The winner of the “Best Cover” category of the Zhodani Base Awards 2018 is: Spacecraft Design Guide from Moon Toad Publishing.
There were lots of Traveller products with nice covers this year. Lots of love for all nice covers. A cool starship image and an otherwise well designed cover was what won this year. (Ian Stead did three of the nominated cover images and one of them won.)
Next category is “Best Fanzine or Online Magazine“. The nominees are:
This post is about trigonometry in the hex-maps used for Traveller subsectors. The summary for those who hate maths is that a jump-4 is actually only 3.46 parsecs if you take the shortest route.
As you can see in the image above is that if you want to go from point X (0503) to point Y (0101) it is a jump-4. The distance is 4 parsecs.
But if you wants to go from point X (0503) to point Z (0103) it is also a jump-4, but the distance is actually shorter since you are zigzagging when you are counting the hexes following the dotted orange line.
How much shorter is it? If we use Pythagoras, then:
a2 + b2 = c2
b2 = c2 – a2
b2 = 16 – 4 = 12
b = 3.46
If we use trigonometry, b = 4 * cos(30) = 3.46.
In the Adventures of the Starship Notorious the crew meets a very talented jump-drive scientist that helps the crew improve and calibrate their J-3 drive so that it can do 3.46. This will only work if the ship is unloaded and if a special jump-program is run.
From The Ashes is a short supplement for the Cepheus Engine (‘CE’) and the Traveller SRD (‘SRD’) published by Stellagama Publishing written by Omer Golan-Joel. It covers five expansions characters united by the theme of character death and recovering from fatal injuries.
It firstly adjusts the usual meaning of ‘character death’ within normal play. If all three physical characteristics are reduced to zero, instead of rolling up a new character, From The Ashes provides straightforward rules for rushing a character to trauma surgery and recovering. But the devil is in the detail: there may be some permanent new injuries. This can add history to characters – the loss of a limb or eye makes them more interesting.
Secondly there is an adjustment to character generation, replacing the standard injury table which draws upon the definitions carefully established in the first expansion. It makes character injury during generation harsher but with more detail.
The supplement then provides for simple optional rules in combat for critical hit bonuses for Effect 6 hits, aligning hits against personnel with hits against vehicles. This does make the game generally more lethal.
Finally, two higher technology solutions to near-death injuries are presented: Cybernetic replacements at TL12, and complete body renewal at TL16. However, both come with possible serious side-effects in the spirit of the trauma rules.
At 15 pages total with 10 pages content, this is a very readable supplement that offers a variety of interesting expansions for characters who suffer from fatal injuries and have one last roll of the dice depending on the TL of their surroundings and the skill of the doctor operating. At the same time, character generation and combat get a bit more fatal. The result can be used by Referees to rescue NPCs from death but now they have one leg, or are blind, bitter and have history with the PCs.
But, of course, the primary aim is for PCs to have options to trade death for the possibility of an interesting set of scars.
Traveller5 has been updated. Almost two years after I got it. Now it is Traveller v5.09. It is almost a 100 pages longer. Lots of mistakes have been corrected. Examples and an index has been added. This makes it a lot better than before.
I know there has been lots of criticism about Traveller5. It looks like Far Future Enterprises has listen to a lot of that criticism. (Except that the book is too big and need to be divided into smaller sections.)
From what I understand, there will be a version 5.1. That is good since there are still a few problems in this (5.09) version. Hydrographics in world-building is one (that I think is very important) and problems with the index is another.