Welcome to the Generic Universal RolePlaying System!
With GURPS, you can be anyone you want – an elf hero fighting for the forces of good, a shadowy femme fatale on a deep-cover mission, a futuristic swashbuckler carving up foes with a force sword in his hand and a beautiful woman by his side . . . or literally anything else! Thanks to its flexibility, quality writing, and ease of use, GURPS has been the premiere universal roleplaying game for over three decades!
A Somewhat Unique Crossover [ edit ]
At first it might seem strange that Steve Jackson Games (maker of GURPS) would create a product for a competitor's setting, but as it turns out, GURPS has actually has a long history of such "cross-overs" (ranging from Deadlands, to Vampire: The Masquerade, and even to Bunnies and Burrows). In fact, with Traveller it's even had two such products (once in GURPS 3rd Edition, and one in 4th).
The license holders of both GURPS and other RPGs understood that not all gamers are the same. For example, while many absolutely love Traveller's intricate character creation mini-game ... not everyone will. Some gamers hate having randomness in character creation, and Traveller is full of it.
For a more detailed summary of the differences between the two systems, see this wikipedia entry, but the important thing is that it doesn't matter what your feelings about RPG rules are ... the Traveller setting can still be fun regardless. If, for whatever reason, the Traveller rules aren't your cup of tea, GURPS Traveller: Interstellar Wars will still let you experience it, using GURPS.
An Alternate (Earlier) Traveller Time Period [ edit ]
GURPS Traveller: Interstellar Wars isn't set in the standard Traveller setting (as the earlier 3rd Edition book was), but instead is set earlier in an alternate timeline, much earlier in the setting's history. Incidentally, the Interstellar Wars time period actually came first in real life, as it was the setting for the creator's related board game, Imperium. The game is set in a period relatively soon after mankind first makes contact with aliens, and so it's far more human-centric setting than the normal Traveller setting.
The supplement includes rules for making setting-specific characters, designing starships (and fighting with them), interstellar trade and exploration, and so on. On top of that there's also a map and description of "known space", detailed statistics and deck plans for ships, and other setting material.
Interestingly the book is missing specific conversion rules to translate Traveller characters into GURPS, but even so converting characters isn't hard given GURPS agnostic nature. Also, it doesn't include any rules details for Traveller-specific weapons, as they are (game mechanics-wise) no different from standard GURPS equivalents.
A Unique Way to Experience Traveller's "Imperium" Era [ edit ]
GURPS Traveller: Interstellar Wars is definitely a more niche product, but it's very existence serves to show just how easily GURPS can be used to adapt any fun setting. And while it wont' be for everyone, Interstellar Wars will be great for fans of the Traveller's setting who prefer GURPS rules ... or fans who want to experience the earlier "Imperium" era of Traveller ... or simply for any GM with a space campaign, who wants a wealth of material they can steal and use at their own table.