RPGNow.com
Close
New Account
 
  
 
 
You will lose your chance to get the free product of the week.
One-click unsubscribe later if you don't enjoy the newsletter.
Close
Log In
 
 Forgot password?
 

     or     Log In with your Facebook Account
Browse
 Publisher Info









Back
Other comments left by this customer:
Hub Federation Ground Forces
Publisher: Gypsy Knights Games
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 11/28/2014 08:25:53
In the Hub Federation, a key feature of Gypsy Knights Games's alternative Traveller universe, as well as a navy there are two types of ground forces - a Federation-wide force of Marines and individual planetary ground forces. This book deals with both, and is of most use if your game includes the Hub Federation as presented in this alternate setting. However, it could be retooled for any pocket empire that choses to organise its forces this way, and includes career tracks and equipment that could be useful whatever sort of game you are running where ground troops are involved.

The first part describes the Hub Federation Marines and then the various planetary ground forces - loads of detail here from history and structure down to uniforms and rank badges. Unlike the Hub Federation Navy, where fleets of British and German origin combined (and created a new force based on both traditions), the Hub Federation Marines were formed from a group of British Royal Marines and have insisted on retaining their traditions by and large intact. Each planetary force, however, has established their own and this is reflected in variations to a standard uniform for all of them. However I am left wondering why the Marines wear bearskin caps... something never worn by the Royal Marines, they are the sole preserve of the British Guards regiments! The Hub Federation Marines have also adopted the kilt, as an optional item of dress, due to the presence of the 'Royal Highland Marine Regiment' or Black Watch (again a bit of confusion - yes, there was a Black Watch or Royal Highland Regiment on the British books until the last round of mergers but they were never marines!). It makes a nice touch, especially the thought that the kilt may be worn into battle along with combat armour. Scary... and there's even an illustration to give the idea.

Next come all the details necessary for creating a character with a background in either Marines or a planetary ground force. There's a section on medals too, no pictures alas but names and terms of award. That's always something nice for players... I once ran a game at a convention in which success was rewarded by some medals, and was surprised that the players carefully noted the decorations they received on the pre-generated character sheets they'd been handed for the game! The career paths are detailed and comprehensive, with loads of tables to roll upon as you work your way through.

Then comes a selection of landing craft to get these ground-pounders where they need to go, followed by ground vehicles, aircraft and equipment for use when they get there. Atmospheric fiction and pictures are scattered throughout, and appendices contain reference to a notable past action - the Battle of Beol - and organisation charts. All in all, a good resource if you are using the Hub Federation in your game and want to know a bit about their ground forces.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Hub Federation Ground Forces
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Hub Federation Navy
Publisher: Gypsy Knights Games
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 11/26/2014 07:57:16
At its simplest level, this is a sourcebook for the Hub Federation Navy and of great use if you are running a game in Gypsy Knights Games's alternate Traveller universe based around the Clement Sector. If so, you will find several other of their books invaluable including The Hub Federation and Clement Sector as well as, of course, the core Traveller rules from Mongoose. However, this would be a good basis for creating the naval forces for any pocket empire of your own devising, whereas the extensive naval career tables could enhance any game in which naval forces (or characters with naval backgrounds) are involved.

The first part of the book details the history and current organisation of the Hub Federation Navy - copious detail even down to their uniforms and rank badges! The Hub Federation Navy was formed after the wormhole back to Earth collapsed out of British Royal Navy and German Navy fleets that were in the Hub sub-sector at the time. (A US fleet was also present but declined the invitation to join the alliance.) Most things are now handled bilingually, with a deliberate attempt to combine the best of both naval traditions, although the 'official' language of the Navy is German. A new uniform was designed, in space black rather than navy blue, which includes features of both British and German uniforms. Descriptions are given of dress/service uniforms, working dress and combat dress and even officer's evening dress (mess dress). There are even a couple of illustrations and a rank chart to help you visualise the fine display. Female personnel dress exactly like males except that they are permitted skirts on shore billets (but not aboard ship).

The next section is about Characters and deals with those characters who would like a naval background. Whilst they can use the career paths presented later on, it is to be remembered (if you are playing this alternate setting as is) that the Hub Federation Navy is only some eleven years old so anyone wishing to have served more than three terms will have started in another navy - probably the German or British one. There is a Career Companion supplement which is ideally suited to dealing with characters of specific national navies. There are details of the Hub Federation Naval Academy and recruit training, as well as of progression thereafter through a naval career. This section ends with notes on the medals and other awards available to naval personnel... no pictures, alas, but good details of terms of award.

This is followed by the various career paths offered to members of the navy, which will empower detailed character generation and backstories... and could be used as an ongoing career track if you decide to run a game around serving members of the Hub Federation Navy rather than retired ones who are now off doing something else! There are loads of options available, not just the regular engineering, flight, support, etc., but naval intelligence, a 'command' track for bridge crew and possibly most interesting, 'senior command' and 'higher command' options for those seeking to command a naval vessel or even aiming for Admiral's rank.

