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Running Prelude to War at TravellerCon

Like I said before, this past weekend was TravellerCon and I ran the first two adventures in the Prelude to War Adventure Path. I must admit, things happened in the two adventures that I was not expecting. I thought I would share them with you. Have no fear, enough spoilers have been removed so it is difficult to know what I am talking about if you have not read or played through the adventure itself, but I am giving enough detail that you can still enjoy this.

During The Rose of Death, the players went through the whole adventure without firing a shot. They got what they needed to get through exceptional planning and great dice rolls. Then when they got where they needed to be for the final confrontation, their deception worked so well, they got the enemy to do their bidding for them. Talk about everything going their way.

State of Chaos went a little differently. The majority of the adventure itself went exceptionally well and as expected, the ending had a spat of bad dice rolls.
Me: Ok. All you need to do is jump out of here and you’re good to go. The enemy ship is closing fast on you. Calculate Astrogation for your jump.
Astrogator’s Dice: Snake Eyes (critical fail).
Me: Ok … You think you are headed on the right course. Jump out.
Jump Engineer’s Dice: Fail.
Pilot: Someone take over, I’m going to jump us out of here.
Pilot’s Dice: Snake Eyes (critical fail).
Me: … Your ship explodes, creating a brief nova in front of the enemy ship as each of you and those you got off the planet are instantly vaporized.

I look forward to even more fun at next TravellerCon.

Order your copy of the Traveller adventure Prelude to War: The Rose of Death today from Jon Brazer Enterprises exclusively at DriveThruRPG and RPGNow.

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Traveller: Living in Foreven

So what is it like living in the Foreven Sector? Well the simple answer is: It is much the same as living on a comparable world in the Imperium but missing a few of the rules that everyone must abide by. The longer answer is that revolves more around space travel and quite a bit around common assumptions. 

Each planet in the Imperium largely enjoys self-rule except for the starport. So away from a startport on a planet, it really is hard to tell the difference between the Imperium and living in Foreven, until it comes to the little things. Frequent contact with other cultures makes those cultures blend while isolation means those cultures will grow distinct. Take Earth history as an example. Long before the Silk Road became an established trade route between the East and West, the east Asian cultures developed very differently from Europe. Once it was established that there were people there that had their own crafts and wares, trade started and people from both cultures traveled to the other side of the known world, taking their culture with them. Over time, this morphed cultures to become a little more like the others, gaining a few of the assumptions of those other cultures have always made. 

In the same way, the Imperium is like large multinational continent connected by its own Silk Road. While the average person in the Spinward Marches may own a locally-manufactured gravcar, an average rich person might own one manufactured on Vland or Earth. All of them are probably built with similar controls in mind, similar traffic laws in mind, similar regulations on environmental regulations in mind. That is not to say that local planetary laws do not vary widely; its just that those manufacturers would want to export to as many worlds as possible and build their vehicles to comply with some of the stricter worlds. So if you fly a gravcar imported from afar, it probably has the same standard equipment as on its home planet. A local company will want to compete with that far off company and build their own vehicles with similar equipment, if tailored to the needs of the local economy. This way the local manufacturer can say their products are just as good as the far off (and more expensive) product, even if they do not have the name of the more expensive product. 

How does that compare to the Foreven? Well the average person would own a ground car of local manufacture, an average rich person would own a gravcar from the Spinward Marches and the planet’s ruler, and maybe those in his/her close circle of associates, would own one made on Vland, Zhodant, or Earth. However, the local manufactured product would vary quite wildly from anything made in the Imperium. Assumptions that are common Imperium simply would not exist in the Foreven. Something like ‘driving on the other side of the road’ level of different. 

What other kind of differences? In the United States today, every car is equipped with a radio so you have something to listen to and keep you awake on a long drive. Would you need a radio if there were no radio station to listen to in your country? Would a car sold there still be assumed to have a radio? Probably not. In the same way a gravcar built in the Imperium would probably be built with some type of live feed of traffic conditions and would plot an alternate route for you accordingly. But in the Foreven Section, it is quite possible that those communication arrays simply do not exist and would not be designed with them included. 

Beyond gadgets included with vehicles, what else would be different? It would be rather common in the Imperium for designated highway lanes in the sky allowing those to travel at higher speeds. In the Foreven Sector, it would be far more common to see ground vehicles and grav vehicles would be far less common. So if you owned a gravcar, it would not be unheard of to be able to fly at whatever speed you wanted with little restrictions about where you could and could not go. 

What about space travel? Well, the Imperium, having hundreds upon hundreds of worlds to think of would have very specific rules about coming into and flying out of a spaceport. Spaceports probably have an access corridor with a speed restriction to avoid loud noises from ships flying in and out bothering civilian residents. In Foreven, who knows? Maybe the planetary government says you cannot do that. Maybe the government has not gotten around to enacting such laws yet (or been bribed by a large corporation to with an operating budget larger than the planet’s GDP to not enact such laws). More than likely, such laws do not exist for for the last reason.

