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Topics - Pierce Inverarity

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 7
A message from the man:

December 7, 2008.

I am pleased (excited/ relieved) to be able, at long last, to announce shipment of the “preliminary” edition of Traveller5, to be followed shortly thereafter by posting to the forum of files to match.

I confess that I did not fully grasp the magnitude of the task when I announced this project exactly one year ago. I expected that the texts I had on hand were near completion, only to find that they needed work. But more than that, with every two steps forward, there seemed to be a step sidewise, calling for adjusting and adding materials that each completed chapter called for.

But this is not the end of the project, it’s more like the end of the beginning: the core mechanics are solid; a foundation has been laid, and many of the twists and turns are in place. But this project is NOT done. There’s more to come in 2009; I have high expectations for what we’ll be able make available in the coming year. The current CDROM has hints of things never before seen in the Official Traveller Universe, and that will continue to unfold with the development of T5.

The T5 CDROM will ship during the coming week (December 8 through 12) with all orders being shipped by Dec 12.

I want to say that your patience over this last twelve months has been gratifying, and you’ll find the materials on this CD ROM worth the wait.


Marc Miller


We’re also having a CD ROM sale over the next week:


And, finally, here’s a Table of Contents for the CDROM (just to whet your appetite).




      Title Page

      Publication Data Page

      Traditional Table of Contents




      Absent Friends




      Traveller Is About Travel

      A Brief History of the Universe

      How The Universe Works

      The Foundations of Traveller



      The Ton

      Ranges and Distances





      Brief Skills Knowledges Talents


      Reading List




      Character Generation



      Tasks and Task Resolution


      Using The Senses

      Resolving Personal Interactions

      The QREBS Quality System



      The Traveller Combat System




      Combat Details




      How Jump Works

      Starship Design

      Starship Combat



      Sectors and Subsectors

      Creating Stars and Worlds






      Trade and Commerce





1. That's a lot of books.

2. 4E engagement: minimal.

3. Sooo... everything's fine and dandy, but meanwhile they've been bought by a computer game company???

First WW, now this. I guess the recession is truly upon is.

4 one of those By-Gamers-for-Gamers imprints that produce material for Labyrinth Lord and OSRIC, i.e. for BD&D and AD&D 1E.

I know, I know... but some of their stuff actually sounds very promising.

1. "Larm" is essentially a Village of Hommlet for LL/BD&D.

Somewhere (on Settembrini's forum?) the author posted an image of a page or two. The layout and interior artwork look like they're professional grade. NOT your 12-point Times Roman slapdash job.

2. "Kids, Castles & Caves"

This would seem to be BD&D for actual kids, i.e. ten-year-olds. Again no preview, but again it sounds promising. I'm tempted to get this for my niece.

So... does anybody actually own BHP products, and what are people's thoughts?


HARP is essentially Rolemaster Lite. Okay, Rolemaster Medium. HARP Sci-Fi is its scifi (or is that skiffy, David?) iteration.

So... is it a good iteration? I do like HARP but, not having read Spacemaster, I've no idea what a scifi version might look like.

Apparently, it has a setting. From the blurb it sounds bog standard. Does it have redeeming features? Cool aliens? Great art?

And what's up with the fact that the only print edition available so far is a GenCon rush job? Shouldn't the "real" print run be out by now?

Also, is the PDF only sold on the website? If so, not a good idea.

I'm looking to buy some mid-80s Citadel miniatures. Is there an online store that specializes in this kind of thing? Noble Knight doesn't even list them in his catalogue.


So... I guess that means it's actually going to happen.

It being the third edition of Twilight 2000.

Does anyone have any details? ISTR it was going to have a dice pool system (enh), but that may well have changed.

Yes, the website is a bit amateur, but the guy always came across as articulate and dedicated.

So what else is new?

Well, this one promises to leapfrog over the boring right into the territory of the bizarre:

Trigee Enterprises Co. DBA Gygax Games and Mongoose Publishing are proud to announce their agreement for the publication of Lejendary Adventure a multi-genre role playing game system by Gary Gygax, the father of tabletop role-playing games.

