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Cepheus General General discussion of Cepheus Engine products.

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  #1  
Old March 19th, 2018, 10:59 PM
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shankfisher shankfisher is offline
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Default Hostile and Zaibatsu

I've recently picked up both of these settings and will use them together. Hostile is an intentionally "retro-industrial" setting with plenty of grungy, claustrophobic vibes. Zaibatsu is more conventional 80's cyberpunk in Japan. They follow a similar timeline. I'll use Z as earth and Hostile the frontier. Anyone else using them?
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Old March 20th, 2018, 08:54 AM
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I've purchased them both (as well as Orbital 2100, from which Hostile is apparently descended).
I love the settings, and I agree with you that Zaibatsu works well as an Earth setting, while Hostile is better for the frontier worlds.
I've played Traveller for the better part of 40 years, and I have to admit that I've never been in love with the Third Imperium. I liked 2300, but my new favorite is Cepheus Engine with Hostile/Zaibatsu as the core setting.
I'm trying to rally my old RPG group to put together a new set of adventures for a newly-minted crew, but everyone's moved out of state over the past 20 years!
Anyway, I have enjoyed reading both books so far, and I'm glad that Zaibatsu includes some genetic modifications; that's something I fell was missing from the setting.
Anyway, enough of my blathering. Who else is looking at these books?
mactavish out.
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Old March 20th, 2018, 10:18 AM
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I plan on using it with my altered Orbital 2100 game ...
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Old March 20th, 2018, 10:11 PM
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The Marine in Hostile gets Gun Combat at 1, plus his Service skills list Gun Combat twice. How many Gun Combat-1 and Gun Combat-0 does he get his first term?
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Old March 22nd, 2018, 08:58 PM
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I recently found that some of the 2300AD support, such as Tools for Frontier Living, can be adapted easily to Hostile and Zaibatsu. The "colonies" and their infrastructure work perfectly for frontier locations, and the book is full of good equipment for the genre. The art is truly terrible. Just ignore it and focus on the gear you can port to Hostile!
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Old April 21st, 2018, 08:38 PM
wellis wellis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shankfisher View Post
I've recently picked up both of these settings and will use them together. Hostile is an intentionally "retro-industrial" setting with plenty of grungy, claustrophobic vibes. Zaibatsu is more conventional 80's cyberpunk in Japan. They follow a similar timeline. I'll use Z as earth and Hostile the frontier. Anyone else using them?
They're not just a similar timeline, they're part of the same timeline and Zaibatsu takes place on Hostile's Earth.
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Originally Posted by mactavish View Post
I've purchased them both (as well as Orbital 2100, from which Hostile is apparently descended).
I would argue Hostile's past, which echoes Orbital 2100, is more akin to a parallel mileau than being from Orbital 2100 specifically

Or to use an example, if Orbital 2100 is the Classic Traveller OTU 3I setting, the one where the emperor is assassinated, then Hostile's past is akin to GURPS Traveller in that it is a parallel timeline where things went differently, such as the emperor never being assassinated and no civil war occurring.

Orbital 2100 is a little too modern iPod futurism to really fit Hostile's retro casette futurism.


As for me, I have all 3 Hostile books (Hostile, Zaibatsu, & the Pioneer-class station book). All of them are neat! I really like how you can fit in military adventure, standard adventure, and scifi horror together in ways that work with the setting but somehow wouldn't work as well outside of Hostile.

Looking at the setting, I sometimes wonder how well would the tech there do against other Traveller settings like These Stars Are Ours, Outer Veil, or Clement Sector in capability or firepower.

Especially since Hostile is around TL12 overall but is more uneven on stuff like computer tech or infantry tech, especially with the fact no anti-gravity is around so stuff like hovercars are more like fan-duct engine cars akin to Blade Runner's cars.

