Received a copy of 2300AD for Mongoose Traveller and it’s a nice boxed set. Although I own the original set, having bought that way back in the mid 1980s, I have never played in the setting. Perhaps this product is the one that can tempt us to give it a go.
While I was a little annoyed that my box has been crushed slightly, I guess it’s getting to be par for the course these days. Having got over that, I opened it up and was pleased to see the usual high-quality standards from Mongoose in the form of three softback books and the full-colour star map.
The setting is intriguing: humanity is reaching out across the stars and the balkanised state of human empire-building is as fractious as you would expect. What appeals to me is the lower-tech baseline and move away from Traveller’s default “jump drives” in favour of “stutterwarp” and a harder-SF feeling.
I found myself immersed in the background found in Book 2 very quickly. I also enjoyed seeing the equipment and character choices rendered in full-colour imagery in Book 1. It’s a world rising out of the ashes of a past Twilight Era involving a nuclear war that no-one fully remembers… and giving me flashbacks to the Twilight 2000 game.
The only negative I have with it is the requirement to own Traveller’s core rules separately. You can’t run the game out of the box because you need the character creation and core rules from the main book. I suppose this is understandable and doing otherwise would make the already pricey boxed set even more expensive. But at an extra £45, this makes the set a choice probably best suited to the already familiar Traveller player.
As ever, I need to time to dig into the books and read it all but I am initially encouraged. What particularly invites me deeper is the particularly 1980s-inspired feeling of the setting. There’s a faithfulness to the original that I admire and am glad was retained.
I received the box last Tuesday and concur that it looks very promising.
Because of my late birth and other (RPG-)biographic circumstances, this is the first version of 2300AD I have any significant contact with; but I am already pondering if all my Traveller needs are covered by the core rulebook and the 2300AD box – I don’t play in the Third Imperium and use Traveller for different SF settings instead. Most of the time I use only the core rules for these games, so Highguard et al. already seem kind of superfluous.
But the 2300AD setting is right up my alley in terms of tech level and big political picture.
I look forward to see what you do with it 🙂
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