Friday, May 29, 2020

New Subsector, New Rules, New Characters

For my new experiment in using Cepheus Light, I've rolled up a few new characters. I found some character images in Planet Stories v2 # 12 (1945) and thought they looked just about perfect for my new adventurers.

I present: 
Robert Rance, Ace Adventurer

Monday, May 25, 2020

Random Encounters - Two Patrons

Alistair Deacon

Business Mogul, someone who always “knows a guy” who can help the PCs – in exchange for a favor.
A Deal is about to be born. And it will be profitable.
Deacon is not that tall, not that big and not that impressive looking. A good-looking guy, sure, but a city-dweller and ground-pounder.

He tends to be 'flash' – you'll find him at the popular clubs, often tossing credits around. His clothes are always the current fashion, and tailor-made. Any tech he carries with him will be top of the line, the best the local TL can offer.

When he introduces himself, it's always “I'm Alistair Deacon”. The implication being that of course the PCs have heard of him. This may be vanity, but it's also a show of dominance. He will on occasion talk about himself in the 3rd person; such as “Of course it'll be a winner. Financial losses don't happen to Alistair Deacon.”

And in general, he's right. He may not look tough, but he's no fool. His business ventures are always legit, and profitable. He can smell a dodgy deal a klick away.

He's loaded with cash, and connected to scores of people – both legit and criminal. He's not a criminal, but he knows people who are.

He has two associates nearby at all times - “Kong” and “Nails”. Kong is the obvious muscle, even in his nice suit. Nails is less obtrusive, and often fades into the background. Just because you don't see him, that doesn't mean he's not there. Deacon isn't a fighter, so he always has someone around who is.

Alistair Deacon
77799A Age 42 Cr – Millions
Bureaucrat, 6 terms Executive
Liaison-3, Administration-2, Computer-1, Vehicle-1, Carousing-3

Alistair owns several businesses, on more than one planet. As a patron he may want:

Friday, May 8, 2020

The Remnants of the Glorious Empire - Cepheus Light

Over the last few years I have worked a good bit with the Cepheus Engine rules set. Mostly because of my work with Stellagama Publishing (Thanks, guys!) on things like These Stars Are Ours! and The Space Patrol, and now recently Sword of Cepheus. It's been fun.

Now, I'm still a Classic Traveller guy. There's nothing wrong with branching out, however. One of my new projects, therefore, is restructuring one of the subsectors of my TU, and converting all that can be converted therein to CE game terms. With my Pocket Edition of Cepheus Light, I will create new characters, build new vehicles and starships, and find out how well CL works.

The area formerly known as Weitzlar Subsector is now known as the Remnants of the Glorious Empire.

Behold my new custom-made map of the Glorious Empire Subsector

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

More Vehicles - Leopard 2 MBT

Behold the Mighty Leopard II! Another MgT 2e design.

Leopard in action

German Leopard 2A5 Main Battle Tank (TL 8-9)

Chassis: Heavy Ground Vehicle
Spaces: 27 (81,000Cr)
Crew: 3 (3 spaces, Driver, Commander, Gunner)
Agility: -1
Speed: Medium/72kph (Slow/45kph)
Range: 500km (750km)
Hull: 150
Armor: 60/60/60 (15 spaces)
Traits: AFV, Tracks (DM+4 to Drive [tracked] checks)

Armament: One Large Turret (4 spaces, 275,000Cr) w/ One Cannon (Rng-2km, Dmg-1DD, Spaces-10, Cost-400,000Cr, Mag-30, Mag Cost-5000Cr, Blast-10, AP-4) and One Medium Machinegun (Rng-0.4km, Dmg-3D+3, Spaces-1, Cost-5000Cr, Mag Cost-250Cr, Auto-3), One Ring Mount (750Cr) w/ One Medium Machinegun (Rng-0.4km, Dmg-3D+3, Spaces-1, Cost-5000Cr, Mag Cost-250Cr, Auto-3), Improved Fire Control for Cannon (25,000Cr, DM+2 to attack rolls, Scope trait)


