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Special Supplement 4: Rescue Ops
by paul h. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/21/2014 18:45:27
I picked this up because I was curious about the supplement and it had some positive feedback on the Mongoose forum. And the price was right, just in case it turned out to be a dud.

I liked the detailed career portion (4 pages). The events and mishaps tables are quite detailed and thought out. The career paths are also pretty open as far as the categories go. I do think, however, that those characters who become doctors should have a level of expertise, say Biology -2, Chemistry -2 or some other background to represent their college education. Unless the intent was that in the future people went straight into medicine without an undergraduate degree. I give this section a solid A.


The next section (6 pages) discusses different types of operations, from ground-based to space based. I have a minor quibble about space-based rescue operators and ships being armed. Security should never be the responsibility of the emergency responder. That's what security teams are for. There's some anecdotal explanations about tech in the future making our "regular" fires and such obsolete, which I think would be totally true. There are rules for both localized issues, like a building on fire or a chemical spill, to disasters on much larger scale that could encompass entire continents. Even zombies make an appearance in a quirks table. I give this section a B+.

The third section (1 page) talks about putting these new careers into your existing adventures and campaigns, or even starting one up with emergencies in mind. I agree with the author that most players probably aren't looking to run a fire company Traveller adventure. He does make a good point that having characters with rescue backgrounds integrated into existing campaigns or adventures makes a lot of sense. After all, if some players like to blow stuff up, somebody has to be around to clean up the mess, right? It would have been nice to see some more depth here, possibly a page in regards to an example of how to create something. I understand that things are always ultimately left up to the players and referee, but I like to think everyone enjoys seeing samples and examples. I give this section a B.

The final section (3 pages) offers new equipment and gear for the new careers to use. On the first page I thought some of the descriptions of the bots could use some more detail. For example, how big is the S&R drone? The EMS drone is assumed to be larger than man-sized since it is supposed to hold a person inside. But it would have been nice to see text in regards to the dimensions. The Rescue Battle Dress is listed as TL13 in the description, but TL14 in the breakdown of the suit. It would have been nice to see more details surrounding the actual rescue gear one should expect on the suit rather than the generic (various).

The vehicle section has a nice array of vehicles - a mobile command center, a "old fashioned" fire truck, a grav ambulance, a rescue sub and a grav fire engine. But the details are pretty lacking. For example the rescue sub (it's 600 Dtons) lists a internal vehicle bay. It would have been nice to see an underwater drone optimized for rescue, along with possible a smaller sub designed to maneuver into tighter areas. Since we are talking nautical, there's no equivalent underwater battle dress or dive suit. The crush depth listed for the rescue battle dress is 250m, and the sub is capable of descending to 6,000m. At some point it's probably not practical to go EVA from the sub, but if they need to go below 250m there's not gear.

I'm disappointed that there's no space gear whatsoever. No emergency rescue shuttles, no space cutters to rescue ships and crew in deep space, not even any space rescue equipment (just how do you cut through bulkheads and ships hulls in an emergency?) Traveller has a space-heavy element and there's nothing whatsoever to address it. There have been other various supplements over the years and game systems that had listed such things. What about a medical transport ship? Or a hospital ship? I give this section a C-. It could (and should) have been a lot more.

I think it's only worth 3 out of 5 stars at the moment. The price point of $4.99 when I purchased it made it a cost-effective purchase. I do hope MGT and/or the author revisits this and adds more source materials to it. It shows a lot of promise.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Special Supplement 4: Rescue Ops
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Special Supplement 4: Rescue Ops
by Paul D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/16/2014 08:22:13
While I would agree mostly with Megan's thorough review, I have one issue. The sales information includes the statement "This final section features a selection of new equipment, vehicles and ships..." There is one watercraft vehicle included, but I think most readers in the context of Traveller would assume that "ships" refers to space ships, and there are none of those included at the time of writing. (Not even the old standby "modified scout/courier"!) If there's an update with a dedicated 200 ton rescue base starship in the pipeline I'll be happy to make it 5 (or 4.5 for a modified scout courier!)

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Special Supplement 4: Rescue Ops
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/14/2014 07:11:18
Not everyone earns their keep in the spacelanes... and even those of you who do may have done something else before venturing into the black. This supplement looks at the 'emergency services' and at the sort of roles needed for disaster recovery and rescue operations - useful skills and talents, and who knows, maybe your crew will be the first on the scene at some accident or incident and need to step in to render aid.

