2300AD is Back!

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2300AD is Back!

Postby MongooseMatt » Wed Mar 21, 2012 4:20 pm

The all new 2300AD, written by Colin Dunn for the Traveller system, is about to start shipping and will start appearing in stores next week.

2300AD games range from interstellar exploration and interstellar war, down to the gritty streets and the mega-cities of the human Core. This is a game about people, and their rise to the stars. Aliens are a part of the 2300AD milieu, but the focus of the game is on Humans. 2300AD strives to obey the laws of the universe as we know them. The stutterwarp drive, the technology that allows humanity to travel faster than light, is the sole departure from this. Some of the other technologies bend the laws a little, but that’s from the standpoint of the early 21st century. Three hundred years in the future is a long time. There are no blasters or laser swords in 2300AD, no magic anti-gravity or artificial gravity – just guns and helicopters, spin habitats and spaceplanes.

You can find more details at;

UK: http://www.mongoosepublishing.com/rpgs/ ... ebook.html
US: http://www.mongoosepublishing.com/us/rp ... ebook.html

You can also grab the PDF at Drivethru right now at;

http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product/100670/2300ad

Finally, if you do not have a copy of the Traveller core rules, you can snatch one in a bundle with 2300AD for just $5 more at Drivethru;

http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product/1 ... BBUNDLE%5D
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Re: 2300AD is Back!

Postby danbuter » Thu Mar 22, 2012 1:03 am

Congrats! I know I'm going to be picking up a copy. 2300AD is one of the best hard sf settings every made!
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Re: 2300AD is Back!

Postby chrisdw » Thu Mar 22, 2012 9:27 am

And indeed is one of the few settings where I have decided to get both the paper and electronic versions (just don't tell the wife :wink: )
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Re: 2300AD is Back!

Postby Prime_Evil » Thu Mar 22, 2012 12:52 pm

I bought the PDF this morning and have been looking through it. It looks fairly solid so far.
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Re: 2300AD is Back!

Postby crazy_cat » Thu Mar 22, 2012 7:26 pm

Anybody who has got the book or PDF planning on posting a review?
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Re: 2300AD is Back!

Postby SSWarlock » Thu Mar 22, 2012 10:22 pm

Awesome news, Mr. Sprange! Congratulations!

Now..

..when will Star Cruiser be available? :wink:
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Re: 2300AD is Back!

Postby Rikki Tikki Traveller » Fri Mar 23, 2012 1:31 pm

crazy_cat wrote:Anybody who has got the book or PDF planning on posting a review?
There is a review on DTRPG, but he was not very kind - nor had he actually read the entire book, just the first part and skimmed the rest. He gave it 2 stars.

I am about 1/3 of the way through and think it is MUCH better than that!

The first part can be a bit muddled because it is a lot of history of the the setting, so a lot of topics get a paragraph (or less) and then are mentioned again 2 pages later and then there is an entire chapter on them... It seems confusing at first, but that is because you are only reading the history first - Colin is telling you WHEN DNA stuff happened and what its effects were in that century. Later, there is an entire chapter on DNA mods. It makes sense, but you have to actually READ THE ENTIRE BOOK to understand how it all fits together. The reviewer didn't do that (to his credit, he admitted that in his review).
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Re: 2300AD is Back!

Postby chrisdw » Fri Mar 23, 2012 2:27 pm

Some of the comments and reviews I'm seeing are starting to make me think there are actually 2 versions of the book out there, the one I got and one missing 1/2 the content! :o

In the original 2300 finding details on the colony worlds needed you to buy 2 or 3 supplements, including the colonial atlas that had no maps.
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Re: 2300AD is Back!

Postby crazy_cat » Fri Mar 23, 2012 4:53 pm

Rikki Tikki Traveller wrote:
crazy_cat wrote:Anybody who has got the book or PDF planning on posting a review?
There is a review on DTRPG, but he was not very kind - nor had he actually read the entire book, just the first part and skimmed the rest. He gave it 2 stars.
I have seen that review it is why I asked. My concern, given recent Mongoose Traveller books and the general lack of QA applied to them, is that this book might be another typo and error riddled joke - as seems to be becoming almost standard.

I wont risk buying any MGT book until I can be sure, from actual reviews, that it is going to be a worthwhile investment.

Disappointingly, I see from other threads that 2300 includes inconsistent spelling for the main antagonist alien race (Kafer, Kaafer, Kaefer etc) and includes D20 rules references by mistake - not really filling me with a great deal of confidence.

This is a release I want to like and support, but.... :(
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Re: 2300AD is Back!

Postby chrisdw » Fri Mar 23, 2012 5:15 pm

In a 312 page book there are a grand total of 4 reference to DC's that have slipped in, meanwhile you get all of the material from the 2300 AD box set plus a whole load of stuff on vehicles, starships, beanstalks, maps of the colony worlds, DNA modification and cybernetics that was either not in the book or has never appeared before. All done for Mongoose traveller.
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Re: 2300AD is Back!

