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SAFCOcast.com – a Traveller RPG Podcast
37 minutes | 2 months ago
SAFCOcast 24: Interview with Ken Patterson and Greg Caires about the 2021 MayDay! online Traveller event!
In this episode we interview Ken Patterson and Greg Caires about the upcoming Mayday! event. The first day of May – May Day – has special meaning to Traveller players due to the infamous Mayday call from the Free Trader Beowulf that has appeared on box and book covers of various variants of the game since its earliest years. In 2021, May Day will be a Saturday – an ideal time to play Traveller. To help the global Traveller community celebrate May Day, three groups of players have teamed up to create a unique day of Traveller-related programming. Operating from its home base on Facebook, the Virtual Traveller group – the same people who organized the weekend-long online “non-convention” last October – will organize “MayDay! a Celebration of Traveller through online roleplaying.” GMs from across the globe will be invited to run Traveller games online using whatever communications tools they prefer and during any suitable time period based on their locale. The only requests are: All games must begin and be run during May 1st in the GM’s local time-zone; All games must conclude by 7 pm Saturday night Central US Time on May 1st to “clear the decks” for a charity game that will be broadcast live on Twitch (more about this below). Based on lessons-learned from the Virtual Traveller weekend, MayDay! will be organized using Tabletop Events for simplicity game submission, player registration and communication. To cover the expense of using Tabletop, a nominal fee (likely $3) will be charged. That fee buys players their convention badges, and they can then join and play as many games as their schedules will allow. More about MayDay!: Tabletop Events: https://tabletop.events/conventions/mayday-celebration Facebook Virtual Traveller Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/virtualtraveller Discord Virtual Traveller server: https://discord.gg/3WRUjXk Both GMs and players are sought. Questions can be submitted via the links above. If online gaming isn’t your thing, CyborgPrime is organizing the 3rd annual “Mayday! Mayday!” event, which consists of live interviews of Traveller authors and others who contribute to keeping the game popular and replenished with fresh material. Last year, CP interviewed both Matthew Sprange and Marc Miller, and generous prizes were awarded to members of the audience. This year, CP intends to interview a variety of new voices, giveaway more and better prizes, give a platform to Ken Burnside of AdAstra Games to host some Traveller Squadron Strike vector combat simulations. The marquee event will be – like last year – the live broadcast of Patrick Kanouse’s Traveller game to benefit his charity The Carcinoid Cancer Foundation (https://www.carcinoid.org/). Joining him as players are Two Brothers Gaming, High Shelf Gaming, and The Death Die Club. They will be playing Michael Brown’s Angle of Incidence: “A routine cargo run leads to a station orbiting a black hole and one man’s world of obsession, secrets, and madness. As the heroes help an intelligence agent investigate the mad scientist’s activities, they come to realize that they may bear witness to the ultimate adventure…or become just more bits of matter crushed by the black hole’s gravity.” The Carcinoid Cancer Foundation’s mission is to increase awareness and educate the general public and healthcare professionals regarding carcinoid and related neuroendocrine tumors (NETs), to support NET cancer patients and their families, and to serve as patient advocates. We’ll be giving away a bunch of things, and you can even have an effect on the game. The game will stream on High Shelf Gaming’s Twitch channel (https://twitch.tv/highshelfgaming/profile) at 8:00 pm Eastern. The game will include giveaways and opportunities to influence the game.
