Category Archives: 2300AD

Techbook: Chrome

Classic Traveller is inspired by Science Fiction before cyber-technology started to appear (with a few exceptions) in Science Fiction. So, in Classic Traveller there are no rules for cybertech.

There was a short article series in JTAS #02, #03 and #04 that talked about the differences between robots, cyborgs, androids, etc. We had to wait until the book 2300 AD Earth/Cybertech Sourcebook for 2300AD before GDW produced any good rules for cybertech, But this was for another RPG and not for Traveller and only 13 pages of that book was about different types of cybertech.

Cybertech might not fit well (if it is common) in the OTU. But for an ATU that needs a more modern feel, rules for cybertech are needed. Terra/Sol Games has produced a book that fills the gap; Techbook: Chrome.

Techbook: ChromeChrome is a well-known cyberpunk term, known from William Gibson’s Burning Chrome. It’s clever title for this book.

The book is written by John D. Lees, who Michel Cross wrote about in an earlier post.

The contents in the book are just what you expect, and more. There are rules covering Cybernetic Replacements and Biologicals and Accessories and Cyborgs and Cyrgeware.

Cybernetic Replacements is just what you expect it is. Biologicals is the same but these replacement are grown from organic tissue. You can buy biological upgrades and combine it with the cybertech. This can make your setting really feel like Bladerunner.

The Accessories section of the book are about improvements or additions of the body to add a function that a normal person doesn’t have. These can be both Cybernetic and Biological additions.

The Cyborg section of the book is about cyborgs. A cyborg is defined as an individual whose brain (and possibly other organs) have been placed in a robotic shell. This section of the book discusses lots of aspects of being a cyborg, including braincase, “food” and combat.

The section called Cyrgeware is about the ability to be able to change something (a function or appearance) within your body.

Most of the illustrations in the book are in grayscale and are really good. There are a few in color but only one (showing a sexy cyborg) except the cover is worth mentioning.

An alternative for this book would be 2300 AD Earth/Cybertech Sourcebook for 2300AD or Supplement 8: Cybernetics from Mongoose. But in my opinion, Techbook: Chrome is more interesting. It would be very useful in an ATU where you want cybertech to be more prominent.

Space Cadet, by Robert Heinlein

Another book that I recently read was Space Cadet, by Robert Heinlein. I bought this at the Fantasy Centre last time I was in London.

This  is one of Heinlein’s so called juveniles stories. It’s about young boys training to become officers in the Interplanetary Patrol. No girls are allowed there. It’s a kind of adventure that boys in the end of the 40’s might have liked. The science is silly as well. Even when this was written, it wouldn’t have seemed likely to find intelligent beings on Mars and Venus and in the asteroid belt. I had hoped that this book was a Starship Troopers light version, but it wasn’t. :-(

Eventhough I didn’t enjoy reading this, there was some good parts in the book. The meeting with the primitives on Venus was interesting. When it turned out that the primitives actually were the advanced venusians I thought about when I read something similar… Oh yes, is was the 2300AD adventure called “Ranger”. :-?

Heinlein

Image from wikimedia. License: GNU Free Documentation