Thursday, February 7, 2019

More on Space Combat - The Select Programs

"The drive signature looks familiar - like a Suleiman-class scout . . . "

The 'Selective' group of Offensive programs have long confused me as to how the results should be applied. I have just now noted the following text from Starter Traveller Rules booklet, page 41. It does not appear in Book 2 (1977) but it does in The Traveller Book, on page 77. I've just never noticed it before. As I have stated elsewhere, TTB is my rules book of reference for my games.
"If a Select program is being used to influence attacks, the firing player rolls one die for each hit inflicted. On a 1 or 2, he picks the hit location, specifying one of the following: Maneuver drive, Power Plant, Jump drive, fuel, hull, hold, computer or turret. If the roll is 3+ roll hit location normally."
I have written before about how I see Classic Traveller starship combat as a Resource Management Game. This program is a great example of what I mean.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Cepheus Light Pocket Edition

Look what came in the mail!

Actual size 8.5 by 5.5 inches
This is not a new version of the Cepheus Engine rules, it is the C-Light rules in a digest sized book. I really like this format and size. It's super portable and handy. 190 pages of rules, and they still find room for some dandy illustrations.

Haven't got the time to do an in-depth review of C-Light at this time, but it's in the pipeline. 

Thanks as always to my pal Omer Golan-Joel

Monday, January 14, 2019

Leaving the Starport might be harder than you think

Please have your TAS documentation ready. All bags will be searched.

From the US State Department's Travel Advisory website:

Exercise increased caution in China due to arbitrary enforcement of local laws as well as special restrictions on dual U.S.-Chinese nationals.Chinese authorities have asserted broad authority to prohibit U.S. citizens from leaving China by using ‘exit bans,’ sometimes keeping U.S. citizens in China for years. China uses exit bans coercively:
  • to compel U.S. citizens to participate in Chinese government investigations,
  • to lure individuals back to China from abroad, and
  • to aid Chinese authorities in resolving civil disputes in favor of Chinese parties.
In most cases, U.S. citizens only become aware of the exit ban when they attempt to depart China, and there is no method to find out how long the ban may continue. U.S. citizens under exit bans have been harassed and threatened.
U.S. citizens may be detained without access to U.S. consular services or information about their alleged crime. U.S. citizens may be subjected to prolonged interrogations and extended detention for reasons related to “state security.” Security personnel may detain and/or deport U.S. citizens for sending private electronic messages critical of the Chinese government.
Extra security measures, such as security checks and increased levels of police presence, are common in the Xinjiang Uighur and Tibet Autonomous Regions. Authorities may impose curfews and travel restrictions on short notice.
China does not recognize dual nationality. U.S.-Chinese citizens and U.S. citizens of Chinese heritage may be subject to additional scrutiny and harassment, and China may prevent the U.S. Embassy from providing consular services.

Hmm. If the Chinese on Earth would do this to foreign nationals in their country, why would not sovereign planetary governments do this to Travellers?

Here are some simple rules for adjudicating the PC's entry or exit into a world.

In the OTU, this may be handled differently. I wrote these rules for my ATU, in particular for Holtzmann's Corridor, where there is no Imperial government sitting atop the locals telling them what to do.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Starship Crews and Patron Saints

Saints preserve us!
Christians have had patron saints almost since the beginnings of Christianity. In this Advent season, I take another look at the Ancient Faith as it may be in the Far Future.

In the Church & Empire setting, there are untold thousands of saints. Many are revered on the world of their birth, or where they upheld the Faith. A small number are venerated across the Church, and of these there are several who are significant to those who travel in Space.
  • St Brendan the Navigator - patron of Navigators from the earliest days of space flight.
  • St Mamas the Guide - patron of Pilots, having flown 124 rescue missions into the most dangerous of conditions to the aid of disabled ships. She perished on the 125th mission.
  • St Anicetas the Physician - patron of starship medics, one of the founding doctors of the Mercy Ship fleet. He died at his operating table at the hands of hijackers.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Frightening Animal Encounter - Outriders

Many of you have by this time seen the film Avengers: Infinity War, I'm sure. I've made reference to the Avengers before but today I'm bringing in an opposing force. Some creatures that are more likely to appear in a Traveller game. Although you might hope they don't. 

I'm talking today about these guys:
Hi. I don't like you. I have a LOT of claws. Poor You.
Animal description 

  • 4-armed, sometimes 6-armed
  • Upright bipedal mammals
  • capable of quadrupedal movement
  • skin black to gray, no hair

Genetically altered creatures 

4-Armed Outrider
Carnivore/killer    Natural terrain: Jungle

Monday, November 19, 2018

More Traveller Literary History - Kalin

In E C Tubb's Dumarest of Terra novel Kalin, the titular protagonist finds himself out of cash on Chron, an Industrial planet of huge strip mines and forges, run mostly on slave labor. Dumarest avoids that fate, but if he's not working for the Company, there are very few other options. He gambles a little, but wins too much for the house's comfort, so that's not a source of income.

Along with some other travellers he meets, he goes hunting for creatures called zardles. Zardle meat is not appealing, but it is edible and better than not eating. 

I have extracted some details of the creature from the narrative, to construct a Traveller animal description for it. I have written elsewhere about Frightening Animal Encounters, and these things definitely fall into that category. More than half a dozen of the hunters in Dumarest's party are killed by these foul beasts.

Just add lots of legs. And claws. And bad breath. And don't forget its poison.