Sword of Cepheus (S&S Cepheus Engine) news and updates

AsenRG

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The last post I've seen about Sword of Cepheus indicated that work on it is progressing. Does anyone have more details? When can we expect it:grin:?

Dammit, doesn't Stellagama realize I've got to be able to time the end of my previous campaign to the release date of the Sword of Cepheus, if I am to use it in the year after it's out:tongue:? When should I start laying out the groundwork:shade:?
 
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urbwar

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Last post he made about in the Cepheus Engine FB page said Q4 2019
 

urbwar

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You'll have to ask Omar that directly, as I don't know. My guess is he has other products in the pipeline before it
 

Teyrnon

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I'm curious how Swords of Cepheus compares with Worlds Apart. Aside from those two are there any other Fantasy games based on Traveller/Cepheus Engine?
 

Dumarest

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what's that top one from? i love that.
Someone made a mock-up boxed set for Traveller in a Robert E. Howard sword-and-sorcery world instead of the far future. Unfortunately it doesn't actually exist. Mercator is real...I have a download of it somewhere. I don't remember if it's complete or not.
 

AsenRG

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I'm curious how Swords of Cepheus compares with Worlds Apart. Aside from those two are there any other Fantasy games based on Traveller/Cepheus Engine?
It's hard to compare Worlds Apart with a game that isn't out yet:smile:.

There are also Mercator, and a fan project named Adventurer, which is fully playable AFAICT. And of course, the Flynn's Guide to magic might be rather helpful, too.
 

urbwar

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I have the older version; still need to grab this one.

There is some fantasy stuff in the FB group too.
 

The Butcher

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Honestly I am more curious as to what makes the Classic Traveller engine, in the opinion of the fine folks in this thread, a good vehicle for sword & sorcery.
 

robertsconley

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Honestly I am more curious as to what makes the Classic Traveller engine, in the opinion of the fine folks in this thread, a good vehicle for sword & sorcery.
2d6 simplicity, elegant subsystems, and life path character generation.
 

Raleel

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Honestly, a little tribook packet like the above where each book was less than, say 32 pages, would make a fantastic little rpg.
 

urbwar

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How's the older one? What's the difference between it and the new one?
I haven't read it in awhile (and I'm honestly not the most knowledgeable of the system, having only played the original 3 or 4 times in total), but it looked good. I understand the new one adds some more material, fixes some errors/makes clarifications. It's not a large page count (it's under 40), but seems a useful tack on to use Cepheus for S&S. I mainly got it because I was toying with the idea of using it with Zaibatsu (a stripped down version of Cepheus set in an 80's style cyberpunk Japan) to do a semi-Shadowrun type thing (which is funny, as I've never played Shadowrun either)
 

Dumarest

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Honestly I am more curious as to what makes the Classic Traveller engine, in the opinion of the fine folks in this thread, a good vehicle for sword & sorcery.
The underlying mechanics are strong and work well, and it's made so you can tack on subsystems as desired. It's easy to improvise and make rulings on the fly. It's just an elegant design. Here's someone showing how it works well for most anything: https://talestoastound.wordpress.com/2017/10/19/classic-traveller-rules-in-action-but-not-in-space/
 

AsenRG

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Honestly, a little tribook packet like the above where each book was less than, say 32 pages, would make a fantastic little rpg.
So, like Cepheus Faster Than Light? It's 38 pages total:smile:.

2d6 simplicity, elegant subsystems, and life path character generation.
Basically, that. It's also acting like a grittier variant of Barbarians of Lemuria, due to the potentially nastier combat system and the lack of Hero/Fate/Luck points.
You can notice that the mechanics are rather similar, except the two assume a different average starting point for borderline competence (+1 in the case of Traveller, +2 for BoL)...but due to the different basic TNs these two end up being equal to "you succeed on 7+ on 2d6 barring special investment or special lack of competence".

The underlying mechanics are strong and work well, and it's made so you can tack on subsystems as desired. It's easy to improvise and make rulings on the fly. It's just an elegant design. Here's someone showing how it works well for most anything: https://talestoastound.wordpress.com/2017/10/19/classic-traveller-rules-in-action-but-not-in-space/
That's Christopher Kubasik's blog Tales to Astound which I end up referencing in basically every Traveller discussion, as of lately:grin:!
 

robertsconley

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There is one major issues that any fantasy Traveller faces is fantasy setting generation is inherently not as elegant as science fiction setting generation. Traveller's world generation works because the only "terrain" is the frequency of stars. Aside from that each point location i.e. world can be considered by itself without reference to other worlds. Then you can zoom out and figure out what it all means for the big pictures.

For example interpreting a TL 12 Democracy with a popluation of 900,000 a jump away from a TL 9 Dicatorship with a billion people.

In contrast fantasy worlds have terrain. While Traveller does have world map generation that works well it accomplishes this at the global level. At the local levels, each hex are 10s of kms, it the result is more bland and often badly needs tweaking.