Postby Colin » Fri Mar 23, 2012 5:16 pm

I take full responsibility for the 4 instances where D20 rules wormed their way in.

As for the Kaefer/Kafer/Kaafer issue, it is consistently spelled Kaefer throughout most of the book. "Kafer" appears twice, and "Kaafer" appears once.
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Re: 2300AD is Back!

Postby kermit » Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:42 pm

Having read all five reviews over at rpgnow.com, I have to say that if I were to purchase it from that website and rate it, I would give it a four stars. There are three reviews of 4 stars and two of 2 stars. Overall, I concur that the layout and presentation of the book is poor. The lack of color and extra art does the setting a disservice. This is especially true when compared with such gorgeous books as Eclipse Phase and Cthulhutech (heck even the last few hard covers by Steve Jackson Games were in color with decent art), but these books are also murder on toner if one is planning on printing the books at home. So while the hard cover is a bit ugly, I'd prefer having the pdf be B&W.

As for the few errors and left over d20 stuff, they were a non-issue and detracted nothing from the material. Of course I'll be using GURPS so I really don't care what the rules are like. I'm still up in the air as to what space combat system I'll be using, but I'm leaning towards a modified Star Cruiser / Knight Hawks set up.

The rest of the book was pretty good overall. I have a few issues with the way Earth is portrayed by Colin, but this is a matter of personal taste and can be easily corrected. I also hate UPP other such codes left over from Traveller, but again they take nothing away from the setting. My only legitimate gripe in that regards is...why does America have a lower tech-level than the other Tier 2 powers when most of the tech it produces is listed as TL12, the highest TL?

Furthermore Colin adds planet maps, something lacking for almost all the colony planets all the way until Invasion. He handles DNA and cyberwear in a much better way than the original game. The computer rendered ship pictures are great and come on...deck plans for the Kennedy class!! Excellent stuff! Uplifted critters! Space encounter tables! Lots of extra goodies.

The people giving this book bad reviews seem to forget that except for the Near Star List and maps, the original game was very lacking in background material. Most countries and colonies had about two sentences of background material in the old Adventures Guide. The art was hit and miss, though pictures of the aliens were much better in 2300AD but lacking in Traveller: 2300. Both versions only touched upon the background in a cursory fashion and largely required further supplements to have a decent game. I think because the game and its' many supplements have been out for so long people forget how little background information was actually in the original boxed sets. It's a shame because Colin did a pretty good job.

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Re: 2300AD is Back!

Postby Prime_Evil » Fri Mar 23, 2012 10:57 pm

I'm about three-quarters of the way through the book and I would also give it four stars. The content a solid update of the original game. There are a couple of minor typos, but they are no worse than you usually find in a 300+ page rulebook. The book has been put together with an obvious love for the original source material and expands the setting in a number of new ways. When reading the section on DNA Modification, I was constantly thinking of the James Blish's classic SF stories about pantropy - the idea that humans will use genetic engineering to adapt themselves to different planetary environments rather than terraforming the environment to suit the needs of baseline humans.

I agree that the layout lets the book down a bit though. Most of the artwork is fine and the maps / deckplans are decent. The choice of fonts is serviceable but uninspired - the paragraph text has been laid out using the Arial family of fonts, which makes it look a bit like a long word document.

For me, the main issue is the way that tables have been laid out. As you might imagine, the book has a couple of long tables containing lists of nations, colonies, equipment, et al.

Unfortunately, the book uses a truly wretched layout for tables. All of the tables use heavy inner borders to separate cells and no outer borders. To make matters worse, alternate rows aren't banded or shaded to make it easier to find what you are looking for. I know that this style has been used in a couple of other Traveller books, but I didn't like it there and I really don't like it now when the tables are much longer. For readability purposes, I would like to see lighter borders inside the long tables and alternately banded rows (with very light shading) to make it easy to find information at a glance. But this may just be a personal preference...

I do think that the new version of 2300 AD is worth the money and would recommend it to fans of the setting. I have some concerns about the layout of the book, but they don't detract from the quality of the contents. It'll be interesting to see where the product line goes from here...
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Re: 2300AD is Back!

Postby crazy_cat » Sat Mar 24, 2012 9:04 am

The reviews above, and the more detailed ones now on DTRPG, are what I was looking for. Thanks.
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Re: 2300AD is Back!

Postby Prime_Evil » Sat Mar 24, 2012 11:21 am

A number of the review on DTRPG criticize the book for not including more detail, but I don't see how this could be done without doubling the size of the book. I think the main goal of this book is to introduce the setting to an audience who are unfamiliar with it, rather than to add new detail to the setting for those who are already fans. So long as you understand the intended purpose of the book, the choice of contents make sense. However, if you are looking for new material you might want to hang out for later sourcebooks in the product line. It's a great overview of the 2300 universe, but it still skims over a lot of ground and leaves you wanting more. It's entirely up to you whether you think this is reasonable or whether you think that Mongoose is trying to rip you off by holding back the best stuff for later sourcebooks....
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Re: 2300AD is Back!

