Non-GDW publications for 2300AD | "The Game" | 2300AD Downloads
Traveller: 2300 and 2300AD: 50 Light Years of Possibilities
GDW's Traveller: 2300 game setting takes place is the same game universe as Twilight: 2000, but after 300 years of rebuilding, then reaching to the stars. The background, though tantalizing, was a bit thin. And the rules, well... much like GDW's MegaTraveller -- released in the same time frame -- the rules set was still in the experimental stage, with errata to follow.
2300AD, the second edition released in 1988, cleaned up the rules, expanded the background, and dropped the confusing "Traveller" prefix. (The game had absolutely no relation to the Classic Traveller RPG, except that they were both developed by GDW.) Both Traveller: 2300 and 2300AD are basically cross-compatible.
2300AD never seemed to get off on the right foot, and was more or less abandoned by GDW well before the company closed its doors in 1995. Still, I regard 2300AD to be one of the more compelling concepts from the highly-creative GDW company, and the 2300AD RPG is a personal favorite.
2300AD on CD-ROM - everything - in legal DRM-free PDF at my Sales Site
SPI's Universe RPG
See Challenge Magazine, Issues 49-52, for the excellent 4-part adventure Operation Back Door by Charles Gannon, where a secret route from the American Arm into Kafer Space is exploited. The Ylii are discovered, and a way to counter the Kafer menace.
Etranger: The Military in 2300AD hosts one of the best collections of military articles and art for the game.
Traveller: 2300 - Mankind Discovers The Stars [BOX SET]
1st Edition. It's a bit thinner on the content than 2300AD, more errata.
Later printings of Traveller 2300 included an additional booklet titled Understanding 2300: 8-pages of rules explanations and background. As the introduction states:
"The purpose of this booklet is to provide guidance to players and referees alike. To do so, we have included information on four subjects: examples of the game systems, sample scenarios, profiles of two alien races [Kafers & Pentapods], and tips on creating your own adventures."
A full set will contain:
* Player's Manual (CC-1000/R1)
* Referee's Manual (CC-1000/R2)
* Beginning Adventure - Tricolor's Shadow (CC-1000/R3)
* Forms Booklet (CC-1000/R4)
* Near Star Map (CC-1000/M1) and Near Star List (CC-1000/R5)
* Understanding 2300 (CC-1000/R6) [Later printings only; "In This Game" booklet updated to include this component.]
* Errata slip, dated 12/4/86. [Some printings only.]
Many more photos of this set over at my games blog:
Traveller 2300 : Three Centuries after a Global Nuclear War, Humanity Reaches for the Stars (1986)
"Journey across the light years exploring the uncharted systems of the frontier; watch your two shadows under a double star; war against the unfathomable Kafers amid the exotic enviroments of alien worlds; ride the beanstalk down to the towering cities of Earth, the economic center of an ever expanding human civilization. Be a part of the new age in Traveller: 2300-the state-of-the-art in science fiction role-playing.
Traveller: 2300 plays against a background of Earth 300 years after the cataclysm of the Third World War. Set in a world where nations still clash, civilization has crawled back to its pre-war levels, and then beyond. The world is dominated by the Third French Empire. Earth's hundred nations have colonies among the stars. First contact happened long ago, and commerce with aliens in now commonplace.
But exploration still goes on! The conquest of the stars has just begun.
The Near Star Catalog
The Traveller: 2300 universe deals with star systems within 50 light years of Earth. Extensive research and analysis has produced the most accurate star map ever made. Never before has such a monumentous task been undertaken, either in gaming or in science fiction: over 700 stars in over 500 systems, on a 22" x 25" color map. Location, spectral type, size and magnitude are documented in a separate star catalog.
The local neighborhood of stars contains white dwarves, red giants and warm yellow stars like our own. The map extends far beyond the furthest reaches of human settlement, into the realms of aliens and the unexplored. Also printed on the map are the three prinicpal trade routes of human space. The Chinese arm from Sol to Tau Ceti, the American arm from Sol to Ellis and the French arm from Sol to Xi Ursae Majoris. Traveller: 2300 maps out the local neighborhood in detail never before accomplished, helping to make it what it was designed to be - the ultimate in playable realism.
