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Traveller: Explorer's Edition
by jason m. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/19/2022 22:09:09

No POD. Non Printer Frindly and it's encrypted so you can't take it to LULU for printing. It's like they don't want you to have hard copies that you can put into the hands of your Table so you can get them into this game. Well, OK.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Traveller: Explorer's Edition
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Reach Adventure 1: Marooned on Marduk
by Brennen B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/15/2022 23:19:57

I'm surprised that this is my favorite Reach module after going throug the first 3. I wasn't that crazy about it. Well, I actually LOVED the first half of it. But it's the same encounter over and over and over and over and over ... again after that. It really started to become a sad joke even to the point where the NEXT reach module starts out with THE EXACT SAME ENCOUNTER AGAIN! Are you KIDDING me!? Granted, they change a thing or two every time they throw the encounter at you; for example, once it's maybe indoors and the next time it's outdoors!

Then again, it's $9; you get what you pay for. And some parts of this module really make up for it. Certainly some oppurtunities for some heroic action and some emotional narrative! Like I said, I think it's my favorite Reach module out of the first 3 as parts of it I keep remembering fondly. But it IS short, especially if you count the repeating encounter as one encounter.

It also annoys me quite a bit on these modules how vauge the encounters are. No maps really for any of the encounters. Granted, it's theater of the mind, but as a story teller you have to invent the scene in your mind from scratch. You're given an extremely vauge scene such as "you're in a ruined building" and then YOU the story teller have to map at least the important parts out yourself. How many exits does this room have? What walls are the exits on? What obstacles are in the room to use as cover? What's in the adjacent rooms? You're going to have to run a combat in here and all this matters! But Mongoose isn't going to help you answer these questions; it's all on you to map the world out and populate it.

So, as long as you're okay filling in all these details yourself, there's some really good material here in a few scenes. Certainly enough to keep a group of travellers busy for 4 to 8 hours of game play.

I also didn't like this nearly as much as High and Dry, which has been my favorite Mongoose module so far. But I really do love the human encounters in it for the drama.

4 stars for being short and repetative, but overall delivering a decent story as long as you can spice up the repetativeness and flesh out the encounters and scenes yourself.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Reach Adventure 1: Marooned on Marduk
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Reach Adventure 3: The Calixcuel Incident
by Brennen B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/15/2022 22:49:15

Mixed feelings on this one. Not particularly good for a solo play through, but not completely a waste there either.

All of these Traveller modules seem a bit short, but then again I'm looking at the price and the price is right. I think I'd rather pay twice as much and get twice as much adventure. Heck, a Big Mac pretty much costs more than this module these days! Wish I were joking but I can't get out of McDonalds for anything less than twice the price of this module just to feed myself one meal.

Like most of the Mongoose adventures I've played through so far, the characters are trapped in the adventure and can't leave without solving it and are disarmed and have their armor taken from them. This is starting to get a bit old. I get that it's hard to properly challenge players when they have gear that turns them into super heros, but I'm sure players are eventually going to get a bit miffed about not being able to use any of that cool gear they earned. It's one think to be denied it occasionally, but none of these adventures allow them to use their ships or most of their weapons or armour and throw creatures at them capable of doing enough damage to kill them with a single hit. It's getting old. Especially when they expect YOU to decide the encounter difficulty.

Encounters are left intentionally vauge presumably so that a story teller can dial up or down the encounter. For example, I don't think I've seen a Mongoose adventure yet that actually tells you how many opponents the group is up against EVER except when it's a single opponent. So, that kind of defeats the argument of taking all their gear away to keep them from being over powered when they don't define the power level of the encounter anyway.

And there isn't a lot of variety in the encounter opponents in Mongoose modules that I've seen so far. You're lucky if you see more than 1 "monster" given per module. Usually it's one monster, often thrown at the players over and over and over again, a group of human opponents, and a few skill rolls. This is the formula.

But all in all it was a decent adventure/story even if all these modules are starting to get a bit formulaic. As long as you're willing to flesh out the encounters and situations a bit yourself with general guidelines from the module, there's some pretty good stuff here to throw at players. I loved the underwater theme, but other than that this was certainly not my favorite even within the Reach series which I haven't been overly impressed with.

