Marooned Alone as a Solo Adventure

Ever since I can remember seeing the Classic Traveller ‘Little Black Books’ (LBB’s) and studying them on the shelves at Games Workshop Birmingham, one adventure stuck in my mind; ‘Double Adventure 4: Marooned/Marooned Alone’. At the time, I was heavily into my Tunnels and Trolls solo dungeons and looking to expand into the Traveller RPG line, I wanted to know if there was any solo adventures available. Reading through the LBB’s, I spotted DA4 and thought this would be a good adventure to get me into Traveller. Unfortunately by the time I’d managed to purchase a copy of ‘Starter Traveller’ (the LBB’s had been taken off the shelves circa 1985), the last of the adventures had been sold and I was stuck without a way to get hold of DA4. One thing and another and Starter Traveller joined the shelves collecting dust over the coming decades, but DA4 stuck in my mind. Fast forward to 2009 and I ordered a copy of the Classic Traveller CDROM from Far Future Enterprises, where I was able to read (on PDF) DA4, which I have subsequently obtained in the original paperback LBB format. DA4 looked like it needed some work to run and most definitely wasn’t of the same style as a Tunnels and Trolls dungeon! So whilst on holiday in the Lake District this week, I made some time for myself on a few evenings to run through DA4 as a solo adventure.


In case you aren’t aware of what DA4 is, it’s pitched as a party/single player/solo adventure where the players are caught up in helping their patron escape a group of people who want him dead and what he is carrying, retrieved. Its one of the ‘double adventure’ series where you get two adventures in one book, flipping the book to read the other one. All of the series except DA4 have unrelated adventures in the dame book. An incident occurs the vessel the players are travelling on and the players crash-land on the nearest planet. They then have to find a route across several thousand kilometres to reach the starport, where they can escape. All the time they are pursued by the agents of the opposing party, who want the players dead and what they carry from the patron, recovered.

My character ‘Jerry Lopow’ is a Flyer (rolled up from Supplement 4: Citizens of the Imperium) who served three terms as an atmospheric interceptor pilot. Along the way he picked up some skills and a few benefits, so he now starts the adventure as:-

Jerry Lopow UPP 989877 Career: Flyer Age: 30 Rank: Pilot Terms: 3

Skills: Air craft -2, Survival -1, Automatic rifle -1, Vehicle -1


Benefits:
High Passage, Automatic Rifle, 4000Cr

During the character creation process, Jerry missed his rolls for further promotion twice, which left him very disgruntled and it gives him a nice background with which to leave the service and join the band of adventurers mentioned in DA4. The thing that I noticed with DA4 in setting up how to run the adventure, was all the information is scattered across both parts of the book. Marooned (the referee/players version) contains information and so does Marooned Alone; this means that you are having to switch back and forth (or flip the book over if you’re using the dead tree version) several times to get an idea of what you need to be doing.

What I found was that I was having to make notes from one part and have both PDF’s open in GoodReader on the iPad, just so I could ease the switching back and forth as I progressed through the adventure. Depending on what hex you are fighting through, you have a certain move rate, which is typically one third of a hex (adjusted for different types of terrain). You also have to keep track of the weight of kit carried, water and food consumption and at what position the pursuing group is at. You also roll for encounters each week – or if you are in a settled (inhabited) hex, you roll each day.


The flip side of Marooned Alone… or is it the front?

So I started off working my way through a settled hex, rolling for encounters. Anything less than a 7 results in a bunch of locals or officials (who are aware of your presence on the planet) who will react in a generally hostile way. I’d managed to travel into the second week before I encountered a couple of starport officials and resolved the encounter via the normal combat rules. I managed to shoot both of them, but I was wounded pretty badly. At this point, I did some totting up of how long it would take me to travel via my intended route and the total number of encounters I’d have in the settled regions – which worked out at 70!

I came to the conclusion that DA4 was going to be a bloody difficult adventure to get through – if I’d come off badly (but alive) with one encounter after less than a dozen rolls, I really didn’t have much chance getting very far through it.

