Brit-Cit Sneak Peek

With the arrival of a new range of Brit-Cit Judges (and more on the way!), we are currently preparing a brand new force list PDF – however, we know you will want to dive in immediately, so here are the draft rules!

 

Brit-Cit Justice Department

This force list is an official update and replaces the Brit-Cit Justice Department force list in the Judge Dredd rulebook.

The Brit-Cit Justice Department, officially referred to as Her Majesty’s Justice Department (HMJD), maintains Law and order in and around Brit-Cit. It is led by the Chief Judiciary and answerable to Parliament. The Judges of Brit-Cit share much in common with their counterparts in Mega-City One, having similar uniforms and close diplomatic ties. However, the two have many differences in operational procedure and administration. Brit-Cit Judges are more lenient in their approach to crime and spend as much time buried in paperwork as they do patrolling the streets of their sector. The largest difference between the Judges of Brit-Cit and Mega-City one is their salary – Brit-Cit Judges are paid to uphold the Law. When their shifts are over, the Judges return to their flats and families, and may even take annual holidays. The Brit-Cit Justice Department is not immune to the privileges that come with wealth and ancestry and, with enough money, a Judge can buy himself any promotion short of a seat on the Chief Judiciary.

A force of Brit-Cit Judges will be very well equipped and able to handle most situations. They are ideal if you like the Judges of Mega-City One, but are looking for something with a slightly different ‘flavour.’

Distinctly Non-Standard: Brit-Cit Judges have their own code of conduct and while many Laws govern their equipment and appearance, for a Judge in an elevated position, these can be more like guidelines. A Beat Judge, Cal-Hab Judge and Para Squad Judge of level 5 or higher may be purchased up to 50 Credits of weapons and equipment. This increases to 100 Credits once they reach level 10.

Justice Department: As Judges, the models in this force must follow the Arrest rules.

 

Brit-Cit Equipment

Cal-Hab Issue Armour: Akin to the lightweight armour used by auxiliaries, the standard issue armour used by Cal-Hab Judges offers less protection but greater freedom of movement. This is due less to the style of Law enforcement Cal-Hab Judges employ, and more to a lack of adequate funding.

 

Armour Type Armour
Cal-Hab Standard Issue +4

 

Iron Lion Mk 1

The original Iron Lion motorcycle employed by the Brit-Cit Justice Department and, to some veteran Judges, still the best. It can still be found in service, primarily in the Cal-Hab zone and the poorer areas of Brit-Cit, and it remains perfectly serviceable.

 

Vehicle Move Agility Ramming Dice Armour Hits
Iron Lion Mk 1 18” +2 3D +6 5

Type: Medium Bike

Equipment: None

Crew: 1 Driver

 

Iron Lion Mk 2

An improvement on the original Iron Lion, the Mk 2 is now in service across Brit-Cit and within the Black Atlantic tunnel. It has more sophisticated on-board computers, a more powerful engine and is greatly appreciated by the Judges who ride it. As with its predecessor, it remains unarmed, relying on the weapons of the rider.

 

Vehicle Move Agility Ramming Dice Armour Hits
Iron Lion Mk 2 22” +2 3D +7 6

Type: Medium Bike

Equipment: Autopilot

Crew: 1 Driver

 

Beat Judge                                                                             140 Credits

The beat Judges are at the forefront of the Brit-Cit Justice Department, cruising the streets on their Iron Lion motorcycles and Avenger patrol cars. Beat Judges are respected by the city’s citizens and feared by the criminals who dare oppose them. They spend eleven years training to become a Judge and then work the rest of their careers in a number of Sector Stations.

 

  Move Agility Shoot Melee Melee Dice Will Armour Hits
Beat Judge 5” +1 +1 +1 2D +1 +5 2

Type: Infantry Hero

Equipment: Boot knife, PC 101 handgun, standard issue armour, truncheon

Options

  • Swap PC 101 handgun with bumf gun for +0 Credits.
  • If the Beat Judge is given the Dual Shooter Talent, he may purchase a second PC 101 handgun for +10 Credits.
  • Ride a Mk 1 Iron Lion for +70 Credits or a Mk 2 Iron Lion for +90 Credits.

 

Cal-Hab Judge                                                                       140 Credits

The keeper of Law in the Cal-Hab wilderness, these Judges are known to be fiercely independent and capable. Honed and tempered by the lawless region they police, Cal-Hab Judges are instantly recognisable by their kilts, swords and Skean-dDhu blaster.

