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Clement Sector Core Setting Book 2nd Edition
by Omer J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/17/2016 02:00:30

Reading through the Clement Sector book brings back fond memories. The author, John Watts, wrote a book in the spirit and general format of my old Outer Veil - my first published product. His setting is different, of course, but the overall atmosphere and product design are similar. Great minds think alike!

The Clement Sector is an independent setting for the Cepheus Engine, and by extension - for Traveller. It is set in a remote sector of the galaxy which was reachable from Earth only by means of a wormhole. The wormhole collapsed relatively recently, stranding the colonists on the far side of the galaxy. By its very nature, this sector is underdeveloped. Much of it is open frontier and a good amount of subsectors are either unsettled - some are even unexplored - or very sparsely inhabited. I like that - there is room for exploration and colonization and many, many lawless frontier worlds - perfect for adventuring.

I must say that love the setting’s grand vision and overall atmosphere - a wide-open frontier inhabited by people cut off from Earth and forced to fend for themselves.

However, the main weakness of the Clement Sector Core Book also lies in its setting. It describes sixteen subsectors - one full sector - with full star-maps and UWPs. However, it barely describes the worlds themselves. Similar to Classic Traveller’s S3: The Spinward Marches, it presents a few of them very briefly. The book does not describe most worlds and instead refers the reader to other products, costing $19.99 each. This would probably have been acceptable in the 1970’s or the early 1980’s, but when today’s gamer pays $19.99 for a setting core book, he often expects more than this. As a side note, this was one of the greatest weaknesses of my own Outer Veil, which had similar format even though I (very partially) covered for it by adding five Patrons and a short adventure.

A short introduction and 20 pages of setting history precede this expansive but rather empty astrography chapter. While it is a good read, for the most part it is of relatively little relevance to the setting itself - the politics of the 21st century United States have little effect on events set in the 23rd century on the other side of the galaxy. Sure, some of the states created by this crisis, such as Cascadia, did affect the setting, but I feel that two or three paragraphs, instead of a dozen pages, would have been sufficient for the history preceding the Clement Sector’s colonization.

The real value of this Core Book, however, lies in its massive character generation chapter. This is, in my opinion, one of the best treatments of 2d6 OGL or Cepheus Engine or Mongoose Traveller character generation. The chapter oozes color added to your character and ensures that each character will have a detailed and unique background. The chapter greatly expands on the regular character generation rules. It includes detailed tables to generate your character’s childhood and youth; a mind-boggling number of careers with d66 event tables and 2d6 mishap tables; and pre-enlistment options, again with their own event tables. There are homeworld skills tailored to the various Clement Sector colonies, but the Core Book does not describe their vast majority. However, it would be easy to replace those with homeworld skills for the planets of your own campaign. There are no known alien species in the setting (though there is some evidence of their existence), but humanity did “uplift” a number of animals, from dolphins to bears, and the book provides detailed rules for generating and playing members of these species (You can play a sentient, upright grizzly!) as well as genetically-modified humans. I must emphasize again - this chapter is amazing. You will also find it extremely easy to adapt it to any colonial sci-fi setting. The character generation chapter alone - which takes a whopping 45% of the book (!) - is well worth the $19.99 price of this product.

A few additional rules and a short discussion of technology in this setting follow the wonderful character generation section. There are quite good experience and character advancement rules and some alterations to the Cepheus Engine skill list. The technology section is relatively unremarkable except for the Zimm Drive - this setting’s Jump-2 Drive equivalent - and the Mindcomp. The former is very similar to a jump engine and could jump and distance up to two parsecs, with reduced transit time for closer destinations (e.g. 3.5 days to jump one parsec away), unlike the default Cepheus/Traveller J-Drive. The latter is a cybernetically-implanted computer, presented in a relatively interesting manner with its own unique rules and software. Oh, and there is a Handcomp which looks like a combination of the Pip Boy from Fallout and the Omnitool from Mass Effect!

