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Cepheus General General discussion of Cepheus Engine products.

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  #21  
Old November 24th, 2018, 03:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike wightman View Post
[ . . . ]
Sketch out what they eat and what eats them and you have a lot more critters all linked and the beginning of a fleshed out ecosystem.[ . . . ]
'What does it eat when it can't get passing adventurers?'
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  #22  
Old November 24th, 2018, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by nobby-w View Post
'What does it eat when it can't get passing adventurers?'
Ah, you must be thinking of the "sphexes" of Loren II, from Murray Leinster's Exploration Team/Combat Team. A very good story, but given that the sphexes were carnivorous and tended to travel in packs, Murray does not really have any prey species for them except humans. He does give a pretty good description of them, and they are great as a plot element.

To mike wightman, thanks for the suggestion as to where to start. I will start working on a list this afternoon, and post it here.
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  #23  
Old December 8th, 2018, 11:56 AM
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Well, the sector is close to done. For a longer update, see my blog. If you cannot see the blog, post here and I will put up some more info.

I have 6 new or modified character types in the sector, including a rank progression for the Rim Scouts, sort of derived from bits and pieces of Andre Norton's various books. I think that I will have fun with the Rover character, the one born under a wandering star with a permanent case of itchy feet and a yen to see what is over the next hill crest. It will not be the Drifter from Cepheus Engine. The Navy and Merchant characters will be pretty much standard. The Space Viking one should be interesting as well. Sort of a blend of Navy and Army, but not really the standard Marine type. Then there is the Settler.

I am working on a bestiary as well, but it depends on how many I can get illustrations for from my collection. I have an idea for the "Marsh Pigs", and they have been scattered about the sector by someone. Krell? Baldies? Someone else? Who knows? Ah, the Shadow knows!!!

I am not sure how long it will take for animal encounter tables. For now, I might recommend Supplement 2: Animal Encounters, from Classic Traveller. Then just fill in the creatures that I have put out. The characteristics will work for Cepheus Engine (a bit modified), Traveller, and what I call classic D&D. To start with, it will be a hodgepodge of animals used in science fiction stories as aides to humans, and "maybe" a few others. I do like the Giant Squid from 20,000 Leagues Under the Seas. even if Verne does really get the prey of the Cachalot/Sperm Whale badly wrong. I will try to work up what I view as somewhat balanced ecologies, as it there will be plenty of prey for predators, like either a 10 to 1 body mass ratio to a 100 to 1 body mass ratio. Mammals tend to eat a lot more than reptiles.

There are both mammoths and mastodons on El Paso, along with some other Pleistocene-type creatures from about 300,000 or so years ago. Anyone want a nice saber-tooth head from a trophy?
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I march to my own set of bagpipes. Caution: This individual thinks that studying logistics is FUN.

They that go down to the sea in ships,
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These see the works of the LORD,
and his wonders in the deep.

Last edited by timerover51; December 9th, 2018 at 01:15 PM.. Reason: Correcting Word
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Old December 9th, 2018, 03:30 AM
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Originally Posted by timerover51 View Post
[ . . . ]
I am working on a bestiary as well, but it depends on how many I can get illustrations for from my collection. I have an idea for the "Marsh Pigs", and they have been scattered about the sector by someone. Krell? Baldies? Someone else? Who knows? Ah, the Shadow knows!!!
If your budget for this is anything but zero, you might find you can get some mileage with stock art. In many cases it can be surprisingly cheap. In some cases it is free.
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  #25  
Old December 9th, 2018, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by nobby-w View Post
If your budget for this is anything but zero, you might find you can get some mileage with stock art. In many cases it can be surprisingly cheap. In somjust e cases it is free.
I have a pretty large collection of illustrations of Terran animals from copyright-free material online, and that I have collected over the years. I just do not have much on non-Terran animals. I visualize the marsh pigs as sort of like a pygmy hippopotamus with the head of a wart hog or something very similar. However, in looking through my various D&D monster manuals and descriptions, not all of them are illustrated. I will just do my best to describe them and leave the rest to the imagination.

I also have been thinking that while those on the forum in North America might be fairly familiar with North American animals, those overseas will not be and so illustrations of them will still be new. Some of the illustrations from older books are also a bit odd, which gives me something to work on as well. The Krell and Baldies and others were fascinated by the variety of Terran life, with the Krell originating on an arid planet being especially interested in all of the aquatic life. There are some very odd-looking fish in the ocean.

Then there is the vegetation as well. The odd thing about all of the Traveller material is that so little is done with vegetation. Visualize a slightly lower gravity planet with Redwood and Sequoia trees, along with some of the Spruce and Australian Gum Trees standing 600 to 800 feet tall, with base diameter in proportion. You could have a dug-out canoe the size of the Santa Maria or Mayflower quite easily. I already have the Ironwood Oak on El Paso, called that because the leaf sort of looks like an oak, but the wood is very dense and resists penetration like iron. Not easy to harvest but great for bullet-resistant furniture. Then there is the cedar, whose fragrance on some arid planets make for terrific insect repellant, and is worth several Credit a kilo just for that.

I have insects as a new atmospheric taint on some worlds, along with fungus and mold on humid ones.
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Do you have a security clearance? 1 Dec. Blog Post. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElI451TxsTg, 3:24 in.
I march to my own set of bagpipes. Caution: This individual thinks that studying logistics is FUN.

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  #26  
Old December 31st, 2018, 10:41 PM
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There is a thread on Scout Bureaucracy in the main forum, so I thought that I would put down some of my ideas on the Rim Scouts.

