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T2000 v1 Twilight: 2000
by James L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/28/2015 14:25:30

Out of all the games I have ever played, I have to say this one had the best character creation. I loved making characters for this system.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
T2000 v1  Twilight: 2000
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2300 AD Nyotekundu Sourcebook
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/28/2015 08:39:13

The Nyotekundu Sourcebook describes a system in the French Arm that is pretty hostile to life, but has excellent mineral resources so people persevere with the place. Providing a wealth of detail and a complete adventure, the book has been designed with a mind to present a thoroughly detailed place through which the party can pretty much wander at will, whether or not you want to run the adventure. Plenty of ideas are scattered throughout to facilitate this, with suggestions for possible encounters, interactions or even complete adventures being provided amidst the descriptions of locations and details of inhabitants. Neat!


The first section, Inferno, is much more than information about one of the two planets in this system, beginning with a bit of background history about the early exploration of the system, indeed about early exploration of space in general. Much of this is probably known to the characters, but there is a neat suggestion that you can let the players read the background prior to the game, but if they want their characters to know it once you have started play, they either have to rely on memory (or, if cunning, any notes they made!) or make a computer use role to access the data! (Incidently, readers of Napoleonic-era naval fiction will recognise the captain of the survey vessel responsible for the initial exploration of the Nyotekundu system as the descendant of Nicholas Ramage, hero of a series of books by Dudley Pope!) There's plenty of astronomical and planetological data here, with Inferno being hot, tide-locked and with an unbreathable atmosphere and the other planet - Cocito - being a gas giant. Inferno boasts metal ores aplenty and at least one of Cocito's rings has lots of ice, so plenty of miners are to be found here, and there is a lot of through traffic as well because the Nyotekundu system is the 'gateway' to the rest of the French Arm where ships at least pause to discharge their stutterwarp engines before proceeding.


Next comes Outposts, in which we learn about living, working and just visiting on Inferno. Lots of people intending travel to destinations further on down the French Arm end up here for at least a layover - it's cheaper, apparently, to get a ticket to Nyotekundu and then pick up a vessel going to your intended destination than to book a through passage. On Inferno it's either too hot or too cold, you cannot breathe the atmosphere, there are frequent earthquakes and other unpleasant environmental factors mean that most residents live and work inside pressurised environments that are mostly underground. These actually are surprisingly nice, as the detailed descriptions of the French settlement Portes d'Enfer demonstrate - there are even nightclubs to visit and luxury apartments as well as more basic facilities. There's also a smaller Azanian outpost, Naragema.


This is followed by Training Mission, which sets the party as new recruits in the Aberdeen Mineral Exploitation Company. AMEC has a robust and extensive training programme to prepare its employees for life and work out in the black and it's a good way to ensure that the party has the skills they'll need to survive. There is quite a lot of detail about employment with AMEC and this suggests one way of weaving it into a game: leave allowances are generous, so maybe that is when the party has its adventures, with work being more or less glossed over in between vacations unless you deem something noteworthy occurs.


Training complete, the next section introduces the Orbital Mining Station Andrew Carnegie, an AMEC station which could provide a base and workplace for the party. There's a lot of detail about its layout and operation, befitting somewhere that becomes 'home' for the characters. This is followed by a section called Player Dossiers, which provides a wealth of detail about 21 people based here. Some can be used as player-characters if you wish, the rest are NPCs. The idea is that these are their personnel files, so inquisitive characters may actually come across them in the course of play... unlike the Referee Dossiers which follow! These contain full stat blocks, so if a player will be playing one of these characters, you have the materials to provide them with a complete character sheet.


Finally, there's the adventure Echoes of the Past. Two routes into this adventure are provided: either the party are already working aboard the OMS Andrew Carnegie or they are on Inferno for whatever reason and are approached by AMEC and asked to investigate when a distress call is received - a neat way of making virtually everything in this book useful even if you cannot convince your characters to sign on with AMEC as employees! It all begins when something... unusual... is discovered during a routine sweep of ice from Cocito's rings, and things rapidly go from strange to worse. It all provides for an atmospheric and tense adventure, and plenty of ideas are provided to extend it into the start of a whole campaign, or at least supply material for further adventures.


