Mongoose Traveller - Scout
Traveller Scout. Lawrence Whittaker
Mongoose Publishing http://www.mongoosepublishing.com
Mongoose Publishing continues their Traveller line with a third rules expansion, for Scout characters and adventures.
On the Shelf
As usual, the Traveller logo is prominently displayed in the center of the black cover. Scout is classed as a rules expansion; thus, the Traveller logo is in green. The tag line for this book is "Pushing Back the Frontier".
Scout is consistent with the appearance of other Mongoose Traveller releases, both in basic organization and in production quality. Text and tables are clear and readable, and material is well-organized. The 'photographic' artwork is a bit dark, but not obscured.
On Closer Inspection
The short Introduction is followed by an extensive section on generating Scout characters, covering fourteen assignments in five branches, and including a walkthrough of a sample Scout character generation.
A section on missions comes next, describing for the referee how to create any of thirty types of mission (six for each of five branches), and giving an overview of the sort of goal that each mission type entails. Basic information on Scout infrastructure (facilities and bases) is provided, and a sample Scout base, including personnel profiles, is also included.
The equipment section starts with six pages of one-paragraph descriptions of various miscellaneous equipment, grouped by branch most likely to use it. It continues with two pages of vehicles, and thirty pages of starships, spacecraft, and spaceborne stations. These include deckplans, but, as with all of the deckplans so far published, they are too small to be useful for anything beyond ogling with interest. Mongoose really needs to release ALL of their ship plans in 25mm scale, suitable for miniatures gaming (even if it turns out to be 'miniatures' like the SJGames "Cardboard Heros".
A description of contact protocols and the survey process follows, including a star system generation process.
Four pages describing the organization of the Imperial Interstellar Scout Service, and thirteen with extensive rules for survival under a variety of conditions that Scout characters may encounter put the finishing touches on what is, despite its slightly smaller size than previous rule expansions, a meaty document worth every penny - in either currency - that one pays for it.
As indicated just above, this is worth every penny that Mongoose is asking for it, and it should be part of any Traveller referee's collection, especially if one wants to cater to a desire for non-combat missions.