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    Shipbook: Mirador
    by David T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/23/2021 13:46:30

    This detils a 1,000 ton passenger liner for Traveller deck plans are colour coded with blue green and red ink. There is extensive materiel on the ship and Excelsior tours. Then about half way through it jumps into a research version of the class, with a breakdown of how a group might purchase the ship and the economics of owning one. I was impressed at the thought that had gone into this.

    I was somewhat disappointed by the deckplans, but overall good value for money.



    Rating:
    [4 of 5 Stars!]
    Shipbook: Mirador
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    Shipbook: Mirador
    by Jeffrey Z. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/11/2021 15:03:31

    This article originally appeared in the September 2014 issue of Freelance Traveller.

    Good ship material has been hard to come by in Traveller; often, descriptions are sketchy or nonexistent, or deckplans don’t match data sheets and descriptions. Shipbook: Mirador breaks the trend, at least for Terra/Sol’s Twilight Sector setting.

    The Mirador-class is presented as more than a strict utilitarian ship; rather, the author indicates that the idea of luxury, rather than efficiency, was designed in from the keel up, while keeping the ship at a manageable (reasonable for the PCs to be principals on) 1,000 tons displacement.

    The meat of the book starts with some discussion on ship interiors, most of which is probably assumed understood by most players—but which is ultimately probably better for being stated, to ensure that everyone is “on the same page”. Since there are some differences between a ‘stock’ Traveller universe and Terra/Sol’s universe, understanding the Terra/Sol perspective, even in what could be viewed as ‘trivial’ things, is a good thing for anyone wanting to use the Mirador outside their setting. (One example is the use of “zero-G” [really “centigravity”, hundredths of a G] shafts as a possible means of travel between decks. Another is the explanation and use of ‘overage’ in the deckplans.)

    As noted, the Mirador is, at heart, a luxury cruiser, and the detailed deck-by-deck ‘standard configuration’ description that follows is for the ship set up in this mode. The design is for about 50 passengers, with a crew of 17 (assuming six gunners and three stewards). The deck plans are fairly conventional, though the various icons (for chairs, consoles, et cetera) are slightly more detailed than established conventions.

    Deck plans, which appear to be 15mm-compatible if printed out on 5½×8½ paper (but watch the notes on decks 9—12!), appear side-by-side with text descriptions, though no effort appears to have been made to align the plan for a deck with the beginning of the deck’s text description. The text does note when an area is built around a repurposed component (e.g., the ship’s bar from a standard chem lab plus overage), which serves to point out that referees and ship designers should feel free to use their imaginations to achieve their design goals.

    Following the look at the standard Mirador is a section focussing on Excelsior Tours, a small corporation that uses two Miradors to provide luxury transport on a single route. This section gives a close look at the major personalities of the corporation, and its history and operations, but it also notes where the corporation’s Miradors differ from the standard (in the details and utilization; structurally, they’re pretty much ‘stock’). The personality overviews are enough to make them distinctive NPCs, and each is illustrated, but the illustrations are disappointingly cartoonish; with rendering programs like DAZ3D and Bryce being a dime (or less!) a dozen, and even game programs like The Sims (and its successors) being able to do credible ‘renderoids’ of people for head-and-shoulders ‘photography’, there really isn’t a reason that these couldn't have been far better than they are.

    The section on Excelsior Tours concludes with an assortment of adventure seeds, from one-shots to options for continuing campaign involvement.

    The next section looks at the RSS Rosalind Franklin, a Mirador modified to be a research ship rather than a luxury transport. This section starts with a look at Dr Talia Mason, the owner, and how she came to acquire the ship. A full-page ‘sidebar’ discusses how it was ultimately financed, in terms of how PCs might be able to afford to do it. This is followed by an in-depth look at the ship itself, and it is noted here that the Rosalind Franklin has a mirrored finish, and it is this ship that is shown in the cover illustration.

    The Rosalind Franklin is a ‘working’ ship, and while still luxurious, does not provide steward service (reducing the crew to fifteen—there is an extra gunner). The major change is that the staterooms on Decks Five through Eight are swapped out for labs of various types, and modified plans for these decks (plus Deck Four, which has also had some changes) are provided in this section.

    The section closes with another set of adventure seeds, this time using the Rosalind Franklin and her ‘mission’ as the focus, and with a brief discussion of the economics of the Rosalind Franklin.

    The book closes out with a set of alternative trade rules for passengers and cargo, and notes that these rules, rather than those in the Mongoose Traveller Core Rulebook, are the default assumed rules for trade in the Twilight Sector setting.

