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MPS Complura-Class Passenger Liner
by Wayne G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/23/2017 14:29:18

Travellers travel, and typically book passage on a scheduled route like anybody else. If it's going to be a passenger liner, instead of waving your hand and saying "And you arrive at Praxis IV," they can have adventures enroute. The Complura-Class Passenger Liner is perfect for that scenario.

The deckplans are extensive and keyed, no matter where the characters wander. I enjoyed the booklet's Exotic Dish d66 table, which serves up delights like Scrambled maharedi eggs, Living sting beetle maggots, and Thin slices of crispy fried nijima sausage.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
MPS Complura-Class Passenger Liner
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Vehicle Handbook
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/27/2017 07:43:16

Spacecraft are all very well, but once you reach your destination, how do you get around? Having the appropriate land, sea and air vehicles can go a long way to making other planets feel real, alien, exotic... or whatever impression you are trying to get across. Vehicles can also be a source of adventure: perhaps it is hard to get hold of one when you need it, or maybe offworlders have to use a specific form of transport. Indeed, they can end up being the adventure: many years ago, a spectacular Traveller adventure was spawned at a Games Fair convention in the UK when a bunch of players decided that they weren't staying around for the riot that had broken out and stole a groundcar... unfortunately none of them knew how to drive it, and their exploits on the way back to the starport became the stuff of legend!

The Introduction lays out the purpose of the book clearly. The design system is simple and straightforward, but fits in with everything else so far published. The emphasis is on what the vehicle can do, how fast it goes and what it can carry. That's what you need to know as far as game mechanics are concerned... most of the rest is window-dressing.

Chapter 1: New Rules provides some additional rules that you will need to make it all work. There are notes about resupply and maintenance, sensors, detection of vehicles and even things like can the vehicle tow something else (or indeed, be towed)... and of course the pleasures and perils of the used vehicle market! They also may be specifically designed for a purpose: combat, say, or off-road operation.

We then move on to Chapter 2: Vehicle Design. It's a seven-stage process, very streamlined, and once you are used to it you can crank out new vehicles in a matter of minutes. Actual construction times and costs are likely to be a little more, though there are advantages to mass-production. Most parties will be looking to buy (or rent) rather than make their own vehicles from scratch, however. Starting with chassis type and tech level (stage 1), you then decide the number of 'spaces' the vehicle has (stage 2, which determines the basic parameters for the vehicle), add weapons and armour if required (stage 3), customise it if you want to (stage 4), work out how many crew are needed and passengers can be carried (stage 5), allocate cargo space (stage 6), and finalise your design (stage 7)... and you're done! This is a toolkit rather than hard and fast rules, and the Referee is always at liberty to deviate if desired. An example (a fairly ordinary-looking ground vehicle, a rugged van basically) is worked through in detail to demonstrate the process, and the next four chapters go into more detail about chassis types, armour, weapons, and customisation.

Grouped by basic chassis type - light ground vehicle through gravitics-powered and unpowered ones, then boats, submersible and aircraft - there are loads of options to help you come up with exactly what you need. You can even have ornithopters and walkers if you want. Armour is generally a case of strategically-placed plating, then on to weapons, as many and as varied as you can imagine. Weapons can be mounted in various manners, and a wide range of generic ones are provided... and then comes customisation. Your imagination is pretty much the limit, although there are suggestions galore and an in-character advertisement for a vehicle design consultancy!

Next, things get a bit exotic with Chapter 7: Biotech. This may or may not be commonplace in your universe, or it may be very localised. The chapter assumes that it is rare but possible, and assumes it needs at least a TL10 world to create biotech vehicles, but that the biotech vehicles themselves operate two tech levels lower. If biotech is commonplace, you can ignore these restrictions. Again, maintenance and repair may be problematic if biotech is unusual, but straightforward if such vehicles are readily available. Some exotic versions of chassis types and weapons are provided, but feel free to go wild!