4 stars for being somewhat enjoyable and very reasonably priced. After running through it solo, I think I could make a fun evening out of it for a group of players.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Reach Adventure 3: The Calixcuel Incident
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Traveller Core Rulebook Update 2022
by Luke S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/04/2022 11:23:09

The day I purchased my first RPG, occurred on a day that many of my 'firsts' occurred as a kid.

It was the first time my parents let me travel unaccompanied from the country town we lived in, to our state capital with my friends.

It was the first time I had fast food.

It was the first time I saw a movie in a cinema (our town had a drive-in theatre).

And it was the first time I went to a games shop.

So many RPGs and wargames to look at there.

But all I had played so far in my life had been D&D/fantasy games and I wanted to try/buy something different to what we had been playing.

And then I saw the Traveller Deluxe Set on the shelf in that games shop.

I picked it up and read the 'This is Free Trader Beowulf' Mayday message on the front of the box and I was hooked!

It was so evocative, particularly after hacking and slashing things in the D&D world.

I bought that game on the spot and the later gaming experience was fantastic! (although the in-game experience system was rubbish).

How could you put all of Charted Space into 3 little black books?

Traveller will always have a special place in my heart as the first RPG I ever bought.

I've read some detailed reviews here and I'll leave it to them to explain the 'nuts and blots' of the upgrade.

But, this game was my first love and this most recent update reminded me of my youth and the many hours I played Traveller with my friends and the subsectors I generated for them, populated with my imagination. Good times!

The update looks great and the game plays much the way it used to play. The starship deckplans are a great addition!

I now understand failing a survival roll under the upgraded rules, can make a charcter more interesting (provided I didn't actually die!)

And now, maybe Free Trader Beowulf will install a turret and kick arse this time!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Traveller Core Rulebook Update 2022
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Marches Adventure 2: Mission to Mithril
by Brennen B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/01/2022 08:58:26

I absolutely hated this. I spent the last half of it just wishing it were over. But keep in mind that I ran it solo. Even after buying it, I'm not certain I want to run players through it. However, I could see where some people might like it if they just wanted to use it as a spring board to come up with their own ideas.

I should also mention that this is the exact type of adventure I always say I would love to go through, arctic adventures and caving adventures, due to the beauty and especially the added challenge of the elements. But that itch wasn't satisfied with this one.

Basically, it's just a slog(grind) across an arctic wasteland where there is no food. It's essentially a cross country trek in a glorified RV for 95% of the "adventure" with only a couple planned encounters. It pretty much says that at best you can forage a bit less than you need to survive so that you're constantly moving towards starvation regardless of what you do. There's almost no way you'll make the trek on foot as the temperatures get down below -50 degrees C and I never saw them rise above freezing even on the warmer days. You're going across a distance of about half the United States (Dallas to San Francisco for example) and you're doing it in what is implied to be several feet of new fallen snow. Basically, if your vehicle fails you, you're dead because you'll never reach any place to find food assuming somehow you can manage to not freeze to death. Plus, on foot the journey one way (not counting repeating it coming back) would take months on foot, with no food may I remind you, and possibly no water since I didn't see a lot of fire wood to melt snow with. And there are several oppurtunites for the vehicle to be damaged.

The big boss fight at the end says a lot about the people who wrote this. You go up against a creature that can one shot kill you with a few points to spare if you have a 14 in STR, DEX AND END. So, the average character will be one shot killed every time. 8d damage per hit. Oh and it has an armor of +16 so any weapon that can't do at least 3d can't ever harm it. And it's going to ignore the first 16 points of any damage you do do to it! So, your average 6d weapon hit is only going to do a point of damage or 2 to it. You on the other hand are probably not going to have time to don armor for this fight. And it has 160HP. So, you're going to have to hit it something like 80 times while it's killing a party member every round. (Actually, it has poor aim which helps. So, you just lose a party member every OTHER round!)

You're clearly not meant to actually fight it but are supposed to somehow outsmart it. You're SUPPOSED to just tell your players how to avoid this thing because otherwise it's just a total party kill, period. The suggested ways to defeat it in the book are absolutely ridiculous. For example, you can dump fuel in it's way. Right! Because you just happen to carry a few gallons of gasoline in your pocket for your electric powered RV out here in the middle of a glacier (to really do this right you need about 50 barrels of gasoline to saturate the ground around the whole area so hopefully you're playing a wizard that can summon this). The GM is totally going to have to just make the impossible happen for them to avoid this encounter. You can probably drive it off with grenades as apparently it doesn't like vibrations, but you would have to throw a grenade to find this out because there's nothing that would suggest this is a possibility before you actually do it. And I'm pretty sure this creature can destroy your vehicle/way home/life line.

