Official 2300AD Comments Thread

So, full disclosure: I have now written two forthcoming things for Mongoose: the Spinward Extents and the Robot Handbook. I’m working on a third – that Sector Construction Guide, but these last weeks I’ve been beset by so much real-life stuff that I don’t feel I’m doing an adequate job of creating. It’s easier to critique than create. But having created it also helps me see things. In many cases, I can go ‘Oh, I see how that happened’ and put myself in the mind of the author (possibly – I shouldn’t presume). It’s extremely hard to edit your own work and its very easy to let things that are obvious to you but opaque to others slide.

I do know how hard it is to get things right and how, even when they’re right, compromises have to be made. So, I definitely think 2300AD is a good product. But If you’ve been following Traveller since the 70s like me, you know that editing has always been a problem. A gaming company can’t afford to have a full-time editor on board (well maybe WotC can, but for the rest of the universe, not so much), so I’m just trying to help improve the product. And Colin, if you’re lurking, I’m not displeased with the work, just trying to suggest things that could make it even better.

Ottarrus, it looks like I’m only a few dozen miles north of you, here in West Seattle. Need to go from here to Harborview this morning, so if you’ve been following our bridge situation, you know how stressful that can be. Signing off for now.

(But I will start looking at Book 3 later)
Some initial impressions from a first time poster:

The good

The layout is lovely and the way content is structured is for the most part logical and easy to follow. The illustrations are wonderful and create a unified look and feel for the universe, retaining a little bit of the good old GDW style, while making it more modern. Bravo! Colour maps are also much easier to read than they were in black-and-white (although what's up with that weird and confusing compass symbol?).

The rules overall seem tighter. The mechanics of character creation also feel improved form the previous edition. Any lore changes that I have noticed seem perfectly acceptable and understandable, or easy to ignore if necessary. It's still the universe that we have loved for decades, even if it's got some new paint on it.

All in all, this a definite improvement on the earlier edition and certainly the version that our group will be playing in the future.

The bad

Like some others here, I too am hugely disappointed that this book doesn't include rules for creating Core characters, thus eliminating more than 90% of the human population in 2300 as a playable option. For a total newcomer, playing someone from Earth also tends to be easier, as it gives at least some kind of a link to this weird and wonderful universe. It feels a little absurd that you would leave out Core characters but include separate rules for Spacers, which at the end of the day are a very small minority. The promise of maybe getting Core characters in some later expansion doesn't really make me feel better about this. I am also not sure how I feel about the character creation practically forcing your character out of your homeworld -- how much population movement can there really be in the 2300 AD universe?

I must add though that there are some in our game group who are excited about these changes. The consensus seems to be that while the limitations of the new system make it disappointing if you are trying to create regular, realistic people living in 2300, the new rules are actually better if you are looking to generate interesting game characters. Whether this is a good thing for a hard scifi game is what we continue to disagree about.

The ugly

Like others have pointed out, these books are in desperate need of a professional copy editor. Having worked at an independent publisher, I know that margins are tight, but from a consumer perspective, one would definitely expect higher finish quality for a book of this price.

It is not my intention to throw shade on anyone who has done proof reading or editing for this book. It just seems to me that you need a new pair of eyes to go through it, and by someone who does it for a living. Based on your messages here leading up to the release, I got the impression that you were doing proof reading in-house, and that might explain why so many errors, missing information, typos, and strange punctuation and capitalisation choices remain in the text. From personal experience I can say that no one can be expected to properly proof something that they have been working on for weeks or months. You just grow blind to everything. At that point, it's also near impossible to put yourself into the shoes of someone who approaches the text for the first time.

There is so much right in these books that it would be a pity for the finalised print copies to be as messy as the pdfs are in terms of things that a competent copy editor would alert you about.

Like others have already done, I have been going through the books in detail, jotting down some notes. I haven't progressed that far as I haven't had too much time these past days. But I'd love to help, even if I'm no copy editor. Far from it. By when would you need feedback to still have time to consider it for the print edition?
Book 3:

Just going to start off by saying, Vehicle Options would be better to have been put in front of the actual vehicles. Raises less questions and confusions that way.