Finally, Appendices detail the different classes of vessel in the navy and current fleet organisation complete with example squadrons and the present list of ships.

Overall, spectacular resource if you are running a navally-oriented game in the Clement Sector or if you have a character who has served in the Hub Federation Navy; and of some use - perhaps with adaptations - if your game is elsewhere but you like the amount of detail about naval careers in particular.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hub Federation Navy
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Hub Federation
Publisher: Gypsy Knights Games
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 11/24/2014 08:20:03
Placed firmly in Gypsy Knights Games's alternate Traveller universe, this book presents a discrete political unit that can be used as a basis and location for a range of adventures or even a whole campaign. It also provides a groundwork for using other Gypsy Knights Games books within the alternate setting, tying everything together neatly.

It begins by presenting the history of the Hub Federation, right back to pre-colonisation days when humans were exploring their own solar system and not much else. Then came the discovery of a starship drive based on quantum entanglement, the Zimm Drive, that could take a ship further and faster than hitherto imagined, roughly a parsec in a week. Moving out to the stars, a wormhole was discovered which led somewhere on the far side of the galaxy, opening near to an inhabitable solar system that was soon named The Hub as it was used as a base for exploring what lay beyond.

The next hundred years or so saw great expansion with many colonies being established. Some were independent, others beholden to whichever Earth government sponsored them. All manner of groups sponsored colonies, religious or philosophical groups seeking somewhere they could live out their ideas without interference, companies seeking to exploit natural resources and more soon scattered out from Hub across what in time became known as the Clement Sector. Trade flourished between the worlds, as well as back 'home' through the wormhole... until one day it just collapsed!

Nobody has yet discovered why the wormhole collapsed, but in the aftermath the President of Hub, one Fyodor Hauser, contacted the leaders of other worlds proposing an alliance to replace the former model of being governed from Earth. He also contacted the Admirals of various navies stationed nearby, some of them agreed to join but others did not. Likewise many worlds decided they'd be better off on their own, but several of the closest worlds joined the alliance. This was about ten years ago, and the year is now 2342.

If you do not want to use the alternate universe as is, you can abstract as much as you wish if you want to use these worlds, perhaps as a pocket empire somewhere on the fringes of known space.

Next we take a look at how the Hub Federation is governed. There is a small Senate, with each constituent world represented by a single Senator. Interestingly, it is completely left to each world to decide how that Senator is chosen. Then there is a President, whose role is as chief executive and commander-in-chief. The Senate is responsible for making laws, the President puts them into effect. The President is elected by the Senators from amongst their number with a term of office of ten years. The world for which he was a Senator must then find another to replace him.

The Federation governs at the highest level: common defense of the member worlds, a common currency, combatting interstellar crime, provision of a navy and the coordination of ground forces and diplomatic relations with other worlds. Everything else is left to individual worlds to deal with. The Hub military forces consist of the navy and marines, other worlds may have their own ground forces and limited naval ones - their ships may not be equipped with Zimm Drives and are limited to system defence roles.

On to wider matters, next comes a sub-sector map of the Hub sub-sector and UWPs of all its worlds, followed by greater detail of each of the member systems of the Hub Federation. (See the Hub Sub-sector Sourcebook for the other worlds.) Each comes with an astronomical overview of the system followed by more details of the inhabited world - its geography, atmosphere, government, laws, culture, etc. All the things the well-informed visitor might want to know. Although the governmental system is covered in each case, there's one omission: how they pick their Senator to represent them in the Hub Federation, however in most cases it can be deduced from the way in which the world itself is governed.

This makes a neat Pocket Empire, or the core of the known colonies if you are using the alternate setting. Ideas for adventures spawn quite readily as you read, and some specific suggestions are made as well. The work ends with an overview of technogical changes between regular Traveller and this alternate setting, mostly dealing with the ramifications of the Zimm Drive. Overall, a fascinating concept and well worth a look.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hub Federation
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Player's Secrets of Khourane (2e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 11/20/2014 08:16:42
Describing a beautiful coastal domain within the Birthright setting, this product provides all the information that you need to play the ruler of Khourane... or, if you are not running a classic Birthright game it provides a richly-detailed realm in which many an adventure may be had.

It opens with a personal letter, delivered in a rather soggy condition in a fancy flying scroll case, from the last ruler (or emira) to her successor, in which she speaks of various threats to the realm and warns about those who would do it harm. Next comes the history of Khourane from the earliest times right up to the present, followed by its geography and other pertinent details. There are thirteen provinces each with its own distinctive features - settlements, flora and fauna, resources and even local peculiarities - to assimilate.

This is followed by notes on culture, an ancient one as these are some of the lands first settled long ago. There is a fascinating 'Code of Colours' that attributes significance to the colour of an item you might choose to give to someone - get it right or cause untold embarassment (or amusement)!