The Clement Sector Core Book provides five setting-specific starships: a 300-ton Merchant, a 400-ton Yacht, a 300-ton Scout, a 800-ton Freighter, and a 1,200-ton Destroyer. The chapter does not provide TLs but all designs are seemingly TL11 and generally useable with whatever Traveller setting you prefer. All include excellent-quality deck plans and good renders. The merchant has an interesting design with a “saucer” lower deck and an engine nacelle/bridge section above and behind it (slightly reminiscent of the USS Enterprise of Star Trek fame); its lower deck does utilize its round shape for a less-orthodox radial layout. The Yacht is a traditional wedge and carries a 50-ton Cutter. The Scout is a round “flying saucer, but for some reason, its deck-plans, for the most part, fail to utilize its oval shape and instead opt for a rectangular layout surrounded by fuel. The freighter is excellent and interesting - an unstreamlined dispersed structure carrying six detachable cargo pods - a bit similar to the common freighters of Babylon 5 and Mass Effect. The destroyer is also top notch - a classical Babylon 5 or Halo elongated, unstreamlined design; it is also satisfyingly armed and armored with 8 points of armor, Meson bays, and Fusion bays - just as expected from a Traveller warship. The ship chapter concludes with a handy starship identification and size comparison diagram.

There are also handy, but mostly run-of-the-mill, starship operation rules, the highlight of which are wonderful wilderness fuelling mishap tables (applicable to almost any Traveller universe).

There is a short, 27-page setting information section at the end of the book - vastly dwarfed by the subsector charts and character generation rules. It presents seven corporations and four other organizations and only (!) four pages of setting politics. The corporate descriptions are mostly corporate history and contain a few good plot hooks. There is a Traveller's Aid Society equivalent (the Captain's Guild). The highlight of this chapter is a group called (surprise!) the Gypsy Knights who are "a group formed to travel across the colonized worlds helping those who are in need". There is also a religion/cult/terrorist organization called Solar Purity who are opposed to human presence on the Clement Sector side of the Conduit, or (in the case of moderates), preserve nature as far as possible. It reminds me of the "Reds" in Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars Trilogy; you can use them both as terroristic villains and as patrons hiring the PCs to protect this or that planet from human environmental destruction.

Politically, the Clement Sector is - for the most part - a collection of independent worlds. The only multi-world polity is six-world the Hub Federation. Unfortunately (from a Referee's standpoint), the Federation has an insular policy, missing the adventure opportunities presented by expansionism. The far more interesting (one-world) polity is Cascadia of the eponymous Cascadia Subsector, which has a strong interventionist and expansionist policy fuelled by a faith in "Manifest Destiny"; I would have preferred, though, that it would have had several colonies or at least vassal/client worlds for more interesting politics. There are also two new religions presented in this book - in addition to all the Terran faiths which came with humans to the Clement Sector; both present opportunities for conflict, especially the second one, Caxtonism, which is, in a nutshell, an expansionist proselyting cult.

There is a brief discussion of aliens in the Clement Sector. There are no known live aliens but the Terran colonists have found a few alien artifacts, hinting to alien life present somewhere in the universe. The big plot here is the Alien Research Network - ARN - a crackpot (or so people in the setting believe) group following various alien-related conspiracy theories. Still, the opportunities for serious xenoarchaeology are very limited in the canonical Clement Sector.

The book ends with a four-page discussion of possible campaign ideas. Most are typical Traveller ones - active military service, mercenaries, exploration, crime, trading and so on - but there are also plot hooks about working as a Gypsy Knight or trying to find the way back home despite the Conduit's collapse.

Visually, the book is very readable and well laid-out. All art - and there is plenty of art - is CGI, similar to Outer Veil. This is understandable, as color CGI is far more affordable than color hand-drawing, allowing the author to put more art into his book. The art is always relevant to the topic at hand and the book is very readable if a little ‘heavy’ on older tablets. All artwork and maps are excellently high-res.

The bottom line: An excellent character-generation book paired with a bare-bone frontier setting.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Clement Sector Core Setting Book 2nd Edition
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Clement Sector: The Rules
by William W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/21/2016 21:17:45

What's not to like? First off, a crisp, clean cover that really pops and let's you know exactly what to expect from the book. Second of all, you get a really good variation of the rules formerly known as the 1st Edition Traveller Rules from Mongoose Games in the Cepheus Engine. Next, you get a clear and concise presentation of the Cepheus Engine rules along with a fairly extensive Table of Contents that lets you know exactly where everything is. Tying it all together is artwork that covers the spectrum of the setting. Everything from everyday life to combat is shown in the artwork to really give you a feel for what you can expect when you sit down to play and immerse yourself in the world of the Clement Sector. Yes as pointed out in another review, this is only the rules for Clement Sector and you need two other books the Setting book and the ships book, Anderson and Felix. This format however is not uncommon. For years Dungeons and Dragons has been a 3 core book set. Shadowrun has at least 5 books in their core set. Multiple book core sets are not uncommon and even needed for a really good game. Sure there are games that succeed as a single stand alone book but not many and not many that have longevity. Clement Sector is a rising star in sci-fi roleplaying and well deserving of your time and money. If you like Firefly, Dark Matter, Blake's Seven or the Killjoys, this is the rule set and setting for you. I reccommend you give it a try. I don't think you will be disappointed.

