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2300AD Core Rulebook Revised
by Todd S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/22/2014 20:20:09
For a 30USD PDF I'd prefer this be self-contained and not require the Traveller sourcebook, but ...

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

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
2300AD Core Rulebook Revised
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Supplement 3: Fighting Ships
by Peter K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/19/2014 09:04:36
This could be a great product and would rate 5 stars, if only the artist could draw. The deck plans are great, the illustrations are crap. Most of the vessels are classic traveller ships which have been published ages ago, mostly with the then ubiquitious Keith illustrations.

In this case I had trouble to identify the painted vessels until I looked them up in my print collection, to get a notion whatthe ship really looked.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Supplement 3: Fighting Ships
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German Vehicles of World War II
by Peter K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/17/2014 05:56:46
Very slovenly done. Same stats for the 88 of the Tiger (88/L56) and Kingtiger/Jagdpanther (88/L71) and 75 of PzIV (75/L48) and Panther (75/L70). The Jagdpanzer IV shows the picture of a Jagdpanther. I you make a supplement based on historical data, PLEASE be a bit more accurate in your research.

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
German Vehicles of World War II
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Traveller Main Rulebook
by Kevin M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/10/2014 10:38:08
The art work is crap. Sorry but this is what helps set the pace and feel of the game.
It had no connection to the past art of the game, too much FANTASY looking, not very Science Fiction looking.

And the ship floor plans are a nice touch, adding even the fighter. BUT they changed too much and non for the better.

This is first impression once I looked at it. Now I have not read the content, its surface glance. (It looks like the mechanics of the game match up with the old....)
BUT this is often a indicator of if it would get a person to pickup the game and run with it.

The character sheet is TOO busy, I liked the clean simple form from the Classic Traveller. It s like who ever wrote the book and commissioned the art has no idea what Traveller is.

I am happy it is not the crappy Steve Jackson version.... but it has so much wrong:

* Poorly organized. Its hard to tell when one section ends and another begins.
* Art is HORRIBLE CRAP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!-
-
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
* The floor plan are NOT matching the ones already established. If you are going to deviate that much offer more then one, so to give players the notion that these varry...
* PSION? Not Psionics? And my gawd! You make it over powered looking! It suppose to be rare, subtle, and well.... WTF happened!
* The editors and authors need to look at what Classic Traveller is, even Mega Traveller, and maybe Digest Group Publishing's past works....
* Clean up the silly stupid character sheets.

Regretting I bought this majorly.... Sticking to Classic Traveller now. In the immortal works of Eric Cartman: "Fudge you guys, I am going home!"

I am going to re-edit this crap to a tolerable level on my own.... wow..... I was expecting improvements, better art then even before.... ARGH! Absolute opposite!

So I ask:
What happened? No, I mean it.... what happened???????

(There are players who do not care or seen to notice the art in a book, but I do. What are you trying to do? Make it look like Dragon Ball Z?)
Where is the soap? Need to wash out my eyes....

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Traveller Main Rulebook
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Book 1: Mercenary Second Edition
by Guggy Z. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/09/2014 20:28:04
Really great. Nothing here is necessary; everything here must be what someone is dying for. My favorite things: new design is vivid and clear, especially on my iPad; well-worked out rules for describing large forces and conducting elegant mass battles; chargen additions are tight and evocative; mass list of previously published ironmongery gives as many neato blast toys as you could ask for without having to slog through the tedious descriptions and hideous art of the central supply catalogue, which I now will never feel the need to buy; enough details and examples to make playing a proper mercenary campaign, or indeed a regular old planetside war, easy and desirable; little but important rule fixes like in skill categories; did I say new design? Please keep this new design, which I dig.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Book 1: Mercenary Second Edition
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2300AD Core Rulebook Revised
by Jason C. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/07/2014 15:40:19
I got this one in print from a local store and was psyched to see that I could also get it in PDF! Let's talk about 2300 AD and why the Traveller system is a perfect match for it. Mongoose has done a great job of bringing this gem forward and it's a terrific purchase.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
2300AD Core Rulebook Revised
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Book 1: Mercenary Second Edition
by Robert J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/01/2014 19:05:03
I really like this Second Edition Mercenary book. I have not had the chance to read every section such as the mass combat rules but most of what I’ve seen I like. The Art is much better than some of the other Mongoose books because it looks more realistic rather than like cartoon characters. I like the section on pre-military college or military academy rules. There are also some expanded combat rules that may be useful such as panic fire, blind fire and indirect fire. There is good information on armor piercing and using forward observers. The book has quite a few new vehicles, equipment and weapons of course. I really love the section on constructing fortresses and this is all just the tip of the iceberg. This is more like a Merc book should be than the first edition is.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Book 1: Mercenary Second Edition
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Book 0: Introduction to Traveller
by Jonathon D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/09/2014 09:01:36
An excellent introduction to the system. Covers all the basics that you need to know, as well as helps set the mood for what the games are to be like. Not only is it worth getting for the GM as a quick reference, I would even go as far as suggest that you get one for each of the new players the GM has in their game.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Book 0: Introduction to Traveller
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Special Supplement 3: Vehicle Upgrade Manual
by Philip W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/11/2014 20:35:29
I think this is a great little product that greatly enhances the suppliment 5-6 design sequence. Now it is possible to design land dredoughts and behemoths! I like this option as the system up until that puont seemd a bit limited. My main criticism is that this supplement seems to switch across to a system that looks a lot like their High Guard system which is used for large starships. There is no explanation why or how rhis dovetales into the book 5-6 system. This may be confusing to some people as there seems to be a lack of adequate explanation.

