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Ships of the Galaxy: Vegas-class Light Freighter
by Omer J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/17/2016 09:55:49

There are literally dozens of sci-fi and space-opera trader-ship designs floating around the Internet, both commercial and fan-made. The Vegas-class Light Freighter does stand out among them. Why? Because unlike the large number of "aircraft-type" trader-ship designs with the engines at their "back wall", the Vegas is a "tail-sitter" - it's engines are under the "floor". The entire ship layout is thus unique among its many competitors, as its deck plans and overall structure are very interesting and a refreshing change.

This book describes a 300-ton trader-ship for the 2d6 Sci-Fi OGL/Cepheus Engine/Mongoose Traveller sci-fi rules. It includes all the regular material - ship stats and deck descriptions. However, it also features an economic analysis of the design showing how it will be profitable when ferrying cargo and passengers even without speculative trade. It also has some very nice "fluff" allegedly written by the "Skipper" - a "professional" stowaway of sorts.

The book features 3D renders of the ship and its nine decks from an isometric POV. It also comes with a booklet providing more traditional top-down 2D deck-plans. The author has obviously made the art and deck-plans with a relatively simple 3D modelling program, and they are not as "slick" as those in other ship-books, but the design itself is, as I have said above, very interesting and would be enjoyable for players to explore.

I have several minor criticisms of this product:

1) The page background sometimes makes the text slightly difficult to read. It is still readable, but a paler background would probably make it better.

2) The table on p.2 - which is repeated in the deckplan booklet - has some irregular alignment of its text.

3) The Asimov quote on p.5 and decks 02 and 00 of the deckplan booklet are slightly pixelated and blurred.

If this was a "regular" trader-ship book with an "aircraft-type" layout, I would have given it a score of 3/5. However, the design's uniqueness and coolness factor warrants a 5/5. Highly recommended for adding some variety to the star-traders of your sci-fi campaign.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ships of the Galaxy: Vegas-class Light Freighter
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Species Spotlight: Myrmidoni
by ALESSANDRO B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/18/2016 16:12:01

Fascinating module and a very original idea. It makes me desire tha there is more material and more data on the Myrmidoni. Are they an order (maybe a sacred one), only an organizazion or what else? And I'd like there was a more detailed description of the armor and its functions. A very good product. Alessandro Busi



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Species Spotlight: Myrmidoni
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Barsoom Trans-Martian Airship
by Lance M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/21/2015 00:04:38

Well done for the airship. However, I found one piece of the map (Section 8) seems to be missing from my copy. Would rate higher if it was complete



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Barsoom Trans-Martian Airship
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Ships of the Black Desert: The Paladin Spaceplane
by Tiago H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/20/2012 14:05:53

The Paladin is a Space-Shuttle analogue that is very useful for any SF RPG campaign. It can be a state-of-the-art SSTO transportation for a crew of PCs in a modern or near future setting as well as a banged out relic from old times found derelict in a Science-Fantasy or distant future setting. A little on the small side of spacecrafts, it's barely large enough to be considered a "base of operations" for most groups of players. Expect something more on the size of the real Space Shuttle than anything on the size of the Enterprise or even the Firefly.

Clear presentation, good and well researched text, nice graphics (that I printed in a 36x29 cm tile) make this a excellent choice of spacecraft for a SF group of adventurers.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ships of the Black Desert: The Paladin Spaceplane
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The Pumpkin-Suit's Manual: Easy Rules for Hard Science Fiction
by Wesley W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/04/2012 19:08:11

Amazing product. Rules are simple, straightforward, and comprehensive. This has much more of a feel for space operations than the other systems I've played. I look forward to using this in a game in the near future. All I can say is wow!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Pumpkin-Suit's Manual: Easy Rules for Hard Science Fiction
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Valkyrie Anti-Debris Orbital Module
by William W. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/17/2012 11:04:06

Another great Max Studios offering - Details, maps, and history of an orbital module that can (and has) found other use in the field of piracy. This ship is statted up for the D6 system, but most of the material here is systemless, and could be used with any sci-fi RPG with a minimal amount of conversion.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Valkyrie Anti-Debris Orbital Module
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Ships of The Black Desert: MC-30 Command Module
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/03/2011 05:14:31