    Overall, this product is worth the money as a PDF, but it would be hard to say whether a print version—at likely two-to-three times the price—would be as good a value. You get a good look at a ship in two different configurations, and with a lot of background material, and good (if unspectacular), readable deck plans—but the deckplans would take a bit of resizing work to make them usable with miniatures. Artwork is a bit scanty, and what there is really can’t be characterized as other than ‘uninspiring’. On a five-scale, I can’t really give this more than a generous three-and-a-half—but a flat three would be too low.



    Rating:
    [4 of 5 Stars!]
    Tinker, Spacer, Psion, Spy
    by Jeffrey Z. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/11/2021 14:56:35

    This article originally appeared in Freelance Traveller’s December 2011 issue.

    On the Shelf

    The full-cover image looks like an illustration from a horror story mad scientist’s lab, mostly in “sea colors”. The Twilight Sector banner logo is at the top, with the title immediately below it. At the bottom is the author’s name and the Traveller Compatible Product logo.

    Initial Impressions

    The volume has a good heft; it’s not a massively-heavy tome, but there’s the promise of “good meat” in the weight. A perusal of the Table of Contents continues to be suggestive; not only does it list a dozen and a half careers, but it includes setting-relevant information (such as languages, longevity, and education), and “early life terms”. Each career has an illustrated page of narrative to convey the ‘flavor’ of the career, followed by the career tables in the standard Mongoose Traveller format (You must have the Traveller Main Book or equivalent), interspersed with explanatory sidebars.

    On Closer Inspection

    Not unreasonably, there’s a fairly close linkage between this book and the Twilight Sector main setting book (whose possession is very strongly recommended). Several new skills and benefits are presented, and several Traveller Main Book skills are modified. Many careers have variations in skills awarded or career events based on the Twilight Sector nation that the character is from. A small number have supplementary rules (such as the Purse Check for journalists). As a result, these careers can’t really be used outside the Twilight Sector setting without some careful tweaking by the referee. Nevertheless, there are some interesting careers developed in this volume, and if none of them are developed as extensively as in Mongoose’s career books (green stripes, e.g., High Guard, Dilettante, Scout, etc.), they are certainly developed well enough to be useful and interesting, even where they overlap with core careers.

    (Oddly enough, while the Tinker, Spacer, and Spy (Espionage) careers are easy to find, there doesn’t seem to be any Psion career, nor discussion of psions and psionics as modifiers to other careers.)

    Twilight Sector character generation rules have some significant differences from the standard Traveller rules (but these differences aren’t incompatible with core Traveller), and those differences are assumed as defaults for this volume. They are principally in determining when a character musters out for play, but they can also affect a character’s expected longevity and whether (and which) skills (and backstory) were acquired before the character reached age 18. Education and languages are also areas in which there are noticeable differences between core Traveller and the Twilight Sector setting.

    A sad omission from the volume are adventures or adventure seeds based on the careers presented. The Twilight Sector setting is both rich enough and different enough from the core Traveller setting that such adventures would have been useful, both for further establishment of the ‘flavor’ of the career, and for showing (and possibly extending) the richness of the setting.

    The production of this volume suffers one potentially serious flaw: the text in many of the tables is of a rather light weight, and doesn’t quite show up as well as it should when the background is grey. This makes the text unnecessarily difficult, though not impossible, to read.

    Conclusion

    If you are running a campaign in the Twilight Sector setting, this book is at least as much of a must-have as the extended career books are for core Traveller. For campaigns in other settings, it might not be as immediately useful for an inexperienced referee because of the needed tweaking, but having it can hardly be classified as a waste of money.



    Rating:
    [4 of 5 Stars!]
    Tinker, Spacer, Psion, Spy
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    Somnium Mundus: Audio Enhancements
    by David C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/10/2020 10:08:52

    this and the tileset is mostly useful for VTT systems, which I don't use. While the voice acting if good, there isn't the ability for players to interrupt the speakers and ask questions - which would be the case if the GM role-played the scenese instead of just playing the audio.



    Rating:
    [2 of 5 Stars!]
    Somnium Mundus: Audio Enhancements
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    Into the Star
    by Sean S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/25/2019 06:59:14

    My review is basically what Mike G. wrote over 6 years ago (see below), but the publisher still hasn't corrected / updated. I'd give it 2 stars for the unresolved technical issues which makes it largely unreadable, but it was free, so it gets a 3.



    Rating:
    [3 of 5 Stars!]
    Into the Star
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    Into the Star
    by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/02/2018 03:56:23

    An Endzeitgeist.com review

    This adventure clocks in at 32 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, leaving us with 30 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

    Now, first things first: This acts as an introductory adventure for the Twilight Sector and also as a solo-adventure – not “solo”, as one GM and player, but as “choose your own adventure”-solo!

