The Spinward Extents - Vanguard Reaches and The Beyond Sectors

alex_greene

Cosmic Mongoose
I have to wait till the end of the month before getting this. I have a hilariously long backlist of books on my wishlist. It's hilariously long because they're all roughly $15-20 over my budget.
 

G'Naakbusters

Banded Mongoose
I really enjoyed this one -- unsurprising, since the worldbuilding/setting expansion pieces are my personal favourites. Having every government and race in the region explored in detail was very satisfying, and it's nice to be able to put a face -- both literal and otherwise -- to long-established but awkwardly integrated names like Murian, Eslyat, Sred*Ni, etc. I'm looking forward to the print copy.

I also appreciated how the older material was integrated but approached logically, like the "flying humans" being misrepresentation of Chirper-human integration, and the "unanswered questions" sidebar about the Sred*Ni caste system and what's possibly going on there.

The new aliens were good too, especially the fungus-monkeys and their backstory, lots of potential there.

I'm glad the trend of giving each featured ship and vehicle a full write-up continues.

Overall, I'm very happy.

Between this and Core Sector in the Third Imperium book, those like myself have been spoiled of late, I'm aware, but I'd love for more of these regional sourcebooks. (Julian Protectorate and Gateway-Hive Federation-K'kree regions would be great). But I suppose there's the Aliens 3 coming soon...
 

alex_greene

Cosmic Mongoose
I have a feeling that, as long as the license remains with Mongoose, sooner or later they'll get as many sectors of Charted Space as possible published. Long term, who knows? Maybe all of them, in time.
 

Geir

Cosmic Mongoose
G'Naakbusters said:
I really enjoyed this one -- unsurprising, since the worldbuilding/setting expansion pieces are my personal favourites. Having every government and race in the region explored in detail was very satisfying, and it's nice to be able to put a face -- both literal and otherwise -- to long-established but awkwardly integrated names like Murian, Eslyat, Sred*Ni, etc. I'm looking forward to the print copy.

I also appreciated how the older material was integrated but approached logically, like the "flying humans" being misrepresentation of Chirper-human integration, and the "unanswered questions" sidebar about the Sred*Ni caste system and what's possibly going on there.

The new aliens were good too, especially the fungus-monkeys and their backstory, lots of potential there.

I'm glad the trend of giving each featured ship and vehicle a full write-up continues.

Overall, I'm very happy.

Between this and Core Sector in the Third Imperium book, those like myself have been spoiled of late, I'm aware, but I'd love for more of these regional sourcebooks. (Julian Protectorate and Gateway-Hive Federation-K'kree regions would be great). But I suppose there's the Aliens 3 coming soon...

Thanks! The aliens were the most fun and challenging part of this. Apparently Paranoia Press was working on an aliens book for their four races (Murian, Eslyat, Sred*Ni and Mal'gnar) but either folded or lost interest before it ever reached, er, press. But what was out there was essentially bear-people, lizard-people, spider-people and flying humans, plus forty years of fan elaboration. I wanted to make all that make sense. The flying humans... grrr... if you were really going to bother to mod people that way, you'd make the arms into bat wings, I would think, and even then it wouldn't be very practical. So making it a 'wild story from beyond the frontier' with a distorted grain of truth seemed to be the best way forward. Think of what 16th century Europe would have thought of the inhabitants of the Americas or far-flung Pacific islands. The 'unanswered questions' on the Sred*Ni came out of my own issues dealing with the source material. Maybe it makes sense to an alien mind, but it didn't to me, so there might be something deeper going on that ties it all together, but not something that makes sense without some deeper understanding of the race's history and culture. And maybe not even then. They're aliens, after all, and their brains won't be wired like ours.

For the new aliens, I wanted to do some that were really alien. I've probably subconsciously (or consciously) stolen ideas from the thousands of science fiction books I've read over the decades, but at least you don't have more humans-in-funny suits, and their behaviour has to make some sort of sense, to them, at least.

All the little mostly human polities should have fairly unique backgrounds, too, though there are some general themes. And if you look real hard, or want to see it, at least two of them are places where the allegedly still active Humbolts from Deneb could have gone. Plus there's the typical scattering of noble houses, tin-pot (or crack-pot) dictators, noble or deluded warriors, corporations, mysteries, pirates, and threats of war.
 

kaladorn

Mongoose
alex_greene said:
I have a feeling that, as long as the license remains with Mongoose, sooner or later they'll get as many sectors of Charted Space as possible published. Long term, who knows? Maybe all of them, in time.

You have seen the maps for the Zhodani Core expeditions? Do you count that as part of Charted Space? I mean, they are Zhos, but... that happened. So if we included those, you'd have so many books, you could start a library.