 

  Move Agility Shoot Melee Melee Dice Will Armour Hits
Cal-Hab Judge 5” +1 +1 +1 3D +1 +4 2

Type: Infantry Hero

Equipment: Boot knife, Broadsword, Cal-Hab issue armour, Skean-dDhu blaster

Options

  • Swap broadsword with claymore for +15 Credits.
  • If the Cal-Hab Judge is given the Dual Shooter Talent, he may purchase a second Skean-dDhu blaster for +10 Credits.
  • Ride a Mk 1 Iron Lion for +70 Credits.

 

Para Squad Judge                                                                  165 Credits

The psi-Judges of Brit-Cit, these specialists are highly valued and to call upon their services frivolously is considered a breach of conduct. Like their counterparts of Mega-City One, para squad Judges are often highly-strung, flippant individuals.

 

  Move Agility Shoot Melee Melee Dice Will Psi Armour Hits
Para Squad Judge 5” +1 +1 +1 2D +1 4 +5 2

Type: Infantry Hero

Equipment: Boot knife, PC 101 handgun, standard issue armour, truncheon

Options

  • Ride a Mk 1 Iron Lion for +70 Credits or a Mk 2 Iron Lion for +90 Credits.

 

Detective Judge                                                                     160 Credits

The detective Judge has proven himself capable of leading investigations and acting on his own intuition. Once installed in CID, the detective Judge swaps his beat uniform for the trademark blue suit and trench coat of the department.

 

  Move Agility Shoot Melee Melee Dice Will Armour Hits
Detective Judge 5” +1 +1 +1 2D +2 +4 3

Type: Infantry Hero

Equipment: Armoured trench coat, PC 101 handgun

 

Judges of the World

The Beat Judge, Cal-Hab Judge and Detective Judge may be used as Judges of the World (see page 190 of the main rulebook), replacing the Beat Judge and Cal-Hab Judge on page 191.

 

Brit-Cit Justice Department Mercenary List

The following may be used as Mercenaries (call them reinforcements…) by a Brit-Cit Justice Department force.

Agent (main rulebook, page XX)

Brit-Cit Beat Judge (see above)

Combat Droid (page XX)

Senior Brit-Cit Judge (main rulebook, page XX)

Street Judge (main rulebook, page XX)

Wally Squad Judge (main rulebook, page XX)

 

Detective Judge Armitage                                                    300 Credits

Armitage works hard against the system of privilege that riddles the upper echelons of the Brit-Cit Justice Department. This, in turn, has made him extremely unpopular among his superiors but his sheer competence at crime-fighting ensures his continued career. Unusual among detective Judges, Armitage also refuses to carry a gun, though his time fighting in the Brit-Cit Civil War means he knows how to handle a weapon – he simply chooses not to.

 

  Move Agility Shoot Melee Melee Dice Will Armour Hits
Detective Judge Armitage 5” +3 +1 +2 2D +4 +4 11

Type: Level 8 Infantry Hero

Equipment: Armoured trench coat

Talents: Brave, Dirty Fighting, I am the Law!, Intimidation, Luck of Grud, Shoulder Down, Stealthy, Voice of Command, Voice of Justice

Veteran Judge: Despite his refusal to carry a gun, Armitage knows how to take care of himself. He may re-roll any Agility check (including those made to dodge shooting attacks).

Available To: Justice Department, Brit-Cit Justice Department

 

Traveller – A New Edition in Development

The new Traveller has appeared, the product of many years tweaking, adjusting and listening to the thousands of players who have travelled the universe of the far future. Here, we will take you through the entire design process; what we have done with the game, what we have been aiming for, and our plans for the next ten years of Traveller.

So, grab yourself a coffee, and settle in for a good read! Alternatively, dive right in by picking up your own copy here!

First off, you can dive into the new Traveller right now with the Beta Rulebook PDF. It is a mere $20 on DrivethruRPG and we’ll return that $20 to you in the form of a voucher when the final Core Rulebook is released in early 2016.

So, what do you get in return?