William



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
Clement Sector: The Rules
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Clement Sector: The Rules
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/20/2016 21:20:47

The Rules are a CEPHEUS ENGINE-derivative set of rules for playing in The Clement Sector. The Core Task Resolution system is here along with most other rules of play. What is not here is setting-modified material. For chargen you need the Clement Sector Core Setting Book (careers), for ships a Ships of the Clement Sector guide, and for building ships Anderson & Felix's Guide for Naval Architecture.

You can play the setting with the base CEPHEUS ENGINE book if necessary but this is a great modified rules set that tailors CEPHEUS for the setting.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Ships of Clement Sector 15: Milligan-class Hospital Ship
by Daniel C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/18/2016 02:38:11

I really enjoy botht he ship itself and the great fiction added to the book. It adds a level or idea generation to the mix. The ship was a nice addition to my horde of ship books. It can function for both a military support ship or a civilian medical oranization ship. I like some of the simple additions also added to the character of the ship such as the inclusion of a chapel. This goes beyond th enormal design elements that are in every simple design.

I am very glad I picked up this ship for my collection. If you like interesting ships then I would suggest you pick this up as well. :-)



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ships of Clement Sector 15: Milligan-class Hospital Ship
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Ships of Clement Sector 13: Strikemaster Class Brig (OGL)
by Derrick S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/23/2016 18:58:15

excelent product it is a great medium ship usable in just about any sci fi setting.



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ships of Clement Sector 13: Strikemaster Class Brig (OGL)
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Ships of Clement Sector 14: Boyne-class Replenishment Ship (OGL)
by David T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/25/2016 08:07:16

Amazing background detail as usual and lovely views and plans of the ship. I love the quality of these products and cost is extremely reasonable for the amount of work put into them



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ships of Clement Sector 14: Boyne-class Replenishment Ship (OGL)
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Ships of Clement Sector 13: Strikemaster Class Brig (OGL)
by David T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/25/2016 08:04:58

I love the detail put into these, another fine ACS



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ships of Clement Sector 13: Strikemaster Class Brig (OGL)
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Grand Safari
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/17/2016 10:59:23

One of the delights of Traveller is exploring new parts of the universe... and here's a whole campaign about doing just that. Set in the Gypsy Knights Games alternative Traveller universe, it puts the party as members of the Gentlemen's Club of Dashwood (an society you'll find in the book 21 More Organisations) who have booked themselves onto a hunting safari into the unsettled Hannibal Subsector (Leonidas Sector) which is located to spinward of the Dade Subsector in the Clement Sector. You can read about the Dade Subsector in the work Dade Colonies too. Nine pre-generated characters are provided but you can use your own - provided they are 'posh' enough (reckon on SOC 8+) to join the Club or can wangle an invitation from a member to join the trip. There are also safari staff and ship's crew roles, but these are probably best filled by NPCs.

What we have here is a series of loosely-linked adventures which can be played in any order, linked by the theme of the Safari, which is a competition. Various activities accrue points, and these accumulate towards a prize and enhance standing within the Club. The game begins at a Club meeting on Dashwood or at the first stop, a skills training day on Aisha, after which the party should be allowed to choose from a list of available safaris (adventures) which ones they want to do and in what order.

There's plenty of detail to help you run this campaign, from planetary data to the Clubhouse on Dashwood. The safari contest rules are introduced and then it's on to Aisha for Skills Day. Here, the party has the opportunity to demonstrate prowess at various activities: rifle marksmanship, archery, horseback riding, climbing, stealth, and making a shelter out of native materials. Points are awarded for all these activities - and characters who do well despite being unskilled in a given discipline may gain rank 0 in the appropriate skill. The party is then shown a list of six expeditions and can decide the order in which to visit them.

