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Hub Federation Ground Forces
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/28/2014 08:25:53
In the Hub Federation, a key feature of Gypsy Knights Games's alternative Traveller universe, as well as a navy there are two types of ground forces - a Federation-wide force of Marines and individual planetary ground forces. This book deals with both, and is of most use if your game includes the Hub Federation as presented in this alternate setting. However, it could be retooled for any pocket empire that choses to organise its forces this way, and includes career tracks and equipment that could be useful whatever sort of game you are running where ground troops are involved.

The first part describes the Hub Federation Marines and then the various planetary ground forces - loads of detail here from history and structure down to uniforms and rank badges. Unlike the Hub Federation Navy, where fleets of British and German origin combined (and created a new force based on both traditions), the Hub Federation Marines were formed from a group of British Royal Marines and have insisted on retaining their traditions by and large intact. Each planetary force, however, has established their own and this is reflected in variations to a standard uniform for all of them. However I am left wondering why the Marines wear bearskin caps... something never worn by the Royal Marines, they are the sole preserve of the British Guards regiments! The Hub Federation Marines have also adopted the kilt, as an optional item of dress, due to the presence of the 'Royal Highland Marine Regiment' or Black Watch (again a bit of confusion - yes, there was a Black Watch or Royal Highland Regiment on the British books until the last round of mergers but they were never marines!). It makes a nice touch, especially the thought that the kilt may be worn into battle along with combat armour. Scary... and there's even an illustration to give the idea.

Next come all the details necessary for creating a character with a background in either Marines or a planetary ground force. There's a section on medals too, no pictures alas but names and terms of award. That's always something nice for players... I once ran a game at a convention in which success was rewarded by some medals, and was surprised that the players carefully noted the decorations they received on the pre-generated character sheets they'd been handed for the game! The career paths are detailed and comprehensive, with loads of tables to roll upon as you work your way through.

Then comes a selection of landing craft to get these ground-pounders where they need to go, followed by ground vehicles, aircraft and equipment for use when they get there. Atmospheric fiction and pictures are scattered throughout, and appendices contain reference to a notable past action - the Battle of Beol - and organisation charts. All in all, a good resource if you are using the Hub Federation in your game and want to know a bit about their ground forces.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Hub Federation Ground Forces
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Hub Federation Navy
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/26/2014 07:57:16
At its simplest level, this is a sourcebook for the Hub Federation Navy and of great use if you are running a game in Gypsy Knights Games's alternate Traveller universe based around the Clement Sector. If so, you will find several other of their books invaluable including The Hub Federation and Clement Sector as well as, of course, the core Traveller rules from Mongoose. However, this would be a good basis for creating the naval forces for any pocket empire of your own devising, whereas the extensive naval career tables could enhance any game in which naval forces (or characters with naval backgrounds) are involved.

The first part of the book details the history and current organisation of the Hub Federation Navy - copious detail even down to their uniforms and rank badges! The Hub Federation Navy was formed after the wormhole back to Earth collapsed out of British Royal Navy and German Navy fleets that were in the Hub sub-sector at the time. (A US fleet was also present but declined the invitation to join the alliance.) Most things are now handled bilingually, with a deliberate attempt to combine the best of both naval traditions, although the 'official' language of the Navy is German. A new uniform was designed, in space black rather than navy blue, which includes features of both British and German uniforms. Descriptions are given of dress/service uniforms, working dress and combat dress and even officer's evening dress (mess dress). There are even a couple of illustrations and a rank chart to help you visualise the fine display. Female personnel dress exactly like males except that they are permitted skirts on shore billets (but not aboard ship).

The next section is about Characters and deals with those characters who would like a naval background. Whilst they can use the career paths presented later on, it is to be remembered (if you are playing this alternate setting as is) that the Hub Federation Navy is only some eleven years old so anyone wishing to have served more than three terms will have started in another navy - probably the German or British one. There is a Career Companion supplement which is ideally suited to dealing with characters of specific national navies. There are details of the Hub Federation Naval Academy and recruit training, as well as of progression thereafter through a naval career. This section ends with notes on the medals and other awards available to naval personnel... no pictures, alas, but good details of terms of award.

