Saturday, August 1, 2020

Starship Symbols Book

I've compiled a book of the symbols and room blocks I created in AutoCAD for the Starship Geomorphs book into a PDF for anyone who has an interest in that sort of thing. I'm also including the AutoCAD .DWG file and .CTB lineweight file for those who may want to try their hand at drawing their own starship deck plans in my style.



UPDATE 8/05/2020 - The CAD file is saved in AutoCAD R2004. I've added an additional
file in R2000 for those with older versions of AutoCAD. I've also added an 8 1/12" x 11"
Starship Deck Plan Template PDF.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Starship Geomorphs 2.0

The Starship Geomorphs book has been revised and expanded and is now available for free download.


The biggest change is the addition of two new types of geomorphs, Ends and Aerofins, which will help make your geomorphs layouts have a more streamlined, sci fi aesthetic.

The new book features...
   Over 50 new pages, fully bookmarked and hyperlinked!
   Over 80 new geomorphs and geomorph accessories!
   Over 1 new illustrations!
   Very slightly modified cover!
   Same low price!
... and who knows how many little anal-retentive tweaks! For the meticulously curious, my marked up copy of version 1.1 changes can be found  >>[HERE]<<.

I will be working with Marc Miller to produce a Print On Demand version. It is my hope that over the next couple weeks the Traveller community will review this version for spelling, grammatical, and graphic errors and give me feedback so that any corrections can be made before before the print version becomes available.

Coincidentally, the original geomorphs blog entry from October 2018 just passed 20,000 page views last week. I have no idea how many actual downloads that might be, but I'm delighted the community has shown enthusiasm for this work. Stay safe and Happy Travelling!

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Traveller Referee Emulator - Update and Part 3

It's been almost three years since I uploaded my Traveller Referee Emulator Excel spreadsheet. I add to it from time to time when something new catches my eye and I feel it would be beneficial. It's still organized chaos in the front and a hot mess in the back, drifting into entropy as the years tick by. But if you've enjoyed using this in the past - or have never seen it before - here it is in its most recent glory.

It should work for versions of Excel 2013 and newer and is geared toward generic Traveller or other sci-fi RPGs, and would have some utility for RPGs in general. There's a lot of stuff packed in it.

A list of all revisions since the last release can be found on the Table of Contents tab.

Part 3 - Story Cubes
This Story Cubes box can be found in the lower right hand corner of the overall spreadsheet. In addition to adding my interpretation of all the story cubes I could find I've added a couple of my own Traveller story dice sets as well as a generic sci-fi story cube set. The gray boxes are pull down menus to access the various cube sets. You can also set them to Random if you like, but it can get kind of weird when you start getting Batman villains and dinosaurs.

These can be used to stir your imagination, like any story cubes. I tend to look at them as a group of nine, like the ones shown above. Alternatively I may just look at the first line from each group I've selected.
UPDATED JUNE 13, 2020:
Click here to download the [Traveller Referee Emulator]. The ZIP file contains both the  Excel spreadsheet and the Starburst Pips font file, which will need to be added to the appropriate Windows directory.

Friday, June 5, 2020

Starship Geomorph Images and Virtual Table Tops

One of the most frequent questions I get regarding the Starship Geomorphs book is "Can I get access to the original images?" Since the PDFs are printed directly from AutoCAD, there are no intermediate images. This question and discussions around the topic have ramped up recently - I'm assuming due to the pandemic and the increased use of online virtual table tops (VTTs). I don't use VTTs myself since I am more of a solo gamer, but I've always loved tools that helped people be more creative and I haven't met a frazzled GM yet who didn't appreciate a good time saving tool. Online gaming is a great way to maintain social distancing and game with people around the globe. With that in mind I want to introduce a few people of the Traveller community I've been interacting with lately and link to the Starship Geormorph files they've been generous enough to share that they've created as part of their VTT gaming.

I highlighted David Gillespie of High Shelf Gaming last July, after catching his "Yacht My Problem" Traveller campaign on YouTube. David uses Roll20 as his VTT. He used Photoshop to convert the geomorph book into .PNG files of each page. He then created his "Titan" deck plan from those. David has been kind enough to provide us a link to the assets for his game, which includes the aforementioned geomorph sheets, a variety of deck plans, and vehicle tokens. He's also included an .MP3 file of some ominous music he used for when the players entered the ship.

David's "Yacht My Problem" game assets can be found here.

Nicole Beach of Cheese Weasel Logistics is using the geomorphs with the Fantasy Grounds VTT. She has created a Traveller geomorph mod for that system which she has shared on the Traveller RPG House Rules Facebook page. The mod can also be found here. Nicole trimmed the geomorphs to the outside of the wall and included a variety of vehicles and ships from the book. A ZIP file with her collection can be found here. Nicole also has plans to release a Traveller game and official Droyne Coyns.

