Aliens of Charted Space Vol. 1 - It Is Here!

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MongooseMatt
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Aliens of Charted Space Vol. 1 - It Is Here!

Postby MongooseMatt » Fri Nov 06, 2020 11:02 am

It is finally here, in PDF format and on pre-order - the long-awaited (and possibly prettiest book we have ever done) Aliens of Charted Space Volume 1!

You can grab you own copy right here: https://www.mongoosepublishing.com/uk/a ... vol-1.html

North American Travellers can get theirs here: https://www.mongoosepublishing.com/us/u ... vol-1.html

Aliens of Charted Space Volume 1 details four spacefaring cultures, three of them alien and one curiously familiar. These are the Zhodani, humans transplanted from Earth to develop in far-off Zhdant. Their well-ordered society is very different to the squabbling mini-states of the Vargr despite sharing a common Terran ancestry. The Aslan and the K’Kree, meanwhile, are polar opposites; proud warriors and militant herd-creatures.

This book contains rules for creating Travellers from each of these alien races, High Guard additions and new ships, and Central Supply Catalogue entries for their new equipment.

The Aslan
The Aslan Hierate lies to spinward of the Imperium and Solomani Confederation, with a long history of warfare and border tensions. The interplay between its many warrior clans can seem incomprehensible to outsiders, but there are strict rules of courtesy and deference governing every interaction. Learn how the Hierate functions and why its young landless warriors are a threat to all nearby civilisations.

The K’Kree
The Two Thousand Worlds of the K’Kree are almost entirely forbidden to meat-eating outsiders. On these worlds, the K’Kree have exterminated or domesticated all species of carnivore and have explicitly stated they intend to do the same to all meat-eating-races in Charted Space. This book shows the role of family and clan in K’Kree affairs, and why the K’Kree are the single greatest threat to Charted Space.

The Vargr
Descended from Terran wolves uplifted by the Ancients, the Vargr are widely known for their obsession with personal charisma and their preference for raiding rather than building. Vargr states tend to be short-lived, built around a cult of personality rather than a nation. This book reveals how a raider or pirate band operates, and how successful leaders transition from pirates to statesmen.

The Zhodani
Transplanted long ago by the Ancients, the Zhodani developed a society based on the ability to wield psionic powers. Considered by many to be a thought-police state, the Zhodani Consulate is stable, apparently benevolent, and its people are happy. Aliens of Charted Space Volume 1 reveals the secrets kept by the Tavrchedl’, or ‘Guardians of our Morality’, and the Zhodani Core Expeditions.

Image
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Re: Aliens of Charted Space Vol. 1 - It Is Here!

Postby Garran » Fri Nov 06, 2020 11:43 am

Umm. Is there a reason for Vargr getting hit by a nerf-bat, or is this a typo?

Characteristics: STR-2, DEX +1, END-1

Instead of Str -1 from the core book.
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Re: Aliens of Charted Space Vol. 1 - It Is Here!

Postby MongooseMatt » Fri Nov 06, 2020 11:59 am

Well, I don't know if we need a reason to hit Vargr with bats. It is the only way they will learn...

We wanted to create a slightly greater spread between various alien races. This is only a slight dip - remember, characteristics do not work quite the same in Traveller as (say) traditional D&D-style games, so this is not a great nerf by any means. However, we hope it will help players lean into certain styles of play.

Looking forward to hearing your experiences with them!

(Actually, all alien races, especially my personal favourite, the K'kree)...
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Re: Aliens of Charted Space Vol. 1 - It Is Here!

Postby Lurking Grue » Fri Nov 06, 2020 12:20 pm

Excellent news! Been really waiting for this book.

However, looking at the preview on DrivethruRPG, it would seem that the third Aslan word generation table, 'Final Consonants', is wrong. The last column (pronunciation aid) is off by one row. E.g. KH should be "loch", L should be "all", LR should be "all right" and so on. (I attached a screen capture to illustrate my point. -- EDIT: Which doesn't seem to work, it's not showing.)
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Re: Aliens of Charted Space Vol. 1 - It Is Here!

Postby JNJ » Fri Nov 06, 2020 2:20 pm

MongooseMatt wrote:
Fri Nov 06, 2020 11:59 am
Well, I don't know if we need a reason to hit Vargr with bats. It is the only way they will learn...

We wanted to create a slightly greater spread between various alien races. This is only a slight dip - remember, characteristics do not work quite the same in Traveller as (say) traditional D&D-style games, so this is not a great nerf by any means. However, we hope it will help players lean into certain styles of play.

