Six Guns: Gauss Weapons
Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in Freelance Traveller’s May 2011 issue.
Guns: Gauss Weapons. Martin J. Dougherty
Terra/Sol Games http://www.terrasolgames.com
The latest release from Terra/Sol games for Mongoose Traveller is their so-called Six Guns line. This line is going to be more than about guns but according to the owner, “six guns” just sounded cooler than “six things” and I am inclined to agree. However, the first issue is all about Gauss weapons. At the outset of when I started playing Traveller, circa 1984, I picked up a little book called Mercenary which as the name implied was all about playing the role of an interstellar mercenary including the tools of the trade – guns. Now, I took very academic viewpoint neither in favour or against guns – they were just that tools therefore, I never found RPGs that overly dealt with the different sorts of guns very appealing (yes, I am looking at you 2300AD) equating that with gun porn but one gun caught my imagination as the incarnation of the future (no, not the P/FGMP), it was the Gauss Rifle.
Quite simply, a gauss weapon uses electro-magnetic forces to throw a tiny needle shaped projectile at very high velocities into the target. Maybe, because it seemed probable as opposed to fusion weapons and given my characterization of Traveller as a Hard Space Opera (they nicely fit it). So now, in 2010, Terra/Sol Games have released a 26 page supplement dealing with Gauss Weapons. Now, this is not 26 pages of illustrations of different weapons and small statistical blocks – these are full-fledged descriptions of different classes of gauss weapons along with chic illustrations and their accompanying ammunition rounds. Complementing the illustrations is a chatty commentary that breaks some of the technical details into more enjoyable reading. It includes sample usage, different configurations and wealth of technical details that make these imaginary guns come even more alive.
To anticipate why should I buy this supplement when I have the rulebook which contains a generic description of the equipment are presented in various game supplements, but there is a considerable difference between taking aim with a non-specific, vanilla-flavor “revolver” at the challenger and drawing a detailed model selected for what it says about you and your persona, as for its particular competences. It might be extreme to call a weapon, as Jayne did in Firefly notwithstanding if you only have a generic weapon – what would be the point? This supplement would lend a hand in helping a player and referee flush out some of the particulars. Nevertheless, there is a kicker (and speaking as a Referee, a very nice one), not all of the equipment herein is necessarily “enhanced” than the non-specific versions. Without a doubt, a number of items have noteworthy negative aspects or are customized to a particular objective and poor for other applications. On the other hand, what they all have in common they are more appealing than the basic rulebook version.
All in all, an excellent add-on to the Mongoose rules dealing with Gauss weapons giving new toys to the players and a solid understanding for the Referee. The only drawback is the art, I would have liked more realistic looking art akin to what Mongoose did with the Central Supply Catalogue – but I realize that Terra/Sol Games does not have the same art budget as Mongoose does. That said, the art is not poor just not as good as the text deserves. And, given that further issues will illuminate other equipment, I can hardly wait to see what Terra/Sol Games will tackle next.