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T5 Traveller5 Core Rules Book (759 pages)
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/19/2018 19:58:14

Note this review refers to version 5.09 last updated 7th June 2015 bought 2nd September 2018.

Traveller 5, oh how I wanted to love you.

Background, 1978 - Traveller was the first RPG I bought and I bought a most, if not all of the LBBs over the next few years. We drifted apart as I moved on to FGU's "Space Opera" and I never kept up with all of the subsequent versions.

Fast forward to around a year ago, I have a Sci-Fi loving, Fantasy hating son who's approaching "RPG age" so I decide to introduce him to RPGs via Traveller. I still have my LBBs but digging around on the internet I find out about all of these new versions. My interest is piqued in T5, but ultimately I go for Mongoose 2 because of a special offer on DTRPG but the Traveller 5 itch is still there, so, a few months on, I've taken the plunge.

First impression - Where's the Cover? Why did you not include the iconic Black and Red cover? When I double clicked on the pdf - that's what I was expecting - and not getting that thrill was a major disappointment. Not a good start.

Anyway, to give you an idea of the issues I've encountered so far, scroll through to the Contents page and have a read. Combat, page 210, so you type 210 into Adobe Acrobat and you are propelled over 30 pages into the Combat section. So, the Contents haven't been updated, but the page numbers have, and what's worse, the conversion factor isn't a constant - the further you go into the book, the more innaccurate the contents page is. I think the main reason for the discrepancy is moving the various early sections like Dice, Ehex, ranges and Distance to appendices - which seems to be a good idea. But, because it's not constant that's not the whole story, I feel - although as this is the only copy of T5 I have ever seen I can't be sure - as if section splash pages have also been deleted because the actual start of Combat is pretty abrupt with an unheaded page containing a description of the Combat round, followed next page by the heading "Personal Combat" So, in summary, the contents section is useless, and I have a strong suspicion some pages are missing.

But there is now an index the ommission of which caused much rage upon the release, let's look up "Combat" - Accurate but useless for anything significant. Let me explain; "Combat" has ten lines of page numbers with a mixture of individual pages and page ranges, clearly machine generated but not human-edited so the actual Combat section, the bit you're probably looking for, starts on line three of the combat entry and reads thus: 176-180, 182, 184-188, 191, 200... etc. What about pages 181 & 183? They're about Armor and don't happen to have the word "Combat" on the page, so they're not part of the index entry for "Combat" - logical for a computer. So, to actually find the Combat section you either have to "know" that you subtract 34 from the Contents page entry (210), or you have to "know" by looking at the ten lines of page numbers in the index which are the relevant ones. Good luck with that.

Oh, and whoever generated the PDF either didn't bother or didn't know how to generate bookmarks so you can't navigate that way.

So, in summary, you have a 759 page book with a reputation (according to reviews I've read) for having the content scattered a little haphazardly and there is no way to navigate the pdf... and FFE haven't updated since June 2015 - over three years ago. So, a potentially wonderful reference for Traveller referees regardless of their preferred flavour has been crippled by bad execution. Please guys, regenerate the table of contents and add hyperlinks to the contents page entries, add the Chapters as bookmarks at an absolute minimum, Re-add any missing pages and the iconic cover (which is the thumbnail used to actually sell the thing on DTRPG), and finally, if at all possible, send some brave soul through the index to actually do it properly - for obscure terms, it's great (e.g. "Waterskins" has a single, correct (but unlinked), page reference), for less obscure things, like Combat, it's useless.

With all of the poor editing, poor navigation, and missing cover/pages the general impression is of the sort of thing handed out free to Beta testers; not the full price ninth revision of a book published over five years ago. There is no excuse for this lack of polish at this price. Mongoose do far more polished products, heck, even veritable minnows like Gypsy Knight games display infinitely better commitment to the ongoing support of their products. As I write this, R. Talsorian games seem to be updating all of their Cyberpunk stuff from the early '90s (adding bookmarks) as I'm getting regular e-mails saying that new versions of the books I've bought are available.

