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2300AD Core Rulebook Revised
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2300AD Core Rulebook Revised
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2300AD Core Rulebook Revised
Publisher: Mongoose
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/16/2016 11:34:42

The original Traveller 2300 (from Game Designer's Workshop) had little to do with Traveller proper, being set far earlier and having a different ruleset. In this revisualisation by Mongoose Publishing, the ruleset is brought in line with the rest of their Traveller product, but the original setting and flavour is kept intact... and some cunning additional rules are added to enable it all to work well.

The Introduction explains the setting clearly. The date is 2300AD, as in but 300 years into the future, human beings have left Earth and colonised some 20-odd habitable plants in other solar systems... and the single SF element is the faster-than-light 'Stutterwarp' drive that got them there. Earth nation-states still exist, so colonies regard themselves as being French or Australian or... rather than 'of Earth', although some large corporations and other groups wield as much clout as nation-states. Five alien races have been encountered, with varying levels of hostility. Although now core Traveller rules are being used, this is NOT Traveller per se, it is more realistic, probably a bit more gritty - and yet it's still a game of adventure and exploration.

The first chapter, Background, covers the history that got us to 2300AD. It's not quite the same as the original 2300AD game, but it is pretty close. Starting at the year 2000, it appears things went from bad to worse, with 2000-2089 being regarded as Twilight, a time little understood, not least because of widescale destruction of records during (perhaps because of) a nuclear war the origins of which have been lost. This caused considerable damage to much of Europe, Russia, North America, China and India, though France somehow managed to remain relatively unscathed. The war was followed by further devastation from several pandemics, possibly caused by bio-weapons. Eventually France started taking an interest in space travel and slowly some semblance of civilisation returned... leading to renewed scientific endeavour and a new age of exploration. Of course this wasn't completely peaceful and reading about the various squabbles shows how the current state of affairs developed.

Next, Core Worlds introduces the sort of life to be lived on the core worlds of Earth and Tirane (in the Alpha Centuri system), but which can also be found the more advanced urban areas of long-settled colony worlds. Life can be luxurious, at least if you're a knowledge worker, but far too many are unemployed and scrabbling for anything that they can get. There's a surveillance culture that many from outside find oppressive and restrictive, the payback being security and convenience. There's a lot of cultural homogeneity - one of the reasons many people decide they want to move on out to the stars. This overview leads into a more detailed look at Earth, the rest of this solar system, and Tirane.

Then comes a chapter Frontier Worlds, which provides similar information on what life is like out in the colonies, and details what they are like. One interesting feature is Planetary Adaptation Syndrome: human beings are designed for Earth and even the most Earth-like world just isn't the same. You have to adapt to live there and it may not be easy, even with DNA theraphy and drugs to assist. This is a good place for a discussion of disease, as people do not have natural defences against the bugs on a new planet either. There's a good overview of all the current colonies, so read through and decide where you want to visit first... or maybe even settle. Plaetary Adaptation Syndrome means that most people do not flit from world to world all the time, a key difference from mainstream Traveller.

The final part of the setting information is a chapter on Foundations, Corporations and Terrorists. Not everything revolves around nation-states, so here we meet some of the other major players, with plenty of detail and examples. Characters might end up working for one such entity, or opposed to it... they are certainly likely to interact in some way if only by purchasing a corporation's products or hearing about the latest terrorist outrage on the news.

Then we get into rules territory, with a chapter detailing Character Generation. It is similar to the system presented in the core Traveller rulebook (which you need to possess to play this particular game line) but with differences based on this setting, so read through carefully as you decide on what your character will be. Again, wonderfully-detailed characters result, complete with the outline of a backstory to explain how they reached their current state as you start play - it's quite a distraction, you want to sit creating characters instead of getting on with reading the rest of the book!

This is followed by Alien Races. Most of this is quite general and could be regarded as what a well-educated human being might know about them. The implication is, however, that aliens will be NPCs, so the Referee may choose to restrict access to this material. No rules for creating alien characters are provided.

