This article originally appeared in the November/December 2015 issue.
TravellerCon USA is going on as I write and I’d sooooo like to be there. Partly because of all the great games of Traveller I’m sure they’re having, partly because of the opportunity it would represent to try running some adventure I think might work, partly because it would be something of an escape from day-to-day life, partly because it’s in the States and it would be great to go back after far too many years, but mainly because I’m sure, were I able to go regularly, I’d start to get to know some great fellow minded Travellers as I have done at the UK equivalent. So I’m very jealous of you guys and trust you’re having a great time! I look forward to reading all about it.
But I’m jealous of other Traveller-related things as well. Such as the referees who have a great command of the rules and know just what’s needed at any particular moment. They don’t need to look things up constantly or (appear to) rehearse endlessly beforehand. Just to run a minor combat efficiently I spent considerable time running simulations of it in the months beforehand. I’m also in awe and quite jealous of many referee’s ability to conjure scenes or NPC voices from thin air; or to react – often in character – to whatever is thrown at them by PCs; who really add to the sense of being there without a lot of notes or (apparent) stress.
I’m particularly jealous of those referees who have a regular gaming group and get to see ongoing characters and real development across the weeks and months of play. For all sorts of reasons there’s never to my knowledge been a nearby game I could join and, until recently, I’ve not really had the ability or the confidence to try running my own.
Putting together a third edition of bibliography, I can also be quite jealous of those who own a book or periodical issue or an item that I’ve not seen and probably can’t purchase due to its rarity. Partly this stems from obsessively trying to be ‘completist’ I think the term is, partly due to being a librarian and by definition a ‘collector’, but also partly due to wanting the bibliography to be as helpful as it can be to those using it. In fact, this last was why I started the thing in the first place as I tried to guide a friend into what might be most useful.
I try to overcome my jealousies by reflecting on how fortunate I am to have been part of the UK TravCon for seven years, or by trying to become a better referee, or by beginning to ask friends if they might be interested in a regular game, or by simply enjoying the books I already own (I can feel quite guilty about that one!). But I should also reflect on the simple privilege of having known such a great game and community across so many years.