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Work Update - Astoundingly Joyously Busy - Synchronicity swirls and other foolishness

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March 14th, 2016

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02:43 am - Work Update - Astoundingly Joyously Busy
I've been astoundingly busy since early January. Working on a supplement for the upcoming Conan RPG, and the fact that both Trinity Continuum: Æon and the Trinity Continuum Core Rulebook are both and at long last gloriously moving forward again has contributed to this business, but the largest part has been working for Mindjammer Press on the Traveller adaptation of the Mindjammer RPG. I love the setting – take 3 parts Cordwainer Smith's Instrumentality of Mankind, 2 parts Ian M. Banks' Culture, and a splash of the various 21st century space opera and transhumanist SF influences, and you have a setting that is catnip for me, especially since it's distinctly non-dystopian and supports scenarios and even entire campaigns that have nothing to do with warfare or inter-personal violence.

I've already written some setting material for Mindjammer and look forward to writing more, but it's also a game build around the FATE rule system, which is impressively far from anything I wish to play or run, and which makes absolutely no intuitive sense to me. However, liked Traveller when I started playing it in the late 1980s, and I've continued to like it with few exceptions [[1]], and I've very much liked both editions of Mongoose Publishing's version of Traveller. However, Traveller mostly has a very retro-sf feel that I'm not very fond off. However, combined the two and the result is one of the my favorite gaming projects ever, and also one of my longest. Much of the soon to be 100,000+ words I'll have in my file have been copied from the Mindjammer RPG, but something like 65,000 words are my own work, adding in the other projects I've been working on and the various time I've spent wrangling administrative details for Æon, and I've never written this much in slightly more than months before.

In part I've written this much because while I switch back and forth between other projects, there hasn't been a single day since early January (which I received the outline and the material Mindjammer's brilliant creator Sarah Newton has already written) that I haven't opened the Mindjammer: Traveller file and tinkered with it a bit. I've written heavily revised ship operating and design rules, designed, revised and written up 16 starships and spacecraft, created rules for sentient starships, heavily engineered humans and uplifted animals (essentially Cordwainer Smith-esque underpeople), described and created rules for 7 different economic systems, including functional planned economies, regulated and unregulated capitalism, and several strange and very high tech options, and written rules and advisory text on playing characters a century or more old, and added various small bits of setting material throughout. With a starship piloted by a synthetic sentience coming in at 2.5 displacement tons, a crewed starship of 13 displacement tons, and rules for playing immortal characters who are more than a century old and typically have a fair number of transhuman enhancements, this isn't much like Traveller's 3rd Imperium, and I utterly love it and and exceedingly proud of the work I've done. I'll be finished with this project in early April, and dear gods will I miss working on it. I also now know the latest edition of the Traveller rules (which was released less than 3 months ago) pretty much as well as I've ever known any game system.

Today, I also broke another work record, splitting my time between doing final pass edits on a section of Mindjammer: Traveller, and a section I wrote for the Trinity Continuum Core Rulebook, I edited more than 20,000 words today, and managed it with great ease.

[[1]]Those exceptions being the dismal dull dystopian Traveller: New Era of the early 90s, and the hideously executed Traveller 4th edition

(7 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:March 14th, 2016 10:46 am (UTC)
[User Picture]
Date:March 14th, 2016 10:47 am (UTC)
Yay! I'm a Mindjammer/Traveller backer, and I can't wait to see what you've done!
[User Picture]
Date:March 14th, 2016 11:12 am (UTC)
Very good indeed! I'm certainly going to have a look at this MindJammer stuff that's been flying trough my feeds over the past several months.

Now, I do hope you find an hour or so for the interview questions that I sent, umm, a few months back :)
[User Picture]
Date:March 15th, 2016 10:49 am (UTC)
[User Picture]
Date:March 15th, 2016 10:16 am (UTC)

This sounds astoundingly good!

How are you handling trade? Given it is a important Traveller minigame but FATE likes to abstract money?
[User Picture]
Date:March 15th, 2016 10:53 am (UTC)

Re: This sounds astoundingly good!

I've got 7 different economic systems that handle money differently, and I'm using and expanding on the trade rules in Traveller 2nd edition. I'm using those basic rules, but am adding in rules for information trading, as well as modifiers for Openness, Trade Index, and Embargo. The current Traveller trading rules are pretty robust, and so much of what I'm doing (like with most of the other Traveller rules) is tweaking, adjusting, and adding to them to make them with with the Mindjammer setting.

[User Picture]
Date:March 22nd, 2016 12:44 am (UTC)
That's marvelous!

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