Flight of the Penguin represents a lot of firsts for me.
First of all Firsts, it's my first experience with Traveller in any form. I've been playing RPGs and tabletop games of all sorts for about 20 years or so, but somehow had never come across Traveller.
About a month ago I came across a site called JMSNews. It's an archive of every message sent by J. Michael Straczynski to the GEnie system from 1991. Now Babylon 5 is certainly one of my top 5 favorite TV shows of all time, so of course finding this site was awesome. So as I was reading through, I suddenly got the hankering for some books about Babylon 5, so I headed over to Amazon and commenced to searching. I pretty quickly came across Mongoose's Babylon 5 setting, and saw the Traveller logo.
I pretty much fell down the rabbit hole, and I'm still tumbling.
The Next First: this will be my first time running a sandbox style game on purpose. When I used to run a lot of games, I usually had a specific idea or two in mind, but heavy preparation was never my strong suit. Therefore, there was a lot of flying by the seat of my pants, coming up with stats on the fly, fudging a lot of die rolls, etc. My games tended to be more about atmosphere and interesting characters, or at least, that's how I remember it. :)
This game will drop the players at the planet Mora in Mora Subsector, in the Spinward Marches. Since I'm brand new to Traveller and so are my players, this still counts as a fresh setting for us. I'm planning on using all the wonderful randomization tools inherent in the system, and pretty much playing "Traveller as it's meant to be played", whatever that means exactly.
Another: this is the first long-term game my wife will ever have played, and therefore the first such game we'll be playing together! Now that we have a baby boy, it's a way for us to do something together that involves other people, and still allows us (since I'm running it from home via Google+ Hangouts) to take care of Daniel. I guess this also means he'll be growing up around gaming: bonus score!
Last First: This will be the first serious game I've run of any kind in over ten years. There are many reasons for this, but I can't overemphasize how cool it is to suddenly find a system you've never heard of in more than passing whispers, and discover that you've come back home. From character creation to exploration, trade to combat, this game reminds me of everything that pulled me into role-playing all those years ago when I caught a glimpse of an old Basic D&D Red Box and said, "...WHAT is THAT!?"
I hope that this site will come to be an accurate record of that experience. Maybe it will cause a few of you to find it again as well, if indeed you've ever lost it.