This is followed by Chapter 8: Drones. These can be remotely piloted or autonomous, and there's an interesting sidebar about whether you should use robot rules rather than these drone ones to create them. The conclusion (apart from leaving it open to the Referee to decide) is that a drone is specifically an unmanned vehicle, a robot can do most anything. Perhaps drones are a subset of robots? (Maybe I should ask the computing ethics class I'm teaching after lunch!)

If your head is swimming with all the choices, never fear... the final section is Jayne's Guide to Vehicles of Charted Space, a vast array of pre-generated vehicles of all sorts that you can use straight off... or customise a bit, first. Each one comes with a description, cost, appropriate statistics and an illustration. Conveniently, each occupies a single page so PDF users may print off just the pages they need. There does seem to be rather a lot of military vehicles, fine if you are equipping some mercenaries but of less use if you've just landed and want to go sightseeing!

Overall, a robust system which meshes well with the rest of this ruleset... but in some ways a little uninspired. Consider the science fiction books you've read or films you have seen. Describe the vehicles in them... sometimes troubling to codify everything bogs you down. OK, so you need to know how fast it goes and what it can carry, how much damage its weapon does... as for the rest, let your imagination run riot. This system will let you slot in whatsoever numbers and game mecahnics you need.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Vehicle Handbook
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Vulcan Class Logistical Production Unit
by william b. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/21/2017 13:21:42
Well thought out, with useful information and suggestions for both Ref and Player. Even thug there are no deckplans included it isnt a problme for this particular vessel. Since it is likely that every vessel of this type will be different and players will not be spending a great deal of tie aboard the vessel. A Quick tuhmbnail sketch of the interior created by the Ref should be all a game session might need.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Vulcan Class Logistical Production Unit
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Vehicle Handbook
by Christopher R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/16/2017 20:01:24

Lots of great options. From bicycles to massive anti-grav battleships, if you can invision it you can build it. The system is easier to follow then the one for spaceships (High Guard), but then again a minivan isn't as complicated as a starship.

My main complaint is the example vehicles don't go tell you how many spaces are being used for crew/passengers. The book suggests 1–5 (or more) per person, but the exact number isn't given for the examples.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Vehicle Handbook
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Reach Adventure 2: Theories of Everything
by Marius F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/12/2017 03:58:33

Bought it, read it, but never found it worth running.

This adventure is based entirely around the conflict of a set of NPC's. To run this as intended you need to be an exceptional GM. Or at least be a great voice actor. With out beeing able to play out wierd conflicts between NPC so that the PC find them interesting and try to brake up the fight/argument I think this is not going to work.

I'm playing around with the idea of turning this into a one-shot by using the NPC's as pre-generated PC and letting the players sort out the conflict, and the GM taking the role that was intended for the players.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Reach Adventure 2: Theories of Everything
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Referee's Briefing 2: Anomalies and Wonders
by Marius F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/12/2017 03:52:39

13 page of interesting ideas for places the PC can visit. A few of them gave me ideas that could probably result in a few sessions og gaming. Though expensive for rather few pages I found it worth it.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Referee's Briefing 2: Anomalies and Wonders
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Referee's Briefing 1: Companies & Corporations
by Marius F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/12/2017 01:40:37

This small booklet contains 17 pages describind companies that can be inserted into any campaign. A few of the companiex have neat ideas, but most of them are fairly standard. Though it is a ok product it is not awesome value for money.

I'm giving it three stars becaus:

  • Non of the companies got me reel exited
  • Non of the companies was interesting enought to spawn of adventure ideas
  • All of the companies is usable in my current campaign as added falvour


Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Referee's Briefing 1: Companies & Corporations
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Vehicle Handbook
by Philip G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/11/2017 14:54:17