The relaunch of the Lejendary Adventure multi-genre role playing game system will include the newly edited core rule books Lejendary Rules For All Players, Lejend Master's Lore and Beasts of Lejend. The system is rules-light, skill based and features richly detailed world settings.

New world environments written and created by Gary Gygax and never before published material will follow, along with new adventures written by a team of writers dedicated to surprise and entertain the avid gamer.

Gail Gygax of Gygax Games, based in Lake Geneva, Wis., leads a team of talented and dedicated "Gygaxian" developers to continue with the creative works of her late husband.

Mongoose Publishing, based in Swindon, England, is the UK's largest publisher of role-playing games, and is known for producing high quality licensed products.

June 2009 will see the first release of Lejendary Rules for All Players hardback and A Question of Tribute scenario. Further releases will follow on from this at regular intervals.

Somehow those threads never do get old.

I'm just wondering... they're making it all up, right?


I mean...

post 1...

So I joined this gaming group. AD&D. Classic mode of play.

The group was around 6th level or so, but for some reason the DM wouldn't just let me start with a 6th level character. He (and the group, because nobody took what came next as odd) just couldn't make the cognitive leap.

Instead, my 1st level thief was provided with a wand of paralysis and a ship (crewed by hirelings), and told I had to kill whales until I was sixth level.

The logic was this- I paralyze a whale or a dolphin or whatever, and it sinks and drowns, thus racking up the XP for whacking the defenseless marine mammels.

And so, for the whole first session, I exterminate endangered species while the group fights undead animals in some city somewhere. 36...

When we got there, everybody produced their character for a level 16-18 adventure. I told them I had no high-level character - indeed, I had no character period, since I had only playd AD&D in one-shots and convention games - so I would just generate a character of the appropriate level. I was met with disbelieving stares. It took some time before the DM even grasped the idea, then rejected it. After a lengthy discussion, the DM had greed to give me a NPC. Since he was statted right there in the module he was about to run, the character objectively existed, I guess was the logic. So I got the local constable - a Fighter 8 without any gear in a lvl 16+ module.

More about the rest of the party. The characters were the end result of years of Monty-haul campagning, and they had almost literally every magic item in the DMG. The Gnome Illusionist alone had at least a hundred items, listed in a pocket notebook. The other casters were a Half-elf Cleric/Mage, born male but genderswitched to female by a cursed belt, though this was never roleplayed, and a Cleric of Athena. Lastly came a Paladin and a Chaotic Evil Assassin who were best friends. Yup, you read that right.

He was the most boring, anal-retentive excuse for a ref I've ever seen: both slavishly loyal to the rules and too stupid to figure them out. Whenever common sense and some warped reading of the books came into conflict, he ruled against common sense. The players just led him by the nose, he'd buy any shit.

Example: the Paladin wielded a Frostbrand sword, a weapon that dealt double damage to any "fire-using and -dwelling creature". The DM had been persuaded that this meant not "fire-using and fire-dwelling creatures", but "fire-using creatures and dwelling creatures". Any creature that dwelt anywere was fair game.

Get outta here!

Pen and Paper Roleplaying Games (RPGs) Discussion / Talislanta
« on: June 30, 2008, 01:49:53 AM »
I don't recall we ever had a thread on this one. So, let's sing its praises and patronizingly educate the young persons who've never heard of it.

I played it last night, sadly only a one shot, and loved it. It was like stepping into a Jack Vance story. Better than the Dying Earth RPG, in a way, because banter and witty repartee isn't a game mechanic, so you can let loose more spontaneously.

My PC was a 3-feet tall Gnomekin Crystalomancer country bumpkin, his associate a hawt Zandir Swordsmage twice his height. They were sort of romping through the Magic Fairground at Cymril, looking for this Kazmirian moneylender, and pulling all sorts of gaffes on route. No one got killed, but a good time was had by all.

No Elves? Yeah right. More importantly, no humans. At least not in the 7 Kingdoms. That raises the exoticism level right away.

Your thoughts / experiences?