This is followed by the various career paths offered to members of the navy, which will empower detailed character generation and backstories... and could be used as an ongoing career track if you decide to run a game around serving members of the Hub Federation Navy rather than retired ones who are now off doing something else! There are loads of options available, not just the regular engineering, flight, support, etc., but naval intelligence, a 'command' track for bridge crew and possibly most interesting, 'senior command' and 'higher command' options for those seeking to command a naval vessel or even aiming for Admiral's rank.

Finally, Appendices detail the different classes of vessel in the navy and current fleet organisation complete with example squadrons and the present list of ships.

Overall, spectacular resource if you are running a navally-oriented game in the Clement Sector or if you have a character who has served in the Hub Federation Navy; and of some use - perhaps with adaptations - if your game is elsewhere but you like the amount of detail about naval careers in particular.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hub Federation Navy
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Hub Federation
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/24/2014 08:20:03
Placed firmly in Gypsy Knights Games's alternate Traveller universe, this book presents a discrete political unit that can be used as a basis and location for a range of adventures or even a whole campaign. It also provides a groundwork for using other Gypsy Knights Games books within the alternate setting, tying everything together neatly.

It begins by presenting the history of the Hub Federation, right back to pre-colonisation days when humans were exploring their own solar system and not much else. Then came the discovery of a starship drive based on quantum entanglement, the Zimm Drive, that could take a ship further and faster than hitherto imagined, roughly a parsec in a week. Moving out to the stars, a wormhole was discovered which led somewhere on the far side of the galaxy, opening near to an inhabitable solar system that was soon named The Hub as it was used as a base for exploring what lay beyond.

The next hundred years or so saw great expansion with many colonies being established. Some were independent, others beholden to whichever Earth government sponsored them. All manner of groups sponsored colonies, religious or philosophical groups seeking somewhere they could live out their ideas without interference, companies seeking to exploit natural resources and more soon scattered out from Hub across what in time became known as the Clement Sector. Trade flourished between the worlds, as well as back 'home' through the wormhole... until one day it just collapsed!

Nobody has yet discovered why the wormhole collapsed, but in the aftermath the President of Hub, one Fyodor Hauser, contacted the leaders of other worlds proposing an alliance to replace the former model of being governed from Earth. He also contacted the Admirals of various navies stationed nearby, some of them agreed to join but others did not. Likewise many worlds decided they'd be better off on their own, but several of the closest worlds joined the alliance. This was about ten years ago, and the year is now 2342.

If you do not want to use the alternate universe as is, you can abstract as much as you wish if you want to use these worlds, perhaps as a pocket empire somewhere on the fringes of known space.

Next we take a look at how the Hub Federation is governed. There is a small Senate, with each constituent world represented by a single Senator. Interestingly, it is completely left to each world to decide how that Senator is chosen. Then there is a President, whose role is as chief executive and commander-in-chief. The Senate is responsible for making laws, the President puts them into effect. The President is elected by the Senators from amongst their number with a term of office of ten years. The world for which he was a Senator must then find another to replace him.

The Federation governs at the highest level: common defense of the member worlds, a common currency, combatting interstellar crime, provision of a navy and the coordination of ground forces and diplomatic relations with other worlds. Everything else is left to individual worlds to deal with. The Hub military forces consist of the navy and marines, other worlds may have their own ground forces and limited naval ones - their ships may not be equipped with Zimm Drives and are limited to system defence roles.

On to wider matters, next comes a sub-sector map of the Hub sub-sector and UWPs of all its worlds, followed by greater detail of each of the member systems of the Hub Federation. (See the Hub Sub-sector Sourcebook for the other worlds.) Each comes with an astronomical overview of the system followed by more details of the inhabited world - its geography, atmosphere, government, laws, culture, etc. All the things the well-informed visitor might want to know. Although the governmental system is covered in each case, there's one omission: how they pick their Senator to represent them in the Hub Federation, however in most cases it can be deduced from the way in which the world itself is governed.

This makes a neat Pocket Empire, or the core of the known colonies if you are using the alternate setting. Ideas for adventures spawn quite readily as you read, and some specific suggestions are made as well. The work ends with an overview of technogical changes between regular Traveller and this alternate setting, mostly dealing with the ramifications of the Zimm Drive. Overall, a fascinating concept and well worth a look.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hub Federation
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Subsector Sourcebook 4: Sequoyah
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/19/2014 08:35:32
This sub-sector contains some ninteen inhabited solar systems, and the majority of the book is devoted to delivering an almost in-character 'travelogue' style guide to what is found there. Additional comments aimed at Referees and (to a lesser extent) players are found in grey boxed text throughout. Sequoyah sub-sector is part of the alternate Traveller universe setting of Clement Sector, although individual worlds or the whole sub-sector could be put anywhere you please in your own universe.