Overall, a fairly good effort Mongoose. I look forward to seeing more of your good work. Pleasw keep it up.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Special Supplement 3: Vehicle Upgrade Manual
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2300AD: Hard Suits, Combat Walkers and Battlesuits
by Jim C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/04/2014 15:38:48
I wanted to see this topic covered well, since (as for a Star Wars game, perhaps) it has a considerable influence in defining the nature of serious ground combat in the setting. An expansion was very much needed for the brief, though descriptive, characterisation in the core setting book.

It provides a good spread of classic vehicles in their development over time, with many illustrations, which are very helpful to grasp the style and nature of each one. Actual size and mass figures might have helped with visualisation though they'd only occasionally be required for game use.

I found the division between "hardsuits" and "combat walkers", that is, more and less humanoid-shaped waldoed vehicles, more corrosive to the uniqueness of the setting than useful. A ground-up design system presents a lot of tables to digest before getting to examples and combat usage, considering that combat walkers are standard models and not commonly built from scratch or heavily customised, and could have been placed later, I feel. Design principles and discussions of how combat walkers are employed could have spent a bit of time on concepts before delving into rules terms and references to (much less criticism of) other rulebooks. Generally it could have been more directed to examine how these classes of equipment fit into _this_ setting and assumed less familiarity with what they are and do in other universes.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
2300AD: Hard Suits, Combat Walkers and Battlesuits
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Armageddon 2089 Main Rulebook
by Todd K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/02/2014 17:31:28
The reason I picked up this book was to get the weapons chart so I could have fun with High Frontier (the aerospace version of the game). Looking over just the weapons chart I see a key problem. The stats for combat and construction are mixed together. If they had designed the chart so one page was the combat stats, and the other page for construction, that would have helped. I went ahead and made a sheet like that for my personal use (each page had the weapons name, one page had all the construction stats, the other had all the combat stats).

The dark text on the black background also meant that in order to read anything, I had to highlight or zoom in to see the text. When you have to zoom to 300% to read the text, that means there was little editorial review.

This product could be made so much better if the publisher would just change the background to something lighter, with dark text. The light background would at least lower print costs, and the dark text would make it easier to read. As it is, the only way to use the book would be to do a text copy from each page into a separate document.

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Armageddon 2089 Main Rulebook
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Special Supplement 4: Rescue Ops
by paul h. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/21/2014 18:45:27
I picked this up because I was curious about the supplement and it had some positive feedback on the Mongoose forum. And the price was right, just in case it turned out to be a dud.

I liked the detailed career portion (4 pages). The events and mishaps tables are quite detailed and thought out. The career paths are also pretty open as far as the categories go. I do think, however, that those characters who become doctors should have a level of expertise, say Biology -2, Chemistry -2 or some other background to represent their college education. Unless the intent was that in the future people went straight into medicine without an undergraduate degree. I give this section a solid A.


The next section (6 pages) discusses different types of operations, from ground-based to space based. I have a minor quibble about space-based rescue operators and ships being armed. Security should never be the responsibility of the emergency responder. That's what security teams are for. There's some anecdotal explanations about tech in the future making our "regular" fires and such obsolete, which I think would be totally true. There are rules for both localized issues, like a building on fire or a chemical spill, to disasters on much larger scale that could encompass entire continents. Even zombies make an appearance in a quirks table. I give this section a B+.

The third section (1 page) talks about putting these new careers into your existing adventures and campaigns, or even starting one up with emergencies in mind. I agree with the author that most players probably aren't looking to run a fire company Traveller adventure. He does make a good point that having characters with rescue backgrounds integrated into existing campaigns or adventures makes a lot of sense. After all, if some players like to blow stuff up, somebody has to be around to clean up the mess, right? It would have been nice to see some more depth here, possibly a page in regards to an example of how to create something. I understand that things are always ultimately left up to the players and referee, but I like to think everyone enjoys seeing samples and examples. I give this section a B.