I wander a bit off point in the Starship Operations section, but the main points are:
For Interface: Consider things like getting back from orbit, the costs for a ride either or both ways, and airless worlds. Keep in mind with RAW it looks like that anything that can make it to the Wall needs another Burn to return to low orbit prior to re-entry.

For Starships: Examine the implications of that 0.1G number for discharge – it’s not well implemented and moves the discharge point basically to the Wall. Which means planets and brown dwarfs are the only viable choices.

For combat: Actions within a round do not need to and should not specify a time increment (1D minutes) given the criteria that skill level determines number of actions. Also, combat seems too complex and at the very least needs some charts or tables to keep all this straight.

And the detail:

p. 4: TrafCon: Does this confer or require at least Basic Autopilot to allow for required interfaces? Or does it require a full drone interface and actuation system, since this does in effect make the vehicle a drone?

p. 10: ‘Speed is limited to medium (slow)’. Medium (Slow) for consistency’s sake. Or make the speed in the note below uncapitalised if that’s what you’re going for.

p. 12: ‘Traits: Magnus effect’. Had to look that one up. Okay, but maybe from as yet unpublished rules?

p. 24: Vehicle Options: Not seeing Magnus effect here. As I noted about Book 2, it would be perhaps more helpful to include these options before presenting the vehicles that might use them.

p. 24: ‘Use of these rules requires the Vehicle Handbook.’ Probably should be at the beginning of the page, not under Ultralight Walkers.

p. 24: Walker Hardpoints: ‘Standard hardpoints used on walkers can mount any weapon up to half a Space in size.’ Besides those introduced here, does that include any other weapon under 125 kg mass? (per the guideline on p. 44 of the Vehicle Handbook – but I thought the point of the Space system was abstraction and avoiding things like halvcies or other fractional components)

p. 25: ‘Two new traits are used in 2300AD: Fire and Overhead’. But it’s three with Hyperkinetic in between them.

p. 26: ‘Each time the system is used to intercept a projectile, whether successful or not, one charge is
used from the targeted facing’. Okay, but I’m thinking its like Reactive Armour, which provides a Protection DM. Does the column here called ‘Defence Roll DM’, with (-1) for all, mean that it subtracts one from the opponent’s chance to hit? And how does it interact with hyperkinetic weapons?

p. 26: ‘Vehicle Handbook’. Not italicised under the Guardian Anti-Missile System (sorry, I know, picky, picky)

p. 27: ‘small-arms’ small arms

p. 27: CMK-75: This weapon should, by virtue of its full name, which I would invariably mispronounce, have the trait Hyperkinetic.

p. 28: The same goes for the rest of the mass drivers as well (except for the mispronunciation part)

p. 28: Gatling Laser: Damage ‘w6D’ 6D . (Hey, these lasers use capacitors, not flywheels. Should probably actually be ultra- or super- capacitors same dif, minor point, not worth mentioning. Oh. Yeah. Sorry.)

p. 29: Plasma Weapons: ‘man-portable’. human-portable or just plain ‘portable’

p. 29: CLP-1: End the last sentence with a period, not a comma. (I just read that sentence and pronounced the punction – probably only I think it’s funny).

So, I noticed that all these plasma weapons are smaller than the laser weapons. Why no bigger, badder plasmas? Looks like an abandoned niche supported only by duct-taping the portables (okay, maybe not duct tape as such, but…)

p. 30: Ohu: ‘suddenly creating three targets for any anti-missile system’. This sentence needs a period but more importantly, that’s cool and reasonable, but what are the actual game mechanics for this feature?

p. 30: Bombs: ‘Most of these weapons are guided and have the Smart Trait.’ Then it should say so in the Traits on the table for those that do, or is the meaning that most within each type do, but some don’t – which would imply – I would hope, a discount in Cost for the dumb ones.

p. 30: 200kg WASP (and 400kg version): ‘The Blast trait is for the warhead as a whole; each individual bomblet has the Blast 2 trait.’ More than the 30m or 50m indicated? If it’s just a commentary without meaningful additional effect, then it’s confusing. How about:

“The WASP (Wide-Angle Scatterable Projectiles) is an area-denial cluster bomb, throwing out large numbers of bomblets over its area of effect. Each individual bomblet a blast radius of 2m combining to produce a large Blast trait for the warhead as a whole.”