Now lets talk about some bigger things like protection. While the Imperium isn’t the safest place in known space, it is far safer than Foreven. The Imperium has fleets of ships to combat piracy; systems in the Foreven Sector do not. Sure, they may (MAY!) be able to keep pirates that make their home port within the planet’s territory from raiding in that same territory, but the pirates will definitely be able to be free from prosecution for raiding in a nearby territory. Pirates in the Imperium are afforded no such security.

Wars can spin out of control in Foreven. With no Imperium to prevent genocide to happening, it happens. Peacekeeper troops from the Zhodani Consulate or the Imperium has happened from time to time, but largely the event is already over by the time they hear about it and send in such troops. Wars that drag on for years have the opportunity for meaningful intervention by the major powers, if they choose to do something about it. However, considering how different the cultures are and how little contact there is between them this would similarly be seen as the English invading India, and met with similar resistance. 

Which brings us to the former Torres Monarchy. The Monarchy is in Alespron Subsector and has been in a civil war for about a half-decade now. When the Zhodani Consulate sent in troops to quell the fighting and protect civilians, they were seen as an invading force. And thus, you have a new faction entering the fighting. A more technologically advanced, larger and better trained faction, but still another faction. And even when the Zhodanis mean well, they are dealing with a culture that is isolated from them and things have not gone smooth. And it is into this that the players will be inserting themselves on missions for Ms. Klein in the next adventure in the Prelude to War Adventure Path.

Download the Traveller adventure Prelude to War: The Rose of Death to today from Jon Brazer Enterprises exclusively at DriveThruRPG and RPGNow.

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Traveller: The Rose of Death in Print

The one thing I have been working towards is seeing the Prelude to War: The Rose of Death in print. Not only did it arrive last night, but it turned out great. Check out these pictures.

Cover

Characters

World Map

Now you can get your hands on the print version. Order the Traveller adventure Prelude to War: The Rose of Death in print to today from Jon Brazer Enterprises exclusively at DriveThruRPG and RPGNow.

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Foreven: Prepare for War with The Rose of Death

A Plague of Roses

When bacterial geneticist Dr. Rose is captured by a rebel group with murderous intent, it falls to your travellers to infiltrate their secret base and rescue her. Along the way, they must also intercept a weapons shipment bound for the rebels and deceive their contact within the organization. All the while, millions of lives hang in the balance. Can the travellers stop the Army of Unity before they carry out their nefarious plot and discover who is truly behind their actions?

This volume of Foreven Worlds launches the Prelude to War Adventure Path and includes:

  • The Rose of Death, a Traveller adventure for 4-5 characters, by Dale C. McCoy, Jr.
  • The history and gazetteer of Cornath, a planet of refugees who fled Imperium and Zhodani life and engineered an environmental disaster
  • Details on the military strength and organization of the Army of Unity, a rebel group with deadly ambitions
  • Four new Contacts, Allies, Rivals, and Enemies for your characters
  • Four new ships and a space station to flavor your game

Save the Doctor. Save the World!

Download the Traveller adventure Prelude to War: The Rose of Death to today from Jon Brazer Enterprises exclusively at DriveThruRPG and RPGNow.

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Foreven: The Adventure Continues

We are really excited that The Rose of  Death is coming out soon for the Prelude to War Adventure Path. So far this week, we shared with you the cover image as wallpaper for your computer, talked details about Ms Klein, and showed you the world map of Cornath. Today we like to talk about one more aspect of the adventure path. Namely the fact that this adventure is not designed to stand on its own. There is more namely the fact that this adventure is not designed to stand on its own. There is more after this adventure ends.

This adventure is actually the first in a four adventure campaign. The next adventure in the series begins several weeks after the first adventure ends. Here, the players leave the rough border region for a part of space in complete disarray and are called upon to get a number of people out of an active warzone, whether they want to be extracted or not.

The Travellers will be delving into this State of Chaos to save some very important individuals. The best part about it: it’s written by Martin J. Dougherty. That’s right, the Dark Avenger himself agreed to write an adventure for us. And I gotta say, it’s really great. How Great? I wish someone would run it for me.

This adventure and more are in the second volume in the Prelude to War Adventure Path. While you can run either module as stand alone adventures, they are designed to be run in order and you and you players will love it all the more if you do.

Download more awesome Traveller game material set in the Original Traveller Universe from Jon Brazer Enterprises exclusively at DriveThruRPG and RPGNow.

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Foreven: More than an Adventure

All week long, we have been showing off what is inside the first volume in the Prelude to War Adventure Path: The Rose of Death. Monday we started with the cover, sharing it with you as wallpaper for your screens. Yesterday, we shared with you some details on how the adventure starts. Today we share with you some details about the various sections after the adventure of this volume.