The Fantasy Writers' Exam, as posted on It's for novels, but it does work for campaigns.

I am of course the first to claim bad fiction can make for great gaming. Still, one cringes at being found out.

1. Does nothing happen in the first fifty pages?
2. Is your main character a young farmhand with mysterious parentage?
3. Is your main character the heir to the throne but doesn't know it?
4. Is your story about a young character who comes of age, gains great power, and defeats the supreme badguy?
5. Is your story about a quest for a magical artifact that will save the world?
6. How about one that will destroy it?
7. Does your story revolve around an ancient prophecy about "The One" who will save the world and everybody and all the forces of good?
8. Does your novel contain a character whose sole purpose is to show up at random plot points and dispense information?
9. Does your novel contain a character that is really a god in disguise?
10. Is the evil supreme badguy secretly the father of your main character?
11. Is the king of your world a kindly king duped by an evil magician?
12. Does "a forgetful wizard" describe any of the characters in your novel?
13. How about "a powerful but slow and kind-hearted warrior"?
14. How about "a wise, mystical sage who refuses to give away plot details for his own personal, mysterious reasons"?
15. Do the female characters in your novel spend a lot of time worrying about how they look, especially when the male main character is around?
16. Do any of your female characters exist solely to be captured and rescued?
17. Do any of your female characters exist solely to embody feminist ideals?
18. Would "a clumsy cooking wench more comfortable with a frying pan than a sword" aptly describe any of your female characters?
19. Would "a fearless warrioress more comfortable with a sword than a frying pan" aptly describe any of your female characters?
20. Is any character in your novel best described as "a dour dwarf"?
21. How about "a half-elf torn between his human and elven heritage"?
22. Did you make the elves and the dwarves great friends, just to be different?
23. Does everybody under four feet tall exist solely for comic relief?
24. Do you think that the only two uses for ships are fishing and piracy?
25. Do you not know when the hay baler was invented?
26. Did you draw a map for your novel which includes places named things like "The Blasted Lands" or "The Forest of Fear" or "The Desert of Desolation" or absolutely anything "of Doom"?
27. Does your novel contain a prologue that is impossible to understand until you've read the entire book, if even then?
28. Is this the first book in a planned trilogy?
29. How about a quintet or a decalogue?
30. Is your novel thicker than a New York City phone book?
31. Did absolutely nothing happen in the previous book you wrote, yet you figure you're still many sequels away from finishing your "story"?
32. Are you writing prequels to your as-yet-unfinished series of books?
33. Is your name Robert Jordan and you lied like a dog to get this far?
34. Is your novel based on the adventures of your role-playing group?
35. Does your novel contain characters transported from the real world to a fantasy realm?
36. Do any of your main characters have apostrophes or dashes in their names?
37. Do any of your main characters have names longer than three syllables?
38. Do you see nothing wrong with having two characters from the same small isolated village being named "Tim Umber" and "Belthusalanthalus al'Grinsok"?
39. Does your novel contain orcs, elves, dwarves, or halflings?
40. How about "orken" or "dwerrows"?
41. Do you have a race prefixed by "half-"?
42. At any point in your novel, do the main characters take a shortcut through ancient dwarven mines?
43. Do you write your battle scenes by playing them out in your favorite RPG?
44. Have you done up game statistics for all of your main characters in your favorite RPG?
45. Are you writing a work-for-hire for Wizards of the Coast?
46. Do inns in your book exist solely so your main characters can have brawls?
47. Do you think you know how feudalism worked but really don't?
48. Do your characters spend an inordinate amount of time journeying from place to place?
49. Could one of your main characters tell the other characters something that would really help them in their quest but refuses to do so just so it won't break the plot?
50. Do any of the magic users in your novel cast spells easily identifiable as "fireball" or "lightning bolt"?
51. Do you ever use the term "mana" in your novel?
52. Do you ever use the term "plate mail" in your novel?
53. Heaven help you, do you ever use the term "hit points" in your novel?
54. Do you not realize how much gold actually weighs?
55. Do you think horses can gallop all day long without rest?
56. Does anybody in your novel fight for two hours straight in full plate armor, then ride a horse for four hours, then delicately make love to a willing barmaid all in the same day?
57. Does your main character have a magic axe, hammer, spear, or other weapon that returns to him when he throws it?
58. Does anybody in your novel ever stab anybody with a scimitar?
59. Does anybody in your novel stab anybody straight through plate armor?
60. Do you think swords weigh ten pounds or more?
61. Does your hero fall in love with an unattainable woman, whom he later attains?
62. Does a large portion of the humor in your novel consist of puns?
63. Is your hero able to withstand multiple blows from the fantasy equivalent of a ten pound sledge but is still threatened by a small woman with a dagger?
64. Do you really think it frequently takes more than one arrow in the chest to kill a man?
65. Do you not realize it takes hours to make a good stew, making it a poor choice for an "on the road" meal?
66. Do you have nomadic barbarians living on the tundra and consuming barrels and barrels of mead?
67. Do you think that "mead" is just a fancy name for "beer"?
68. Does your story involve a number of different races, each of which has exactly one country, one ruler, and one religion?
69. Is the best organized and most numerous group of people in your world the thieves' guild?
70. Does your main villain punish insignificant mistakes with death?
71. Is your story about a crack team of warriors that take along a bard who is useless in a fight, though he plays a mean lute?
72. Is "common" the official language of your world?
73. Is the countryside in your novel littered with tombs and gravesites filled with ancient magical loot that nobody thought to steal centuries before?
74. Is your book basically a rip-off of The Lord of the Rings?
75.Read that question again and answer truthfully.

