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    The Starfarer's Gazette #1
    by Daniel H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/20/2011 18:40:43

    The Starfarer's Gazette is somewhat of a spiritual heir to the old "JTAS" magazine as produced by GDW.

    It starts off with some news items (set in the Terra/Sol universe instead of the Spinward Marches though) that help add some flavor for GMs and players, and then heads into a series of detailed articles as can be seen from the TOC in the preview. The central "idea" of the Gazette is that the reviews are published by a travelling starship whose crew visits the listed locations and reviews the products they are given. This is a mildly droll format, and the Gazette does not over-do it, which I appreciated.

    "Valediction Freeport" is very nicely done and establishes enough material while leaving quite a lot of leeway for GMs to customize the setting. This semi-legal asteroid port could prove to be a very handy base of operations or at least a consistent destination for spacefaring players looking for legal, barely legal and less-than-legal items.

    A new faction called the "Octopi" (or sometimes "Octapi" - I suspect this second form is a typo) is introduced, and could be anything from a rogue group of AIs to a nutty clan of mutants to a full-on alien threat. The Octopi could make a useful recurring "weird contact", and like most things in the Terra/Sol repertoire are detailed enough to be useful but vague enough to use.

    Also included are writeups on a few corporations who supply the sorts of goods that players might encounter, as well as some "gun magazine" like reviews of a few of their wares. These reviews read just like an enthusiast magazine's review would and are enjoyable to read as well as introducing new equipment that can be more interesting than, say, a stock "TL-9 AutoPistol".

    Curiously, after the end of the gazette on page 55, you have another 20 or so pages of equipment, vehicles and a brand new Traveller career ("Average Joe" - the career for those guys who only get credited as "Office worker #2", "Taxi Driver", "Well Dressed Executive" or "Pretty Waitress" in a movie). I guess this was some material that was too good to leave out, but didn't fit well in the format?

    Either way, it's some fun stuff, and the more advanced "stunner" treatment and the ability to pimp your "Agus Familia Viajando" grav car with a rear spoiler and cup holders to protect your rich, neocorinthian leather seats (brought to you by Eridani Aerospace, of course!) holds a lot of potential to spice up a Terra/Sol Traveller game, or any other Traveller game for that matter.

    I hope Terra/Sol does more of these Gazettes.



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    The Starfarer's Gazette #1
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    Six Guns Gauss Weapons
    by Mysterious B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/11/2011 14:32:14

    A gauss weapon uses electro-magnetic forces to throw a tiny needle shaped projectile at very high velocities into the target. This is not 26 pages of illustrations of different weapons and small statistical blocks – these are full-fledged descriptions of different classes of gauss weapons and their accompanying ammunition rounds. Complementing the illustrations is a chatty commentary that breaks some of the technical details into more enjoyable reading. This supplement would lend a hand in helping a player and referee flush out some of the particulars. Nevertheless, there is a kicker (and speaking as a Referee, a very nice one), not all of the equipment herein is necessarily “enhanced” than the non-specific versions. Without a doubt, a number of items have noteworthy negative aspects or are customized to a particular objective and poor for other applications. On the other hand, what they all have in common they are more appealing than the basic rulebook version.



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    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    Six Guns Gauss Weapons
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    Into the Star
    by Michael G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/08/2010 13:45:16

    This is one of the few solo adventures i have ever seen put out for Traveller, and for that it gets a thumbs up. I found it fairly easy to follow along, although the plot was a little on the thin side. The introductory material to the Twilight Sector was useful.



    Rating:
    [3 of 5 Stars!]
    Into the Star
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    Somnium Mundus
    by Michael G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/08/2010 13:35:31

    I really couldnt get into this adventure at any level, and just never really found a use for it in my adventures. That being said, while on the generic side, there is certainly nothing wrong with this adventure.



    Rating:
    [3 of 5 Stars!]
    Somnium Mundus
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    Ancient Trails: So It Begins
    by Michael G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/08/2010 13:34:20

    A bit on the generic side for my tastes, but nothing is actually wrong with the adventure itself. You cant beat the price. I would suggest this to anyone trying to get a campaign started and no ideas on how to get it off the ground. The price certainly helps.



    Rating:
    [3 of 5 Stars!]
    Ancient Trails:  So It Begins
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    Somnium Mundus: Tileset Pack
    by Michael G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/08/2010 13:11:10

    A useful tileset pack, although i cant say i was all that impressed with the adventure itself. I'm not a huge fan of "dark" adventures, although i know some can turn that way. Again, useful tileset.



    Rating:
    [3 of 5 Stars!]
    Somnium Mundus: Tileset Pack
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    Ancient Trails: So It Begins - Audio Enhancements
    by Michael G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/08/2010 12:37:09

    For a free item, this was kind of a neat departure from the norm. I liked the idea of audio enhancements, although to be honest i wish there had been more to this.

    That being said, the idea is still pretty cool.



    Rating:
    [3 of 5 Stars!]
    Ancient Trails:  So It Begins - Audio Enhancements
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    Ancient Trails: So It Begins
    by Jim C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/02/2010 23:57:28

    Some of the characters and organisations in this scenario are interesting, but it all feels amazingly generic, presenting a series of jobs out of the big list of SF plots that end up with the PCs handed some alien gewgaw that appears to be the hook for later adventures. There's little actively wrong with it, apart from some slips of editing.



