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Old 09-12-2017, 04:25 PM   #1
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Default T20 Traveller, Good semi-hard SF game?

My current gaming group plays Pathfinder, and includes new people just learning that system, so they aren't interested in learning a new rules set.

I would like to run a semi-hard space SF game. I glanced through Starfinder but it strikes me as much too soft for my taste.

Then I noticed I had bought the T20 Humble Bundle back when. A D20 version of Traveller.

Anyone have comments or recommendations about T20? How well did it fit the setting?

Are there other D20 in Space! games that are better? I may or may not use the Third Imperium setting.
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Old 09-13-2017, 10:23 AM   #2
Mike Wightman
 
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Default Re: T20 Traveller, Good semi-hard SF game?

d20 Future would be my recommendation.

The Expanse began as a setting for one of the author's d20 Future game.

Last edited by Mike Wightman; 09-16-2017 at 01:56 AM.
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Old 09-13-2017, 12:18 PM   #3
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Default Re: T20 Traveller, Good semi-hard SF game?

These are settings I know at least something about, that I'd call semi-hard science fiction:

Transhuman Space - probably the least divergence from known basic science, but the assumptions about the direction of technology may not appeal to everyone. It may take a lot of work to adapt GURPS rules to d20.

Traveller 2300 - a completely different future history from the Third Imperium future history, with stutterwarp instead of jump. Other than stutterwarp, it's fairly hard science. The main connection with Traveller when it came out was that both were from GDW. Its current version shares a lot of rules with Mongoose Traveller; equipment may need some adaptation to d20.

Traveller 20 - the books assume Third Imperium, about a century earlier than the classic setting, but you can use any Traveller era without much trouble. My impression was that the core book was not a strong candidate for the proofreading hall of fame, but they were usable.

Do you have a clear idea of what sort of semi-hard science fiction you and your players would like? That covers things like Total Recall (realistic space technology, magic brain science), Transhuman (realistic hard science, improbable application of technology), Aliens (hand-wave star travel, science fantasy monster hunting), assorted space wars, assorted planetside wars, traditional Traveller style adventures such as rule-bending merchants, Scouts that still have the exploration itch, mercenaries, plausibly deniable Imperial agents, etc.

Also, do you and your players have a strong preference for d20, or just have that in mind as the right balance between abstract and crunchy? If the latter, you might try Savage Worlds rules, but all of the Traveller adaptations I've found for it have been pretty rough around the edges.
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Old 09-14-2017, 07:00 AM   #4
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Default Re: T20 Traveller, Good semi-hard SF game?

I was fairly intimidated by T20 because I wasn't sure how to assign experience for kills and skill rolls. It also has a slightly different feel from any of the previous iterations; CT, GT, T4. Even so it is a bit more polished, but since you're on the SJ Games forum, why not just splurge on GT?
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Old 09-14-2017, 07:51 AM   #5
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Default Re: T20 Traveller, Good semi-hard SF game?

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Originally Posted by Blue Ghost View Post
I was fairly intimidated by T20 because I wasn't sure how to assign experience for kills and skill rolls. It also has a slightly different feel from any of the previous iterations; CT, GT, T4. Even so it is a bit more polished, but since you're on the SJ Games forum, why not just splurge on GT?
I own all of GT, but some of my players only know Pathfinder and that not well. They have already rejected learning In Nomine right now. I need T20 or other D20 system to have something they are familiar with.
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Old 09-14-2017, 12:05 PM   #6
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: T20 Traveller, Good semi-hard SF game?

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Originally Posted by Mike Wightman View Post
d20 Future would be my recommendation.
Not mine though. I read a friend's copy over a weekend and did not care for it at all.

I'd rate D20 Star Wars as being the strongest D20 SF book.
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Old 09-15-2017, 09:48 AM   #7
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Default Re: T20 Traveller, Good semi-hard SF game?

If you have players who are intimidated by learning new rules, you could try to go rules-light. Risus fits the entire rule "book" on a single page. PDQ# (pronounced "P-D-Q sharp") is also very lightweight. Of the two, I think I'd lean toward PDQ# based on playing a non-Traveller game with it, but I've played Risus more, including with Traveller, so I can say with more confidence that it can work.

The main trick is getting players to buy into the idea of rules-light, because d20 kind of sends the message that there should be a rule for everything.
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Old 09-15-2017, 11:02 AM   #8
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Default Re: T20 Traveller, Good semi-hard SF game?

Thanks to everyone for their suggestions.
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