Friday, June 1, 2018

Passenger Deck/Steerage Geomorphs and Illustration

Okay, so maybe I watched Titanic one too many times, but in my Traveller universe there is a passenger class between middle passage and low berth - steerage. A typical steerage compartment consists of a series of triple bunks, a communal galley/lounge, shared fresher facilities, and additional life support equipment. Quality and accommodations may vary widely from ship to ship, but the Imperium does have, and sometimes even enforces, minimum standards for passenger well being.

At minimum, each passenger is assigned a single bunk with a small storage locker - usually enough space for a suitcase or two. Fresh linens are provided at the start of the trip and changed weekly. Two meals per day are included, but are often not much more than unheated survival rations with appetite suppressants. Passengers are encouraged to bring their own food if they have special dietary needs. Access to toilet facilities is unlimited, but shower facilities are usually limited to once or twice per week. Bunks often only have a simple curtain to provide privacy, but some may provide a more secure, hardened and lockable screen panel.

Steerage passengers are often required to stay within the confines of the steerage compartment, except in the case of emergencies. Depending on the number of steerage passengers, the passenger's ticket price, and ship's amenities, some passengers may be allowed access to other areas of the ship during off hours. Steward services are not included, but a good captain will have a steward - or security personnel - do a walkthrough of the steerage compartment once a day to check on things.

Larger passenger liners may have a good portion of their ship dedicated to steerage compartments. With the increased passenger load per square meter, a shrewd captain can actually make more money with steerage passengers than with high passengers, although usually with considerable more headaches. The additional wear and tear of having large groups of people in a small area means stateroom fittings need to be replaced more often or more durable, and therefore more costly, fittings be installed in the first place.

Steerage compartments are generally open to any passenger, but some may be segregated by sex, alien species, families, etc. It is not uncommon for some groups to book an entire steerage compartment for their private use; corporations moving employees and their families to a new facility on another world, religious factions on a pilgrimage, student groups, traveling entertainers, or soldiers. Travelling steerage is a great way to meet a wide variety of travellers in a short period of time and a great source for news, rumors, and potential jobs.

Steerage passage typically costs between 2,000 and 4,000 credits per trip and is usually a "you get what you pay for" proposition.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Rampart RF-128 Fighter Illustration

I was laying out a Lightning Class style "race track" Hangar Deck for the geomorph book and decided I needed to model the Rampart Fighter. So here is my version, based mostly on the plan view found in Supplement 5: Lightning Class Cruisers and the box cover illustration by Richard Flory for the Fifth Frontier War game.

From Supplement 5:
    The Rampart RF-128 and RF-128-2 fighters are small streamlined combat craft with stubby wings and limited control surfaces. The wings are semi-retractable, enough to reduce the crafts diameter to 3 meters and allow use in the launch tube.
     Each fighter is a 15-ton craft constructed at tech level 15. The models have two distinct features - weaponry and crew size.
     The Single Place Fighter is laser armed, and has only one position - for a pilot.
     The Dual Place Fighter is missile armed, and has crew positions in its double cockpit. The craft is used for squadron command and control in combat situations. In addition, the dual place configuration is used for training of new pilots or for periodic check-rides for pilots within the squadron.

Of course I decided to ignore that and show a version with both lasers and missiles.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Bay Weapon Geomorphs and Illustration

A couple "edge" geomorphs from the upcoming book showing my take on bay weapons. Aside from the Azhanti High Lightning deck plans, I don't think I've ever seen them represented in Traveller canon, and those in the Azhanti appear to be in the 30 dton range. I interpret them as standardized weapon frames that can be swapped out for alternate weapons easily. For the double laser, the doors retract and the weapon extends out from the bay and rotates into position. For the missile bay (as shown in the illustration), doors retract to expose the missile launch tubes. If desired, bay weapon doors could be indistinguishable from large cargo doors.