Next comes Cybernetics and DNA Modifications. Herein you will find all the rules you need to allow characters to take advantage of these augmentations. Beware, most places in the Core Worlds don't like people who have had their DNA changed! Material here provides for a fairly 'low-cyber' style of game. If you want more, try Mongoose Traveller Supplement 8: Cybernetics - the advantage of sharing a common ruleset! The really interesting bit is the discussion of DNA modification, a new introduction to the ruleset.

Then we move on to the Science and Technology chapter, which covers the current state of play in the biological sciences, computers and information security, mechanical telepathy (this sounds... interesting) and transportation. Robots and drones and materials science are alos mentioned. Then we get a bit more practical with chapters of Equipment, Weapons and Armour, Robots and Drones, a spot of Cortex Hacking, and Vehicles.

Next we move on to Starship Design - the concepts and rules - followed by Starships, Spacecraft and Space Stations (loads of examples), Space Travel and Space Combat and finally Starship Encounters. Loads of information, all honed to this setting yet fitting in to the underlying ruleset. We then turn to NPCs and Animals, with plenty of samples of both.

Finally, there's the 2300AD Referee's Guide. This provides additional guidelines and a wealth of ideas about the sort of campaigns that you can run - exploration, trade, combat (ground or space), or maybe you fancy a party of troubleshooters or an anti-terrorist spin on things. There's also an extensive list of sources you might use for inspiration: fiction, films, TV shows and more. There's a calendar for the year 2300AD, and the Near Star List used to set up space for this game. Interestingly, it's the original 1988 one used in Traveller 2300 - it maintains the flavour of the setting better than contemporary knowledge of what's out there!

Overall this is a masterful blending of a very original setting with an established ruleset and - with the good range of supplements available - makes for some interesting gaming.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
2300AD Core Rulebook Revised
Publisher: Mongoose
by AA C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/07/2015 06:32:16

Esperaba mucho más de este libro.

Los contenidos se centran en convertir 2300AD a las reglas de Traveller, dejando poco espacio a la ambientación, (que debería ser prioritaria en un sourcebook). Es más, al convertir a UPP la información de sistemas y planetas, apenas hay información útil para crear aventuras. El aspecto interior es horrible. Ilustraciones casi inexistentes y de baja calidad, maquetación espartana y de difícil lectura. ¡Ni siquiera tiene hiperenlaces a la tabla de contenidos!

Me gusta mucho 2300AD, pero seguiré usando las ediciones anteriores porque este libro no cuesta lo que vale. Se salva de tener una estrella porque tiene unas pocas cosas buenas, como por ejemplo un nuevo enfoque basado en las tecnologías actuales.

[2 of 5 Stars!]
2300AD Core Rulebook Revised
Publisher: Mongoose
by Todd S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/22/2014 20:20:09

For a 30USD PDF I'd prefer this be self-contained and not require the Traveller sourcebook, but ...

2300AD is easily my favorite Sci-Fi setting. I still have (and still have fond memories of) the 2300AD Boxed set from 1988. Just as I think Mongoose has done an excellent job with Traveller, they've gone and done it again with 2300AD.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
2300AD Core Rulebook Revised
Publisher: Mongoose
by Jason C. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 06/07/2014 15:40:19

I got this one in print from a local store and was psyched to see that I could also get it in PDF! Let's talk about 2300 AD and why the Traveller system is a perfect match for it. Mongoose has done a great job of bringing this gem forward and it's a terrific purchase.

Now, I played 2300 AD back in the late 1980s/early 90s. It was created to be a bridge between Twilight 2000 - a post-limited-nuclear-war military adventure game set in the far future of the year 2000 - and Traveller - a far-future libertarian science fiction game in the Golden Age of SF style. It posits a world where still-recognizable nation-states colonize and vie for control over stars near Earth. No one-world government in 2300 AD, intrigues and politics make these first few steps into the universe fraught with adventure and danger.

The upside to Traveller has always been its flexibility - with its simple system you can be mercenaries, or on a diplomatic mission, or criminals and slimeballs. But it's been fairly rare to see a fully fleshed out campaign model for Traveller. Perhaps this is because it has always attracted the do-it-yourself mindset, just as the characters in the typical Traveller campaign scrimp and scrounge whatever they can to make their way in the universe.