Well, aside from the chance to directly influence the longest running sci-fi RPG of all time, you will be getting the following;

  • The Beta Playtest Core Rulebook, laid out and ready to go! After many, many moons of writing and internal playtesting, this book is now ready to be seen (and commented upon!) by dedicated Traveller players. All that is missing from this PDF is a few pieces of artwork!
  • A free copy of the adventure High and Dry, a revised edition of the original Type-S scenario, fully updated to the new Traveller in both rules and format. This will allow you to jump right in and start playing Traveller immediately with a cracking adventure written by fan favourite Martin Dougherty.
  • Access to draft (Word format) documents of the ‘core set’ of Traveller rule books – High Guard, Central Supply Catalogue, Vehicle Handbook, and the Traveller Companion, plus the chance to comment upon them and thus influence Traveller at a fundamental level.
  • A $20 voucher to be redeemed against the final Core Rulebook, meaning the Beta Core Rulebook will end up not costing you a penny!
  • If all goes well, some other goodies will be turning up in your Drivethru folders during the playtest period. We have some projects currently on the go that are set for release with the new addition, but if we can complete them according to schedule, they will be offered for free to all registered playtesters.

 

A New Traveller

When we released the last version of Traveller, it proved immensely popular – the Core Rulebook retained the feel and atmosphere of Classic Traveller but brought instantly accessible rules to the fore that could easily translate across multiple universes.

With such a solid base, there was no need to throw the baby out with the bathwater but there were always changes we wanted to make.

Graphics and Art

The first was the approach to graphical design. The last edition rested heavily on the minimalist approach of Classic Traveller – the new edition has all the bells and whistles you expect from a modern RPG. From isometric deck plans to flow charts that walk you throw character creation and ship design, from subsector maps to equipment pages that look as though they come straight from a space-based mail order catalogue, we have spent months striving to make the new Traveller not only look the best it can, but also to use these graphics to help it play better on the table top.

The goal has been not only to bring the Far Future to life through art and design, but to do so in a way that makes logical sense and aids gameplay.

It is our intention to make every Traveller book a full colour hardback – but more on those plans a bit later.

 

The Rules

Before we dived headlong into the design of the new Traveller, we created a long (very long!) Master Wish List of everything we thought might be good, interesting, or just plain cool to include. It was at this point that we decided (with some degree of insanity involved…) to work on not just the Core Rulebook in isolation, but to develop the Core Rulebook alongside what we started calling the ‘core set’ of supplements, those books that would become integral to the campaigns of many players, such as High Guard and the Central Supply Catalogue.

The idea here was that all these titles would be integrated at a very fundamental level so consistency was maintained across all of them. To give an example, in the past edition of Traveller, the ship design rules were written for the Core Rulebook and then High Guard was written on top of those to expand options. With this edition, High Guard was written first and then all ship-based material in the Core Rulebook was drawn from that.

This ensures there are no clashes or incompatibilities between the core set books. One follows on naturally from the others.

 

Traveller Creation

One of the absolute hits of the last edition was the career system and the events that tied into it, allowing players to create fully-fledged individuals who were ready to explore the universe. With a foundation that solid, we were understandably not going to change a huge amount!

Instead, guided by our internal playtesters, we have made clarifications to eliminate areas of confusion, tweaks to balance out any discrepancies and a few humble additions we hope will greatly enhance the creation process. These include;

  • Ship shares – these no longer provide a few measly percentage points on a ship. They will either get you a ship (with varying stages of mortgage paid off – and there are now rules that only one ship will be present in the party during creation) or are considered an investment, adding to your pension.
  • The pre-career education that appeared in past supplements such as Mercenary II has been refined and is now part of the core rules.
  • The Prisoner career has been added to the core book and yes, there are several Events and Mishaps that will send you straight there.
  • Proper rules have (finally!) been added to handle the changing of assignments within a career. So, if you are an Agent you might start off in Law Enforcement, but you now have a path to the world of corporate espionage!

 

Skills and Tasks

This is a very important area of the core rules and while we have not made substantial changes in the way the rules work, we have tweaked how they flow.

The skill list itself has been revised to make more sense and create characters who will be a little more capable. For example, Computers, Comms, Sensors and Remote Ops are no longer separate skills but have become specialities of Electronics. This means that anyone with the Electronics skill has at least some chance of being able to use an electronic device – not an unreasonable assumption in a technological society that has interstellar travel.

We also took a good, long look at that old standby, the 2D task resolution system.