76 minutes | 3 months ago
SAFCOcast 23: To Violence Or Not To Violence
First, thanks to all our listeners for sticking with us! It has been two months since the last episode, which of course is not our goal, but life got in the way! In this episode, besides the usual sections, our main topic deals with non-violent/non-combat Traveller (and other RPGs) sessions. Not arguing against a good shoot-em-up, but just using other kinds of challenges to create a good game. We also mention Jeff’s table of 2d6 outcome probabilities, so here it is! Relevant Links Amber Zone Contest https://amber.zone/2021/02/14/amber-zone-contest-2021/ Greg Caires’s Classic Traveller One Shot Saturdays is still going strong! SciFiAtmospheres on Intagram. https://www.instagram.com/scifiatmospheres/ Vintage Sci-Fi Art. https://www.instagram.com/vintage_scifiart/ Vintage_scifi. https://www.instagram.com/vintage_scifi/ Alegis Downport has a nice review of the Traveller Book, if you would like to see what it looks like before purchasing. Gamicon Zinc: https://tabletop.events/conventions/gamicon-zinc Cepheus Journal 4 is available for download – https://cepheusjournal.com/downloads/ Jan/Feb 2021 Freelance Traveller: https://www.freelancetraveller.com/magazine/index.html The Traveller Bibliography Yet Another Traveller Blog: the State of the Blog post! Our list of Traveller blogs and sites: http://www.safcocast.com/traveller-podcasts-blog-companies-and-their-humans/
52 minutes | 6 months ago
SAFCOcast 22: Interview with Greg Caires about Virtual Traveller
In this episode we talk to Greg Caires about the October 2020 Virtual Traveller non-con that he and Ken Patterson organized. Always fun to talk to Greg! Relevant links: Virtual Traveller on Facebook Greg’s Classic Traveller One Shot Saturdays FB group Freelance Traveller Zine Speculative Machines Podcast
84 minutes | 7 months ago
SAFCOcast 21: Mailbag, Rules and Internet Finds, and Session Discussion
This first light image from the Callisto telescope at the SPECULOOS Southern Observatory (SSO) shows the famous Horsehead Nebula . First light for a newly commissioned telescope is a tremendously exciting time, and usually well-known astronomical objects such as this are captured to celebrate a new telescope commencing operations. The SSO is installed at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in the vast Atacama Desert, Chile, and consists of four 1-metre planet-hunting telescopes. The project’s telescopes are named after Jupiter’s Galilean moons, and are neighbours of ESO’s Very Large Telescope and VISTA . SPECULOOS will focus on detecting Earth-sized planets orbiting nearby ultra-cool stars and brown dwarfs. In this episode we read some great email’s from listeners! Lots to think about! We also cover Internet Finds and Rules Finds, and discuss the latest session of our Into the Void Classic Traveller campaign! Relevant links: Writeup of our last Into the Void Classic Traveller sesion http://www.gaming.concretelunch.info/itv-session-19-the-alien-complex/ Cepheus Journal #2 https://cepheusjournal.com/downloads/ Take on Rules – writeup of Traveller Core Rulebook https://takeonrules.com/series/lets-read-traveller-core-rulebook/ The OK Grognard show on Twitch.tv https://www.twitch.tv/mark_cmg GURPSland article on using Robert Pearce’s Traveller Geomorphs http://gurpsland.no-ip.org/geomorphs/ GURPSland homepage, because it’s a great GURPS resource http://gurpsland.no-ip.org/ Ron Stepp’s Andromeda LN2 blog https://andromedaln2.space/ Our theme music for this episode is called Event Listener, from the Speculative Machines Podcast, by Trent Straughan. https://soundcloud.com/speculative-machines/event-listener
85 minutes | 8 months ago
SAFCOcast 20: the Elements of a Traveller Game!
In this episode Jeff and Bob discuss the basic elements of a Traveller game, as detailed by Marc Miller in the Traveller Book. Before that Bob does a short correction from the previous episode, we do Internet Finds, and some fun Rules Finds, as well as present the last of the planets submitted in our Random Planet Generation Smackdown! (that system appears below, under the relevant links). Relevant links: Freelance Traveller ‘zine: https://www.freelancetraveller.com/index.html Reaver’s Deep: https://www.reaversdeep.com/ Cepheus Journal is now online: https://cepheusjournal.com/ Independence Games has released the Opportunity-class Light Trader, with art by Ian Stead. https://independencerpgs.com/collections/new/products/opportunity-class-light-trader?fbclid=IwAR0Lc5QzV-UnhF5zZuqIfOumMuPkZZ6tViODkr6sr74XveUKWQtYwdt39LM Albacon, a UK-organized online con, has 3 Traveller session, including one by Greg Caires (who alerted us to this con). https://albacon.co.uk/ Oct 3-4 Of course, the Virtual Traveller non-con is coming up in October as well. Here’s the link again: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1205944649744350 For anyone wanting to do some Swords & Sorcery with a Traveller/CE style system, Omer Golan-Joel’s Sword of Cepheus is now available in print from DrivethruRPG. I was looking through my PDF last night, and it is really good. I ordered the printed version. https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/304840/The-Sword-of-Cepheus In his FB group, Traveller Gaming in the Future, Ron Stepp has posted a spreadsheet tool called Adventure Class Ship Designer. I have not tried it yet, as I hate turning on my PC, but knowing Ron’s work I’m sure it is good. https://www.facebook.com/groups/512380172987060 Speaking of Ron, he is a prolific creator of Traveller content, especially incredible settings and ship designs, and has started a blog on which to keep his work in a place less ephemeral than social media posts (I wonder how much he lost when G+ was disappeared?)