Friday, April 09, 2010

This is the Free Trader Beowulf, calling anyone ...

Traveller is the first RPG that I played that was not Advanced Dungeons and Dragons. It's a great old school sci-fi RPG and as good as the new Mongoose Publishing hardcover edition is (and it is EXCELLENT) it doesn't stray from the original design over much. That being said, original Traveller is available for those who might be curious about this classic science fiction RPG. And it's available for FREE!

The edition being offered is "Starter Traveller" it contains the same books that I started with (although the edition I first bought was called "Deluxe Traveller" ... the books are the same) and although it is called a "Starter" edition, make no mistake, it is a complete and fully developed game.

I can't recommend this download strongly enough. It's a classic game and it's appeal in this era of "old school renaissance" should be unequaled. One word of warning... when I clicked on the "Get it Free" button, I got the first book, but not the rest (there are 3 books in all.) If this happens to you, just click on "My Account" and go to your order history. A download link for all three books will be there. (Did I mention, It's FREE!)

The books are broken into three fairly small (and therefore very "printable") volumes. Book 1 is the primary rules text. This information is supported by Book 2, the charts and tables book. During a casual read through of the rules, navigating the 2 books may prove to be a hassle, but as a Referee who used these very books for years at the tabletop, the division of this material in this fashion is brilliant. In actual play, almost everything you need is in the Charts and Tables Book and separating it from the body of descriptive text means that reference during play is lightning fast and easy.

The third book is an Adventures Book that contains two adventures for players to get started playing Traveller right away.

If you are at all interested in (one of?) the first, and arguably the best science fiction RPG ever published, don't miss your opportunity to download Traveller for free.


Jeff Moore


  1. Woah! Thanks very much for pointing this one out. I'm busy downloading now. From memory this edition leaves out the section on drugs and experience but has much better starship combat rules.

  2. You are right about the experience rules ... there are none. My group wrote some very good house rules for experience that worked great so it was never an issue. As I recall, even when we moved on to other editions of Traveller we continued to use those house rules. (Hard to believe that was over 20 years ago!)


  3. Jeff, do you still have access to those time-tested experience rules?

  4. Unfortunately, that was too, too long ago... typed on paper with a manual typewriter before the days of computers in every home... No, those rules are lost to the sands of time.

    I remember it was something easy enough and that tried keeping with the randomness of character creation.

    It worked like this (as best I can remember):

    Any time you use a skill put a little dot by it. After 3 dots roll to see if the skill advances. The roll was like a skill check with bonuses or penalties based on age. Older characters learned more slowly than young green ones. We felt this was realistic and also discouraged players from spending too much time in character creation building themselves up. It was a trade off. Do you want to enter play with a fully developed character, or start out a novice and evolve during play?

    If a player performed an action unskilled that was recorded too. 3x and there was a chance to add that as a new skill. (New skills could also be learned by paying credits for a data-jack that would give a player the basics of a skill in an instant.)

    That was about it. Hope you find it helpful!


    1. Nice. Reminds me a little of the Call of Cthulhu rules for this. CoC is percentage based. The first time you succeed at a skill roll during an adventure, you check a box next to that skill. Whenever the Ref. decides you roll against that skill again, hoping to fail.
      If you do fail you roll a d10 and add that to the skill. That way as your skill gets higher it become more difficult to improve it.

  5. Nice one Jeff. Heh, typewriter... You're funny.