Now, with just 2D controlling the fates of characters, you have to be very, very careful about what modifiers can be included or you can easily end up with automatic successes and failure – not very exciting during a tense situation in a game. We recognised this and wanted to lay down a foundation that not only flowed well for the Core Rules, but on which future supplements could be based.

To this end, there are three factors involved in every task check in Traveller.

First, the referee or adventure sets the Difficulty of the check. This is done in exactly the same way as the last Traveller, except that instead of imposing a modifier, it directly affects the target number – so, an Average check needs 8+, Difficult needs 10+, and so on. The maths are exactly the same as before but doing it this way round allows the referee to keep the target number (and thus difficulty) hidden from the players.

Next, Dice Modifiers are imposed. The change in this addition is that (referee fiat aside), DMs are always hard-wired into the rules, never imposed by circumstance. So, being strong might grant you DM+1 to lift something heavy, but being able to do so accurately in a howling gale does not affect this. That would be covered by…

…Boon and Bane dice. These are extra dice the players roll alongside their normal 2D under the direction of the referee. In a nutshell, the referee no longer has to determine Dice Modifiers on the fly, simply whether the circumstances are beneficial (have a Boon dice) or adverse (use a Bane dice). This has the dual effect of making the game flow faster and removing the reliance on DMs placed upon a 2D roll.

Simples!

Combat

The use of skills and checks has a knock-on effect with attack rolls, and you will find everything maintains compatibility throughout; if you know how to perform a skill check, you know how to fight in combat.

The big change here is the integration of Travellers, vehicles and starships into one combat system that flows effortlessly between all three, always a muddy area in the last edition. You can now fly your Corsair through a system, destroy the orbiting defence stations, then descend into the atmosphere to dogfight the aerospace fighters. A critical hit system for ships and vehicles allows you knock out vital systems in your opponent’s craft, while an expanded action system will give everyone on board something to do in battle.

And yes, starship captains will now be worrying about the amount of Power available to them. In most situations, it will not be a factor (and this will not intrude on gameplay) but if you overload a trader with high-powered weaponry or take damage to your power plant, you’ll be screaming down the comms to your engineer to give you more power!

 

Encounter and Dangers

A lot of the rules in this chapter will seem very familiar to players of the past edition but, again, we have made additions and tweaks that integrates everything into a much more cohesive framework that will translate into smoother play. For example, proper rules have been added for adverse gravitational effects and the quick character creation system pioneered by 2300AD has been brought into the Core Rulebook.

We have also made changes to the way animals are handled, making their creation a thing of simplicity for referees; come up with a concept for your creature, assign Hits and Attacks, then add Traits and you are done. The Traits for animals handle special abilities such as heightened senses or psionic capability and we will be adding to them in future supplements – especially useful as they are also used for alien species, forming another common bond within the mechanics of the game.

 

Internal Playtesting

A great deal of playtesting has gone into Traveller, long before we could look at releasing a beta version. Our playtesters were recruited from across the Traveller community and were divided into four separate and distinct categories, with communication between the categories limited throughout the initial playtest stages to allow us to make ‘blind’ tests. These categories were;

  1. The PTB, Marc Miller’s own Inner Circle with notables such as Colin ‘2300AD’ Dunn. These were the gatekeepers, so to speak, the Powers that control the canon of the Traveller Universe.
  2. The crew from Digital Arc Systems. These are the chaps working on the Traveller Suite Software package (check out rpgsuite.com) which integrates the use of tablets and laptops with the table top game. This ensured there would be no hiccups in translating the rules to the screen.
  3. Third party publishers. Early on, we brought on board the leading publishers who had produced third party products for Traveller. We felt that the input of people who had a financial stake in Traveller would be invaluable (far less likely to hand wave anything) and, in return, they would have a front row seat in developing products for the new edition.
  4. For the final group, we trawled the Traveller forums (both our own and other sites) for the most passionate, dedicated, opinionated and yes, pugnacious Traveller players – those we believed could be relied upon to tell us exactly what was wrong with any proposed rule and not to be soft about it! As I told them from the start, we were not looking for Yes-Men, we wanted players who genuinely wanted Traveller to be the best game it could possibly be.

We are now ready to receive comments and suggestions from the wider Traveller player base through the Beta Playtest Core Rulebook, and we have already set up forums to handle your comments (you will find them here). We will read every comment made and, where possible, either integrate your suggestions or at least try to explain why certain things will not work. All we ask is that you keep things civil!