All in all, this is an outstanding example of how to present a location and use it to the full. Even if you are playing some other star-faring game rather than 2300AD you could well find material to adapt to your preferred ruleset to good effect.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
2300 AD Nyotekundu Sourcebook
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MT MegaTraveller Robots
by Jason B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/27/2015 20:19:20

The positives FAR outweigh the negatives in this supplement. the only "typo" I've found is the part where additional armor cannot be added to pseudo-bios. (They can get up to 12 [cloth] but it makes them HEAVY.) Fact is, MT's combat system is based on Striker and the math for the Striker conversions is in B8. And I've ALWAYS used this to build MT robots.


-BUT NOW- it's been fully integrated with the MT system, one can literally build a starship that IS a robot. And the material type modifiers per tech level apply to robot chassis now, which I always thought was a great tweak. -AND- a lot of the skills that were never adequately described in B8 or 101 Robots are WELL described, plus a bunch of cool new skills, lots of little things that were not clear in the earlier material have been made clear and amplified on. For instance, cargo handling? Does a robot need that to move objects around without breaking them? No, turns out it's the specialized skill of a cargo master. And cooler devices and more of them. Full MT integration!!! Kudos!!! <3 <3 <3



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
MT MegaTraveller Robots
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2300 AD Ships of the French Arm
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/23/2015 07:28:58

The Introduction explains the purpose of this book concisely: it's a compilation of data for some 46 spaceships commonly found in that particular region of space, classified as being warships, commercial ships, survey ships and, well, anything that doesn't fall into one of the other three categories. Warships belong mostly to the French and the Germans, some there to keep an eye on each other after the War of German Reunification (which spilled out into space colonies even though the actual issue was on Earth) and others to watch out for Kafer incursions. These last have been joined by vessels from other powers. Commercial vessels generally concentrate on transporting cargo or passengers, whilst just about everyone sends out survey ships to explore new worlds ripe for colonisation.


Each ship entry comes with an illustration and a history of how it came to be built as well as technical data about its capabilities, and there's also a 'Ship Status Sheet', compatible with the Star Cruiser space skirmish game or for use with the 2300AD rules for space combat should a brawl break out. The illustrations are line art, views of the vessel in question in flight, and quite good if you want a general impression of what a given craft looks like when encountered. There are no deck plans, you'll have to make something up if for any reason the party ends up going aboard.


There is a goodly collection of warships, as well as some fighters and even missiles and a few sensor drones. Various cargo carriers are provided, including one which carries 'drop containers' fitted with their own retro-rockets to facilitate being dropped from orbit to colonies who have not yet established suitable infrastructure to handle cargo arriving from space. Many are bulk carriers, suitable for hauling ores back from mining colonies, but there are others like, for example, an animal transport designed to move live animals out to colonies... they, unlike inanimate cargo, need artificial gravity to thrive, generally provided by spinning all or part of the ship. People tend to prefer gravity too, and similar techniques are used in the better passenger ships. Most of the survey ships presented are large laboratory ships equipped to go to a system and explore it thoroughly over the course of a year or so. The miscellaneous vessels include couriers and a mining ship.


Whilst there are many interesting spaceships in this collection, none jumps out as being really suitable for party use. These are the ships that the characters will encounter in the main, rather than the ones that will become their homes or workplaces. At least, not unless you intend a game involving serving naval personnel or the crew of a cargo hauler or something like that. The lack of deckplans also mitigates against using them as ships in which the party will travel, or only for a short trip just to get somewhere for the next adventure. It provides a good overview of what is out there in the black, though, to enliven encounters or indeed a character's backstory if they wish to include the vessels on which they served.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
2300 AD Ships of the French Arm
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2300 AD Aurore Sourcebook
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/22/2015 08:25:28

The Introduction sets the scene: this is a sourcebook all about a planet called Aurore, first introduced in the adventure Kafer Dawn, which is actually a large moon in orbit around a gas giant in the Eta Bootis system in the French Arm. It's almost as big as Earth, with sufficient atmosphere to allow people to live there without the need for spacesuits, but challenging enough to make colonisation an adventure in itself. You can run Kafer Dawn without this book, but if you want to keep on using Aurore for your own adventures it will come in very useful.