To start with, there is a map of the sub-sector, a list of UWPs for the inhabited systems and some general notes. As this alternate setting uses a Zimm Drive rather than regular Traveller Jump Drives (consider a Zimm Drive as roughly equivalent to Jump-2), comments include discussion of how far you can travel and how the systems in the sub-sector are grouped into 'regions' according to their accessibility.

Then each system is described in turn, beginning with an astronomical overview of the system describing all the planets within it before focussing down on the inhabited world which is probably the main focus of attention. Physical, atmospheric, hydrographical and geographical data set the scene, along with a planetary map, and this is followed by details of the population, government, laws, culture and notable cities. Other information is included as appropriate, especially noteworthy natural features, unusual customs or anything that a typical visitor might want to seek out.

There is a wide diversity of worlds both in natural details and in how they have been developed and run by human inhabitants. With the alternate setting being based on a fairly recent influx all the way from Earth (yes, the one you're sitting on reading this) through a wormhole which has now closed, many draw on fairly unadulterated heritages of wherever on Earth they came from, which makes for some interesting places and attitudes which yet have some familiarity to the reader. Even if you do not use this setting, it can make for an enjoyable visit although you may want to downplay some of the more overt references to each colony's origins. OK, so the folk on Bowemiwak may like barbeques and slow-roast pork, you just don't have to mention that they originated in Texas! In fact it can be quite fun NOT referencing the heritage, let the characters (or at least their players) deduce it for themselves.

The descriptions of different worlds spawn quite a few adventure ideas specific to that world as well as the more general ones involving exploration or trading. Some suggestions are also included in the grey box comments although they are mostly vague enough that it will not matter if players have read them - it's still up to the Referee to take the suggestion and detail an adventure around it.

It's a fascinating collection of worlds and visiting them makes for a splendid series of adventures. Whether or not you use the alternate universe, it is worth considing these worlds for inclusion in your game.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Subsector Sourcebook 4: Sequoyah
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Peel Colonies
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/17/2014 08:17:16
Although still part of Gypsy Knights Games's alternate Traveller universe setting, the Peel Colonies are not in the Clement Sector at all, but in the Ariel Sector coreward of it. As such they are very new colonies, having only been established for some fifty years or less. Moveover, most of the worlds have not been fully explored - at least, not on the ground, whatever surveys might have been done from orbit.

We start with a map of the Peel Sub-sector, which contains some eighteen systems although only seven are as yet inhabited. There's a list of UWPs and other information, and a bit of background about the sub-sector as a whole.

We then move on to look at each settled world in turn. Each is presented in a standard manner, beginning with an overview of the star system as a whole with a diagram and notes about every body in the system. There's a map of at least the main world (often some of the other planets as well, especially if they have been visited) followed by physical, atmospheric, hydrographic and geographical details. This can include notable natural features and even some of the more interesting native plants and animals. Next we get to hear about the people: government type, law and culture. This background is quite detailed: Referees will have to determine how much is known by outsiders, particular those who are planning a visit.

The worlds on offer are quite varied. There's Layla, a place dedicated to individual freedom with extensive participatory democracy. Their commitment to freedom is deeply held and based on religion (although of course, nobody is compelled to believe!). About the only thing wrong with the place is that it's on the chilly side!

The New Perth system is well blessed with planets, two of which are inhabited. It's a representative democracy, colonised by the Australian Government (yes, the one on Earth) which was technically a treaty violation. A lot of Australian slang and even the playing of Aussie Rules Football is popular, and there are even some imported Australian plants and animals to be found.

Peel, on the other hand, is under military dictatorship. The founder, Jacob Peel, established the place as a society devoid of religion (which he and his followers saw as a malign influence on society) and after many years of ruling the place personally - including mandatory nutritional guidelines and requirements to have lots of children - he'd turned power over to an elected parliament. In the course of time, other ideas came into play, and these eventually led to civil war. The military contrived a cease-fire, only to grab control for themselves.

