The Clement Sector: Gypsy Knights Games Offers an Alternative Setting for Mongoose Publishing's Tra

The role-playing game known as Traveller has certainly been around a long time, with nearly as long of a history with the gaming community as that of Dungeons & Dragons. Like D&D, Traveller has undergone several edition changes over the years as well as new ownership of the license rights - in fact it beats D&D out for the number of publishers that have had their hands on the franchise by nearly three times!

Mongoose Publishing is the current caretaker for the license rights, and they are pushing the Traveller RPG franchise into new and exciting products. They have even brought back the spinoff Traveller setting 2300AD and adopted the rule for a setting based upon the comic book series Strontium Dog.

But one of the great things about the new Mongoose Publishing verson of Traveller RPG is how open it is for third-party publishers to add to the body of work for this perennial space opera game. For instance, just last year Gypsy Knights Games published an entirely new alternate setting for use with Mongoose Traveller, creating a new realm of space and alternate human history to experience. The Clement Sector is a far-flung conglomeration of stars, where a splinter group of humans have been cut-off from the rest of humanity far across the vastness of the galaxy.

Clement Sectior (for MP Traveller RPG)

  • Writer: John Watts
  • Illustrators: Steve Attwood (cover); (interior) Ian Stead, John Watts, Matt Kerns CanStockPhoto, Algol; Dreamstime: Philcold, Luca Oleastri, La Fabrika Pixel, 3D Renderings, Twindesigner, Margaret Weber, Antonio Mirabile; Fotolia: Luca Oleastri, Kevron2001, Diversepixel, Kovalenko Inna
  • Publisher: Gypsy Knights Games
  • Year: 2013
  • Media: PDF (140 pages)
  • Price: $15.99 (Now Available from RPGNow in PDF format)

The Clement Sector
is an alternative space opera setting designed for the Traveller RPG by Mongoose Publishing. The setting comes with an alternate history and timeline, and includes a map of the sectors and sub-sectors of The Clement Sector. Additionally, the setting includes new Traveller RPG character design content, additional ships, new rules, and more.

Production Quality

The production quality of is very good and presents the content with both excellent writing and a professional layout. The author has a voice which is evocative of the original GDW (Games Design Workshop) Traveller RPG content, and possesses a clear familiarity with the original content which is being varied for this new setting. The layout is quite user-friendly and presents the setting material in an organized fashion.

The Clement Sector has both a table of contents and PDF bookmarks for easy navigation throughout the document, although the bookmarks do comprise a fairly short list being only the start of each chapter/section of the book. Special features, notes of interest, and design notes are found in boxes for quick notice. The setting book also contains an index to further assist in finding topics and material which is considerably more detailed than the PDF book marks.

The artwork in The Clement Sector is quite good, with quite a few of the illustrations being computer-rendered. This works quite well for the space scenes and ship renderings, but are a bit video-game like for character pics- sort of a bit too shiny. The ship maps are also quite well done and is also quite reminiscent of old GDW Traveller deck plans. But in general, the artwork definitely enhances the product, although it might have been nice to see a bit more of it to break up some of the “wall of text” feeling.


Lost in Space

The Clement Sector
is divided into 14 sections, with each section detailing a different aspect of this alternative space opera setting. The book opens with an short introduction, discussing other books a GM might want to have for the game – Mongoose Publishing Traveller rulebook and possibly High Guard, as well as other supplements for The Clement Sector by Gypsy Knight Games.

The first major section of the book details the History of The Clement Sector. Unlike Third Imperium which is set thousands of years in the future, The Clement Sector is set only a few hundred years in the future, after a “stable” wormhole allows Earth to colonize a few worlds on the opposite side of the galaxy. After more than 100 years of colonization, the wormhole collapses in 2331 and strands millions of humans on the other side of the galaxy from the homeworld. The setting curtain goes up for most campaigns eleven years after the collapse of the wormhole, with the knowledge that Earth will likely never be seen again.

The next section of the book details the astrography of Clement Sector and details each of its sixteen sub-sectors. The Clement Sector uses the hex grid mapping style of original Traveller RPG and Mongoose Traveller, and the maps for this section are neatly drawn with icons and UWP codes familiar to Traveller players and GMs. Each sub-sector map is accompanied by description of notable worlds and systems, and there are more detailed Sub-Sector Sourcebooks available for each.