Each expedition is the presented in detail. For each one, there is a defined objective and the party will have a certain amount of time and the appropriate equipment to undertake it. Interestingly, sometimes the task is being done for someone else - for example, in the Sea Hunt the Club has been contracted to capture certain fish for a research group. Some of the tasks involve killing, but there are enough places in which capturing or even making recordings of the target animals or plants will garner points so that those who are uncomfortable with the idea of hunting for sport will find plenty to do. Naturally, each location visited boasts more than the target creature and there are extensive random event charts and other encounters to further enliven affairs. Once the six hunts have been undertaken, the party returns to Aisha where points are added up and prizes awarded.

Full details of all the systems in the Hannibal Subsector are provided, at least to the level that they are known to the Club. As far as is known, none of them have been settled yet... but there's sufficient detail in the system write-ups to allow for that if the party choose to do so in later adventures, or for you to write your own campaign around exploring and settling any one of them. Many do not even have names yet, just catalogue numbers, although some have acquired unofficial names bestowed by the Club during earlier safaris. The ship on which the safari will be undertaken is also presented, complete with deckplans and full details including those of a surface (wet) boat provided for ocean travel during the trip. Finally, there are a few ideas about other things that might be going on in the area...

This presents an exciting and original campaign framework, with loads of detail to support the adventures provided or indeed facilitate your own in a virtually unexplored subsector.



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
Grand Safari
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Dawn Adventures 2: Hell's Paradise
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/16/2016 11:16:39

Rooting around the Dawn Sub-sector - next door to the Cascadia Sub-sector of the Gypsy Knights Games alternate Traveller universe Clement Sector - this adventure sees the party in a Cascadia Colonization Authority search and rescue ship looking for an exploration ship that has gone missing. The Trailblazer-class scout ship the party is in is the same as the one provided for Dawn Adventures 1: The Subterranean Oceans of Argos Prime - and indeed the adventure starts on Argos Prime. Nine pre-generated characters are also provided, as well as a map of the Dawn Sub-sector and listing of the systems therein. Naturally, you can use your own characters and ship, and indeed set the adventure somewhere in your own Traveller universe without too much amentment necessary if preferred.

The target system of Calliope is detailed extensively - at least, what is known of it - with the main world shown as being largely covered with water with just three small land masses. There is extensive sea life but little to be found on the land. It is not yet settled by anyone, but the Nordic Exploratory Society have been surveying it with an eye to locating suitable sites for a colony. It is their survey ship that has gone missing.

In a neat tie-in to Dawn Adventures 1: The Subterranean Oceans of Argos Prime, the search and rescue ship complete with the party on board have been sent to Argos Prime to assist with the disaster that befell the planet during that adventure. If you want to use the same party you did for that adventure, you'll need to have them reassigned to new duties in order to get them involved in this adventure. Representatives of the Nordic Exploration Society request help, and the party is tasked to investigate. There's a fair bit of background about the Nordic Exploration Society, how much actually needs to be shared with the party is unclear, but this may be made available if they are interested.

They will have to stop and refuel at Biocca, which is a friendly frontier world. As well as the fuel they can pick up some information and a meal whilst here, but they ought to be on their way to Calliope quickly.

Once there, the investigation can begin. The ship itself can be found quite easily... but where are the crew? There's a decklan of the survey ship, assuming the party decide to search it, with full descriptions of all that is to be found there. Eventually the reason for the ship being here, rather than returning as scheduled or even reporting in, will become apparent... but will the party be able to figure it out and how to deal with it before suffering a similar fate?

This is a nice treatment of what is, once discovered, a fairly standard risk of interplanetary exploration, with a few neat ideas to make it less predicable. It proves good fun to run, but is possibly more suitable for a one-off game using the characters provided than as part of an ongoing campaign with cherished characters... yet, it's dangerous out in the black, sometimes parties need to be reminded of this.



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dawn Adventures 2: Hell's Paradise
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Dawn Adventures 1: The Subterranean Oceans of Argos Prime
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/15/2016 08:59:49

If you think Traveller is all about exploring new worlds, then this adventure is for you... because in it the party is hired by the Cascadia Colonization Authority to go explore parts of Argos Prime, a strange world where the surface is barren and the interior contains bodies of water and other necessities for life. It's set in the Gypsy Knights Games custom universe, but it ought not be too hard to find a suitable location in your own campaign setting if you prefer. Likewise, pre-generated characters and a survey ship are supplied, but are not essential.