Finally, an offer. Send me a copy as a "Word" file and I'll do as much tweaking as I have time for as a labour of love and thank-you for those LBBs back when I was a teenager. Contact me if you want to take me up on it.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
T5 Traveller5 Core Rules Book (759 pages)
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2300 AD Traveller: 2300
by Paul S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/10/2018 22:40:26

I played this game when it first came out. I lost my copy during a move, but was glad to see GDW offer it on Bundle of Holding right now as a way to get it and numerous other titles at a great price. Would love to see an updated version, but until then, I will homebrew some things to mesh with how I think an updated version would look.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
2300 AD  Traveller: 2300
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Ebook: The Science Fiction In Traveller
by Ty B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/16/2018 17:39:43

A very interesting read for Traveller fanatics (of which I am one). It's a great complement to Jeffro Johnson's "Appendix N" (which reviews the books that inspired D&D) and helps folks understand the roots of this hobby. A bargain for $2.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ebook: The Science Fiction In Traveller
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CT-ST-Starter Traveller
by Pierre S [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/10/2018 17:12:32

A great game, and no game has yet touched its fame for science fiction tabletop RPGs. Traveller covered all the "space" things in a detailed setting called the Third Imperium, a unified star community ruled by an Emperor. Traveller spawned an extensive series of supplements, which you can take or leave as needed for the emphasis of your particular game, whether star merchants or space mercenaries or explorer scouts.

Star sector maps are laid down in hexagons, each is a parsec (3.26 light-years), and starships have Jump Drives which depending on the engine rating of the ship can Jump from 1 to 6 of those parsecs but each Jump takes a week. There is no faster way to get news or goods across the stars, so the political feel resembles 18th-century sailing. The Imperium is held together but its size is causing strain. The Imperium also borders on alien empires which range from coldly neutral to hostile.

The Traveller Starter edition (1982) did some reorganization of the original LBBs (Little Black Books) of 1977 and presents all the tables of the game in the second booklet, cross-referenced to the pages of the rulebook. A third booklet presents two short adventures.

Traveller is "old school" and the best way to learn it is to take its systems one at a time. Randomly generating star-maps is particularly fun, a kind of mini-game within the game, with the main world in each system defined as to size, atmosphere, population, and government with rolls of six-sided dice (only). Nowadays the fans offer web-based computer utilities to instantly generate vast tracts of space, or use the huge, defined Imperium map already available online at travellermap.com.

Characters are generated by taking an unformed 18-year-old and choosing one of six military or other careers which are determined in 4-year Terms that you must survive. First you roll 2d6 six times to establish Characteristics by the names of Strength, Dexterity, Endurance, Intelligence, Education and Social Standing. High or low values of these traits may give you a Dice Modifier on Skill Rolls (in the most basic dice-rolling rules, you must roll 8 or more, "8+" by rolling 2d6+ a Skill Level). Characters without a Skill in something are penalized at -3, so even 0-Level Skills are useful to avoid this Unskilled penalty. Gain Skill levels and promotions each Term, but also run a chance of character death or dropping out of the career. Physical Characteristics have a chance to decline each Term starting at age 34, and even mental Characteristics may decline for seniors, an incentive to voluntarily "muster out" instead of collecting yet more skill-levels by being as old as you can be. Once your old career is done, you roll randomly for Mustering Out (cash or final benefits based on number of Terms). This leaves you with an older, more seasoned character ready to adventure. However, you can never directly pick your skills! You can place yourself in the desired career, and choose to roll on one of several skill tables but at the end of a term one or more d6 rolls determines what skill is granted! Again, as a game-within-a-game this activity can be fun for some. Characters who are failed or not-quite-right spacers can populate your universe as NPCs!

