Mongoose Traveller Supplement 4 - Central Supply Catalogue
This article originally appeared in Issue #002 of the downloadable PDF magazine.
Supplement 4 - Central Supply Catalogue. Martin Dougherty and Bryan
Mongoose Publishing http://www.mongoosepublishing.com
Mongoose's fourth Supplement for their Traveller line covers a broad range of goods that can be purchased and which will have use in a Traveller campaign.
On the Shelf
This Supplement sports the usual yellow Traveller logo. The tag line for this book is "Credits to Burn".
The Central Supply Catalogue does a good job of living up to its name: the supplement is chock-full of stuff to buy for a campaign. There is a heavy bias toward weaponry and armor, but non-combat items are included as well.
On Closer Inspection
Central Supply Catalogue is more than a listing of Stuff - the volume starts off with twenty-five pages of background, providing a general description of broad characteristics of the specific tech levels, and what they might mean in a campaign. This section also contains rules for prototypes, lower-tech reverse engineering of higher-tech items, higher-tech improvement for lower-tech items, building custom items, and their quirks. This is followed by information on refereeing legality, and some special rules for situations that become possible with the use of equipment from this volume, but which is not adequately covered by the core rules.
The following section is eighty pages of personal and light support weapons, ranging from TL0 blunt objects to energy and neural weapons at TL16 and up. Basic shields, but not other protection, is included in this section as well. A summary of ammunition types and characteristics, and the same for accessories such as sights, magazines, stocks, and so on, is also provided. A nice artistic touch is that "ads" from the 'TravTech Arms Group" are included, with rendered images of weapons and some informative "ad copy".
The light weapons are followed by twenty-four pages of support/artillery weapons, from grenades through crew-served heavy weapons up to bomber-delivered and missile munitions. Again, information on ammunition is included.
Twenty-two pages of armor, from basic 'jack' all the way up through Battle Dress (and its associated accessories), follow.
The remaining thirty-six pages cover non-combat-related items, from cold-weather clothing to medical kits and supplies to rescue balls to vacc suits, to.... Most items are described in a short paragraph, no more than a half-dozen lines or so. There is a section on "augments", or prosthetic enhancements to the living body.
It should be noted that some of what is described here might not meet the image of a Traveller campaign that a referee or player of long experience may have; this, however, should not be considered a flaw, as Mongoose has determined that Traveller is not just the 'traditional' setting, but a rules set that can - and does - support multiple settings. The authors specifically point out that whether a particular item described here is available in a campaign is strictly up to the referee - the mere presence in this volume does not mean that it must be available to players.
Central Supply Catalogue is a supplement that should probably be considered a 'must-have'. The emphasis on combat items can be seen as a deficiency if the referee is running a campaign which does not feature combat heavily, but plenty of useful items may still be found. Perhaps Mongoose might be convinced to eventually come out with a second supplement with more emphasis on nonmilitary goods.