First up, there are two complete careers that may be used during character generation: Healer and Rescuer. The Healer provides a broad overview of the core medical professions of doctor and nurse, although the only distinction between the two is one's EDU stat, if it's 12+ you are a doctor - no requirement to attend medical or nursing school! The various events and mishaps available for use as you roll up your character are drafted with a good eye to the sort of things that someone in the medical trades might encounter.

The Rescuer is a general purpose and practical career that models the life of a member of a 'Fire and Rescue' service of the far future. It includes a specialisation in space rescue that could be a useful precursor to a spacing/adventuring career - indeed, it's easy to imagine a whole campaign being developed around the exploits of a space rescue team! Those specialising in ground rescue are indeed firefighters, more hi-tech perhaps but similar to the brave men and women who perform that service today. Again the events and mishaps are thoughtful and well-matched to the career.

The careers are followed by a discussion of rescue operations in general, and should provide plenty of background and ideas - for the 'war stories' your character might tell about his past or adventure ideas to include in your game. The author is himself a retired firefighter so as you can imagine the commentry on fire fighting is accurate and realistic, yet as a Traveller writer he also makes appropriate remarks about how future technology might make rescue work different from what it is today. Space accidents, natural disasters, contagions - plenty of situations here where rescue workers (and healers) may well be needed.

And that's before we get to the section on rescue adventures and campaigns! For example, how about setting up an emergency management company? Operating in a manner akin to a mercenary company, this outfit could travel around offering advice and training - and of course, showing off their own skills in appropriate situations - to those worlds or settlements who are struggling to organise and provide for themselves. As noted above, either Healer or Rescuer careers could provide a useful precursor to a standard Traveller adventuring career, or with small modification, either career could be treated as part of a military service - the military generally have their own medics and some form of rescue service, just about all you need to do is change the rank names to suit your chosen branch of the armed forces.

Next comes the tools of the trade, including a form of Battle Dress modified for firefighting, assorted drones and more. This finishes with some emergency vehicles suited to various situations.

A useful addition to the game, with interesting concepts that ought to come in useful.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Monsters of Legend 2
by Sean S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/03/2014 12:01:43
This book is okay. However it still lacks the information for the basic elemental and as such did not fulfill the hopes I had for it.

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Monsters of Legend 2
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Adventure 2: Prison Planet
by Chris H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/21/2014 17:09:06
I bought this hoping for something I could slide into a new campaign with minimal work. It delivered! It fully fleshes out the Prison Planet and provides all of the characters and adventure hooks you could ask for.

There is a nifty system for tracking the course of a Player Character's stay in prison if one were inclined as well.

If you want to drop your players into prison for a bit, this book has plenty of stuff to make it as interesting as any space faring adventures you could think of.

Highly recommend!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Adventure 2: Prison Planet
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Supplement 16: Adventure Seeds
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/20/2014 12:52:05
This is something that any Traveller referee needs to keep handy. Not only is it a practical way to get out of trouble if the party decides to go somewhere unanticipated leaving you without anything prepared that's suitable for wherever they went, it can also help spark ideas when you are planning adventures in the normal manner.

It is divided into three sections: Patrons, Plots and Rendez-vous. The first two are pretty obvious, the third is a collection of locations to use with your patrons and plots (or indeed in anything else you have planned).

The Patrons section begins with a swift overview of what you need to have in hand for a good adventure - boiled down to the '4 Ps' of Plots, People, Places and Props. It gives good advice about how to make your NPCs come to life for the party, how to make them into individual people rather than clone Barkeep #7 or Gangster #17. Then there's a wonderful collection of '36 Dramatic Situations' which you may choose or roll 2d6 on a table for... any could provide the meat for at least a single adventure if not a whole campaign. Each one states what is needed - people, other plot devices, etc. - and gives an example in a couple of sentences. Then there's advice on mixing different situations together to create something even more exciting than one on its own, and then how to cope when the party doesn't do what you'd intended them to do... a frequent occurance, at least in my games.