    The pdf assumes the use of the Mutant Creation rules – you can play a Mod SIM (scientifically induced mutation, weak social standing -1) or a Natural mutant (NM, weak social standing -2); with Resis Capra, we get a sample pregen for your use if you don’t have the time or inclination to make one yourself. A d66 table for negative and positive mutations is provided, including the respective descriptions.

    Upon reading these, you will, alas, notice that this was, obviously, the freshman offering of the company: The white borders around images have not been cropped, partially making text jumbled or overlapping it. E.g. the number for entry #6 is, annoyingly, hidden by an artwork. Also slightly annoying - #49 is basically: Try again! That could be in the respective failure conditions right there sans flipping pages. Entry number 50 is also completely obscured by the b/w-map. And no, I will not tell you what this adventure is about – it makes no sense to cover its details, considering that any coverage would SPOIL the adventure for the only person who’d undertake it. Suffice to say, there is some mystery set up for future scenarios…

    Conclusion:

    Editing and formatting are okay, if not perfect – particularly the images overlapping text is annoying indeed. Cartography and interior artworks are b/w and nice. Layout adheres to a 1-column b/w-standard and the pdf internally hyperlinked – clicking on “go to #X” will put you at the respective entry.

    Michael J Cross and Matthew Hope deliver a per se nice, unpretentious solo-adventure here; while it’s not exactly mind-boggling, it makes for a solid form of entertainment for a while. That being said, the overlay issues are really grating and drag down the experience a bit. At the same time, this is FREE. And honestly, as a FREE supplement, this is worth checking out if you need your RPG-fix and are in the mood for some scifi/space opera action. Hence, my final verdict will clock in at 3 stars.

    Endzeitgeist out.



    Rating:
    [3 of 5 Stars!]
    Tinker, Spacer, Psion, Spy
    by Peter P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/04/2017 17:00:07

    If you are a Traveller rules purist, this product isn't for you. However if you like alternate rules that add something to the game this product is for you. I love the alternate character generation rules presented in this book. I don't like everything, but that doesn't mean it is bad. A couple of things just don't fit well in my game, but they might in yours. Now that said, the flavor of the book is geared towards the Twilight Sector camapign and not traditional Traveller. You can still use the alternate rules but you will have to do a little extra work to fit it to your Traveller universe. I give this product overall high marks.



    Rating:
    [4 of 5 Stars!]
    Tinker, Spacer, Psion, Spy
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    Ancient Trails: So It Begins
    by kara s. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/05/2015 11:45:33

    Not much more than an adventure hook and a couple side encounters that have some flimsy railroading to them.

    There's imediatly a test on how well and how detailed players secure cargo. Then an encounter with tons of fluff on why it's not viable to solve nonviolently or bother with following up on. Then the cargo is broken anyways with no explination. I feel this gets me into an awkward spot as a dm where there's no place for me to take this adventure if pcs would look into things like this. There is, but it's in no way looked into here.

    Then if you get past there there's another thing that the pcs would probably only find through investigation that would've shaken an earlier part of the mission, and this thing isnt even tangently relateted to the mission so far.

    Also another unrelated location in there between a couple things with no explination.

    It's good for a few ideas, but for an adventure start it has potential to back the type of dm who would use a boxxed adventure like is presented here into a corner of improv when players dont follow blindly along.



    Rating:
    [3 of 5 Stars!]
    Ancient Trails:  So It Begins
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    Techbook: Chrome
    by P-O B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/25/2013 07:31:48

    Classic Traveller is inspired by Science Fiction before cyber-technology started to appear (with a few exceptions) in Science Fiction. So, in Classic Traveller there are no rules for cybertech.

    There was a short article series in JTAS #02, #03 and #04 that talked about the differences between robots, cyborgs, androids, etc. We had to wait until the book 2300 AD Earth/Cybertech Sourcebook for 2300AD before GDW produced any good rules for cybertech, But this was for another RPG and not for Traveller and only 13 pages of that book was about different types of cybertech.

    Cybertech might not fit well (if it is common) in the OTU. But for an ATU that needs a more modern feel, rules for cybertech are needed. Terra/Sol Games has produced a book that fills the gap; Techbook: Chrome.

    Techbook: ChromeChrome is a well-known cyberpunk term, known from William Gibson’s Burning Chrome. It’s clever title for this book.

    The contents in the book are just what you expect, and more. There are rules covering Cybernetic Replacements and Biologicals and Accessories and Cyborgs and Cyrgeware.

    Cybernetic Replacements is just what you expect it is. Biologicals is the same but these replacement are grown from organic tissue. You can buy biological upgrades and combine it with the cybertech. This can make your setting really feel like Bladerunner.

