Posts Tagged ‘Imperium’

Playing Classic Traveller in the Detroit area

Friday, May 3rd, 2019

We finally got a campaign of “Classic” Traveller rolling in the metropolitan Detroit, Michigan, area. What, you may ask, is Classic Traveller? You may have heard of Dungeons & Dragons? Well, Traveller was the role-playing science-fiction game equivalent of D&D, except that Traveller was set in outer space, in the far future. The Traveller game was originally the brainchild of Marc W. Miller (with help from a number of other folks) and was originally published by Game Designers’ Workshop (GDW) in 1977 AD (earth years, not to be confused with dates of the Imperium in the Traveller game). Traveller was originally published as “Little Black Books” (LBBs) as they were all pamphlet sized and the covers were basically black with some different color trim, depending on the book. Traveller also went through a number of different publishers and versions over the years, but since I already had a lot of the original (i.e., “classic”) Traveller books, that’s the version I decided to run.

While speaking with some of the other boardgamers in our Championship Formula Racing group, I found out that Jack Beckman used to play Traveller in the past (as I did). I was trying to get him to start up a campaign of Traveller, but he still has to work for a living (unlike us retired folks) and so didn’t have time to set anything up. So, I reckoned it was time I got a campaign together.

Traveller Books 1, 2, and 3

Traveller Books 1, 2, and 3

While I owned a goodly number of the LBBs, I didn’t own them all. Not that you need to own them all — you just really need Books 1 (Characters & Combat), 2 (Starships), and 3 (Worlds & Adventures). But I decided to order the entire set of LBBs from Far Future Enterprises, just so I would have all of the books. FFE has made all of the original material available on CD-ROMs, for a reasonable price ($35 for a CD of all of the original GDW books). After buying the Classic Traveller CD, I bought two more, one with a number of third-party products for Traveller by Judges Guild (and others), and one CD with all of the original “Journals of the Travellers’ Aid Society” which had great articles that expanded the Traveller game. Marc Miller, through Far Future Enterprises, is the official home for Traveller, now that GDW is no longer in business.

Of course, one of the things that will make running a game of Traveller difficult, is that the players also have those same resources available. That means that that if I run any published adventures that I will have to make a number of changes to keep the players guessing!

Edit (August 8, 2019): I have since purchased the other “Classic” Traveller CDs from Far Future Enterprises, so now have the entire treasure trove of stuff that was published for Traveller in the late 1970s and early 1980s (and some later stuff, too).