However, 2300 AD gives a much more specific game world, fleshing out its universe in more detail. Instead of a vast galaxy, the characters will be visiting and coping with problems on only a couple of dozen nearby stars. Events on one will propagate and cause consequences throughout the game world. No longer will the most boring Traveller adventure outcome, "we fly away from everything we just did" be a feasible way to avoid the decision-and-consequence chain that makes RPGs and stories good. The universe is not that big in 2300 AD.

That's not to say that 2300 AD lacks flexibility. There are many pages of campaign structures and ideas, from military units to spies to explorers.

There are two areas that 2300 AD could improve in, one that is general to colonial games and one that is specific to this game. Specifically, 2300 AD could improve its usefulness in PDF form by providing pages specifically for player consumption - the hex maps are a great start here, but why not do what original Traveller did and have information about planets and colonies in a form that can simply be printed out and given to the players to consult just as their characters did? Instead, information that could be accessible to characters is jumbled in with commentary and side notes for the GM. Which is fine as far as it goes, but it limits the usefulness of the text for a Traveler group used to the classic "one paragraph entry in the computer book" style of deeply in-character play.

More generally, there are lots of games that have a colonial setup that pretty solidly fail to acknowledge the moral ambiguity (or even outright evils) of colonization. Even in 2300 AD, where there are a few other alien species in the "near" stars that are the target of Earthly nations' ambitions, there just isn't any mention that in certain circumstances the players are likely to be playing the bad guys. The game does a great job of setting up a situation that evokes the age of colonization and the rivalries that spread and changed during that time frame, but doesn't acknowledge that the modern player (hopefully) has a bit more awareness of the questions and problems raised by colonization over time. Also, do characters in this setting feel that way? Is this a political question at all? 2300 AD more or less skips this whole issue. So do many other games with colonial setups, so I guess it's no worse than them. However, I'd like to see games do better in this regard.

Those are really my only two critiques of the book . The simple Traveller system has been well-examined elsewhere so just trust me when I say 1) it's solid and 2) it's extremely extensible - you can pull in careers, equipment or even new aliens and locations from Traveler supplements if you like and have no systemic problems doing so. 2300 AD presents a remarkably complete game, including things like cybernetics, genetic modification, psionic abilities and a very thorough gazetteer that should keep you going for a long time.

The original GDW 2300 AD did a good job of showing the path between the postwar Twilight 2000 and the freedom-focused Traveller and what it would be like to mesh these two ideas. As a result 2300 AD was a vivid and exciting setting for adventure. Mongoose has preserved that core recipe (though it says that it no longer is related to the Original Traveller Universe in the introduction, the underlying concepts remain the same) and strengthened it with its updated Traveller system. The layout is good and the PDF doesn't have nonsense like background images to keep you from printing what you need. (There's a few odd diagrams and art pieces that suddenly pop into color here and there, but it's not harmful to the layout.)

I loved 2300 AD back when it first came out and I love it now!

[4 of 5 Stars!]
2300AD Core Rulebook Revised
Publisher: Mongoose
by Dierk D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/30/2012 14:16:31

