Minbari Federation Factbook...

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Tallgeese
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Postby Tallgeese » Tue Nov 25, 2003 10:05 pm

[quote="Mongoose August"]Gee, Tallgeese. If we did that, you wouldn't have anything to complain about. :)

Hi August:

I think my recent post was the *only* complaint I have ever registered on these forums. :)

I'll take your word for it that the map issue wasn't a gaffe. Aside from the image quality issues, my major (unvoiced) annoyance with the game line to date has been overlong and in some cases run-on sentences. I'm a grant writer.

My hope is that as Mongoose goes forward the image quality and text editing issues will be resolved. I thought the EA sourcebook as a GREAT step in that direction.

And for what it's worth, last night I actually got down to reading the Minbari Sourcebook. There's a lot there that I like and will use (if I ever get to run this game).

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Postby ShadowScout » Tue Nov 25, 2003 11:01 pm

Is it precisely necessary to be that particular about everything? I stand by my answer and will continue to do so. It was good enough for our playtesters, it was good enough for our editors, it was good enough for JMS, and it should be good enough for 90% of the gamers who will pick up the book and enjoy it for the wealth of information it provides.
Yeah, I know I'm a perfectionist and often get obsessed with details. Hey, a lot of things that were good enough for the Show annoy me greatly... but that doesn't stop me from hopping on a soapbox any chance I get and claiming it was the best SF show there was, there is and quite possibly there ever will be during my lifetime.
And if you continue to do such work, you can expect me to do the same for Mongoose B5 stuff too in the future... (just not for the d20 system part of it :wink: :P )
Without trying to sound like a conceit, Minbari is very solid book with a remarkable amount of game-related and race-related information.
No argument here. It IS a great book - 90 to 95% of it is really good (even if I personally don't like all of it - you may notice that I did try to say whenever something that annoys me is bacause I personally don't think it fits with My view of the Minbari, like the ShadowSouled, or if I think it's creating "bad logic" in the continuity like the lack of events that could lead to the Centauri being greatly impressed and somewhat frightened by the Minbari). I bought many books that disappointed me more (some by a great deal - but those I felt so annoyed about that I didn't even borther to see if there was a place where I could criticise them; I just wrote off the whole game as a bad idea. No chance for that to happen here anytime soon, unless everyone at Mongoose gets a double lobotomy...)
You can have my full support in declaring it's a wonderful supplement, and a must buy for everyone even remotely interested in the minbari. Just not perfect. But then, nothing I ever saw printed on paper is...
If you simply must deliniate everything you find in the book to be wrong as point by point paragraphs, that is certainly your right and one you seem to consider practically a mandate. I applaud your thoroughness, but question your desire to bother praising a good job when you would much rather draw circles and arrows around a bad one.
Not everything - but you're right of course that I do more often draw circles around bad jobs and try to get some reaction (from an explenation -an good one- as to why, to an "oops, sorry, we're only human and did something less then perfect - we'll try to do better in the future"; and all the discussion in between). As I wrote, I'm a bit like Bester in that... or like the Shadows... always trying to force growth and evolution by sowing conflict and discussion, trying to get rid of the bad jobs by hitting them with critique And opening them up for more from others, while leaving the good jobs to grow better on their own. So maybe I Am a bit annoying in that... want revance? I'm sure we could arrange something where you get to take apart stuff I dreamt up... :wink: (just not in public before I can get it released somehow - fair is fair :P Hey, I for one as sure if we did that, it'd improve my work... it did when I last quarreled with some guys about a certain B5W BG...)
As for your bioforming versus terraforming, that is just plain nitpicking. Perhaps you were trying to be humourous considering arguments that are raging elsewhere on the board, so I'll let this one go, but please.
Yees, it was intended to be humerous. Sorry if I didn't get that across as well as I should have. I was trying to make fun of the "political correctness fanatics", who think they need to police everybodies speech, and think the slightest transgression gives them the right to flame back with no holds barred.
(Of course, actually "Bioforming" Does make more sense if aliens are doing it then saying "Minbarforming", "Narnforming" or "Shri-Shrabaforming"... but equally of course while "Terraforming" might be technically incorrect, Everyone will know what is meant, which is questionable for "Bioforming")
And yes, it IS plain nitpicking, which serves no real useful purpose except fun. Sorry if I failed in making that point...
You certainly cannot say that "To get the topographical maps to look the same you need massive engineering to reshape the Whole Surface of one of those planets. Could be done, sure, but would be a millenia-project for anyone but first ones..." when it was never covered in any project, canon resource, or online format that I could find.
Well... maybe not millenia, but centuries certainly.
But as to if I can say it... Sure I can. Should have written "IMO" in there somewhere though... sorry, but I'm not perfect too.
However, I thought about it and didn't just say "no". Think of the effort it'd take to make one mountain look Exactly like another mountain, then extrapolate this to a full planetary surface (and here you also would have to knock down some mountains and errect others to get the effect those maps show... knocking down mountains is easy if you have big enough guns, but from what I know of the build-up of mountains, making one is way beyond what the Minbari could easily accomplish).
Further compare this to the effort the EA had to put up for building the babylon stations (how long was the construction time again? About two to three years per station I'd say - and that's only 8 kilometers; a dust speck compared to a planet...), and you can guess that doing something like that would be an enourmous project for any younger race, even for one as advanced as the Minbari.
Just because you feel the bioforming would have been too massive or time consuming for any younger race does not make it so. They could easily have adapted some of their gifts from the Vorlons in their earlier history or simply taken a 'quantum leap' forward in bioplanetary engineering.
Well... possibly; but that'd be an "deus ex machina" explenation, and those can be (and have been in a certain other SF universe) overdone. And I'd be Especially cautious with "first one tech in YR hands" - it leads to soo many problems... doubly especially since you for one need to intruduce it, and for another usually need to remove it again.

