Versions of Traveller

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Traveller Version

'Traveller' has been published in 11 official versions, each with their own set of underlying game rules and take on the Setting.

Traveller was initially designed as a generic science fiction RPG system, and the original setting was just one the designers favored out of the various available settings. While referees were encouraged to use the parts they wanted and change what they did not like, the wealth of background material made the Charted Space setting ubiquitous.


Each of the versions of Traveller transformed the official setting of the Traveller universe. Classic Traveller takes place during the Third Imperium, Megatraveller during the Rebellion. The New Era takes place some years after a computer Virus escaped ending the Rebellion during a time of exploration/reconstruction. GURPS Traveller takes place in an alternate timeline where many of the events from MegaTraveller and The New Era never occurred. Finally, Marc Miller's Traveller takes place in the early days of the Third Imperium.

Some of the various versions are related to one another in terms of rules. For example, classic Traveller, MegaTraveller, and Mongoose Traveller use similar rule systems, with MegaTraveller being the most "variant" of the group. In addition, TNE uses the second edition Twilight rules system, T20 is based on the D20 license game system, and the GURPS versions and Hero versions use GURPS and HERO System, respectively.

While characters can usually move from related system to system with little or no effort, other creations such as ship designs may or may not, though deck plans (often loosely based on the underlying ship designs) are often used across versions.

Major Versions[edit]

Classic Traveller
1977-1986 Original Rules published by Game Designers Workshop. Set in the years 1100-1116 Imperial calendar, around the time of the Fifth Frontier War. There were a number of supplements based on Classic Traveller - notably Merchant Prince, High Guard, and Mercenary, which extended the character generation system, as well as adding to the core rules. A later GDW product, Striker added very detailed ground combat and mercenary unit rules as well as detailed vehicle design rules which in parts became incorporated into the core rules for future editions.
1986-1991 published by Game Designers Workshop. Set in the years 1116-1124 Imperial, during the time of the Rebellion. This was published as a boxed set, covering the core rules, a setting encyclopedia, and rules covering what was previously expansion material (such as character generation options similar to High Guard and Mercenary).
Traveller The New Era
1992-1995 published by Game Designers Workshop and using the GDW newer game system. Set after the year 1200 Imperial, post Virus timeline.
Marc Miller's Traveller
1996-1998 published by Imperium Games using a new multi-die system for task resolution. Set just after Year Zero, in the early days of the Third Imperium. Colloquially known as T4.
GURPS Traveller
1998-2004 published by Steve Jackson Games and using the GURPS 3rd Edition Rules. Set in the years 1116-1124 Imperial, in an alternate timeline which differs principally in that the Rebellion of 1116 never happened.
GURPS Traveller: Interstellar Wars
2004 published by Steve Jackson Games and using the GURPS 4th Edition rules. Set in the Interstellar Wars 2400 years before the founding of the Third Imperium, and covering the interactions of the First Imperium and the new Terran Empire.
2002-2008 published by QuikLink Interactive and using an open game system version of the D20 Rules. Set around the year 990 Imperial, about 100 years before Classic Traveller, during the era of the Solomani Rim war, but in the Domain of Gateway.
Traveller Hero
2006-2008 Published by ComStar Games using the Hero Games Star Hero rules and covering several previous milieus including Milieu 0, the T20 milieu 1000, and the New Era.
Mongoose Traveller
2008-2016 Published by Mongoose Publishing using a new set of rules, updating and streamlining the Classic Traveller rules. The setting is largely not covered in the core rules book, supplements are set in 1105 and centered largely on the Spinward Marches and Trojan Reaches. The core rules are available as open content.
2013-Present published by Far Future Enterprises using an updated version of the Traveller 4th rules adding a wealth of new additional rules and enhancements and providing a basis for the future of Traveller. The setting is 'The Galaxiad', a FAR FAR FUTURE of Traveller (1902).
Mongoose Traveller 2nd edition
2016-Present Published by Mongoose Publishing with an updated version of the 1st edition rules. All of the books are full color and the core books are all hardcovers. The setting is largely not covered in the core rule books, supplements are set in 1105 and centered largely on the Spinward Marches/Trojan Reach area.

Publisher support[edit]

In addition to the core publisher, several of the editions had material produced by other publishers. In many cases, these additional publishers were officially licensed by the original publisher.

Classic Traveller
Ad Astra Products, Adjutant, Cargonaut Press, Digest Group Publications, Fantasy Production, FASA, Galaxy Games, Gamelords, Grenadier Models Inc., Group One, Herb Petro, Judges Guild, Marischal Adventures, Paranoia Press, Reilly Associates, Seeker Gaming Systems, Warfield Games
Digest Group Publications, Seeker Gaming Systems, Starlance Publications, Paragon
Traveller The New Era
Avenger Enterprises
Marc Miller's Traveller
Mongoose Traveller (Both Editions)
13Mann, Avalon Game Company, Avenger Enterprises, ComStar Games, D.B. Game Design, DSL Ironworks, Gorgon Press, Gypsy Knights Games, Jon Brazer Enterprises, K-Studio, Moon Toad Publishing, Samardan Press, Skortched Urf Studios, Scrying Eye Games, Spica Publishing, Sugaar Editorial, Thunderegg Productions, Zozer Games


This list of sources was used by the Traveller Wiki Editorial Team and individual contributors to compose this article. Copyrighted material is used under license from Far Future Enterprises or by permission of the author. The page history lists all of the contributions.