The two most distinguishing aspects of an adventure path are a series of linked adventures that form a campaign and additional material with each adventure. This additional material serves many purposes. When your players decide to do something that is not covered by the adventure itself, you are not left with nothing. You have a basis to improvise an adventure. Similarly, you can plan your own adventures that take place in the same locations and have a basis from which to start. So if you do not want to run this specific adventure, you can base an adventure in that location (or simply move the planet to elsewhere in the OTU or anywhere in your own homebrew). Some articles will expand on the culture of a people or a planet. Other articles will detail ships or vehicles that are common to the region. Sometimes we will feature Contacts, Allies, Rivals, and Enemies (or C.A.R.E as we call it) that you can give to your players during chargen that are designed to be integrate well with the adventure path. Each volume of the adventure path the articles will change up but will be relevant to the campaign.

Cornath Map
For this volume we have four articles: a gazetteer to the planet Cornath, details on the Army of Unity (the bad guys for this volume) with a full map of their asteroid space station, a C.A.R.E article, and a few ships found in the Cornathian Empire. As you can see in the picture above (click on it for a larger image), I’m going to talk about our gazetteer of Cornath. The players land in the starport of Cornath City, they don’t get to see much of the planet. However, that doesn’t mean that they won’t go off and do their own thing, as players are known to do. Nor does that mean that they won’t come back between adventures looking for work. Take New Zhodane for example. This region to the south of Cornath City is where a large number of Zhodani defectors settled. If a character ran away from the Zhodani Consulate looking for a better life, he will easily find him- or herself among friends here without being ruled by psionic mind-adjusters. Or if your players are looking for work where they get to shoot up something, look no further than the Northern Plains. This region is littered with farms that are having trouble with wild animals killing their livestock and destroying their crops. Players can hunt down packs of beasts and maybe discover another problem along the way. *evil GM grin*

One other thing I neglected to mention. Anything I write, I like to throw in little easter egg references to tv shows, movies, video games, and anything else I enjoy. My favorite reference for this volume is in the Cornath articles. Fans of the tv show Burn Notice will know the name Chuck Finley. A variation of that name makes its way onto Cornath. I just hope Bruce Campbell fans enjoy this as much as I do.

Download more awesome Traveller game material set in the Original Traveller Universe from Jon Brazer Enterprises exclusively at DriveThruRPG and RPGNow.

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Foreven: Adventure Awaits

All week long, we are sharing with you some of what is inside The Rose of Death for the Prelude to War Adventure Path. Yesterday, we gave you a closeup look at the cover. Today, we are talking about the adventure itself.

black business woman colorsFirst and foremost, this Foreven Worlds volume is an adventure. It is here in the first few pages of this volume that the players meet Juliet Klein. I say, the players meet her because your characters have already met her. They do not know her well, but that will change over the course of the adventure path.

So who exactly is Juliet Klein? First and foremost, Ms Klein is the person hiring the Travellers for a series of jobs throught the Foreven Sector. Where does she get these jobs? Well, she’s a member of the Imperial Secret Services. That’s right, Juliet Klein is a righ-ranking Imperial spy, and your characters are her assets. Why are you doing her spying for her instead of she doing the work? Like I said above, she’s paying you, but also she needs to maintain deniability. If these mission goes wrong, the Imperium does not want to start a war over this, and that is exactly what might happen if she were to be caught and her true identity discovered.

Your characters, on the other hand, are expendable. Or to put that another way, your characters are The Expendables. That’s right, one of your characters would very well be Stalone! Or Jet Li! Just saying.

Download more awesome Traveller game material set in the Original Traveller Universe from Jon Brazer Enterprises exclusively at DriveThruRPG and RPGNow.

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Foreven: Download The Rose of Death Wallpaper

Now that Prelude to War: The Rose of Death is nearly completed, we want to share with you some of what is inside. So to start this week of previews off, lets start with the cover. This beautiful image created by Ian Stead is available to grace your computer or phone. Download it today and follow us the rest of the week for more previews.

Download more awesome Traveller game material set in the Original Traveller Universe from Jon Brazer Enterprises exclusively at DriveThruRPG and RPGNow.

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Foreven: So Where Does The Rose of Death Stand

Incase you haven’t heard, High Guard came out for Traveller this week. I’ve said previously that we’re almost done with the first volume in the Foreven Worlds: Prelude to War Adventure Path, The Rose of Death, but that we are waiting for High Guard’s release so we can make sure the new ships and the space station in it are up to spec. So now that its out and we’ve had a chance to compare the final version with the playtest version we designed our materials off of, where are we. …

Well …

Certain key parts of our space station changed. So I’m redrawing parts of a 1,400 ton space station. No problem. 😉

So, we’re adjusting. We knew this was a possibility so we’re ok, but it will delay the final version longer than we would like. Have no fear, it’ll be out soon. Next week, we’ll be starting previews. Look forward to the cover artwork as computer and phone wallpaper.