Looking forward to hearing your experiences with them!

(Actually, all alien races, especially my personal favourite, the K'kree)...
Hi Matthew,

On a near subject, there are 5 Vargr subspecies but they all share the same basic characteristics bonus and penalties (STR-2, DEX+1, END-1).
In 1st edition there was a subspecies table with additional traits for each, differencing each subscpecy from the others.

Has the table been forgotten or is it voluntary ?

Thanks.

Best,
JNJ
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Re: Aliens of Charted Space Vol. 1 - It Is Here!

Postby MongooseMatt » Fri Nov 06, 2020 2:51 pm

JNJ wrote:
Fri Nov 06, 2020 2:20 pm

Has the table been forgotten or is it voluntary ?
Not forgotten, we will return to all the subspecies in the future...
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Re: Aliens of Charted Space Vol. 1 - It Is Here!

Postby JNJ » Fri Nov 06, 2020 2:59 pm

MongooseMatt wrote:
Fri Nov 06, 2020 2:51 pm
JNJ wrote:
Fri Nov 06, 2020 2:20 pm

Has the table been forgotten or is it voluntary ?
Not forgotten, we will return to all the subspecies in the future...
Thanks Matthew ... glad to hear there will be more details about them in the future !
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Re: Aliens of Charted Space Vol. 1 - It Is Here!

Postby Garran » Fri Nov 06, 2020 3:27 pm

MongooseMatt wrote:
Fri Nov 06, 2020 11:59 am
Well, I don't know if we need a reason to hit Vargr with bats. It is the only way they will learn...

We wanted to create a slightly greater spread between various alien races. This is only a slight dip - remember, characteristics do not work quite the same in Traveller as (say) traditional D&D-style games, so this is not a great nerf by any means. However, we hope it will help players lean into certain styles of play.

Looking forward to hearing your experiences with them!

(Actually, all alien races, especially my personal favourite, the K'kree)...
Well okay, but they were already kind of flat without the extra hit to strength: both the senses and unarmed effects weaker than the Aslan versions and their stat modifiers running a negative total. That's just got a step worse and Charisma is arguably also a net negative unless you're playing pretty much exclusively in the Extents.

If you want to make them more distinct then putting Dex to +2 would make it more meaningful and offset the generally bad characteristics; alternately, ditch the End -1: it never made any sense to me that a chaser species has bad stamina.
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Re: Aliens of Charted Space Vol. 1 - It Is Here!

Postby MongooseMatt » Fri Nov 06, 2020 4:06 pm

END reflects their ability to take damage, and they are not super dextrous by any means.

Remember, we are not necessarily looking for absolute balance in Traveller (we try to avoid huge extremes). You want negative totals, talk to a Bwap :)

At the end of the day, people will (and should) play Vargr because they want to play a Vargr. And, in universe, there are plenty of reasons to do that.

A bit less STR is not going to keep a good Vargr down.
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Re: Aliens of Charted Space Vol. 1 - It Is Here!

Postby Geir » Fri Nov 06, 2020 4:27 pm

Now we're going to have to ban Vargr wrestling, but it's for their own good... don't want to see them hurt.

Hey, one odd thing though. In the past, I've screwed up and ordered in pounds instead of dollars, but it might not have been my fault. Today, after logging in, I specifically chose the US site, but when I clicked on the main graphic on the front page, it took me to British pricing nonetheless. But when I clicked on latest products and picked it off the list down there, I got dollar pricing. Just and FYI for your web person. And about that, at least yesterday, the forum posts are still a half hour into the future...
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Re: Aliens of Charted Space Vol. 1 - It Is Here!

Postby Geir » Fri Nov 06, 2020 11:40 pm

I haven't had time to do more than page through the book looking at pictures. I like the artwork, but I'm pretty sure any Vargr would find the Advisor Robot as pictured on page 215 horribly offensive.
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Re: Aliens of Charted Space Vol. 1 - It Is Here!

Postby Sigtrygg » Sat Nov 07, 2020 9:13 am

I just bought this book to find out more about your take on the Zhodani core expeditions.
reveals the secrets kept by the Tavrchedl’, or ‘Guardians of our Morality’, and the Zhodani Core Expeditions.
There is no information about the core expeditions, to use this in your blurb to sell the book is a bit naughty. The only info is that the Navy takes part and a mention in one of the ship descriptions.

Love the art in the Zhodani section, actually the artwork throughout is pretty good.
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Re: Aliens of Charted Space Vol. 1 - It Is Here!

