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Traveller about men of honor?

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Post originally by FredH at 2005-07-19 07:55:36
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I have to say, it doesn't seem at all implicit in the game, whatever Miller's intentions (or however things may be in his own campaigns). Sure, one can *decide* to play an honorable PC, as one can in just about any RPG other than Paranoia, but as written there's nothing especially promoting that, even subtly; if anything, the default paying-off-the-ship-mortgage campaign structure would seem to encourage scrambling for bucks by almost any means necessary.

That's not a criticism; I like Traveller a lot, and always have. But it seems to me that whatever moral content a Traveller campaign has (or doesn't have) is brought to it by the GM and players, not the game itself as written. (Except TNE, perhaps, since there you've got the actual in-story goal of rebuilding.)
 
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Post originally by RW at 2005-07-19 11:52:19
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It may well be that a more genteel attitude exists in opinion only. I see where Marc is coming from, many of the people I played Traveller with were military men with a very different view of honor than the average gamer. A few of those people are even mentioned in the column. I would love to see the idea of honor more clearly delineated in Traveller5. The Traveller feudal system has always impled this, but that is not the same as explaining it.
 
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Post originally by theRaptor at 2005-07-19 14:33:38
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I think he meant that the Third Imperium relies on honourable men. The long communication times means that the people on the front can't be micro-managed by high commands. If some problem comes up they can't just send a message asking what to do, they have to deal with the problem and consequently get more lee way for mistakes.

Playing the captain of a USN ship isn't very fun because any major decision has to be approved by higher authority (who are only a phone call away). The captain of a Imperial Navy patrol vessel is generally the highest military authority and so has to make all the hard calls.

However your typical campaign is generally like FireFly. A bunch of rogues trying to make enough money to get by. But Traveller lends itself to more serious campaigns where the players can make a difference (if only locally) and the fate of a world can depend on how honourable they act..
 
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Post originally by Richard Aiken at 2005-07-20 22:10:35
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The requirement for "men of honor" (defined as "men of initiative who keep their sworn word and support their superiors and subordinates as a matter of course") being a central component of the Traveller universe is (IMHO) implicit in the continued existence of the Third Imperium. Note, please, that this does not necessarily mean that "men of honor" will be of Lawful Good alignment (to steal a reference from a completely different game setting). It is quite possible for someone to be fairly reprehensible in their personal life, yet still uphold the Imperial system.
 
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Post originally by Jethrow at 2005-07-21 01:07:20
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Ross, really great article. I am 33, and Traveller was the second RPG I ever played, with D&D the first. I too have played many RPGs with players from military backgrounds. I have found that most of the people I have played Traveller with have chosen to play amoral mercenary types. Not much honour there, but most of my players prefer dark characters. I personally do not. Funny thing, that.
 
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Post originally by RW at 2005-07-21 06:44:56
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I agree, but I think a more specific discussion would do a lot to clear up the ambiguities that are just as implicit. I think I will write about that in my next column actually.
 
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Post originally by Baron S. at 2005-07-23 04:59:56
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I can see where the Imperium would need to have "men of honor" (though I balk at the humano and andro centric nature of this comment)
or Sophonts of Honor to insure that its policies work, that makes sense, but I doubt you'll find much of that in the average Traveller Game, at least in my experience.

So-Named "Military Sci-Fi" often has contempt for any other notion of honor besides that associated with commanding a warship or brandishing a sword. As a Referee, I try to portray a wider spectrum what life is like in the Imperium and beyond, aside from the period of time between battles. I try to make it as much of a place as possible, short of actually constructing it. The implication of Traveller to me was that (regardless of Government) these cultures were built on the expansion of generations of beings colonizing different star systems over thousands of years. I always felt the Imperium ran on much more than just "honor" in that sense.
 
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Post originally by D. Davis at 2005-09-22 13:30:57
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Yes, and no.
I could see (being a player of Original Traveller, with the little classy black covers) that as the game progressed from Traveller to MegaTraveller (Imperium's falling! Go blow something up!) to TNE (EVERYTHING's fallen! Go blow bad guys up!) that the designers were trying to throttle down the wide moral spectrum range you had; probably disgusted with the 'let's kill it all, take its money, and let the Judge sort 'em out!' attitude that had steadily become prevalent through time. They seemed to be shooting for: 'you are the good guys. Go kill baddies!' I recall a Challenge article that commented on how the transfer to TNE happened that said that the nobility failed by being dishonorable....

Individual PCs in a game with no alignment, and morally ambiguous situations will do as the situation warrants; there can be honor, but its not artificial--it only springs up of its own sake.
 
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