That still allows some clever Traveller to pick one apart and make grenades (how many? – well we could do math on the area of effect) without confusing the issue of the warhead effect.

p. 32: ‘The simplest of these is the rocket, refined and advanced for a new era but the most common is the accelerated magneto-plasma rocket.’ Comma after era

p. 33: ‘Beta Canum Venaticorum,’ that’s the star name, the world is just Beta Canum. I can see how it can be justified as ‘not exactly wrong’, but I would suggest dropping the Venaticorum.

p. 33: Terminology: ‘faster than light’ faster-than-light

p. 35: ‘by Beanstalk would be around Lv800’ Cool. How much do all the other methods cost, by amount or range, because all the rest of the worlds need those? And that’s the up cost. Is down the same? Probably for Beanstalks, maybe not for other methods, since if you have an atmosphere, you don’t need much fuel to land. If I was a good (as in clever, not upstanding) capitalist, I’d only sell expensive round-trip tickets to people going down and one-way tickets for people going up…

p. 36: ‘Low Orbit altitude is equal to the world’s Size x 30 kilometres’. So here’s the funny thing about atmospheres: Scale height, which is the rate at which atmospheric pressure drops by a factor (e or 2.71 blah blah, if you care) is inversely proportional to gravity and gravity, is, if density is the same, directly proportional to radius (or Size), so in fact, for any given atmosphere, the rate at which the atmosphere drops is approximately the same regardless of planetary size. So, it would really be a factor of atmospheric density that we cared about. Any standard atmosphere world would be close to the same low orbit threshold as Earth, given equal density (also equal density of the gasses, but we’re going with nitrogen-oxygen here, for the most part) . King, all heavy and dense, would likely have a lower atmospheric clearance for low earth orbit than Heidelsheimat, which is apparently made of cheese.

And that concludes today’s lesson in planetology. Point is, for a world with a standard atmosphere, a safe orbital altitude would be the same as around Earth, and 240km (8 x 30) is probably fine for any world – call it 250km. I’d double that for long-term orbitals: the ISS generally stays above 400km and it still falls 2km a month. If the world has no atmosphere, then technically all you need to do is clear the highest mountain, but irregular mass concentrations would probably do you in, so there, maybe the 30 x Size would work for long-term orbitals around airless worlds without large mascons. But double that, because as I recall 60km around the moon didn’t last long. Okay, that was sort of pointless. Moving on.

p. 36 Distances: All those Light X terms are generally hyphenated.: light-year, light-second, light-hour

p. 37: ‘Tidally locked worlds, such as Nyotekundu, do not have geosynchronous orbits at all.’ Well actually, they do rotate once every orbit so… Okay, fine. Not practical. Might even run into the sun before you get there, but I’m not doing that math. Something at the world-sun L1 point might work, though. Moving on again.

p. 38: ‘Each Burn increases the effective acceleration at launch by 2G, so the 1 Burn spent to
reduce time to orbit would increase the experienced acceleration to 5G.’ Did I miss the part where it says that a regular rocket (spaceplane, etc.) trip to orbit was 3G? Because I can’t find it. It’s a good number, though. It should be in there, maybe at the start of Interface Operations, maybe under each type in the Common Interface Craft, if for some reason you want variance by type (expect catapults, which don’t use Burns, but will turn people into paste. Probably where Solyent Green comes from).

p. 38: Return Times: There should also be a Return Fuel Consumption section. Returning from low orbit shouldn’t require more than one burn regardless, except for an airless world like Hochbaden, where it will require as many Burns as it took to get there and spaceplanes, advanced hulls, and airbreathers won’t buy you squat in either direction. Lightweight would help, though, as would advanced drives.

p. 39: Illustration: If we go by the formula on page 36, low orbit for Beowulf should be 240km.

p. 40: ‘unmanned stellar probe was launched and eight more years before manned survey’. Use ‘crewed’ instead of ‘manned’ , or automated for ‘unmanned’ and, well, ‘crewed’ is probably still best because ‘human’ implies the ship is made of humans – maybe that’s appropriate for Pentapod ships, though.

p. 40: ‘sub-atomic’ subatomic

p. 41: Stutterwarp Threshold: This table is why it would have been useful to include stellar classifications in the Worlds of the Frontier chapter of Book 2.

