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(RPG) Mongoose's New License: Traveller

Mongoose Publishing announced one of their new licenses today. They are doing a brand new edition of Classic Traveller and also making the revised system OGL for other publishers.

They also announced two otehr games that will be coming out early next year which will also utilise the Traveller rules set. These are a brand new edition of Starship Troopers and the 2000AD property Strontium Dog.

Full Press Release Here

I'm glad the license is Traveller (as it's not one we ever considered trying to get) but there are a couple of things that really annoy me about their press release as they are factually incorrect. Companies should try and make sure that the Press Releases are accurate or at least get soemone who knows about the industry to write them on their behalf.

The two points which annoy me are the following:

**After a near 10-year gap in which only reprints of the Traveller game system have been available** - apart from the GURPS Traveller material, the T20 (d20) Traveller material and the material BITS have been bringing out I guess? Traveller has been supported with new material from a  variety of companies in the last 10 years over and above the compilation reprints that Far Future Enterprises have been bringing out themselves!

**It is our aim to halt the fragmentation of the Traveller game, and reintroduce one solid system (based on Classic Traveller), with one source for the official Traveller universe.** - Now this has actually annoyed me a lot less upon another reading. Initially I read it along the lines of  "We are the only true source and only true system". But upon re-reading it I see that this is their statement of intent not a statement of reality. I say this because QLI (the company behind T20) have already come out and stated that this new license in no way alters their own license and they are going to continue publishing Traveller books using the T20 system. I haven't heard anything from the GURPS crew yet but I suspect a similiar statement will probably be forthcoming regarding the continuation of GURPS Traveller (albeit they generally only produce PDF books these days but still...).

So it's Mongoose's *aim*. I can live with that one :p

Anyway, congratulations to the Mongoose guys and gals. I look forward with interest to see what happens with the line.

On a related note, can anyone tell me any company (beyond OWC and Sceaptune Games) that have published print OGL Runequest books so far? Or anyone know how the RQ OGL has penetrated the PDF market?


( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 4th, 2007 01:12 pm (UTC)
Regarding RQ OGL, there seems to be a market for it but it is underexploited at present. Certainly my BloodQuest conversion seems to have done OK for what it is and I'm sure its a contributing factor to the sales of Freakshow. I certainly intend to do more with it but IMO it needs a bit more support.
Aug. 4th, 2007 01:24 pm (UTC)
How closely does it compare to Chaosium's BRP system?
Aug. 4th, 2007 01:28 pm (UTC)
You could use material for one with the other with almost no problem at all.
Aug. 4th, 2007 01:31 pm (UTC)
Your surprise at errors in Mongoose's published output amuses me.

I got a sense that a reasonable number of MRQ OGL PDFs were appearing, but it's now harder to find them at RPGNow. *search* Looks like Sceaptune, Seraphim Guard and Postmortem are doing them.
Aug. 4th, 2007 02:10 pm (UTC)
I'm not entirely sure I'd call it 'surprise' :p

It's actually a sad state of affairs that mistakes are these days considered the norm with Mongoose books and not treated with 'surprise' due to their rarity.
Aug. 4th, 2007 01:57 pm (UTC)
Phil Reed has being doing PDF OGL RQ IIRC. So Traveller huh? Ok... Moves slowly away from the SciFi game that was dated 15 years ago. I dunno, maybe I never had the right GMs.
Aug. 5th, 2007 05:03 am (UTC)
Keep looking shocked, and move slowly towards the cake.
(no subject) - epocalypse - Aug. 4th, 2007 03:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 4th, 2007 04:12 pm (UTC)
It's really weird this announcement would come three days after the one and only time I talk about Traveller on my blog.
Aug. 4th, 2007 04:31 pm (UTC)
Well please, whatever you do, don't talk about XXXXXXXXXX or XXXXXXXXXX on your Blog!

I don't want either of those going the same way!!!
Aug. 4th, 2007 08:01 pm (UTC)
Aha, I knew one of the licences would be XXX the rpg,
Vin Diesel is a gamer after all :-)
(Deleted comment)
Aug. 5th, 2007 10:16 pm (UTC)
If it's any consolation, it looks like I'll be lead writer on the corebook.
Aug. 5th, 2007 10:27 pm (UTC)
Congratulations if you get it :)
Aug. 4th, 2007 11:31 pm (UTC)

Mongoose are the new borg.

The way that Traveller and T5 are being published is weird. I guess fans will be expected to purchase Mongoose Traveller and "upgrade" to T5.

Ahh, it's a win for both companies, verdade?
Aug. 5th, 2007 08:41 pm (UTC)
ZOMG. This might actually compel me to buy my first ever Mongoose book. I do hope they sort out their binding before then, the Elric books are horribly warped and look like they won't last long. I want my Strontium Dog book to last.
(Deleted comment)
Aug. 7th, 2007 10:32 pm (UTC)
More information is beginning to come out - partially from other companies talking about were they stand in regards to their license agreements that were already in place prior to Mongoose's acquisition, partially from Mongoose themselves.

I read that the GURPS license is covered under a seperate agreement and will almost certainly be renewed if both Steve and Marc want it to be. I believe the QLI (T20) license is valid until 2010 or 2011 so there will still be a few years more of that one too.

The Mongoose Press Release was indeed misleading and I hope Alex and/or Matt had words with whomever wrote it. It's one reason why all press releases should be vetted properly by the company and not just sent out. I'm sure this one did have a certain about of vetting but (maybe not from either of the top Bods though?) but it did show a lack of knowledge and understanding of the brand they were announcing. Which in turn worries players and fans about the lciense being in good hands.

Saying that, the fact they have placed Gareth Hanrahan (mytholder on LJ) as lead writer is a good sign. Gar does good work and I'll be interested to see the finished product.

My main worry is not in the writing (Gar will see to that) but in the production quality of the book itself. The mroe recent books from Mongoose have been very poor quality (production wise) since they started printing them in-house. They are still earning the equipment and many of the titles have had faults (laminated covers, badly glued spines, warped covers, etc) to the extent that I know at least one distributor is no longer accepting returns on Mongoose items and anyone with problems has to talk to Mongoose direct.

I'm sure this will get better in time as the Mongoose staff in charge of book production get to know the machinary better but it's not good in the short term.

Mongoose have a lot of potential and are in a very strong position in the industry to really cement their position and grow their business further. They have acquired some very good properties that, if treated correctly, will do wonders for their buisness and the fans of those games.

Runequest seems to have backfired on them but they are looking at tryign to put that right with RuneQuest Deluxe. I hope they have learnt the some lessons from their time with RQ and won't make similiar mistakes with the Traveller line.

Still, it's an interesting time in the RPG business. With the market as it currently is, and so many companies just not producing books on a regular basis, it has opened things up for new companies to really start establishing themselves. I don't think there is any doubt that Mongoose is one of the success stories of the last ten years.
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )

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