Postby Rusty_Unycorn » Sat Mar 24, 2012 2:40 pm

Prime_Evil wrote:A number of the review on DTRPG criticize the book for not including more detail, but I don't see how this could be done without doubling the size of the book. I think the main goal of this book is to introduce the setting to an audience who are unfamiliar with it, rather than to add new detail to the setting for those who are already fans. So long as you understand the intended purpose of the book, the choice of contents make sense. However, if you are looking for new material you might want to hang out for later sourcebooks in the product line. It's a great overview of the 2300 universe, but it still skims over a lot of ground and leaves you wanting more. It's entirely up to you whether you think this is reasonable or whether you think that Mongoose is trying to rip you off by holding back the best stuff for later sourcebooks....
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Re: 2300AD is Back!

Postby Lemnoc » Sat Mar 24, 2012 8:54 pm

Bought the PDF. Read it over.

I just have never really cared for the 2300 timeline and focus on the brinksmanship nationalism of transitionary states. I mean, Bavaria? Manuchria? You might as well adopt the geopolitical territories out of Risk. That's not the fault of the developers or mechanics, just a personal taste.

I DO very much like a lot of the near-future tech as applied to the Traveller core, and the material is definitely spruced up with transhuman augmentations and better-than-OTU emphasis on cybernetics. I appreciate the sentiments about the utility of shotguns; love 'em in a science fiction setting. Glad to see some of the (very plausible) weapons from Minority Report dusted off and given new life here. The mapping effort is cool, very cool, but the worlds list ends up kind of ...dull, with a sameness.

I always liked the Thorez class cruiser as a no-nonsense hull and deck design, even back into the good ol' Ships of the French Arm days. Good to see it back and even better 'Travellerized.'

In short, there's a lot here to like, a lot to use, a lot to adapt to something like the OTU's early Terran era, but I doubt I will be playing in the main 2300 setting.
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Re: 2300AD is Back!

Postby Nathan Brazil » Sun Mar 25, 2012 12:35 am

Lemnoc wrote:I just have never really cared for the 2300 timeline and focus on the brinksmanship nationalism of transitionary states. I mean, Bavaria? Manuchria? You might as well adopt the geopolitical territories out of Risk. That's not the fault of the developers or mechanics, just a personal taste.
The timeline is a carryover from the Twilight: 2000 RPG from the 1980's. That RPG and what the world was like in it was in turn used as the "initial conditions" for Overlord or The Game which GDW used in part to create the future history of 2300. One initial condition for example was that the T2000 setting had the US in a civil war due to a split between Civilian and Military sections of the government and a some third group called New America gaining power detailed in several adventures. The docs indicate a desire or preference for France to become the superpower final. Some of the results "are" wonky from a 2010's point of view, but having been 21 when it first came out, the future history does not seem too outlandish knowing that it's basis is 1980's guesses of the future. FFE's 2300 Canon CDROM has details.
Note, The Game was never an official GDW product and the CDROM indicates that The Game as presented is incomplete.
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Re: 2300AD is Back!

Postby Nathan Brazil » Sun Mar 25, 2012 12:59 am

T2000 used the "limited" nuclear exchange scenario. Info War, as we think of it now (Web, viruses, DOS attacks, etc.), did not exist or occur in the initial setting.

For good or bad, these were the initial countries listed in The Game that had players. The countries were those that survive the WWIII sitrep or are involved in the Twilight 2000 scenarios (like Poland and the US) or maybe just to make things interesting. Again, an early/mid 1980's POV:

Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Australia, Azania (Republic of South Africa),
Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, China (North), China (South), Cuba, Egypt,
France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan,
Mexico, Nigeria, Poland, Romania, Russia, Spain, Sweeden,
Turkey, United Kingdom, Ukraine,
US (Civilian Government), US (Military Government), US (New America faction),
Venezuela, Zimbabwe
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Re: 2300AD is Back!

Postby Lemnoc » Sun Mar 25, 2012 1:25 am

Nathan Brazil wrote:The timeline is a carryover from the Twilight: 2000 RPG from the 1980's.
Yes, I know the history. I played Twilight: 2000 quite a bit in that period. It had a fairly grim, unforgiving game mechanic, and I seemed to have acquired a number of characters with their legs burned off or shot off but not quite killed. So... not too surprising to learn the bionics and augments market was robust a century or two afterward :)

For what's it's worth, I also played AFTERMATH, which was even more grim and relentless. Loved the gun rules, though.

I know it is a matter of flavor and YTMMV. I just feel that 1) the race to the stars lends itself to Unified effort, not Balkanized effort and 2) being a colonial several light years from Terra would tend to file some of the hardest edges off Terran nationalism. I don't think it is a complete accident, for example, the New World breakaway colonies drafted noninterference doctrines. Just saying.

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