If you Really wanted to use a "DeM", And have the two planets look the same, you might have been better served with assuming it was a class project for a bunch of First One kids a few million years ago (probably a bet between Torvalus, or some scientific experiment by the Walkers); and is puzzling the Minbari and everyone else (except the Vorlons, who just add to the puzzling with cryptic comments from time to time) to no end.
Please forgive my candor and tone, but to have you simply state that my work was 'wrong' when nothing in the source material disputes me is more than a little galling.
Now That sounds like I mishandeled english again... I didn't mean it was "wrong" as "it's all an mistake", I meant "done wrongly" as in "great idea, but done in an IMO bad way when it could be done so much better"
Of course nothing disputes your version - from what I know it just seems one of the more unlikely ones.
I apologize for the inconvinience. :wink: And the annoyance.
I greatly respect your opinion here and under other circumstances I agree with your obviously B5-phile understanding and insight into the topic, but you are not the only one who can be right from time to time.
And sometimes I'm completely wrong too. And I have even been known to recognize that if it's pointed out to me. Soo, whenever you think I am, remember that line from Thirdspace: "So convince me." Even if I in the end have to admit being wrong, I'm sure to enjoy the discussion...
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Postby Babylon 5 Aide » Wed Nov 26, 2003 4:01 pm

Mongoose August, I am a tad confused, are you one of the Mongoose Publishing folks?
What do you mean you need a container marked 'Vorlon bacterial waste'? And you need it delievered where? Ok ok ok yeah I know someone that can make it happen...
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Postby frobisher » Wed Nov 26, 2003 6:28 pm

Babylon 5 Aide wrote:Mongoose August, I am a tad confused, are you one of the Mongoose Publishing folks?
He'd be the author :)
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Postby August » Wed Nov 26, 2003 8:28 pm

Yep, Aide. That would explain the Mongoose part of the alias. :)

Sorry if there was any confusion.

-August
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Postby Babylon 5 Aide » Wed Nov 26, 2003 10:17 pm

Just asked for a couple of reasons:

1. I wasn't sure if the folks with mongoose in their title were actually mongoose reps or not.

2. To say thank you. I really like B5 (all my friends hooked me on it years ago) and we have never had a decent RPG to work with in it.

3. Your post seemed a little more inflamitory than I would have thought from a author. Had me a little confused. Don't take it as a combative thing to say, I just thought you folks wanted some criticism. Best to get too much than to little IMHO. Sure, some people go nuts over certain things as we have seen elsewhere on the forums, but for the most part this thread has seen quite a few little things flung out.