Basically, this is our first adventure path, and we want to take a little time to make sure we get it right.

UPDATE (8/19/19): Well crap. The part that I thought was changed was just in a place where I was not looking. It wasn’t changed; I just missed it. So now I have to put the map back the way it was. I’m glad I had not finished the changes, but I wish I had saved a copy of the original. Oh well.

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Foreven Worlds: The Army of Unity

Foreven Worlds Prelude to War The Rose of DeathWith the 1st issue of the the Foreven Worlds Adventure Path, Prelude to War: The Rose of Death coming together, I thought I would talk a bit about what is inside. The center of the adventure is the adventure, of course, but what else is inside. One of things I am putting the final touches on now is details on a group called the Army of Unity.
Who exactly are the Army of Unity you ask and what bearing do they have to do with the adventure. The Army of Unity are a group the players are being sent to interact with, and possibly strike a blow to them. So we are including an article about the organization, telling about what the group actually stands for, what is their history, how wide spread are they. That last one is important since we all know player characters have a nasty habit of blowing things up far more than any game master can foresee. By talking about how widespread the group is means that even if the characters make an enormous kaboom, the could still encounter members of the Army of Unity that want a little payback.
The Army of Unity started off as a peaceful group in the Cornathian Empire having illegal narcotic-fueled orgies known as psisight. Not only is this drug illegal for its addictive properties that are a detriment to the user’s long term health, it grants minor psionic powers to its users for a limited time. Since all psionic activities are illegal in the Cornathian Empire, the police force were far from gentle when arresting members of this group, and they choose to fight back, becoming an army.
The adventure itself is written to not require a map of the station, but since some gamers love using maps and even more love looking at and studying maps, I created the map of their secret asteroid base. Below is the (nearly completed) floor plan of Decks 1 and 2. Check it out. I hope you like it.

Deck 1 and 2

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Traveller: Rosy Artwork

Foreven Worlds Prelude to War The Rose of DeathComing later this summer is The Rose of Death, our first adventure in the Prelude to War adventure path. Earlier this week, we got in some of the artwork for this adventure and I wanted to show it off to you.

Each of these four characters play an important part in the adventure. Exactly what that part is, you will have to wait and find out. *evil grin*

This adventure is a good introduction of what life is like beyond the safety of the Imperium. The characters get to see first hand how things can quickly go from a normal average day to a terrible day when there is no massive over-government keeping major criminals in check and and the law enforcement (mostly) honest.

Beyond the adventure itself, we give you an indepth look into the planet Cornath. This is really helpful when the characters want to go sightseeing on a different continent. Alternatively, if you want to have your character originally from here, this will help you see what life you can expect on this superearth, letting you talk in game like you really are from the planet.

Illustrations by Brian Brinlee.

black business woman colors street rat colors hispanic man colors drug lord colors

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Traveller: So What is An Adventure Path?

While adventure paths are not new, they have not been done before in Traveller. So I thought I would take a few moments to explain exactly what an adventure path is, giving you an idea of what to expect.

First and foremost, an adventure path is a series of linked adventures. How linked are they and how dependent on the previous adventure are they? That is the important question; this is what really separates an adventure path from a campaign broken into multiple parts. Each adventure in the adventure path is a fully independent, stand-alone adventure. If you only ran one adventure in an adventure path, it would make sense all by itself. It has its own beginning at the start and its own ending. You don’t need to buy the next adventure to reach a climax of the story. The next adventure continues the story from the previous adventure, but it is also a stand-alone adventure.

Think of it as episodes of Babylon 5 or Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Each episode had a problem that the characters resolved by the end of the episode (or in this case, adventure). Each of those episodes flowed from one to the next, forming a greater story that culminated in a major climax at the end of the season (or here, the adventure path). But through it all, each episode was a stand-alone episode (except for the two-parters, but still, you get the idea).

Behind each adventure, we have some supplemental material. This supplemental material varies from issue-to-issue, but it always provides you with timely help for your game. For example, Prelude to War: The Rose of Death adventure sends some of its time on the planet Cornath. So if the characters do something that gets them into trouble (innocent look) and they need a place to hide, you can tell them that one of their contacts has a farm only 300 km from their current position. You can show the players the map and provide some details about the area. Some issues may have ships native the area. Others may have vehicles, allies, enemies, ideas for what to do between adventures, creatures, descriptions of organizations, and more.

In short the additional material in each adventure path helps you to run the adventure on the fly when (no if) your players decide to do something the adventure didn’t think of.

Get a jump on the area covered in Prelude to War: The Rose of Death. Download Foreven Worlds: Fessor Subsector at DriveThruRPG/RPGNow.com.