The first chapter is entitled Aurore: Background, and it is recommended that the referee allows the characters to discover the information herein through research and experience rather than letting them read the chapter. It deals with the history of the exploration of the Eta Bootis system from the first survey and landings right up to the present, including the Kafer War. It is not so much secret material as stuff you need to make an effort to read up on, most is available in libraries and other records, or can be found out if you want to ask the locals. A native of Aurore would probably know it, should a character have this as their planet of origin. Although in the French Arm, the first colony was actually Ukrainian, with two separate colonies, one French and one by a consortium of American, Texan and German mining corporations, being established later. It was the French who named their settlement Aurore, which came to be the name used for the entire world. Early establishment of power satellites aided the growth of the mining industry but incompatibility of Earth and Auroran lifeforms made agriculture difficult until soil from back home was used to seed and terraform plots of land in which carefully selected plants and animals could be raised. The Kafer War caused widespread destruction and although humans have (just) clung on to the main settlements, mopping up operations to clear the planet of remnants of Kafer forces are still ongoing.


A detailed 2-page map of the surface leads into the next section, Aurore: The World. This provides a detailed run-down of Auroran planetography (you cannot really call it GEOgraphy after all!) with both physical aspects and information on settlements being covered. This is followed by a chapter on Life on Aurore, with information on typical careers pursued by locals, new skills and much more. As a frontier world, Aurore is always ready to welcome newcomers ready to grasp opportunities and work hard. If you don't fancy fishing, mining or homesteading, there are militia and mercenary opportunites as well. Many years ago, one of my characters (an expert sniper) found his services in demand!


Next comes Aurore: Biology, and this is rich and strange indeed. Had I read this before the game, I'd have left the sniper home and played a xenobiologist instead! The conventional differences between 'plant' and 'animal' are blurred in a fascinating manner. Quite a few sample creatures are presented for characters to encounter - for study or combat is left open depending on inclination and situation. A neat piece is a collection of unknown and unnamed creatures, hitherto unknown to science or even the local colonists, which the referee can have the party 'discover' when appropriate during their stay on Aurore. If they survive, they can have the fun of naming and describing them should they so wish.


The next section is Adventuring on Aurore. This provides a wealth of encounters, each classified by where it might take place, and each with the potential of developing into much more than a mere encounter if that's what you want. Mechanically, there are notes on how to resolve novel tasks not covered by the core rules, and there's also a useful set of notes on the general appearance of the place designed to help you come up with vivid and colourful descriptions as the party travels around. This is followed by greater detail in a section entitled Planetographic Details, which gives extended descriptions of different parts of the planet. We also meet some typical locals, complete with colour illustrations. Throughout, there are hints which could be expanded into adventure ideas if you need them. There's also information about weather and environmental hazards, depending on where the party decides to go. A separate section of Special Information provides the referee with more hazards and opportunities for adventure based on the nature of Aurore itself.


This is followed by Personalities, a section which introduces some local movers and shakers, providing biographical and game mechanical information as well as notes on how they might interact with the party or influence the course of an adventure if they are encountered. Then comes material on the Kafers and their equipment, and finally a section called Military Operations - as Aurora is a world at war, it is likely that the party will be swept up in events even if they don't intend to become involved! There is a lot of material here that will aid you in running military actions, however you manage to embroil the characters (I seem to recall conscription being involved...). If you are wargamers at heart, there is plenty of technical information to cater for playing out skirmishes with various vehicles and combat units, or to provide a background for role-playing adventures - scouting or covert missions can always work well.


Overall, this sourcebook presents a vividly-imagined world with plenty going on, ripe for adventure and well worth a visit...