Manfred Pade uses Tabletop Simulator as his VTT. He used GIMP - a free photo imaging software - to create individual geomorph .JPG files. He then converted those files to Tabletop Simulator objects that can be used within the game. The Sci-Fi RPG Starship Geomorph Map Tiles module can be found here. Manfred trimmed all 400 of the Standard, Edge, and Corner geomorphs down the centerline of the wall for easy placement. The geomorph image files he created can be found here. A video example of using the tiles on Tabletop Simulator can be found here.

Although when I created the Starship Geomorphs book I did not have VTTs in mind, I am really grateful for David, Nicole, and Manfred for taking the time to create the files from my book and be willing to share them. The whole purpose of creating this blog was to share some of my work with the Traveller community, so their efforts are appreciated in helping me with that goal

 If you would like to create your own modules for other VTTs feel free and let me know so I can share your work. My only requirement is that anything you create based on my work remains free (even if the VTT costs to use it). Credit and/or a link to this blog is also appreciated.

Note that all the images and mods referred to above are based on version 1.1 of the Starship Geomorphs book and many of the images have been tweaked, majorly modified, or renumbered for the upcoming 2.0 book. I can easily create full page image files of the book like David did, but to create trimmed images like Manfred's takes considerable more effort. Hopefully someone from the community will step forward to put in that effort if the community feels having those extra files would be beneficial.

Happy Virtual Travelling!

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Starship: Firebird XP4 Variants

Here are a few variants of the Firebird XP4 from the Mongoose 1st Edition Book 3: Scouts. There was some discussion on one of the Traveller Facebook pages about some of its layout peculiarities. So here is my take on the ship, based on Classic Traveller Book 2 rules (excluding the drop tanks).

For the most part I just switched out the original plan's massive ship's locker and wasteful circulation for two very small staterooms and a common area with galley, and relocated the controversially placed port turret to the top of the ship. Finally, I changed the lines of the ship just a bit as I'm not fond of overly "pointy" ships (Vargr designs excluded of course). Still, this keeps the general appearance of the original plans.

This is my first deck plan with drop tanks. I never really cared for the idea of having to rely on a starport to have tanks available and it possibly could curtail visits to more interesting frontier worlds. I included fuel scoops, processors, and and extra 10 dtons of fuel so that in the event no drop tanks are available, the ship can still function as Jump 1 starship. Book 3: Scouts suggests variants are available, so I included an Advance Scout option and another for a robotic crew.

For a high resolution PDF, click this link: (Traveller Starship Deckplan Firebird XP4 Variants). All three deck plans are included in a single PDF file. The deck plans were created to be printed out on 11"x17". Scale is 1" = 10'-0" so it can be used with 15mm miniatures. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Medical Isolation Ward geomorph

I had already created another standard geomorph medical bay for the upcoming book update when the coronavirus situation hit. A few people had asked me if I was going to create something more apropos to our new reality so I made a few changes and I now offer the Medical Isolation Ward geomorph. Science fiction and horror have a long history of viral/medical focused stories. If you are looking for adventure hooks beyond today's headlines you might also consider stories and films such as Alien/Aliens, the Resident Evil series, the first few minutes of 28 Days Later (isolation beds can be re-imagined as isolation cages for animals), the film version of I am Legend, and the Stu Redman storyline in Stephen King's The Stand.

By presenting this I am in no way trying to make light of the situation we are all facing nor exploit it or facilitate any fear mongering. I think role playing games are an excellent way to spend time while we practice social distancing and my hat is off to those of the gaming community who are exploring online options like Roll20 to keep the hobby going.

Stay safe. Be educated. Wash your hands, paws, tentacles, or graspers as is appropriate for your species.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Status of the Starship Geomorphs book update

As mentioned in a previous post, I'm working on an update to the Starship Geomorph book. The book will include a new section of 60 End Geomorphs, 6 new Standard Geomorphs, a few new Specialty Geomorphs, and a couple new illustrations. I've also made tweaks to some of the original geomorphs. Once again, the PDF will be made freely available, with a separate PDF available for Print on Demand.

Work still to be completed includes:
 - Design and draw 8 more End Geomorphs
 - Design and draw 5 more Standard Geomorphs
 - Complete 2 or 3 new illustrations. Models for 2 of the illustrations are already about 90% complete.
 - Another pass at editing. There's always something...
 - Creation of the final PDFs (one for print and one for computer use)

If you have any ideas for the remaining 13 geomorphs, now would be a good time to make your suggestions known. I feel I'm starting to hit a creative wall for new ideas and it is slowing me down. If you'd like to make a suggestion, add it to the comments below or email me at Remember that geomorphs are not just for starships, but can be used for space stations and ground facilities as well. There's no guarantee that I'll use your idea, but I'll certainly consider it.

Finally, here's another End Geomorph to whet your appetite, an Xboat docking area. Enjoy!