Education is highly valued by the people of Khourane: they send their children to school as soon as they can walk for socialisation lessons in which they learn correct behaviour and good manners as well as get opportunities for directed play. From there aged around 4 they move on to more formal education, whilst being observed so that particular talents may be spotted early and nutured. Teachers are highly regarded, while the study of magic is regarded as the pinnacle of achievement. Life-long learning is well-supported too.

Government, religious festivals and other holidays follow, along with a map of the main city and a collection of notable NPCs who may help or hinder a new ruler's reign. The assets and holdings pertaining to the throne are also detailed including a magnificent cliff-top palace overlooking the sea. Finally there's a selection of rumours, secrets and plots to get your imagination going.

Whether you aim to rule or just visit, Khourane sounds a fascinating and exotic place.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Player's Secrets of Khourane (2e)
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Subsector Sourcebook 4: Sequoyah
Publisher: Gypsy Knights Games
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 11/19/2014 08:35:32
This sub-sector contains some ninteen inhabited solar systems, and the majority of the book is devoted to delivering an almost in-character 'travelogue' style guide to what is found there. Additional comments aimed at Referees and (to a lesser extent) players are found in grey boxed text throughout. Sequoyah sub-sector is part of the alternate Traveller universe setting of Clement Sector, although individual worlds or the whole sub-sector could be put anywhere you please in your own universe.

To start with, there is a map of the sub-sector, a list of UWPs for the inhabited systems and some general notes. As this alternate setting uses a Zimm Drive rather than regular Traveller Jump Drives (consider a Zimm Drive as roughly equivalent to Jump-2), comments include discussion of how far you can travel and how the systems in the sub-sector are grouped into 'regions' according to their accessibility.

Then each system is described in turn, beginning with an astronomical overview of the system describing all the planets within it before focussing down on the inhabited world which is probably the main focus of attention. Physical, atmospheric, hydrographical and geographical data set the scene, along with a planetary map, and this is followed by details of the population, government, laws, culture and notable cities. Other information is included as appropriate, especially noteworthy natural features, unusual customs or anything that a typical visitor might want to seek out.

There is a wide diversity of worlds both in natural details and in how they have been developed and run by human inhabitants. With the alternate setting being based on a fairly recent influx all the way from Earth (yes, the one you're sitting on reading this) through a wormhole which has now closed, many draw on fairly unadulterated heritages of wherever on Earth they came from, which makes for some interesting places and attitudes which yet have some familiarity to the reader. Even if you do not use this setting, it can make for an enjoyable visit although you may want to downplay some of the more overt references to each colony's origins. OK, so the folk on Bowemiwak may like barbeques and slow-roast pork, you just don't have to mention that they originated in Texas! In fact it can be quite fun NOT referencing the heritage, let the characters (or at least their players) deduce it for themselves.

The descriptions of different worlds spawn quite a few adventure ideas specific to that world as well as the more general ones involving exploration or trading. Some suggestions are also included in the grey box comments although they are mostly vague enough that it will not matter if players have read them - it's still up to the Referee to take the suggestion and detail an adventure around it.

It's a fascinating collection of worlds and visiting them makes for a splendid series of adventures. Whether or not you use the alternate universe, it is worth considing these worlds for inclusion in your game.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Subsector Sourcebook 4: Sequoyah
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Peel Colonies
Publisher: Gypsy Knights Games
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 11/17/2014 08:17:16
Although still part of Gypsy Knights Games's alternate Traveller universe setting, the Peel Colonies are not in the Clement Sector at all, but in the Ariel Sector coreward of it. As such they are very new colonies, having only been established for some fifty years or less. Moveover, most of the worlds have not been fully explored - at least, not on the ground, whatever surveys might have been done from orbit.

We start with a map of the Peel Sub-sector, which contains some eighteen systems although only seven are as yet inhabited. There's a list of UWPs and other information, and a bit of background about the sub-sector as a whole.

We then move on to look at each settled world in turn. Each is presented in a standard manner, beginning with an overview of the star system as a whole with a diagram and notes about every body in the system. There's a map of at least the main world (often some of the other planets as well, especially if they have been visited) followed by physical, atmospheric, hydrographic and geographical details. This can include notable natural features and even some of the more interesting native plants and animals. Next we get to hear about the people: government type, law and culture. This background is quite detailed: Referees will have to determine how much is known by outsiders, particular those who are planning a visit.

The worlds on offer are quite varied. There's Layla, a place dedicated to individual freedom with extensive participatory democracy. Their commitment to freedom is deeply held and based on religion (although of course, nobody is compelled to believe!). About the only thing wrong with the place is that it's on the chilly side!

The New Perth system is well blessed with planets, two of which are inhabited. It's a representative democracy, colonised by the Australian Government (yes, the one on Earth) which was technically a treaty violation. A lot of Australian slang and even the playing of Aussie Rules Football is popular, and there are even some imported Australian plants and animals to be found.