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
2300 AD Aurore Sourcebook
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2300 AD Man's Battle for the Stars
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/19/2015 08:15:14

The main contents of this boxed set, a revision of the original Traveller 2300 rules, are an Adventurer's Guide and a Director's Guide. An adventure, Kafer Dawn was also included, but was released separately as well so will be reviewed on its own later.


The Adventurer's Guide begins by setting the game in context, describing the future history that led to the present day of 2300AD. There's an interesting note in the credits to the effect that much of this was actually gamed out by a select group in a massive political/social/diplomatic/war game over the course of a year or so: an interesting approach that ensured that it wasn't just a single person's ideas but born out of interaction between several independent viewpoints... a bit like the real thing! It also ties matters more firmly back to another GDW game by stating that the 'World War III' mentioned in this game is the one you are embroiled in if you play Twilight 2000. This introductory section rounds out with the usual potted explanation of what a role-playing game is and what you need to play it.


Then attention turns to character creation. This remains fairly similar to Traveller 2300 beginning with selection of homeworld and body type before determining characteristics by random die roll, although now there is a point-buy option for those who do not want to leave it all to chance. Throughout the explanation of the character generation process, sidebars describe the creation of a sample character to show how it all works. Skills are gained through spending skill points that come from background, education, career and any other training, with the options available coming from the careers and other training that the character has had. Every so often, you need to roll a 'turning point' to see if the character is able to continue in character generation. At this point, if he passes the roll he may opt to change careers or stay in the current one (he can only change career once for no adequately-explained reason), when he fails it is time to end the process and begin play. This section finishes with a flowchart and sample character sheet.


Next is the information that you need to generate a character, sections on Careers and Skills. Careers serve a couple of purposes. They determine which skills are available to the character and they identify some organisations which characters may have worked for or even may get hired by during the course of the game. Careers are grouped by type - academic careers, military careers, exploratory careers, etc. - to aid in chosing something that fits well with your concept. These sections are followed by ones on Upkeep (the cost of living) and Technology, which talks about the current 2300AD state of play in various areas, and this leads in to an Equipment section where you can find just about anything that the well-equipped character might want to have. It's quite amusing to look at the 1988 concept of future technology compared with what's available in 2015 - the 'hand communicator' is a lot bigger than today's smart phone, for example. Fascinating sidebars describe Pentapod technology, often organic, that's sold by an alien race but which is widely available.


Weapons, armour and vehicles get their own sections, and then comes the History section. Starting in 1700AD, this sets everything in context with an overview of history rooted in real-world events (at least until the 1980s) and continuing on with 'future history' to bring you up to 2300AD. OK, there are some differences as you might expect: here the Iron Curtain didn't fall until the Cold War turned very hot around the turn of the century with World War III taking place (and going nuclear) around the year 2000, but it's all very plausible... and for a game set in 2300, even this is getting into the realms of history that most people only have a general idea about, so unless your character is a history buff, it's of less relevance than what your grandparents did during the real World Wars last century is to you! Three events that followed, however, built the foundations for this game's present: a fuel crisis that led to the end of dependence on fossil fuels, the French Peace (in which France, the only European nation to survive the war unscathed, rose to global prominence) and the Melbourne Accords, which set agreements about space exploration in place. From there, mankind reached out to the stars... with a few wars and skirmishes and national rivalries to keep everyone on their toes. Notes on political geography (on Earth and in the Solar System) and on the far-flung colonies which arose from exploration finish up this book. There are some 50-odd colonies which are arranged roughly by national origin, so there's a French Arm, a Chinese Arm, an American Arm and so on. Many are now independent, but hark back to their original culture and nationality.


And then on to the Director's Guide. This provides a wealth of resources for the GM, from the nuts and bolts of running combat to deeper wide-ranging issues of theme and goals. The Introduction begins by musing on the nature of the GM's role and provides some broad sweeps which are defined in following chapters. There's also the usual admonition that players should read no further... in expectation that only one member of a group will ever be the GM, it appears! And why would you buy a boxed set (or download the PDF) if you only intended to read half of it?


