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The Gamer's Codex

Career Companion, A Clement Sector Sourcebook

Career Companion, A Clement Sector Sourcebook
From: Gypsy Knights Games
Reviewed by: Ron McClung

Career Companion, A Clement Sector Sourcebook is a new RPG Supplement from Gypsy Knights Games

Even with the new incarnation of Traveller published by Mongoose in 2008, players of the game never really had options to truly flesh out their characters.  There was no real character advancement system in Mongoose Traveller and the careers seemed cookie cutter, in many ways.  It gets even more difficult if you design your own setting, like the Clement sector as many of the careers have to be re-tooled to apply.

Career Companion supplements many of the core rules of Traveller and enhances others.  There are three main sections to the book – one primarily focusing on various options and rules including Uplifts, Altrants, Aging and Wealth, a second that focuses on Career tracks and a third that introduces a character advancement system.

From the website:
“The Career Companion expands the already rich Clement Sector setting with addition of several new elements such as uplifts and altrants.”

For those that unaware, in Traveller there is a concept called Uplifts.  These are genetically and/or cybernetically enhanced animals brought up to a higher than normal intelligence level.  Commonly, dolphins and apes are uplifted, and these both are described in these pages.  Additionally, bear uplifts are described.  Interestingly, they also add in uplifted alien creatures from various other worlds in the Clement sector – Yeti and Kraken.  Game stats are given for those that wish to play these as characters although they should be played by experienced players, as most are not at the level of human intelligence.

Similarly, Altrants are genetically enhanced humans, what other settings might call transhumans.  This setting takes a simple and realistic approach to the concept, presenting four types of altrants that are common to the Clement Sector – Gaishan (low gravity adapted), Oskars (high gravity adapted), Aquans (aquatically adapted), and Sniffers (harsh atmosphere adapted).  It leaves a lot of room for the players or GM to create others, giving you a good baseline in the examples presented.  This opens up a wide variety of possibilities.

From the website:
“Need an uplifted dolphin to interact with your characters?  Perhaps a human altered to handle toxic environments?  Now you have the tools to include them in your Clement Sector adventures or even allow one of your players to create an altrant or uplift character.”

Aging is usually used in an RPG setting for characters that choose to be old or young.  Rarely is it used in a span of a campaign because most don’t last long enough for a character to significantly age.  I can only imagine that happening in a case where the GM advances the timeline of the campaign between chapters, intentionally, and even in that case, players may choose to simply make new characters.

However, due to technologies available in the Clement Sector setting, aging is significantly different.  Life extending drugs and tech have changed not only the physical lifespan of humanity but also many cultural norms.  Humanity in the Clement Sector is living as long as 250 years , and this section briefly covers the various effects that this has on society.  People have their real age and apparent age now.  A character might appear in his 40s but his actual age might be 190 or more.  There is a lot of thought provoking aspects in this section and it is a good read.

One of the major areas that Clement sector differs from the default Traveller setting is that it’s not a huge expansive stellar empire and does not have an established nobility structure built in.  The Social stat was used in Traveller to represent’s one role in that structure.  The social environment in Clement is a lot simpler and fragmented.  However, the Social stat still has some value in this type of setting and this book explains in what ways the players and GM can use it.

Careers help you inject your character deeper into the setting and its many facets, thorugh building up a background of skills and events.  It also helps the reader to get to know the setting through the various events that could happen.  GMs and players alike should read these for inspiration.  There are seven new careers presented here, including National Navy, Spy and Pirate.

The book ends with the character advancement system, which is a very controversial notion in the world of Traveller fandom.  Originally, there was no mechanic to advance a character’s skills or attributes.  Many would say that Traveller characters did not need it and were already experienced at character generation.  However, others would argue that the individual players need a motivation to do the things players do – a means to get better, and a feeling of tangible accomplishment.  A character advancement system is certainly a way to do that.

The system reminds me of the classic d6 System character points method, for those that remember that system.  It is important to note that these rules are optional.  It is a simple system and works well within the existing Traveller mechanics.  It’s not overly complex.  You spend character points gained at the end of adventures to advance skills, buy new ones and advance ability scores.  You also can gain Success Points when you accomplish amazing feats with specifics skills.  Advancement is slow but that is intentional, I think.  It is definitely a workable system for the given core rules.

In conclusion, this is kind of thing that I really enjoy in a sci-fi game setting – options that allow a character to be something more than boring old humans.  I love alien races and monsters in other settings.  And I felt that the Clement Sector setting was one that was lacking in that area.  This really fixes that for me.  They also fix a major hole I felt was lacking in Traveller in general.  This is an essential book for anyone wanting to play in the Clement Sector using MongooseTraveller rules.

For more details on Gypsy Knights Games and their new RPG SupplementCareer Companion, A Clement Sector Sourcebook” check them out at their website http://www.gypsyknightsgames.com.

Codex Rating: 16

Product Summary

Career Companion, A Clement Sector Sourcebook
From: Gypsy Knights Games
Type of Game: RPG Supplement
Author: John Watts
Artists: Bradley Warnes, Ian Stead
Editor: Curtis Rickman
Number of Pages: 61
Game Components Included: One PDF
Game Components Not Included: Core Traveller books, Clement Sector core books
Retail Price: $6.99 (PDF), $15.99 softback(US)
Website: http://www.gypsyknightsgames.com/

Reviewed by: Ron McClung

Gypsy Knights GamesScience FictionTravellerShare This

About the author

Ron McClung (Ron McClung)

Gaming Coordinator for all MACE events. Former writer for GamingReport.com and Scrye Magazine.

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