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!


UPDATE 08-18-2020:  Additional images from  Starship Geomorphs 2.0 and Starship Symbols have been added.  >> CLICK HERE FOR MORE <<