Playable realism. Many games which are realistic cannot be played; most playable systems aren't terribly realistic. Traveller: 2300 is both at once, balancing exquisite detail with simple, accurate game systems.
The heart of Traveller: 2300 is its task resolution system. With it, the referee has a plethora of examples and precedents to use in any situation, and the players have a reasonable idea of what their options will be on any given task. Rules covers all aspects of conflict resolution, from arguments to all-out battles. Detailed character generation, starship operations and combat, and economics make Traveller: 2300 the state-of-the-art in science fiction role-playing."
1986 ... GDW 1000 ... ISBN 0943580161
2300 AD - Man's Battle For The Stars [BOX SET]
Adventurer's Guide (96 pages; CC-1000/R1)
Director's Guide (112 pages; CC-1000/R2)
Near Star Map - Breathtaking in its beauty and scale (CC-1000/M1)
Play Aids (32 pages; CC-1000/C1) Tables, forms, star data, and solitare adventure
Later printings will have the Kafer Dawn adventure as a bonus (a foil seal on the box lid will indicate this), and a half-page errata sheet dated 19 Oct 1988. -W
2300AD plays against a background of Earth and its colonies 300 years after WWIII, The Twilight War. In a world where nations still clash, civilization has crawled back to its prewar levels and beyond. The world is dominated by the Third French Empire, which maintains a shaky peace among its jealous rivals. Earth's 100 nations have colonies among the stars. First contact with aliens came long ago, and commerce with them is commonplace.
Civilization has flowered to a point only dreamed of earlier, but worms are at the blossom's core. One alien race, the Kafers, is bent on eradicating humanity. Anarchists labor to bring Earth's rule crashing down. Smugglers transport alien products to other worlds, thoughtless of ecological effects. Pirates prey on merchant and colonization vessels.
Much work remains to be done if humanity is to establish itself among the stars and explore deeper into the galaxy.
THE NEAR STAR CATALOG
The 2300 AD universe deals with star systems within 50 light-years of Earth. Research has produced the most accurate star map ever made. More than 700 stars in over 500 systems are displayed on a 22-inch by 25-inch color map. Location, spectral type, size, and magnitude are documented in a separate catalog..."
1988 ... Marc W. Miller & Timothy B. Brown & Lester W. Smith & Frank Chadwick ... GDW 1000 ... ISBN 0943580625
Star Cruiser: Starship Construction and Combat in the Year 2300 [BOX SET]
A starship combat set for 2300. A novel aspect is the rules being akin to submarine warfare, with detection and evasion being important elements.
2300 gamers -- even if they have no interest in the actual starship combat -- will find 2300AD canon history here and nowhere else. There are a number of "historical" scenarios, each with info about the combatants, ships involved, and context surrounding the conflict. They include:
* The First and Second Battles of Alpha Centauri (2162 and 2205)
* The Raid on 791 Remote, a battle from the Second Rio Plata War (2236)
* Ambush at DM -21 1377 (2264)
* The Neubayern Raid (2283)
* Battle of Barnard's Star (2284)
... and plenty more.
Pictured on the box cover are two Kennedy-class cruisers.
A full set will contain:
* Rules and Scenario Booklet (CC-1050/R1)
* Naval Architect's Manual (CC-1050/R2)
* Two starfield hex maps (CC-1050/M1)
* Ship Status Sheet booklet (CC-1050/T2)
* Two combat charts (CC-1050/T3)
* Counter sheet (180 counters)
Sometimes an errata sheet (August 17, 1987) will be present. I've seen two versions. They're dated the same, but very different. There's a full sheet with an illustration of a Suffren-class ship. And a half sheet (earlier?) with less errata.
Inside you'll find the complete guide to starship construction. Rules cover the power plant and stutterwarp drives, the advanced weaponry of the age, and the defensive countermeasures which will keep your ship alive in a hostile environment. The crew must be distributed between the bridge and the engine gang, many of whom will be assigned to damage control parties, free to move about the ship repairing battle damage. But the technology of the day is advancing rapidly ships constructed now are much more efficient than even those constructed a few years in the past.