This is an interesting supplement for a few different reasons. First is that it provides players and referees alike a good amount of information concerning vehicles in the near future and how to go about modifying and creating your own. The rules provided in the beginning are based on a system of “spaces” that can be allocated different things from cargo to weapons to travellers to armor. The number of spaces a vehicle can have is based on the general chassis/design. A light ground vehicle for example can have between 1-20 spaces whereas a ship would have 50+ spaces. The spaces determine how much room you have for “Stuff”, the base cost of the vehicle, and how many tons it takes to freight your design in the cargo of another vessel. Those with high guard (or other similar games with starship design) will feel right at home with trying to optimize things and keep them under a size and cost. After reading through the book I fired up my favorite spreadsheet software to keep track of costs and sizes and went about designing an armed six-seater vehicle. The process was pretty straightforward except when things bog down calculating the exact cost of the “spaces” of a vehicle, especially when armor comes into play. Some things like camo are X cost per space, whereas some things like armor are a percent increase per space. The book makes it clear that you always go back to the first value when calculating, but it does get a bit messy. Options wise there are plenty of things to do with your vehicles and you can construct pretty much anything from a TL 3 sailing vessel to a TL 10 hover tank to a TL 15 bioweapon-sporting submarine reasonably quickly. Things with armor and multiple “plusses and minuses” to agility, speed, fuel economy, fuel capacity, cargo storage, personnel capacity, and ammo storage can get a little much to manage, but it’s all doable and it gets easier as you run through a few different designs. The book also makes it clear that at the end of the day you should use whatever makes sense to you regardless of what the rules say to do. There are even suggestions on handling cheaper mass-produced vehicles as needed. The second half of the text is a guide to a bunch of standard vehicles that you can expect to see in a traveler game from a P-51 (cunningly called the Vanguard) to a Nuclear Machinegun toting drone. Some of the images that the authors chose to go with the vehicle designs remind me of 1990s adventure game graphics where they show pre-rendered (in glorious 8-bit color) 3d models that were never quite right. It’s not a bad thing as this is just the basis for a paper and pencil RPG, but sometimes my players like looking through these books as if they were fashion magazines for the latest model. From an editing standpoint, the book is fairly well done but it needs a bit of love from a spelling perspective as there are some glaring typos that seem out of place in a modern, slickly produced document. The charts are easy to read and the authors were smart to include references directly to the core rulebook, high guard, and supply catalog as needed. The PDF runs well on my tablet as well as desktop computer. All in all, it’s a pretty solid handbook for designing your own vehicles for use in a traveller game. The provided examples are great for modifying or as a basis for your own designs. There are little things that bother me from a mechanic perspective such as sensors and how modern electronic warfare is conducted, but I can just imagine how that would needlessly complicate things to have specific in game rules controlling them. Content wise 4/5. It’s good and gets my imagination going without burdening things too much. My ultra-modern T-80U with ERA and laser point defense will certainly slow my players down.
Value wise 2/5. It is far too expensive for just a PDF, and it’s pushing it for a softcover. It would have been great had they included a page for say "light tank" and then showed how it changes over time across new technology levels with appropriate graphics. 50-60 pages of those kinds of things would have been great. The book also misses a few modern technologies such as missile/laser warning systems, gunfire locators or even ballistic tracking radars to make it easier to locate hidden attackers. Get it if you want to design your own vehicles and get an idea of extra vehiclular options, otherwise the ones in the core book plus a little imagination here or there will satisfy most of your gaming needs. Now if you'll excuse me I have to finish my horse-drawn planetary defense motorcycle design...



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Vehicle Handbook
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Referee's Aid 8: Traders & Raiders
by James J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/27/2017 13:06:54

A nice overview of raiding and piracy in Traveller. No hard numbers here, just some good ideas for scenarios and methods to generate scenarios. Lots of text here. I liked it, and it gave me some decent scenario / plot ideas.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Referee's Aid 8: Traders & Raiders
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Universal Planetary Profile Sheet for Traveller
by James J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/27/2017 12:54:43

It is inexpensive, but you get what you pay for. This is essentially a sheet for UWP with a rollbar to print out the detail lines from Traveller products for the UWP String. Nothing fancy. You have to calculate the potential trade codes out yourself. I printed out a sheet of this for a planet and players were non plusssed, because this just tabulates what you get from the book reading of the UWP code.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Universal Planetary Profile Sheet for Traveller
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Expanded Space Encounters 2E
by James J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/27/2017 12:48:13

Good clear easy to read tables here. Lots of good ideas for combats, etc. for the busy referee who is stuck for something happening in space.

