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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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Quick Worlds 26: Winston
by Mysterious B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/10/2014 12:23:12
A world of the frontier. GKG is moving from High Space Opera to a game of exploration and the unknown. In some of the best detailed worlds - we get another in the form of Winston. While there is a certain vibe associated with with the Clement Sector - this world could be plunked down almost anywhere in a Traveller or SFRPG universe. For GKG is committed to building better worlds - this product shows a refinement of their thinking. They have moved from clone worlds (generic worlds albeit with some interesting attributes -- yes, I am looking at you Slaren or Chance) to building incredibly detailed geographies. If this product is missing something - it is a biosphere - however, I speculate that a Bestiary of the Clement Sector and beyond is in the works. Granted it is hard to a biosphere not to look like a Monster Manual but at the same time as the campaign advances us from the closure of the conduit and into unknown space - beasties - short & nasty and large & lumbering are bound to make their appearance. Look forward to seeing more brave new worlds, when no woman or man has gone before. Keep up the excellent work!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Quick Worlds 26: Winston
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Ships of Clement Sector 3: Moltke
by Mysterious B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/10/2014 12:16:05
Yet another, deckplan book --- almost, meh...as Mongoose keeps turning these things out. But, wait this is an extraordinary ship with amazing details. Furthermore, it contains phenomenal art by the incredibly talented Ian Stead - back when deckplans were re-invented by Mongoose. I was incredibly excited. But, as ship began to resemble another ship...my frustration. GKG must have heard my sighs and moans - for they have created a phenomenal traveller ship not seen the likes of CT FASA Traveller deckplans - and even those - the best illustrations were on blueprint sized boxes. Kudos to GKG for creating a truly beautiful looking ship and interesting capacities that I want to plunk into My Traveller Universe - right now! Wait, there is more, the deckplans come with mock recruitment posters in English and German! (although, why there are beefeater hats in the future...when berets seem more practical in a zero-g setting). And, the best part - purple pose...I love when there is a bit of narrative that gets me in the mood of events as they unfold. Too much of Traveller has been about Tables & Charts and deckplans - GKG combines the best of both worlds -- keep this high standard -- please. If you are looking for a cool ship - this is it. Criticism: well some of the renderings could have been done two per page as there are some small areas or additional craft that leave lots of white space - might save on toner but looks odd.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ships of Clement Sector 3: Moltke
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Quick Worlds 26: Winston
by William W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/05/2014 19:14:24
Another quality product form Gypsy Knights Games. A detailed little world that isn't your typical cookie cutter world for Traveller or any sci-fi game. Don't let the cover art fool you this isn't Hoth. This is a fully realized world that is just waiting for adventure. So check your ammo and set course for Winston just remember to pack your thermal long underwear.

William

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Quick Worlds 26: Winston
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Quick Worlds 26: Winston
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/05/2014 11:48:00
Located in a quiet corner of Gypsy Knights Games's Clement Sector, Winston is a ice-bound world in an otherwise uninhabited system. Indeed it is only marginally habitable, with an atmosphere that requires a filter mask as well as being on the chilly side of cold.

Some 88% of the world is ocean, but an ocean completely covered by sheet ice. It thins a bit in places, but never enough to actually leave the ocean open to the air although these so-called 'blue spots' do allow for photosynthesis by aquatic life. Four major landmasses (and a few minor ones) poke through the ice, however, and this is where settlements are to be found... even though they too are inhospitable with glaciers, rocky landscapes and active volcanoes to contend with.

Rather surprisingly, over four million people have settled here in the 40 years since Winston was first colonised, initially following the promise of rich mining. Indeed the first settlements were sponsored by mining companies. Following the collapse of the mining companies, a weak democracy was overthrown by the last president declaring himself king. His son was less successful at ruling than he was, and a civil war ensued. The leader of the strongest armed group involved in the war has recently placed herself on the throne.

The rule of General Mary Webster is quite strict and completely despotic, yet she is hailed as more fair than her predecessors. Visitors to the planet need to be aware that firearms are prohibited and visas are needed to travel outside of the downport areas. Most recreational drugs are also banned apart from alcohol. However, the locals do enjoy playing a game called rugby, and a bizarre event called a tomato hurl. Life otherwise is quite tough, and death is commonplace especially in the government-controlled mines.

Temperatures are low, below freezing even in daytime, so most people live in domed settlements which are maintained at a more amenable temperature. There are three main domed cities which are described in reasonable detail. There is also a section on adventure ideas for this planet... should anyone actually want to go there. Many are based around the harsh regime, involving characters either in supporting roles (perhaps mercenaries hired to train local troops) or mixed up in a rebellion. Other worlds are quite curious and might sponsor a spy mission to find out what's really going on in a difficult-to-access world, whilst merchants will find profit selling off-world products - legal or otherwise - to the natives. If nothing else, they might need to import tomatoes for the tomato hurl.

