How to Collect the Traveller Roleplaying Game
Collecting books from the Traveller RPG involves collecting books from multiple publishing companies and using several different rules systems. Classic Traveller is the original game created by the Game Designers Workshop in 1977 and continued until 1986, while MegaTraveller was a version of the game published by Game Designers Workshop from 1987 to 1992, while Traveller: The New Era was published by GDW from 1993 to 1995 (using Twilight 2000 rules).
Marc Miller and Traveller
The common thread in all of these systems is Marc Miller, who created the game in the first place. When the Game Designers Workshop fell apart in 1996, Traveller became the property of Marc Miller and he published his own updated version of the game, though Miller claims the game was rushed and therefore suffered from editing issues. These four versions of the game sometimes are called T1, T2, T3, and T4 by fans.
More Traveller RPG Games
Since that time, Traveller has been adapted for the Generic Universal Roleplaying System (GURPS), the Hero System (Traveller Hero), and the d20 system (Traveller20). In 2008, Mongoose Publishing published Mongoose Traveller, while Marc Miller produced Traveller5 or T5 in 2009. Building a collection of Traveller books can be a daunting and confusing task for some collectors.
Traveller Books to Collect
Given the proliferation of Traveller roleplaying games, there are going to be a lot of books to collect. I'll try to give some of the hardest-to-find or most coveted game modules out there below.
Traveller Box Set
The Traveller box set was the original game rulebook published in 1977. These books are fragile, and the set is hard to find and very collectible.
The Traveller Book
The Traveller Book is a 1982 reiteration of the rules in a sturdier book.
Imperial Fleet Miniature Box Set
The Imperial Fleet Box Set is a 12-miniature set of space ships based on the "Official Traveller Universe". Sets of these ships continue to be a favorite with collectors, who use them for Traveller games and other space battle games.
The Journal of the Travellers' Aid Society Magazine
The Journal of the Travellers' Aid Society was a Traveller magazine published by Game Designers Workshop from 1979 to 1985. FTAS included a 24-issue run over its 6-year publication schedule and remains a collectors item. A periodical named Challenge continued the numbering system from issues 25 to 33, while a magazine under the title "JTAS" continued an alternate numbering system for their own issues 25 and 26.
High Passage Magazine
High Passage was a short-lived magazine by Freedonian Aeronautics and Space Administration (FASA) as a competitor for the Journal of the Travellers' Aid Society magazine. Only five issues were published, but these publications included articles by Marc Miller on playing Traveller. For example, High Passage #5 had an article on planetary government by Miller.
All five magazines are collectors items. FASA also put out game books like for Far Traveller like Traveller’s Log, Port of Call, Adventurette: Jail Break, Pilot’s Guide to the Ea Subsector, The Port Authority Handbook: Inward Clearance, and Adventurer’s Gear: Sniper Barrel and Laser Scopes.
Sword of the Knight Publications
Sword of the Knight held a license to publish Traveller material back in the day. Sword of the Knight produced 13 "Traveller Chronicle" publications from 1993 to 1997 and closed its doors in 1998.
Digest Group Publications Traveller
Digest Group Publications had 38 Traveller Universe publications, including issues 1-21 of Travellers' Digest, setting books like 101 Robots (1986), Grand Survey (1986), and Grand Census (1987). DGP continued to publish material into the MegaTraveller era, including the books on the Solomani/Aslan, Vilani/Vargr, 101 Vehicles, The Early Adventures, The World Builders' Handbook, and The Flaming Eye sourcebook.
Traveller by Imperium Games
Imperium Games had a license to publish Traveller roleplaying material in the 1990s (T4), including Pocket Empires, Milieu 0, Missions of State, T4 First Survey, Imperial Squadrons, Psionic Institutes, and Fire, Fusion & Steel.
Mongoose Publishing Books to Collect
Some of the Mongoose Publishing releases of Traveller books are worth adding to your collection. These are the current game books which hold high retail value at the moment and are well-reviewed, though it's hard to say if they'll stand the test of time and become collectors items. I recommend them, because they're good products.
Traveller Supplement 1: 760 Patrons
760 Patrons gives you a huge supply of NPCs and plot seeds to continue your Traveller campaign. This book isn't good for just Traveller, but all space sci-fi games you'll ever play.
Traveller Supplement 4: Central Supply Catalogue
Central Supply Catalogue is an equipment and weapons book for Traveller characters. This is essential if you are a player in a contemporary Traveller campaign, but it also can be used by people in any other space travel roleplaying game.