The first section is on Running Adventures, and offers suggestions on presenting scenes such that they come to life for the players, and running NPCs as individual characters in their own right. Discussions follow on running linear and open-ended scenarios, breaking an adventure into episodes and scenes and a lot more nuts-and-bolts that may be obvious to experienced referees but new to those just beginning their stint behind the screen. All along it encourages flexibility in response to what the players want to do: allowing them as much freedom of action as possible is, perhaps, the greatest difference between a role-playing game and a computer one, you're not constrained by the programmer's imagination but can respond to anything, however unlikely, that the party comes up with. There are suggestions as to where to get ideas for adventures, including pinching... ahem... being inspired by... plotlines in other genres.


The next section, Organisations, not only suggests a few but looks at ways of using the concept of large organisations to effect - perhaps to foster ideas of identity, as employer, enemy, supplier... you name it, there are many roles organisations can play. They might be military or paramilitary, academic, commercial... and all have the potential to be influential in your game.


We then move on to more game-mechanical areas beginning with Experience and Renown. Characters can gain both during the course of their adventures, using experience to improve themselves (by increasing skills) whilst renown is a measure of the character's fame or notoriety, and can influence they way in which people react to him or even how much he gets paid. Next is a look at Aliens. Yes, humans are not alone! However, encounters are still rare enough to be exciting and out of the ordinary. There are notes on their motivations and physical appearance, and suggestions of how they can be used in adventures here, along with sample NPCs and sketches.


Back to game mechanics and Event Resolution, with a methodology of describing a 'task' that includes what is being attempted, how hard it is and what resources are being brought to bear, ending in giving a target that you can roll against with 2d6. It looks more complex than it is, and with practice ought to become second nature. Next is a look at Non-Player Characters, with plenty of ideas for coming up with distinctive ones quickly without having to go through the complete character generation process. This is followed by Combat, basically a specialised event resolution conducted in turns during which each participant acts in a set order. There are plenty of examples to help you understand, fortunately, but again it sounds more complex on paper than it really is once you have got your head around it and begin to play.


A section on Star Travel follows, with lots of detail on how to run normal starship operations and even an explanation of 'Stutter-Warp' (the way faster-than-light travel is achieved). When things are less than peaceful, turn to the next section on Space Combat, which is run board-game style with miniatures or at least some kind of markers being regarded as well-nigh essential. This is followed by a section called Ship Listings which provides a myrid of ready-made craft to use in your game.


Space travel dealt with, where will you go? The next part of the book opens with a section on World Generation - which can get quite addictive! This system will result in incredibly-detailed star systems, you may prefer a more simplistic narrative approach and just describe what the party sees as it approaches a habitable world and lands there instead. If you enjoy making things as realistic as possible, work through the entire process, it is quite robust and gives fairly accurate results as far as my knowledge of space science can tell. This is followed by World Mapping and Animal Encounters. The book rounds out with listings of known colonies, star charts and assorted useful forms.


There is also a solo adventure, Terror's Lair, whose initial intention is to help new Referees get to grips with the rules by actually playing through it. It can then be adapted to provide an adventure for the entire party if you like. It involves the exploits of a narcotics agent in pursuit of a drug smuggler aboard an interstellar liner and is quite entertaining if straightforwards.


Overall, this is a slightly more streamlined and improved version of Traveller 2300, but remains the sort of game that resonates with those who like a high degree of detail. complexity and realism in their games. It certainly makes me want to grab some dice and head for the stars!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
2300  AD Man's Battle for the Stars
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2300 AD Traveller: 2300
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/13/2015 08:19:51

This game, which isn't Traveller at all despite the name, came as a boxed set with a Player's Manual, Referee's Manual, an adventure (The Tricolour's Shadow) and a star chart. The basic premise is quite simple. The year is 2300AD (surprise!) and Earth is not dissimilar to the planet we know today, although they have fought another world war which went nuclear. Space exploration has burgeoned, and the game revolves around those who have sought their future out amidst the stars, colonising new planets or trading between them. Nation-states have survived as a concept, no world government or anything like that, but the landscape may be different from that which exists today.