There is a map of the Dawn Sub-sector with brief details of all the worlds therein, two of which have already been settled by the Cascadia Colonization Authority (the Dawn Sub-sector is next along from the Cascadia one). The target world, however, has been independently colonised by peoples of Greek and Slavic origins although negotions are in progress to plant a colony there as well. The Argos Prime government has also allowed a couple of mining companies to begin work, primarily in the world's two asteroid belts but also on the surface... unfortunately these companies do not get along, and bickering has turned to brawling on more than one occasion.

Full details of Argos Prime are provided - everything from physical geography (quite remarkable and unique) to government and cultural information. System data is also provided as well as maps of Argos Prime, both the frigid surface and the subterreanean areas where people can live. There are also full details and deckplans for the ship provided.

Then things get interesting. Rather than a fully-scripted adventure, you are provided with a situation, a disaster (which is variable in nature, you decide how severe it is) and some suspects... the aim of the adventure is for the party to figure out what - and who, if applicable - caused the disaster... and they thought that they were here just to survey and assess potential locations for new colonies. There is a lot of tension and distrust between various factions and organisations, which is likely to spill over into events.

The parameters for the surveys are laid out precisely: both location and what the party needs to do whilst they are there. Charts are supplied from which you can give them the relevant data once they settle down to collect it, and each location that is to be surveyed is detailed as well. Also, randon encounters tailored to each location are supplied to liven things up a bit.

Then we get to the impending disaster. The general nature is outlined in some detail, but its severity and just where it happens is left to you. The party will - assuming that they survive - be hauled off their survey duties and asked to investigate. Six different options for what caused it are provided, along with a whole bunch of NPCs to question and various 'clues' which may or may not point to the guilty parties, depending on whom you decided was behind it all. Red herrings abound and it can be quite easy for the party to go off along a completely different track - it's recommended that you limit the red herrings so that the party do eventually home in on the correct suspects. Or of course you may decide that it was a freak accident and, despite all the evidence to the contrary, nobody was responsible. Then the party will have to debunk all the conspiracy theories flying around!

Overall it's a delightful mix of exploration and investigation with an innovative methodology that allows you to determine what was actually going on without having to make everything up for yourself. Great fun - but it repays careful preparation although it is well-enough organised that you could run it on the fly if necessary!



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dawn Adventures 1: The Subterranean Oceans of Argos Prime
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Cascadia Adventures 3: Fled
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/14/2016 08:48:37

As with the previous two adventures in the Cascadia series, this one is set in the alternate Traveller universe created by Gypsy Knights Games - it takes place in the Cascadia Sub-Sector which is part of Clement Sector. Again, the whole thing starts with the Razz Casino on Chance, a planet in Cascadia. Pre-generated characters and a ship are provided, or you can use your own. The advantage of the characters provided is that they are embedded into what is going on with links to the Casino and an array of useful contacts who pop up during the adventure to help - but if using your own characters it's not too hard to work them in. Likewise, if you are not using the alternate universe it will be possible to amend the adventure to fit in with your own. If you have either of the previous two adventures, there is some repeated material - the pre-generated characters, the ship, and details of the Razz Casino itself - primary for the benefit of those who only have this work. Each adventure stands alone, so if you like this one, go back and try the other two!

The plot is quite straightforward - or at least appears to be when first introduced. A fellow called Hawthorne, part of Razz Casino security, has stolen a large amount of money from the Casino and the owner, Carrie O'Malley, wants not just the money back but Hawthorne's head on a platter as well. The party will be tasked with going to Cascadia, where Hawthorne used to live, and visiting his ex-wife to find out if she knows anything about the theft or Hawthorn's whereabouts. They'll have to be discreet, as this lady has since remarried... to one of Cascadia's leading politicians.

Once the party has accepted the offer - and it is, shall we say, in their best interests to do so - they can begin to make their way to Cascadia via Dimme, another world where they can refuel. Throughout, scenes are presented as 'essential' (necessary to the plot), 'optional' (flavour and role-playing opportunities, but not contributing to the plotline) and 'contact' (where the party has a chance to gather useful inforamation) - a neat trick to keep things moving yet create a sense of reality in your game.