Teils nett aber teilweise auch nutzlos. VORSICHT SPOILER-ALARM !!! Als 2300AD (bzw. seine Vorgänger Traveller 2300AD) raus kamen, war ich aus dem Häuschen. Ich habe mir das Original schicken lassen und bin für die Box 400 km weit gefahren. Ihr könnt Euch also vorstellen, wie sehr es mich gefreut hat, dass das gute alte Hard-SF-Game wieder da ist. Entsprechend enttäuscht war ich vom PDF. Wie schon andere Fans vor mir bemerkten fehlen die schönen Bilder und Graphiken. Bei Durchlesen erschien mir das Material als zurechtgestutzte Ausgabe von 2320 AD (vom selben Autor), wobei schlampig gearbeitet wurde. z.B.: Die verschiedenen "Egos/Persönlichkeiten" der Eber werden erwähnt aber nicht erklärt. Stats für Käfer fehlen, die Klaxun, Ylii fehlen ebenfalls. Ein Index zum Auffinden von Infos wurde ebenfalls nicht erstellt. Die Kapitel sind nicht durchnummeriert, was das Auffinden von Fakten unnötig erschwert. Der Schwerpunkt liegt viel zu stark auf den Menschen, den Konzernen, Terroristen und den Kolonien. Dabei bleibt das Feeling von früher "Der Aufbruch der Menschheit zu den Sternen" und "das wilde Leben in den Randregionen" (Serenity lässt grüßen) auf der Strecke. Dafür gibt es Delphine... toll, die haben schon in Traveller genervt... oder fandet Ihr einen PC als Delphin in Anti-Grav-Kampfanzug witzig? Den besten Delphinauftritt in der SF gibt es im "Anhalter", doch das soll eine andere Geschichte sein. Unsere Kampagne vor 20 Jahren war eher eine von Scout- und Militäroperationen geprägte Abenteuerserie, die sich mit den Kafern beschäftigte oder wo sie als Störenfriede auftauchten. Alles lebte von dem Geheimnis dieser Aliens, woher sie kamen, was sie wollten, wie der Krieg mit ihnen verlaufen würde. Das alles ist nun auf eine Spalte, d.h. eine halbe Seite Text beschränkt worden. Schweigen auch zu den Hintergründen und Zielen der Pentapods usw. Nach zwanzig Jahren und vielen, vielen deutschen Fans hätte ich eine Überarbeitung der deutschen Namen und Bezeichnungen erwartet. Die waren im "vorGoogle"-Steinzeitalter grauenhaft übersetzt und Sinn hatten sie meist keinen. Einige waren auch schlichtweg falsch. Auch diese Chance hat man sich weitgehend entgehen lassen. Immerhin ist jemand drauf gekommen, dass man einen Kampfanzug deutscher Produktion nicht ohne geschichtlichen Bezug KZ-7 nennen kann und man hat die Bezeichnung rausgeschmissen. Das beim "Astronomischen Recheninstitut" vielleicht richtiger "Astronomisches Recheninstitut" gewesen wäre, steht in den Sternen. Die sonstigen Bezeichnungen sind eher krude Aneinanderreihungen von deutschen Worten, die wohl im amerikanischen Slang gewaltig (oder gewalttätig?) nach deutscher Sprache klingen. Die von anderen Schreibern schon erwähnten Karten zu den Planeten sind nützlich, besser als in den Supplements zum Original und mit der Planetenbeschreibung zusammen auch einigermaßen brauchbar. Mir fehlen aber Hotspots oder Abenteuerideen wie man sie in 2320AD finden konnte. So bleiben sie nur eine nette Aneinanderreihung von Spieldaten, die ich mir mit 15 Minuten Arbeit und dem Traveller Basisregeln hätte selber machen können. Ob ich mir die Einführung von genmanipulierten Menschen als Siedler gefallen lasse ist ebenso eine Geschmackssache wie Cybertech. Ich habe es vor 20 Jahren nicht gebraucht und werde es nur sehr zurückhaltend nutzen. Meinen Spielercharakteren wird noch schön schlecht, wenn sie fremde Planeten betreten. Wofür habe ich Schwerkraft und Atmosphäre, wenn ich sie als SL nicht einsetze?. Für den Notfall habe ich ja noch ein As im Ärmel und verteile Pentapod-Equipment... Was fand ich eigentlich gut, wo ich doch 2 Sterne verteilen wollte? Hmmm... ja, das alte 2300AD ist out of print, das neue Settig für TRAVELLER lässt sich bisher nur mit Hilfe des alten Materials einigermaßen gut in spielbares Material umsetzen. Immerhin sind die Regeln aus Traveller sehr gut bekannt und vielschichtig einsetzbar. Das Traveller-Material spannt einen weiten Bogen an Möglichkeiten und Ausrüstung für das 2300AD-Spiel. Alles in allem macht das PDF aber den Eindruck eines Teasers. Vieles wird angedeutet und vorgestellt, aber das Ganze zu flach, als dass man daraus ohne altes Material eine sinnvolle Kampagne flechten kann. Der Versuch alte Sourcebooks und das Regelheft zusammenzuführen ist durch die schlechte Bearbeitung misslungen. Der Autor kann es besser, was er in 2320AD bewiesen hat. Es reicht eben nicht nur die Stats von T20 anzupassen. Der Fließtext lebt halt auch. Bleibt abzuwarten, ob Mongoose bei weiteren Veröffentlichungen sauberer arbeitet, besser strukturiert und nicht ganz so sehr die Geldmachermaschine anwirft. Ich hoffe inständig, dass die angekündigten Veröffentlichungen zum "French Arm" die Quellenlage zu den Kafern und zu anderen Aliens verbessert und nicht halbdurchdachte Zusammenfassungen den Lese- und Spielspaß bremsen. Für Sammler o.k als Impuls die alten Sachen wieder aus dem Archiv zu kramen. Man kann mit vertrauten Traveller-Regeln wieder in die faszinierende Welt des Jahres 2300 AD einzutauchen. Für Neulinge mit Vorsicht zu geniesen und als Sourcebook sicherlich ein Teaser. Wartet aber besser ab, was sonst noch so rauskommt. FAZIT zu wenig Leistung für zu teures Geld (PDF = 21,72 Euro)