? https://andromedaln2.space/ The Speculative Machines Podcast, home of our music! https://soundcloud.com/speculative-machines Random Planet #9! Faddle – from Pete Burke C589632-8 Ni Faddle is a cold, icy world with most of the surface covered in permafrost. There is a band approximately 400 miles wide around the equator that is comfortable and is actually considered pleasantly tropical. The atmosphere is dense which helps create the effect Faddle is famous for – the floating “Udrassi” mats. Udrassi is a native organic lifeform that straddles the line between fungus, plant and animal life. The udrassi combine into large circular floating mats that organize around a central hub. On each hub, three pools of amino acids are arranged in a triangular pattern – early colonists to the planet were able to quickly determine that by adding saline water of specific concentrations to the pools in certain sequuences, the mats could be raised, lowered or steered and also directed to attract or repel other floating mats. The mats are extremely strong – some colonists built houses and larger buildings anchoring into the mats themselves. It wasn’t long until early colonial families created resort hotel compounds for tourists by assembling larger mats together – and by manipulating the hub pools on the mats, small towns developed by combining mats together. The planet is mostly a recreation destination – the floating lifestyle of the permanent residents is very laid back . Some floating resorts stay in the tropics all year round, while others float to a mountain range south of the equator in the permafrost region where a ski resort has been set up.
73 minutes | 9 months ago
SAFCOcast 19: More Random Planets!
In this episode we are focusing on two more of the random planets submitted during our Random Planet event a few months ago, this time from Dwayne “Hiverlord” Walstrom and Jonathan Daylett (check out his Desert World RPG – a great adaptation of a Mad Max style setting). Before that we dig into a couple of items from X-Boat Transmissions, and end with a recap or our own last gaming session from our Into the Void campaign. Here are the planet/system writeups… From Hiverlord Planet/System: Not Assigned Rolled with T5 rules. FV main star (no companions). Standard orbit. Temperate climate. B735BDG-9 Hi In GG=0 PB=3 No bases. Importance (Ix)=2 Ranks worlds within a region Economics (Ex)=BA9(-2) Culture (Cx)=6D68 Population= 102 Billion Hi=Hi population In=industrial With an extremely high population level and poor atmosphere, this overwhelmed planet is run by an accepting, yet overbearing and stern, Religious Dictatorship. The religion itself promotes, perhaps even encourages, Free Love, and has strict rules against contraceptives and most forms of abortion. Birth (and survival) rates are high, given the planet’s TL of 9. Combined with longer lifespans associated with higher technology, the world quickly reached and exceeded its purported capacity. Several nearby Agricultural worlds have a ready-made market with this extremely overpopulated system. This world is located in a ‘Dumarest’-style setting, with no significant interstellar powers. The reasons why this world hadn’t begun expanding (aggressively or otherwise) is simple to deduce: with over 100 Billion citizens to support, it doesn’t have any resources to spare for expansionist activities. From Jonathan Daylett Planet/System: Aristodma Rolled with combination of Mongoose Traveller 1e and 2e CAB2654-9 R Ni Large, extremely hot planet with a corrosive atmosphere and scant water. Rich in phosgene and hydrogen chloride, very valuable chemical compounds used in plastics and technology manufacturing. Due to the high gravity, the densest parts of the atmosphere are much lower to the ground, allowing for research stations, collection facilities and refineries to be built on the highest points of elevation. The primary authority is a feudal technocracy. What began countless rotations ago as a corporately owned resource, Aristodma is now home to millions of people who live in ports, research stations, and other dense plastic fortresses. They are governed by those with the highest level of understanding of the environmental hazards present. People came here for the high risk, high reward lifestyle of gas-farming. Over the years, however, it became apparent that there were those more suited to the dangers involved, and they soon became leaders among the people. Generation by generation, the highly profitable gas-farmers have gained a reputation of shrewd but fair governance. It has worked well enough, until recent years as a few other factions started to see the cracks in the system and decided to try and make their own ways of life beyond the confines of primitive feudalism. Now those in command have to contend with not only an environment that is actively trying to kill them every second of every day, but with a contentious minority group that steals technology and parts for building new facilities as well as a political faction that seeks to upend the centuries-long reign of those who see themselves as de facto rulers of Aristodma.