p. 43: Discharging: ‘Once a ship arrives in a gravity well of at least 0.1G, the ships can discharge the stutterwarp drive.’ This would be a very important location calculation to mention, like the Wall and the Threshold. For Earth it would be about 13,000km above the surface, so pretty much the Wall. Maybe just say it’s the Wall and call it good and don’t mention the 0.1G number, because gravity actually drops at distance squared and it get complicated to add another number. I think this is a much higher G limit than previous versions, though. But it makes a lot of sense: you need to drop to where it stops working to discharge it.

p.43 ‘They serve as a convenient discharge point’. Thing is, if you are going to use that Wall-like 0.1G, you’re going to get cooked at anything more than brown dwarfs, because you’ll need to get too close to a star. For regular systems, this means that planets are your only option. Or go to Threshold for discharge, which is a lot less G.

p. 43: Stellar Classifications: You did stars on pages 41 and 42, so this should go before those tables. Or better yet, in Book 2 at the beginning of the chapter (with the stellar classifications of each world’s star noted).
+ ‘Types 1 through IV’. I, not 1. I’m not going to get into subtypes.
+ ‘VII are white dwarfs’. Ahhh… yeah, ok, old-fashioned, but not technically wrong.
+ ‘Y, T and M 6.5 are brown dwarfs’. ‘Y, T, L, or M 6.5 or later’ or smaller instead? A little odd, since this list goes from coolest (smallest, or oldest, or… Moving On)

p. 44: ‘Detecting a brown dwarf is a Formidable (14+), Science (Astronomy), EDU, 2D days check.’ Yeah, this is an artefact of going with a 1980s star map. We don’t have all of them within 10 parsecs yet, but we have most of them. Of course, if you don’t keep to the map as is, the Arms fall apart, and I don’t think the pieces can be put together again. Moving on again, but it does cause a dialectic dilemma in my head, since what was cool about 2300 when it came out was that it used ’realistic’ science, a real 3D star map, and a plausible future (yeah Twilight has been fudged, but that fudge works – assuming nobody from the 21st century thought to write a memoir on paper).

44. Intellect: the new Core book is going to drop that cost for and bandwidth for Intellect to nothing, maybe this one should too (‘Alexa, make the ship go!’ – yes, I know there’s a cloud behind that, but this one is a couple of TL ahead, and unless you want to remove the much cheaper Intellect program from the personal Computer/x, then it’s the only way to go.)
+ Fire Control: Does it only ‘assist targeting’ not fire weapons like in the Core book? Ugh. I got to the Firing Solution section – oh please just let the computer shoot the guns after the gunner tells it who to hit…

p. 46: ‘deployed to sue the fuel cells’ use (I could go on a lawyer tangent here, but I may be at my daily tangent quota)

p. 46: Sensor Operations: ‘range bands reflect different distances (see page 36).’ All that’s on p. 36 are the zones, which don’t correspond to the range names on the Range table. Ah, page 52 is what was meant. Should probably be included here to keep it in the correct order. Or not. It sort of belongs with Starship Combat. Maybe the table on page 52 should have a Sensor Range DM column.

p. 48: Batteries: Why are these in the Remote Objects section? The seem to overlap the language back on p. 46 under Power Storage Modules.

p. 48: Certification fees? Insurance? Inspection? Right, I’m going pirate straight away. Where’s my cybernetic eye patch and Kigali-treaty-protected-cuss-word-spewing parrot?

p. 49: Interface Costs: Ah, here we have freight costs for all methods of cargo transfer. Still no passenger costs for interface.

p. 49: ‘Landing is significantly easier and cheaper, at a fraction of the lift cost.’ Except on Hochbaden or any other vacuum world, where the cost would be about the same down as it is up.

p. 49: ‘Cost per Light Year’ Cost per light-year

p. 50: Integral Interface Capability: ‘While this results in a higher ticket price for the passenger’. I still don’t see where passenger interface costs are presented (except beanstalk, but no ship carries one…)

p. 52: Stealth: last sentence lacks a period.

p. 53: Weapons: Consider Bolding the Weapons at the start of each paragraph

p. 53: Combat Round: Throughout this section, dispense with the 1D minutes task increment. The combat round is 6 minutes long. People can perform a number of actions equal to their skill. The time increment is both contradictory and unnecessary.

p. 54: Initiative: Is this every round, or for the whole encounter? Because in the Core book, it’s per encounter. Or at least it reads that way.

p. 54: Tactics: Is this action in addition to the number of commands, or does this reduce captain’s commands?

