Tag Archives: DSL Ironworks

Donavan Lambertus

Very sad news about Donavan Lambertus that has suddenly left us and now joined the growing group of absent friends. 🙁

(More information at facebook.)

Donavan was the person behind the company DSL Ironworks that produced lots of cool products for Traveller. One of the most useful and inventive things from DSL Ironworks was the Quick Decks series that could help you make pretty deckplans.

Quick Decks 2
DSL Ironwork has also been a generous sponsor of the Amber Zone contests. We miss you already Donavan. 🙁

Zhodani Base Awards 2016

Zhodani Base Awards 2016Welcome to the Zhodani Base Awards 2016! 2016 has been another good 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 2016 is: Fate of the Kinunir from GDW.

There were lots of Traveller products with nice covers this year. Lots of love for all nice covers. Fate of the Kinunir combined a classic Traveller cover with a nice image. I really liked that.

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 2016 is: Freelance Traveller

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

Freelance Traveller has won this category every year since 2011!

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

The winner of the “Best Adventure” category of the Zhodani Base Awards 2016 is: The Calixcuel Incident from Mongoose.

There were lots of fine Traveller Adventures for different settings published. This year Mongoose did a few really good ones. The Calixcuel Incident was in my opinion the best 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 2016 is: Type S Scout/Courier from Moon Toad Publishing.

There were lots of fine ships for Traveller published this year. Moon Toad Publishing made the best one for this category and won.

I do love the classic Traveller ships.

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

The winner of the “Best ATU Product” category of the Zhodani Base Awards 2016 is: The Space Patrol from Stellagama Publishing.

This category always make me happy since you can always find so many cool ideas. This year The Space Patrol win. Not only because it is really good, but also because it could have been useful for one of my own campaigns. (Unfortunately it was published a bit too late to help me.)

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

The winner of the “Best OTU Product” category of the Zhodani Base Awards 2016 is: High Guard from Mongoose

Only products from Mongoose was nominated this year. I hope that will change next year. High Guard was the best one.

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 2016 is: Cepheus Engine from Samardan Press.

Cepheus Engine wins because it has enabled many other small publishers to produce cool Traveller products without being limited by the restrictions from Mongoose. Read my review here.

Patreon, another crowdfunding idea

We have seen Traveller crowdfunding projects on both Kickstarter and on Indiegogo. Some have been successful and others have not.

Patreon is a new site for crowdfunding that works a bit different. At Patreon, the creator asks for a small amount for each thing the creator produces or a small amount for each month.

Patreon press image
Patreon Press Image

For Traveller fans there are now three creators (that I know of) that may be of interest. Steffon Worthington is creating maps. Mostly non Traveller maps. Erin Palette wants to be paid for each blog post. Some of her posts are about Traveller. Donavan Lambertus is creating ships and other stuff for his Foreven Traveller setting.

I support Donavan Lambertus since that gives me the most Traveller value for my money.

A quick review of Quick Decks 2

Quick Decks 2 from DSL Ironworks is a tool that helps you to quickly make deckplans for Traveller starships. However, when you start using it and see how good and useful it is, you will probably spend a lot of time using it to make pretty deckplans. The front cover of the product shows what you can use the resulting deckplans for.

Quick Decks 2
Quick Decks 2: Expansion Pack
From DSL Ironworks

In the example that I have done for this review there is a lounge with a bar in the front of the ship. Just outside the lounge are two “freshers”. (I thought that was needed outside the bar…) A wide corridor leads to the next section. In the corridor there is a first aid cabinets and a fire cabinets and a sofa. There are four staterooms connected to the corridor.

Example from a Liner
Example from a Liner. Made using Quick Decks 2 and GIMP.

I used GIMP when I made the deckplan in this example, but any other good image editor will work fine. I set the grid to 100*100 pixels and the offset to x=75 and y=75 pixels, and then selected snap to grid. Then it was easy to import images from the pdf to gimp and fit them exactly where I wanted.

There are lots of components to choose from. There are the usual classic symbols and many more. There are premade staterooms, lounges, briefing rooms, libraries, laboratories, brigs, armories, barracks, barbettes, sensors, magazines, boarding equipments and more. With the armories and barracks I also want to build some Starship Troopers inspired deckplans.

In 2005 there was a discussion at the CotI boards about additional book-2 components. I suggested some of those we now see in this product. This product makes me happy, since it helps me to implement deckplans using my old ideas.

This is an inspiring product. You just want to build more and more deckplans with it. Another nice feature is that the pdf is layered, so that you can hide some of the components in the images. You can try it using the full size preview. This product is the second in a trilogy of deckplan tools. You might need them all if you are a serious deckplan designer.