Tech Update 2350 Review

Tech Update 2350 by Independence Games is a supplement for its ‘Earth Sector’ setting, which was released at the end of January. It is available from Drivethru RPG for $5.99 or for $14.99 for both the PDF and softcover book. Independence Games is steadily developing the ‘Earth Sector’ background with a number of recent releases and this looks at the improvements in technology that have taken place, since the the collapse of the conduit linking the Earth to the Clement Sectors. The book is 29 pages long and is divided into the following sections:

Personal Armour (1 page)

Personal Weapons (2 page)

Computers (4 pages)

Naval Architecture (6 pages)

Robots (2 pages)

Cybernetics & Vehicles (1 page)

Personal Armour contains one item ‘Battle Armour’, which requires specialist training to utilise. This is pretty hardcore kit; it even has its own model/2 computer and Tactics software to help operate it.

Personal Weapons expands the list of available guns and stuff to shoot things with; five differnet guns, a number of which are improvements of Gauss or electromagnetic technology, these being particularly useful for shipboard actions. The one exception is the ‘PSW’ (Plasma Support Weapon), mainly used in squad level support. Just make sure you don’t fire it too often at once as it has a risk of blowing up…!

The major part of the book looks at changes to computers as recent developments have moved Earth to TL13; computers have greater processing capacity and additional programs are available. I noted the Intrusion/4 program has a cost of 2.5MCr… ouch! The architecture of a computer is described (with a useful flow chart) how the various systems link together, allowing programs to be stored in different types of memory according to when or how they will be used. There are a few basic calculations to make when working out your computers capabilities but a few examples are provided to help illustrate these. Developments in technology also bring savings to equipment, notably spacecraft 2D displays are 15% cheaper when used in the ships design.

Naval Architechture engineering introduces fuel cells as an alternative for powering spacecraft. These provide substantial savings in space and consumption. For example for 12 months a TL13 ship would only need 6 tons, instead of 34 tons of fuel for two weeks. Note though that fuel cells require replacement after twelve months of use. TL12 and 13 introduce improvements to countermeasures, enhanced signal processing sensors and ‘quantum entanglement communications’ become available.

Naval weapon improvements include the Fusion Gun, Particle Beam and X-ray Laser for turret weapons, linked to changes to ‘Heavy Bays’ for capital ships such as cruisers. A weapon of note is the ‘Heavy Torpedo’, a 10 ton weapon which is purchased in pairs as a twenty-ton two shot load. What do you do if you want to stop being fired at? TL13 introduces a few options; Magnetogravitic (MaGG) and Meson Screens are available, along with ECM Drones. The MaGG provides some defence against high energy particles, railgun projectiles and damage from high explosives; reminds me of your typical defence shield you see in Star Trek. Its the sort of kit that will most likely be installed in capital ships. ECM Drones are used to confuse enemy vessels with a powerful array of jamming equipment, which introduces a -2DM when attacking the drone.

Robots have improved mainly at component-level; listed are tables for battery power, locomotion types, core modules, core data storage types and integrated / external weapons (including the new weapons from the previous weapons section in this book).

Cybernetics have seen improvements to mindcomps as external augmentations have become less popular as the technology has got better.

Vehicles gets a short mention in that it uses the Vehicle Design Guide and just about any component at TL13 can be used.

Tech Update 2350 is a useful supplement for those referees or players that want to ‘top up’ their technology to TL13. To get the most out of the supplement, its advised to have the following books: Anderson and Felix Guide to Naval Architecture, Vehicle Design Guide, Artificial: Robots in Clement Sector, Anderson and Felix Optional Components, Interface: Cybernetics in Clement Sector, Clement Sector: The Rules and the Earth Sector Sourcebook. The book has plenty of colour and monochrome illustrations throughout and the text is clearly laid out as per all Independence Games products. This is very much a ‘nuts and bolts’ supplement that purchasers will get most value from if they are running an Earth Sector campaign, rather than as a stand-alone product. Worth checking out if you want to see what kit is available at TL13. I’d like to thank John Watts of Independence games for kindly sending me a copy to review.

About AlegisDownport

Musings on the Traveller RPG world, technology, astronomy and digital art.
This entry was posted in Cepheus Engine, Clement Sector, Earth Sector, Independence Games and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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