Work

Same project, still making progress. Next week I’m going to start ramping up as a “first responder”, which is the in-hours support rota. That should be good for teaching me parts of the system I’ve not touched yet.

Today marks 2 months since I started.

Books

No books this week.

Gaming

This week I ran my non-Traveller group through High and Dry, an introductory adventure about being sent to a backwater planet to retrieve a spaceship.

Since Traveller character creation can take a while, I rolled up some characters in advance, though two of the players ended up wanting to make their own before the session anyway. And then, since I wanted to get through the whole thing in a single session, I wrote down how long I expected each part of the adventure to take. I ended up not really having to hurry along anything, and the ending was chaotic and fast paced, which is what I’d intended.

It went well, everyone had a good time. Will this lead to future Traveller adventures with this group? Who knows, but it would be nice.

Traveller is definitely one of my two favourite systems now, the other being Call of Cthulhu. Next I just need to find my ideal fantasy system, and that’s the major bases covered.

Unrelatedly, I wrote up a short list of campaign ideas. I’m not nearing the end of a campaign right now, but it’ll be handy to have to hand when I am. And I can add to it as I have more ideas in the future.

Miscellaneous

I spent some time this week playing Patron, a city-builder which looked like a more complex version of Banished. Alas, it’s not quite what I hoped for.

It’s definitely got more depth to it than Banished, but I also found it pretty easy. Even set to “extreme” difficulty, on my very first attempt I got a successful city up and running and ended up completing all the research in the game and drowning in resources. I then decided to aim for no deaths or emigration on a “challenging” map, which took me a few attempts, but I got there fairly quickly.

It seems most of the difficulty in the game is in getting through the first 5 or so years. If you manage that, then you have a self-sufficient small settlement, which you can expand gradually and solve any new problems which come up with money.

I think one aspect of the game which definitely makes it easier than it needs to be is the logistics system. The depot / warehouse system is global: you can put any resource into any depot / warehouse, and take any resource out of any depot / warehouse. Resources are not stored per depot / warehouse, so you can just generously put down depots all over the place and transportation of resources becomes a non-issue. If instead resources had to be moved from where they’re produced to where they’re used, road layout and suchlike would need more careful thought.

Another significant problem is that it’s really easy to over-produce resources once you have the funds to fully upgrade buildings and research policies. Furthermore, basically all the resources are infinite (eg, mines don’t run out, and you can just keep slapping down adjacent fishing huts without decreasing productivity of nearby ones).

So, it’s fun for a while, it’s got some nice extra complexity compared to Banished, but it’s also far too easy.