The Player's Manual, after an introduction which presents the basics of what role-playing is, launches into History, starting back in 1700 and using sweeping eras (the Ages of Reason, of Industry, and of Technology) to paint a picture of the world up until the year 2000, which is when World War III broke out between the superpowers of America and Russia (still the USSR, the Iron Curtain did not fall in this alternate history which, it must be remembered, was published in 1986!). The Age of Recovery followed, spanning the next century and characterised by times of shortage and experiments with alternatives - by 2050, for example, oil production and consumption although much recovered was far lower than before the war due to the development of alternate power resources. The only European nation not ruined by the war was France, with the rest of Europe, North America, the Indian subcontinent and Asia also suffering devastation. Space travel resumed in the 2040s, with treaties agreeing that colonisation should be open to all. An Age of Exploration (2101-2200), in which various nations and consortia reached out to the solar system and (with the development of a practical stardrive) beyond, was followed by an Age of Commerce as colonies became established and new discoveries were made. Different nations rose and fell, and indeed wars were fought (although these were mere skirmishes rather than all-envoloping conflagrations), resulting in a collection of traditional rivalries and cooperations that colour relationships in 2300AD.


This discussion is followed by one on Political Geography, which examines many different nations and charts their rise and/or fall between 2100 and 2300. It's well worth reading to get the underlying flavour of what different nations think about it other and the influence that it has on day-to-day life on Earth, in the solar system or out in the stars. Revel in it, it's quite different from the homogenity many starfaring games assume. Next comes a discussion of Technology looking at the fantastic developments that have become commonplace to people of the 24th century. Again remembering when this was written, it's amusing to note that 'computers are commonplace, ... an appliance like the telephone or running water'! This first part of the book rounds out with discussions of major colonies and foundations - the pan-national, often star-spanning, organisations with which characters might interact.


The rest of the book deals with generating and equipping the character ready for play. A character is mainly described by attributes and skills, which are given numerical ratings, but you also need to know where he grew up (Core or Frontier world) and the gravity he was born under, which affects size and shape. Attributes are rolled on 4D6-4, and although random rolls are mandated, there's an option to reroll one physical and one psychological one if you are not happy with the results. Skills, on the other hand, are purchased with points earned from career choices and other options. Each career comes with a list of skills available as well as an initial training package which you pick up automatically. (Oddly, just as I write this, the list of mandatory courses for the PhD programme I'm starting on turned up!) The gear your character might want is divided into equipment, weapons (a huge variety), vehicles and armour, all illustrated with neat line drawings, and the book ends with lists of nations, languages, and colonies, and a note on Upkeep - how to calculate your living costs.


Turning to the Referee's Manual, this begins with an essay on Life on the Frontier, which looks at issues like how people born on colony worlds view new immigrants (who provide most of the population increase) and differing views on what is 'home' - a tendency to look towards wherever they were born rather than where they are living now. It then explores some of the ways in which you can earn your keep on frontier worlds, especially those activities likely to be appealing to the characters in your game. We then move on to Tasks: here the task resolution system is explained. A formularic approach is used, the task itself must be stated along with difficulty, assets, time to complete and type. Once you've figured that out, roll 1d10 and apply appropriate modifiers, with success coming at a result determined by the difficulty of the task. Then of course you need to work out the results, from spectacular success to equally spectacular failure! There are plenty of ideas and examples and even a diagram.


Next is a section devoted to Combat. A turn sequence is used, with actions being resolved in initiative order (although an action can be held until later if desired). The standard task resolution system is used to determine if the attack succeeded, damage then depends on the weapon being used (and what armour the target has). Again, there's plenty extra detail to the process, and examples to show you how it is done. The section ends with the treatment of wounds, combat flowcharts and a hit location diagram.


The next section is devoted to Star Travel, and looks at all aspects of the subject from running, equipping and crewing your starship to power systems and crew pay... except for Space Combat, which is in the following section. For this, it is recommended that you use a hex map and markers (or models) to represent the starships involved. This is followed by a section on Ship Listings, which demonstrates how starship data is managed - much of this is needed if you are running a space combat, maybe these two sections should have come in reversed order! Several example vessels are provided.