The personal combat system, in basic Traveller, is NOT on a grid-map but more abstractly defined with "bands" similar to a football field! There are also rules for trade (buy low, sell high of course), which is easy to do as you note the characteristics of the world you're going to (Trade Codes like INdustrial or Non-Industrial, Agricultural, etc.) which give bonuses or penalties to the negotiated price of cargo when it is bought at the source or sold at destination. Nothing is a sure thing, however, providing yet another system that is a fun economic mini-game within the larger RPG story! Use profits to fuel up (ships have fusion engines that will run on ANY source of water or hydrogen such as from a planet or gas giant, preferably refined to keep out impurities), maintain your ship, for life-support, for crew salaries (we love R&R) and pay off the expensive monthly mortgage on your ship. The starship combat, in the original version, is not gridded either, but takes note of what you have for weapon turrets and rolls the damage to the other ship and what sub-system was damaged.

Definitely a solid science fiction experience.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
CT-ST-Starter Traveller
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Journal of the Travellers’ Aid Society. Issue No. 3
by Jim C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/14/2018 21:06:42

This and the following issue introduce the influential and still interesting rule system for Robots. Generally lots of useful content.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Journal of the Travellers’ Aid Society. Issue No. 3
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T5 Gazelle-Class Close Escorts
by Richard T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/20/2018 06:17:19

Welcome to a T5 Starship Book, it's immensely detailed down to which fresher each crew member uses, remember to wash your hands! Simple layout format with oodles of charts, diagrams, workout sheets and deckplans. It's good but clearly for the dedicated Traveller fan. The ship included is a nice design and a classic of this game and 3 configs are drawn out in detail. I prefer the designers own books on ships but that's a personal preference. The good thing is the Gazelle is an interesting ship and not a stock PC vessel for many peoples games. Nice to see that expansion.

One thing I didn't like was the lack of PDF bookmarks which would have navigation a lot easier. In a world where the PDF for many GMs are now the default this seems an odd omission. Worth it if you love Traveller, especially the mess that T5 is.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
T5 Gazelle-Class Close Escorts
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T5 Gazelle-Class Close Escorts
by Jonathan S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/18/2018 19:20:46

This is a labour of love. If you are a fan of Traveller and particularly Traveller5, this product comprehensively outlines a classic Traveller ship design. It includes complete references to versions of the design that have come before. This goes beyond a set of ship statistics updated for the Traveller5 ruleset. It contains several excellent initiatives in colourful charts and diagrams to show the ship's capabilities and how it works with fleet operations. Several versions of the crew are included so that a captain knows exactly how to crew the ship based on the capabilities desired. And, of course, deckplans are provided.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
T4 Marc Miller's Traveller
by Rory H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/07/2018 05:20:31

This was never quite as bad as critics made it out to be - although the core task system being roll-under does create some issues in the game (the clunky rolling of ‘half dice’, and the increased emphasis of Characteristic scores over Skills). There is quite a bit of errata too, and some of the text needs repeat reading to make any sense of it. So it could have done with a lot more editing.

There are, however, some very attractive colour plates of starship imagery in here, and while the rest of the layout isn’t flash - it’s not weak either. The cover is nice too and, at it’s core, this is actually a pretty good edition of the game to base star-travelling adventures from. Character generation is fun (as in the best Traveller editions) and the world and starship generators are pretty much the same as in all editions.

