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Old 03-31-2013, 04:10 AM   #1
enpeze
 
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Default Traveller 5 anyone?

Does anybody know details about the new T5? AFAIK its a very thick book. Whats the difference of the game system in comparision to eg. CT?
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Old 03-31-2013, 03:25 PM   #2
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Default Re: Traveller 5 anyone?

There are lots of differences, mainly in how things are done.

I am expecting my KS starter in the next few days, and until then, I cannot address what's actually in the volume. The playtest version did seem to be the source of the Mongoose system.

I am unsure if there is a background included, or if it's just the rules. I'm hoping for just the toolbox, since I prefer to create my own universe.
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Old 03-31-2013, 03:27 PM   #3
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Default Re: Traveller 5 anyone?

I am kinda baffled at why it wasn't split into multiple books though - there are lots of subsystems that really don't need to be in the core (a 600+ page corebook that is entirely rules is kinda ridiculous IMO).

Also, it's far more expensive than CT. Using the same logic that traveller fans apply whenever anyone asks how they should start Traveller, you can get all of CT (including rules and settings, which have been tried and tested for a very long time) for $35, or you can get T5 (which is new, an unknown quantity, and only includes rules) for something like $75 - or whatever ridiculous price was paid on the kickstarter.

It'll be interesting to see how it's judged more objectively when it's released to the public. I don't think T5 will do very well in the wild myself, given the continued existence of CT and MGT, and its very dense rules and dry writing style. But given it made a ridiculous amount of money on the kickstarter, I suppose it doesn't really have to.

Last edited by Malenfant; 03-31-2013 at 04:35 PM.
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Old 03-31-2013, 05:28 PM   #4
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Default Re: Traveller 5 anyone?

Is $294,000 (pledged) a "ridiculous" amount of money? That's a run of 4000 copies. Not bad for an RPG these days, perhaps. But it's not going to let Marc Miller move in next door to James Patterson.
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Old 03-31-2013, 07:33 PM   #5
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Default Re: Traveller 5 anyone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
Is $294,000 (pledged) a "ridiculous" amount of money? That's a run of 4000 copies. Not bad for an RPG these days, perhaps. But it's not going to let Marc Miller move in next door to James Patterson.
It's pretty amazing for an RPG actually. At the time it was the highest pledge total for a tabletop RPG, but then a couple of others came out afterwards that beat it quite soundly (IIRC Monte Cook's Numenara got about 500k), and a few have reached similar $100k-$200k levels.

The copies shifted - there were 2000 backers, not 4000, BTW - is not really that astounding in the grand scheme of things, but that's 2000 sold up front and probably a LOT of profit (especially compared to a conventional distribution FLGS model) especially when you consider that $24,000 was the original pledge target which should have been enough to produce and distribute the book. Not all of those even contributed enough to buy the book as a PDF - 190 (almost 10% of the backers) contributed over $1400 just for the sub-PDF levels.

Last edited by Malenfant; 03-31-2013 at 07:37 PM.
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Old 03-31-2013, 11:03 PM   #6
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Default Re: Traveller 5 anyone?

What all that is saying that there is a pent up demand for RPGs out there, if customers are willing to pony up that much money on a product sight-unseen.

I know I want a Travelleresque game, with SJGames production values. I don't know if I want a huge book of rules. I'm sure I'll be buying T5 in any case, unless the reviews are really bad (and I mean really, really bad). But a 600+ page book that is all rules is .. lets say "intimidating".
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Old 03-31-2013, 11:24 PM   #7
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What all that is saying that there is a pent up demand for RPGs out there, if customers are willing to pony up that much money on a product sight-unseen.
I don't think that's what it means at all. I think what it actually means that if an RPG author with a big reputation puts up a kickstarter, then his fans will be falling over themselves to throw money at him. The exact same thing happened with Monte Cook (who had a big reputation from D&D).