    Rating:
    [3 of 5 Stars!]
    Ancient Trails:  So It Begins
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    Somnium Mundus: Tileset Pack
    by Erathoniel W. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/30/2010 16:29:33

    These tiles look nice. That's my (arguably not so) professional opinion there.

    If you ever need a simple science fiction background, or if you run Somnium Mundus, these can be a good place to start.

    Hey, they're free, so if you won't hurt for the 50 megabytes later, get it.



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    Somnium Mundus: Tileset Pack
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    Into the Star
    by RONALD S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/21/2009 10:51:12

    ANOTHER downloadable winner for me! this is a fine introductory scenario for solo play, and could be modified for use with players and a GM



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    Into the Star
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    Somnium Mundus
    by Nathan O. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/20/2009 12:08:43

    A great start for any Traveller game so have fun with it... :)



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    Somnium Mundus
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    Into the Star
    by Nathan O. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/20/2009 12:01:19

    A great solo game traveller systen for Twilight Sector have fun with it...



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    Into the Star
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    Twilight Sector Campaign Setting Sourcebook Revised Edition
    by Richard H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/12/2009 16:35:01

    In a word: Incomplete. What is there is very good, interesting and detailed. Unfortunately, there is a lot more information that, in my opinion, should have been included but was not.

    This setting has a very Transhuman feel. Characters can be Mainline Humans, Scientifically Induced Mutants (SIMS), Natural Mutants (NM), Uplifted Animals or possibly Artificial Intelligences (AI). The writers use the Alien Traits presented in the TMB as a baseline for developing their mutations, which I feel works very well and is quite inspired. However, in the discussion it states that baseline humans have a lifespan of about 200 years; however there is no discussion about how this very long lifespan affects Character Creation or Aging. Without further guidance, it should be possible to create a 100 year-old character that has completed 25 terms of service and has an incredible number of skills. Alternately, characters would be only in their early thirties (per the basic assumptions of the TMB) with no explanation of why they didn’t stay in longer. No discussions are made about how these longer life spans have affected society or the rules for military service. After 25 terms, everyone should be Rank 6+; the rules are silent on this issue. There are no careers presented, nor any descriptions of how to alter existing careers for this setting.

    The history is interesting and seems to logically lead to the setting as presented; the current year is 2991. There is a nice map of the entire setting showing all the major polities out to the edge of known space. There doesn’t seem to be any regions on the map that are not controlled by one of the great powers. Even the OTU had regions with a lot of independent worlds. This setting doesn’t seem to have such an area.

    There are no aliens in the setting, although alien ruins have been found. This leaves things open to the Referee or to future development by Terra/Sol Games. From the hints given in the book it looks like the writers have something in mind.

    The Twilight Sector itself is actually a subsector. Only six of the worlds are mapped and detailed. The rest of the map is blank; not even stars are shown. This was another mixed bag for me. The detail of the worlds was very good, several plot hooks are available in every system and there are nice world maps and system maps. But again, while this is the edge of the explored, none of the unexplored is even shown. A lot of work would have to be done by a Referee to develop the unexplored portion of the sector. It would have been nice if one or two unexplored worlds would have been detailed.

    The setting also uses the Warp Drive variation from the TMB and FTL radio that travels at the same speed as the ships. This is different and interesting, but no other explanation is given about ship design and no sample ships are included. There is some discussion about how Warp 8 is possible, but since nothing in the TMB rules allow more than a rating of 6, it leaves a big hole in designing ships for the setting. Also, throughout the text there is mention of city-sized ships called Dreadnaughts. No information is actually provided about them, such as where they go (or don’t go), how many other ships they can carry, how big they actually are in tons… nothing.

    One of the worlds in the Twilight Sector is Terra/Sol, an exact duplicate of Earth, down to the shape of the continents. Obviously this is one of the big mysteries of the setting. Terra/Sol represents a nice alternate to Earth: alternate countries (Aztec Empire, Republic of the Plains etc), but again, details are lacking. No geopolitical map of Terra/Sol is provided, so even though countries are discussed, the reader doesn’t really know where they are or how much territory they cover.

    The artwork is very good overall. There some color pictures, shaded pictures and line drawings; a nice variety of artwork. There are only a few obvious typos, and none that really confused you. Several of the tables could use a bit of formatting (the mutant ability tables specifically), but again nothing that caused significant confusion for me.

    This is a mixed review because it is a mixed product. What is there is very good, but there seems to be a lot missing. Future products will no doubt fill in these details, but I was hoping they would actually be in this book. In my opinion, the mutant generation system alone makes it worth the $12. The Transhuman feel of the setting is also very nice and shows how such a setting assumption can be fit into the Traveller rules by Mongoose.

    One final note, the book is obviously published under the Open Gaming License that Mongoose has provided for Traveller, but the book itself does not contain a copy of the OGL, nor does it tell you what parts of the book are OGL and what parts are Intellectual Property. This is a BIG miss and needs to be fixed right away.



    Rating:
    [3 of 5 Stars!]
    Twilight Sector Campaign Setting Sourcebook Revised Edition
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