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Marches Adventure 1: High and Dry
by wade g. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/19/2022 23:14:56

The description "Free Scout Ship" provides a drawing. NO FLOORPLAN. NO STATS. Once you've bought this adventure, you find out that there isn't actually a ship, but if the pc's finish the adventure, then Scout Service might grant the use of a ship but without stats or plans. Also, zero effort made toward drawings throughout. Draw a square, fill with brown, call it a building. Other than that, the adventure is good.



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[2 of 5 Stars!]
Marches Adventure 1: High and Dry
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2300AD
by Brian S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/09/2022 21:46:21

Just a quick review. I found the necessity of flicking back to the core book for character generation a complete pain in the rear end. Just include the character generation within the same book.



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[3 of 5 Stars!]
2300AD
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OGL Horror
by Greg S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/04/2022 14:53:55

I don't think D20 is the best rules set more modern horror, but as it's been said elswhere, this book is a treasure trove of good advice on how to run a great horror game.



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[4 of 5 Stars!]
OGL Horror
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Crash Priority
by Eleanor [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/01/2022 14:29:28

Paranoia is one of my favorite systems, and this supplement is perfect!



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
Crash Priority
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Slayer's Guide to Derro
by James B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/27/2022 02:14:43

A third-party sourcebook on derro for D&D 3rd Edition. This includes details on biology and culture, combat tactics, roleplaying tips, customization options (including feats for improving derro senses, unique equipment, prestige classes, and custom spells), adventure hooks, and a location for a derro-based adventure. The customization options are OK at best, with a few (such as the bonding whip and the custom spells) being particular disappointments.

The presentation of the derro in this book spins out of the description in the D&D 3E core rules... but rather than the more common emphasis on derro madness, they give them a culture focused on personal glory and power over others. The result feels like a hybrid of duergar and drow, but is somewhat less compelling than either. This makes the book hard to recommend for DMs planning to use the derro, unless they're very specifically looking for a non-standard take - the opposite problem from other books in the Slayer's Guide series, which tend to be too conservative. (Originally posted on Goodreads)



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[3 of 5 Stars!]
Slayer's Guide to Derro
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Slayer's Guide to Trolls
by James B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/21/2022 01:23:46

A third-party sourcebook on trolls for D&D 3rd Edition. This includes details on biology and culture, combat tactics, roleplaying tips, troll variants, rules for troll characters (including unique feats and spells), adventure hooks, and a sample troll settlement. The book is well-written overall, and does have some neat ideas here and there, such as creative uses for troll regenerative abilities. However, much of the book doesn't stretch far beyond the core troll, and this is especially noticeable in the tactics and roleplaying sections. The section on variants was also disappointing, as the variations were pretty limited. (Originally posted on Goodreads)



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[4 of 5 Stars!]
Slayer's Guide to Trolls
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A Warrior's Soul
by Jason P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/20/2022 17:46:34

A short story about Aslan Ihateai (second sons who will not inherit) and outcasts basically waiting around in a camp on Kteiroa for a warlord to rise up and give them somewhere to go. In the meantime they drink, trade stories, and squabble amongst themselves.

Tikhnal is the protoganist. He fights a duel with Brukhah, a braggart and bully who has already killed other Ihateai in duels in order to take their assets and wives. About half of the story is the aftermath of the duel and what it means for Tikhnal.

The story gives a nice little portrait of Ihateai camps and the sort of things that might go on in them. It is fairly well-written, but there isn't much length to develop its characters or situation very fully. It is also something of a "gimmick" story, in that once Tikhnal's secret is revealed there is not much more to the story.

The download comes in .pdf, .mobi, and .epub formats. It's 36 pages in .pdf, about 8,200 words.



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[3 of 5 Stars!]
A Warrior's Soul
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Wonders of a Solar System: Gas Giants
by Jim C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/18/2022 01:36:39

Focused, nothing too setting-specific or wacky, but with rules support for narratively relevant results. It should be very handy.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Wonders of a Solar System: Gas Giants
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MPS Complura-Class Hospital Ship
by Jim [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/12/2022 21:17:55

The description gives some useful details for medical supplies, medical lab equipment, physical therapy, medical waste handling and decontamination at entry points. The supplement continues with scenarios calling for deployment of a hospital ship, such as epidemics, wars and disasters.