    The Accessories section of the book are about improvements or additions of the body to add a function that a normal person doesn’t have. These can be both Cybernetic and Biological additions.

    The Cyborg section of the book is about cyborgs. A cyborg is defined as an individual whose brain (and possibly other organs) have been placed in a robotic shell. This section of the book discusses lots of aspects of being a cyborg, including braincase, “food” and combat.

    The section called Cyrgeware is about the ability to be able to change something (a function or appearance) within your body.

    Most of the illustrations in the book are in grayscale and are really good. There are a few in color but only one (showing a sexy cyborg) except the cover is worth mentioning.

    An alternative for this book would be 2300 AD Earth/Cybertech Sourcebook for 2300AD or Supplement 8: Cybernetics from Mongoose. But in my opinion, Techbook: Chrome is more interesting. It would be very useful in an ATU where you want cybertech to be more prominent.

    The review is also posted at the Zhodani base blog: http://wp.me/p2o79h-Ty



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    Techbook: Chrome
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    Ancient Trails, Witness to History
    by Mark G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/19/2013 13:07:30

    An excellent construct of the "Ancient Trail" series. It continues where the first adventure leaves off and has adventurers find evidence of the Ancients and follows its trail. I RECOMMEND IT.



    Rating:
    [4 of 5 Stars!]
    Ancient Trails, Witness to History
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    Into the Star
    by Mark G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/01/2013 11:01:44

    It is a very good intro to the Twilight Sector of space but some errors have been made in its publishing. Page 14 has an image overshadowing some words that can be easily fixed. However, the final page the Map not only overshadows but blocks the final entry (#50) as well as the Epilogue. This map should be on a separate page as well as a map legend and description.



    Rating:
    [3 of 5 Stars!]
    Into the Star
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    Techbook: Chrome
    by Harry S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/26/2013 23:41:53

    Not really a review but definitely high praise for this most excellent supplement! I am a sucker for anything 'cybernetic' and this book has those in spades! I particularly liked the chapter on Cyrgeware, a fine blending of nanotech, advanced materials and optimization choices galore! I wholeheartedly recommend this Terra-Sol offering to anyone running a scifi game using cybernetics; 5 stars and well deserved!

    On a side note, I noticed in the text that they are working on a new book detailing A.I.s. If it is anything like Techbook: Chrome, I WILL be buying!



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    Techbook: Chrome
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    Somnium Mundus Adventure Bundle [BUNDLE]
    by Brian H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/22/2013 14:30:55

    I got this as part of the Somnium Mundus bundle. What I was looking for was sci-fi maps and tiles on my search. What I stumbled on here was a nice little sci-fi mini-adventure with some nice looking tile sets and for an added bonus, some audio clips of the adventure, sound effects and a little music for the club scene. I pulled this up while searching for maps and these tiles will come in handy in any sci-fi campaign but this was made for the Traveller universe. The adventure is done quite well and the added audio only enhances it. This is superb for a free product. This could probably be adapted to just about any sci-fi setting though, who knows maybe my GM will use it in one of our Traveller sessions.



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    Somnium Mundus Adventure Bundle [BUNDLE]
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    Somnium Mundus: Audio Enhancements
    by Brian H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/22/2013 14:30:21

    I got this as part of the Somnium Mundus bundle. What I was looking for was sci-fi maps and tiles on my search. What I stumbled on here was a nice little sci-fi mini-adventure with some nice looking tile sets and for an added bonus, some audio clips of the adventure, sound effects and a little music for the club scene. I pulled this up while searching for maps and these tiles will come in handy in any sci-fi campaign but this was made for the Traveller universe. The adventure is done quite well and the added audio only enhances it. This is superb for a free product. This could probably be adapted to just about any sci-fi setting though, who knows maybe my GM will use it in one of our Traveller sessions.



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    Somnium Mundus: Audio Enhancements
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    Somnium Mundus: Tileset Pack
    by Brian H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/22/2013 14:29:32

    I got this as part of the Somnium Mundus bundle. What I was looking for was sci-fi maps and tiles on my search. What I stumbled on here was a nice little sci-fi mini-adventure with some nice looking tile sets and for an added bonus, some audio clips of the adventure, sound effects and a little music for the club scene. I pulled this up while searching for maps and these tiles will come in handy in any sci-fi campaign but this was made for the Traveller universe. The adventure is done quite well and the added audio only enhances it. This is superb for a free product. This could probably be adapted to just about any sci-fi setting though, who knows maybe my GM will use it in one of our Traveller sessions.



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    Somnium Mundus: Tileset Pack
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