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*Freelance Traveller

The Electronic Fan-Supported Traveller® Resource

August 2015


August 2015 Department Article Title Author
From the Editor   Jeff Zeitlin
Featured Article
Critics’ Corner The Beast of Karridan’s Hollow “kafka”
Mongoose Traveller Supplement 1: 760 Patrons Second Edition Megan Robertson
Maranatha-Alkahest Sector Jeffro Johnson
Raconteurs’ Rest The Old Scout: Sun Weather Jeffrey Schwartz
Active Measures Getting Off the Ground: The Medicine Man Michael Brown
Getting Off the Ground: An Explosive Situation Michael Hughes
Columns Confessions of a Newbie Referee: #16: Letting the Side Down Timothy Collinson
Doing It My Way Hazard: Matterslip! Michael Brown
Technology Rules: Flexible Battery Rules 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

As we were getting ready to “go to press” for this issue, we saw in some of the Traveller forums a bit of sad news: The SJGames license for GURPS Traveller sunsets at the end of 2015, and won’t be renewed. It’s always a little sad for Traveller fans when a licensee exits the community; it means that there’s one less source of material—and in the case of SJGames, it was good material.

On the other hand, they didn’t really seem to be doing much with it—after a good set of releases for GURPS Third Edition, and a few early on after the release of GURPS Fourth Edition, SJGames seemed to have “gone dormant” with their Traveller license; development of either their alternate late Third Imperium or Interstellar Wars settings just never seemed to reach their potential. One can mourn the lost potential, but in this case, it must be recognized that the potential was, simply, unrealized.

That, sadly, seems to be the case for much of Traveller, no matter from which source. A quick search, for example, of one major bookseller’s website shows 29 hits for “pathfinder roleplaying game”; searching the same site for “traveller roleplaying game” yielded zero hits—and searching for “mongoose publishing” yielded 14 hits, only two of which were for Traveller. Looking at the various Traveller forums shows an apparent domination by ‘old timers’ or ‘grognards’, with only a limited amount of new blood coming in. Yet the same major bookseller mentioned above can keep selling SF that is frequently mentioned in the Traveller forums as being “Traveller-esque”—series like Weber’s Honor Harrington, Drake’s Republic of Cinnabar Navy, Moon’s Vatta’s War, or Lee and Miller’s Liaden Universe. I’m sure that not all the fans of these series are “Traveller grognards”; shouldn’t the publishers—especially major licensees like Mongoose—be making an effort to reach out to these readers, rather than just depending on the community to do so? Shouldn’t the terms of the various fan licenses be reconsidered and rewritten to allow the fans to write and distribute the kinds of material—and the formats—that would draw that potential new blood into Traveller? Let this be a call for open debate and discussion, and a revitalization of Traveller!