73 minutes | 9 months ago
SAFCOcast 18: Classic Traveller Combat, Mailbag, and other Stuff
Our main topic, inspired by one of our SAFCO Mail Bag submissions, is a discussion of the combat procedure from Classic Traveller. We also go through some great mailbag submissions, discuss the Central Supply Catalog supplement for Classic Traveller, Timothy Collinson’s Generation-X Traveller book, and Internet Finds! Thanks to everyone for listening. Relevant links: Timothy Collinson’s Generation-X book Chris Chaudruc’s Nuts & Bolts Scrapheap Rumble: Robot Battle Rules Dragon #59, contains Skitterbugging (pg 26-32) and Exonidas Spaceport – A Traveller Adventure by Jeff Swycaffer (p34 – 48) A Cepheus Light Vehicle Chase, from Ancient Faith in the Far Future. July/August 2020 Freelance Traveller Starship Geomorphs 2.0 Independence Games has Wendy’s Guide to the Fleets of Earth Sector, Volume 1 Virtual Traveller: A weekend of virus-free online roleplaying
32 minutes | 10 months ago
SAFCOcast 17: interview with Ken Patterson, about the upcoming Virtual Traveller event
This episode is an interview with Ken Patterson, regarding the event he and Greg Caires are organizing for October 2020 — Virtual Traveller: a Weekend of Virus-Free Roleplaying. The event can be found here, on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1205944649744350/ Jeff and I had a good time talking with Ken! We appreciate him coming on, and hope you enjoy the interview.
68 minutes | a year ago
SAFCOcast 16: Traveller Session Recap, Imperial News, Etc
In this episode we discuss their last Classic Traveller session (written recap here on Bob’s gaming blog). We also do Internet Finds, Imperial News, and Rules Finds. Links and info from the show: Dragon #87 p 75: “Luna, A Traveller’s Guide – The Moon in Traveller” by Marc Miller. Cyborg Prime Games: Traveller RPG Ship Distance Calculator Darkest Stars #2 is out, from Omer Golan Joel and Richard Rose is out. https://www.darkestfanzine.com/ Ron Stepp has started a FB page called Traveller Gaming in the Future. Greg Caires’ games can be found here! The maps Bob mentioned in the show: Space Cantina and Starport. Starport was actually NOT from DriveThru RPG, but from a series of articles from Freelance Traveller called “Finding your way around the starport“, by Benedikt Schwarz, which provides not only a great map but excellent write-ups of the facility over a series of issues. Our theme music can be found on the Speculative Machines podcast!
11 minutes | a year ago
SAFCOcast 11: I won a contest!
This is a very rare SHORT episode! Only about 11 minutes! I quickly talk about a few things that have been going on, and about winning a great contest I didn’t know I’d even entered on the Traveller RPG Headquarters group on Facebook! Relevant Links Traveller RPG Headquarters Facebook Group Herald Class Starships – by Daarnulud Design Bureaux
101 minutes | a year ago
SAFCOcast 10: Traveller talk and Superheroes!
In this episode we discuss our usual Traveller stuff, including some internet finds, rules we wanted to talk about from Classic Traveller, and of course start off with the SAFCO Mail Bag! This is long one, folks, but we did stay on-topic! There’s just so much cool stuff out there to discuss! Then we talk about something a little different, Session Zero of our upcoming superhero campaign, called SuperTex, using the legendary Jeff Dee’s and Jack Herman’s The Mighty Protectors: Villains & Vigilantes 3.0 system. We’ll be playing it maybe every three sessions, and will also play it when our whole SAFCO Traveller group can’t meet. Relevant Links: Omer’s Quick and Dirty Classic Traveller Vehicle Combat A Classic Science Fiction Simulator SF Adventure Assignment Generator Classic Traveller Character Generator The Armed Packet – ship design from The Great Dungeon of the North – great blog. Monkey House Games – source of the Mighty Protectors! And here is where you can find the Character Record Sheet! Monkey House Games Youtube channel’s Mighty Protectors live play examples. Every Conceivable Horizon – a track from the Speculative Machines Podcast by Trent Straughan. Theme music for this episode and the next few at least. Stan Shinn’s Traveller Binder video! MP Writeups
82 minutes | a year ago
SAFCOcast 9: Planet Generation Smackdown, Traveller session recap, etc.