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[4 of 5 Stars!]
MPS Complura-Class Hospital Ship
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Central Supply Catalogue
by David G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/08/2022 18:00:54

I have broken this review down into the good, the bad, and split (ugly but redeemable).

Note: I just got done playing Pirates of Drinax, a friend refereed it for me, this is the perspective from which I will be reviewing the Central Supply Catalogue.

The Good

Between the Core, Central Supply Catalog (this book), and High Guard you will have the required triumvirate to play a typical game of Traveller.

This book provides a large, practically essential, catalog of equipment that is a great aid when playing a game of Traveller.

This book remembers to consider game economy more than many games, this can lead to the world having a consistent feeling that can be lacking in other works.

This book considers things beyond weapons and other items of war.

The Split

The equipment rarely gives a new thing to do, it almost always gives a bonus to something the character could already do. This is an interesting predicament, as this is a skill based system if a character has a skill to do something gear can help this; however, this can also make gear dull, as it is either needed to utilize a skill, or adds a small plus to a skill. This can lead to gear being something that is placed on a character sheet modifiers noted and forgotten.

There is a decent amount of equipment that feels fringe, yet there were things that we couldn't find that didn't seem like fringe asks. This seems strange as we were playing Pirates of Drinax, with modifications, which is their big campaign; it seems they would at least furnish equipment for that.

The Bad

There isn't much in the way of creative equipment, I see weapons from this and that sci-fi book, movie, or show. Traveller has been around for a long time, and I know many would say that Traveller inspired these other works. However, Traveller isn't D&D it is definitely known, but it doesn't have this large pop-culture effect; because of this, I feel that this is at best a weak argument. Also, Mongoose has not been making this game the entire time, nor is there room to sit on one's laurels when creating a game.

Organization is not great, armor and other protective gear, which is combative gear, is on the opposite end from weapons. Sections are monoliths making it hard to find things, but there is an index, so if you know the name you can find it. Then again if you're looking for a type of item you're going to have to go digging.

The setup of the items effects are a mess, some things are well displayed such as: name, tech level, and weight. Weapons are better described than most as they also show damage, magazine size, and traits. However, it is so frequent that there are important rules expressed in the description of the item. This can make gear a pain to reference as every item of text must be read to make sure that nothing is missed, this is not good in the middle of combat.

There is also this strange opinion that there are rules maintained in the heading of each subcategory that can abbreviate the language for each piece of gear. This would work well, if there was a greater ability to discern when an item comes from a certain category, without adding extra verbiage in small margins, and if it was easy to find the place where the category specific rules were listed. At least they always seem to be at the beginning of their subcategory, but to make things worse you have to dig through super-categories to find the subcategories. This makes for an issue of having to dig through disorganized rules that the index doesn't help with.

The high end equipment is almost completely lacking for diversity; as the idea seems to be, the nice expensive gear will do everything that a few less expensive items but will do, but better. This leads to tapering gear diversity, and with clever players, this can lead to rapid gear improvement as old gear can be sold to sponsor better gear as the band of options converges into a single item for that category.

This book, which is about as essential as the Core Rules, isn't part of the Core Rules. Mongoose seems to have decided that because they have a few items in the Core they can treat this like an expansion. Rather the situation is the players can get a starting character equipped and then quickly run out of gear progression, and in a game where character progression comes from a slow skill improvement process and gear this isn't an acceptable situation.

Breaking Down the Rating

This is where I attempt to explain why I have given this product the rating it currently has, to do this I show a running tally of the products total star count, out of five, after each argument is provided.