Once you've constructed your starship, Star Cruiser gives you the opportunity to test it in action. The maps depict empty sectors of space over which the battles of the future will be fought. The 180 counters represent the battleships, fighters, remote sensor objects, missiles, and game markers (such as illumination for when you activate your advanced radar systems).
The space battles of the future are characterized by the vast distances involved and the superior technologies devised to overcome them. Detecting your enemy may be quite difficult, especially if his drive emissions are shielded from view. Once detected, however, your weapons will be pitted against his defenses, and the outcome will be determined by his ability to make you miss.
Star Cruiser also includes several historical scenarios, drawn from the 2300 timeline. Battles have been selected from the Rio Plata War, the Central Asian War, and the War of German Reunification. There are also scenarios placed in man's first battle against aliens the implacable Kafer ships use different tactics and designs, and have presented some unique problems to human ships forced to engage them..."
1987 ... Frank Chadwick ... GDW 1050 ... ISBN 0943580358
"Nobody said it would be easy. On Aurore, life is no paradise. There are the quakes and volcanoes, the inedible (and often hostile) life forms, and the peculiar orbital mechanics which made half the planet too hot for human habitation. Even to grow food is a struggle of sizable dimensions. The Kafer invasion only made things more complicated...
Aurore [Eta Bootis IIc] is one of the least hospitable worlds in the French Arm, and at the same time one of the most spectacularly beautiful worlds in known human space. Aurore is a world Earthlike enough that humans can live and work in its temperate zone without being forced to resort to cumbersome survival gear or protective suits. Only slightly smaller than Earth, Aurore is largely a vast and unexplored wilderness; the regions which have been thoroughly explored and developed around each of Aurore's three human colonies are relatively small, and much of the rest of the surface has been only superficially surveyed and mapped. The fact that Aurore is actually a large [tidally-locked] satellite of a superjovian gas giant [brown dwarf] has created extremes of climate and surface conditions which present players with unique and interesting problems.
Aurore Sourcebook contains background information on Aurore, allowing the Traveller: 2300 referee to set campaigns anywhere on the planet. It is intended to give a broad overview of the planetary conditions, terrain, biology, and colonies of Eta Bootis IIc - known to its inhabitants as Aurore.
Although Aurore Sourcebook is intended to be used with Kafer Dawn, the module is not needed to complete the information presented in this sourcebook."
1987 ... William H. Keith Jr. ... 96 pages ... GDW 1010 ... ISBN 0943580374
Ships of the French Arm
"Earth and its many colonies have an inherent reliance on space travel, but the nature of the ships which move between them varies greatly with the mission it is to perform. For instance, cargo vessels are quite often tailored to their specific route of trade, such as bringing food from the core to hungry colonists, returning laden with strange goods for eager consumers. More recently, the pressing issue of the Kafer War has forced shipbuilders and tacticians alike to rethink their vocations, forcing them to redesign man's warships to effectively deal with the alien threat.
Ships of the French Arm examines over forty ships which can be found in that region of human space. Each is given splendid attention to detail, including a brief history and explanation of design, an illustration of the vessel, and complete statistics of the design for immediate use with the game Star Cruiser.
Ships of the French Arm deals with a wide range of human designed starships, from the Bismark Class Battlecruiser to the Cargodevil merchant ship. Special attention is given to such ships as the Richelieu Class Battleship and the recently upgraded Martel IIIbis Fighter, ships on the frontline against the Kafer onslaught, being thoroughly tested by their alien opponents.
For the referee, Ships of the French Arm is an invaluable source of encountered vessels (both friendly and otherwise), and ships the adventurers might be travelling on. For the players, this book becomes a handy guide to the local starships, letting them know what they can and cannot expect out of the Ships of the French Arm."
1987 ... Timothy B. Brown ... 96 pages ... GDW 1011 ... ISBN 094358034X
"Nyotekundu's least-inhospitable planet, Inferno, has Azanian and French outposts. The French Portes d'Enfer is home to a contingent of businessmen, traders, smugglers, and troubleshooters who make their living off of the commerce moving past this tidally locked world. The underground complex is mapped and detailed herein, and includes the Fleur-de-Lys nightclub and also the AmeriCo factory level. Inferno's surface is dotted with mines, factories, and weather stations built to withstand seismic conditions.