And so it goes on with some quite fascinating worlds that should prove interesting to visit (if they'll give you a visa!). Neachdain is a world with few native land animals but plenty of amphibians run by the Technical Coalition on the remains of a failed Celtic-based colony. Alverca is a sparsely-inhabited world of 75% water with an elected President where they speak Portuguese. Rocroi is much drier and in its 11 years of operation has acquired a mere three thousand odd colonists governed by a self-appointed 'King'. Finally, Ariel is another wet world (73% water) whose inhabitants mostly farm or fish, with a complex system of delegated democracy based on the unusual origins as a joint Palestinian and Israeli settlement!

There are suggestions for character generation for those coming from these worlds, some adventure ideas and even random encounters for some of the unexplored regions of different worlds. Oh, and a bestiary of some of the more unusual wildlife. All in all, there's a splendid frontier feel to the sub-sector which gives a true urge to go exploring!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Peel Colonies
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Subsector Sourcebook 3: Hub
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/14/2014 08:31:02
This book presents a complete sub-sector, drawn from Gypsy Knights Games's Clement Sector alternative Traveller universe setting. The Hub sub-sector is a bit different from the others they've presented because it is home to the Hub Federation, a mult-world political body. Most of the rest of their worlds function independently in isolation from each other. At that, the Hub Federation involves six solar systems - not the giant galaxy-spanning Imperium of the official Traveller universe by any means!

First up is a subsector map, list of UWPs and an overview of the sub-sector as a whole. This explains the place of the Hub Federation in local politics, with the remaining thirteen systems remaining independent from it for various reasons - explained under their individual entries. If you want to read about the six Hub Federation worlds, though, you need to get the separate sourcebook The Hub Federation... this book deals with the rest of the sub-sector worlds.

So, on to the individual entries for each system. These begin with details of the system as a whole and then focus in on the inhabited world, starting with physical data then looking at the environment, culture, government, legal system and other details of interest to a visitor (or indeed a resident). There's a map and notes on major cities and other features. As you read through you will find 'grey boxes' of text which provide insights as to what might be really happening or ideas for adventures embedded into the world in question.

The worlds are quite diverse, ranging from a desert world with a democratic government through an ice world to one completely in the thrall of a quite repressive religion. There's quite a bit of background as to how each world came to be colonised and developed in the way that it did, and this works much more easily if you are using the Clement Sector alternate setting, although they could be modified for use in your own universe if preferred. Notes are provided to aid you if this is what you want to do, a nice feature.

Each world is quite distinctive, yet many seem to go out of their way to make it quite hard to visit them, meeting travellers with obstacles such as visa requirements and - of course - ensuring that they many not carry weapons during their visit. However, they are interesting and well described and have the potential to make for some memorable adventures...

Having absolutely no mention of the Hub Federation and its worlds does rather leave a hole, and if you want to use this as a sub-sector (rather than as individual worlds), purchase of The Hub Sector sourcebook is recommended.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Subsector Sourcebook 3: Hub
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Subsector Sourcebook 2: Franklin
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/13/2014 08:25:12
This work presents a fully-developed sub-sector in a travelogue style, providing plenty of places for the party to visit in pursuit of adventure, profit or whatever it is that they are after. Franklin is designed as a sub-sector of the Clement Sector, the 'home' of Gypsy Knights Games's product line, their alternate Traveller universe, but it's possible to place it wherever you want it in your Traveller universe instead. Some of the inhabited planets originally appeared in their 'Quick Worlds' series, but have been subsequently modified here, others are brand new.

First up is a sub-sector map accompanied by each system's UWP in a table and an overview of the sub-sector as a whole, followed by a detailed system-by-system description of what you'll find here. The inhabited systems in this sub-sector are quite scattered and operate as independent rather than belonging to any wider association.

Each system is presented in a standard format, beginning with an overview of the system, in words and pictorially, before moving on to physical data of the inhabited world that is probably of most interest. Size, atmosphere, hydrography, geography... then moving on to population, government, law (look out for ways to trap unwary characters!) and cultural details. Grey boxes are scattered everywhere with 'behind the curtain' comments about design or straight-out adventure ideas you can use on that particular planet. There's a map of the world showing major features, notes on the main settlements, even details of calendars, festivals and port facilities - everything, in short, that a visitor might need to know.

The inhabited worlds are quite varied in nature and most sound like they'd be interesting to visit. Some have exotic wildlife, spectacular scenery or unusual customs which might prove an attraction, as well as trading opportunities or potential contracts for mercenary groups. Perhaps you'd like to visit a desert world with a participatory democracy that can have everyone at the polls several times a day, or a world of great cliffs with jungles below in which dinosaur-like creatures are to be found.