I hope that we are not all about to slide down into that sespool looking mudslinging contest. I am sure you folks feel and even see more things that are "Wrong" with your pride and joys than "Right." Everyone would do things differently if "they were in charge" and that's just how things go. I am pretty happy with what I have bought from Mongoose, and while I have my issues with certain things they have been posted and then I've moved on. I certainly hope to support you in the future as you are helping me to enjoy something in the B5 universe and I know alot of work has gone into it.

Take it easy and smile, for I say "Thank you."
:)
What do you mean you need a container marked 'Vorlon bacterial waste'? And you need it delievered where? Ok ok ok yeah I know someone that can make it happen...
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Postby August » Wed Nov 26, 2003 11:21 pm

Thank you much, Aide.

I know that my post did seem a bit imflammatory, but I care deeply about both my own work and the books put out by our excellent authors. We have a great crew here, and I am proud to be among them.

I do welcome criticism, and I hope my tone does not discourage it in the future.

Take care,
August
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Re: Minbari Federation Factbook...

Postby Chobbly » Thu Nov 27, 2003 3:21 pm

ShadowScout wrote: 2 - early Vorlon interference in Minbari history... - <snip>

3 - Minbari revolution against Vorlons... - Oh, my. Early particle weapons killing vorlons - seems unlikely, remembering how much troubles B5 security had with them (even after all that shooting it Still took Kosh -or his specter, depends how you see it- to finally take care of Ulkesh). Minbari adapting ancient vorlon tech to blow away their space station - seems completely ludicrous (hell, vorlon tech is Organic, and had been for at least a Million years -see TS-, and it's many thousands of years beyond what the Minbvari have even in B5 times. <snip>

4 - Valen's War.. - Here we get into the first major contradiction; since we Know from JMS storylined and approved stuff (mainly some mentionings in the show and that one comic) that the Minbari Did NOT fight the Shadows alone <snip>
I've got a question (in a post that's got nothing to do with racial feats, etc) about the above stuff. It's been on my mind for a while now, and it was only when I picked up the copy of "To Dream In The City Of Sorrows" that I noticed something.

Around pages 70-80 (original printing), when Jenimer is relaying the history of the Anla-Shok to Sinclair. He says that "Valen brought with him strange new allies, the Vorlons". Was Jenimer misinformed, or is there more to this than meets the eye? Does the revolution against the Vorlons happen before or after the previous Shadow War?

I don't have a copy of the book yet (Saturday is soooo long away, and I may as well have a complete collection). Out of all the 'racial' books, the Minbari one is the one I'm looking forward to getting my mitts on the most, and I'm sure it'll be top notch.


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Postby El Cid » Fri Nov 28, 2003 4:29 pm

I just got it 26 Nov.

From what little I've rad and flipping throug it - I LOVE IT!!!

Great job.

As for errors a Q&A file or eratta file (which I think I've seen on other books - I.E. Interceptor rule) on the web site would be great.

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Postby jadrax » Sat Nov 29, 2003 2:17 pm

Just got my copy today.

Have to say my first impression is a big disapointment there is not double page spreads showing the various ship and tank hulls like in the EF book, that was by far the most usefull page in establishing the look of EF in B5 to my players i have seen, and having the same for the minbari would have been wonderfull.

I really hope you consider doing this for the remaining Race books.
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Book

Postby Chobbly » Sun Nov 30, 2003 11:06 am

Yep, it's a good 'un all right.

I was concerned at how the sourcebook would fit alongside/integrate with other sources of Minbari information (the show, some of the books). It does this quite nicely, by going more into the history of the Minbari outside of the scope of the show and was read in To Dream In The City Of Sorrows.

The Vorlon interference in Minbari development was really interesting to read. The stuff on Minbari managing to kill some of the (wounded) Vorlons worked, when considering the fac that the Vorlons guided elements of the Minbari society throughout their whole evolution, more or less.

I would have liked a little more information on the clans (Moon Shields, etc). From previous Babylon 5 RPG information, I was under the impression that all Minbari were in one of these clans, not just Warrior Caste. I need to read a bit further on this though. It was nice to see all the names of Grey Council members, etc from the old Babylon 5 CCG cropping up. Nice one :-)

The section on the Storm Blades was informative reading, as well as all the stuff on the Kira Zhe (sp?). It is ironic that the Earth Alliance goes through a telepath war, that the Minbari have already been through, but have no knowledge of !