Peel, on the other hand, is under military dictatorship. The founder, Jacob Peel, established the place as a society devoid of religion (which he and his followers saw as a malign influence on society) and after many years of ruling the place personally - including mandatory nutritional guidelines and requirements to have lots of children - he'd turned power over to an elected parliament. In the course of time, other ideas came into play, and these eventually led to civil war. The military contrived a cease-fire, only to grab control for themselves.

And so it goes on with some quite fascinating worlds that should prove interesting to visit (if they'll give you a visa!). Neachdain is a world with few native land animals but plenty of amphibians run by the Technical Coalition on the remains of a failed Celtic-based colony. Alverca is a sparsely-inhabited world of 75% water with an elected President where they speak Portuguese. Rocroi is much drier and in its 11 years of operation has acquired a mere three thousand odd colonists governed by a self-appointed 'King'. Finally, Ariel is another wet world (73% water) whose inhabitants mostly farm or fish, with a complex system of delegated democracy based on the unusual origins as a joint Palestinian and Israeli settlement!

There are suggestions for character generation for those coming from these worlds, some adventure ideas and even random encounters for some of the unexplored regions of different worlds. Oh, and a bestiary of some of the more unusual wildlife. All in all, there's a splendid frontier feel to the sub-sector which gives a true urge to go exploring!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Peel Colonies
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Subsector Sourcebook 3: Hub
Publisher: Gypsy Knights Games
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 11/14/2014 08:31:02
This book presents a complete sub-sector, drawn from Gypsy Knights Games's Clement Sector alternative Traveller universe setting. The Hub sub-sector is a bit different from the others they've presented because it is home to the Hub Federation, a mult-world political body. Most of the rest of their worlds function independently in isolation from each other. At that, the Hub Federation involves six solar systems - not the giant galaxy-spanning Imperium of the official Traveller universe by any means!

First up is a subsector map, list of UWPs and an overview of the sub-sector as a whole. This explains the place of the Hub Federation in local politics, with the remaining thirteen systems remaining independent from it for various reasons - explained under their individual entries. If you want to read about the six Hub Federation worlds, though, you need to get the separate sourcebook The Hub Federation... this book deals with the rest of the sub-sector worlds.

So, on to the individual entries for each system. These begin with details of the system as a whole and then focus in on the inhabited world, starting with physical data then looking at the environment, culture, government, legal system and other details of interest to a visitor (or indeed a resident). There's a map and notes on major cities and other features. As you read through you will find 'grey boxes' of text which provide insights as to what might be really happening or ideas for adventures embedded into the world in question.

The worlds are quite diverse, ranging from a desert world with a democratic government through an ice world to one completely in the thrall of a quite repressive religion. There's quite a bit of background as to how each world came to be colonised and developed in the way that it did, and this works much more easily if you are using the Clement Sector alternate setting, although they could be modified for use in your own universe if preferred. Notes are provided to aid you if this is what you want to do, a nice feature.

Each world is quite distinctive, yet many seem to go out of their way to make it quite hard to visit them, meeting travellers with obstacles such as visa requirements and - of course - ensuring that they many not carry weapons during their visit. However, they are interesting and well described and have the potential to make for some memorable adventures...

Having absolutely no mention of the Hub Federation and its worlds does rather leave a hole, and if you want to use this as a sub-sector (rather than as individual worlds), purchase of The Hub Sector sourcebook is recommended.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Subsector Sourcebook 3: Hub
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Subsector Sourcebook 2: Franklin
Publisher: Gypsy Knights Games
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 11/13/2014 08:25:12
This work presents a fully-developed sub-sector in a travelogue style, providing plenty of places for the party to visit in pursuit of adventure, profit or whatever it is that they are after. Franklin is designed as a sub-sector of the Clement Sector, the 'home' of Gypsy Knights Games's product line, their alternate Traveller universe, but it's possible to place it wherever you want it in your Traveller universe instead. Some of the inhabited planets originally appeared in their 'Quick Worlds' series, but have been subsequently modified here, others are brand new.

First up is a sub-sector map accompanied by each system's UWP in a table and an overview of the sub-sector as a whole, followed by a detailed system-by-system description of what you'll find here. The inhabited systems in this sub-sector are quite scattered and operate as independent rather than belonging to any wider association.

Each system is presented in a standard format, beginning with an overview of the system, in words and pictorially, before moving on to physical data of the inhabited world that is probably of most interest. Size, atmosphere, hydrography, geography... then moving on to population, government, law (look out for ways to trap unwary characters!) and cultural details. Grey boxes are scattered everywhere with 'behind the curtain' comments about design or straight-out adventure ideas you can use on that particular planet. There's a map of the world showing major features, notes on the main settlements, even details of calendars, festivals and port facilities - everything, in short, that a visitor might need to know.

The inhabited worlds are quite varied in nature and most sound like they'd be interesting to visit. Some have exotic wildlife, spectacular scenery or unusual customs which might prove an attraction, as well as trading opportunities or potential contracts for mercenary groups. Perhaps you'd like to visit a desert world with a participatory democracy that can have everyone at the polls several times a day, or a world of great cliffs with jungles below in which dinosaur-like creatures are to be found.