Overall, the Franklin sub-sector is a fascinating place to visit replete with opportunities for adventure, adventures that are embedded in the very nature of the worlds on which they take place. Well worth a visit...

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Subsector Sourcebook 2: Franklin
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Subsector Sourcebook 1: Cascadia
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/12/2014 08:09:38
This work provides a detailed overview of the Cascadia sub-sector which is intended as part of the alternate Traveller universe setting Clement Sector... but of course it can be transplanted to wherever you want to put it in YOUR Traveller universe! Some of the worlds described here have already appeared in Gypsy Knights Games's "Quick Worlds" series, but they have been rewritten and tied more closely to the Clement Sector story. Others are brand new.

Starting with a sub-sector map and overview, we read that there are twenty inhabited solar systems here. Most are in loose clusters of worlds in adjacent hexes, but some are more remote. All are independent although those close together may have formed some kind of loose association with one another.

We then move on to the systems themselves. Beginning with a system overview, the physical, atmospheric and hydrographical details for the main inhabited world are given. The geography is described along with a small map of the planet. Then we get to more social aspects such as population distribution, government, notable laws and local culture. It's the sort of detail that an intending visitor would find helpful and can be built upon readily when the party has reason to land there. Or indeed if a character chooses that planet as their homeworld.

The worlds are quite different in style, varying from dictatorships to democracies. Laws regarding weapons possession/use and attitudes to alcohol and other drugs are made clear... plenty of opportunity to have a run-in with the average gun-toting thirsty character if they do not abide by local requirements! Some of the restrictions can be unusual - there's even a planet where sugar is forbidden, never mind more dubious substances such as coffee or booze. On some worlds, surveillance of everyday life is routine and accepted, on others individual freedom is a precious thing. Religion can be all-pervasive, or a matter for individual belief. There's even a 'company world' completely owned by a brewing company - this is one place where the consumption of alcohol is not only permitted but encouraged, during off-duty hours at least!

There's plenty of scope for adventure here, with a fascinating variety of worlds to visit. The overall impression is of a sub-sector populated by distinctive worlds each busy about its own pursuits, never mind whither the party goes there or not, a convincing 'alternate reality' feel that makes it all the more interesting.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Subsector Sourcebook 1: Cascadia
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Clement Sector
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/11/2014 08:00:21
This book presents an 'alternate' Traveller Universe setting, the one in which Gypsy Knights Games's material is set. It's an area of space on the far side of the galaxy from Earth, reached at least initially via a worm hole. The year is 2342, which makes the setting somewhat closer to 2300AD than most conventional Traveller settings. One of the chief differences is that the people you encounter still often feel connections and trace their roots back to a particular part of Earth.

There's a lot to take in, beginning with the history of the Sector starting with the middle of the 21st century and explaining how the peoples of Earth explored first their own solar system and then went further afield, spurred on by the development of the Zimm Drive, which is based on quantum entanglement. In a way this is a primitive 'Jump Drive', taking ships out of normal space for a period of time and reinserting them a considerable distance away, some 2 parsecs, and leading to the colonisation of several relatively local star systems... and eventually to the discovery of the worm hole that led to the worlds of the Clement Sector. Over the next couple of centuries the area began to be explored and colonies established on suitable planets... and then one day the worm hole collapsed. The people in Clement Sector were now on their own.

This then leads into a detailed gazetteer of the entire sector, with charts and descriptions of every system, colonised or not. There's a lot of relatively unexplored real estate out there if exploration and colonisation interests you. For those areas which have been colonised, more copious details are found in the relevant sourcebook in this series, although there are brief notes here.

Next comes a section on character generation. One thing to note is that, apart from one called the Hub Federation, there are no interstellar governments - so anyone wanting to have government employment (including military service) in their background needs to decide which government they worked for! Most of the regular Traveller careers are available in some form, however. It is useful to determine a homeworld, and there are tables to do this if you prefer it to be random rather by choice. Earth is included, as the worm hole did not collapse that long ago! This leads in to the allocation of background skills, including a range of survival skills depending on the sort of world the character grew up on.