If I was going to have even a chance getting through, I was going to have to start making up some reasonable rules and DM’s and adjust DA4 to suit. So I changed the roll once per day in a settled hex to once per week. I also added a rule in that I could attempt a break-in to a homestead and steal some food (D6 kilograms worth), on a 8+ roll. That way I could recoup my rapidly dwindling supplies in some way. As the other types of hexes had similar travel rules (with varying encounters and events), I was able to set up some sort of structured approach to making my way through the hexes. All the time however, I was rolling for the pursuing party to pick up my trail and start chasing after me in an air/raft.

I did encounter several indigenous creatures which I was able to use as a food source, two mountain chasms which delayed my progress by 10 days but the biggest problem was maintaining a sufficient food and water supply. Three or four times I got down to my last couple of kilo’s of food / litres of water and only through some lucky dice rolls, was I able to keep going and build up the supplies again.

As there was a reward on my head, I utilised some of my 4000Cr again with some DM’s to increase the chances of bribing for a boat to get across the islands to finally reach the starport. Jerry then utilised his High Passage to get off-world with the patrons goods.

My conclusion of running DA4 as a solo adventure was that is was very much an exercise in log keeping and lots and lots of dice rolling with a number of repetitive actions. In some ways I may be a little unfair, I tried to keep as much as possible to the rules and guidelines of the adventure and it does warn you (of sorts) that DA4 is best run as a referee / party adventure. I did find where much of the information located between the two books a pain to use, I suspect this was an editing decision in order to keep the two halves balanced and not to repeat any information. I did have to read some sections that were reserved for the referee in order to make DA4 work as a solo and make a number of alterations (with referee / adventurer’s heads on) as I went along, otherwise the game would become too drawn out and very repetitive.

DA4 is most definitely a referee adventure; however I could see a number of changes being made on-the-fly in order to make it more diverse in what happens along the intended route, as I felt the standard set of encounters / day-to-day record keeping wasn’t enough to sustain a number of sessions play. However, I’m glad I ran through DA4 at last, some of the rose-tinted views of the book have been taken away by actually playing it through and I have a decent character with which to use in the future.

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A Fifth of 21 Plots Review and Loren Wiseman Kickstarter

Its been a few posts since I reviewed some of the Gypsy Knights Games products, so I thought I’d better do some catching up and delve into ‘A Fifth of 21 Plots’. The book is available from Drivethru RPG for $4.99 and contains 45 pages. There is also a softcover book version available for $11.99. It is based on the familiar Classic Traveller ’76 Patrons’ format of a short description setting up a scenario and you then have six possible outcomes which can be randomly chosen by a die roll.

Gypsy Knights Games have been releasing their successful variation on this theme for some years (I recall reviewing the first of this series back in June 2011) where you have a single page description/list of outcomes, compared to the 76 Patrons version where situations could be a lot shorter and overlap pages.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This being the fifth release of the series, it features 21 non-specific scenario ideas. There are a number of other ‘21 Plots…’ books which do have a specific theme but they aren’t counted in the series numbering.

Working through the book, there is a good selection of situations and encounters which could be easily slotted in between a campaign, or used to bolster an existing adventure. I should mention that though the adventures are set in the GKG ATU of the Clement Sector, all the ideas here can be easily converted to other SFRPG systems. Having this balance between small-scale encounters and really ‘meaty’ adventures is what gives the book its value; some noteable ones are ‘Ice Treasure’ where you are hired for a polar-region recovery mission, ‘The Quest for the Spotsylvania’, where you have to track down a starship with its important cargo. This is followed by ‘Where no Sophont has Gone Before’ and ‘Ice Cold on Baol’. My favourite is adventure 14: ‘Superpirate Lives!’ which has some excellent twists on the pirates theme. Another favourite is ‘Gateway to Earth’, where the players are approached by someone who thinks they have found a way to re-open the wormhole back to Earth…

What helps to set these scenarios apart from the run of the mill is the descriptions which make best use of the background of the Clement Sector. This helps to bring colour and enhance the ‘uniqueness’ of the situation and make the scenarios enjoyable to read. There is plenty of detail and most of the adventures use the full page to present the idea.

Though you get 21 scenarios, you also get an updated index of all the adventures presented in all of the ‘21 Plots…’ series. This is always useful when you want to track down a particular adventure you read sometime ago and want to run it that night.

The book is pretty light on artwork, though there are a couple of full page illustrations by Bradley Warnes to break up the text. Bradleys quality of artwork impresses as always and the increasingly high level of detail that is being applied to some of the scenes is gorgeous.