  • Improved Control System (5000Cr), Smoke Dischargers (1 space, 1000Cr)
  • Improved Communications System (75Cr, Rng-500km) w/ Encryption (4000Cr) and Satellite Uplink (1 space, 1000Cr)
  • Computer/1 (500Cr), Improved ECM (1 space, 20,000Cr, DM-1 and DM+/- to opposing Sensors checks, Rng-5km)
  • Improved Navigation System (10,000Cr, DM+2 to Navigation checks)
  • Improved Sensors (Rng-5km, 15,000Cr, DM+1 to Sensors checks) w/ Hardened (15,000Cr)
  • Sensor Mast (15,000Cr) and Increased Fidelity (1 space, DM+1 to Sensors checks, 15,000Cr)
  • Improved (TL-9) Camouflage (5000Cr, Min Rng-0.5km, DM-2 against all visual/IR search checks)
  • Hostile Environment Protection (Cr), Short Term Life-Support (1 space, 10,000Cr)
  • Fire Extinguishers (1000Cr)

Cost: 1,044,325Cr

Designed by A1C Z. Weaver, USAF

Image Credit: böhringer friedrich [CC BY-SA (]

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Taking another look at Jack armor

Yeah, I know. It's not very effective as presented in CT. And it sounds dumb, as in "your armor ain't worth jack".

Recently I learned that there is a real, historical type of armor known as Jack. And it actually worked.

The CT definition of Jack (TTB, p. 43)
"A natural or synthetic leather jacket or body suit covering the torso and upper arms and legs. Jack is somewhat better than ordinary clothing or bare skin when defending against blades; it is worthless against guns."

Now read the definition of historical Jack:

Jack of Plate

"A jack of plate is a type of armour made up of small iron plates sewn between layers of felt and canvas. They were commonly referred to simply as a "jack" (although this could also refer to any outer garment). This type of armour was used by common Medieval European soldiers as well as by the rebel peasants known as Jacquerie. The present day equivalent is perhaps a bullet-proof vest.
The jack is similar to the brigandine. The main difference is in the method of construction: a brigandine is riveted whereas a jack is sewn. Jacks of plate were created by stitching as many as 1000 small overlapping squares of iron between two canvases. The garments weighed about 17 pounds (7.7 kg), which made them much more acceptable to the wearer than solid breastplates. They also offered a tactical advantage: they allowed soldiers to rest the butts of weapons firmly against their shoulders, which wasn't feasible with smooth-surfaced plate armours. Jacks were often made from recycled pieces of older plate armor, including damaged brigandines and cuirasses cut into small squares."

The real explanation of Jack sounds much more like Traveller's definition of Mesh armor. Also, the description given would put Jack of Plate at TL2, not TL1.

How to fit Jack of Plate into the TTB combat matrices?  Like this:

Jack of Plate is Mesh+1. That is, 1 worse than regular Mesh against all weapon types. Available at TL 2, cost is 300 Cr.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

A Useful Table - Random Values for Things

Recently I had two PCs who were exploring the hinterlands of an island on Tifur. This island was inhabited by large reptilian creatures - dinosaurs. They came upon one such hostile beast, about the size of a bull elephant – 14,000 kg.

Oh lucky you. You encountered a T-Rex.
Sounds like Frightening Animal Encounter time, right?


Their ATV had an Auto-Rifle in a mount on top. The dino appeared at long range, and even at speed 3 it took it three rounds to close in on the PCs. By then the Auto-Rifle had filled it full of lead. [Auto-Rifle vs. Jack armor is +6 to hit; in effect, an auto-hit. And two throws to hit each combat round.]

So now the PCs have this dead dino. What to do with it? There's no way they could have butchered it and saved even a tenth of the dino meat. So they decided instead to skin it.

The PCs returned to the logging camp and the port town with 700 kg worth of dino hide. This presented me with another problem. How do I determine how much a dino skin is worth?