If you ignore that but include all of the space owned by the major races and their empires plus the areas on the fringes where there are populations, my guess would be easily 80-100 Domains worth (which is to say, a multiple of 4x that in sectors. So say 320 to 400 sectors or more. If they crank out 2 at a time, that could still go to 200 volumes.

So no, not all of them will be get covered. :)
 

alex_greene

Cosmic Mongoose
kaladorn said:
alex_greene said:
Long term, who knows? Maybe all of them, in time.
You have seen the maps for the Zhodani Core expeditions? Do you count that as part of Charted Space?
So no, not all of them will be get covered. :)
Deepnight Revelation made a case for a Zhodani Core Expedition module.
 

CordwainerFish

Banded Mongoose
alex_greene said:
Deepnight Revelation made a case for a Zhodani Core Expedition module.

Hm, between Deepnight, the upcoming Foreven^H^H^H^H^H^H^HSector Construction Guide, and a good culture-and-governance level text on the Zhodani, you could probably fake one...
 

kronovan

Mongoose
I'm glad to see the Weltbund and anything associated with it tossed out.

I have to ask though, why Katanga? All sorts of nasty stuff went down in the breakaway Republic of Katanga during the Congo Crisis of the early 1960s. Including the torture and execution of the Congo's democratically elected Prime Minister. As well as the Katanga military throwing a force of mercenaries at nearby Swedish and Irish UN troops. It's also been claimed that Katanga's self proclaimed dictator, Moise Tshombe, was responsible for shooting down UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold's airliner in 1961 - not just conspiracy either, but many credible UN and NATO personnel believed him to be the true perpetrator. I guess Katanga does draw a bit of an analogy to African-Terran origins, which are missing in the Traveller verse. TBH though, having read on the Congo Crisis, I consider Tshombe and his Katanga goons to have been African strongmen of ill intent to say the least. Unless of course the author is drawing the origin of Katanga from some other source?

TBH it doesn't bother me too much; my bigger beef is the cost of the Spinward Extents PDF. I don't have the shelf space for any more RPG books, so the more economical appeal of buying the hardcover and getting the PDF for free isn't a factor for me. Meanwhile it'll run me about $45 in my country's currency for just the PDF. I could certainly use it as a source now, because I'm currently homebrewing adjacent subsectors in Foreven. I get that it's nearly 400 pages, but TBH I've never payed that much for PDFs that were even twice that size in page count. I'm thinking I'll be waiting until it goes on sale. :wink:
 

paltrysum

Cosmic Mongoose
'Katanga' needn't refer to that Katanga. Personally, I try to avoid references to 20th-21st century Terran data when naming worlds and regions hundreds of parsecs from Earth 3,500 years in the future. However, a whole swath of worlds obviously named after Nazi army divisions is a bit too obvious and I'm glad they got rid of it.
 

Geir

Cosmic Mongoose
Katanga came from the 1991 MegaTraveller Alien module Solomani and Aslan's dotmap and its allegiance key, one of the sources of the updated Beyond. I don't see that it has much relation to African civil wars of the 1960's any more than to Warren Zevon's "Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner", which happens to be one of my favorites from him - even if he did conflate two different African secessionist states.

And cost, I have no control over. Bought one myself to get a physical copy, even though, to be fair, that came out of the proceeds for writing it (take that, IRS!).
 

kronovan

Mongoose
Geir said:
Katanga came from the 1991 MegaTraveller Alien module Solomani and Aslan's dotmap and its allegiance key, one of the sources of the updated Beyond.

Ah OK, being new to the Traveller verse I wasn't aware of the background behind it in earlier books. As I said above, it doesn't bother me much and I doubt many, if any, of my players for my campaign will be familiar with the IRL Katanga. A bigger question is how much coverage the polities in the book will have? I noticed in the preview at drivethrurpg that The Principality of Bruhkarr gets about a page, but that's the Introduction chapter. Is there more coverage and details on that polity in later chapters?
 

AndrewW

Cosmic Mongoose
kronovan said:
A bigger question is how much coverage the polities in the book will have? I noticed in the preview at drivethrurpg that The Principality of Bruhkarr gets about a page, but that's the Introduction chapter. Is there more coverage and details on that polity in later chapters?

There is some but not a whole lot. Does include a couple of ships for Bruhkarr’s Royal Navy as well.
 

Condottiere

Emperor Mongoose
The best-known mercenary forces are described in separate articles. See: Covenant; Friedland; Xanadu; Falkenbergs Mercenary Legion; Nouveau Legion Etrangere; Katanga Gendarmerie; Moolman's Commandos ...
 
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