Category Archives: Starships

Starships construction and operation. Deckplans, HighGuard, Book2, FF&S etc. GearHead Area!

The Pretty Penny – A Pretty Deck-plan

This product is a deck-plan of the Type M Subsidized Merchant “HIMS The Pretty Penny” from Scrying Eye Games.

Front Cover

It is the second deck-plan of about 20 that they have planned to release. I hope they do the Shivva Patrol Frigate. 😕

You can also get an air/raft in the same style for free.

The scale is 25 mm/square. The side of a square is 5 ft.  This fits a number of counters, card board heroes and miniatures nicely. But it doesn’t match the classic scale exactly (but close enough). It also makes the deck-plan of the ship quite large. The ship is fitted within 19 pages that you have to assemble yourself. It would have been nice if there was a hi-res image-file includes as well, so you could print it out on a large printer/plotter.

There are lots of details in the images. This is very nice compared to the standard classic deck-plans. Now you can see how everything will fit, and where all the rubbish will end up… Have a look at the engineering work station below. 🙂

Work Station

The need for deck-plans has always been there. In my group, and in other groups that I have played in, we have always used deck-plans. Even though there might not be any combat within the ship, it is always nice to see where your character lives and works. If there is combat within the ship, a deck-plan is a must.

Combat can be solved using standard traveller rules, or using special on-board rules like Snapshot.

Even though this is a very nice product, I will not use it. The reason for this is that my group is quite tainted by what the March Harrier from the Traveller Adventure looked like. The March Harrier is a type R. (The classic type M is a 600-ton Subsidized Liner.) There are a number of elevators in this ship. Where is the Launch? This is not the same ship. It doesn’t match the March Harrier. But for a new group it would probably be very nice to have this pretty deck-plan on their gaming table.

This is what I think a classic type R should look like.

Traveller Inspiration: Free e-books

Traveller was first published 1977, and was inspired by even older science fiction. While this means that the computer rules used in traveller might feel a bit obsolete, it also means that for some of the books it was inspired by, the copyright has expired. (The computer rules are quite easy to ignore or modify anyway, so that doesn’t matter much.)

At Project Gutenberg, some works that has inspired traveller can be downloaded in several formats that will fit your e-book reader. It is also possible to read them directly on the web.

Here is a suggestion of five books for you to download:

1, Space Viking by H. Beam Piper

In Space Viking, there is a group of planets called Sword Worlds that are named after legendary swords. Doesn’t that seem familiar… The image below of the spherical ships  is from the book. They look a lot like the Mercenary Cruisers from traveller.

2, Deathworld by Harry Harrison

Jason dinAlt is the hero of the Deathworld books. In the Traveller Supplement 1, 1001 Characters, you can find his stats as hero #3, the Rapscallion Gambler. Jason dinAlt is skilled in gambling and also has a psionic talent, that can help his gambling. In Traveller, gambling is a skill, and psionics isn’t impossible.

3, Gambler’s World by Keith Laumer

Jame Retief is a Diplomat for the Corps Diplomatique Terrestrienne. In Traveller Supplement 4, Citizens of the Imperium you can find his stats as hero #5.

4, A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs

Hero #1 of the Traveller Supplement 1 is John Carter. In the Solomani Rim (0239), there is a small planet named Barsoom.

5, Triplanetary by E. E. Smith

Triplanetary is a Lensman prequels. Kimball Kinnison of the Lensman series is hero #2 in the Traveller Supplement 1. GDW also published a game called Triplanetary before they published Traveller.

Mercenary Cruiser?

Image from Project Gutenberg. Copyright expired.

T Pyxidis

T Pyxidis is a star that we have heard about in the news recently. The scientist Dr Sion claims that it will go supernova quite soon and threaten the earth. Other scientists say that this is not the case.

In any case, T Pyxidis is an interesting object that will be interesting to study. Especially in the Far Future when we can go there. It is only 1000 parsecs away. It will only take about 4 years to go there with an average speed of jump-5. So lets equip a 100-kton scout-cruiser and go there! It will be an epic adventure. 😀

T Pyx

Image from NASA. Public Domain.

Only referees should read on.

Continue reading T Pyxidis

Talk like a (space) Pirate

Today is talk like a Pirate day. How does a traveller space pirate talk?

Some say that pirates are not feasible in traveller. They say that the impies and/or other powers will swiftly crush any piracy. 🙁

I do not agree! :mrgreen:

If we look at the planet earth, in the year 2009, we can see that piracy does happen in the most unexpected places. It doesn’t have to happen along the coast of a country in anarchy. It could even happen in the Baltic.

What happened (and why) to the ship Arctic Sea could absolutely be transformed into a traveller adventure.

Remember that a pirate could also be a privateer. Then the pirate would be a lot easier. A pdf-file about privateering in traveller can be downloaded here.

Pirates doesn’t only have to operate corsair ships built using book-2. They could also use old warships or government sponsored privateers build using book-5 rules. That would give the pirates a better fighting chance. 😈