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2300AD: Ships of the French Arm
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2300AD: Ships of the French Arm


The French Arm is a web of transport routes, outposts, way-stations, and colonies. All of these far-flung settlements are served by fleets of commercial ships carrying supplies and colonists, military vessels providing protection and regulation, and explorer vessels forever pushing the boundaries of explored space. Outside of traffic between Earth and Tirane, the route from Beta Canum to Earth is the busiest in human space, with the route from Beta Canum to Beowulf coming in second. Shipments from the industrial outpost at Bessieres account for nearly 30% of commercial goods produced for consumption by French nations on Earth, and accounts for fully 50% of the material produced for the ground-force militaries of the Empire.

There are nearly 12,000 spacecraft of varying types in the French Arm. The vast majority of these are interface vessels and slow system ships. The actual number of starships is closer to approximately 2,500 in active commercial service. Of these, 30% are big bulk carriers.

Ships of the French Arm is dedicated to vessels adventurers can interact with in a meaningful way, complete with deckplans for every one of them. While most merchant vessels fall into this category, a few military ships are also included, such as those relegated to patrol and customs enforcement, along with a pair of major combatants, provided to showcase the capabilities of these massive ships.

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Reviews (1)
Discussions (2)
Customer avatar
Malcolm M September 22, 2014 12:07 am UTC
Is the ship artwork and mapping substandard here? Visuals help to "sell" a campaign setting to my players; to fire their imaginations. Mongoose Traveller PDFs are not cheap for me -- almost $30 in the local currency -- so I can't take a risk on a product which won't bring some visual inspiration.

Also, how is the book for "campaign-ready" starships? Ships which hold the standard 4-6 player adventurers? I remember part of what killed the original 2300AD space setting for my group of the time was that the old SotFA had maybe only one player-ready starship, and it wasn't very useful as a campaign ship.

Thanks for reading this. Replies appreciated.
Customer avatar
Malcolm M September 22, 2014 9:35 am UTC
Follow Up --

I bit the bullet and bought the product -- and was massively disappointed. The deckplans are minimalist at best, echoing the style of Classic Traveller products, and the no-frills, black-and-white CGI ship renders which serve as interior illustrations are serviceable, but hardly engaging or inspiring.

As in the original version of this product, there's little in the way of player-group friendly starships. The crew requirements for most ships are too high for players to match without including a number of NPC specialists. And visually, most of the player-possible ships are merely variations on "spaceplane" style designs.

In an era when artists like Ryan Wolfe can put together interesting, affordable, player-friendly starship designs through his Future Armada line here on RPGNow, I have to wonder why Mongoose can't up their aesthetics level. Near-future designs can be intriguing and inspirational too.

Anyway -- not a review, just a purchaser's...See more
Customer avatar
Rory H October 03, 2014 11:16 am UTC
I think this is a bit of an overreaction. The artwork is computer generated for the main part, and while it isn’t anything special it’s pretty much on a par with the artwork throughout all Traveller publications of any edition.Moreover, it’s really only a single aspect of the information presented in the book.

Regarding crew requirements for starships, it is worth noting that the 2300AD setting is attempting to be as realistic in its depiction of a space faring setting as possible. You can work around it through troupe-style play - allowing players to play multiple characters on board a ship (but individual characters for specific scenarios).
Customer avatar
September 20, 2014 5:23 pm UTC
Unimpressed with the artwork, especially in comparison to some of the work on the Etranger site. Unimpressed with the military ship selections. Stopped going through it halfway through.
Customer avatar
Michael B October 08, 2014 12:05 am UTC
What is in there that is missing from the original GDW book?
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Electrum seller
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MGP 20008
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26.68 MB
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File Last Updated:
September 24, 2014
This title was added to our catalog on September 18, 2014.