Especially the jump in and out of the system diagram, that helped to make it clear what is going on. Lots of good encounters ideas. I can't wait to expand on this. LIKED IT A LOT.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Expanded Space Encounters 2E
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D66 Compendium 2
by James J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/27/2017 12:44:50

Solid product. I bundled this and Compendium into a binder to take with me to Traveller sessions as Referee. Great stuff for ideas.

This also works as a brainstroming setup for writing. looking at the names, events and places, then with it all in your mind get a flavor.

Easy enough when printed out to change up some details by crossing out and writing in new ones. can't wait to make up some of my own tables. This product and compendium would be well served by including a few table blanks numbered 11 to 66.

10 bucks well spent.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
D66 Compendium 2
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Victory at Sea
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/23/2017 07:23:08

I have played several scenarios using 1:6000 scale naval miniatures and find the rules to be a decent balance of accuracy and ease of play. There are some rules that need to be modified such as the air and anti-aircraft sections. For movement, it is more accurate (and quicker) to alternate moving formations of ships as opposed to individual ships. I also found that using AP and Super AP special abilities gives too much advantage to heavy guns as well as the Weak special ability should not apply to firing on destroyes and below. I also noted the torpedo belt is a good rule but needs some clarification as rerolling every damage die that was succesful seems a bit extreme. I have yet to include submarines to test those rules. Overall, a good set of rules.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Victory at Sea
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Book 0: Introduction to Traveller
by John S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/14/2017 13:48:37

By my reckoning, this falls cleanly into the "basic version" category of intros rather than the "light version": I personally think 34 pages is a little more than some players are interested in reading to test a new ruleset, as some of mine have strong feelings about 'homework'.

The introduction page seems like a solid and compact overview suitable even for new players. The chargen section does a reasonable job of presenting everything you need; it's hard to make the lifepath rules sleek and simple, but it's well-explained at least.

I do think the choice to restrict careers was sensible (it saves a lot of placecount), but I'd question the choice of Army and Navy only. It's great if you want to run a fairly pulpy combat-based game, but that seems to massively limit your options. Most of my sci-fi background, even the planet-hopping stuff, is in civilian-focused stories; moreover, the primary focus NOT being on combat is one of the more interesting things about Traveller to me. I think this would be much improved by swapping out one of these (probably Army) for a sample civilian career. That way, a GM can easily have players generate characters naturally suited to and motivated for a game that's either got a combat focus, or a more exploratory and social focus. As it stands I think you could get the wrong idea here and assume it's essentially about fighting - especially as the lack of setting information means it's easy to write up a group of space pirates to fight, but hard to plan the mapping of an undiscovered planet.

The rules also omit the Draft rules entirely, but have not been adjusted - there are multiple references to the Draft, including a "see opposite" when "opposite" is a textbox about commissions - and this is likely to be quite confusing to a player or GM not already familiar with the rules.

Similarly, a lot of the pagecount comes down to quite detailed descriptions of what each of the skills does. I think a genuinely light ruleset could be created with abbreviated versions, but on the other hand, for the GM it's nice to have these.

There are some presentation glitches in my copy: bold text is misplaced so it sometimes runs over the normal text, causing some legibility issues.

I think this free version gives you plenty to run trial games of Traveller and establish whether you might be interested in turning it into a campaign where the fuller rules and expanded sections on equipment, trade, spacecraft and background would be needed. However, it does have the substantial downside of including no setting information whatsoever, no information on species, and definitely no plots. A GM with a good idea what they want to do with a crunchy sci-fi game should be fine, a GM who likes the idea but wants more support may have trouble.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Book 0: Introduction to Traveller
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Caennai Class Merchantman
by Patrick C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/13/2017 09:13:06

Nice design and useful new ship BUT some (big) proofreading of the text is badly needed (and this is a comment by a non-native english reader) !



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Caennai Class Merchantman
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