A Fifth of 21 Plots is another worthy addition to the series and well worth picking up, whether you travel the Clement Sector or want to use the book for another gaming system. I would like to thank John Watts of Gypsy Knights Games for kindly sending me a copy of the book to review.

A GDW Kickstarter

I don’t usually go for Kickstarters, I carefully pick and choose what I support with the theory that its something that I will actually use and believe the organiser will deliver. I close friend of mine backed a certain retro computer remake over 18 months ago for over a £100 and has yet to see anything for his money, with a high-profile court case in the UK ongoing between the various protagonists of the venture. However, this is one KS that I shall be puttng my money to: ‘Grognard: Ruminations On 40 Years In Gaming‘.

Unfortuntately, we recently lost the great Loren Wiseman, who is credited with so many Traveller / GDW/ sci-fi books and editorials. Marc Miller has created this KS to bring Loren’s notes and editorials into a format that is fine for release to the public and publication. I seriously recommend that you take a look at it, its already funded with 20-odd days left and looks to be a fantastic insight into Loren’s writings and gaming history.

**Update** 14th of September; this has been successfully funded by 633 backers (including myself, going for the $40 option) with a total amount of $30,300 being pledged. I am very much looking forward to this when it is published by Marc Miller. What a result!

Posted in Cepheus Engine, Classic Traveller, Clement Sector, Mongoose Traveller | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Fantasy Traveller Part 12 – the Gladiator Character Class

I’ve been working on my articles for my ‘Fantasy Traveller’ series and got thinking about an additional character class based around the Roman Gladiators. I did some research on the internet and with the help of good old Wikipedia, came up with this design. In thinking about career advancement and how people end up as Gladiators, I hit a bit of a quandary. The Roman Gladiators were typically slaves who were unwilling participants in the Gladiatorial Games. I wanted an approach that allowed people to become Gladiators through choice, because it offered some superb hand-to-hand combat training, but this conflicted with the historical approach to how Gladiators came to be. I wanted a way the translate what the dice rolls actually meant when thinking of how this applied to the game-world. So, for my Classic Traveller-based world of Grond, I’m going to take this approach.

Gladiators on the world of Grond are exactly like the trained fighters of the Roman era. They generally come from the lowest classes of society and are trained for one purpose: to fight and kill for entertainment. Characters have two routes into becoming a Gladiator; the first through choice, so for example on Grond the character turns up at a Gladiator training school and asks if they can enlist. They need a 6 or more to succeed, with DMs to apply.

IMG_3211

Image: Gladiators from the Zliten mosaic (Creative Commons license: Public Domain)

The second route in is if the character was a slave or was being forced to become a Gladiator, they would still roll for a 6 with appropriate DMs. The difference this time is if they fail, then the school rejects the slave on some grounds such as unsuitable, too weak, failed initial combat test etc and so the slaver has to find some other way of making money from their charge. They are kept in gladiatorial schools and are generally well- treated (food, accommodation), but the training regime is brutal. Many that are trained do not make progression and are killed either in the school, or in actual combat in the arena. This is reflected in the progression and chance of being killed.

The benefits table reflects potential winnings that the character may come away with, after a number of successful fights. Therefore it takes 8+ to survive, but it is very easy to stay in the gladiator school (4+ to re-enlist).

I’ve tried to make being a Gladiator pretty brutal; yes – I am trying to kill your character and advances in rank should be difficult to obtain. The aim of the DMs – to make it easy to re-enlist, once you are a Gladiator and if you are good – you’ll want to be kept! Gladiators exit the service either through being exceptional or there is another way that they gain freedom, eg. special dispensation from a high-ranking official.

