I imagine that I am not going to make too many friends with this post but I feel strongly enough about this that I have to come out and say it. I was told by quite a few people that have played Traveller with me that Mongoose Traveller (or MgT) is the version that most people play with a bit of cross over to Classic Traveller (CT). Well, I was happy with CT but I made a mental note that if were to ever see a copy of MgT on eBay or elsewhere cheaply I would pick it up and read it. Lo and behold that within a few months it went on special in DriveThru RPG and so I picked it up.
It has taken me around 6 months to start into it and I was quite looking forward to the read. Some of the material that I had seen for this version of the game was impressive and the bits and pieces that I was selectively gleaning from the material made a lot of sense. But then a couple of weeks back I decided to do the front to back read of the game and fill the internet with how wonderful it was in my own way.
Well, I can officially report that I could not make it through the book. I will be sticking with CT and steering clear of any further products that are associated with Mongoose. The rules that I got to read were good and the writing was good but I will likely never look at this book again except to write this post so I can illustrate my point. This game actually makes me a little uneasy in calling myself a gamer.
In short, it is the artwork that I find so bad that I will never touch it again. Do not get me wrong, the art is well formed but it is the context of the art. EVERY image of a female in this book is of a buxom, scantily clad temptress. Every male figure in the book is varied. From ugly to normal to handsome in a variety of poses. In the book itself there is only one, that is right ONE image of a female that I am not embarrassed to see.
Now, I actually was wondering prior to reading this why it was that I had only ever had one female gamer play in the Traveller game I ran and she only stayed a night. CT you see makes no assumption on gender and the artwork (what little of it there is) does not look like the females were petitioning Playboy or Penthouse to take them in for a photo shoot. In fact it shoes them doing normal things and provides a variety of different female styles. It is probably a bit male centered in numbers the females are not atrociously sexualised in any of the art that I can remember.
In fact, CT to me is also written in very gender neutral terms and a straight forward manner that should not put anyone off. Admittedly the rules are densely packed and the writing is not what I would call flowing but it certainly would not put anyone off. The MgT also is not overtly sexualised writing and so I just do not understand the focus of the art that was included.
So, thank you for telling me about MgT players of mine but I just can not bring myself to looking at the book again. It really worries me that this book which was produced in 2008 thought it was OK to include drawn images that would drive half of the possible customers away. I think that we need to step back and say that stuff like this is just not acceptable to us as gamer’s. With the possibility of driving some of my readers to ban me from their reading material I have to stand up and say that this is not OK. Sexualised images of either sex are not appropriate in this format. I am no prude and would be happy to see images of this nature elsewhere where I could reasonably expect to see them but in an RPG of an enlightened future in space, no thanks.
As far as I know, MgT could well be the very best version of Traveller that there ever was but I could not bring myself to read past character creation due to this issue. I refuse to include any of the aforementioned images in this post and I will boycott anything MgT in future.
So for me, and my players in the near future there will be no transition to newer rules. We will be stuck in the lands of Blakes 7, Lost in Space and other classics because I am certainly not looking for sci-fi with strong male leads and scantily clad giggly women. I am just after a game that offers strong characters, regardless of sex that provokes thoughtful interactions. Keep rolling.