Sunday, July 18, 2021

OSR Commentary The Philosophy of Play & Learning - Cepheus Engine & Original Traveller rpg

 Learning to say,' I don't know everything as a dungeon master' is OK & important. There are still system kinks & ideas that even after all this time I've learned from fellow dungeon masters or even non gamers. I think that the most important thing in gaming is being able to say, 'I'm still learning & that I don't know everything'. Being open to others & new ideas is as important as actual play. The idea that one person can master every facet of table top role playing is absurd. Sometimes the only way to learn some of the 'tricks' or techniques for gaming is from older gamers.

The reason why I know so much about Traveller is because of my adopted uncle who was my DM back in the Eighties. His love of the game was infectious & his collection of books massive or least that's how it appeared to a very young me. Sharing his love of the game with us kids was very important & led to a love affair with this system going back decades. Now this is being expressed through play in DM Steve's Cepheus Engine rpg campaign by myself & his other players.
And my own explorations into this system are on going. There are players that I know who can rattle off rules & systems within 2d6 easily. That's no myself even as a DM. Can I construct a star ship? Yes, & it will work for an adventure or play. A tank or a mecha?! Yes. But there's gonna be a ton of rules, settings, etc. that I don't know about. Part of the unwritten
philosophy of the OSR & Cepheus Engine. Gerry Miller JR captured this so well in our Cepheus Engine Facebook group;
"Anything in Traveller, any edition, can be converted to Cepheus Engine. I prefer Cepheus Light & Cepheus Modern and how it simplifies the game. I think Cepheus Light gets as close to Classic Traveller as any derivative version, including The Mongoose editions. The biggest thing is CT is deadlier its armor as a modifier to hit system is brutal. All of the newer derivatives use armor as point damage reduction once hit. That kinda loses something of old grit for smooth simplicity and less die modifiers to track. I have converted Classic Traveller campaigns over to Cepheus Light, The PC's, Ships, NPC's etc.. Prior to The Cepheus Light Character generator I would use the CT character generator and just convert them. Classic Traveller is still very payable you just have to home rule the old computer rules a bit on starships. The nostalgia of that game lives in my heart forever. I have homerules for both versions and I like to beef up PC's a bit. YOU CAN ALMOST DO ANYTHING WITH THIS 2D6 ENGINE"

"If you scroll and look at the PDF files on this page you can see i have files explaining my conversions and attempts on homerules. It is a great system and I like tinkering with the mechanics to make things fit and work. I truly think you can almost do anything with this system. That is what Traveller was originally meant to be a simple 3book outline for GM's to create whatever they wanted to create." 

The Cepheus Engine Facebook & even the MeWe Cepheus Engine rpg groups are some of the best on social media. These groups are by fans of the game & creators of the 2d6 system. There's a huge amount of experience there. My  suggestion is to take advantage of it. 

This blog is called Sword & Stitchery now I don't often take the time to talk about the cross over with sewing machine repair or the sewing hobby. But that cross pollicization is there within our respective  hobbies.  Each time another sewing machine repair business goes out or the owner dies. I will often hear its better for my own sewing machine repair business. Nothing could be further from the truth. Each & every time another sewing machine repair technician passes on. The total accumulated knowledge, wisdom, & experience  of a lifetime is lost. Its lost to the community of hobbyists,  sewers  & the hobby is poorer for it. 
This is the same with gamers & our own hobby. How often do we hear of another designer, writer, or  gamer's passing & the devastation such a loss causes to a group of players. The loss of a life time experience & the wisdom of the table top is lost to all of us. 
This blog entry should not end on such a morbid note. Let's get back to the fact that dungeon masters should be open to continuing to learn even if its a system that they've been playing for a life time. 
The fact is that its only recently that I've gotten back into the foray with both original Traveller & Cepheus Engine. Remember it takes a lifetime of play & the play is the thing. 

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