There's a spot of local colour - and time for a meal - at Dimme, then on to Cascadia where the main part of the adventure takes place. There's a lot going on, particularly on the political front with a major election coming up and the party soon gets caught up in it all. There are copious details of Cascadian politicians and their parties to provide background and substance to what is going on. Many of them could make useful contact for the future. Or enemies, of course, depending on the interactions the party has with them. Many in the Cascadian political scene play the game hard and with deadly sincerity.

It all builds up to an exciting climax at a political rally. There's a plan of the auditorium and full notes about what's where and what is taking place. Guile rather than brute force is likely to win the day, indeed this is the case throughout the adventure. Parties who plan their actions and come up with inventive schemes to achieve their goals are likely to do best... but fear not, at several points there are opportunities for a brawl, although the consequences may not be to participants' liking.

A well-written taut adventure that could leave the party with some measure of renown - or notoriety - as well as powerful friends and equally powerful enemies. And a ship.



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Cascadia Adventures 3: Fled
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Cascadia Adventures 2: The Lost Girl
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/13/2016 12:53:49

The second in a series of loosely-connected adventures set in the Cascadia Sub-Sector of Gypsy Knights Games' Traveller setting, there is some duplicated material from the first adventure (Save Our Ship) as a convenience especially for those who do not have a copy of that adventure. This includes the ship and pre-generated characters provided - they are worth considering as everything is neatly linked in to the setting and plot. However, if you have your own characters and ship the story will work equally well with a little thought, and it can be translated into your own preferred location without much difficulty.

The adventure starts at the Razz Casino on the planet Chance in the Cascadia Sub-Sector. The casino's owner has been asked by a former employee for help in finding his daughter, who has gone missing and hasn't been heard from for the better part of a year... and so the party has been called in to render assistance. If you are using the pre-generated characters, there's ample reason for them to be asked to help, you will have to come up with your own reasons for why the casino owner should turn to the party otherwise, although some suggestions are given.

In a scene at the Razz Casino, the party gets its briefing: to find Frida Moskalawicz. A neat trick is the use of different types of scene within the adventure: there are 'essential scenes' which need to take place for the adventure to progress, 'optional scenes' which provide added colour and role-playing opportunites but can be safely ignored without risk to the story, and 'contact scenes' specifically set up to allow the party to gather necessary information. The default is to use the extensive network of contacts each of the pre-generated characters has, but each of these is provided in sufficient detail to run as an NPC and you can find your own ways to work them in relatively easily if your party doesn't already know them. Those who wish to may engage in optional scenes of drinking, gambling and watching shows whilst they are at the casino as well as talking to those who have useful information.

It is likely that the party will proceed to Gagnon, the planet where Frida Moskalawicz had been a university student. They will need to refuel along the way, the most efficient route takes them to a planet called Slaren - oh, and they've been given a voucher for fuel to redeem there. While there, they have the opportunity to get a bite to eat (with several restaurants being available) and hear that there's a lot of pirate activity at the moment.

Then on to Gagnon and the core of the investigation. Various avenues are provided to aid you in running this, and the party ought to be able to figure out what has happened reasonably easily. Location and NPC descriptions are excellent giving a good feel of the places and people involved.

The climax of the adventure involves a raid on a well-guarded establishment... and there's a good chance of having to use violence, although stealth may also work, depending on what your party prefers. The conclusion of the adventure covers several alternatives, depending on what the party manages to do... and they might end up with an extremely powerful enemy!

It's a well-presented and resourced adventure, if a little linear and straightforward. Good fun to run...



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Cascadia Adventures 2: The Lost Girl
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Cascadia Adventures 1: Save Our Ship
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/12/2016 11:10:52

This adventure makes some assumptions: the party operates out of a planet called Chance in the Cascadia Subsector which is part of the Clement sector (Gypsy Knights Games custom Traveller setting) and works mostly as interstellar merchants (ethically challenged or not, it doesn't matter) with the odd side-job for the Razz Casino. This holds good for all three episodes in the Cascadia Adventures series, although they do not form a story-arc, you can run them in any order or pick and choose which ones you will run at all.