This is followed by World Generation. There may be 30-odd existing colonies out there, but - especially if the party likes exploring - you may well need to create some more. This can get quite technical if you choose to follow the process in full, but will give rise to star systems that obey astronomical laws. Once you have your worlds sorted, it's on to Non-Player Characters and a system for determining their motivations (if their role in your plot has not already done so) by drawing playing cards.


Back to planets now with a section on World Mapping for all those occasions when the party wants to roam off, along with a section on Animal Encounters to provide some entertainment for them. Finally there's a load of forms and flowcharts for character generation and other processes, lists of stars and so on.


Finally, The Tricolour's Shadow is a short introductory adventure that sees the party given a surveying job in a remote mountain valley in a southern region of the French Continent of Beta Canum-4. They'll find a bit more than interesting geological formations... The plot is quite straightforward, but should get the whole group, referee and players alike, familiar with the game mechanics. It's probably best used as a one-off for that purpose rather than as the starting-point for a campaign, though.


Overall this is a good game with some interesting approaches to future history and the exploration of space, particularly relating to the idea of different nations from Earth all being out there exploring and colonising (and bickering) rather than some unified 'world government' - this adds an extra spin to things. Contemporary gamers may find some of the systems a bit too detail-oriented, some parts do look like you need a high level of mathematics to cope, but it's actually quite straightforward once you get to grips with it - and the most complex bits are some of the design sequences, which you can do at your leisure. Still a good game, almost 30 years after it was published!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
2300 AD  Traveller: 2300
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T5 Traveller5 Core Rules Book (759 pages)
by Carl A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/22/2015 23:37:58

Where to start? AS someone who has played various incarnations of Traveller, starting with Megatraveller when I was a kid, there are some interesting choices in this system that make me really want to like it. But I'm having a very hard time.


The Bad:
The editing isn't very good. I expected problems when I started reading the table of contents and found errors in that. The page numbers haven't been updated since changes were made. For example, it says: Androids and Synthetics 124, but they are actually on page 92. The index might be better as it lists the correct page numbers, but there's no excuse for one of the first pages a new player sees to be wrong.


Another example is page 93, there is a section that has a line that looks like this (the entire line):


as The nest contains ach and as a sourc


That's clearly some sort of editing goof. Maybe multiple sentences blended together, but it is hard to tell what it should have been. For a PDF that costs this much, the editing needs to be top notch, and this certainly isn't.


The systems are overly complicated compared to previous versions. As an example of that there are 6 stats listed for humans, but sometimes they are Referenced as their abbreviation (Str for Strength), and sometimes as the order they appear in (C1 for Strength). Presumably this is because some of the stats can be replaced for different races. The inconsistency is annoying and needlessly complicates things. Some of the examples seem to have issues as well as after reading more I think they may have incorrectly applied their own modifiers, but I'd have to find the section again to verify this.


Maker systems. You want a gun? Build it using GunMaker. Want Armor? Build it through ArmorMaker. This sounds interesting, until you start going through them and realize this doesn't really help you as a Player to actually do anything useful. Just give a list of items with stats. A system like this should have just been an add-on optional thing rather than part of the core rules. Having a system to build start ships in a science fiction game make sense, but a nearly 20 page system just for building a gun? That's massive overkill.


The Good
There is a thought toward legacies that I think is interesting. You roll 2d6 for each stat, and there are genetic stats, like Strength and Intelligence (but not Education or Social Standing). The first die rolled for genetic stats is your 'gene' and the second is how well you developed it. With this you can take any two characters and figure out an offspring's genetic predisposition. That's an interesting idea for a game to include.


Final Verdict: Skip this and keep with previous editions. They took the parts of previous editions that weren't great and expanded them to make them even more complicated and there is 0 payoff to this for both Players and Game Masters. I'm not sure how they thought that was a good idea.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
T5 Traveller5 Core Rules Book (759 pages)
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T5 Traveller5 Core Rules Book (759 pages)
by Rory H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/10/2015 05:12:07

Certainly an improvement from the unedited and flatly impenetrable version originally published from the kickstarter. The index is welcome, while the additional 50 pages or so are mainly used to provide clarification, a slightly tidier layout and a more logical organisation of the book. There is no linkable contents menu, however, which is also pretty vital for a pdf and the cover on my copy was missing still.


