Back when I was in junior high and highschool, when we weren’t playing D&D we were usually playing Traveller.
Traveller was (is) a space role playing game. Characters are generated by random dice rolls, and gain their initial skill by having been in some kind of military service or the “merchant marines”. During character creation, you can keep your character in the service for many tours of duty to gain more skills, but there is a chance you may DIE during character creation! hahahaha.
The original rules for Traveller were pretty sparse. The game came in a little box, with 3 books – Characters, Starships, and Worlds. There were a LOT of supplements. It was cool. There was a Naval supplement called High Guard. Think of Han Solo having a pilot skill of 3 or 4. We’d roll up High Guard characters with Pilot-8. Hell yeah.
But of course, we were 15 or 16. Most of our games involved:
- Arrive on new planet in our ultra fast starship (think Millenium Falcon, just faster).
- Find gun shop (never hard to do).
- Force gun shop owner to reveal the hidden room where all that really good stuff was.
- Buy the most powerful weapons they had (clearly, our games foretold the future of our country).
- Get in a fight in a cantina (this was the Star Wars era).
- Use previously acquired weapons (needler guns, plasma rifles, etc) to commit a mass murder in “self defense” (we never really thought it would seem odd to bring a plasma rifle into a bar – open carry bro!).
- Run back to the ship, killing more peope on the way (yaaaaaay!)
- Make our escape (wheeeeeeee!)
- Maybe blow up some ships that might be chasing us (yaaaaaaay! again!)
- Start looking for another planet on which to repeat this process. (Isn’t the imagination great!)
All of this was of course enabled by a very generous Game Master, who loved guns even more than we did. I was never sure he actually knew the rules, minimal as they were. “Roll three dice” he would say, and then quickly consider the roll to determine our success or failure based on who-knows-what criteria. Things usually went our way.
Once I tried running a Traveller session. My idea was a hunting expedition on an alien world. The PCs would be hired to hunt down a very large beast that was causing problems. I envisioned a great jungle adventure to kill the giganitic elephant-like beast. Instead, the PCs hired a helicopter, and shot the monster to death from high above its head.
Job done. Bounty collected. On to the next mass murder.