders a Book will receive a link to an Ebook version when it is complete. (T5 Kickstarter Campaign)
It’s 2019 and there has been no Player’s Book. Nor is it mentioned in the new Kickstarter. Spider-sense is tingling….
The Traveller fan boy in me wants to jump in; the more logical side (heavily influenced by Mrs. RMN who has, politely and without nagging, asked me to control my hobby gaming spending) says to be careful – the trons version should be enough. If T5.10 is not easily playable like T5.09 then $100 is a really expensive toolkit. But 800 pages of trons is really tough to read…and I really like imagining the slipcase on my bookshelf and caressing those BBBs in my hands.
I also am in some ways willing to give Marc a pass on the Player’s Book. The sooner T5.09 is put behind the better. Better yet, think of T5.10 as the Player’s Book…and more.
I hope that’s not just wishful thinking.
To be honest, in the past year I have barely touched any RPGs. I went through a very strong hobby boardgame and wargame phase in 2018 and in 2019 I have dialed it back to mostly wargames with a smattering of family boardgames. I am dedicated to playing more games already in my collection and resisting the Cult of the New (CotN) or Fear of Missing Out (FoMO).
Yeah…right. Who am I kidding?
Hey Marc, take my money!