Certain rules clarifications that are now included make the accusation of it being ‘unplayable’ an overstatement, but it is still most likely to be an overwhelmingly complex book for casual gamers or those with any sort of aversion to maths. That said, I’m not sure that was ever the market for this game. For existing Traveller fans, there is a lot of material that will undoubtedly be useful for their games.


EDIT: Further to my original comments after reading through more fully (and it does take some reading!), there are some genuine gems within this book. I can see the logic - finally - of using a variable dice pool, roll-under system as opposed to the fixed 2D6 system used in Classic and Mongoose Traveller. Firstly, it meshes more tightly with the Characteristic scores used and secondly, it’s simply more open ended in terms of operating on a universal scale. The probability charts at the end of the book give a clear indication of your chances and, fully developed it looks pretty smooth.


Character generation is more involved than before with the role of education fully integrated and with differing paths for each career. You can also create a genetic legacy, while options for sophonts, clones and robots are fully detailed. The various ‘Maker’ sections have fuller explanations, along with starship and world designs. There are some interesting scientific asides as well as advice for running games throughout the text.


This is not a game for novices, and there are still lots of issues about editing throughout. But for Traveller fans, there is something of real worth and investment at the core. Recommended.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
CT-A05-Trillion Credit Squadron
by David T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/07/2015 17:41:43

I purchased this as I lost my old book and needed to check up on the rules for fleet creation.


Whilst not perfect, it does cover the subject in the traditional format.



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[4 of 5 Stars!]
CT-A05-Trillion Credit Squadron
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T5 Traveller5 Core Rules Book (759 pages)
by joel R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/24/2015 01:15:52

Amazingly deep system. Better layout and thought than the first effort. Worth the time and the money. Traveller 5 is what mongooses wishes it could be



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
T5 Traveller5 Core Rules Book (759 pages)
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CT-TTB-The Traveller Book
by Andrew C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/12/2015 01:11:39

This is a review for the PDF, the scan is of high quality as good as you could hope for really. However the PDF has no watermarks which make it difficult to quickly navigate. There is really no excuse for not bookmarking digital products. I hope that this is fixed in a future update.



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[3 of 5 Stars!]
CT-TTB-The Traveller Book
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CT-A01-The Kinunir
by anthony r. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/07/2015 12:05:46

An excellent set of adventures for any group. Gives you the necessary info to get your scenarios started, it still requires a little work on the GM's part as it is not a read and play module. It is a lot of fun to play.



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CT-A10-Safari Ship
by Scott B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/03/2015 15:14:58

Long before the advent of our favorite dinosaur theme park, the clasic traveller series tapped my imagination with a genre that made a lasting impression on me.
I love this module and all that came with it. The Galactic Big Game hunter and his Safari Ship. Weather corporate, noble or Scientific it did not matter. He didn't even need a big hairy co-pilot, (I was thinking bigfoot ,where were you going?... Ok, punch it Sasquach!)
Anyway if you are looking for a classic adventure in the traveller universe, or you want to adapt a different take to your own Star Campaign, look this one through.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
CT-A10-Safari Ship
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T5 Traveller5 Core Rules Book (759 pages)
by Stirling W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/26/2015 15:02:11

I've never been a huge fan of Traveller. Any game in which you can die rolling up a character has serious design flaws as far as I'm concerned. However, I bought the book as I'm a fan of SF roleplaying in general, and was hoping for some interesting game design ideas in the new book. However, this book seriously needs some editing love. When rolling up a a test mercenary character I found myself hunting for definitions of terms that don't show up until hundreds of pages after they are first used. There are tables forty pages apart that I kept having to flip between and mysterious notations in tables that I literally took hours to decipher.


At least my first attempt to roll up a character didn't die. No, he was crippled for life during his second term in the Marines...



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
T5 Traveller5 Core Rules Book (759 pages)
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