Oh, and then we get on to the actual Patrons! Each one is presented in the standard format with a notes as to requirements in terms of the skills and equipment that the party will need, the actual task - as both player and referee information, so it's clear even if you are in a hurry what you actually tell the party - and a selection of twists and outcomes you can either roll a d6 on or pick the one that takes your fancy. Even a quick glance shows that the various situations are very inventive and will feel like well-thought-out adventures from the player side of the table.

And there's more: a collection of 'situations' where events overtake the party and they'll have to deal with them before getting on with whatever adventure they're engaged in, 'elaborations' where there's a whole bunch of detailed material that will make their lives interesting (and occasionally even profitable as well), and 'starport chatter' - a collection of news items and rumours that can fly around any starport, it's up to you if they are meaningful or just background colour. Finally, there is a selection of 'world seeds' which are little nuggets of information you can throw in to make a particular planet sound that little bit more interesting.

Next up, Plots. This contains even more classic patron encounters, all interesting and repleate with potential. There are also some 'introductions' which are designed to bring something - that may feature in an upcoming adventure - to the party's attention, such as a brawl breaking out in the starport concourse between two groups or factions at least one of which they will be getting involved with in the future. A neat idea. Advertisements, red herrings (things which sound profitable but probably are not), a selection of personal ads and 'gimmicks' - strange and sometimes useful items they may see or someone might attempt to sell to them. A collection of Library Data rounds off this section.

And so we come to the Rendez-vous section. This is a vast collection of locations in which you can set part of the action, or use in any other way that seems appropriate. Beginning with a note on adapting these locations - basically all designed for standard 'human' space - to alien settings, it launches into listings categorised by type: accommodation, restaurants and bars, entertainment, emergency services, sites of interest, shops, education, services and the nooks and crannies of starports themselves. For each location, there's a name, a description and notes on associated costs, NPCs likely to be there and suggestions for things that might happen there over and above whatever reason has brought the party there in the first place. Oh, and one location - Flashing Blades in the entertainment section - is derived from a place I invented in the course of an adventure I wrote for BITS many, many years ago. Good to see that it is still going strong!

However inventive you might be, you will still find ideas that can improve your game. Definitely one to add to the collection.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Supplement 16: Adventure Seeds
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Minor Alien Module 1: Luriani
by Ciro A. S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/10/2014 03:52:01
I bought this Minor Alien Module because I already own all the Alien Modules from mongoose and I am very impressed bu them (and eagerly waiting for the new ones...). The idea of a female dominated culture was intriguing too so I decided to get it. It was good, but not very original nor exceptional.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Minor Alien Module 1: Luriani
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Gvurrdon Sector
by Ciro A. S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/10/2014 03:49:16
I was very upset discovering that this sector was initialoly published of the Vargr Alien Module (which I already owned). I have nothing against Mongoose releasing separately some part of the Alien Modules, but I'm convinced that a serious publisher should let you now *before buying* when a 'new' book is an extract from an already existing one.

Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Gvurrdon Sector
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Monsters of Legend
by Samuel B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/29/2014 08:56:57
A great add-on book for Legend. I would have liked to have seen some more mundane animals in here but this is a good start to the monster lore world.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Monsters of Legend
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Arms of Legend
by Samuel B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/29/2014 08:50:59
A great little book with additional information on adventuring gear and armour, weaponry, transport including animals. There's also extra information on enchantments and alchemy. This makes a handy resource book to add to the core rulebook.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Arms of Legend
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Legend
by Eric P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/25/2014 08:46:27
I jumped in on the RQII bandwagon when it first came out and followed Mongoose into the Legend title change. I am not a Glorantha fan, but I was intriqued by the rule set, especially the combat. Now bear in mind, the skills are streamlined, which is welcome, but combat is definitely crunchy and fairly slow moving. There are times where I desire crunchy combat, and the combat manuevers presented here really allow some gritty, tactical choices for those that like such a thing. Combat doesn't go on forever, because it's deadly and over in a couple of combat turns usually. I am not a huge fan of the division of magic here, as it assumes most everyday folks have some access to magic spells, but this is easily overlooked and revised for your own style of play. I recommend this product highly, and you can't go wrong for the price.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Legend
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Supplement 15: Powers and Principalities
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/24/2014 08:39:16
This is a fascinating and thought-proking collection of ideas and resources to help in world design, looking as it does at three key areas that the party is likely to interact with on any planet visited: governments, corporations and religions.

