Saturday, December 10, 2011

German Traveller Cover Art

Foreign translations of English-language RPGs are of great interest to me, in large part because they're often quasi-revisions of the original games -- incorporating material from later supplements and having new layouts and art. Sometimes, these changes make them better than the originals, but, even when the changes are mostly cosmetic, they're nevertheless worthy of examination.

Traveller, so far as I know, was only ever translated into Spanish, German, and Japanese. I've talked about the Japanese translation before and, from what I've gleaned elsewhere, the Spanish language version isn't all that exciting. The German edition, on the other hand, is quite fascinating to me, if only because of its cover art, much of which was done by artist Thomas Kidd. Pictured to the right is the cover of the German rulebook.

Though the original cover of Traveller is a classic, one of the best RPG covers ever in my opinion, I really like this one too. It oozes '60s and '70s sci-fi charm, from the guy's clothes and hairstyle to the space station in the background. The covers of many of the German supplements and adventures are also quite good. You can see them here on the RPGNow website.

13 comments:

  1. I hadn't seen that before. Reminds me of when science fiction was good.

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  2. Reminds me of when science fiction was good.

    In the words of Harlan Ellison from his appearance on Scooby-Doo recently: "And that's why nothing good has been written since the 1970s." :)

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  3. Everseen the french version :
    http://www.legrog.org/jeux/traveller/licence-mongoose/livre-des-regles-1ere-ed-2eme-imp-fr

    It was translated very recently, but it's the original version.

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  4. That is a very cool cover. The pistol is interesting, a magazine power pack fed Star Trekish thing.

    Looks like the hair I had in high school....

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  5. It was translated very recently, but it's the original version.

    I believe the recent French translation is of the Mongoose version of the game, which is very similar to the original 1977 game but not identical.

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  6. You mean there was no Esperanto version?

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  7. You mean there was no Esperanto version?

    Alas, no. I believe Harry Harrison wanted too much money to do the translation, so GDW had to back out of it.

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  8. This is sweet. I know I saw this once some years ago, perhaps at Gen Con.

    Definitely my kind of cover.

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  9. Those Tribbles on the station are done for XD !

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  10. For me the aesthetics are reminiscent of the cover of The Traveller Book:
    http://images.wikia.com/traveller/images/2/28/Traveller_Book.jpg

    I preferred the Japanese cover.

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  11. The German Traveller version was the second or third RPG I bought, and the artwork in general was very inspiring. If I would have been exposed to the original black books, I think I would not have been as enthusiastic as I was back then.

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  12. I really like this cover. It's terribly understated for an RPG cover illo, which is part of why I like it. Like you said, it's calm and stylish in a '60s/'70s kinda way, with the promise of violence and danger - once he gets to that space station, things are either going to go well or they're going to end with a lot of shooting...

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  13. It's a good cover, though I think it was also used for an 80s SF paperback I read years ago. Some guy was undercover, investigating something on a space station at L5...and naturally no scene like this actually occurred in the book.

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