[2 of 5 Stars!]
2300AD Core Rulebook Revised
Publisher: Mongoose
by Rory H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/18/2012 04:07:50

The appearance could have been improved with more art, etc, and there are some glaring editorial errors throughout (equations being mistyped, etc). Yet, all this said, this is an indispensable Traveller book and setting for any gamer who wants to get into a hard science, near future setting. The 'French Empire' conceit seems a little counterintuitive to me, but it's well grounded out in the future timeline explanations and the science of the game is generally pretty solid. Personally, I think the RPG world needs a strong 2300AD setting to ground out BladeRunner/Firefly type stories - and its great to see this game line return, regardless of anything else. I would hope they revisit the editing of the game before too long, however. Incidentally, my new Mac has the cover in white borders rather than black - what's up with that?

[4 of 5 Stars!]
2300AD Core Rulebook Revised
Publisher: Mongoose
by Billiam B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/24/2012 20:44:32

I am really grateful for seeing the 2300AD source book, as it reminds me of a campaign setting which I used to think was excellent, whilst being visualised through the prism of the today's Traveller rules.

For Mongoose to fuse original (old-school) far-future Traveller with it's broad Foundation style brush strokes, with this, Earth's hands-on tentative steps into space, employing chunky, clunky gadgets and tank armour, seems, at first glance, almost heretical! Hats off to Mongoose for bravery.

One thing that Mongoose 2300AD does do well, is that it provides planet maps. Ace! The colony planets feel like solid, real places.

The addition of DNA modifications as a norm seems a little unnecessary, but this is tied up with the bio-tech Pentapods' contact with humanity, which just about works.

Where are the gun pictures? Surely the look and feel of the equipment is really important to distinguish this source book from the main Traveller setting? The descriptions are there, but show us some eye candy! ;) Otherwise the presentation is very good.

As a sourcebook for today's gamer, the potential for the 2300AD setting is HUGE, the supposedly gritty feel on the broad backdrop of newly settled worlds will make for a great campaign - and many styles of game are possible from espionage to battlefield war. Its whopping 312 pages are packed with background information and game material.

Even in the bundle this still feels a little pricey, one would hope that PDFs would be considerably cheaper than their printed-and-bound versions - or at least it would be good to have a deal which combines both.

General note: 2300AD is implicit in its need of the Traveller Core Rulebook. The introduction also suggests that Supplement 5: Vehicles and 6: High Guard "would also be useful".

In summary, 2300AD it's a bumper book with plenty of details about many of the colonies and enclaves in the 2300AD near-star sphere. How this fits with Mongoose's Traveller will be up to individual players to interpret. The good news is that if Mongoose Publishing don't produce more 2300AD products that there's the so many older GDW T2300/2300AD products out which can be "mined" for ideas.