Overall, the Franklin sub-sector is a fascinating place to visit replete with opportunities for adventure, adventures that are embedded in the very nature of the worlds on which they take place. Well worth a visit...

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Subsector Sourcebook 2: Franklin
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Subsector Sourcebook 1: Cascadia
Publisher: Gypsy Knights Games
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 11/12/2014 08:09:38
This work provides a detailed overview of the Cascadia sub-sector which is intended as part of the alternate Traveller universe setting Clement Sector... but of course it can be transplanted to wherever you want to put it in YOUR Traveller universe! Some of the worlds described here have already appeared in Gypsy Knights Games's "Quick Worlds" series, but they have been rewritten and tied more closely to the Clement Sector story. Others are brand new.

Starting with a sub-sector map and overview, we read that there are twenty inhabited solar systems here. Most are in loose clusters of worlds in adjacent hexes, but some are more remote. All are independent although those close together may have formed some kind of loose association with one another.

We then move on to the systems themselves. Beginning with a system overview, the physical, atmospheric and hydrographical details for the main inhabited world are given. The geography is described along with a small map of the planet. Then we get to more social aspects such as population distribution, government, notable laws and local culture. It's the sort of detail that an intending visitor would find helpful and can be built upon readily when the party has reason to land there. Or indeed if a character chooses that planet as their homeworld.

The worlds are quite different in style, varying from dictatorships to democracies. Laws regarding weapons possession/use and attitudes to alcohol and other drugs are made clear... plenty of opportunity to have a run-in with the average gun-toting thirsty character if they do not abide by local requirements! Some of the restrictions can be unusual - there's even a planet where sugar is forbidden, never mind more dubious substances such as coffee or booze. On some worlds, surveillance of everyday life is routine and accepted, on others individual freedom is a precious thing. Religion can be all-pervasive, or a matter for individual belief. There's even a 'company world' completely owned by a brewing company - this is one place where the consumption of alcohol is not only permitted but encouraged, during off-duty hours at least!

There's plenty of scope for adventure here, with a fascinating variety of worlds to visit. The overall impression is of a sub-sector populated by distinctive worlds each busy about its own pursuits, never mind whither the party goes there or not, a convincing 'alternate reality' feel that makes it all the more interesting.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Subsector Sourcebook 1: Cascadia
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Clement Sector
Publisher: Gypsy Knights Games
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 11/11/2014 08:00:21
This book presents an 'alternate' Traveller Universe setting, the one in which Gypsy Knights Games's material is set. It's an area of space on the far side of the galaxy from Earth, reached at least initially via a worm hole. The year is 2342, which makes the setting somewhat closer to 2300AD than most conventional Traveller settings. One of the chief differences is that the people you encounter still often feel connections and trace their roots back to a particular part of Earth.

There's a lot to take in, beginning with the history of the Sector starting with the middle of the 21st century and explaining how the peoples of Earth explored first their own solar system and then went further afield, spurred on by the development of the Zimm Drive, which is based on quantum entanglement. In a way this is a primitive 'Jump Drive', taking ships out of normal space for a period of time and reinserting them a considerable distance away, some 2 parsecs, and leading to the colonisation of several relatively local star systems... and eventually to the discovery of the worm hole that led to the worlds of the Clement Sector. Over the next couple of centuries the area began to be explored and colonies established on suitable planets... and then one day the worm hole collapsed. The people in Clement Sector were now on their own.

This then leads into a detailed gazetteer of the entire sector, with charts and descriptions of every system, colonised or not. There's a lot of relatively unexplored real estate out there if exploration and colonisation interests you. For those areas which have been colonised, more copious details are found in the relevant sourcebook in this series, although there are brief notes here.

Next comes a section on character generation. One thing to note is that, apart from one called the Hub Federation, there are no interstellar governments - so anyone wanting to have government employment (including military service) in their background needs to decide which government they worked for! Most of the regular Traveller careers are available in some form, however. It is useful to determine a homeworld, and there are tables to do this if you prefer it to be random rather by choice. Earth is included, as the worm hole did not collapse that long ago! This leads in to the allocation of background skills, including a range of survival skills depending on the sort of world the character grew up on.

For those wishing to enter the service of the Hub Federation there are notes on careers in the Navy (more details of this and other Hub Federation-specific careers are in the relevant sourcebooks), and there is also the option of entering the Cascadia Colonisation Authority. Otherwise, you can use most anything in the main Traveller rulebook. Another option is the Colonist career. Background information is provided to set the scene for these new careers.

Next come sections on technology and equipment, which are naturally somewhat different from standard Traveller although there is plenty of overlap and scope for using regular items in your game. Tech levels are generally around 10-11 with a cap at 12. This leads into starship design along with several specimens you can use, complete with illustrations, game statistics and plans.

Once we have the ships, there follows a section on starship operation, looking at everything from making a landing planetside to travelling across the sector. The discussion is wide-ranging, dealing with matters such as time and currency on the worlds you might visit as well as the nuts and bolts of using the Zimm drive to get around. Refuelling and piracy are also covered.