Overview In this episode we discuss two of the systems generated by listeners in our Random Planet Generation Smackdown. We had considered doing more, but we’ll do two per episode until we’re done with them. We had got some nice mailbag comments, and we’ll do a recap of the last session of our Traveller campaign, Into the Void. And of course we’ll hit a few Internet Finds. Relevant links: Basilisk Station: A Traveller Blog Art Gorski has made these awesome iPad apps for Traveller (mostly T5): https://naasirka.weebly.com/software.html Mongoose’s Traveller Fiction The Mighty Protectors page on Facebook – where you can find Weird News You Can Use ! Gaming & BS Podcast Internet Finds Jeff found some interesting items on the internet, and used them for inspiration for a planet and a game hook.1. Inspiration: Photo found on Internet of a small mining “island” at the bottom of a deep well. Island is reminiscent of a sci-fi version of the computer game “Myst”https://i.redd.it/94k99magyx541.jpg Book 3 “Worlds and Adventures” (1981)E – Frontier Installation (Marked spot on bedrock for landing)Size: AsteroidThin atmosphere20% water0 inhabitantsNo law level, no governmentAbandoned outpost2. Inspiration: Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators – Russian nuclear power sources for lighthouses, in great disrepair, but still radioactive. Locating and transferring the cores to safety is very dangerous because of very short acceptable human exposure limits. https://bellona.org/news/nuclear-issues/radioactive-waste-and-spent-nuclear-fuel/2003-11-radioisotope-thermoelectric-generators Idea for session: The power source of a long-abandoned distant monitoring outpost is desired by a salvage company. Random Planet Generation Smackdown Krystian in the Chaste system (X-260620-7, De,Ni,Ri,N) Submitted by Colin Turvey Orbits a class K5 star in its first orbit remarkably despite being a desert world it’s not just inhabited but bears a population in excess of 60 million mostly Belters as it’s a low gravity world with only one asteroid belt orbiting between it and it’s system’s sun. It does have 3 gas giants it’s widely thought the massive amounts of oxygen permeating the system is the reason why Krystian remains inhabitable. It was originally a prison colony particularly for political types despite the conditions the inhabitants and others continue to live here as a mark of defiance at their former oppressors. The Naval base originally intended to prevent escapes now watches protectively over them such is the change of fortunes they have overcome. Update: Found a system generator the Chaste system now has a K5 type star with 8 orbits. Asteroid belt the main source of the Belters pay. Krystian Gas Giant Ember Gas Giant#2 Leone Space Station (Naval base) Gas Giant#3 Literally the molten remains of a much larger world the only residents live aboard the refinery station that orbits this dwarf planet as it literally has no solid landmass! A Research base is also located aboard and is largely focused on discovering what happened to the Chaste system. Aegle Submitted by Ted Hale C 454 227 9 Aegle was originally colonized by forced resettlement. The colonists were families belonging to the “Salvation Tears” religion. The organization’s rapid growth, and popular appeal was perceived to be a threat to several surrounding world governments. The religion was designated a cult. Aegle, an unpleasant hot world with a thin, toxic atmosphere, was also a world rich in unexploited bitumen and other petrochemicals. Ling Petrochem saw an opportunity to fulfill a long unmet need for affordable labor on Aegle. The Subsector Duke and surrounding world governments wanted a politically acceptable means to rid themselves of the cultists. A deal was struck between the Subsector Duke, Ling Petrochem, and the various world governments concerned. The cultists were rounded up and deported to Aegle. Once settled, the colony went through a period of rapid, and sometimes violent, change in government form. Theocracies gave way to autocracies, then dictatorships both popular and unpopular. Civil wars and bloody upheavals left the remaining Aegle colonists with a disdain for violence and authority. The Aegle Colonists currently employ an informal participating democracy to govern themselves. Their laws strictly prohibit firearms and violence. Spears are the most common form of weapon and are regarded as protection from local fauna, rather than from their fellow colonist. Two generations later, the population of Aegle has dwindled. Young people eschew the faith of their grandparents and yearn for easier lives. Economic, academic, and social opportunities are quite limited on Aegle. Most Aeglians cannot afford passage out of the Aegle system. It is widely held hat this is by design to benefit Ling Petrochem. Aegle’s starport is little more than a Ling depot for the interstellar transport of Aegle’s petrochem commodities. Ling and Aegle’s population are aware that the starport is a nexus for both human and illicit drug trafficking, but Ling Petrochem has not been inclined to address the problem, and Aegle’s government is ill equipped to stop it.
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