AD is a hard science fiction tabletop role-playing game created by Game Designers’ Traveller20 game (based on the d20 System). In , Mongoose Publishing released a AD setting sourcebook for their version of Traveller. Now, Mongoose Publishing has restructured and resurrected this classic game when it transitioned from Traveller to simply AD. And I saw some news about Mongoose releasing a new edition of AD itself, so I figured it might be time to pick up the core system again.
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Intended as a “harder” alternative to GDW’s earlier Traveller science fiction game, the first edition was titled Traveller: Originally, the game was conceived as a replacement for Travellermonngoose the same space-adventure theme with more contemporary influences instead of s and s Space Opera and more rigorous rules design.
The game was revived twice after GDW ceased publishing. It was first brought back in by QuikLink Interactive, as a supplement titled AD for the Traveller20 game based on the d20 System. The game setting follows on from that of GDW’s military role-playing game Twilight: In the intervening three centuries, mankind has rebuilt and returned to space.
A Space Elevator orbital interface has been constructed, connecting the city of Libreville, Gabon to a satellite in geosynchronous orbit. Also, practical means of faster-than-light FTL travel have been discovered, leading to the exploration and colonization of planets orbiting nearby stars.
The post- Westphalian nation-state remains dominant, and most space colonies are considered the territories of various nations back on Earth, resembling the European colonial era of the 18th and 19th century. The dominant power, both on Earth and in space, is Francerecently reorganized in as the Third French Empire, and incorporating mojgoose of Africa. France was able to survive the nuclear war relatively unscathed by abandoning its NATO allies and officially withdrawing from hostilities at the start of the Third World Warretaining enough assets and skilled people to develop a significant head-start in the race for postwar mongooe, political leverage, and technological development.
All of these control certain extrasolar planets themselves. There are three major lanes of explored space, called Arms, named after the nations which dominate them the French Arm, the American Arm, and the Chinese Arm. Lesser routes leading off the arms are called “Fingers”. It is still early in mankind’s expansion into space, and exploration has reached little beyond 40 light years from Earth. As of the time period of the game, each of the three Arms is saddled with a particular difficulty.
The French Arm is the route along which the alien Kafer are pushing an aggressive invasion into human space. The Chinese Arm is beset by an insurgent terrorist faction. The American Arm has reached a dead end, further expansion along it impossible under available technology. Mankind has met with several intelligent alien civilizations, all of which are decidedly strange and non-human, from the genetically-engineered Pentapods to the reflexively bellicose Kafers.
A faster-than-light device called the Stutterwarp Drive allows mankind to achieve practical travel between planetary systems. Ships can usually reach a speed of 3.
Because ships need to reach a world within this distance, the effect of this limitation is the creation of lanes along which travel and commerce are conducted and along which wars are fought, the Arms mentioned above.
Overall, the technological level of AD is not significantly more advanced than that of late 20th century industrial society. What is depicted refines or updates established technologies, boosted by a few scientifically reasonable breakthroughs anticipated at the time of thee game’s publication. The “wonder-tech” of space opera is deliberately absent, with the notable exception of faster-than-light travel.
For example, most personal combat is still conducted with guns firing chemically projected rounds even though energy weapons do exist. Monggoose, no sort of gravity manipulation exists, so spaceships must be built to account for micro-gravity conditions, and transferring from orbital space to a planetary surface or mogoose versa is still expensive.
The properties and limitations of the Stutterwarp drive and all other technologies are defined in considerable detail, to prevent the use of technological deus-ex-machina to resolve intractable situations.
These aliens are mainly speculation on how a sentient being would result from a certain evolutionary path. In particular, the Ebers and Kafers represent well-described, highly “alien” forms of intelligence that seem reasonably evolutionary feasible. Every sentient species has certain mysteries that are unknown to humans in AD and which can be unlocked through adventure and research.
AD (Mongoose) | RPG | RPGGeek
One of the main parts of the drama in AD campaigns is the unfolding of these mysteries. Some of these mysteries can help humanity in its “battle for the stars”, while others are simply curiosities, and a few are dangerous and even potentially disastrous for humankind.
In many cases, human nation states would be willing to go to war with each other to get some of these secrets and some are a necessity for humankind to survive the future war with the Kafers. The background history of AD is a continuation of the nuclear war depicted in the Twilight role-playing game by the same company.
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A custom strategy game called “The Great Game” was used by the authors to develop the background history for AD. The UK magazine’s editor Paul Pettengale commented: Perhaps one of the best alien species ever created for an RPG, the Kafers are truly alien, with a unique physiology, psychology and society. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For the year AD, see 23rd century.
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Cover of edition. Frank ChadwickTimothy B. BrownLester W. SmithMarc W.