What I observed from the kickstarter and the community while it was happening was that most of the people funding didn't even care what MM wrote or was producing, just that he was doing something and they wanted to help him along. In fact, after the first couple of days (after the base funding target was reached) it didn't even matter what he was producing anymore, because it was then certain that the book was going to be published. Most of the kickstarter was spent just adding stretch goals (the vast majority of which didn't actually improve the final product in any significant way) or bigger pledges... and still people were pledging. Most of them knew absolutely nothing about what T5 contained or what had already been done for it in the playtest - some even had no interest in knowing - and still the money poured in. It was quite fascinating to watch, in some ways.

I think what it really shows is that "the cult of personality is a powerful incentive for people with a lot of disposable income". Call me cynical, but I don't think it's inaccurate - it happens all the time in other media after all (people buying books or albums by authors or musicians unseen and regardless of quality, watching films by their favourite actors or directors for similar reasons, etc).


Quote:
I know I want a Travelleresque game, with SJGames production values. I don't know if I want a huge book of rules. I'm sure I'll be buying T5 in any case, unless the reviews are really bad (and I mean really, really bad). But a 600+ page book that is all rules is .. lets say "intimidating".
Unless something has radically changed in its presentation, T5 is unlikely to have SJG production values. I'm actually quite curious to see whether T5 has improved significantly (or even at all) from the playtest draft in its final presentation.

Last edited by Malenfant; 03-31-2013 at 11:29 PM.
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Old 03-31-2013, 11:25 PM   #8
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Default Re: Traveller 5 anyone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
Is $294,000 (pledged) a "ridiculous" amount of money? That's a run of 4000 copies. Not bad for an RPG these days, perhaps. But it's not going to let Marc Miller move in next door to James Patterson.
Yes, exactly. Ask Matt at Mongoose about the usual size of a print run. 4000 is great. And at 600 pages for 75$ its pretty much right in the ballpark for todays big doorstop books. Possibly a little low when once considers that getting a 100 page suppliment or adventure for less than $20.00 is damn near impossible. However, fair is fair; if you don't want to drop 75$ for a hardback, I fully understand, given that I regulalry see academic and professional books that I need for over 100. Its a high overhead market, and 4000 copies is minimal for print runs of real (non specialty, non-rpg) books.


The comparison to CT is a bit misguided, naive or at worst disingenuous; the CT disk and the T5 disk seem to be priced similalry. I'm not sure that one could pick up all the material on the CT CD in hardcopy, for 75$, let alone MGT books that could cover the same area.Besides, I doubt that anyone would consider that T5 was intended as a place where where one starts Traveller or aimed at the new to roleplaying crowd. Its blatantly the ultimate version for the ultimate traveller nerds (ie, including me before anyone gets offended) :)

As regard the OT question, I think there are significant changes in skill levels & generation and task resolution for sure, plus most of the starship design sequences are different but seem to produce compatable results. I'm waiting for myt copy to know for sure what the final version was.

I do know that one of the intended results of the kickstarter was to produce a players handbook version, so that may be helpful in terms of intimidation factor.
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Old 03-31-2013, 11:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malenfant View Post
I don't think that's what it means at all. I think what it actually means that if an RPG author with a big reputation puts up a kickstarter, then his fans will be falling over themselves to throw money at him. The exact same thing happened with Monte Cook (who had a big reputation from D&D).

What I observed from the kickstarter and the community while it was happening was that most of the people funding didn't even care what MM wrote or was producing, just that he was doing something and they wanted to help him along. In fact, after the first couple of days (after the base funding target was reached) it didn't even matter what he was producing anymore, because it was then certain that the book was going to be published. Most of the kickstarter was spent just adding stretch goals (the vast majority of which didn't actually improve the final product in any significant way) or bigger pledges... and still people were pledging. Most of them knew absolutely nothing about what T5 contained or what had already been done for it in the playtest - some even had no interest in knowing - and still the money poured in. It was quite fascinating to watch, in some ways.