And keep in mind that this is #2 in the Marches Adventures. #1 was really made for new players just starting the game and this is suggested as their second adventure. Maybe you can convince these new players to never play again with a total party kill! It's relatively certain new players aren't going to last any time at all in this adventure unless you seriously dumb the whole thing down a LOT!

But a lot of what really annoyed me about this thing was that you're constantly having to roll for the weather and driving hazards which are in completely different parts of the book, and after doing it a few dozen times, I still don't know if I ever did it right. Complex rules like this that are the foundation of an adventure need to be spelled out clearly and on one page so you don't have to flip from one side of the book to the other every two minutes through the ENTIRE game over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over.... I'm pulling my hair out just thinking about it! This stuff should have been in a flow chart. These rolls ARE like a third of the adventure by itself as they constantly affect what's going on! Not to mention that the weather rolls that I happened to roll were not "fun" or even challenging, but rather just forcing you to back track and lose a day of progress or more on a journey that was already long and monotenous and "where are we magically obtaining food from at this point?".

The whole thing is pretty much a basic premise and instruction telling you to "wing" the rest. I suppose if you want to use this as a foundation for an adventure you might make it into something, but do you really need to buy a module to tell you to create it all yourself? I really think most game masters would be better off creating their own adventure rather than running this one. You're going to have to dream up your own encounters anyway!



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Marches Adventure 2: Mission to Mithril
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Marches Adventure 1: High and Dry
by Brennen B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/25/2022 23:20:58

This was a blast to play through! This was my first time playing Traveller after hearing about it for years and owning books from previous additions.

One of the things that makes this such a great adventure is there are significant oppurtunities for heroics - if you like playing the good guy, but you may have to pay for your heroics.

Probably the biggest problem I had with this adventure was that when you reach the summit you have to cross a deep lake a distance of two American football fields while lugging big cases or presumably negatively bouyant ship parts (which it doesn't tell you how heavy or bulky they are while you are hauling them up the side of a mountain!). Oh, and you don't know what's in the water with you while you try and make this 200 yard swim with engine parts and your full pack of gear on. Hope you're an olympic swimmer! I don't see any way to deal with this other than inflatable rafts, which you DID think to remember to bring with you up the side of a mountain even though there was no warning you were going to have to traverse a lake at the top, right? You remembered your raft big enough for the whole group AND ship parts, right? Not only are you lugging ship parts up the side of a mountiain, but now you need to lug a boat up the side of the mountian TOO! Not exactly realistic. The module does suggest players could build a boat, but out of WHAT? There's some rocks! There are some bushes. There aren't even any trees to chop down and make a raft out of! There is NOTHING mentioned in the scene of the module that could possibly keep the group and their gear afloat! We had to return back to the bottom of the mountain and start over, although it didn't really cost us anything except 4 days of time due to climbing the mountain twice. And we left the ship parts at the top to make room for inflatable rafts on the return ascent. The adventure designers should have thought this one through a lot better, but if you're the story teller, you can fix the story pretty easy after reading through the whole module to see what I mean.

Also, the crew is disarmed by customs when they land on the planet. The module probably should have allowed them to obtain a hunting license with the planetary government. After getting to the summit and realizing they had to go back to town to get boats, I had them do a couple diplomacy checks to see if they could get a license for their long arms, and if not their hand guns before going up the second time because you're out in the wilderness and you have NO IDEA what's out there with you just in terms of wildlife alone! It's a frontier world! Other than the political situation, I'm surprised everyone isn't packing heat like in Alaska!

I ran it solo for myself and that went better than I would have expected, although I didn't let myself read too far ahead and made my decisions on how my characters would act before playing out the scene. I had so much fun; now I want to run it for a group of players! I did miss a few things and had to go back and correct a few minor things in scenes running it solo but it's pretty good for solo play and I think a great adventure for new players.