The next section looks at some of the larger and more significant corporations that may be encountered, names in the news, employers, suppliers, whatever interaction becomes necessary. There are plenty of plot seeds if you read the notes on each one carefully! Several organisations are given similar treatment (including a helpful bunch called the Gypsy Knights with a strangely familiar logo!).

The book ends with discussions on politics, religion and aliens. The politics in particular is expanded upon in other sourcebooks but it is a useful overview, particularly for those of worlds other than the ones you come from or know well. Finally there are suggestions for the type(s) of campaign you may wish to run in the Clement Sector... there's wide scope here for whatever you might have in mind.

This is a beautifully-constructed and fascinating corner of space which is well worth exploring!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Clement Sector
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Glory Days
Publisher: Alderac Entertainment Group
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 11/10/2014 08:55:00
This, the last sourcebook published for Brave New World, takes the story back to the Second World War, a time when deltas fought proudly for their nation and were hailed as heroes. It provides a spring-board for running adventures in such exciting times.

Starting, as usual, with an extensive in-character section, there's a change here... presentation is in the style of a news magazine as of course there was no World Wide Web to provide the webpage format of earlier volumes. It's written - as is the entire game - from an American standpoint, and describes the development of the Delta Squadron into which the reader is assumed to have enlisted (or been drafted), being set in 1942 after America has entered the war.

At this time the Delta Squadron is active in three places - the UK, North Africa and the Pacific. There's plenty of material about who is where and what is going on, and - apart from the presence of deltas - it all sticks pretty closely to the real-world version of WW2. They also have a spectacular main base, a flying aircraft carrier.

While the mores of the time meant that female deltas were restricted in the roles they could occupy in Delta Squadron (although they were at least allowed to enlist in it), others preferred to take on other roles such as the Ladies of Liberty - a group of female deltas who maintained law and order on the home front whilst others who'd been vigilantes were away at war. They seem adept at catching spies, too.

Amongst the discourse on what is going on home and abroad, the astute Guide can spot plenty of potential adventures to weave into a campaign wherever it is based. Naturally, the Axis forces have also cottoned on to the concept of recruiting deltas to their cause and so there is some information here about them and what they have been doing. Likewise, the Allies have their own delta organisations - people that the party may wish to work alongside or (especially if your players are not Americans) they may prefer to join.

The out-of-character section begins by detailing how to create deltas suitable for military service, including ten new power packages designed with warfare in mind - although they could equally well be used by contemporary deltas. Each comes with a ready-to-use archetype, who can be played as is or used as inspiration for your own character with that particular power package. Availability and cost of equipment and the military life are covered here as well.

Next comes a chapter on gadgets. There's an almost steam-punk element here, melding 1940s technology with fantastical ideas. The gadgets described range from aerial carriers to communications gear, jetbikes and the 'tank suit' (think mecha), all with a focus on warfare, of course.

Then Chapter 3 looks at new combat rules, designed to accommodate all-out war rather than the one-on-one or small group brawls previously covered in the rules. Vehicle combat (taking the term 'vehicle' loosely - anything from tanks to planes to submarines is included), chases, anti-aircraft fire, torpedoes, and a range of new weapons familiar to the battlefield but less common amongst superheroes are to be found here.

Then the Guide's Handbook section starts with a lot of advice on running a Glory Days campaign. It's quite different from the standard Brave New World one although there are plenty of similarities too. There's scope for a wide range of adventure types and plenty of information to help you make the most of them. There is also some good advice on taking your game forwards from 1942, which bits of real-world history to include, and how to weave in the superpowered elements to form a coherent whole. There are a lot of profiles of regular and superpowered individuals from both sides, and a complete adventure to get you started. It's set in North Africa and would work well as a one-off adventure if you are unsure of whether or not you want to play a full-blown World War Two campaign, or of course it could be used as an exciting start to one...

The Author's Afterword concentrates on two points, his admitted lack of specialist knowledge about WW2 and the need to understand how awful war really is, however much fun it can be to game. This latter point is one your own group needs to be clear on, should you decide to run Glory Days - and some groups may find it a subject not to their liking.

Overall, this is a skillful and exciting blend of fact and fantasy which, provided you don't mind meddling with history and don't think it belittles the true sacrifices made by those who have fought in real wars, should make for a memorable campaign.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Glory Days
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Covenant
Publisher: Alderac Entertainment Group
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 11/06/2014 08:49:48
Continuing the detailed analysis of the different factions present in the Brave New World setting, this book looks at The Covenant, the organisation set up by the Catholic Church in response to the delta issue.

As usual the first half of the book is devoted to detailed in-character information delivered in a web-page format (well, as near as you can on paper, anyway!), narrated by a priest who is also a delta. He starts off by introducing himself and tells of how he became first priest and then a delta. He then proceeds to the history of the Covenant and explores the ways in which people become members thereof, before talking about their sacred mission and discussing the structure and organisation under which they work.