First a three star is an average rating, so the rating tally starts at three. - 3 stars

This is functionally a necessary book if one wants to play, let alone run, a game of Traveller. While this is annoying this is not a negative or a positive for the product itself. - 3 stars

This books equipment can be almost essential to play in a smooth game of Traveller; otherwise, the referee has to build most things themselves, which with economical concerns is a lot of work. - 4 stars

This book respects game economy, to a point, which helps allow for trader type games. - 5 stars

The book has equipment that is useful for things beyond combat, or weird little trinkets. - 6 stars

The equipment is not imaginative or that interesting. These are the kinds of things that referees would likely have made on their own, if left to their own devices. This saves the referee some time, but doesn't help with developing a milieu. - 5.5 stars

The equipment options can be eclectic at times, which is strange as it is also not innovative or world building. The catalog reminds me as if it was a collection of refuse on sale from a Star Wars junkyard. This is largely copies from things that I love and recognize, but it lacks the interest of the setting of those originals, a cheap copy of them. This call to nostalgia is damaged as it is all combined without consideration to how they interact. - 5 stars

The organization is painful, it slows things down and lends itself to incorrectly utilizing gear. This is because the player has to track down all of the rules impactinghis gear, it isn't in one place nor is there a reference given to help find all the related rules. The player must instead have read the entire book and remember where every rule lookup, there are some patterns but they require the player to remember a significant amount of details to follow. - 3 stars

There is a singular destination for each equipment type if there is a high end, this lack of diversity or lack of progression is disappointing for a book that is dedicated to equipment. There are interesting modifications, such as ammo that effects some things but this is typically a small modifier that must be bought over and over again. There also tends not to be enough room on the character sheet for these items, this often leads to frustration. - 2 stars

This comes down to this book does not perform well at the table. It seems to have a great amount of possibilities until the players started using it for a while, there were options that were straight down better. This lead to a situation were after a certain amount of time players have little to purchase, making the book useless later in the game, but essential for early game. This terminal effect, and aggravation that trying to get small efficiency gains, lead to this book being given a poor score.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Central Supply Catalogue
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2300AD
by Damien D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/28/2022 06:29:23

This review is based on the opinions of a long-time 2300AD fan (1st ed "Traveller 2300AD" and 2nd ed "2300AD"). For what its worth, I've also been a Traveller (little black books), MegaTraveller, TNE referre and player. I have not played the new edition of 2300AD (and spoiler, based on my initial impressions, I probably will never invest the time to do so).

Whilst I bought this with the bundle that included Traveller core rules, I'm not reviewing the Traveller ruleset, only the 2300AD material. Though (again, spoiler) the lack of customised rules in the 2300AD will result in reflections on how the Traveller ruleset doesn't recreate 2300AD.

Summary: This edition of 2300AD feels like a cosmetic skin for Traveller rather than an a new edition of 2300AD utilising an existing Traveller ruleset with extensions or overrides to make it more applicable to 2300AD.

Production wise, the PDF release is fairly good. The PDF is searchable and has TOC - though it is limited in the number of subsections and lacking consistency across books - for example you will be able to click on subsections for personal weapons across 10 different classifications, but under Vehicle Options there's no TOC subsections for the distinct subsections on Weapon Traits, AntiMissile systems, Small Calibre Weapons, Laser Weapons, .Plasma Weapons, Missiles, Bombs.

There's no internal hyperlinks that I could find to cross reference anything, so you are left with basic PDF layout. There's about 330 pages of content (including indexes and TOC etc), plus a star chart (which falls far short of the star chart data included with the original two 2300AD editions.)

If you also go for the bundle with Traveller core rulebook (updated to 2022), you can add another 266 pages to that.

Text is easy to read, and the artwork (whilst not always to my taste) is at good resolution on the screen.

Tables are clearly laid out, though I would have preferred alternate row shading or colour banding to help with some of the full-width tables.

There are some typos, for example spelling of Giscard and Guiscard.

Much of the flavour of 2300AD has been lost in the Traveller ruleset, with very few rules to make 2300AD feel like a customisation that is leverage the Traveller ruleset but bringing the 2300AD game to life within it - as I say, it feels more like a cosmetic skin than a conversion.

e.g. No consideration of Initiative penalties to armour, something which was a big issue in 2300AD, especially if it was worth losing fractions on the halved initiative to drop a to a later phase. Likewise, no concept of bulk to resolve ties at the same initiative.

e.g. No consideration of armour and how it relates to blunt trauma - again this was an important consideration in armour selection in 2300AD.

e.g. No consideration of hit location - a major feature of 2300ADs combat compared to many other systems at the time. This applies both to armour protection and wound seriousness.

e.g. No consideration of thrown weapons and deviation.

e.g. No consideration of explosives beyond vanilla Traveller - no tamping, no separation of concussion and fragmentation.

e.g. No concept of signature relating to armour. There is mention of signature relating to thermal protection, but ignoring it for armour removes that 2300AD flavour.

