The first edition of Traveller was released in 1977 (three years after the first edition of D&D) by defunct publisher Game Designers' Workshop. Traveller has been through many versions and managed to survive the demise of GDW by moving to alternative publishers. In its salad days Traveller was the iconic space game to D&D's iconic fantasy game. Older versions emphasized hard science fiction and were choked with superfluous statistics, unwieldy charts, and rules that literally required college-level math courses. This long and nerdy legacy provided us with three decades of dorky artwork to critique.
Zack: GDW: the only rpg publisher that put black men on the cover of game books.
Steve: I think my buddy Keith has an old Shadowrun book with a black guy on the cover, but it might have been a really dark Native American.Zack: There's probably a black person or two on the cover of an incredibly racist White Wolf book about voodoo that treats African-Americans as a separate race with magical powers.
Steve: Vampires, werewolves, mummies, ghosts, and black dudes. Their powers are they can fly and they can walk through walls.
Zack: Voodoo: The Minstrelsy.
Steve: If you hit them and do enough damage they shatter into thousands of spiders and scurry away. They can reform later.
Zack: Any mirror or reflective surface is a portal for black people to step through into our world.
Steve: He's got rank four Rimslore so he can Sense Spinnaz.Zack: Three dots in Bourgie Thaumaturgy and two dots in Caricature of Voodoo.
Steve: He can turn into weed smoke and slip through keyholes.
Zack: Alright, this is straying dangerously close to the racism we're supposed to be mocking. Let's just say that our starter image is actually pretty cool because there are black people in Traveller, unlike 90% of all other role-playing games.
Steve: All three of those dudes look bad as hell. I wouldn't mess with them.
I'm haunted by a recurring vision of a skeleton flipping me off. To avoid seeing this terrifying image in bumper sticker form, I pay someone with a blank bumper to drive in front of me at all times.
Cons: causes bad nightmares. I used to have to eat beef until I passed out to have these kind of terrors, but this machine does it for me every time I fall asleep inside it.
Zack Parsons, Steve "Malak" Sumner, and friends tackle bizarre role playing game products that make them wonder, "What the fuck!?" From the early days of Gygax to contemporary role playing games, none will be spared.