Last edited by wellis; April 22nd, 2018 at 03:25 AM..
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Old May 30th, 2018, 11:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wellis View Post
As for me, I have all 3 Hostile books (Hostile, Zaibatsu, & the Pioneer-class station book). All of them are neat! I really like how you can fit in military adventure, standard adventure, and scifi horror together in ways that work with the setting but somehow wouldn't work as well outside of Hostile...Especially since Hostile is around TL12 overall but is more uneven on stuff like computer tech or infantry tech, especially with the fact no anti-gravity is around so stuff like hovercars are more like fan-duct engine cars akin to Blade Runner's cars.
This is the draw to me. I played Ct back in the 80s before the 3I was developed. My CT games were more like Alien and Bladerunner than 3I. So, yeah, HOSTILE is awesome. It's like old times.
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Old June 1st, 2018, 07:30 AM
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Bought them both. Zaibatsu in particular strikes me as a fresh look at a well worn genre. I think it's got quite a thoughtful tone which I find welcome after the ghastly trying-too-hard, would-be-gonzoid approach of some other cyberpunk games.

Would be very happy to play either, as a GM or a PC.
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Old June 1st, 2018, 07:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ltd View Post
Bought them both. Zaibatsu in particular strikes me as a fresh look at a well worn genre. I think it's got quite a thoughtful tone which I find welcome after the ghastly trying-too-hard, would-be-gonzoid approach of some other cyberpunk games.

Would be very happy to play either, as a GM or a PC.
I actually sort of wonder how one can explain all the guns you see in cyberpunk Japan when Japan is has such tight gun restrictions.

Like man PCs, be they yakuza or corporate shadowrunner types, must be having to bribe the heck out of everything just to get around.
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Originally Posted by shankfisher View Post
This is the draw to me. I played Ct back in the 80s before the 3I was developed. My CT games were more like Alien and Bladerunner than 3I. So, yeah, HOSTILE is awesome. It's like old times.
It really is neat honestly. Mostly because it's a contrast I feel to settings like the OTU 3I where we see antigrav stuff everywhere.

It was actually sort of fun, for me, attempting to compare the stats of the flying cars in the 50 Wonders of the Reticulan Empire supplement with the flying cars in HOSTILE and seeing both the similarities and differences between the two when looking at their descriptions.

It's little things like that, like describing the tech that allows for flying cars in either setting, that really reminds you of the difference between a setting with antigrav and one without. I know it's small but it's just interesting I feel.

Maybe it's just my ignorance or bias, but sometimes when I look at stuff described for OTU Traveller, the aesthetics that come to mind for cars and other equipment there is that they're...sleeker I guess? Like even a noble's flying car somehow doesn't stand out? I don't know.


Even things like computers, seeing how heavy HOSTILE portable terminals and such can be compared to holographic portable terminals in other Cepheus Engine products, showcase the difference in tech.

If there is one thing I am a little surprised about, is not seeing the equivalent of High Passage in HOSTILE, for PC classes like executives and CEOs and such.

Because one thing we do see in settings like Aliens, is that sometimes the CEO or whoever comes around to inspect a place, and I can't imagine, if they're not using a yacht, that they would be slumming it in some Middle/Low Passage area on board a liner.

EDIT: Actually I wonder if we might get to see environments like some sort of expensive pleasure station or more rich, planet colonies like Armstrong (as described in HOSTILE).

Because I could imagine that being an interesting contrast to a bunch of PCs that have gotten back from somewhere and are going to their area's supervisor for a debriefing, the beautiful paintings, expensive furniture and carpets, the very high end desktop computers all around them.

Signs of high end wealth that they may never experience. What kind of resentment may fester there as they're being debriefed by some company suit that cares more about this year's profits than about whatever problem just got fixed?

Last edited by wellis; June 1st, 2018 at 07:34 PM..
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Old June 1st, 2018, 08:02 PM
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Part of the Traveller aesthetic is likely derived from its era. "Space" and "The Future" at the time looked and felt like cutting-edge tech; just having the technology in working form was the status symbol. Why would you gold-plate a Space Shuttle or give it wood-veneer instrument panels? It's already a Space Shuttle, what more do you need?
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