If you want a more concise attempt at an authentic version of Marc Miller’s personal vision of his own game than T5, then this will serve you well.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
T4  Marc Miller's Traveller
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T2000 v1 Howling Wilderness
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/28/2018 03:25:00

A basic guide to the USA (NOT Canada) after the Thanksgiving Day nuclear strikes. This supplement corrects some previously published details in the order of battle of the various surviving T2000 military units, gives a basic overview of the resulting political situation between competing groups such as Civ Gov, MilGov and New America and repeats the information on the location of the nuclear targets from the basic T2000 handbook (with the cop-out that "not all minor targets are listed"). The political info is interesting and useful and easily adapted to any particular campaign, be it T2000, Merc Dark Conspiracy or wharever. The weakness is that the history has been adapted to fit the all later add-ons and adventures for T2000 - for example the guide refers, without explanation, to the "kidnapping" of the Leader of New America, which leads to the collapse of that particular major group, except, since I don't seem to have that particular add-on, rather buggers up the presented time-line. Not a major flaw, just irritating. Worth getting, all the same, whatever version of the game you are playing, wherever set, for answering those irritating questions players ask about the old home town or how Chelsea Clinton came to be president of the United States.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
T2000 v1 Howling Wilderness
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T2000 v1 Korean Peninsula Sourcebook
by john o. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/24/2018 10:06:17

Awesome research and material! Top notch stuff here for the game!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
T2000 v1 Korean Peninsula Sourcebook
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TNE-0302 Traveller: THE New Era DELUXE Package
by Paul S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/05/2018 01:47:08

I also purchased these as a back-up to my print copies. I could have done it myself using a scanner, but figured the price for the PDFs was much cheaper than the amount of time it would have taken for me to do a quality scan myself.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
TNE-0302 Traveller: THE New Era DELUXE Package
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T2000 v1 Korean Peninsula Sourcebook
by Wayne G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/04/2018 22:19:40

Excellent work. Really captures the tone of the old GDW releases. Love the cover art by Stephanie McAlea. The history runs 1996-2000, and has that just-the-facts-ma'am recounting of the global trainwreck that spread to the Korean Peninsula. Would love to have a print edition.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
T2000 v1 Korean Peninsula Sourcebook
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T2000 v1 Korean Peninsula Sourcebook
by David A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/02/2018 23:35:07

Loved the new Sourcebook - expanded the glimpses that were seen of the 2nd Korean War in various sourcebooks over the years to provide a cohesive and comprehensive look at an area that was previously overlooked in the Twilight 2000 official canon including new vehicles and weapons and the first official description of the North and South Korean military forces as well as adding Australian and New Zealand units to the canon. Cant wait to see more by Alf. Three new official releases in one year - looks like Twilight 2000 is definitely back to life from the dead games file.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
TNE-0313 Striker 2 Traveller Miniatures Rules
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/27/2018 09:51:57

Very much a product of its time, it has a lot in a small package but as others have noted it cant quite decide if it's a game or a simulation. Particularly frustrating is the lack of basic information about the units included, like what kind of mobility they use (if you play Traveller, you "ought to know already" I suppose?), or any kind of baseline "average" stats for vehicle or infantry from which one might extrapolate a list of weapons or equipment when designing one's own (using the head-cracking sustem in Fire, Fusion and Steel). It makes an interesting read but translating it into tabletop play has been too problematic, when more effective systems like Dirtside or Strike Legion Tactical exist.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
TNE-0313 Striker 2 Traveller Miniatures Rules
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CT-TTB-The Traveller Book
by Ian F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/14/2018 07:23:29

Though I began roleplaying in 1986, I had never heard of Traveller until recently.

More's the pity, in my opinon, for this game would have been an absolute hit in my group. Characters are simple to create, but the process is enjoyable. When I read this book, I think "I could run Dune in this." Or "Star Wars". Or "Star Trek, especially TOS". I could run less known sci-fi series, or make my own out of whole cloth and then easily stitch the game onto it. The true advantage of this system is that it has a toolkit underlying the assumed setting that allows you to hack it to other purpose easily, or you can default to the assumed setting for a game "ready to go" out of the box.

The .pdf is of decent quality. The POD is a good book, hardcover with black and white art (the occasional picture has a red feature as well). As profiled by another reviewer, some of the space scenes loose their sharpness, but the book is otherwise very readable. I also enjoy that you get a complete, playable game that is about 160 pages.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
CT-TTB-The Traveller Book
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