Thursday, September 13, 2012


One thing that I've noticed while playing Traveller that I had not noticed much previously (keep in mind that I was attracted by the erroneous "storytelling" paradigm when I started to think seriously about adventure games, it being the dominant paradigm of the time) is the interrelation of various minigames (or perhaps "subsystems") as parts of the flow of play. As I prepare for the Terra Ultima game, I naturally am thinking about the sorts of minigames to make available.

The obvious ones are built into the main rules: combat, exploration and encounter in the dungeon and wilderness, NPC reactions, the "endgame", and so on. It seems like there are others, though, that should be available to the players. I am thinking here of ones that are obviously inspired by Traveller, such as a merchant minigame of speculative trade. I suppose that I'd do that in a manner based on Traveller's speculative trade system. Other examples might include astral exploration (different not only in appearance, but in basic format from standard wilderness or dungeon exploration).

What minigames (or subsystems, if you prefer) do you think should be available to the players at various points in the game?


  1. My players (Starclans - Traveller) have, in very small doses:
    - Journeyed overland on foot on their homeworld
    - Fought several battles armed with shotguns and rifles against opponents armed with spears and swords
    - Made First Contact both on their world and several others
    - Flew a starship through an asteroid belt (I made them use 1 g vectors on a map to show their route)
    - Bought and sold trade goods on several worlds
    - Fled a high tech world when their ship was fired upon by ground-based lasers
    - Begun planning to colonize a nearby low-tech (stone age) world

    It's been fun! Look forward to seeing what your other readers propose... so I can borrow some ideas!

    1. I am also looking forward to more ideas in this arena.

      Thank you for these ones, and it sounds like your players must be having fun!