In general: Did you game this out with real live people? It seems too complex without some clear charts and tables (cheat sheets for the participants or something) and seems to be a very realistic but overly elaborate and potentially tedious exercise. I’m glazing a bit here, like I’m trying to decipher T5 rules or something. It looks like you need six rolls to see if you hit – yippee, everybody got to participate… now what were we aiming at again? And clearly, you need to get that ‘1D minutes‘ out of there, because you would need to roll six ones in a row to accomplish all in a combat round.

p. 57: ‘Hull damage repairs are effectively permanent, although true repairs should be undertaken
at some point.’ For cosmetic reasons? Those same accountants who insist on paying insurance premiums would frown at that.

p. 57: Ship’s Troops: ‘If any Ship’s Troops are on a Damage Control team, they will add a collectiveDM+1 to all repair checks.’ You gave the Marine a soldering iron? This will not end well.
+ ‘make the following check until either the boarders or defenders are defeated.’ I cannot find a following check. See the Boarding Actions table in the Core book?

p. 57: ‘+8 for nuclear hrusters’ thrusters

p. 59: Enemy Actions: ‘Combat in space is a storytelling element, a way to further the plot.’ Okay, so, I have problems with plotting myself, and what I’ve been told is not to grind down into the detail but to move the action along. To that end, the Enemy Combat Actions could be clearly stated as an alternative combat resolution method for friendlies. And still, you should lose the (1D minutes) for the tasks.

p. 60: Laser Weapons Table: does not have a TL column
+ Laser table goes Damage column, then Power. Particle Beams goes Power than Damage. Pick one.
+The Grumble is the only Pulse laser on the table. Do humans not have a pulse laser at all?

p. 61: Screens: Can you have multiple screens at once? Why or why not?

p. 64: ‘80 man-days’ person-days, The table says 60 days for 9 people, though, so wouldn’t that be 540 people-days. Persons are people, too.

p. 76: SLV-55: It does appear to require some sort of landing/take-off field (Take-off and Landing Rolls? Beyond the scope of the Vehicle Handbook so I don’t know how it’s computed or honestly exactly what’s intended) despite the VTOL feature, so I’m having a little trouble with using it for exploration. I’m just going to assume it can land and take off vertically and ignore the Rolls.

p. 78: Martel – nothing wrong with the fighter, just trying to picture the six-step firing solution with a two person crew…

p. 86: ISV-2: There have already been questions about the 16 passengers and where they sit.

p. 93: Under spin, I think the lift doors are represented on the lower cross-section drawing should probably span more than a square. They seem to be entirely missing from the Right habitat.
+ ‘20 Fuel rocessor’ processor

p. 94: Not sure the funky scaling graphic means much when I can’t see the squares. (And once I figured out what it meant, I expected it to get smaller as the squares go smaller).

p. 98: SSV-21: red question marks for passengers?
+ ‘Purchase Cost: 51.46’ 151.46

p. 110: ‘9. Heaqt sinks’ Heat

p. 111: ‘seems to take a central place in the Geist’ but not on the deck plans, unless it is labelled as ‘7, Burrow’.

Now returning to our regularly scheduled programming.
I would also like to add that I think the Auto values on weapons are high across the board (unreasonably so in some cases).

Vehicle Handbook gives:
Auto 3: Early Machinegun, Light Autocannon
Auto 5: Rotary Autocannon

CSC gives:
Auto 2/3: most autofire capable rifles
Auto 3: Heavy Machinegun, Light, Medium and Heavy Autocannons
Auto 4: Machinegun, Gatling Laser
Auto 6: Vulcan Machinegun
The Rapid-fire Machinegun can get Auto 8 at the expense of not being able to fire the next round.

Finally the Mercenary Field Catalogue states that Burst-capable weapons receive Auto 2, while fully automatic weapons get Auto 3. Rapid-fire weapons must have Auto 4+, while Very Rapid-fire Weapons need Auto 6+.

