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*Freelance Traveller

The Electronic Fan-Supported Traveller® Resource

May/June 2018


May/June 2018 Department Article Title Author
From the Editor   Jeff Zeitlin
Featured Articles
Critics’ Corner Three Supplements for Mongoose Traveller “kafka”
Central Supply Catalogue Megan Robertson
Reft Jeff Zeitlin
Variant Psionics for the Cepheus Engine Robert Weaver
Active Measures Getting Off the Ground: Cat and Mouse Michael A. Cessna
Getting Off the Ground: Border Crossing Jonathan McDermott
Columns Confessions of a Newbie Referee: #34: Onwards, Upwards, Outwards Timothy Collinson
Less Dangerous Game Shaduquaram Benedikt Schwarz
The Shipyard Mongoose Traveller Designs: Pham’s Gunboats Joshua Levy
The Prep Room Jottings #4: Education Jeff Zeitlin
Raconteurs’ Rest The Adventures of Gerry Fynne: [Part 11] and [Part 12] Sam Swindell
Kurishdam Lecture Hall and Library: Jump Destinations: Alnimes Robert DeVoe
Up Close and Personal Jan Haakon Mattiason Bill Cameron

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The articles listed and linked above are also linked in their appropriate sections of our website.

From the Editor

In discussions of Traveller, there often seems to be a perceived dichotomy, of play versus ‘gearheading’ or ‘worldbuilding’. While I will concede that ‘gearheading’ isn’t for everyone, I’ve come to the conclusion that ‘worldbuilding’ overlaps—or perhaps subsumes—both play and ‘gearheading’.

A referee can spend hours and hours rolling up and writing (and reading) about worlds, cultures, characters, trade goods, and so on, and in doing so, paint a picture of his (her) Traveller universe. That’s the ‘gearheading’, and it’s an important part of worldbuilding.

But a world is more than an encyclopedic compilation of places and things. It’s a living and dynamic collection of all those, plus people and their actions, thoughts, hopes, dreams, fears, and nightmares. And it’s all connected. Nothing really happens in isolation; what you do today influences what the people you interact with will do tomorrow.

Traveller and some other games try to emulate that, at least partially, in both the ‘reaction roll’ and having contacts (and allies, enemies, and rivals, in recent versions of Traveller). But the real worldbuilding happens when the players and the referee, and the characters and NPCs, start actually interacting. That’s when a world stops being a binderful of facts, and comes to life. And that’s when you’ve actually built a world. Even if you haven’t written a single thing about it.