Lots of Dice and a little Cepheus Engine, too

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
rust2
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Lots of Dice and a little Cepheus Engine, too

Postby rust2 » Sat Jul 02, 2016 2:49 pm

Samardan Press has just published the Cepheus Engine system reference document of a 2D6 science fiction roleplaying game based upon Mongoose's Traveller SRD,
a "pay what you want" PDF of 208 pages, on DriveThru:

http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/186 ... west_since

It seems that Traveller is moving the way of other "old school" roleplaying games with their open content clones. I have only browsed Cepheus Engine, so I cannot
comment on the differences between Mongoose Traveller and Cepheus Engine, but in my experience "Flynn" from Samardan Press usually delivers interesting and
useful material - just think of his guides to alien creation or magic in Traveller.
Last edited by rust2 on Sat Jul 16, 2016 5:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Sigtrygg
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Re: Cepheus Engine

Postby Sigtrygg » Sat Jul 02, 2016 3:14 pm

It was only a matter of time before someone did this.
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Re: Cepheus Engine

Postby Prime_Evil » Sat Jul 02, 2016 3:20 pm

This was inevitable, given that many third-party publishers are wary of the licensing model used by Mongoose Traveller 2E (which is a pity, because the game itself is decent). It doesn't seem to be a bad clone, filling in the blanks from the Mongoose SRD with material drawn from T20. However, it doesn't include most of the refinements introduced in 2E. And the name isn't great - I'm not sure that I'd know what the Cepheus Engine was...
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ShawnDriscoll
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Re: Cepheus Engine

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Sat Jul 02, 2016 3:27 pm

OGL is just going to be very dry generic rules with some key elements missing. Not much better than SRD stuff. Role-play sessions improve with the actual game rules that the generics only gloss over.
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Re: Cepheus Engine

Postby fusor » Sat Jul 02, 2016 3:35 pm

Why are people not allowed to say "based on the Traveller RPG system" and have to use something like this ridiculously convoluted "Inspired by the original three books of the oldest 2D6-based science fiction roleplaying game" nonsense? D&D did the same thing too.

I mean, it's not as if people have to say "my band just covered that very famous song from the early 1970s involving an ascent to the afterlife by a band that was named after a metal dirigible" instead of "my band just covered Stairway to Heaven by led Zeppelin". Is there just some really daft legalese in the OGL license or something?
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ShawnDriscoll
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Re: Cepheus Engine

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Sat Jul 02, 2016 3:48 pm

I have OSR books that will not say "D&D" in them. OGL just means soul-less game rules. Only one career is allowed in the generic 2D6. It's like Linux people who end up trying to run Windows on their computers, because Linux.
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Re: Cepheus Engine

Postby fusor » Sat Jul 02, 2016 3:55 pm

ShawnDriscoll wrote:I have OSR books that will not say "D&D" in them. OGL just means soul-less game rules. Only one career is allowed in the generic 2D6. It's like Linux people who end up trying to run Windows on their computers, because Linux.
OK, we get it, you have a hate-on for OGL rules. That doesn't answer my question though.
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Re: Cepheus Engine

Postby rust2 » Sat Jul 02, 2016 3:56 pm

Sigtrygg wrote:It was only a matter of time before someone did this.
Yes, indeed. Well, we probably will have to wait and see what other material, like for example setting(s) and adventures, will be built upon this Cepheus Engine.
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rust2
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Re: Cepheus Engine

Postby rust2 » Sat Jul 02, 2016 3:57 pm

fusor wrote: Is there just some really daft legalese in the OGL license or something?
I am not sure about US and British intellectual property laws, but I suspect that "Traveller" is a protected trademark.
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ShawnDriscoll
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Re: Cepheus Engine

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Sat Jul 02, 2016 3:59 pm

rust2 gets it.
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Re: Cepheus Engine

Postby fusor » Sat Jul 02, 2016 4:05 pm

rust2 wrote:
fusor wrote: Is there just some really daft legalese in the OGL license or something?
I am not sure about US and British intellectual property laws, but I suspect that "Traveller" is a protected trademark.
So is Led Zeppelin :P. You may not be able to mention the name of the original product in the name of the product, but surely you can mention it in the sales blurb. (bands can freely say "we were influenced by Led Zeppelin, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones" in their bios, after all).
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Re: Cepheus Engine

