# World Builder's Handbook Feedback

The example of system baseline number determination on p. 45 says, "For the Zed system, with 17 worlds, the DMs are -2 for the companion and -2 for the secondary stars." The DM table on the same page doesn't include any DMs for secondary stars, only for the primary and total world number.

The inclination severity table on page 28: the result for Retrograde says to "roll again and add 90°." This will tend to produce stars that orbit the primary on a plane almost perpendicular to the reference plane of the system, and will pretty much never produce stars that orbit pretty close to the reference plane but "going the wrong way." Was this intended? My gut says the result should say, "Roll again and subtract the result from 180°," instead.

The example of system baseline number determination on p. 45 says, "For the Zed system, with 17 worlds, the DMs are -2 for the companion and -2 for the secondary stars." The DM table on the same page doesn't include any DMs for secondary stars, only for the primary and total world number.
You are correct. I've just gone back through three drafts and the secondary star DM isn't in any of them. Oddly, it is in my spreadsheet code in a very deliberate way, and I think it must have been in some side note that never hit a draft.

And now that I dig into it deeper I found unrelated bugs on Class II and IV DMs (spreadsheet problem only), but that's for me to fix in the spreadsheet, which was never perfect to begin with...

But - and not because it's in the spreadsheet or the example, but because makes sense to me since there will be other star (at least some of the time) to place stars around - I think the fix is to add a DM on page 45:

For each secondary star | DM-1

The inclination severity table on page 28: the result for Retrograde says to "roll again and add 90°." This will tend to produce stars that orbit the primary on a plane almost perpendicular to the reference plane of the system, and will pretty much never produce stars that orbit pretty close to the reference plane but "going the wrong way." Was this intended? My gut says the result should say, "Roll again and subtract the result from 180°," instead.
Actually, now that I look at that table more closely, it has other issues, all my fault, fortunately without significant impact to the generally 2D world of Traveller.
So the Inclination table on page 28 should look like this:

Here I've also added clarity by changing the heading, removing the degree symbol since it really added nothing but an opportunity to debate where to put or exclude it, added a little more parentheses than strictly necessary, changed a plus to a multiply (because result 11 was just not what I intended) and took your suggestion for result 12.

Thank you for finding those issues!

I feel like I'm calling in an artillery strike on my own position.
p. 17: "UNUSUAL AND PACULIAR OBJECT MASS" Paculiar a peculiar spelling for peculiar.

It's actually hilarious because I know exactly how this came about. It's a long convoluted story - which I won't share for lack of space or time to type it all out - but it definitely shows the complexity of editing these books and how one simple change late in the process can lead to further errors.
I’ve also written a technical book of similar length. The editing took 8 months, with proofreading done by multiple people on both the original and typeset text and formulas, but still errors sneaked through.
This approach of publishing the PDF first and hard copy later, with free PDF updates, makes a lot of sense.

Just in case it’s not already been picked up: the Sol system has 4 gas giants not 2

Just in case it’s not already been picked up: the Sol system has 4 gas giants not 2
View attachment 1177
Wow, several things on that got, er changed...
p. 67
Gas giants should say 4
Class III Status? should be yes
MAO should be 0.03
HZCO should be 3
And the little Terra symbols (which I can't paste here) are missing from the gas giants

Actually, the Class III Status? should be yes on p.63 and p.65 as well.

Okay, this might just be a DriveThru bug (still #1 and no, I am not obsessively pressing F5, much) but the updated file shows up in My Library as:
World_Builders_Handbook_Jul23.pdf
Which is good, because it, well, shows that it's updated and when, but the downloaded file turns out to be:
World_Builder_s_Handbook.pdf
Which is not the same or particularly good, especially with the funny _s_

These have all been sent off

A little problem with really big stars...
Ok, not going to copy this one over, but here's a link to it.
Hopefully that works.

My mistake (oversight? confusion? something) on belt span and significant bodies therein.

To follow up on the problem with really big stars, it also affects their companion orbits. Adding a dagger and footnote to the table on page 27:

This also introduces a potential inconsistence, so back to p. 23, the table should read (adding III):

(and I have to start(?) being careful here... too many changes can cause cascades like this)

Last edited:
Up to here with corrections

why are all these problems coming to light
why are there so many from a supposedly in-house edited and error checked product
what can be done going forward to have the pre release pdf out of alpha

The other thing is as you fix things new errors appear, and formatting can often to pot causing more new errors

The good news is the product will be much better when this process is complete - but do not rush to get it out of the door in print.

