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Mongoose Traveller  - An Introduction to Traveller

Traveller Book 0: Introduction to Traveller. Gareth Hanrahan
Mongoose Publishing http://www.mongoosepublishing.com
32pp, softcover
UKú5.00/US$9.95

It is always useful to have low-cost introductory material for a role-playing game; with the publication of An Introduction to Traveller, Mongoose Publishing fills that niche for Traveller.

On the Shelf

As with the other rulebooks published to date, An Introduction to Traveller sports the Traveller logo in red, and uses the same tagline as the core rules and Pocket Traveller - "Science-Fiction Adventure in the Far Future". It is noticeably thinner than any previous release.

Initial Impressions

The organization of this volume mirrors that of the core rules, though it is quite obvious that there will be far less information here. There is no section on starships or spacecraft, and any information on encounters and dangers will have been subsumed into another section.  Career availability is limited to Army or Navy. Trade and worldbuilding information is omitted, as is information on psionics.

On Closer Inspection

The introduction specifically calls out the fact that this is 'severely cut down from the main rules', and there is no doubt that this is true. There is enough here to be able to run a basic game, but due to the reduction in information needed to fit this into a ten-dollar book, the available options are going to be heavily combat-oriented - and that combat is going to be personal, rather than space combat. Small group tactics may be possible, but there are no provisions for vehicle combat (and no vehicles are listed in the equipment section), or even support from non-personal combat elements (e.g., artillery).

Summary

This volume is best viewed as being little more than a convention handout for new players or referees. It's enough to 'get your feet wet', and decide whether you're interested in pursuing further Traveller activity, but it is quite easy to exhaust the limits of what this book can give you in very few sessions, and those limits are for the exclusively military campaign. If this iis not the type of campaign your target audience is interested in, you would be better off making up your own handouts, perhaps using this as a guide.