Tag Archives: JTAS

Zhodani Base Awards 2019

2019 ZhobieWelcome to the Zhodani Base Awards 2019! 2019 has been another amazing year for Traveller products. Lots of new stuff from the small publishers (and Mongoose).

The first category is “Best Cover“. The nominees are:

The winner of the “Best Cover” category of the Zhodani Base Awards 2019 is: Crew Expendable from Zozer Games

There were lots of Traveller products with nice covers this year. Lots of love for all nice covers. A cool gritty starship image and an otherwise well designed cover with a really good looking font was what won this year.

Next category is “Best Fanzine or Online Magazine“. The nominees are:

The winner of the “Best Fanzine/Online Magazine” category of the Zhodani Base Awards 2019 is: Freelance Traveller

Freelance Traveller has once again proved that they are the best fanzine by publishing bimestrial issues with lots of good contents for free.

Freelance Traveller has won this category every year since 2011!

But the competition was quite tough this year. Zine Quest at Kickstarter will be back in February, so maybe there will be some more good Traveller fanzines in 2020.

Next category is “Best Adventure“. The nominees are:

The winner of the “Best Adventure” category of the Zhodani Base Awards 2019 is: The Zhodani Candidate from Stephen J. Ellis.

There were lots of fine Traveller Adventures for different settings published. This year The Zhodani Candidate was the most interesting one.

Next category is “Best Ship or Deckplan“. The nominees are:

The winner of the “Best Ship or Deckplan” category of the Zhodani Base Awards 2019 is: Liberty Ship from Stellagama Publishing.

There were lots of fine ships for Traveller published this year. I found the Liberty Ship very inspiring since I am planning a naval adventure for my new gaming group.

Next category is “Best ATU Product“. The nominees are:

The winner of the “Best ATU Product” category of the Zhodani Base Awards 2019 is: Dirtside from Zozer Games.

This category always make me happy since you can always find so many cool ideas and useful books.

Next category is “Best OTU Product“. The nominees are:

The winner of the “Best OTU Product” category of the Zhodani Base Awards 2019 is: Behind the Claw from Mongoose.

Mongoose continues to churn out good quality products for the OTU.

A final bonus category this year is “Best Free or Pay What You Want Traveller Product“. The nominees are:

The winner of the “Best Free or Pay What You Want Traveller Product” category of the Zhodani Base Awards 2019 is: HOSTILE Technical Manual from Zozer Games.

There were a lot of great free products this year. The HOSTILE Technical Manual was the most useful for me.

Now, go and download all of the free Traveller Products. Why? They are free!

JTAS kickstarter from Mongoose

JTAS from Mongoose. This looks really good. There will be lots of stuff from the original JTAS from GDW that will be updated. There will also be some new stuff.

Mongoose has delivered some really nice kickstarters in the past. The only thing that worries me is Brexit.

There is a 112 page free preview that can be downloaded now.

One interesting thing in the preview is the Miniphants. In the Mongoose Sword World module they were not described as in the old JTAS #16. But in the preview, the Miniphants have not been changed from the original. That is a good thing. This means that Mongoose is de-canonizing their own (or parts of their own) problematic Sword World module. 🙂

Halloween scenarios for Traveller

I have heard that there exists other games that might be easer to adapt for Halloween. There is even a horror game from GDW. But I want to play Traveller. So what are my options?

If you want to play a horror scenario for Traveller, then I would say that you should have a look at Challenge #46. It is a Special Horror Issue.

Challenge #46
Photo of my own Challenge #46.
(DrivethruRPG is showing the wrong issue)

In this issue you can find a 6-page article about scary wizards and witches, with three interesting adventure hooks. There is a four page scenario with some nasty surprises about salvaging a haunted scout-ship. The final (and maybe most scary) scenario is about encountering a ghost ship in jump space. It is written by Mike Mikesh. This scenario also includes deckplans of a 600-ton subsidized liner. All of these articles for Traveller are very good and usable. But there is more…

There is a scenario for Twilight: 2000, one for Space: 1889, one for 2300 AD, one for Cyberpunk, two for Shadowrun, one for Torg, two for Call of Cthulhu, one for Star Wars and one other (for fun). The one for 2300 AD would be easy to adapt for Traveller if you need another scenario.

Other horror scenarios for Traveller can also be found in:

  • Challenge #54: This is another Special Horror Issue.
  • Double Adventure 5: The Chamax Plague / Horde that could be turned into an Alien style bug hunt. (Also in JTAS #17)
  • JTAS 16: An Amber Zone scenario (called The Day of the Glow) about “Vampires”.
  • JTAS 15: An Amber Zone scenario (called chill) also about “Vampires”.
  • JTAS 5: An Amber Zone scenario (called The Werewolf Disease) that isn’t about vampires.
Now go find those pumpkins to get some free stuff from DriveThruRPG.

EDIT: DriveThruRPG has now updated the cover image. Challenge #46 is now number 1 in the Top 100 Products list.

Sword Worlds revisited by Mongoose

Sword Worlds from Mongoose
Sword Worlds from Mongoose

What has Mongoose done to the Sword Worlds? Do I need this book? These are the questions that I will try to answer here.

The cover of the book is quite cool, but it doesn’t look like the soldiers in the image are Sword Worlders at all. 😐

Interior art is not bad either. I just feel it is too much Viking themed, and not really showing the hi-tec spacefaring culture that I wanted to see. The deckplans are fine and the 3D rendering of the Jarl is ok. It can be seen in colour at Biomass Art.

There are a few contradictions in the introduction of the book. Are the Sword Worlds a dangerous place or a popular place to visit? Are there no physical differences from original Solomani or is the average male weight 105 kg, and the females pregnant for 10 months? Then there is also (a likely) bug in the naming rules, since the female surname possessive form is missing, but not the male possessive form.

How did they come up with the Army Ranking table? I don’t think that matches any Scandinavian army. (SWE, NOR, DEN)

There are 3 new careers. The first one is the Aesirist Church. This isn’t something that I like. It is too Viking themed. I will not use it in MTU. The next one is The Patrol. From old JTAS #18. This is a good idea to include. The third is Jäger Command. I think it should really be part of Marines or Army, as special forces.

The origin of sagamaal and the vocabulary makes some sense. Currency and exchange rate was a good thing to include. History is a bit messed up. It’s interesting but doesn’t match the previous publications.

In the Worlds chapter, the world listing of the subsector is missing the worlds outside the Sword Worlds. The atmosphere of Enos is explained in the same way as in the GURPS SW module. (To keep Traveller fun, these things should be ignored so that the referee can deal with in a different way.) Mithril matches the old adventure Mission on Mithril.

The equipment list is nice, but there are some items that are just too Viking themed. There are a nice selection of ships. Some parts of the encounter tables are fine, and the animals are interesting. The miniphants has been changed. They are not the same miniphants as in JTAS #16.

There are some proofreading errors (as usual). There are some extra-large apostrophes. There is a reference to a class III starport. (That is what a type C starport is called in GURPS.) There are some talk about the Border Worlds (that shouldn’t exist in 1105). I get an error message in the end of the pdf. Please Mongoose, do a better job!

So, I think that parts of the book is good, and other parts are not so good. You can buy it for the good parts. Maybe you like the other parts as well. The alternative would be to use JTAS #18 and read Space Viking for free, and form your own opinion about the Sword Worlds.