The second equation for Total Atmospheric bar gets slightly screwy for dense atmospheres. The table on pg 79 gives a range of 1.5 to 2.49 while the equation gives a range of 1.59 to 11.4. You need to roll a 10 or lower on a d100 to get within range unless I missed something. Should that divide by 10 be divide by 100?

The second equation for Total Atmospheric bar gets slightly screwy for dense atmospheres. The table on pg 79 gives a range of 1.5 to 2.49 while the equation gives a range of 1.59 to 11.4. You need to roll a 10 or lower on a d100 to get within range unless I missed something. Should that divide by 10 be divide by 100?
It is absolutely supposed to be divide by 100, not 10. A zero got dropped along the way. The text right above it is correct. There must have been a transcription error in the formula.
So that's the second Total Atmospheric Pressure (bar) equation on page 80. Divide by 100, not 10.
(It is correct on the checklist, but it really ought to be 'd10'0 not 'D100' on page 249 for consistency)

In the results column of the surface feature distribution table on the bottom of page 100, if a result says "x% of surface coverage is in major bodies," does that mean x% of the total surface of the planet, or x% of the proportion of the planet's surface that's covered in "bodies" (of land or water, whichever is lesser)? If it's the latter, how is that different from the "body coverage" mentioned in the other results? And if it's the former, it can result in impossible situations, but I think you must have meant the latter.

Since tidal impacts (p. 105) affect the length of the sideral day, and the sidereal day is an input for the length of a solar day (p. 104), it would be nice if you could mention the potential effect of page 105 somewhere between basic rotation rate generation on 103 and solar day calculation on page 104, just in case some poor soul gets all the way through calculating the length of a solar day and then finds out his sidereal day is longer than he thought it was and has to start again.

Part of the text for the runaway greenhouse effect optional rule on pages 79-80 reads,
Finally, this runaway greenhouse check can also be
performed after detailed temperature determination for
any world where the mean temperature exceeds 303K
(30°C).
The language in the rest of the section states that a runaway greenhouse effect check applies to any world in the habitable zone with an atmosphere of 2+ meeting temperature-based criteria. The corresponding section in the rules for advanced temperature determination, on page 111, reads,
If using the optional runaway greenhouse check
procedure on page 79, the Referee should check for this
effect on any world with an initial Atmosphere of 2–9, D
or E with a mean temperature above 303K (30°C).
That is, the wording on page 111 says the runaway check doesn't apply to atmospheres A, B, and C, and it isn't explicitly limited to only worlds in the habitable zone; but the version on page 79-80 says it's only for worlds on in the habitable zone and seems to include atmospheres A, B, and C, and since the text on 111 refers to the text on page 79 I can't assume these are meant to be two separate, incompatible rules options.

I think the idea is that (1) if and only if the referee uses the detailed temperature determination rules instead of fudging it with the tables on pages 47 and 109, the text about atmosphere codes on page 111 overrides the normal rules for the runaway greenhouse check where they conflict, and (2) worlds outside of the habitable zone always ignore the runaway greenhouse check and just take the result they get from their own atmosphere tables (worlds farther from the primary should never get enough light and worlds closer to the primary are already likely to be hot and exotic/corrosive/insidious anyway, which is main consequence of failing the check). But it took me a while to reach this conclusion.

While we're on the subject of the runaway greenhouse check, the text on the bottom of page 79 says "the Referee can examine any world within the habitable zone that has an Atmosphere code of 2+ and is boiling (adjusted temperature roll of 12+) or hot (10 or 11) as a result of basic generation – this can result from a combination of the real roll or Orbit# – simulated raw roll for temperature and the DMs applied for Atmosphere code as shown on page 78." I don't see any examples involving Orbit # or DMs for temperature on page 78. Did you possibly mean page 47?

Don't mean to pile on, loving the book so far.