The section on Characters offers considerable resources for creating player-characters and NPCs which have backgrounds in this region of space. The author has charts for randomly determining the type of sub-sector and world the character comes from, along with appropriate background skills to start. And while the setting does not yet include alien races to play, it does include uplifts, apes and dolphins lifted up to sapience. (Thank you, David Brin!) There are also three new careers in this setting: The HUB Space Navy, Cascadia Colonization Authority, and a Colonist. These are sort of hybrid careers, for instance, the CCA being a mix of Scout and Mercenary professions.

The next three sections cover Technology, Equipment, and Space Craft Design. Generally, these are small additions and variant on existing equipment, such as the Zimm Drive or Z-Drive which is a variant on the Jump Drive.

There follows a section on Starships of the Clement Sector which introduces five new ships along with nicely rendered maps and statistic blocks. Ships included here are a 300-ton merchant vessel, a 400-ton yacht, a 300-ton scout ship, a big 800-ton freighter, and a huge 1200-ton destroyer.

In the next two sections, the author covers Travel and Starship Operations and a bunch of new Refueling Mishap tables. The latter section is self-explanatory, and include some interesting random affects to ship and crew when they try to refuel at gas giants, ice moons, oceans, and even derelict spacecraft. The former section covers a wide range of topics from travel time using the Zimm drive, to currency exchange, and piracy. It’s interesting to note that the author’s invention of the Zimm Drive seems to be to limit certain aspects of space travel and ship design to something more appropriate to an earlier setting. The Zimm drive cannot be used at all on very large ships, for instance, and there are only certain points in a system where a ship can Zimm Drive into, which makes those areas ripe for piracy, blockades, and other interesting plot devices.

The author includes a couple sections of Corporations and Organizations in The Clement Sector, and there are about a half dozen examples of each type to use in the campaign setting. There’s a bit of humor here as well, in that one of the organizations is a traveling order of adventuring warriors who travel around the sector righting wrongs and doing good deeds – and they call themselves the Gypsy Knights.

Of course, whenever you get a bunch of humans together, there’s bound to be issues of politics and religion – and the author covers these topics in The Clement Sector as well. The politics section covers general political units in the region and the major issues on a macro scale – although never mentioned expressly, it’s likely that there is considerable deeper discussions on politics and religion in the Sub-Sector Sourcebooks previously mentioned in the introduction.

The section on aliens in The Clement Sector sourcebook is fairly short but a good read. In summary – there are no alien races discovered in this area of space… yet! There are alien artifacts on worlds and fossils here and there, but the existence of intelligent alien life is something not tackled by the setting at this time.

Finally, the author includes a section detailing some adventure and campaign ideas for use with the setting. These include exploration, merchanting, and mercenary work, ubiquitous for many Traveller campaigns. But the author also includes ideas like being part of a musical act, working as part of the Gypsy Knights, or even part of a radical faction of humans struggling to figure out a way to get back to Sol and Earth.


Overall Score: 7.5 out of 10.0


Conclusions

As alternative Traveller RPG campaigns go, The Clement Sector setting by Gypsy Knight Games has a lot going for it. The setting presents a more gritty yet approachable space opera than the massive and feudalistic Third Imperium (or MegaTraveller) campaign settings. And it has the added twist of making humans stranded and forlorn on the opposite side of the very VERY vast galaxy.
The writing and production values for the product are quite good overall, and the author does a very good job of creating variant rules and new content that still fits with MP Traveller but still feels fresh and new. There are parsecs and parsecs of great space opera packed into The Clement Sector, and the price is quite a bargain for a ton of solid Traveller campaign content.


Editorial Note
: This Reviewer received a complimentary playtest copy of the product in hardbound format from which the review was written.


Grade Card (Ratings 0 to 10)

  • Presentation: 7.25
  • - Design: 7.5 (Great writing; Solid layout; could use better bookmarks though)
  • - Illustrations: 7.0 (Cool cover art; nifty interior illustrations; a bit too much rendered art and too sparse )
  • Content: 7.75
  • - Crunch: 8.0 (Great new content; good use of variant rules and material)
  • - Fluff: 7.5 (Lots of great ideas; but additional products required for greater details)
  • Value: 7.5 (Lots of star filled goodness and relatively complete setting for a decent price.)
 

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ToddBS

Explorer
I'll have to check this out. Mongoose Traveller is by far my favorite Traveller edition. I was giddy when they brought back 2300AD, too.
 


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