So, Starship Traveller. The least satisfying book so far, largely because the illusion of control is absolutely stripped away with so many decisions the sci-fi equivalent of the bare left or right found in some of the fantasy books. Funny, I remember really liking this book 20-odd years ago. It did get me thinking about tabletop roleplaying; Star Trek (and Firefly, which I'm halfway through watching at the moment) would make a very good model for episodic, fantasy set, sandbox play. More on that idea in a later post.
Anyway, after rolling up my crew, and plunging through the Seltsian Void, we aimlessly explored new space. Landing an a planet notable for its anarchy, we ran into a bunch of GUARDS. Their description was the highlight of this read-through. I asked 'why, if there are no laws, they have the need for guards'? Our host explains, 'Guards do not guard things, we do not need to protect things. It's just that some members of our community get pleasure out of attacking others and, of course, they are free to do as they wish. But in fairness to the rest of the population, they dress up in uniforms and call themselves guards so as to warn others they must be on guard when a guard passes.' Brilliant.
From there we proceeded, again, without any kind of plan, to a planet with a hallucinogenic atmosphere, changed course because I suspected that we heading into deep space in the pursuit of a hallucinatory scanner reading, and then my CATERING OFFICER tells me that all the food has been spoiled. Why wasn't I given the option of rolling for his SKILL, as I was all the rest of the key members of the crew?
In pursuit of food we were presented with another left-right choice; a blue planet or a green planet. Opting for the blue planet, we were told that the entire planet was an ocean. Nevertheless, we were given the option of beaming down. I made the choice to leave orbit and head towards the green planet, but broke one of my rules and skipped to the section for beaming down to the blue planet. Your transporter chief doesn't really beam you down to death by drowning does he? Yes! Yes he does! Morale must be low on Traveller.
Down on the green planet one of the crew gets crushed a gigantic beasts do battle, but by keeping calm and quiet we avoid drawing the attention of the winner. Then, in true death planet style, the plants themselves attack! Thinking perhaps that the tangling vines are a self-defence mechanism, I try the same technique as saved us from the beasts. I opt to attempt to remain still, presenting no threat, no stimuli that might prompt the vines to entangle me further. Of course, the vines strangled and crushed the life from my acquiescent body. My adventure ended here.
Nom! Nom! Nom!