In contrast Book 1 gives:
Auto 4: AS-89, SG-77, Type-49
Auto 5: FC-68
Auto 6: FAM-90, Sk-19, F-44, MG-7, M-97, Type 381
All of these weapons are listed as "Single shot or burst".
The F-44, MG-7, M-97 and Type 381 are all described as machineguns, so should be fully autofire capable.
These weapons are relatively mild examples and should be adjusted to bring them more in line with the weapons in the CSC/Traveller Core Rules and the weapon design process from Mercenary, either by reducing the Auto score, or by describing them as capable of full auto.

The most egregious examples of excessive Auto scores, however, are in Book 3, page 27. Here we have:
Auto 5: Heavy Machinegun, 25mm Autocannon
Auto 10: Light Machinegun, Medium Machinegun
Auto 15: Light Gauss Machinegun
Auto 20: 9mm Rotary Gun, 25mm Rotary Autocannon

These weapons are vastly out of alignment with the equivalent CSC weapons. Additionally, an Auto 20 translates into either +20 damage to a single attack (burst mode) or rolling 20 separate attacks (full auto). Auto 6 usually takes a while to resolve, with Auto 20 the DM might as well declare the target dead, no rolls necessary just to speed up the inevitable result.

As an aside, I think there should be two traits covering the autofire rules: "Burst" for weapons capable of burst fire but not full auto, and "Auto" for weapons capable of full auto. This would help when quickly checking a weapon's stats as a player may not necessarily see that a weapon is not supposed to be capable of full auto from the description text.
Just got it, read to p6 and went WTF?

"There are three companion books to this volume, the Aerospace Engineer’s Handbook, Ships of the Frontier and Tools for Frontier Living.... "

Not having owned these titles are they not 1st ed. Traveller books? Isn't this supposed to be 2nd edition Traveller compatible 2300ad?
Geoff-Ludum said:
Just got it, read to p6 and went WTF?

"There are three companion books to this volume, the Aerospace Engineer’s Handbook, Ships of the Frontier and Tools for Frontier Living.... "

Not having owned these titles are they not 1st ed. Traveller books? Isn't this supposed to be 2nd edition Traveller compatible 2300ad?

Those, 2 of them anyway are on the release schedule as new 2nd Edition books.
Ships of the French Arm was the 1e book, and the title of the new volume suggests that it will feature the vessels of the other major powers.
Hey folks,

Matt has asked me to review all of the issues in the this forum and adjust/fix (or not, to be clear) as appropriate. However, the number of responses, and in particular the massive number from user Gier, are a bit daunting, and it may take me time to get through them all.

A couple of things. Yes, Core World character generation was cut. At the time, it made sense to focus on the Frontier. While it is true that the majority of people live in the Core, that vast majority of them are not adventuring types.
Of course, some are. Matt has asked me to re-compile Core World character generation to provide as a free download, and I'm working on that. I expect to have that complete by the end of this weekend (August 29, 2021) . It will focus on character generation, but will also include some additional background information..

There is an issue around the differences in the gravity types from character generation to the hostile environments section. I noticed that recently in the course of compiling the Core Worlds rules, and it sent me on a bit of a tail-chase to figure out which one was correct. As is often the case, the simpler version should prevail. In all, the effects of gravity should be clearer, as the differences between worlds is a key factor in 2300AD.

Other things
The Aerospace Engineer's Handbook is the guide to ship and station construction in 2300AD. It is standalone, and along with the construction rules contains a ton of background and setting information for both military and civilian space operations, including a more detailed Spacer career. It also includes the rules for building Kaefer, Sung, and Pentapod spacecraft.

Ships of the Frontier includes ships from many nations, including some Kaefer, Sung, and Pentapod ships and equipment. The Manchurian drop fortress, a Canadian cargo lander, the oddly-popular LC-10, and a whole lot more.

Tools for Frontier Living will revisit the 1e edition, and add much more equipment, weapons and vehicles. Colony building rules will move to another volume, however.

Building the Frontier contains both quick rules for creating colonies, and rules for creating colony-building campaigns. It will include a few sample campaigns, focusing on one or more of the exploratory worlds outlined in 2300AD book 2.

Bayern is written, and just being reviewed by the writer (not me, thank the gods), and then to me (oops, there we go) for further review.