Postby rust2 » Sat Jul 02, 2016 4:11 pm

fusor wrote: You may not be able to mention the name of the original product in the name of the product, but surely you can mention it in the sales blurb. (bands can freely say "we were influenced by Led Zeppelin, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones" in their bios, after all).
It depends on whether one can take the financial risk of a legal conflict, which can become a financial desaster even when won. Since most people who may be interested in Cepheus Engine will understand where it comes from, and the PDF's text does mention Traveller, there is no need to take any legal risk, no matter how small it might be.
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Re: Cepheus Engine

Postby Flynn » Sat Jul 02, 2016 4:17 pm

Short Answer: I can't say Traveller because it is trademarked, and I could be sued by either FFE or Mongoose if I did so.

In building the SRD, I gathered all of the Open Game Content I could find that fit my vision of a CT- inspired retroclone, and using my 3 LBBs and Supp4 to guide me,, I came up with my own rules system. I offer 24 basic careers in a CT career Gen style, a modified skill list, psionics closer to CT, a fairly detailed equipment list, MgT personal combat with CT overtones, CT/T20 - based commerce values, a complete set of Trade & Commerce rules, a ship design system inspired by CT with HG refinements, a space combat system based on T20 and MgT mixed together, a collection of environmental hazards, a complete world generation system, a complete animal encounter system, and chapters on encounters, adventure creation and Referee advice.

I realize that it might not be everyone's cup of tea. This system works for me, allowing me to run vibrant and exciting games for my players, and follows the spirit of the original CT rules. That's not for everyone, and I'm okay with that.

But I'll ask that you actually read it at some point before passing judgement. It's free, so it can't hurt to at least check it out.

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/18 ... e-Document?

With Regards,
Flynn
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Check out the Flynn's Guide series for Traveller
Samardan Press - RPGNow.com
Samardan Press - Lulu.com
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Re: Cepheus Engine

Postby rust2 » Sat Jul 02, 2016 4:25 pm

Flynn wrote: I realize that it might not be everyone's cup of tea.
I really like what I have seen so far, well enough to give it five stars. While I am not certain that I will use it in a campaign (I am currently more into d100 systems ...), there are certainly some interesting ideas I am likely to borrow, and I am looking forward to whatever will be built upon Cepheus Engine. :)
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Re: Cepheus Engine

Postby rust2 » Sat Jul 02, 2016 4:38 pm

I did not have to wait a long time, the first (mini-) supplement compatible wit the Cepheus Engine is already available ... :shock:

http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/186 ... 00_0_0_0_0
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Sigtrygg
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Re: Cepheus Engine

Postby Sigtrygg » Sat Jul 02, 2016 5:44 pm

Is there a reason no one is mentioning this development on the CotI boards?
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Re: Cepheus Engine

Postby fusor » Sat Jul 02, 2016 5:51 pm

Sigtrygg wrote:Is there a reason no one is mentioning this development on the CotI boards?
Well, why are you mentioning that here and not posting it there instead? ;)
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Re: Cepheus Engine

Postby rust2 » Sat Jul 02, 2016 7:57 pm

Sigtrygg wrote:Is there a reason no one is mentioning this development on the CotI boards?
In my case, yes - I stopped visiting CotI years ago, too much hostility there towards Mongoose Traveller. :roll:
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Re: Cepheus Engine

Postby Jeff Hopper » Sat Jul 02, 2016 7:58 pm

Sigtrygg wrote:It was only a matter of time before someone did this.
Indeed, it was even brought up during the playtest.
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Re: Cepheus Engine

Postby Infojunky » Sat Jul 02, 2016 8:20 pm

Flynn wrote:
But I'll ask that you actually read it at some point before passing judgement. It's free, so it can't hurt to at least check it out.
Ok, If I have Too..... :wink:

Actually I am interested in seeing what other people do with the basics.
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