Not to say some of traveller style world generation can be deployed. I for one came up with a traveller style human village generator

Random Human Village Determination
1 Hex = 5 miles or 10 km

Stat block
12-345678-9

1 Fortification Level
2 Wall Level
-
3 Local Water Level
4 Local Soil Fertility
5 Local Resource Level
6 Population
7 Government
8 Oppression Level
-
9 Tech Level

Fortification level
2d6+Modifiers

12 A-Citadel
11 B-Castle
10 C-Keep
9 D-Stone Buildings
8 E-Wooden Keep
7- X-None

+6 if Pop 9+
+4 if Pop 7+
+2 if Pop 5+
-2 if Pop 3-
-4 if Pop 1-
+2 if Gov 2,4,6,8,A,F

Wall Level
12 A-Stone Curtain
10-11 B-Stone Wall
9 C-Reinforced Wooden Wall
7-8 D-Wooden Wall
6 E-Stone Fence/Hedge
5- X-None

+6 if Pop 9+
+4 if Pop 7+
+2 if Pop 5+
-2 if Pop 3-
-4 if Pop 1-
+2 if Gov 7,9
+2 if has Citadel
+1 if has Castle

Hydrographics
2d6-2 Min: 0 Max:10
+6 within one hex of a river
-6 within desert terrian
-2 within mountains
-1 within hill terrian
Automatically 10 within a swamp
+2 within forest
+4 within two hexes of a coast or lake of one hex size.

Fertility
1d6-1d6+Hydrographics Min:0 Max:10
10 is average fertility divide by 10 then multiply by crop yield to get actual yield.

Resource Level
2D-2
Represents the percentage chance of finding a resource.

Population
2d6-2
-6 within 1 hex of a Pop 9+ settlement
-3 within 2 hexes of a Pop 9+ settlement
-4 within 1 hex of a Pop 7 to 8 settlement
-2 within 2 hexes of a Pop 7 to 8 settlement
-2 within 1 hex of a Pop 4 to 6 settlement
-1 within 2 hexes of a Pop 4 to 6 settlement

0 100
1 200
2 400
3 600
4 800
5 1,000
6 2,000
7 4,000
8 8,000
9 16,000
A 32,000

Government
1d6-1d6+Population

0 Head of Family
1 Council of Elders
2 Knight
3 High Priest
4 Baron
5 Mage
6 Count
7 Guild
8 Duke
9 Republic
A King
B Overlord/Tyrant
C Patriarch
D Archmage
E Amazon Queen
F Emperor

Law Level
1d6-1d6+Population
This represents the degree of the ruler's involvement in the populace daily life. 0 being the lower and F the highest.

Tech Level
Represent Capability more than knowledge. Interpretation should be done on a region by region basis.
1d6 + Modifiers
Min: 0
Max: Max TL of Campaign Region
0 Stone Age (10,000 BC)
1 Copper Age (8,000 to 4,000 BC)
2 Bronze Age (4,000 to 1,000 BC)
3 Iron Age (1,000 BC to 500 AD)
4 Dark Age (500 AD to 1000 AD)
5 Middle Ages (1000 AD to 1400 AD)
6 Renaissance(1400 AD Max )

-2 Pop 0-1
-1 Pop 2-3
+1 Pop 7-8
+2 Pop 9-10

+1 if Gov 7,9,F
-1 if Gov 5,D (Magical Repression)
-2 to +2 if Gov 3,C (Specific to Religion)
 

Raleel

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I really like archipelagos for this sort of thing. you still get that sense of traveling between worlds.
 

AsenRG

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I really like archipelagos for this sort of thing. you still get that sense of traveling between worlds.
Or you can just roll the stats of each next settlement based on the stats of the previous one with a Flux roll:smile:.
 
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AsenRG

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Also, I noticed yesterday that I've got a lot of materials for low-tech Traveller/Cepheus Engine.

Flynn's Guide to Magic in Traveller

The 2d6 Magic system by Michael Brown (repeated in the Of Realms Unbounded). I like it, it stresses rituals (from a quick skimming, you kinda need them for more powerful spells).

Fast Magic from Zozer Games.
Low-Tech Weapons by Zozer Games.
Mercator, of course, by Zozer Games...but you probably know by now that I like Zozer Games:smile:! (And I just noticed that Zenobia is now a commercial game with expanded options...I need to have it! Also, I consider it a variant of Traveller-Low Tech.
Advice to everyone: getting the book from Lulu comes with a free PDF).

The unexpected addition is Adventurer (a 3-PDFs set that I seem to have downloaded from some blog or something, over a year ago... it appeared almost randomly while I was checking my Traveller folder). It's "what if Traveller was the first RPG" kind of game, so it borrows a bit from D&D:wink:.
I'm still trying to find the source of that one. Who knows, maybe the author has updated it?

Anyway, it seems like my GM's got a lot to mix and match if she wants to read it:grin:!
 
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