We'll get this sorted. Please bear with me, as I've been beating my head against the 2300AD since 2005, and it's all a little mashed together. Thank you all very much for the support, and the diligence in tracking down the issues. No, really.
I would suggest you go back to the original spelling of Kafer or better yet use the actual German word Käfer - your use of the word kaefer is highly problematic since it is the phonetic spelling of the worst South African pejorative (it is basically the n word). Go watch Lethal Weapon 2 - the South African Embassy scene...

I'm glad to see that the Core is getting CGEN information...thank you (and Matt!) very much for that. It makes my life as Director (to use the old 2300AD term) much easier when my players say "I want to be from Earth (a lot of them do, as they are more "familiar" with it) or "I want to be from Tirane". I've been playing 2300AD since it first came out, and am glad to see that it is getting the attention of another so dedicated to it!


Sigtrygg said:
I would suggest you go back to the original spelling of Kafer or better yet use the actual German word Käfer - your use of the word kaefer is highly problematic since it is the phonetic spelling of the worst South African pejorative (it is basically the n word). Go watch Lethal Weapon 2 - the South African Embassy scene...

South African here.
Actually the old spelling (Kafer) sounds closest to the derogatory term you refer to, especially when pronounced with an Afrikaans accent (long emphasis on the "a").
I think that any of the spellings (even the original German) could be misconstrued depending on how they're pronounced.
Hence the reference to the phonetic spelling.

Kafer, pronounced by an English/American accent rarely sounds like the South African insult, kaefer pronounced in an English/American accent always sounds like the South African insult.

Stick to the German...
I am also inclined to agree that "Kafer" is more problematic at least for UK/US English speakers. The South African/Dutch may extend the 'a' but in UK/US English it doesn't, the word is familiar and is pronounced as a native word would be and therefore gets a short 'a'. Disputing the culturally correct way to pronounce derogatory terms is irrelevant.

But if either keeping the 'a' as written or lengthening it as 'ae' just moves the word between one derogatory pronunciation or another then I think it is obvious that the goal posts should be moved further. How about "K'far" which would still be recognisable to 2300AD players but I think would move the pronunciation far enough not to be confused?
Bill Sheil said:
I am also inclined to agree that "Kafer" is more problematic at least for UK/US English speakers. The South African/Dutch may extend the 'a' but in UK/US English it doesn't, the word is familiar and is pronounced as a native word would be and therefore gets a short 'a'. Disputing the culturally correct way to pronounce derogatory terms is irrelevant.

But if either keeping the 'a' as written or lengthening it as 'ae' just moves the word between one derogatory pronunciation or another then I think it is obvious that the goal posts should be moved further. How about "K'far" which would still be recognisable to 2300AD players but I think would move the pronunciation far enough not to be confused?

I've been playing 2300AD since it first dropped (and was called Traveller 2300AD) and have always pronounced the Kafer/Kaefer as 'Kayfur' (in my English voice/accent). This was due to one of my players being from South Africa being taken aback about the whole term and asked me if the race had been based to be seen badly.

So regardless I'll still call them Kayfur, but I hope the spelling is changed to make all players more comfortable.

Why not ‘Keefer’?

The German pronunciation isn’t quite the same but it isn’t far off. One could assume that the word may have been adopted and mildly altered from its original.
GunbunnyFuFu said:
That's how we pronounce it as well....Kayfur. Always have since the GDW days as well.


I talked to Colin about this when I was still on FB.
The name was changed because 'kafer' and 'kaffir' had nearly the same pronunciation and the latter had a very bad colonial racist connotation. Not quite as bad as the US 'nigger', about the same level as 'darky' or 'field hand'. And the term was pretty wide spread... the Germans, Belgians, South Africans all used it.

This is unfortunate because the 2300 race we're speaking of and the French /German 'kafer = 'bug' terminology is particularly appropriate. Even more so when you consider that 'kafer' is old French colonial army slang for a morale condition where the crushing boredom that being stationed in a far-away colonial fort, the rigidity of Army life, the tyranny of hidebound officers and NCOs led to excessive drunkenness, desertion attempts, or wrecking the local 'ville noir' [native village]. It was said that the only cure 'le cafard' was plenty of targets to shoot. In US military terminology it would be 'a bad case of fuckitall' or 'FUBAR'.