This thing is astounding. Like Nearby Gamers it has google maps integrated, but unlike Nearby Gamers it alerts you when a new "pinhead" has been planted in your area, i.e. when somebody's posted a new profile. I tried it out because I'll be moving soon, and I got three responses within 24 hours. Highly recommended.

Is this game playable and fun as is, or does it have major structural flaws/limits  that need a massive houseruling effort to remedy?

For purposes of this thread, "lack of class balance" or indeed any rule or element by which Teh Gonzo trumps Teh GURPS, shall not be defined as a major structural flaw/limit.

Note: 1st edition, aka "Palladium Roleplaying Game," not 2nd.

Somebody pasted the following quote from the DMG (pp.104-105, apparently) on a blog:

"When you're building an adventure, try to vary the encounters you include. [...But] fun is one element you shouldn't vary. Every encounter in an adventure should be fun. As much as possible, fast-forward through parts of an adventure that aren't fun. An encounter with two guards at the city gate isn't fun. Tell the players they get through the gate without much trouble and move on to the fun. Niggling details of food supplies and encumbrance usually aren't fun, so don't sweat them, and let the players get to the adventure and on to the fun. Long treks through endless corridors in the ancient dwarven stronghold beneath the mountains aren't fun. Move the PCs quickly from encounter to encounter, and on to the fun."

Three questions crowd to mind.

1)  What was the difference between Mike Mearls and R. Edwards, again?

2) What was this thing J Arcane had about running 4E any which way you please? Given in this passage proscription and advice are inextricable?

3) Does the context of the quote relativize 1) and 2) in a decisive way?

Other Games / ASL Starter Kits
« on: May 21, 2008, 12:55:01 PM »
I'm looking for opinions on these. I have this cunning plan of graduating a casual wargamer friend to the real thing via Memoir '44 and Tide of Iron. To my utter bafflement it's actually worked out so far. He's thankfully bored by M'44 by now, and he loves those elements of ToI that (I guess) were stolen from (A)SL: Op Fire, suppressive fire, close assault rules, measuring LOS from the hex centers etc. etc.

So would the Starter Kits be a useful next step, complexity-wise? Also, once you've played all three of them, will you then essentially have mastered the actual ASL basic rules? Or do those require yet another major effort? (Besides the fact you also need Beyond Valor or one of the other gamettes.)

We could stick with ToI, but then a) there are few scenarios as yet and they're rather sucky, b) I'll be moving soon, and then we'd have to play via VASSAL, which doesn't yet have a ToI module and perhaps never will.

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