-Billiam B. http://bit.ly/rpgblog2300AD

[4 of 5 Stars!]
2300AD Core Rulebook Revised
Publisher: Mongoose
by Sam L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/23/2012 12:59:28

SUMMARY A respectable update to a classic hard sci-fi setting. What it lacks in nitty-gritty details in some areas it makes up for breadth of coverage.

THE BAD NEWS FIRST If you're looking for a lavishly-illustrated book like the original, you're going to be very disappointed with this. Art is sparse in here, although generally pretty decent. This book favors density of information over artistic beauty, and it covers a LOT of ground in its 314 pages.

There's a couple of editing & formatting errors. A half-page is blank where I'm guessing they intended to put a picture but changed their minds at the last minute. Some of the tables are a little hard to read at first. A couple of the nation profiles in the core worlds have the wrong population digit, and Tirane is lacking its UWP. These last issues are pretty easy to get the right numbers when you read the description. Tirane, for instance, is pretty much Earth's twin with interface A, and probably one digit lower for population & law level.

THE SETTING I'd describe 2300ad as a mildly dystopian, hard-sci-fi setting in the tradition of movies like Alien, Outland, or Gattaca. In Traveller terms, it's roughly Tech Level 12, with some areas like genetic engineering as high as Tech Level 16. However, there are a number of Traveller-standbys that don't exist: reactionless maneuver drives, jump drive, gravity control and antigravity vehicles, and meson guns & communicators.

Many current nations still exist, albeit in different forms or with different roles. Peculiarities of the stuttewarp drive (which acts like an STL or an FTL drive depending on how deep in a star's gravity well the craft is) have limited exploration along three "arms" of local space, named for the dominant power in each: American, Chinese, & French. France is the aging superpower if 2300ad, with China (specifically Manchuria) a close second and a resurgent America trailing behind. About 30 worlds have colonies, and there almost as many outposts. Some potential new colony worlds are also detailed.

There are 5 alien species, ranging from the nearly human (but almost religously technocratic) Sung to the Petapods (who treat DNA like tinkertoys). Only the most recently encountered species, the insect-like Kaefers ("Bugs" in German), has proven a genuine threat to human dominance of the 50 or so light-year spehere of human exploration.

GAME RULES 2300ad uses rules from the Core Rulebook, High-Guard, Central Supply Catalog, & the new Vehicle Handbook. However, all the relevant non-Core rules are repeated here for your convenience.

Character creation has some significant differences: the card-deck based character motivations are ported from the original GDW game, and there's a whole system of character traits similar to the alien species traits in the core rulebook.

Characters have to pick a nationality, and if they're from one of the frontier worlds they will also have a DNA modification. The character traits may grant bonuses or penalties (sometimes both), and add an additional layer of depth to characters.

There's also more detailed rules for operating in different gravities from your home world: these are modifications to characteristics. There's also rules to acclimating to different planetary environments (Planetary Adaptation Syndrome).

Not only does the book include NPC stats, but there's a system for generating quick NPC's for any occasion.

Starship construction & combat are re-vamped. Construction is generally similar, with more options available than traditional Mongoose-Traveller ships.

Space combat in 2300ad is very different than standard Traveller: I would compare it more to submarine warfare than age-of-sail gun battles. The dominant weapons are missiles: which in 2300ad work more like kamikaze drones than fire & forget weapons. Finding the general location of an enemy ship is easy (there is no stealth in space), but getting a firing solution on a rapidly-moving stutterwarp ship can be tricky. If your ship doesn't have a good enough sensors package, you may literally end up just shooting in the dark.

COMPARISONS TO THE ORIGINAL The setting's background has been tweaked: the "bad things" are moved up from the late 1990's to the mid-21st century. Dates & details are left deliberately vague, explained by a combination of loss of records, social taboos, and government suppression.

Technology has been re-worked slightly, there's some mild transhumanist elements, and there's explanations of why AI hasn't become more commonplace. Computers & related technologies have been updated to be more plausible.