Before you get to the actual adventure, there are full details - including a sketch and deckplans - of the ship the party is assumed to be using, a Rucker-class vessel called Dust Runner. Then there are a full nine pre-generated characters, all with links to each other, the ship and even the casino. Naturally you can substitute existing characters (and indeed their own ship), or use some of them as NPCs, but if this is the first adventure you are running in a campaign they are worth considering because they are already embedded in the setting. They also all have contacts which will be useful as the adventure proceeds - details of these are supplied where they turn up along with notes on how to use them with either the supplied characters or your own.

And so to the adventure itself, beginning with a overview that explains what is going on. Basically, the Razz Casino had been hosting a politician who was about to run for high office on another planet, and had sent one of their ships to fetch him - but ship and politican failed to arrive. The party's task is to find out what has happened and to sort it out. The adventure background contains all the information that you will need, and in succeeding pages various locations and events are provided for you to run the adventure.

Events begin in the Razz Casino, and this may be a place that your party likes to hang out anyway. A sidebar explains a neat way of presenting adventures with 'essential scenes' which a key to the plot, 'optional scenes' which add flavour and encourage role-playing but can be left out without harming the story, and 'contact scenes' which help advance the plot as they provide opportunities for the party to find something out that they need to know. The casino 'optional scenes' include details of the games of chance and shows on offer, in case the party wish to indulge.

From the beginning in the casino, the adventure should take the party to the politician's departure point, his homeworld of Roskilde, where they can commence their investigations. Plenty of ways for them to find things out are provided and it should be relatively straightforwards to piece together what has transpired and lead them to the casino ship's current location. Once they get there, they have various situations to deal with - including some other folks also trying to find the missing ship - before they can complete their mission and return triumphant.

Overall it's a cracking adventure and great fun to run (I cannot speak for playing it, but they did seem to enjoy it...). It fits beautifully into the Gypsy Knights Games setting, but would not be too hard to transplant elsewhere if you want to drop it in to your own Traveller universe instead.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cascadia Adventures 1: Save Our Ship
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Ships of Clement Sector 13: Strikemaster Class Brig (OGL)
by Daniel C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/15/2016 17:52:58

One of the things I love about these Gypsy Knight products is the effort they put into the complete package. It is not just a deck plan nor is it just game specs. They work to bring together a back story, logical reasons why it even exists, and then add in game stats and a great deck plan to go with it. Another purchase that I am very happy with. Keep it up Gypsy Knight, you are doing a great job.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ships of Clement Sector 13: Strikemaster Class Brig (OGL)
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Ships of Clement Sector 13: Strikemaster Class Brig (OGL)
by paul h. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/15/2016 15:00:35

Strikemaster class Brig, by Gypsy Knight Games

Once again I picked up a new ship from Gypsy Knight Games (GKG) based solely on the enjoyment I had from past products. I wasn’t specifically looking to integrate this ship into a Traveller campaign (which is easily doable), and I don’t have an ongoing set of gaming sessions set in their alternate Clement Sector setting. I got this for three very simple reasons. The first is that they put out some kick-ass high quality gaming supplements. I have yet to be disappointed with any of the things I have purchased from them. Secondly the artwork and deckplans are nice. Many publishers scrimp on the artwork, especially full color artwork. The Traveller GURPS materials where chock-full of grey-scale artwork, but it added a lot to the pleasure of the game, and I wish more publishers would listen to their gaming constituency and do the right thing. Finally I like to support my gaming community, especially the small publishers who do this more for the love of the game than as an attempt to earn a living at it. Enough of the fan-boying, let’s get on with the review!

The cover is always a helpful sales tool, and as usual the artwork of Ian Stead is enjoyable just to look at. The ship, while small, still looks deadly and menacing without having to resort to a lot of distractions. The first few (five to be exact) pages provide some history behind the creation of the ship. When I first saw the teaser post that the Strikemaster class brig was coming, I first thought, “WTF… a brig?? Nobody has used the term brig for a naval vessel since the end of sail”. Luckily enough, the included introduction answers that very same question I had! There are a couple of pages of fiction outlining the beginning of the civil war, with ships having to pick which side they want to support. The fiction itself is decent enough, and with a little bit more polish it could be easily expanded upon for a nice short story.

