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CD-ROM: GURPS Traveller

This article originally appeared in the July/August 2020 issue.

CD-ROM: GURPS Traveller Disk 1—People. Various authors.
CD-ROM: GURPS Traveller Disk 2—Starships. Various authors.
Far Future Enterprises https://farfuture.net
PDF and other files on CD-ROM (~150MB disc 1;~450MB disc 2)
US$35 each

In 2016 Far Future Enterprises took ownership of the GURPS Traveller line as published by Steve Jackson Games. As part of the transfer, FFE published the complete collection of the GURPS Traveller books on two CD-ROMs. Although separately purchased, this review will cover both.

Each disk comes in a standard sized CD-ROM case, with a single CD-ROM. Both the case and the disk use a section of the cover of one of the contained GURPS Traveller products (GURPS Humaniti for Disk 1; GURPS Starships for Disk 2) as a cover image. The disks are ‘burned’ CDs (vs ‘stamped’ CDs like most mass produced music CDs), so plan on keeping them in a cool place out of the sunlight.

I asked Marc directly about this. Computers are increasingly not coming with a CD-ROM drives supplied, so a CD isn’t going to be very useful. Marc will, if requested as part of the original order, supply the contents of any FFE CD (not just these) on a USB drive in lieu of the CD-ROM, or provide the contents as a limited time download via DropBox.

The first disk, Disk 1—People, collects the ‘people’ books in the GURPS Traveller Line. The main books are: Humaniti, Alien Races 1 (Zhodani and Vargr), Alien Races 2 (Aslan and K’kree), Alien Races 3 (Hiver and Droyne), Alien Races 4 (16 minor races), Star Mercs, Ground Forces, Nobles, Sword Worlds, Rim of Fire, and Behind the Claw.

Also included are the six planetary survey books (Kamsii, Denuli, Granicus, Glisten, Tobiak, and Darkmoon), Bounty Hunters, and the GURPS update of the adventure Flare Star.

The interesting oddity is the copy of Psionic Institutes. Labeled for GURPS 4th edition it was clearly written for the GURPS 3rd edition rules. It was one of the books caught in the transition between the two GURPS editions.

The second disk, Disk 2—Starships, collects the more rules-oriented books (the “crunchy bits”) of the GURPS collection; Starships, Starports, Modular Cutter, Far Trader, and First In.

The main contents of the disk are the six deck plans package, containing deck plans for the Beowulf free trader, Modular Cutter (and several modules), Empress Marava Far Trader, the Assault Cutter, the Suliman Scout, and the Dragon SDB. The disk includes full size image files in PDFs for the deck plans. There are two copies of each deck plan, one with 1" squares, one with 1" hexes. These were originally printed on 2123 inch pages. The PDF Files for the deck plans are this size which would require a print shop with a specialized printer to print at full size.

All of the PDF books on both disks are direct PDF productions from the original press files, not scans of the physical books. This means they are all clean, easy to read, and not missing any pages. The individual PDFs are unencumbered, meaning you are free to print or cut/paste from them as needed. They also easy to search individually or all together.

Both disks also contain copies of GURPS Lite (a 32 page introduction to the GURPS rules), the GURPS Traveller core rules, and the GM screen.

Also included on each disk is a two page history of GDW, a one page ad for FFE and their current products, a two page copy of the FFE Fair Use policy, and a set of JPEG images of the book covers for the books that appear on the respective disks, used by an index page for navigation of the contents.

I always liked the GURPS Traveller book as one of the best collections of the history and unique nature of the Traveller universe. If you are interested in looking at the GURPS Traveller Universe, or just needing to fill out your collection, I recommend the CD-ROM. The deck plans (on Disk 2) in particular are not available individually.