First, they are not a government body, but a for-profit band of adventurers who make their living exploring planets in the Piper-Norton Sector and surrounding sectors. They are not an intelligence-gathering organization, but an information-gathering group. They do have a bureaucracy, which is tempered by the requirement to alternate field duty with desk duty. Turnover is not exactly low, but they do receive funding from both planetary government and the merchant sector, along with making some money by trading information and goods on their own. Their ships tend to be larger than the typical Traveller 100 dTon Scout.

There is rank progression, which is as follows: Scout, Scout Pilot, First-In Scout, Planetary Scout, System Scout, Survey Scout. A First-In Scout might be in a 100 dTon Scout ship by himself, running a quick first survey of a star system, or he might be commanding a large ship running a more detailed survey on a planet. The Planetary Scout will be commanding a Scout ship with a multi-member crew do a much more thorough survey of a planet, with a First-In Scout making the first contact with any intelligent local inhabitants. Note, a planet is a BIG place to survey with a team of maybe 20, and a not-inifinite amount of time. They do miss things. HINT, HINT for Game Masters.

System Scouts may be commanding a small Scout Way Station, with supplies, fuel, minor repairs, and some Scout crew relief and replacements. Basically a Scout Way station is sort of a forward Scout base. He or she may also be commanding a Scout Base, where you have all of the above, the capability for major repairs, with permanent Scout personnel and their families there. A Scout base may also service Free Traders who stop in, and possibly supply some speculative cargo from the planet the base is on.

The Survey Scout is more of a senior troubleshooter, first in when a Scout ship or crew is lost. He or she may also command a Scout Base, but these are more likely to be on the more settled planets of the sector. The Survey Scout is also the one to make decisions on Amber and Red Zone classification, which is generally based on the loss of Scout crew or ships on a planet. Scouts lasting long enough for pensions or ships are not exactly common.
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Do you have a security clearance? 1 Dec. Blog Post. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElI451TxsTg, 3:24 in.
I march to my own set of bagpipes. Caution: This individual thinks that studying logistics is FUN.

They that go down to the sea in ships,
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These see the works of the LORD,
and his wonders in the deep.
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  #27  
Old January 1st, 2019, 03:21 AM
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So are Scouts here sort of an independent organization or company for hire?
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  #28  
Old January 1st, 2019, 03:35 AM
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So are Scouts here sort of an independent organization or company for hire?
You pretty much hit the nail on the head. They are an independent organization that can be hired by another agency, be it planet or company, to explore something. They can always turn the contract down if they feel that the risk is not worth the reward. There are a reasonable number of Amber Zone and Red Zone planets in the sector, and the Scouts did the posting of that.

Now, if that happens, you can always see if a former Scout would take the job with the right ship and shipmates. Such is the stuff of which adventures are made.
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I march to my own set of bagpipes. Caution: This individual thinks that studying logistics is FUN.

They that go down to the sea in ships,
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and his wonders in the deep.
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  #29  
Old January 18th, 2019, 01:18 PM
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I posted some ideas for Event Tables for the Sailor character in the following thread.

http://www.travellerrpg.com/CotI/Dis...ad.php?t=39766

While I am not sure if I will put these together for all of the character types in the sector, I probably will for the Rim Scouts and finish the Sailor, along with the Rover character. I will need to think about the Settler. The main thing is how many ideas I can come up with for events for people.

Then I am also working on an alternative Event Tables for Attack Squadron: Roswell. It actually was those, along with the idea from the cited thread that got me seriously thinking about Event Tables.
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Link to Piper Sector: http://www.zarthani.net/ridder-mankind_to_the_stars.htm
Do you have a security clearance? 1 Dec. Blog Post. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElI451TxsTg, 3:24 in.
I march to my own set of bagpipes. Caution: This individual thinks that studying logistics is FUN.

They that go down to the sea in ships,
that do business in great waters;
These see the works of the LORD,
and his wonders in the deep.
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  #30  
Old January 25th, 2019, 03:41 PM
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Worlds for the Sword Sub-sector: Claymore, Curtana, Hundingsbana, Head, Culverin, Rodman, Iarn-greiper, Portobello, Dahlgren, Olifant, Haultclerre, Megin-giord, Vinland, Flamberge, New Britain, Wit's End, Morglay, Nagegling, Machu Picchu, El Paso

Worlds for the Sargon Sub-sector: Stromboli, Lemuria, Wyrd, Cimmeria, Hyperborea, Midgard, Thera, Svartheim, Sargol, Xanadu, Bast.

You might note a bit of Robert E. Howard flavor in Sargol, and that is deliberate. I do like Howard's various writings. The planet names may or may not give an idea as to what the planet is like. I pondered over using Limbo for one of the planets, but decided that might be pushing copyright a bit, so it is now "Wyrd". New Britain is not patterned after the climate of the British Isles, by the way. A tad warmer. Whether or not your Game Master allows you to run into Conan is up to them.

I do have a new atmospheric taint for Sargol, and you might want to take a gander at Coleridge's poem "Kubla Khan" regarding Xanadu.
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Link to Piper Sector: http://www.zarthani.net/ridder-mankind_to_the_stars.htm
Do you have a security clearance? 1 Dec. Blog Post. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElI451TxsTg, 3:24 in.
I march to my own set of bagpipes. Caution: This individual thinks that studying logistics is FUN.

They that go down to the sea in ships,
that do business in great waters;
These see the works of the LORD,
and his wonders in the deep.
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