Another awesome addition from Blue Max Studios which will have you wanting to purchase a lot more from this range. Suitable for any sci-fi setting (but with D6 stats), this outlines the full deck plans for a self-contained module. The idea is well imagined, and there is a strong internal consistency to the design that makes it more playable and believable. The deck plans are interesting and would be extremely useful to minis games as well as RPGs. Overall, the production values are great, the text clear, well-written and easy to digest; whilst the graphics are sharp, and despite the maps being well-populated with furniture and fixtures, each icon is easily recognisable. Hoping to see a lot more cool designs coming from Blue Max.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Ships of The Black Desert: MC-30 Command Module
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Ships of the Galaxy: The Monarch Courier
by Jim C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/15/2011 05:26:50

A good-looking small vessel in the ever-useful adventuring party size, with some very nice technical and historical notes to hook in to a campaign.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Ships of the Galaxy: The Monarch Courier
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Valkyrie Anti-Debris Orbital Module
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/23/2011 01:14:27

I have mentioned before how much I love the Blue Max Studios ship plans. The D6 stats for them are incredibly welcome, given that West End Games Star Wars RPG has been out of print for so long. New ships are always a welcome addition in my campaign, and they are able to inject new items to the Star Wars universe - but still remain in theme.

The ship plans come with a full set of deck plans that can be printed and are the right size for miniatures, should you need a room-to-room combat. There are additional notes regarding the history of the vehicle and also how it might fit into a campaign. the Valkyrie Anti-Debris Module does fulfill a very specific role and this alone would be enough to spawn story ideas (I shan't elaborate for those who haven't bought the product).

Well worth the asking price. The only suggestion that I might have is that perhaps Blue Max Studios would consider rolling all of these into a single sourcebook? The designs are so good that I keep purchasing them - but a sourcebook of ships would be more economical.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Valkyrie Anti-Debris Orbital Module
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Ships of the Galaxy: The Monarch Courier
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/23/2011 01:12:10

I have mentioned before how much I love the Blue Max Studios ship plans. The D6 stats for them are incredibly welcome, given that West End Games Star Wars RPG has been out of print for so long. New ships are always a welcome addition in my campaign, and they are able to inject new items to the Star Wars universe - but still remain in theme.

The ship plans come with a full set of deck plans that can be printed and are the right size for miniatures, should you need a room-to-room combat. There are additional notes regarding the history of the vehicle and also how it might fit into a campaign.

The Monarch Courier does fill a nice niche given its size and armaments, but also the fact that it is almost at the luxury end of starships for its size. As such, it would make a good ship for an enterprising smuggler (a more respectable one at least) or as a utility craft for a group of PCs.

Well worth the asking price.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Ships of the Galaxy: The Monarch Courier
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Ships of the Galaxy: The Monarch Courier
by Christopher H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/22/2011 13:22:34

The Monarch courier is a well-conceived and nicely-drawn little starship, perfect for spacefaring (N)PCs who want to travel in style and don’t need to depend too much on passengers or cargo hauling—and who don’t mind plying the spacelanes without weapons. The backstory is interesting enough, and explains that the ship is intended for business travelers (you could easily extend this to galactic politicians as well). A group of spacefaring PCs would probably want to add some weaponry to the ship, if using it as their primary form of transportation, but it would make a fine set-piece as is for one-time or occasional use. The product includes statistics for both d6- and d20-based games, and it wouldn’t be difficult to relocate the backstory to a galaxy far, far away rather than one close to Earth. The pages could stand nicer formatting (typefaces with more character and shorter paragraph indentations, for example), but that doesn’t detract from the gameplay value. Speaking of value, $5 seems a bit steep to me in absolute terms, but it’s not far from the prices of comparable products.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Ships of the Black Desert: The Paladin Spaceplane
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/07/2011 09:07:10

Herein is presented an incredibly useful workhorse of a vehicle, capable of atmospheric as well as interplanetary flight, the sort of thing found flitting around low planet orbit just about anywhere space travel has matured beyond the 'moonshot' level currently enjoyed today in the real world.

The introductory notes, written in a delightful academic review style, as an historian of the development of space-capable vehicles might write, tells of the development of the orbital equivalent of a business jet. This history not only looks at the rationale under which it was designed but has a fascinating tale of how much of the design leaked into 'open source' and how this has, despite the annoyance of the company who developed it, contributed greatly to the Paladin Spaceplane's success!