Overall the equipment selection is very good: there's a wide range of gear available for exploration or military-style adventuring. While fans of "gun porn" might be disappointed with the lack of illustrations, there's ample description: the new version has 48 varieties of personally-carried mayhem, to the original's 37. Most, if not all of the favorites from the original Adventurer's guide show up, plus several others only seen in supplements.

Fewer starships are listed, although there's at least one of each type in the book: a fighter, an exploratory ship, a frigate, a cruiser, a courier, and a bulk freighter as well as a variety of interface craft. Unlike the previous version, there's an official deck plan for every one.

"Libertine Traders" are a change from the "all starships are owned by transnationals, big foundations, or governments" paradigm of the original. The Libertines remind me vaguely of the merchanters of CJ Cherry's Alliance-Union novels: fiercely independent, and often times somewhat shady.

Much has been made about the lack of Kaefer stats & gear. I actually see this as a feature & not a bug (!). In many respects, the original setting was marred by the dominance of the Kaefer War: GDW seemed to be in a bit of a rut, and much of 2300ad turned into Twilight: 2000 in space with NATO fighting the bugs instead of communists.

In the new version, you can't go bug-hunting right away. You CAN do just about anything else, however: you can run a Firefly-esque game with a Libertine family or a group of troubleshooters in a courier, play (or chase) pirates in a frigate, run cyberpunk or Minority Report adventures in the core, or contend with the harsh realities of colony life on the Frontier. Or you can try exploring some of the potential new colony worlds listed in the book.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
2300AD Core Rulebook Revised
Publisher: Mongoose
by Christopher D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/23/2012 06:01:55

First Impressions 2300 AD is an impressive 312 page book with a color cover and black and white interior illustrations. 2300 AD is a campaign source book for Traveller and you will need the core rules from Mongoose to make use of it. If you intend to design Vehicles you will need the vehicles book but for spaceships you just need the core book. You do not require any of the previous incarnations of 2300 to provide background.

What’s in the book The book contains an overview of the setting, setting specific rules and setting specific equipment ranging from starships to portable shelters. The setting information covers Earth, its nations and extra-solar colonies giving a potted overview of each along with planetary maps of all the habitable planets that humans have visited. There is also the story of how earth has developed over the 300 years between now and 2300 AD, starting with the deliberately vague “twilight war” that almost destroyed civilization at the start of the 21st century. Character generation rules are based on core Traveller careers with fairly minor modifications except that the Citizen career is completely replaced, some changes, such as no Pilot(Grav) are derived directly from the background assumptions, and some seem simply added flavor; my youngest daughter was delighted to find that there was the possibility of ending up with a pet.

Differences from previous versions In previous versions the history of the world started with Twilight 2000, here the link is less explicit also some reference is made to the developments of the last 30 years such as Trans-humanism, Nanotechnology and human DNA modification. Nearly all colonists start with some sort of DNA modification simply to allow them to survive. In addition you actually get maps and details for all the worlds visited by humans without having to wait for supplements to come out; GDW’s colonial atlas did not have any planetary maps at all and the best source of detail on the worlds of the French arm was Invasion where all the maps looked like they had been scribbled by a GM in a hurry.

Criticisms My main criticism is of the layout of some of the tables, there are a couple of places where what is semanticly a 2 column table has been wrapped to make a 4 column table without this being immediately obvious. There are other multi-page tables, such as the near star list, where the headings are only on the first page making this a harder read than necessary. I also spotted a couple of references to DC which have come across from 2320. In addition I could have done with a little more detail on the Kaefers, the other aliens get example NPCS, but not them.

In the PDF there is a small amount of interior color but not where I would have expected it, for example, the world maps, which I know were originally in color, are still black and white but would have benefited from color while the deck plan grids are in color.