Never thought so much could happen on a rocky ball of ice? Think again, and visit Winston. Just take care: misbehaviour can lead to imprisonment or even being shot out of hand, and it is said that not everyone survives a gaol term here.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
21 Plots: Misbehave
by Mysterious B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/07/2013 15:15:53
Ain't no misbehaving...this is a close as the OGL will allow independents to push the limits. Yes, players can get into all sorts of mischief hooks - and now the Referee can have 21x6 plots. Invaluable as fillers between a campaign or one-shots. They are fleshed out as the setup and the 1D6 possible resolutions. These series are good additions for Referees caught in a pickle - all adventures are set in the Clement Sector which is best described as a Hard Space Opera. Excellent hooks, although, I wish the OGL would be a little bit more lax in allowing publishers to explore the darker realms of Traveller that fanzines long exploited. Come on, Marc - what do you say.

"No."

Thought as much, however, keep up the excellent work, GKG...

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
21 Plots: Misbehave
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Ships of Clement Sector 1: Kiviat
by Mysterious B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/07/2013 15:07:34
Purple pose, intelligent design, nice art art. What is wrong...well it is a single deckplan...plus, I would have expected some adventure seeds and variants of the starship (for all Starships are multipurpose in Traveller - A Scoutship may be pressed into the theater of war or a merchant ship may be tasked to do a survey) - none of these variants are explored. Let us hope when they get compiled into print form that these bells and whistles get added in.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Ships of Clement Sector 1: Kiviat
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Dawn Colonies
by Mysterious B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/07/2013 15:02:55
Newly established colonies that are more Hard SF than traditional Space Opera Traveller thus making a better fit for Hard SF variants like Traveller 2300 or other SF games out there. Well reasoned and well thought out worlds that do a great job of making worlds realistic. There is the suggestion of something mysterious waiting - so for Referees who need to introduce engimas - look no further than the Dawn Colonies. Excellent poser art and world renderings complete the package.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dawn Colonies
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21 Plots: Misbehave
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/06/2013 10:19:19
Presented in the classic Traveller style of plot hook and six possible outcomes (roll or choose as you please), the 21 adventure seeds presented here are linked by a common thread - all the jobs on offer are of dubious legality. Some adventures are set in Gypsy Knights Games's Clement Sector, but they are readily relocated elsewhere if you are not using that setting.

The adventure ideas themselves are inventive and ought to appeal to normal ethically-challenged Traveller characters. It's often a case of a rogue needing help to double-cross or outwit other rogues, and if there's profit in it, most characters will consider going along. Naturally, there is often (depending on the option you choose) more than meets the eye, and some present some excellent moral dilemmas for more thoughtful players to chew on. Quite a few have the potential to have longer-term ramifications with the opportunity to make friends or enemies, annoy a crime family or perhaps find themselves unwelcome on a particular planet.

There is scope for many sessions of cracking adventures here, perhaps best interspersed with other adventures unless of course your group are particularly shady individuals happy to misbehave as a regular thing. Recommended for all Traveller Referees.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
21 Plots: Misbehave
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Ships of Clement Sector 1: Kiviat
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/29/2013 10:37:53
If there is one thing a good Traveller referee needs above loads of planets to visit, it is a bunch of ships to travel between them. I've always taken the view that there will be a vast range of different types of craft out in the black, and look to reflect this in the ships my players encounter in their travels. (If you are dubious, just take a look at the diversity of cars in the nearest parking lot... and that's before you get into specialist vehicles from tankers to trucks, earth-movers and miliary vehicles!)

Beginning with some evocative fiction - a day in the life of a patrol vessel - complete stats for the Kiviat Class Patrol Corvette are given. These are followed by detailed plans, including the ship's boat which does duty as a boarding craft whenever inspections or other interventions are needed... and a glorious full-colour banner for the Hub - an area whose heritage in both German and British roots are clearly seen. There are also some external views of the ship.

More details follow, about the development of the class and tales of some of the corvettes in Hub service. This also includes a detailed description of the interior, which can be matched to the plans already provided to have a walk-through of what is to be found there. It is full of tidbits, from the life history of one young British officer trapped in the region by the collapse of links back to Earth, the formation of the Hub's armed forces from German and British naval vessels stranded there and notes on typical duties assigned to vessels of this class.

Even if you are not using the Clement Sector in your game, there is scope for incorporating this class of ship into the forces serving a given planet or group of planets. Perhaps characters served aboard, if they were in the Navy, or they may have encountered such ships in their travels. As a fairly specialised naval vessel, it is unlikely to be the party's ship (unless you are running a 'serving navy' game) but it is possible that they could meet one during their adventures - or just see it in port, a little local colour to add variety.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ships of Clement Sector 1: Kiviat
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