The character generation process is as follows:

Enlistment: 6
DM +1 STR 7+
DM +1 DEX 7+
DM +1 END 9+

Survival: 8
DM +2 if DEX 8+

Position 7+
DM +1 if Dex 7+

Promotion 9+
DM +1 Soc 8+

Re-enlist: 4+

Table of Ranks
Rank 1 Novice
Rank 2 Swordsman
Rank 3 Challenger
Rank 4 Skirmisher
Rank 5 Executioner
Rank 6 General

Acquired Skills Table
Personal Development Table

1 +1 STR
2 Blade Combat
3 Brawling
4 +1 END
5 +1 DEX
6 +1 SOC

Service Skills Table
1 Blade Combat
2 Blade Combat
3 Brawling
4 Gambling
5 Heavy Weapon Combat
6 Net Combat

Advanced Education Table
1 Blade Combat
2 Two-handed Combat
3 Hunting
4 Heavy Weapon Combat
5 Riding
6 Chariot Racing

Advanced Education Table – only allowed if EDU is 8+
1 Mechanical
2 Medical
3 Tactics
4 Leader
5 Instruction
6 Jack-o-T

Benefits Table
1 Dagger
2 Blade Weapon
3 +1 Soc
4 +1 Dex
5 Net and Trident Kit
6 Horse and Kit

Cash Benefits (Grond Currency)
1 –
2 500
3 1000
4 2000
5 4000
6 10000

Skills Descriptions:

Riding skill – see the Fantasy Traveller Part 3: Rogues.

Mechanical skill – see the Fantasy Traveller Part 1.

Net Combat skill – the person is proficient in the use of hand-to-hand combat whilst using a net and trident. For the Trident weapon specifications, see the Fantasy Traveller Part 11 – Weapons Charts PDF download. Net – throw 8+ to ensnare opponent with the net, ensnared has a -2DM modifier to hit or other actions. Range 10ft maximum, class as a throwing weapon for purposes of combat resolution.

Two-handed Combat skill – can use two single-handed bladed weapons at the same time (Gladius, sword, dagger, spear) with the benefit of both the weapons damage on an opponent, but with no negative DM.

Hunting – context of the skill is hunting in the arena. Referee to determine how the skill is ised in the arena.

Heavy Weapon Combat – can use a crushing weapon such as a Mace, Flail, Morning Star or large club (see the Heavy Weapons tables in the weapons charts download).

Example Character Generation
Running through the character generation process, we have Hermius (aged 19) who wants to join the Gladiatorial school. Rejected by his wealthy family for wanting to marry below his so-called ‘station’, he has left home and feels the best way to make sure he can look after himself is to train as a Gladiator and make some money from the fights.

Roll for attributes first: 7 5 5 6 11 11, so I’ll assign them to these attributes: BB7655 to maximise Hermius’ chances of survival. Enlistment is 6, Hermius has +2 DM to the score of 6 and rolls a 6, apply the DM = 4; he’s in the Gladiatorial school.

Hermius starts his training and has to roll for survival; he needs to get 8+, but has a DM of +2 as his Dex is more than 8. He rolls 10, plus the DM = 12. As its his first term, he gets two skills – chooses one from the personal development table (rolls a 3) = Brawling-1 and a 6 = Net Combat-1 from the service skills table. For the second term, Hermius needs to roll a 4+ to stay in the school; he rolls a 10.

He now needs to roll to survive, rolls a 7 which would be a fail. Apply the DM of +2 and he survives. Now roll for position / roll for rank 1, need to roll 7+ with a DM +1, rolls a 10+1=11 and gets rank 1 promotion. Rolls for a skill on the Advanced Education table, gets Hunting-1. Roll again to re-enlist, rolls a 6.

Hermius has now reached his third term and decides this is going to be his last in the arena. He rolls for survival and gets 12+2=14. He rolls on the service skills table and gets Blade Combat-1. With a final go at a promotion, he needs a 9+. He only gets a 6, so decides to get out at the end of the third term. Because he has three terms completed and is mustering out, he gets four rolls on the benefits tables. He decides for two rolls on each table and gets the following:

Dagger
+1 Dex
1000 + 500 Grond Cr

So to finish at aged 31, Hermius ends up with: BC7655 1500Cr Grond currency and a dagger.

Blade Combat-1
Brawling-1
Net Combat-1
Hunting-1

…with which to hit the dungeons and further his place in the world.

So there we have it, a specialised fighter character class for Classic Traveller. Any comments / suggestions please get in touch via the comments section below!

Posted in Classic Traveller, Mongoose Traveller, Tunnels and Trolls, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Fantasy Traveller Part 11 – Weapons Charts

This blog post has been a long time in coming; I’ve been wanting to convert a good range of fantasy weapons for use in Classic Traveller (to go with my suggested rules changes in the ‘Fantasy Traveller’ series) for some time and I’ve finally come up with something that I’m happy with.