For those wishing to enter the service of the Hub Federation there are notes on careers in the Navy (more details of this and other Hub Federation-specific careers are in the relevant sourcebooks), and there is also the option of entering the Cascadia Colonisation Authority. Otherwise, you can use most anything in the main Traveller rulebook. Another option is the Colonist career. Background information is provided to set the scene for these new careers.

Next come sections on technology and equipment, which are naturally somewhat different from standard Traveller although there is plenty of overlap and scope for using regular items in your game. Tech levels are generally around 10-11 with a cap at 12. This leads into starship design along with several specimens you can use, complete with illustrations, game statistics and plans.

Once we have the ships, there follows a section on starship operation, looking at everything from making a landing planetside to travelling across the sector. The discussion is wide-ranging, dealing with matters such as time and currency on the worlds you might visit as well as the nuts and bolts of using the Zimm drive to get around. Refuelling and piracy are also covered.

The next section looks at some of the larger and more significant corporations that may be encountered, names in the news, employers, suppliers, whatever interaction becomes necessary. There are plenty of plot seeds if you read the notes on each one carefully! Several organisations are given similar treatment (including a helpful bunch called the Gypsy Knights with a strangely familiar logo!).

The book ends with discussions on politics, religion and aliens. The politics in particular is expanded upon in other sourcebooks but it is a useful overview, particularly for those of worlds other than the ones you come from or know well. Finally there are suggestions for the type(s) of campaign you may wish to run in the Clement Sector... there's wide scope here for whatever you might have in mind.

This is a beautifully-constructed and fascinating corner of space which is well worth exploring!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Clement Sector
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Ships of Clement Sector 5: Traders and Scouts
by Michael S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/17/2014 05:28:10
Another excellent book from GK!

Immediately after flicking through this book for the first time, I wanted to start new campaigns with each of these new ships - I even bought the Beltstrike adventure book in order to learn more about belting, to see how the Goldrush could be used.

The seven ships introduced in this book are all useable in one way or another. Depending on the campaign played some could work perfect as PC vessel, and others are great as encounters or just in the background to make the universe more varied.

The Starlight is a perfect starting ship for a small group of players, (almost) regardless of the type of game being played. Small, reasonably affordable, with a little space for cargo and passengers.

The Palomino Runabout fells more like a sports car in space, at least to me. It can take its owner/crew/the player(s) where they need to go, and in comfort, but you won't be hauling cargo or shuttling passengers with it. As a courier, executive transport, mini-yacht or simply a personal transport (for bounty hunters, VIPs, or players wishing to travel in style for example) though, it will get the job done! (Plus it looks good too) It does have an air raft hangar for planetary travel, and I do like that it has stairs between the cockpit and main deck. Practical? Maybe, maybe not, but I personally like the design touch. Only minor nitpick is that the flavor text says unarmored but it does have 4 points of crystaliron.

The Billings class free trader is just what it sound like. It has room for both passengers and cargo, and with jump 2 it's a viable alternative to the Far Trader from the main book, a design I've never quite liked personally. More expensive, but you also get more for your money.

Next up, the Goldrush, a 200 dT FTL capable belting ship. A home away from home, a base for belting operations. The upper deck is for living, with state rooms, common room and med bay. The lower deck has a cutter hangar and two cargo holds. In order to use this ship to its fullest, it's recommended to install a belting module in the cutter (available in Clement Book 4 - Small Craft). For those that do not want to play a belting campaign the ship would make an interresting encounter, perhaps the players find one out in deep space, adrift, or they work aboard one at the beginning of a campaign, before being abducted by pirates and forced into a life of looting and plunder...

The Explorer class long range scout would fit equally well for a scout-based campaign that wants something new, or as a larger (400 dT) ship for almost any group of players. With the right weapons it could work as a light warship, or courier duty, PC transport/home base and so on. Due to the way Zimm drives work within the Clement setting, long range does not mean jump 3+, but rather that it does have fuel for 2x 2 parsec jumps without refuelling.

The Nigaloo can also be used for scout games, or exploration. Think scout meets lab ship, with a touch of adventuring. It looks like a stretched Goldrush, and has lots of room for crew and mission staff. The labs can, of course, be converted into storage if a group of players wants to play different kinds of games. It has hangar space for a 30 dT boat, and a vehicle garage for ATV and air raft, and like the Explorer it has fuel for 2x jumps. The sensors are very advanced, and it looks and sounds perfect for expeditions and players wanting a bit more flexibility than offered among the smaller vessels in the game. And as I type this I realise that a Nigaloo can easily be converted into a great mercenary or pirate vessel...

