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Sector Construction Guide

This article originally appeared in the November/December 2023 issue.

Sector Construction Guide. Geir Lanesskog
Mongoose Publishing https://www.mongoosepublishing.com
Boxed Set, multiple components (see description in review)

The first thing to be aware of is that this isn’t a set of rules/mechanics for constructing a sector. Instead, it’s mostly a discussion of what the referee should think about when doing so, and how to apply existing rules provided elsewhere to doing so. For the most part, you’re expected to have a Core Rulebook, and several other products are noted as potentially helpful. In other words, the mechanics are scattered all over the place, and this guide is more about applying your own ideas as to what the nature of the sector is to those mechanics.

The core of this product is a 64-page softbound book of the same name as the product. This book mostly doesn’t provide actual rules/mechanics for generating sectors or systems; rather, it discusses in detail, and with a step-by-step procedure, how to develop a concept of a sector and apply that concept to the already-published rules. For a few concepts not well-defined in other rules, this volume does provide some mechanics, but a Core Rulebook is, naturally, required, and several other numbers published by Mongoose are strongly recommended.

The process of developing the sector down to polities on individual worlds is presented systematically, starting with defining how the worlds are distributed within the sector, and proceeding through selecting the important mainworlds within the sector for detailing, detailing them physically and socially, and defining cultures and polities. Although the presumption is that most sophonts in the developed sector will be human of one flavor or another, an example of working up nonhuman sophonts is included.

The boxed set contains, in addition to the eponymous Guide, the following:

Overall, this is slightly disappointing for the price. It does provide the creative referee with a useful guide to building a sector that’s more than just a pile of stats (which really did seem to be the default for most of Traveller’s existence), but it doesn’t gather the actual mechanics together in one place; instead, it points you to other products – most often the Core Rulebook, the Deep Space Exploration Handbook (from the Great Rift boxed set), or the Traveller Companion.