Sunday, July 28, 2013

Quick review: Orbital by Zoser games. A traveller setting & sourcebook

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Orbital
A traveller setting & sourcebook
Paul Elliott & Ben Lecrone
From Zozer Games
From the blurb: Orbital is a science fiction setting for Traveller with a fairly realistic (TL 9) feel that is set within our own solar system.
Yeah, well I say, Orbital is great !  It is exactly what  Open source Traveler should be (and is) creating.  New campaigns in new settings, with all the bells and whistles; chargen, ship building, planetary info, etc. It’s a TL 9 setting  confined to the solar system – no FTL, no gravitics and actual rockets instead of grav thrusters – so, although they are super efficient &  advanced fusion rockets, fuel use and burns are important.
It includes rules for chargen appropriate to the setting, necessary modifications to ship design (spin-grav modules and fusion drives in particular), planetary lift off , re-entry and orbital travel rules; a bunch of stuff that does a very good job of adding granularity to the low tech levels in any traveler game, even one set in the Third Imperium.  It probably worth getting for that alone if you are a 3I purist.
The setting is cool, although I have to admit I freaked when I saw it described as Cold war (” Dammit ! pipped again ! ) – but, it turns out to be a late 80’s type cold war tech +100 years – and the main cold war is between earth nations and Luna.  So, cool; my retro cold war  setting is still viable (see this blog for details) (assuming it ever wakes back up)
 A very 1980’s SF setting, no cyberpunk, no transhumanism, just corporate greed and nationalism in space. 
Chargen is well modified for the setting, and presented with a minimum of “look it up in the core rules”, and a good selection of hardware and “stuff” is included.
Orbital tells you the events and timeline, discusses politics and society, and does it in an engaging and detailed manner;  It’s harder to do well than it seems –I’ve read quite a few attempts that seem more like an unusually dry  sixth grade social studies report copied from the encyclopedia than I care to think about. 
I heartily recommend Orbital.
Get it here at DTRPG
http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product/109160/Orbital

1 comment:

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