Tuesday, October 3, 2017

A Review of The Wreck in the Ring

Hey, I think I can see my ship from here!

This fellow calling himself Pookie UK has posted a review of The Wreck in the Ring. It's good to know that people have noticed. The review is generally favorable, while acknowledging some things that I could have done better.

Here's a quote:

"The technical aspects of the adventure are not its only challenge. There is at least one NPC who has ulterior motives and two NPCs who have motives other than salvage. In fact, one of the interesting NPCs is a member of the Brothers of St. Cuthbert, which is dedicated to recovering the bodies of those lost in space and returning them home for proper burial. This nicely adds a degree of faith and purpose not always present in adventures for the Cepheus Engine Core Rules and other 2D6 OGL SciFi mechanics. There is one other danger in Borderlands Adventure 1: Wreck in the Ring, one that suffuses both the ship and adventure with a sense of unease. Now, in scenarios like these, the cause of this unease, perhaps paranoia, might be some alien thing or crazed survivor, either ready and hungry to stalk and slaughter first the NPCs and then the player characters. And so it is here, but in Borderlands Adventure 1: Wreck in the Ring it does not feel like a cliché because it does not have to play out like a survival horror movie in space. Only if the player characters make every effort to interfere will the scenario turn into one of survival horror in space rather than one of salvage and recovery."
I admit I didn't think of the potential cliche in the element he mentions, as 'survival horror' is not on my list of genres I enjoy. I wanted a surprise and a mystery to present a challenge so the adventure would have more to it than the abstract dangers of working in hard vacuum. 

It was not my intent to make this a killer scenario, but if the referee applies the rules and situations hard enough, it could be.

The takeaway for me is 'next time write up a handout for the players' - give the 
Ref something tangible to show the players that quickly transmits some relevant information. Also, spend just a little more time giving important NPCs some background and personality, again to help the Referee build the situation.

Thank you Pookie UK for the review, and the ideas for improvement.  

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Lancaster Subsector

Why oh why oh WHY didn't I ever think to do this?  I grew up in Harrisburg, and 'explored' most of the Lancaster subsector as a young man. BeRKA over at the Zhodani Base has produced this very-close-to-home-brew subsector. Behold:

It didn't take four weeks in Jump to get to Baltimore in MY day!

 You can read about the Lancaster Subsector and the planets therein at the Zhodani Base:  http://zho.berka.com/amberzone/notorious/lancaster-subsector/ 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Jumpin' Out/Jumpin' In

I have found the soundtrack for all future Traveller play sessions that involve interstellar travel. Travelling through jump-space sounds like this:

Jumpin' Out
Unstoppable Momentum
Joe Satriani

Or maybe it sounds like this:
Jumpin' In
Unstoppable Momentum
Joe Satriani

What's your soundtrack for space travel?

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Laser weapons are coming

Beam Lasers are designated at TL-9 technology in Classic Traveller, as heavy weapons. TL 9 is noted on the Technological Levels chart as being approximately 1990-2000. Okay, so they were off the mark with that one. We were supposed to have fusion and contra-gravity by now. (Don't I wish) However, the tech of the Far Future is getting closer. Take a look:

What else could they call it except Dragonfire?

Behold the UK Dragonfire laser weapon system, currently on display at the 2017 DSEI exposition (Defense and Security Equipment International). According to the Janes' 360 website:
"The system aims to offer highly accurate targeting, allowing it to hit specific parts of an aircraft, for example. Such accuracy gives greater flexibility in target engagement, potentially allowing an LDEW [laser directed energy weapon] system to disrupt or dazzle the target, as well as to destroy it."
The Dragonfire is mounted aboard naval vessels and serves as an anti-aircraft and anti-missile platform. Sounds like the fore-runner of starship turret weaponry to me.

If your PCs are operating as mercenaries or involved in Striker battles on TL 8-10 worlds, the Janes' site offers information on real-world tech that can be upgraded and imported into your Traveller games. Check it out and find some inspiration

Thursday, August 3, 2017

More literary Traveller history

Many bytes have been committed to the discussion of what works influenced the development of Traveller. My little contribution here today is by no means ground-breaking or game-changing. I simply share with you a fun story I discovered yesterday, that has a few points in it that share common ground with Traveller's mechanics and setting. 

The story is Hide and Seek, by Arthur C. Clarke, published in "Astounding Science Fiction" v44 #1, September 1949. I found it in the Internet Archive. 
One man being chased by a starship should be out of luck, right?  Not so fast!

Monday, July 31, 2017

The Wreck in the Ring Now Available

I am super excited about this. I have played Traveller for 30+ years now, and for most of the time, I was making up my own adventures. Now I've got one published! New from Stellagama Publishing: 

The Wreck in the Ring

This adventure was written under the Cepheus Engine rules, which if anyone does not know, is the Open Game License version of Mongoose Publishing's First Edition of the licensed Traveller rules.  Now here at AF3, I'm a Classic Traveller guy, but getting a CT license to publish is harder to do. Plus, I have a great working relationship with the folks at Stellagama, doing reviews and indexing for these:

These Stars are Ours!
From the Ashes
The Bronze Case
The Space Patrol (my remarks forthcoming).

The adventure centers around the PCs exploring a wrecked starship. There are dangers to avoid and challenges to overcome, and puzzles to solve. The PCs might get rich, but if they're not careful all they'll get is a face full of hard vacuum.

The Brothers of St Cuthbert make an appearance too.

I'm happy to see my work in publication. Maybe in the future I will convert some of my home-brew universe into CE terms.

Game On!