Image released under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license, copyright Sidsel Clement Holdt.

Using Classic Traveller for a basis of fantasy rules always presented me with a bit of a disappointment, in that the range of low-tech weapons is very small. To address this and because I’ve always loved the fifth edition Tunnels and Trolls weapons charts, I’ve used them as inspiration to produce the document presented here. Not all the TnT weapons are converted over (I’m trying to be very careful I don’t enfringe on any copyright) but have picked out a decent range that are also found in many other RPGs. This boosts what is available in Classic Traveller, with full CT stats as per LBB’s 1-3.

To download the current edition, click on this link:

Fantasy Traveller CT Weapons Charts (2017 Edition Release 1)

The chart is far from perfect; many stats I have had to make the most informed judgement call when deciding in what stats to apply. This is based on comparing similar weapon stats from CT and what stats are used in TnT and my own limited knowlege of the weapons themselves. That gave me a rough approximation of what stats/DMs to apply to the weapons.

If there is something you don’t agree with, by all means make your own change; this isn’t canon and very much a set of ‘house rules’ that I hope you will find useful. If you have suggestions that tou would like to share, or additions for the next release of the document, by all means get in touch via the comments below.

Development on these lists was sped up by my next installment in the Fantasy Traveller series; the Gladiator character class for CT. I’ll be publishing that in the next few days, as it has references to some of the weapons in this list.

Whatever rules set you use or imaginary environment you prefer, have fun and enjoy the rest of the summer!

Posted in Classic Traveller, Role Playing Games, Tunnels and Trolls | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

50 Wonders of the Reticulan Empire Review

I can’t believe it’s aleady the summer holidays here in the UK, so what better way to start it with a bit of RPG reading? As per my last-but-one post ‘These Stars Are Ours Primer Review‘, I’m going to take a look at Stellagama’s latest supplement for ‘These Stars Are Ours‘ (TSAO) ‘50 Wonders of the Reticulan Empire‘. Available from Drivethru RPG for $3.99 (currently reduced to $2.99 at time of writing), it contains 30 pages and is currently only available as a PDF. The book is compatible with the Cepheus Engine (CE) rule book.

The book covers as the books title suggests, 50 advanced pieces of technology or aspects of life that could be considered as ‘wonders’ by a less advanced species. These aren’t just a range of weapons that could aid your typical adventuring party, the book has a wide range of items but also non-items such as ways of potentially surviving critical medical situations, or the psionic powers of the Reticulans.

The book follows the same style as other Stellagama publications in that the book is fairly artwork-light, say in comparison to many Gypsy Knights Publications. There is nothing wrong with that; though you get a lot of text on each page, I didn’t find the descriptions heavy-going at all and are very well written.

The book is 30 pages long which includes cover, contents and open game license. The book starts with a three page introduction and setting overview describing the races that inhabit the sector and how the background came to where it is at the moment, in the year 2260. Following that, you have five pages giving you an overview of the Reticulan technology and describing how to aquire such wonderous tech (rated at TL13). This is a useful section; it sets up the environment and what can potentially happen when using items – it shouldn’t be easy to come upon such tech. Depending on what part of the Empire and races you aquire items from, you get varying potential results – ranging from no ill effects and everything working as intended, to the whole thing blowing up in your face.

Page eleven starts with the ‘Weaponry’ section; eight items are described ranging from hand weaponry to probably my favourite in the whole book; the ‘Grav Launcher’, which is basically a floating, controlled plasma bomb which can be detonated on command. Think of a high-tech ‘fireball’ and you’ll have a good idea of what this thing can do.

The next section is ‘Armour and Clothing’ which is just a single page, detailing three items of hi-tech clothing that provides either a form of stealth capability or protection. Though just a single page, there is plenty of detail and tables on how to use the items.

The next two pages cover ‘Gadgets’, which are mainly variants of portable laboratories or body / medical scanners. Though they are variants, there is something to fill every need or requirement. Another of my favourites is the ‘Microfusion Battery’ – a rechargable battery which can be refilled from a starships fuel tanks and run for a month.

The next section covers ‘Biotech and Cybernetics’ – everything from replacement limbs to second-chance near-death revitialisation techniques.