Viewing their delta powers as gifts from God, Covenant deltas are saints in the making. You see, to become a saint you need to work miracles and be a virtuous person. Delta powers are pretty miraculous, so all they need to work on is their virtue... and then wait to be dead, the third requirement for sainthood! Those Catholics who are not in holy orders when they become deltas are fast-tracked into being at least a monk or nun when they join the Covenant.

Oh, and we are introduced to vampires who are, you guessed it, another particularly malign form of delta. They show all the classic signs of vampirism, though, and can be dealt with by sunlight, holy symbols, garlic, etc.

One good thing is the way in which theological debate has been woven through the account, the writer of the webpages did say that he'd studied under Jesuit teachers and it comes over well!

The mainstream Covenant works in accord with the American government, members not being required to register and serve in the same way as other deltas - something that causes a deal of resentment amongst deltas of other faiths. There's been a schism, too, within the ranks with some siding (openly or otherwise) with Defiance or at least going their own way... and yet the Covenant itself is covertly in favour of Defiance, or at least opposed to the martial rule and other measures promulgated by President Kennedy... and in time, fell out with the Kennedy administration and became outlawed, their privileges revoked.

The player section looks at what's needed to build a Covenant character. There's an array of special weapons that they can use, and a whistlestop tour of Catholic belief for players who don't know anything about it. There are two orders connected with the Covenant, with different approaches (and styles of dress). And then we come to the power package, which is basically the same for everyone who becomes a Covenant delta and are based around faith and traditions. This section ends with several archetypes.

The Guide's Handbook section, as always, gives the lowdown on what's really happening in the Covenant, and also includes a full adventure called 'For Goodness Sake' as well as some opposition such as the stats for vampires.

The Author's Afterword lets the cat out of the bag: he himself was raised Catholic. This leads to an interesting discussion of the relationship between religion and role-playing. (And here I too confess: I am both Christian and a role-player... not Catholic, though, I'm a Mormon.)

This is an excellent book with plenty of material to spawn ideas for your game. Indeed, when the local group first started playing Brave New World, my character was a 'tent evanglist' whose delta powers involved healing... and he too was convinced that they came from God!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Covenant
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Evil Unlimited
Publisher: Alderac Entertainment Group
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 11/05/2014 08:24:32
Evil Unlimited? These unabashed villains are an association of deltas who have chosen to put their powers to use for personal gain... and never mind anyone else. A bunch of criminals in other words, although they claim to be mere service providers, facilitators. Now, that's the sort of 'opposition' that you'd normally expect in a superhero game, but as you'll already have seen in Brave New World things are a little bit different. As a delta you either cooperate with an oppressive government or go 'rogue' in some way, as a dissident with Defiance or as an out-and-out villain... or just keep your head down and pretend you're normal, but there's not much of a game in that!

Presented in the standard format of a wealth of in-character material presented as a series of web pages, this time we have landed on the website of Evil Unlimited. They seem to be a sort of organised crime organisation, with a hierarchy and even the concept of earning a paycheque for your villany... Their stated mission is to perform extralegal services at a premium price. They even claim that they won't do assassinations. Hmmm.

These pages, aimed at new recruits into Evil Unlimited, cover the history and philosophy of the organisation, the sort of jobs they take on (including examples of recent or current ones) and some of the major players in the group. Fascinating stuff. Many, if not most, of their agents are freelancers, with only a few of the most trusted becoming full-time employees. You may decide to have the characters pick up the occasional job to make ends meet, or to encounter them on one side or another in whatever incident they're engaged in. There's plenty of scope. Even if you've gone the Delta Prime route, Evil Unlimited ranks high on the Primers' most wanted lists.

The out-of-character material presents some new power packages particularly suited to a life on the wrong side of the law, complete with archetype examples for each one. One of them is a werewolf, the others include forgers, smugglers and even a poisoner package.

The Guide's Handbook section reveals what is really going on within Evil Unlimited, as well as providing a wealth of advice about how to sucker the characters into working for them. There are a few bad guys to meet as well.

Next comes an adventure involving Evil Unlimited all ready to be run. "Evil Is As Evil Does" can be used to introduce characters to the organisation or to embroil them more deeply with it, as suits, and ostensibly involves rescuing a newly-found delta from a transport taking him to New Alcatraz. Naturally, there's a little bit more to it than that...

Finally, the Author's Afterword chats about what inspired the Evil Unlimited concept and how to use it to advantage in your game, as well as a few meanderings about what other projects he's engaged in.

Overall, a fun work with ample potential to put a distinctive spin on your game.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Evil Unlimited
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Crescent City
Publisher: Alderac Entertainment Group
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 11/03/2014 08:17:53
Crescent City, built on the ruins of what we know as Chicago, is the default 'home town' of the Brave New World game setting, and this book sets out to inform characters about the place in which they live through the by-now familiar format of an extensive series of in-character web pages.