Overall I think this is a welcome return of a setting that still has fans 20 years after going out of print. I'm giving this 4 out of 5.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
2300AD Core Rulebook Revised
Publisher: Mongoose
by Terry P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/22/2012 22:43:26

I am sorry if this review disturbs anyone who worked on it. I am sure you are reading this thinking I am overly critical. If so, I apologize. But if you had maintained the integrity of the product, or even tried to follow its predecessor more, I would be happy. Sadly, I just paid $29.99 for something I must wait for new supplements to use. And as for Mongoose, the Babylon 5 RPG line was well done. Because of that, the only reason I can see for 2300AD to be so pathetic is that it was done so to make you buy the next book, and in this case, it is blatant.

I have been a fan of 2300AD since its very first inception as Traveller 2300AD. When it just became 2300AD, it was much improved. I have followed the 2300AD fan base, and it has been kept alive by the Etranger site. That being said, I feel I can give a good review of Mongoose 2300AD.

First off, this is not the 2300AD I grew up with and have remained a fan of for 25 years; it is boring, it is minimal in its focus, and it does not have the feel of 2300AD. I am disappointed with it for many reasons. 2300AD is one of my favorite settings. I expected a product produced over 25 years after the original to surpass it: This does not. It is less than the original and for absolutely no reason other than the one many publishers pull now: MINIMAL USEFUL INFO FOR THE GM TO ENSURE SALES OF THE FUTURE PRODUCTS IN THE LINE. This game focuses on Earth and the nations there. There is no space exploration. Worst of all, it is visually boring! Where is all the art???? Perhaps I am spoiled by the product printed 25 years ago before computers dominated the industry, and expected that, with all of the resources produced in 25 years, this one would rock, and it does not even try.

I am not sure how the system itself will work for 2300AD. Mongoose Traveller is a good and simple system, so I will not rate it.

Original 2300AD books were visually interesting. There are lots of charts for such things as what language a nation speaks, where a planet or star system is, and many charts for star ship design.

The written material here is good. Cybernetics and DNA mods are covered well. These are things which were not deeply covered in the original products. Earth/Cybertech did some, but not much. I have the original books, so this part supplements them in this department.

The chief protagonist race of 2300AD are the Kafer. This product glosses over them: you receive no stats for GM usage, no ships, no equipment, and one small blurry picture. You will not be using the French Foreign Legion to fight the Kafers on Aurora in this game until a supplement is published.

As for weapons, the original 2300AD had tons of stats and pics of the weapons. Not this one. You have a few of each type.

I feel that the intention here is to focus on human versus human, and wait for the Alien Supplement to come out. This is very disappointing. A $29.99 pdf should have more depth. It seems to me that you are expected to play Cyberpunk 2300AD, as opposed to exploring the frontiers of space, whereas the original product focused on the frontier, with the Kafer War and The Aurora Source book.

Buy this if you have no other reference to 2300AD, or if you have all of the old books, in which case I am sure you can convert things. This book will not give you a feel for 2300AD.

[2 of 5 Stars!]
2300AD Core Rulebook Revised
Publisher: Mongoose
by Dalton C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/22/2012 21:15:41

The written material is very good - in fact you could split the book into multiple books and kept the value. The decision to go with a B&W interior was not a good one - it distracts from the quality and depth of the game. It's a great system, with far more detail than the original game, but one where the detail does not detract from play.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
2300AD Core Rulebook Revised
Publisher: Mongoose
by Oscar S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/21/2012 22:37:14

After months of anticipation, having loved the original 2300, I picked up this book on the release day and was immediately disappointed with the purchase. The book is antiseptic in presentation, devoid of decent art and presented in an uninspired layout. It reminds me of the Traveller books of the late 70's, before the days of computers. Speaking of which, there are a few 3-D renderings of classic vehicles and ships (the Kennedy cruiser for example) but they are extremely simple. Dense hex grids on the world maps making viewing of the geography difficult. The best (and only color) picture inside the book is an advertisement for another of Mongoose's products.

The writing, while not awkward, tends to jump around topics as the author tried to address too many things too quickly. More on this as I do more reading.

The pdf is weak copy of the layout without bookmarks or outline to scan and find topics (less expensive books from other publishers include this feature).

Considering the age in which this product laid out, the price charged, and in comparison to Mongoose's own Traveller Core book, this is a weak effort.

[2 of 5 Stars!]
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