One of the things to keep in mind is that the Clement sector setting is very much about smaller-scale ships. No 500,000 Dton Tigress class dreadnoughts floating around. The Strikemaster itself comes in at 400 tons. Building multi-thousand ton warships is fun in and of itself, but most gamers play with much smaller ships, so this fits well within a gaming session. It also lends itself to a size of ship that a player has a remote chance of surviving an encounter with. A full-up 5k Dton destroyer typically wouldn’t even break a sweat swatting down a PC’s Free Trader or other smaller adventure-class ship. But at 400 Dtons, the Strikemaster does fit the role of ye olde naval brig - a small, fast combatant that is able to hold it’s own with similarly sized naval vessels and poses a significant threat to mere merchanters.

Ship Design and Description Once again GKG does an excellent job of describing the layout of the ship, both visually and textually. They make note that the primary armament, a particle beam barbette, is mounted dorsally. The accompanying images also amply illustrate this fact. The ship layout is well done, both logically and visually. You see not only the expected areas (bridge, airlock, crew quarters, docking bay, etc), but little things like the bathing facilities that would not be in every cabin like on a passenger liner. Areas set off from the mess deck for food preparation and storage, even between-deck lifts. I do like the fact that some designers call these out on deckplans. It just makes them feel more realistic.

The room descriptions match well with the deck plan illustrations. The ship itself has three primary decks, with the upper level being officers country, with an officer’s mess, the main deck with the control spaces, ships crew quarters/mess, ships troops/mess, and the hangar. The lower deck is set aside for cargo and engineering. All pretty standard and logical. I do have a couple of quibbles and questions about the choices though. It’s a small ship, and to have three separate mess areas seems a bit excessive to me. While larger ships have more space to burn, smaller ships do not. And the design follows the idea of a ship with a crew much larger than this one’s. I could see, perhaps, keeping officers and crew separate, but not the ships’ crew and troops. A ship this small is really not the type that can afford the luxury of dedicated marines.

While there is a great level of detail and information concerning the ship itself, there seems to be relative dearth about the crew. The total crew complement is listed on the ships information card (5 officers, 14 crew, 6 troops), but I didn’t see anywhere a breakdown on exactly what positions were being filled. Obviously the 6 ships troops makes for easy reading, but is that 5 troops and a single officer, or is that 6 troops? How many are ratings vs. NCO’s? Are the troops led by a marine LT? The background of the brig specifically calls out the typical level of command for the ship itself. Since it’s considered a junior command (and also was in the days of sail), that would mean there would also be more junior officers, such as 2nd Lt, or ensigns still working on their skills as an officer.

Artwork and Extras One of the things I really enjoy about the GKG ship supplement is the artwork. I’ve said it before and it really bears repeating – you can’t put in enough great art in a sci-fi book or gaming supplement. The game itself requires imagination, and it’s far easier to visualize things when you have something to start with. The credits call out Ian Stead, and two other artists (Bradley Warnes who did the people portraits, and Michael Johnson who did ship deck plans). It’s (almost) like you are getting a Jane’s style explanation of a warship with the different views of the ship outside of the normal imagery of them being in space. Being able to see a ship from different views really helps to sell the fantasy.

The last few pages are taken up with some illustrations of a ships’ commander, Benjamin Waters, and a d6 chart of possible missions/encounters for a game master to use when wanting to incorporate a Strikemaster into their gaming session. This is a nice touch and an added bonus in my opinion.

Shortcomings I was (and am) pleasantly surprised with the details for the ship itself and descriptions on the interior of the compartments. Always helpful if you need something to help describe the interior to players that happen to be onboard one of the ships, for whatever reason. It also really helps in selling the image. There’s an entire page dedicated to a commander of one of the ships, but sadly absolutely nothing about a crew. Not even a breakdown of the typical crew positions. A few more pages, even just two, could have done a lot to provide more details and background for the ship, it’s crew and it’s operations.

Do keep in mind that what I consider to be shortcomings may not be universally agreed to. Every designer has to make their own choices, and ultimately it’s going to be up to the individual player and purchaser to agree or not. For some what they are getting may exceed their expectations. Others, such as myself, like to see things fully fleshed out.

Should you pick it up? That’s an easy one. Ab-so-lutely! The price point (a very inexpensive $4.99) makes it a literal steal for what you are getting. Plus you know you have the satisfaction of supporting one of the few independent gaming houses out there that support Traveller in a consistently high-quality way. None of the “shortcomings” that I’ve mentioned take away from the quality of the work, the great art, or the enjoyment. For the price of cheap burger I can support my gaming community and get something of value – as opposed to an expanded waistline! 



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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