What would I have liked? A couple of more ship stats (the ships from Legend of the Rangers!), and as mentioned before, a chart of ship/vehicles and sizes, etc. But, I suppose I can put two and two together. I would have liked some more mentions of the Tak'cha, and the others that the Minbari allied themselves with in the last Shadow War, but perhaps that can wait until later.

All in all, a good one. Those people who didn't like the EarthForce book, for one reason or another, I'd advise to pick this one up to restore what faith you may have lost. It'll sit fantastically on my shelf next to the 'Anla-Shok Fact Book'.

Hello?

Anyone there? :wink:
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Postby Enlightened Bystander » Mon Dec 01, 2003 11:03 am

jadrax wrote:Just got my copy today.

Have to say my first impression is a big disapointment there is not double page spreads showing the various ship and tank hulls like in the EF book, that was by far the most usefull page in establishing the look of EF in B5 to my players i have seen, and having the same for the minbari would have been wonderfull.

I really hope you consider doing this for the remaining Race books.
Wolf's Shipyard has a size comparison chart, at least for the ships. [/url]
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Postby jadrax » Mon Dec 01, 2003 6:35 pm

Ah thanks, that helps a lot.
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Postby Eryx » Mon Dec 01, 2003 7:21 pm

Picked up the book today and its a good read if a little hard going in places.

I especially like the idea of the Shadowsouled, and can see them being useful in my plans for the campaign.

One thing I noticed that should have been included are pictures of the military vehicles and non-standard ships, such as we had in the EA sourcebook. Any chance of seeing that as a download for the book?

Good job so far. Looking forward to the next book.
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Postby ZenOrac » Mon Dec 01, 2003 7:29 pm

I was a little dispointed in the amount of Minbari ships in the book, and the description of the Torotha doesn't match with previous versions(It's a troop lander not an attack ship), but otherwise I think it's quite good.
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Postby Babylon 5 Aide » Mon Dec 01, 2003 11:16 pm

There is a episode in season 2 where Lennier has a problem based around his clan and a member of it where they try to frame Sheridan for murder. He is religious so yes all members would be in a clan, or at the least it's not warrior exclusive.
What do you mean you need a container marked 'Vorlon bacterial waste'? And you need it delievered where? Ok ok ok yeah I know someone that can make it happen...
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Postby jadrax » Tue Dec 02, 2003 12:18 am

Babylon 5 Aide wrote:There is a episode in season 2 where Lennier has a problem based around his clan and a member of it where they try to frame Sheridan for murder. He is religious so yes all members would be in a clan, or at the least it's not warrior exclusive.
I Thought that they where both in the "3rd fane of chomodo" not one of the clans. although i could be thinking of a different episode.
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Postby August » Tue Dec 02, 2003 5:41 am

If you don't mind my asking, Eryx; what exactly do you mean by 'a little hard going'?

Thanks for liking the book, but I'd love to see what I can do to improve on the next one for you.

As for the Torotha, I went with the most logical of the three (3!) versions I found source material on.

-August
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Postby frobisher » Tue Dec 02, 2003 10:31 am

ZenOrac wrote:I was a little dispointed in the amount of Minbari ships in the book, and the description of the Torotha doesn't match with previous versions(It's a troop lander not an attack ship), but otherwise I think it's quite good.
The Torotha is both.

It was one of the ships that was retconned by AOG between the Earth Wars Supplement (where it had oodles of (12?) assault flyers on a Medium hull which made very little sense - you could swap those out for medium fighters such as the Tishat and have a very servicable light carrier which wasn't the intention of the ship at all...) and Ships of the Fleet where it came to the current form which just has the two assault flyers.

However, if it were a pure lander, it wouldn't have the Molecular Disrupters which are a close range anti ship weapon and would have more Fusion Cannons instead.
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Great book!

Postby Traveller-61 » Tue Dec 02, 2003 12:08 pm

First thoughts - thoroughly impressed! :D

In some ways it was more interesting than the EF book, but only because there was a lot more about the Mimbari that I did not know!

Improvements - as others have mentioned some views of the vehicles and ships (especially their sea going navy) would have been nice.

I thought the info on the different Mimbari fleets and their uses was great. It would be nice if that could be done for every race book (and maybe a PDF update for the EF book as well). I know their forces might not be so structured but it is very useful for working out what ships there might reasonably be in a given situation.

Good job and looking forward to the next ones!

DW
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