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Traveller News and Editorial

This page is dedicated to editorials written by members of the Traveller community who want to share ideas with others. Dissenting opinions encouraged and published. Debate is a great catalyst for improvement. This column will be updated monthly (or so). We hope to accumulate enough articles ahead of time to keep material fresh through the year. A short biography of the writer will be provided after each article (if they wish). See the bottom of this page for previous article listing.

This month's entry is from our senior editor.

A New Model for RPG's?

As a result of a conversation thread over on the Traveller5 Discussion Forum, I have begun to have a bit of a paradigm (as opposed to a paratime) shift on the future of RPGs. I'm reposting my message from that thread here because I feel that it needs a wider audience.

What if the game is designed for online play and supported that way*, but the draw is the little hardcover book? Think of an intro book that reads like a novel and a future history, drawing the reader into the Traveller storyline. The timeline is presented as a series of short stories that end leaving several adventure hooks each. The various milieux are represented and, at some point in the book, a bit of game mechanics is explained. Beyond that, everything else about the game is computerized. Owners of the book get the Referee module that allows them to run games online or face-to-face aided by the adventure and mechanics suite on the CD.

*Then the best part: the online community starts at and revolves around the official web site. There the gamer will make contact with other players, join games in progress, buy/download more scenarios, fiction, careers, and supplements. But, best of all, the Hosting program is marketed, as well. Anyone with a server and another $39.95 can create a Traveller Universe by installing the server, writing their own additional back-story, and inviting people to their site.

The game company makes money on the hardcopy books, on the downloads, on the server software, and on a subscription e-zine. There is certainly some merchandising possibilities, as well. The player and ref get real value in time-saving features while still leaving the play fluid, interactive and a true RPG.

Okay, I've spouted. Time for a reality check...

Earlier Articles:

5/5/02 - Runecasting with Bilanidin, by Robert Eaglestone

11/9/01 - Industry and Megacorporations, by Rob Eaglestone

4/11/01 - The Lesson, by Rob Eaglestone

10/1/00 - Rethinking the X-Boat System, by Chad Russell

8/1/00 - I'm a Classic, by Luther Martin

5/1/00 - Ahead of It's Time, by Luther Martin

4/1/00 - Dynamic Range, by Luther Martin

2/1/00 - Life Pursuits in T5, by Tim Reynolds

12/10/99 - Expensive Starships, by Rob Eaglestone

11/19/99 - The P-Word, by Michael Maley

10/21/99 - So Much To Do, by Colin Michael

10/1/99 - Isolated Gamer, by GasGiant

9/1/99 - Acronym Overload, by whatshisname

8/1/99 - The effects of the Collector Edition, by Colin Michael

7/1/99 - Who is Traveller, by Rob Eaglestone

6/1/99 - Re: Whither Traveller, by Rob Eaglestone

5/1/99 -Whither Traveller, by Colin Michael

4/5/99 - Rambling, by Colin Michael

3/16/99 - Grrl Gamer, by Xlessa

If you have submissions, please submit the content to the webmaster in ASCII (okay, any) format. Include the topic and a short biography of yourself.

Swordworlder's Traveller Downport copyright 1998 - 2014 Colin Michael.
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