So, to the Spaceplane itself. Vaguely reminiscent of the real-world Space Shuttle, it can reach orbit from the planetary surface from either a runway or by launch with rocket assist from a gantry, if you are departing from an orbital facility or asteroid it's a lot easier as you do not have such a gravity well to contend with. You will need a runway to land on, if returning to the planetary surface, which some may find limiting.

Normally flown by three people - a mission commander, a pilot and a payload officer - it can be flown solo if equipped with an AI. The flight deck actually accommodates five, so favoured passengers or additional crew can 'sit up front' as desired. The main living area has sleeping space for four as standard (assuming at least one person will be on duty at all times) but can be reconfigured with extra chairs and wall-mounted sleeping bags if more people need to be accommodated. In back there's a cargo space, complete with controls for operation of a 'cargo arm' (did I say this thing looks like the Space Shuttle?).

In some ways it is quite a primitive ride. As well as basic sleeping facilities, there is only one lavatory, which operates in anything from microgravity to a 1g field. Likewise, space suits are not normally carried, if there is a catastrophic loss of pressure 'rescue balls' will have to suffice. You also have to walk through the cargo bay from the main living area to reach the single airlock exit. No doubt, given the proliferation of open source modifications available, someone has produced a luxury version for the wealthy who require orbital transportation!

It is a well-presented and useful vessel that can be employed in a range of roles and settings, even if you are not using the OpenD6 ruleset. Worth keeping to hand if your game involves space-faring from the real-world 21st century on...



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ships of the Black Desert: The Paladin Spaceplane
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Ships of the Black Desert: Conestoga Rover
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/24/2011 07:24:28

I always delight in game aids that support the alternate reality of the game in question, and this is a fine example. It opens with a traditional engineering blueprint for Destiny Foundation Ltd.'s "Conestoga Habitat/Rover Module" and rapidly moves on to an Introduction and History of this vessel written in academic tone, looking back at, well, the history of its development from the standpoint of an historian of the development of space travel writing sometime in the distant future.

It's an inspiring piece too, all about a company CEO who'd made his pile and decided to use it to fund the development of a space vehicle that could be operated by ordinary non-specialist people and afforded by private individuals wishing to get out to explore and settle off-Earth. A neat funding methodology was devised to enable this, prospective space explorers 'purchased' a space mining robot (probably liquidising all their assets to do so) and the proceeds of the robot's mining of rare resources off-world funded their training and launch into space. So, here's the ship designed for these fortunates to use, designed as both transportation and long-term habitat for an entire family suitable for Mars or the asteroids.

Next, the layout and operation of a Conestoga module is described. In exploration mode, it 'walks' on powered legs, capable of transversing rugged terrain, and once a suitable place to settle is found several can be linked together to form a more spacious dwelling. The standard family habitat is a comprehensive and compact arrangement, think of a well-equipped caravan, trailer or RV; and everything is described in terms that suggest that it would actually function were it to be built. The 'rover' version is also described: this is designed for long-term exploration and has less amenities but considerable laboratory and sample storage space.

This is followed by a description of live aboard a Conestoga, with a note that virtually every spacefarer alive 'at the time of writing' was either raised in one or has at least lived in one at some point.

Next is GM information, including ways to incorporate Conestogas into a campaign - perhaps the characters own one or at least they may visit communities that use them - and some adventure seeds.

It is a neat and original addition to the range of space vessels available to science fiction role-players, practical in its applications and well-presented. Although designed for use with OpenD6 it would convert with little effort to a different rule system if preferred.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ships of the Black Desert: Conestoga Rover
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Ships of the Black Desert: Conestoga Rover
by james e. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/16/2011 23:12:19

I really like this book. It gives you a lot more than a stat block for a ship. If gives you the history of this ship, information about life on the ship, and the things you are likely to find there. Its these kinds of touches that help make setting come to life and make a product more than a list of numbers.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Barsoom Trans-Martian Airship
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/14/2011 04:09:53

One of the things I'm always on the look-out for as a Star Wars D6 Gamesmaster is new ships. Blue Max Studios have produced not only a really comprehensive set of ship stats and details, but also a host of adventure hooks and a rationale for the existence of this ship. Basically, you get a history of the ship and how it fits into a setting, followed by a very detailed map and description of the interior. There is even a printable set of deckplans in the back that you can use for miniatures-based encounters. If this is any indication of the quality of this series, I'll be coming back for a lot more - I know my players (who are always on the lookout for a new ship) will thank me.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Barsoom Trans-Martian Airship
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