In the results column of the surface feature distribution table on the bottom of page 100, if a result says "x% of surface coverage is in major bodies," does that mean x% of the total surface of the planet, or x% of the proportion of the planet's surface that's covered in "bodies" (of land or water, whichever is lesser)? If it's the latter, how is that different from the "body coverage" mentioned in the other results? And if it's the former, it can result in impossible situations, but I think you must have meant the latter.
% of the surface bodies, not total. So if there was only 5% coverage of let's say land, then 60% of 5% would be 3%. The wording in results 5, 9 and A (or 10) have that wording. I suppose to be entirely consistent (or pedantic) every instance of 'surface coverage' could be 'surface body coverage', but I think the intent is clear (or as you say, impossible - or at least contradictory - situations will arise)
Since tidal impacts (p. 105) affect the length of the sideral day, and the sidereal day is an input for the length of a solar day (p. 104), it would be nice if you could mention the potential effect of page 105 somewhere between basic rotation rate generation on 103 and solar day calculation on page 104, just in case some poor soul gets all the way through calculating the length of a solar day and then finds out his sidereal day is longer than he thought it was and has to start again
(I made the upside down face vanish as it seems to have prevented me from breaking up the reply properly - forum bug?).
Anyway, the introductory text does reference tidal factors, but it could be more explicit.
The second sentence of page 103's ROTATION PERIOD (DAY LENGTH) section could say (bold added):
The rotation period of a world can vary greatly, from just a few hours to years-long, with possible tidal factors (see page 105) contributing to prolonged or even permanent daylight.

Part of the text for the runaway greenhouse effect optional rule on pages 79-80 reads,

The language in the rest of the section states that a runaway greenhouse effect check applies to any world in the habitable zone with an atmosphere of 2+ meeting temperature-based criteria. The corresponding section in the rules for advanced temperature determination, on page 111, reads,

That is, the wording on page 111 says the runaway check doesn't apply to atmospheres A, B, and C, and it isn't explicitly limited to only worlds in the habitable zone; but the version on page 79-80 says it's only for worlds on in the habitable zone and seems to include atmospheres A, B, and C, and since the text on 111 refers to the text on page 79 I can't assume these are meant to be two separate, incompatible rules options.
They're not incompatible. Think of it as a program nesting - first you check all the atmosphere 2+ (p. 79) based on orbital location, then you check again (p. 111) based on temperature for those that didn't get runaway on page 79 and which aren't A, B, C, or F as those have already been checked for getting worse, and don't need to be checked a second time to get even more worse(er), while those that are still at least semi-habitable still get another chance (p. 111) to be kicked into runaway greenhouse. If that made sense...
I think the idea is that (1) if and only if the referee uses the detailed temperature determination rules instead of fudging it with the tables on pages 47 and 109, the text about atmosphere codes on page 111 overrides the normal rules for the runaway greenhouse check where they conflict, and (2) worlds outside of the habitable zone always ignore the runaway greenhouse check and just take the result they get from their own atmosphere tables (worlds farther from the primary should never get enough light and worlds closer to the primary are already likely to be hot and exotic/corrosive/insidious anyway, which is main consequence of failing the check). But it took me a while to reach this conclusion.
That... might be what I said above... in a way. I suppose you could run the optional greenhouse rules from the table-determined temperatures, but if you're not going to compute them in the first place, it does seem incongruous. But allowed.
While we're on the subject of the runaway greenhouse check, the text on the bottom of page 79 says "the Referee can examine any world within the habitable zone that has an Atmosphere code of 2+ and is boiling (adjusted temperature roll of 12+) or hot (10 or 11) as a result of basic generation – this can result from a combination of the real roll or Orbit# – simulated raw roll for temperature and the DMs applied for Atmosphere code as shown on page 78." I don't see any examples involving Orbit # or DMs for temperature on page 78. Did you possibly mean page 47?
Yes, the reference at the bottom of page 79 should reference page 47.
Don't mean to pile on, loving the book so far.
I hope the comments helped. Other than adding a page reference on page 103 and fixing the one on page 79, I think it can be left as is.

Now I've had a chance to look back at how I actually implemented the two greenhouse checks in my Spreadsheet-Of-DOOM... and I did treat both passes as atmospheres greater than 1 (excluding G and H - because they are not valid hexadecimal numbers and it can error out without more work than is worth it for a planet whose surface temperature is largely irrelevant), so the greenhouse effect on path page 79 and 111 should match:
p. 79: 'an Atmosphere code of 2+' becomes 'an Atmosphere code of 2-F'
p. 111 'an initial Atmosphere of 2–9, D or E' becomes 'an initial Atmosphere code of 2–F'

I know it is a minor problem that needs all the other corrections done first but most of the bookmarks seem to be pointing to the wrong pages.

I know it is a minor problem that needs all the other corrections done first but most of the bookmarks seem to be pointing to the wrong pages.
To clarify this, do you mean the bookmarks in the contents page?

In pdf readers there is a bookmark option that allow you to open a side panel that lists the headings of sections of the document. These headings when clicked on jump to the wrong page.. However it seems that the contents page bookmarks to the same incorrect pages so the two may be connected.

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