Postby ConspiracyX » Sat Nov 07, 2020 11:53 am

The Aslan character sheet on page 16 is missing a box for Territory stat.
It is also missing Independence and Tolerance from the skills list.

The K'kree character sheet on page 129 is missing the Outcast and Patriarchy skills from the skill list.
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Re: Aliens of Charted Space Vol. 1 - It Is Here!

Postby Erias » Sat Nov 07, 2020 12:35 pm

I'm just browsing through it aright now, but I'm seeing two issues:

1) The Pdf content table won't work; when you click on Vargr or K'kree for instance, you are back to the introduction, when you click on K'kree character in Traveller you go to page 168 (the last page of K'kree section) instead of page 106.

2) The K'kree character sheet: it's said that K'krees have a new skill calls Patriarchy which replaces both Diplomacy and Leadership, still, no mention of Patriarchy in their character sheet, and Diplomacy as well as Leadership are still listed.

I'm still reading it, so far it's a great book
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Re: Aliens of Charted Space Vol. 1 - It Is Here!

Postby Geir » Sat Nov 07, 2020 11:14 pm

This one is going to take a while to go through, especially since I'm working on editing my first draft of the Vanguard Reaches, so I'm only up to page 12 of a detailed reading.

I do have one big concern and that is perhaps structural in trying to cram four races into one book: Who is the audience and what do you expect them to already know?

For instance, I'm seeing terms like on earleatrais p. 8 and ihatei on p. 10 being introduced without explanation. Now, many of the forum members may know what those mean. We're likely to understand the odd references to government type H, but only because we have at the very least read Pirates of Drinax, if not a few earlier versions of Aslan alien books over the past four decades. Someone who is new to Traveller will not have much of a clue. This might work because of PoD, but even then, it limits the usefulness to Traveller referees and players who have started out with just the core book - and ask yourself, if PoD actually does a more in-depth Aslan, then what's the purpose of Aslan in this book? And worse, the other races don't have a giant adventure boxed set to fall back on if similar assumptions are being made for them . Three's not even a K'kree book for version Mongoose Version 1, so you've got to go back decades if you want more context.
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Re: Aliens of Charted Space Vol. 1 - It Is Here!

Postby Condottiere » Sun Nov 08, 2020 1:21 pm

You have the principal neighbours of the Imperium, for those players who want to interact with them, or pull on a rubber suit.

At the moment I'm satisfied with My Little Pony jokes, Friendship is Veganism, and in the unlikely event I would ever consider a centaur character, I'd name him Crazy Horse.

I suspect reception and sales would indicate whether further alien probings will be attempted, whether internally or externally of the Imperium.
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Re: Aliens of Charted Space Vol. 1 - It Is Here!

Postby alex_greene » Sun Nov 08, 2020 4:09 pm

Nice artwork.

I went straight to the Zhodani section. I'm an unabashed fan of the Zhodani, and I'm always eager to find out as much as I can about them.

I'm still holding out for The Zhodani Dictionary as a future supplement ...
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Re: Aliens of Charted Space Vol. 1 - It Is Here!

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Mon Nov 09, 2020 1:42 am

MongooseMatt wrote:
Fri Nov 06, 2020 11:02 am
It is finally here
I like the cover art a lot.
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Re: Aliens of Charted Space Vol. 1 - It Is Here!

Postby Annatar Giftbringer » Fri Nov 13, 2020 1:37 pm

It’s a great book, that’s for sure!

While the highlights obviously are the K’Kree and the amazing artwork throughout the book it sure is nice to get the other featured races “2nd ed-ified”.

I was expecting the Aslan chapter to be a copy/paste from PoD, so all the brand new artwork was a pleasant surprise! A couple of minor gear tweaks as well, and holy *** has anyone else seen the new claw edging option?! Wicked!

In general, I’d say that one of the major strengths of 2nd edition publications compared to 1st ed is that (almost) everything gets accompanying artwork! Equipment, weapons, vehicles... Everything has a handy reference image!

I’m glad you kept the component-based armor system for Vargr, it’s thematic and fun!

Is the Claw fist really supposed to have the “one use” trait (p.216)?

Full-color artwork really brings out the... uniqueness of Vargr aesthetics :)

I notice there are no Zhodani warships, is this a ruse? Using the available ships, we’re all gonna be tricked into portraying them as peaceful and benevolent traders, and then BAM! comes the war! :)

(More to come later)
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Re: Aliens of Charted Space Vol. 1 - It Is Here!

Postby Erias » Fri Nov 13, 2020 2:56 pm

Yes art, in this second edition is fantastic and, especially in a sci-fi world, helps a lot

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