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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.



Rating:
[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.



Rating:
[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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[4 of 5 Stars!]
CT-A01-The Kinunir
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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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T5 Traveller5 Core Rules Book (759 pages)
by Richard C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/20/2015 19:53:27

I really like this edition/revision. It is quite an improvement over the original CDROM and book. All errata (of which there were 10 pages) is now included in the text and made a part of the main text (no underlining, pasting or redlining necessary). In addition, the text is much easier to search and/or make searchable and editable. A new index has been added that is vastly more detailed than the one provided by R. Eaglestone on the official Traveller forums. There is also more artwork. Marc and the team did an excellent job with this. I look forward to the release of the revised CDROM and new hardcopy.


I don't like how the book has been renamed "Traveller5.09" ("The 5.09 version of Traveller"). It seems kind of clumsy and, anyway, as a point release it should be named 5.1. 5.09 suggests something that is still in alpha stage (still being tested and not ready for everyday use). That's all computer terminology but I feel much better about this book than I did about the original pre-release text and the eventual first finished edition (FFE-050 and FFE-300).


If you don't have a copy, here's a great opportunity to get it! Thanks.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
T5 Traveller5 Core Rules Book (759 pages)
by Philipp N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/12/2015 00:57:16

I will not comment on the content of the book, because if you came here because of Traveller you know what you can expect and the book will deliver.


This comment is solely on the quality of the presentations as a PDF.
The first page is white with black text and no red bar. - At least for me it is disturbing not to have the covers pages.


But my most important concern is:
A 759 page book without PDF-bookmarks!
The index might be okay and is surely helpful if I had an paper-book my hands.


But for PDF user this this is horrible, I would never be able to memorize all relevant pages for quickly looking up anything during the game. And eBook Reader are not known for quick browsing, especially on a PDF.


And yes I could print out the table of content and the index.
Or I could make the bookmarks myself if the PDF was not edit-protected.


Also the table of content is wrong (Clones are at Page 96, Chimeras at 91, Basic Information has no page references at all and so on).


This is a sloppy PDF made without any love for the tree-saving reader.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
T2013- Rules Addendum
by Kalle M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/01/2015 02:17:27

I liked this product. It makes rules for certain gear more deep what I wanted. I actually miss rules for couple of scenarios when Apocalypse has not yet happened. We as players could play an era before The III World War as European and American Battle Group soldiers in Northern Africa. There's no rules for planes, helicopters and landing crafts what could use in that time.


That's not necessary I think. However I like possibility to play Intelligence operative in the World just before Cataclysm.


Thank You for asking and Thanks for Good Game!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
T2013- Rules Addendum
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CT-ST-Starter Traveller
by Pierre S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/13/2015 11:23:55

A great game, and no game has yet touched its fame for science fiction tabletop RPGs. Traveller covered all the "space" things in a detailed setting called the Third Imperium, a unified star community ruled by an Emperor. Traveller spawned an extensive series of supplements, which you can take or leave as needed for the emphasis of your particular game, whether star merchants or space mercenaries or explorer scouts.


Star sector maps are laid down in hexagons, each is a parsec (3.26 light-years), and starships have Jump Drives which can Jump anywhere from 1 to 6 of those parsecs but each Jump takes a week. There is no faster way to get news or goods across the stars, so the political feel resembles 18th-century sailing. The Imperium is held together but its size is causing strain. The Imperium also borders on alien empires which range from coldly neutral to hostile.


The Traveller Starter edition (1982) did some reorganization of the original LBBs (Little Black Books) of 1977 and presents all the tables of the game in a separate booklet, cross-referenced to the pages of the rulebook.


Traveller is "old school" and the best way to learn it is to take its systems one at a time. Randomly generating star-maps is particularly fun, with the main world in each system defined as to size, atmosphere, population, and government with rolls of six-sided dice (only). Nowadays the fans offer web-based computer utilities to instantly generate vast tracts of space, or use the defined Imperium maps already available online. The personal combat system, in basic Traveller, is NOT on a grid-map but more abstractly defined with "bands" similar to a football field! There are also rules for trade (buy low, sell high of course), which is easy to do as you note the characteristics of the world you're going to (Trade Codes like INdustrial or Non-Industrial, Agricultural, etc.) which give bonuses or penalties to the negotiated price of cargo. Nothing is a sure thing, however! The starship combat, in the original version, is not gridded either, but takes note of what you have for weapon turrets and rolls the damage to the other ship and what sub-system was damaged.


Definitely a solid science fiction experience.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
CT-ST-Starter Traveller
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TNE-0300 Traveller: The New Era
by Paxton K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/30/2015 01:13:02

Ok, scan pretty crappy. Reading glasses helped.


Ok, why bother with something that that is that difficult to read? Because this is like the ultimate GDW game.


Not the rules. Not even exactly the setting.


I still have my first Traveller books from the boxed set. Almost 30 years ago exactly (it was a Christmas present), I started Traveller. The rules have never been its strongest point. Well and even the setting. To me what made Traveller "Traveler" was it was limitless worlds and cultures to explore. Each planet held such a vast realm of possibility. I have tried Mega, Advanced and T20.


Still I went back to basic. Overhauled the skill list. Modified the combat system. Tweeked the Power Plant fuel on starship design. Why no cell phones? Of course they have cell phones! But a Traveller communicator is Solid State, it works under all conditions. Same reason Marines use cutlasses and they use guns and not ray beams.


Twilight 2000, the original, was another love affair and I accepted her through all her awkwardness.


Finally, they have met.


Its been 16 years since Strephon's assassination and the whole Imperium gets nuked! Traveller made your character generation the end of gaining anything for the most part. Changing a number for the positive practically impossible. With this in mind, those characters make the perfect "survivors". Don't wait generations. What do you want mutations? Traveller TNE has done what Traveller did in the first place. Their are almost an infinite number of worlds to explore. just this time they are destroyed.


This may be the greatest version of Twilight ever made. Lose that APC in Poland.
now that Tramp Free Trader may be the only one left in the ruins of a sector and the drives need an overhaul.


Traveller was never Star Wars or Star Trek. It was limited; but that to me made it limitless. The strange aliens were what Man could become if left alone for 500 years or simply chose to diverge that way. Star Wars was all flash and Star Trek was alien of the week and how really we are all the same deep down.


Traveller was about how everyone deep down was different and imperfect. Mankind finds a race that lives harmoniously by reading each other's thoughts. We declare war!


Do I recommend you buy it? Only if you love Traveller or the idea of Traveller. This rule system may work for you, if not, find one of Traveller's rule sets that do. This will sound messed up; but...


Marc Miller created a timeless game and setting. And the best thing that ever happened to it, is destroying it!


This will take Traveller my game for probably the rest of my life. 30 years of experiencing it and another 30 surviving it. I can't wait to figure out how to make a planet full of zombies! And every other way to destroy the Imperium!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
TNE-0300 Traveller: The New Era
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T5 Imperiallines 06
by Richard C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/20/2015 14:57:10

This publication is an excellent example of how a game supplement should be made. The typesetting and layout are flawless. Facts and figures are correct and easy to read. Information regarding the "new" Aminidii race is very good and include charts for generating words and sentences The images are very plain but well done. Basically, this supplement brings Traveller5 to a level where it is accessible to everyone wanting to play the game. Additional material explains sophont species generation in an accessible way. The price is great if you consider that the format of the supplement is very similar to the old JTAS booklets from back in the 80's.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
T5 Imperiallines 06
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