17 Jun 2008 - Mongoose Publishing Outlines Plans for Traveller Line
This is a lightly-edited version of a posting made by Matthew Sprange to the Mongoose Publishing blog, and is used with permission. You can read the original blog entry here.
First off - today, we have just signed the contract with a certain Mr David Drake to produce a new line of books based on Hammer's Slammers. If you don't know what this is, report to Amazon now! However, if you are in the know, expect to see them done as a new Traveller setting, likely appearing early next year. They will certainly force us to get cracking on the advanced vehicle rules! We'll make a big announcement on this closer to the time, but consider this a heads up for those of you who visit Planet Mongoose. . .
Speaking of new settings, Babylon 5 will indeed be appearing in Traveller. This is not a new edition, as some of our fans have feared, but a simple setting book. Packed to the rafters, it will feature new Events tables for careers (tying them directly into the background), a few ships of course, rules for altering Traveller to use real time communications across the stars and jump gates, and so on. Just a few ships, I hear you ask? Well, following the main B5 sourcebook (coming out in December this year), we are also going to produce one more - the Big Book of Ships (working title!). What will make B5 fans go dippy over this one is that it will follow our Traveller mandate for ships - every single one will have deck plans!
For more recent projects, Spinward Marches is at print right now, and we hope 760 Patrons will follow it this week, pending Mr Miller's approval. Mercenary is almost finished in its first layout sweep, and it is looking like a real cracker - for those of you who are 'almost' convinced that Traveller is a great game, this one should knock the ball out of the park! No sneak peeks just yet, but they are coming soon.
Looking further ahead, we have made much of the fact that there is a ten year plan for Traveller (and here is to ten more after!), so what follows are a few select titles - no dates attached to them, just a few thoughts about where we will go with them.
In part, this will follow the format of the other 'character' books (Mercenary, High Guard, Scoundrel, and so on. . .), introducing new options for character creation, though building on what is in the core rulebook, rather than replacing it. However, it will also answer another question that has been asked of the new Traveller - just how do companies make a decent profit with speculative trading and passengers? Well, the answer is. . . they don't :) Speculative trading and the passenger rules in the core rulebook are designed to serve the typical herberts who land in a starport in a run-down ship, and want to try their luck. They pays their money and takes their choice (as do their customers, for that matter. . .). Companies and corporations operate on a completely different level, and this is where Merchant Prince comes in, giving you everything you need to run your own trading empire. No doubt such players will become vastly irritated about free traders ruining their regular profits by unloading tons of rich cargoes at knockdown prices every now and again. . .
We'll begin tackling the OTU alien races soon enough, beginning with Aslan and Zhodani, and branching out from there - basically, we are starting with everything that is relevant to the Spinward Marches (or, at least, close), and then moving outwards. Each of these books is likely to be a pretty big tome, matching or exceeding the main rulebook - and there is a good reason for this. In order to do each alien race justice, we need to handle their characters, history/culture/physiology/etc, ships/equipment, and their main sector. Each one of those could fill a regular book, and we don't want to skimp.
Yes, we did consider 10,001 characters, but it would just be way, way too large!
Another 'character' book, though we will be ensuring that it handles not only Imperium psions, but the Zhodani and, looking further ahead, the Psi Corps and other sci-fi settings.
Because boarding actions just have to be done. Expect to see a Striker in the future too, though we are currently discussing whether it should have miniatures support or not.
You will see some new adventures from us - and some old favourites. However, in many cases we are just taking the title and general concepts. They will be much fuller and richer than their counterparts, as befits expectations in the 21st Century. Current favourites are Prison planet (because most GMs will have to run it at some point!), and Broadsword, though that one will share very little with its predecessor. We are also looking at Trillion Credit Squadron, though that needs a great deal of thought in how it should be played. Still, might be fun if we could get a tournament system out of it!
For the Traveller who has everything - a chance to set up your own empire among the stars and run it! We'll be testing a few concepts in RuneQuest Empires, which is a more down to earth version (more magic, less interplanetary travel. . .), then start development on this one. Expect to be able to run (ruin) the economy of entire worlds, launch invasions, and breed enough kids that one might just live long enough to take over the reins from you. Dpeending on what direction development goes in, you may just be able to run anything from the 'I've got a planet ticking over while I travel' campaign, to something closer to Masters of Orion.
A New Sector
We'll be hanging around the Spinward Marches for a while, detailing neighbouring sectors as part of our alien drive. However, we have got our eyes elsewhere in the galaxy, and it is not automatically the Solomani Rim.
Sky Full of Ships
No, that is not the title - however, we are planning to do a lot of work on ships, in a similar manner to Monsdters in RuneQuest, so after Traders and Gunboats/Fighting Ships, expect to see one a year. Each book will be themed, with planned titles including Exploratory Ships, Workhorses of the Spacelanes, and, of course, Battleships & Dreadnoughts. While many ships will have links into the OTU, most will be general enough to be used in other settings, such as Babylon 5. This is another mandate we have in operation with Traveller - if you ever see a black covered book, you will know it can be used in quite literally any setting. . .
This was originally planned to be another 'ships' book, but it has been getting a dash of the 'Dynasty' effect, whereby it will give you all the information you need to run your own group of pirates (or Raiders, for B5 fans), whether you are player or Games Master.
Frontier Wars/Rebellions/New Eras
This is something that often splits the Traveller community! Such books will likely appear, some way down the road. They will not be offered as replacements for the current crop of OTU books, but as options for the timeline. Your call whether you want to go down them or not, but they will be there for people who want them. No solid plans for these yet (they really are some time away), but we are beginning to consider options for them.