Because the Reticulans make for poor ground soldiers, they have invested huge amounts of resources to develop fighting robots to compensate for the loss of Human and Cicek thralls. This section (two pages long) has a nice range of fighting robots to suit every need, with full CE stats. A thought that did occur to me when reading through this section, was that if the Reticulans make excellent strategists but poor ground tacticians, how would they inject the tactical ability into the robots which would make up for the Reticulans shortfall? I can only assume because of the advanced AI that would be programmed into the robots and from situations learnt by commanding Human and Cicek thralls – this would give the robots the necessary tactical fighting capability.

The next three pages cover vehicles, everything from ‘War of the Worlds’ style tripods to floating transport orbs of varying sizes. Something that did make me smile, was the mention in such high-tech orbs, that the only item included besides the seat, was a fire extingusher! Seems slightly odd to have such a high-tech vehicle but includes a fire extingusher? Perhaps it would be in chrome rather than the standard red colour?

Image credit: Brian Shamblen from Flickr, license under Creative Commons 2.0

There aren’t just Orbs, but variants of flying saucers and other anti-grav vehicles(!)

The penultimate section covers Reticulan Psionics – you really don’t want to mess with one of these creatures as there are some quite powerful and ‘nasty’ powers they can inflict on victims. Inspiration has obviously been drawn from popular literature about the ‘grey aliens’, plus a few other surprises added!

The two appendices cover some replacement rules for ‘Critical Injury and Replacements’ and ‘Cyborb Conversions’. There are some really good ideas presented here, having a limb or major body replacement doesn’t necessarily there aren’t any disadvantages. In fact there is plenty that could go wrong and scope for developing character traits.

Overall, this is a really nicely written supplement, packed full of detail and distingishes itself by offering a number of technologies that are distinct enough from many other Traveller supplements to offer something ‘a bit different’. It is a highly-recommended supplement well worth picking up, which can be used not just for TSAO but for any other sci-fi RPG game. I would also like to thank for Omer Golan-Joel for generously sending me a copy to review.

Whatever you may be doing this summer, may your starport transits be bureaucracy-free and visits to the beach under multiple-suns be pleasant!

Posted in Cepheus Engine, Classic Traveller, Mongoose Traveller, OGL | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Happy 40th Birthday Traveller RPG!

Today, the 22nd of July is the 40th birthday of the release of the original (now known as the ‘Classic’ version) Traveller RPG. Happy birthday Traveller! At time of writing, its a shame there hasn’t been any news of a re-release of the LBB’s or ‘celebration’ publication coming out (which would have been nice). Oh well, you can always hope!


So, in celebration of the 40th birthday of CT, I’m going to have a go at rolling a few characters and see if this maxim is really true:-

(Thanks to the Rolistes Podcast for posting this on Twitter).

Is Traveller character generation really that deadly? Unfortunately all my CT books are stashed away and out of reach, due to furniture moves and having to accommodate building work in the house at the moment. So I’m going to use this online generator to create my characters for me:-

https://devilghost.com/software/travellercharacter/

So I reckon if I generate 10 characters, lets see what the percentage is for survival (in a completely un-scientific way)…

Character 1:

Merchant 4th Officer Peng Santos A88986 Age 26 2 terms Cr26,000 Skills: Electronics-2, Vacc Suit-1

Service History:

Attempted to enlist in Merchants.

Enlistment denied.

Drafted into merchants.

Voluntarily reenlisted for second term.

Commissioned during second term of service as 4th Officer.

Chose not to reenlist after second term.

Character 2:

Army Lieutenant Emily Larsen 7A6663 Age 22 1 term Cr12,000 Skills: Rifle-1, SMG-1

Service History:
Attempted to enlist in Army.

Enlistment accepted.

Commissioned during first term of service as Lieutenant.

Chose not to reenlist after first term.

Character 3:

Navy Starman Kana Pérez 63A999 Age 26 2 terms

Service History:
Attempted to enlist in Navy.

Enlistment accepted.

Voluntarily reenlisted for second term.

Death in service.

Character 4:

Army Major John Cohen 28A597 Age 26 2 terms Cr27,000 Skills: ATV-2, Rifle-2, SMG-3 Benefits: Rifle

Service History:

Attempted to enlist in Army.

Enlistment accepted.

Commissioned during first term of service as Lieutenant.

Promoted to Captain.