I think what it really shows is that "the cult of personality is a powerful incentive for people with a lot of disposable income". Call me cynical, but I don't think it's inaccurate - it happens all the time in other media after all (people buying books or albums by authors or musicians unseen and regardless of quality, watching films by their favourite actors or directors for similar reasons, etc).
.
Well argued and excellently objective observation. There is certainly no possible reason for people to buy a product by an author that they liked, when a well known critic hated it. None whatsoever; books games movies, music, you name it. Blatant fanboyism and gullibility, that's it, in its entirety. Yup. Sure thing. Thanks for calling that out.
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Old 04-01-2013, 01:20 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by DocGrognard View Post
Well argued and excellently objective observation. There is certainly no possible reason for people to buy a product by an author that they liked, when a well known critic hated it. None whatsoever; books games movies, music, you name it. Blatant fanboyism and gullibility, that's it, in its entirety. Yup. Sure thing. Thanks for calling that out.
I do find it funny that you're always strangely silent on discussion boards until I post something - and of course when you do chip in it's only with sarcasm and snark. But just this once (possibly against my better judgement) I'll humour you.

First, do you honestly think that people don't buy things by their favourite authors or artists just for the sake of it, or to "collect" them, or despite the fact that they already have the same or similar content that they've bought before? I'm not saying that's the sole reason that fans buy products, but it does happen a lot and sure, many times they'll be happy with what they buy. But unless it's really terrible, they'll just file away the stuff that doesn't gel so well with them and forget about it. It takes a lot for a "true fan" to back away from a new product (unless it's radically different to what they expected), and if they have the money to spare it's very easy for them to rationalise a purchase that isn't otherwise necessary - and authors and artists have many followers like that. I didn't claim here that it was entirely that, but it's a pretty strong element, and the added psychological component of "helping make something a reality" and "supporting the author" on kickstarters is a really strong one too.

I'm quite sure that most of the people who funded T5 did so because they wanted it. I suppose it makes no difference to anyone whether they wanted it because they genuinely believed it would be better than all the other versions of Traveller they had, or whether they just wanted to support it to "thank Marc Miller" (as some have admitted), or if they wanted it just to get another version of Traveller that they could mine for information, or if they just wanted it to complete their collections, or any other reason. Is that "right" or "wrong"? I don't know, but I'm sure that Marc isn't complaining about it either way.

But I do think that it's accurate to say that considerations about quality didn't really come into the T5 kickstarter, because hardly any information was provided about the product itself. I am sure that most - if not all - of the pledgers believed that T5 would be a great product, but I am also pretty certain that most of the pledgers didn't know it would be a good product, because they couldn't really know that - solid information about what it actually contained was pretty thin on the ground throughout the kickstarter, despite the fact that the playtest material had been around for some time (since nobody was talking about it). I don't think that people buying into the T5 playtest thought much differently either - all they could see was an opportunity to participate in the playtest of a product written by an author that they liked, so of course it would be pretty easy to believe that it would be worth chipping in and taking part in it.

For all intents and purposes they were buying into the kickstarter "sight unseen", because there wasn't really any other option available. All people had to go on was a (not particularly informative) promo video, there were no previews (except for the table of contents, IIRC). And the majority of people who were discussing it didn't seem all that concerned about getting or finding more information about its actual contents, or what the systems were like. It's not that they were "gullible" per se - a lot of people didn't even care, and since it reached its target so quickly there wasn't even any reason to care any more about the core product that was being funded.

But that's not unique to Marc Miller or T5 - I'm pretty sure that a lot of the other big kickstarters are funded to a large extent on "faith" in the author and in his reputation. Is that faith necessarily well-founded? Depends on the person I guess. It can be minimised somewhat by having lots of previews and by describing what the product is in more detail that provide solid knowledge about its contents, but T5 didn't really have muich of that (as kickstarters go, T5 made a lot of mistakes when it came to presenting the product and providing useful information about it, but it was funded so quickly based on that "faith" that this didn't really matter for most of its length).

Now, I'd really rather prefer that a civilised discussion will ensue from this and I'm sure everyone else would too. Are you up for that?

Last edited by Malenfant; 04-01-2013 at 02:41 AM.
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