The final section (3 pages) offers new equipment and gear for the new careers to use. On the first page I thought some of the descriptions of the bots could use some more detail. For example, how big is the S&R drone? The EMS drone is assumed to be larger than man-sized since it is supposed to hold a person inside. But it would have been nice to see text in regards to the dimensions. The Rescue Battle Dress is listed as TL13 in the description, but TL14 in the breakdown of the suit. It would have been nice to see more details surrounding the actual rescue gear one should expect on the suit rather than the generic (various).

The vehicle section has a nice array of vehicles - a mobile command center, a "old fashioned" fire truck, a grav ambulance, a rescue sub and a grav fire engine. But the details are pretty lacking. For example the rescue sub (it's 600 Dtons) lists a internal vehicle bay. It would have been nice to see an underwater drone optimized for rescue, along with possible a smaller sub designed to maneuver into tighter areas. Since we are talking nautical, there's no equivalent underwater battle dress or dive suit. The crush depth listed for the rescue battle dress is 250m, and the sub is capable of descending to 6,000m. At some point it's probably not practical to go EVA from the sub, but if they need to go below 250m there's not gear.

I'm disappointed that there's no space gear whatsoever. No emergency rescue shuttles, no space cutters to rescue ships and crew in deep space, not even any space rescue equipment (just how do you cut through bulkheads and ships hulls in an emergency?) Traveller has a space-heavy element and there's nothing whatsoever to address it. There have been other various supplements over the years and game systems that had listed such things. What about a medical transport ship? Or a hospital ship? I give this section a C-. It could (and should) have been a lot more.

I think it's only worth 3 out of 5 stars at the moment. The price point of $4.99 when I purchased it made it a cost-effective purchase. I do hope MGT and/or the author revisits this and adds more source materials to it. It shows a lot of promise.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Special Supplement 4: Rescue Ops
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Special Supplement 4: Rescue Ops
by Paul D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/16/2014 08:22:13
While I would agree mostly with Megan's thorough review, I have one issue. The sales information includes the statement "This final section features a selection of new equipment, vehicles and ships..." There is one watercraft vehicle included, but I think most readers in the context of Traveller would assume that "ships" refers to space ships, and there are none of those included at the time of writing. (Not even the old standby "modified scout/courier"!) If there's an update with a dedicated 200 ton rescue base starship in the pipeline I'll be happy to make it 5 (or 4.5 for a modified scout courier!)

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Special Supplement 4: Rescue Ops
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/14/2014 07:11:18
Not everyone earns their keep in the spacelanes... and even those of you who do may have done something else before venturing into the black. This supplement looks at the 'emergency services' and at the sort of roles needed for disaster recovery and rescue operations - useful skills and talents, and who knows, maybe your crew will be the first on the scene at some accident or incident and need to step in to render aid.

First up, there are two complete careers that may be used during character generation: Healer and Rescuer. The Healer provides a broad overview of the core medical professions of doctor and nurse, although the only distinction between the two is one's EDU stat, if it's 12+ you are a doctor - no requirement to attend medical or nursing school! The various events and mishaps available for use as you roll up your character are drafted with a good eye to the sort of things that someone in the medical trades might encounter.

The Rescuer is a general purpose and practical career that models the life of a member of a 'Fire and Rescue' service of the far future. It includes a specialisation in space rescue that could be a useful precursor to a spacing/adventuring career - indeed, it's easy to imagine a whole campaign being developed around the exploits of a space rescue team! Those specialising in ground rescue are indeed firefighters, more hi-tech perhaps but similar to the brave men and women who perform that service today. Again the events and mishaps are thoughtful and well-matched to the career.

The careers are followed by a discussion of rescue operations in general, and should provide plenty of background and ideas - for the 'war stories' your character might tell about his past or adventure ideas to include in your game. The author is himself a retired firefighter so as you can imagine the commentry on fire fighting is accurate and realistic, yet as a Traveller writer he also makes appropriate remarks about how future technology might make rescue work different from what it is today. Space accidents, natural disasters, contagions - plenty of situations here where rescue workers (and healers) may well be needed.

And that's before we get to the section on rescue adventures and campaigns! For example, how about setting up an emergency management company? Operating in a manner akin to a mercenary company, this outfit could travel around offering advice and training - and of course, showing off their own skills in appropriate situations - to those worlds or settlements who are struggling to organise and provide for themselves. As noted above, either Healer or Rescuer careers could provide a useful precursor to a standard Traveller adventuring career, or with small modification, either career could be treated as part of a military service - the military generally have their own medics and some form of rescue service, just about all you need to do is change the rank names to suit your chosen branch of the armed forces.

Next comes the tools of the trade, including a form of Battle Dress modified for firefighting, assorted drones and more. This finishes with some emergency vehicles suited to various situations.

A useful addition to the game, with interesting concepts that ought to come in useful.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Monsters of Legend 2
by Sean S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/03/2014 12:01:43
This book is okay. However it still lacks the information for the basic elemental and as such did not fulfill the hopes I had for it.

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Monsters of Legend 2
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