Now that I've read through the whole thing, I think I could run it 10 times better for a group than what I experienced, which was pretty good on its own. One thing that I DID question about the main story is HOW thin exactly is the atmosphere. After reading through the whole thing, I think the atmosphere is WAY thicker than I was at first lead to believe, which made a difference in the story due to the mountain climb. After reading through it I would play it out as if the atmosphere is like being up in the Colorado mountains around 8,000 feet (at this planet's sea level) so that the summit in the game (even though it's a relatively low elevation) is about the atmosphere of being on top of Mt. Everest. I originally thought the atmosphere at sea level was thinner than the top of Everest or equal to it, but that's not the way the adventure plays out. The way the adventure plays out, you wouldn't need any special breathing equipment on this planet (other than at the higher elevations) any more than you would going to Durango, Colorado. So, when they say "thin atmosphere" they just mean thinner than sea level on earth, but WAY thicker than at the top of Mt. Everest. I think the module should have spelled out that you don't need special breathing equipment on this planet at any of the settlements. My group went up the side of the mountain pretty much wearing SCUBA gear because I'm thinking "if the atmosphere requires special breathing equipment at low elevation we might as well be in space at high elevation". Then you really are hauling way too much gear up the side of the mountain.

Also, there's some significant climbing rolls in this module and the game doesn't seem to give any good rules for climbing. And what skill do you use for that? Profession(Mountainer)? It will probably be Athletics(Dex), but that's pretty generic for a very specific skill. Although, it's actually more of a very difficult hike than it is an actual mountain climb though. I imagine the incline of the mountain to be about 35 degrees in most places, enough to make it a dangerous hike for those unprepared but not so much a full on mountain climb except potentially in a few spots. My characters over prepared before knowing what they were getting into because I didn't read ahead due to running it solo. They also only had one out of five character with some climbing ability, which encouraged them to over-prepare. The rules do kind of mention that if you can get one person up a climb they can basically haul everyone else up (In the few places where you're actually climbing instead of hiking). So, I imagined them using that to their advantage and taking every safety precaution and using the extra time spent rules. Lots of pitons were used in strategic locations to limit fall distance as the group ascended as a team. And you definitely want the proper gear for a climb. Otherwise, the climb can be rather deadly if you don't take it serious.

The whole mission can potentially be accomplished without combat although there are a couple places where you could get into a fight. And fight or no fight, there's several oppurtunites for your characters to die here although a lot of them would be due to heroics.

There is no floor plan for the ship in the module, although I think it's a Scout/Courier Type:S from the core rule book. I just noticed they duplicated this ship as if it were something new in High Guard Update.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Marches Adventure 1: High and Dry
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Slayer's Guide to Hobgoblins
by James B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/11/2022 01:55:32

A third-party sourcebook on hobgoblins for D&D 3rd Edition. The book provides a fairly detailed treatment of hobgoblin culture, behavior, and tactics, as well as a solid hobgoblin fortress for adventurers to deal with. However, much like other books in the Slayer's Guide series, this doesn't innovate very much, and the treatment ultimately remains very close to the D&D core hobgoblin. The book also seems particularly light on new rules options, even compared to other Slayer's Guides; there's only a basic hobgoblin PC writeup, two hobgoblin spells, and some generic hobgoblin NPCs. (Originally posted on Goodreads)

A bonus note on this PDF edition: while the text is perfectly readable, most of the artwork is very blurry. Doesn't affect the usability of the product much, but it is a shame for the artists.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Slayer's Guide to Hobgoblins
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Paranoia Red Clearance Edition
by Michael G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/01/2022 11:33:29

Love the theme of Paranoia and am pleased with the purchase of the new Red Clearance Edition. I'm not a huge fan of the card portion though, since playing on line with my friends was way more challenging that it needed to be with that mechanic.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Paranoia Red Clearance Edition
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2300AD Core Rulebook Revised
by Michael G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/01/2022 11:31:13

2300 was one of my most favorite hard sci-fi settings of all time, allowing you to play everything from an Alien themed game to something more akin to Outland. Was super excited when the core rulebooks were updated and revised by Mongoose, as I enjoy their other Traveller items. I'm glad this was made available to us in digital format, as I mostly play remote, even long before the last few years mostly due to distances between myself and my friends/ family.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
2300AD Core Rulebook Revised
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Death Station
by Andreas S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/25/2022 05:01:47

A generic dungeoncrawl on a small ring-station. Could work pretty good if you inject it into a campaign with an evil megacorp that is doing combat-drug experiments. Features angry test-animals and cannibals, and also the most confusing map I've ever encountered in an RPG.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Death Station
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Paranoia Forms Pack
by Lilah H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/31/2022 11:11:25

its just three forms repeated. literally an xp form, termination, a cerebral cortex one, and a generic charatcer sheet. not what I expected



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Paranoia Forms Pack
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Traveller: Explorer's Edition
by John J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/23/2022 14:40:04

What a joy. All the greatness of Mongoose Traveller 2nd Edition with fantastic artwork and layout for $1.00? WOW! I bought this for a friend as a gift, and I plan to use it as prize support for 2d6 (not all of them Traveller erhm...) games I run at conventions. It's a no-brainer.