First, corporations. You have to buy their stuff, you might get hired by them, if you are lucky enough to have spare credits you might even invest in them. It comes in two layers: information which is available publically and that which is not widely known (and hence, at least initially, for the Referee only). Some of the latter can be researched or otherwise discovered. There are also ideas for plotlines involviing the corporation in question, just in case the information presented about it hasn't spawned a few ideas already.

Each corporation is also given a Universal Corporate Profile, a hexadecimal string that gives basic information about it in the same way as UWPs (and indeed UPPs) work. The information includes 'allegiance' - basically, in which jurisdiction it is based - as well as number of employees, how wide-spread it is, gross annual revenue and how risky it is as an investment. (Remember Dunn & Bradstreet ratings? That kind of assessment.) Further digits give influence, public image, type of ownership, industrial classification and the style in which it operates - how much R&D they do, how traditional they are, how centralised are their operations and even how much dissent there is in the boardroom. (I'm beginning to think this would be a useful way to classify real-world corporations too...) There's even a couple of ratings for how they treat employees (and what said employees think of their employers). The whole UCP is given a detailed explanation with some worked examples and a worksheet for doing your own before we get to look at the actual list of corporations.

The corporations given here are divided into different sections, beginning with the catch-all of 'Administration' - everything from firefighters to whole planets run as a single corporation and privatised tax collectors... plenty of scope to mess with the party as they interact with corporate workers with a completely different outlook on how things should be done. Next is Agriculture, followed by Construction, Finance (including Insurance and Real Estate), Manufacturing (of a whole profusion of products), Mining, Service Industries, Trade, and Transport (including Communication and Utilities).

For those who enjoy a sly giggle, look out for gems like the game manufacturer Far Past Enterprises or Gridlore Technologies with their penguin logo, in-jokes by and for those who have been playing Traveller since its inception.

The next section deals with Corporate Scheming and is repleate with ideas for whole campaigns never mind adventures. To make it all sound good there's a glossary of business terms as well.

Whether they like it or not, everyone has to deal with governments - their own and those of places that they visit. The latter can often prove awkward as they may have strange rules that you are unaware of... until you fall foul of them. This section is ordered according to the government codes in a UWP, and goes to prove that each category still allows for a great diversity of government styles and types. Again, there are plot ideas a-plenty, as well as those that you will have as you read the descriptions.

Finally come the Religions. Whilst the Imperium promotes religious tolerance - everyone may worship in any way they see fit provided it does not threaten the peace and security of other systems - religions themselves, when met on 'home turf', may not be anywhere near as tolerant. So it doesn't matter what the characters' own views are on the subject, they are likely to have to interact and cope with all kinds of weird beliefs and customs on their travels.

Religions are classified by broad groups of belief system - Animism, Dualism, Monotheism and a range of other styles - each with several examples. Every example comes with public knowledge, Referee notes and at least one plot idea. If you find it hard coming up with religions that don't have at least some elements of real-world ones, this is a treasure trove - apart from one which is derived from Judaism none have fallen into this trap.

Overall this is an excellent resource for embedding adventure into the everyday tapestry of commerce, government and faith: things which likely loom large in the minds of the inhabitants of every system the party visits.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Supplement 15: Powers and Principalities
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Book 9: Robot
by Simon S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/22/2014 02:32:21
I agree with nearly all the negative comments and their specific points. I'd like to add my own; the fact there has been no meaningful update, errata or anything at all to remedy the godawful mess of a creation system for so long, is a real spit in the face of the fans and is really a bad show of faith on the part of Mongoose. For shame.

Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Book 9: Robot
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I am Mongoose, and so can you!
by Robert S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/18/2014 10:29:27
The book really needs to be updated. It's nearly a decade old now and the information of pdf vs hardcopy has to be out of date. Still it is a good read even if the second half comes off as an advertisement for Mongoose's Flaming Cobra publication partnership.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
I am Mongoose, and so can you!
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Slayer's Guide Compendium, Volume I
by John S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/03/2014 03:48:58
Where is the map for the Hobgoblin Fort? I bought this crappy product just for the Fort! Maybe the rest of the product is good, but the the lack of a map and a coherent key makes this pdf a waste of money. Old School Mongoose at its slack best!

Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Slayer's Guide Compendium, Volume I
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