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101 City & Place Names
Publisher: Polgarus Games
by Jeremy G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/22/2010 15:32:07

It is 101 random names, no more, no less. Whether these names can be associated with cities or places is more a matter of reading the first two sentences on the sheet than a matter of the names themselves. You could just as easily take the first and last parts of two random pharmaceuticals and stick "Falls" on the end to have the same quality.

While you shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth (it's free, after all), there's nothing spectacular about this item.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
101 City & Place Names
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MT COACC: Close Orbit and Airspace Control Command
Publisher: Game Designers' Workshop (GDW)
by Jeremy G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/01/2007 00:30:09

Though this suffers from the same severely-poor scan quality that all of the other MegaTraveller sourcebooks have, this book is actually a treat to read in its e-book format because it's practically an entire game system in itself, and the poor scan quality doesn't excessively detract from its readability. Obviously, you still need to have the MegaTraveller core rules*, but otherwise this is a vast departure from the MegaTraveller system because it's limited to fighter-scale aircraft and astrocraft. It almost smacks as if someone wrote a fighter-to-fighter combat wargame and then rewrote it to be based in the MegaTraveller rules, except in this case that's not a bad thing.

  • Namely the MegaTraveller Player's Manual and the MegaTraveller Referee's Manual, and you'll probably want to pick up the Imperial Encyclopedia as well in order to complete the original "boxed set" and get some important background information on the default game setting.

COACC gives you a Flyer character class in addition to the other character classes, but this probably doesn't amount to much. It gives background information on the Close Orbit and Airspace Control Command organisation as well, but again, this isn't necessary unless you're going for pure canon "In Your Traveller Universe". The elements that are really the bang for your buck are the aircraft design rules and the sample aircraft, most based rather obviously on real Earth aircraft and actually working out rather numerically similar to their real counterparts, as well as the rules for aerial combat, bombing attacks, and other such niceties. It adds a whole new dimension to the game when you get a fateful call on your communicator in the midst of an all-out planetary battle that you're caught in the middle of: "We're dropping napalm in thirty seconds!"

But don't think of this book as a must-have... in terms of "musthavability", this book ranks pretty low. MegaTraveller is about starships and seedy deals gone horribly wrong, and only rarely does careening across the Alkali Flats in a high-speed dogfight ever come up in any typical Traveller campaign. Nonetheless, if you have the money to spare and you're looking for a new dimension to add into your adventures, you won't be disappointed by this purchase.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
MT COACC: Close Orbit and Airspace Control Command
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MT MegaTraveller Players' Manual
Publisher: Game Designers' Workshop (GDW)
by Jeremy G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/31/2007 23:47:26

There are a few major problems with this PDF scan. Firstly, I have no idea where pages 4 and 5 are. The e-book jumps from page 3 (the Table of Contents) to page 6. I've never owned a hard copy of the MegaTraveller rulebooks, so I can't say for certain whether the two white pages illustrating the Spinward Marches sector map and the Third Imperium map are what are supposed to appear on pages 4 and 5 or not, but my gut is telling me "No", because the Table of Contents describes page 5 as the "Introduction"... and it looks as though page 6 is just a part of some main section that describes sci-fi roleplaying in more detail. Caveat emptor.

Another problem is the fact that the Spinward Marches map is completely illegible and thus entirely useless. Starport codes on the map are extremely difficult -- if not impossible -- to read and system names are entirely impossible to read. Even the map legend is illegible.

I'm rather disappointed with the scan quality, as the pages are quite obviously not centred and are not scanned at very high resolution to boot. Much of the file size is undoubtedly the little grainy dots on each page (treated as images by the PDF format) that surround all of the printed text; it's pretty much a direct OCR rip from a lossy JPEG scan of the rulebook. If the document were actually remastered, or at least scanned in full 24-bit bitmap with the contrast maximised to make it purely monochrome, I imagine the file size would shrink from 17.7 MB (18.5 MiB) to somewhere in the vicinity of 5 MB or even less. You'll also discover that the angled scans of the pages cause the select tool in Adobe Reader or whatever other PDF reader you use to jump between font sizes, a definite sign of overly permissive OCR.

As for the product itself, I'm feeling as though MegaTraveller is definitely the best version of the Traveller system. The other versions seem to make a habit of dumbing down the bits of the game that make it so much more detailed than other game systems... a real shame. The MegaTraveller storyline does go contrary to the methodology of being able to go anywhere and trade with anyone due to the civil war, but if you don't like that setting you can go ahead and create your own galaxy replete with background, which shouldn't be hard at all given how powerful the planetary generation rules are.

I tend to think of MegaTraveller as a significant spiritual ancestor of GURPS, especially with regards to its Tech Levels which are duplicated almost exactly in every GURPS system. There's even a GURPS Traveller out there which you might also want to pick up.

Finally, be wary of the price. The retail price of the book is, and always has been, $10.00. DriveThruRPG is charging $19.95 and then offering you the $10.00 price as a "discount". This seems a little underhanded to me.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
MT MegaTraveller Players' Manual
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