Mongoose is often criticized for the prices of its books. Given that they are made in England, and shipped to U.S. and furthermore the production values and art are so high, well, sorry folks ... it's what it costs.

But entries like this give new players a helluva a lot to see and a chance to sink their teeth into the system.

Comparied to the horrid production values and art of earlier Mongoose Traveller 1st Edition materials, each of these books is simply marvelous. (This is NOT a slam on the Cephues Engine System books that followed, many of which are amazingly fun ... see Cowboys vs. Xenomorphs and Attack Squadron Roswell).

If I were Mongoose trying to build my player base, I would do what the 1E/Cepheus Engine fans are doing and take the core system and use it for other genres. "Splat Books" if you will for post-apoc, gangsters, Old West, horror, and more. Keep the page could super low (say 23- or 64-pages) by ditching all the blah-blah wording and give the core nuggets for those settings. Heck, I still have my old Chaosium copy of Thieves' World which had Classic Traveller stats for all the characters.

More competition is good, and I'm glad to see CE and other systems are causing Mongoose to fight like hell with great production value books and good storytelling and settings. More slim easy-entry books for a few dollars, please! (Heck, $10 as a price point would be ideal).



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Traveller: Explorer's Edition
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Traveller Companion
by John J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/16/2022 21:11:33

This book is a dream, and I am waiting for volume 2. I have played Traveller since the 1980s, and I always saw it more for its use as a toolkit than a setting. I love, for example, Star Frontiers but want a clean and coherent system. Same thing with Star Ace, Other Suns, etc. etc.

Frankly, I'm sick to death of the Third Imperium. Been there for 30 years. I wanted Traveller to hearken back to the LBB when they were seen as a toolkit. This book unpacks loads of goodies. Top marks.

Personally, I am using it to tweak my homebrew conversion of Gamma World using the Traveller rules. This book has helped immensely. And they could certainly do more "toolkit" books. Add in the optional rules in High Guard and Central Supply Catalog for unusual or alien or alternate techs, you are good to go for onverting a wealth of old-school 1980s sci-fi adventures all while using the clean and crisp Traveller mechanics.

More please! Here's some ideas:

  • personal shields and fields
  • more type of power armor
  • lower-tech career paths
  • growing up in high or low grav (see Traveller 5)
  • more race creation ideas
  • mutations because, why not
  • tweaking the genres - going from everyday joes in space to laser sword star heroes!
  • MORE FTL drive options
  • getting into detail of survival - see the old Classic Traveller books for Mountain Environment or Desert Environment

And since we are doing wishlists, any chance to resurrect the Skyraiders series?



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Traveller Companion
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Traveller Core Rulebook Update 2022
by Phil W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/12/2022 14:42:21

Generally decent layout and presentation of the Traveller system. Illustrations range from good to excellent.

The PDF has minimal bookmarking and is locked to keep users from adding their own bookmarks. When an updated version is provided that allows for adding my own bookmarks I'll update the review.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Traveller Core Rulebook Update 2022
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Traveller Core Rulebook Update 2022
by Thomas K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/30/2022 21:11:14

The system is a tribute to the old Traveller system. It is ok but nothing special. Character generation is fun but a little complicated for the modern days.

The great strength of the books are the illustrations and the maps.

The rules however, lack any realistic feel for my taste and are also quite complex and clunky. May main problem is with the vehicles and the space ships. The rules are too gamey for my taste and stretch my suspension of disbilief too much. For example the relation of the damage a light auto cannon deals compared to a tank cannon shows that the authors have not the slightest idea of how these weapons perform in reality.

There are rules systems that are much simpler but feel much more realistic, I would recommend the Free League games. Especially Alien and Twilight 2000. I would prefer those rules to play anything like Traveller every time.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
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