Voluntarily reenlisted for second term.

Promoted to Major.

Denied reenlistment after second term.

Character 5:

Army Captain Sir Daniel Yamazaki 7B695B Age 22 1 term Cr30,000 Skills: Fwd Obsvr-1, Rifle-2, SMG-1

Service History:
Attempted to enlist in Army.

Enlistment accepted.

Commissioned during first term of service as Lieutenant.

Promoted to Captain.

Chose not to reenlist after first term.

Character 6:

Scout Haruto Varga B58394 Age 22 1 term

Service History:
Attempted to enlist in Scouts.

Enlistment denied.

Drafted into scouts.

Death in service.

Character 7:

Army Lieutenant Diego Anderson 56A739 Age 22 1 term

Service History:

Attempted to enlist in Army.

Enlistment accepted.

Commissioned during first term of service as Lieutenant.

Death in service.

Character 8:

Merchant 3rd Officer Dame Khadija Saar B576AB Age 26 2 terms

Service History:

Attempted to enlist in Merchants.

Enlistment accepted.

Commissioned during first term of service as 4th Officer.

Voluntarily reenlisted for second term.

Promoted to 3rd Officer.

Death in service.

Character 9:

Merchant 4th Officer Logan Díaz 8489AA Age 22 1 term Cr60,000 Skills: Electronics-1, Steward-1

Service History:
Attempted to enlist in Merchants.

Enlistment accepted.

Commissioned during first term of service as 4th Officer.

Chose not to reenlist after first term.

Character 10:

Scout Santino Wu 963779 Age 22 1 term

Service History:
Attempted to enlist in Scouts.

Enlistment accepted.

Death in service.

Well, that was a surprise; a 50% death rate, two of which were in the Scout Service. Conclusion: even though this was a bit of fun, it did illustrate how deadly Classic Traveller character generation could be!

Thanks go to the Rolistes Podcast for posting the picture and giving me a bit of inspiration to go through a bit of char gen. Here’s to the next 40 years of Traveller adventures!

Posted in Classic Traveller, Role Playing Games | Tagged | 2 Comments

These Stars Are Ours Primer Review

Its been a few months since the release of ‘These Stars Are Ours’ (aka ‘TSAO’) and a couple more products have been released by Stellagama Publishing. The one book which I’ll be looking at in my next blog post is ‘50 Wonders of the Reticulan Empire’, however for this quick review, I’m going to take a look at ‘A Primer to These Stars Are Ours’.

This is a free product that is available to download from DriveThru RPG and offers a way for potential purchasers to sample a new setting without having to go to the expense of buying the core product. 

The books setting details a near-future environment where the human race (Terrans) has been enslaved by an alien empire (the Reticulans) for hundreds of years. Eventually, the Terrans found a way to fight back and gradually, one by one, reclaimed the Earth and nearby worlds for its own. There are a number of other races such as the Chiwak, Cicek and Sesslessian’s that occupy nearby star systems, some friendly, some not-so-friendly.


The book is 21 pages long and is broken down into the following sections:-

First couple of pages, give a brief introduction to the 23rd century, combined with a page narrative, described by a former guardsman on his tour of duty.

The next page describes the required materials and a brief background of the writers and contributors to the book.

The following page has some very nice line art illustrating what the various races of the TSAO ‘universe’ look like and how they compare in size.

You then get four pages of the setting overview, describing the various empires involved, a half-page map of the nearby worlds and the Terran Borderlands.

You are presented over the next three pages, a sample character generation of a Reticulan ‘grey alien’ character. In the core book, you get a huge amount of source material and detail for playing different races.

After the Reticulan character generation example, you get two pages describing a Reticulan flying saucer (yes, a flying saucer!)

The final four pages are split between a sample adventure, some news dispatches (in TAS news style) and a couple of pages advertising the main core rule book of TSAO. The book is interspersed with some line art and a colour illustration of the flying saucers, by Ian Stead.

Based on the Cepheus Engine rules, this is a really nice way to dip into the world of TSAO and getting a feel for the background. Considering the book is free and only 21 pages long, it offers a considerable amount of background information and is well worth picking up as a download. If you want to take a look at my full review of TSAO, why jump in via this link?

Posted in Cepheus Engine, Mongoose Traveller, OGL, Role Playing Games | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments