The latest issue of the Cepheus Journal was just released. It’s free and worth a download.
The Cepheus Journal is a fanzine by and for fans of the Cepheus Engine (basically an open source version of the Traveller RPG)
The issues are generally given a theme. The theme for issue #8 is Retro Sci-Fi
- Space Force: After some alien incursions in the 1940s, a US and UN-backed organization called Space Force is founded to counter the alien threat. It’s a sort of UFO/X-Files/The Invaders mashup set in an alternate 20th century
- Cepheus Lethality Rules: A fairly detailed set of rules for replacing the standard damage system with a hit location based lethality system. Haven’t had a chance to try it yet, but it looks (by design) incredibly deadly.
- Space Patrol: Some ideas and rules for running a game in a old fashioned Space Patrol-style universe.
- Future Galaxy: A retro sci-fi setting. It’s got domed cities, jet packs, and food pills.
One of the articles is my own take on running a game in the setting of H.G. Wells’ novel The War of Worlds. There are stats for Martian fighting machines, Heat-Rays, and some campaign ideas. I posted a preview of some of this in an earlier post.
2 thoughts on “Cepheus Journal #8: The Retro Issue”
No, Cepheus is NOT just an open source version of Traveller. Cepheus Deluxe is its own game. It shares many common elements but Char Gen, vehicles, ship design, combat and more is NOT compatible with Traveller games of any version.
I’d argue that as a quick description for people unfamiliar with Cepheus, “basically an open source version of the Traveller RPG” is reasonable. Much in the way you could reasonably call Old School Essentials, Pathfinder, or any OSR game as “basically D&D”
As you point out, the details and subsystems are different, but the core 2d6 mechanic is pretty much the same across all the various flavors of Cepheus. Also, Cepheus Deluxe isn’t the only version of Cepheus. The original Cepheus SRD is a lot closer to Traveller.