This may be cosmetic, but I'm sure I'm not alone in my opinion of some of the artwork. It stinks in many places. The Rorrtmann SK-19 was an iconic gun - clearly inspired by the even more iconic M41A pulse rifle from Aliens. Yet the new book manages to make it look like a child's super-soaker. Likewise, the menacing DumArmCo close assault shotgun is now extremely plain looking.

To be fair, other parts of artwork are much better - and in many cases do a good job of representing the "retro futuristic" feel of 2300AD (rather like Alien movie for those who are not familiar with it).

Heavy Weapons have been mostly stripped from the book - the Type 12 Autocannon is there. But the panzerfausts and Guiscards are all gone. Outside of some plasma guns, there's no man portable weaponry to really threaten an armoured vehicle, never mind aircraft. Sure I could use the generic rocket launchers from Traveller core rulebook (but why should I when I want to play 2300AD?), but: (a) Those peak at 2300AD TL at 5D+6 with no AP rating, meaning they cant penetrate the side, never mind frontal armour of the specced hovercraft APC. If you roll 5 x 6s on that 5D, you will just penetrate the frontal armour of a Kz-7 combat walker. Just. (b) There's no automatic guidance on them

Wrapping Up

Whilst I've not gone through the entirety of the 3 books in detail, initial impressions are that, if the rule isn't in the Traveller book, its almost certainly not in 2300AD. Whilst that may allow for TL10-TL12 resources from Traveller to be dropped into 2300AD, it doesn't make them 2300AD. And if I just wanted a TL10-TL12 Traveller campaign, I could do that myself. Sadly, this 2300AD edition just isn't 2300AD for me at all. Its Traveller (not a bad thing in and of itself, but the issue is, I didn't want to play Traveller, I wanted 2300AD!).

Sure there are some items introduced - e.g. D66 for stun, and weapon traits for vehicle mounted weaponry (but nothing for personal equipment). But this just isn't what I thought I was buying, and as such, is a major disappointment.



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[2 of 5 Stars!]
2300AD
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Slayer's Guide to Lizardfolk
by James B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/22/2022 23:23:32

A third-party sourcebook on lizardfolk for D&D 3.5. This includes details on biology and culture, combat tactics, roleplaying tips, PC/NPC options (including two prestige classes), adventure hooks, and a sample lizardfolk settlement. The ideas in the book would be useful for a campaign prominently featuring lizardfolk, with the two prestige classes being the major standouts; however, the book doesn't stretch very far from the core concept, and would have benefited from more imaginative variations on the theme. Also, the assumption that lizardfolk have built-in instincts driving some of their behavior might not sit well with certain players (though it's easily ignored if so). (Originally posted on Goodreads)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Slayer's Guide to Lizardfolk
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The Spinward Extents
by Rory H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/25/2022 19:26:40

Following the, now familiar format of Mongoose Traveller 2E sourcebooks, this one details two sectors of Charted Space that lie way beyond the Third Imperium (Vanguard Reaches and The Beyond). You get the various zone maps, new careers (Storm Knights), spacecraft and aliens specific to each area and a write up of the history and key worlds. This one is meatier than most (370 pages), with full colour layout and illustration throughout. Without the influence of the Imperium to condend with, this will appeal to those who want to explore some fairly alien pocket empires with a pretty baltic feel.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Spinward Extents
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Journal of the Travellers' Aid Society Volume 3
by CD F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/24/2022 16:13:54

This has great background for Jump Drives as well as the Stats of a Manufacturing Ship. There is a Prison Break adventure and a very good NPC with a bounty to collect on. The art matches the great layout. Worth the money it if any of these are things you want in an adventure!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Journal of the Travellers' Aid Society Volume 3
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Death Station
by Ben N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/23/2022 22:11:47

It's a really good update of a good idea and in updating it makes it more accessable (security cameras being a good example) or understandable to a new scifi audience. The scenario itself is not complex allowing for a one off well within a starting game masters abilities or the bones are there to build a major campaign around these events. I think its very useful and was a great gift from Mongoose at xmas. If you want to bring traveller to your table this is a good place to start.



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
Death Station
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