Designer's note: The weapons shown in the deck plans reflect 50 dton weapons bays on a single deck. The illustration shows a double height bay - just an artistic decision - and therefore would be 100 dtons. I doubt the gunnery crew would actually be in the bay as the weapon moves into firing position, I just wanted to show people to get a sense of scale.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Illustration - Corridor and Airlock

A couple illustrations of a typical corridor and iris valve style airlock showing the "before" closed position and our intrepid, vacc-suited PCs investigating the "after-the-bad-thing-happened" condition which left this ship in zero-G vacuum with partial power.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Traveller Podcasts and YouTube videos

Apologies to National Lampoon magazine

I listen to a wide variety of podcasts that cover many topics. For fun, I often listen to gaming related podcast and watch gaming related YouTube videos. I've listed a few of the podcasts and videos I've been consuming over the past few years. It's always interesting to see how others are playing my favorite game.
Click on the show/channel name below to link to the content.


Space Jerks - The NSFW Classic Traveller Podcast
In honor of the new kids on the Traveller podcast block, I wanted to throw a shout out to Space Jerks, who released their first episode yesterday. There are some good, groan-worthy puns: "I'll buy shots first" states one player, while visiting a Star Wars cantina-themed bar (get it? "shots first"!). If you like your podcasts sprinkled liberally with F-bombs and other adult language, give them a listen. (1 episode so far)

The Behind the Claw Podcast
I came across this one late in the game and just as I was getting into it Felbrigg stopped producing them. Definitely worth a listen. (33 episodes)

Happy Jacks RPG Podcast
Among the many games they present is a Star Wars campaign played with the Mongoose Traveller rules. (13 episodes of their Star Wars Traveller game and many, many others)

Fear the Boot RPG Podcast
Not related to Traveller, but this is one of my favorite RPG podcasts. Producing regularly since 2006, they've covered just about every RPG topic imaginable. (475 episodes and counting)

YouTube Videos

Happy Jacks RPG's YouTube Channel
More RPG goodness from Happy Jacks, who've recorded actual gameplay at the table of their Ashes for Exodus campaign using Mongoose Traveller.

Olympus RPG Group's You Tube Channel
Gameplay videos of their GURPS Traveller "The New Deal" campaign using Fantasy Grounds virtual tabletop online gaming software.

Shawn Driscoll's You Tube Channel
One of the Traveller community's most prolific Renaissance men, Shawn's videos cover topics from computer programming, character generation, 3D modeling, rendering, and thoughts about RPGs in general.

Complex Games Apologist You Tube Channel
Provides "in-depth video essays" on a variety of role playing games, including several relating to Traveller. Interesting stuff from a metagame perspective.

What Are Your Favorites?

These are only a few of the many I've watched or listened to over the years. I've tried to focus on those content creators who have produced more than just one or two episodes. Am I missing anything? What are your favorite RPG related podcasts and videos?

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Traveller Customizable Card Game

Just got this in the mail this week. This is the Collector's Edition with the additional Subsidized Merchant, Aliens of the Imperium, and Trouble on the Mains decks. I'm pretty impressed with the quality. I haven't had time to really go through it all and learn how game play works. Congratulations to Jeff Yin and Horizon Games for their successful Kickstarter campaign and for surviving the production process!

Learn more at the Traveller CCG website
Some of the artwork from my blog even made it into the game. Woohoo! I've officially left my mark on the Traveller universe. Now if I can just keep the BuffBot from going haywire!

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Zhodani Light Combat Armor

Essentially a stripped down version of the standard non-powered trooper armor, Zhodani light combat armor eliminates the upper arm and leg armor and utilizes a ballistic cloth body suit. The armor is not suitable for use in vacuum and sacrifices some protection for lighter weight, lower cost, and increased maneuverability. The armor can be augmented with the typical accessories and equipment. (See Alien Module 4 - Zhodani p. 16).

The armor is favored by troops who expect light combat or combat by lower tech combatants and is often the preferred armor for garrison duty and for patrolling civilian areas under occupation.

Cr16,000  TL11, Weight:  4 kg.