Finally, there's the Dromedary class tanker. Perhaps not the most exciting ship for players to work on, but a very welcome sight when the fuel runs low! They could be used as encounters, escort quests or merely to populate the universe with more diverse ships.

To me, GK Games ship designs have always felt believable, thought through and 'realistic' and the ones in this book are no exceptions. Great work, keep it up!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ships of Clement Sector 5: Traders and Scouts
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Ships of Clement Sector 5: Traders and Scouts
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/15/2014 07:21:16
Containing a full seven different starship designs within the category of Traders and Scouts, this is a good place to look if you intend the party to be operating their own vessel.

The first is a smallish trading vessel, just the right size for an adventuring party! Described in the 'as-real' pseudohistorical tone used by Gypsy Knights in most of their material, it is presented complete with illustrations and deckplans as well as full statistics.

Next up is the Palomino-class runabout, an historic design that was never a great success in its original incarnation but which is now enjoying a considerable revival amongst those who want a small craft to transport up to four people (although it can be flown solo in a pinch).

Then there's a larger vessel, a real workhorse of the starways called a Billings-class Free Trader. It needs a crew of five (but has room for more), and can carry ten passengers (and a further ten in cold sleep) in some degree of comfort. The crew and passenger areas are separate, each with their own common area, and there is ample space for cargo as well.

A Goldrush-class belter ship, a very self-reliant craft, an Explorer-class Type LS Long Range Scout and a Ningaloo-class Survey and Exploration ship follow; each fully-detailed with text descriptions, deck plans and statistics and all well-suited to their stated roles. The last has space for scientists, lab space and a magnificent sensor suite.

Finally there's the Dromedary-class Tanker. Big and a bit lumbering, it's designed to deliver fuel supplies to ships and stations out in the black.

As well as all the details provided for each vessel, there are bits of atmospheric fiction and numerous illustrations to set the scene. I'm fond of having a wide variety of ships plying the spaceways in my universe and these will soon be making an appearance.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
21 More Organizations
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/30/2014 09:08:18
It's all part of bringing the Far Future to life... your Traveller universe needs to be teeming with people, ships and, yes, organisations with whom the party can interact. Such interactions can include joining the organisation, working for it on a casual basis, engaging in commerce with it, working against it or in association with it - or merely meeting a few members of it in a bar for a beer or a brawl.

Designing them all takes time and effort, so here are 21 more organisations to stir into the mix. Whilst many are quite closely linked with planets within the Clement Sector where Gypsy Knights Games material is centred, much could be transplanted to another suitable location... or of course, they may come from Clement but for some reason are being encounted somewhere else.

First up is Alpha Delta Force, an all-female paramilitary group which operates in a jungle area on the planet Tel'Kalares. They mount patrols, conduct research on what they find - both indigenous flora and fauna and any alien artefacts they come across - and have an enforcement arm which prevents unauthorised activity in 'their' jungles. There's full details on serving in it as a career, whether you need to generate Alpha Delta personnel as NPCs or incorporate it into a character background.

Then there's the Crawford Foundation, a massive charitable trust which aids research in science and medicine, supports universities and donates to political parties on the planet Boone and throughout Clement Sector, particularly on those colonies who trace their antecedents and heritage back to the US. Or maybe the Hard Chargers Spaceship Club, a bunch who spend their days travelling from one system to another and are not above the odd spot of criminal activity, seem more likely associates for your party.

Another organisation is Harbringer Productions, a holovid production company. Got any budding actors amongst your party? Or is someone starstruck over a character in their favourite show? Plenty of plot potential here. Knowing most Traveller groups, they might meet with the Cascadia Fugitive Marshals Service who are part of Cascadia's law enforcement apparatus but operate with the casual enthusiasm and disregard for planetry sovereignty of bounty hunters. Those on the right side of the law might enjoy working for them, of course. With this in mind, full career tables are provided for them as well.

If you feel in need of protection as you travel, you might wish to engage the services of the Reliable Starship Escort Service. Or you may run foul of the Smithson Crime Family, who are based on Cascadia and no doubt know the Cascadia Fugitive Marshals Service quite well! Perhaps you will meet operatives of Ministry 7, but as this is a clandestine intelligence agency you may well not be aware that you have...