 

A New Sector

Creating new worlds and universes has always been a staple of Traveller, and you will find planet creation in this Core Rulebook with a few minor tweaks. However, we also wanted to provide a complete subsector (with patrons!) to give starting players an area to immediately explore and start adventuring in with their newly created Travellers.

Enter the Sindal subsector.

Traditionally, Traveller books have always gravitated towards one of two areas within the Third Imperium – either the Solomani Rim or, far more commonly, the Spinward Marches.

Now, both will be represented in the new Traveller but, to kick things off, we fancied it was time for a change so we are heading Rimward – to the Trojan Reach.

This will be an area of space instantly familiar to anyone who has been playing the epic (and free!) Pirates of Drinax campaign, and it lies directly next to the Spinward Marches, making it easy to bring existing Travellers down into it or send new Travellers up to use your existing Marches sourcebooks.

As one-time Traveller writer Gareth Hanrahan once said, if the Spinward Marches are the frontier, then the Trojan Reach is the Badlands.

That just seems a more exciting place to be, and we hope veteran Traveller players will take the journey with us to this sector where men are real men, women are real women and furry Aslan are… well, you get the idea. This is a sector where danger rules, the machinations of huge empires are present but not cloying, and adept or lucky Travellers can carve out their own future without having massive implications for the setting as a whole (well, unless you want them to have that effect…).

We will getting behind the Trojan Reach in a big way over the next few years, so strap yourselves in, check your lasers, and hit the jump controls.

What is Next?

As well as the Core Rulebook we have, as mentioned earlier, also been developing High Guard, Central Supply Catalogue, the Vehicle Handbook and the Traveller Companion. All of these will be available as drafts for playtesting to those of you who dive into the Beta Core Rulebook.

Of these, most will be familiar to veteran Travellers, but one bears a closer look.

The Traveller Companion is our ‘odd bits’ book, the ‘toolkit’ book. Basically, it contains all the rules and additions that did not quite fit in the Core Rulebook and is intended for referees wanting to create their own universes or put a spin on an existing one. These would include, to give just the briefest of examples, varying character creation systems, new approaches to various skills and their specialities, introducing new characteristics, using an abstract wealth system rather than counting credits, variant technologies, alternate planet creation rules, and a host of new ways of creating aliens and animals.

It is a dip in/dip out book, a toolkit that will allow referees to fine tune their own Traveller games to avoid being locked in by one play style or another.

It is our intention to complete the playtest period around Christmas, with the Core Rulebook released in printed form around March 2016.

For the next six months, we will be releasing one Traveller hardback every month, culminating with a brand new Traveller starter set aimed for Gen Con next year. This ensures dedicated Traveller players will be able to get their hands on the ‘core set’ of books as quickly as possible without sacrificing quality.

Beyond that, we are adopting a very different path for Traveller, with one hardback book appearing every 3-4 months. It is our intention to ramp up the quality of this line, in terms of both presentation and mechanics, and that takes time. This will likely be supplemented by smaller ebook-only releases, but the core range will remain full colour hardback.

The other change we are making as part of the Traveller line up; we are removing hard deadlines and replacing them with strong guidelines. Basically, books will be coming out when we deem them ready and not before.

We believe that with the combination of these approaches, the bar for quality will be raised to the highest point on Traveller, with each book becoming a solid ‘must-have’ for the dedicated Traveller player.

The Far Future is looking bright!

 

Future of Traveller

Beyond the new edition, we have lots of exciting projects in the works for Traveller. I have already mentioned the RPG suite from Digital Arc Systems which will integrate all supplements into a seamless digital aid – but I will let those chaps cover what they are doing in far finer detail.

The Trojan Reach will be a focus for us as a setting within the Third Imperium, and the Pirates of Drinax campaign will be getting the luxury hardback/full colour treatment next year as befits this truly marvellous epic. The sector will also be the base for any PC or console games that may or may not be in the works.

Beyond that, we have a brand new setting waiting in the wings that has been dubbed Walking-Dead-meets-Firefly, and our journey through the Third Imperium will continue, starting with a Tour of major worlds in several sectors, penned by Traveller-fan-favourite, Martin Dougherty.

The Far Future begins to look even brighter!

You can pick up your copy of the beta playtest pack here.