If you want to base your game in Crescent City, or at least have the characters visit there, this is a useful resource... even if the authors of the webpages have the exact breezy, chatty tone as the writers of all the other webpages in other books in the series. Must be a style taught in the leading web writing schools across the Brave New World, I guess! Never mind, let's see what they have to say.

It's a lot more than a street map or a gazetteer. In fact there are only a few wide-area maps tucked away in the back of the book, unless you count a plan of New Alcatraz. There's history, starting with the battle that destroyed Chicago (and what brought that about, a quite tragic tale of revenge) and how the city that's there now grew out of the very ashes, built by a single corporation and governed by an appointed mayor (as you might expect given the permanent state of martial rule that exists in America). There's plenty about the deltas who live there now - legally and otherwise - from the Delta Prime HQ to a hotbed of Defiance supporters and even the gaol of New Alcatraz in the middle of the lake that has been specially built to hold criminal deltas.

Next comes an area by area description of the city, with a wealth of background to make it come to life... and, if you're the Guide, to spawn plot ideas just about whatever manner of game you intend to run. Lots of people who might interact with the party, hire them or oppose them, places to visit and so on. Some maps would have been nice, but if you need them and have the time, the descriptions are enough to come up with at least a rough sketch of the lay of the land.

Then comes the player material, with a selection of new power packages. These are all linked in some way to living in Crescent City (although most if not all could be used elsewhere). Each comes with an archetype to use as-is or provide inspiration for your own character taking that power package.

The Guide section, after remarking that the Guide is welcome, indeed encouraged, to stamp their own mark on Crescent City, then as usual lifts the lid on what has gone before and tells it like it is. There are quite a few Crescent City based adversaries to throw at the characters too.

This is followed by 'The Teleterrorists' which is an adventure set in Crescent City ready for you to run. It's designed as an introduction to the City as well, so would suit a party arriving from elsewhere or as the start of a new game. As a result, there's plenty going on and it gives the characters a good chance to get embedded into the place quickly... with the climax occurring at a game of deltaball (American Football for the superpowered).

Finally, the Author's Afterword contains snippets of personal information and explains that since the move to AEG he's not writing every word himself but getting contributions, particularly in the shape of well-defined profiles and stat blocks for NPCs (which he doesn't like writing much!).

Overall a very useful tome if you intend your game to visit or be set in Crescent City, as well as the first actual scenario to play.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Crescent City
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Bargainers
Publisher: Alderac Entertainment Group
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 10/31/2014 09:17:54
This book sets out to explain a different path, for characters who want power but without becoming a standard delta. They are the bargainers, magic-users of the Brave New World if you like, doing their thing by making pacts, bargains, with spirits. Generally not very nice ones. The process starts pretty much like becoming a delta, surviving a near-death harrowing experience, only the character does not become a delta. They start hearing voices instead...

The first part of the book delivers in-character information in the form of a series of web pages, these ones written by a Mister Twist for beginning Bargainers explaining to them just what their new-found powers might be. Dealing with demons, basically. There's all manner of background material, the long history of how the demons came to be and how they interact with mere mortals, deltas though they might be. It creates a mythology all of its own, which may not sit too well with players who have religious beliefs - just sit back and remember that this is a game, or decide that you won't play a Bargainer or even have them in your game if you feel this is all too offensive to your faith. This cosmology posits a Heaven and a Hell, each with inhabitants, and it is the Demons from Hell that Bargainers associate with.

The first true bargainer, it's said, was Houdini. There's a fair bit of background on him, and then we get down to the nitty-gritty of how to make a deal with a demon and the basic ground rules that you should adhere to for your own safety and sanity. There's also plenty on bargainer society and support, the folks a new bargainer will associate with and learn from. The main means of communication for these quite solitary types is a mailing list and an annual convention.

Bargainers have enemies too, not just the government and Delta Prime, but the Covenant (representing Christian belief) and even devil-worshippers. They can cause quite a nuisance of themselves, even before they manage to make contact with a real demon... and then there's the Heavenly Host, the angels themselves. And other magic-users like shamans and practicioners of voodoo.

Eventually we emerge into game mechanics with a chapter Bargains and Bargainers, which takes all this in-character material and shows you how to make it work in game terms. There are six bargainer archetypes to use as is or as inspiration for your own character, and a wealth of other material as well. Bargainers gain access to some actual magic spells, you see, and these are laid out for you here.

The Guide's Handbook section follows, and as usual promises to reveal the truth of the matter. Along with that, it explains how to take the demon's part in a bargain and presents a host of appropriate adversaries.

Finally, the Author's Afterword explains how Brave New World is by no means a standard superhero game, and reveals a little about how his vision for it hangs together.

Are bargainers optional? They certainly do not need to play a large role, but if they are not there, somewhere in the background, your game will be the poorer for their absence.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Bargainers
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Displaying 1 to 15 (of 1712 reviews) Result Pages:  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 ...  [Next >>] 
Back
You must be logged in to rate this
0 items
 Gift Certificates
Powered by DrivethruRPG