And then there's the Society of Friendship, who operate a service somewhere between traditional geishas and call girls. The wealthy may hire a 'friendship artisan' as an escort to a function or a companion, or for various services of a personal nature. If your need is for weapons rather than companionship, maybe you will seek out Cutov Arms. Or you may be intrigued by the work of Intelligence Now!, a group which works to promote uplift of animals to sentience. And there's the Xenogastronomy League, the brainchild of a starshop cook fascinated by discovering how to cook the flora and fauna of every new planet he visited (sounds like several of my characters...). Then there's a group of religious craftsmen called the Children of the Father or a rather less pleasant bunch, the Council of Altrant Supremacists.... and several more groups who all add to the rich tapestry of life.

Revel in these, add them to your setting and mine their activities for adventure ideas. An excellent collection, just reading through them spawns ideas.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
21 More Organizations
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Ships of Clement Sector 4: Small Craft
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/22/2014 09:21:10
Having that sniny new starship is all very well, but when you arrive on orbit you need something to get planetside, not to mention that it's overkill for an in-system jaunt.

So here is a mammoth collection of all those really useful but often unsung small space-worthy craft all ready for when the party (or NPCs for that matter) might need one. Each vessel comes with background text about what they are used for and what they look like, along with full game stats, sketches and deckplans.

First up are those useful little craft you might find buzzing around a space station or orbital facility - the ubiqitous work pod. These can be used for a multiplicity of tasks from maintenance to courier work, construction and even personnel transfer over short distances.

Then there are a whole bunch of other craft: fighters, launches and ship's boats. There's even an Admiral's Barge for those VIP transfers and visits... and ones set up as boarding craft for even more unwelcome visitations. Some craft are armed, some are modular and can have the 'payload' area reconfigured depending on your needs - troop transport or medical transport or even an in-system research or mining vessel (asteroid archaeology, anyone?).

Interspersed with the small craft details are pieces of atmospheric fiction describing typical uses of some of the vessels described. There's also a small craft design sequence, maintaining the tradition of Traveller 'gearheads' who derive as much pleasure from designing stuff as from playing the game.

If you like your space to be buzzing with all manner of vessels, this is one to add to your bookshelf.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ships of Clement Sector 4: Small Craft
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21 Plots: Samaritan
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/07/2014 10:22:01
Here's another collection of plot outlines, this time linked by the common theme of the Patron needing help. Well, all Patrons need the party's help, that's why they hire them, but in these cases it is the more traditional use of the word 'help' - someone who actually needs (or appears to need) assistance.

Presented in conventional style for Traveller, each outline is given as it appears to the characters coupled with six possible outcomes/developments. The Referee can choose the one which appeals most, or roll a d6. These outcomes vary widely from 'Just as it appears' to something completely different.

Possible adventures range from rescuing kidnap victims to dealing with outbreaks of disease and helping spacefarers in distress... a real range of different situations. There's even a missing cat to find! Any or all of them should provide for an entertaining episode in an ongoing campaign. Many of the outcomes give suggestions as to future ramifications, generally gaining a contact or an enemy from amongst the involved parties.

Some of the situations make reference to various worlds within Gypsy Knights's published Clement Sector, but if you are not using that it will be easy enough to pick suitable worlds within your own campaign. Indeed, if your players are inconsiderate enough not to go to the 'right' world in the Clement Sector, again you could change to a more appropriate one if that's the adventure you want to run.

Overall, a fine collection of plots in true Traveller tradition.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
21 Plots: Samaritan
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Peel Colonies
by Mysterious B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/10/2014 12:31:02
Welcome to the frontier. GKG is taking a stab at one of Traveller's earliest motifs - travel and see unknown worlds. Behind a fantastic cover - we get new worlds. Not cookie cutter worlds but worlds that are realistic and gritty. Tied closely to the Clement Sector but with a dash of imagination can take you to any SFRPG universe. They are clearly grounded in the Hard SF tradition - Space Opera lovers might find something here. But, it is clearly more Star Trek than Star Wars. The lower rating is the feeling that there should be more that is uncovered in terms of mysteries - maybe that is the realm of adventures - but I do feel worlds should have multiple enigmas and adventures are there to play within those locales or to solve the mysteries -- however the setup for the enigma should take place in the world splatbook. Maybe, your opinion is different... however, these are certainly worth one's money. Keep up the excellent work GKG!

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Peel Colonies
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