But around Nyotekundu's gas giant, Cocito, operates a huge OMS (orbital mining station), the Andrew Carnegie. Approximately one mile long, the station is essentially a giant accelerator, mining ice balls from the rings of the gas giant and shooting the ice to the thirsty inhabitants of distant Inferno.
The station has operated peacefully for years, but since discovering a strange artifact in the ice rings, it has gone oddly silent.
The entire orbital mining station is mapped and described in detail, down to personnel and equipment. The player characters are given the opportunity to train on board the Carnegie, providing them with more skills, and preparing them to meet an incredible, nascent threat to the station and crew, as a few desperate employees attempt to grapple with the leavings of an ancient alien being."
1987 ... J. Andrew Keith ... 96 pages ... GDW 1012 ... ISBN 0943580420
"Every one of Earth's 29 colony worlds is described in Colonial Atlas, with information on each of the following:
SYSTEM DATA: The colony worlds are, for the most part, nestled upon the cream of explored planets. But the rest of the worlds within a starsystem can have a great impact upon the colony and may even have been the original impetus for human settlement. This section describes the primary or primaries of the system and its family of planetary bodies, some of which are quite valuable to the human effort in distant space.
PLANETARY DATA: Every planet has its own unique character. Some planets are tectonically active, while others are more stable, or are manipulated by nearby gravity wells or recent meteor impacts. Nearly all the colony worlds have their own biosphere, evolved individually on the worlds to create a variety of life forms, most of which are still barely understood. From the great silted seas of Botany Bay to the Eber ruins of Beta Hydri, each of Earth's colony worlds offers a wealth of unique characteristics for exploration and adventure.
COLONIAL DATA: Man has travelled to the stars and settled the more hospitable planets but failed to leave balkanization behind. More than a dozen of Earth's nations have established off-world colonies, many sharing planets under the protection of the Melbourne Accords. Some generalizations apply, as exemplified by the names given to the three arms of human space, but virtually every nation on Earth is now represented throughout man's stellar community."
1987 ... Rob Caswell & Deb Zeigler & Timothy B. Brown ... 96 pages ... GDW 1013 ... ISBN 0943580587
One of my favorite books of the 2300AD series, worth it just for the centerfold map alone.
Note that the ISBN on the back of the book is incorrect, but is printed correctly on the title page.
"Humanity's contact with the Kafers is probably the most significant event in human history since the Twilight War of the late 20th century. The encounter, like that war, could conceivably spell the end of the human race.
The Kafer Sourcebook contains all information necessary for the 2300 AD referee to create campaigns and adventures involving the Kafers. It describes the physiology and psychology of the Kafers, concentrating on their unique intelligence, and explains why there can never be peace until either humanity or the Kafer population is destroyed.
Covering the origin and evolution of the Kafers, the Kafer Sourcebook goes into the details of the Kafer homeworld and explains Kafer motivations and drives, their history, their society and social structure, and their technology.
The Kafer Sourcebook details the political and governmental structure of the Kafer Associative, discusses the political motivations behind the war, and explains why it will get worse.
The Kafer Sourcebook enables the 2300 AD referee to introduce new items of Kafer weaponry and equipment, as well as more complete details of previously described items. The equipment chapter is copiously illustrated (with some illustrations in full color). The players can be introduced to Kafer artifacts, which range from hand tools and small arms up to the Sigma-class starship. They can puzzle out the true finction of the enigmatic 'worry stone' often found in abandoned Kafer encampments or try to discover the technology behind the recently discovered 'Kafer Computer Mark II,' an advanced portable computer of chilling technological sophistication.
A full-color map of the Kafer Sphere is included, extending beyond the boundaries of the original game map. The Kafer Sourcebook also presents a complete listing of the more than 30 new stars not included on the original game map, as well as those already covered.
Introduced in the Kafer Sourcebook is a new alien race, unknown to humanity so far but important to the understanding of certain aspects of Kafer technology and history.
The Kafer Sourcebook also presents a treatise on Kafer language, including a pronunciation guide, a short vocabulary, and samples of Kafer ideographs."
Design: William H. Keith, Jr.
1988 ... 104 pages ... GDW 1014 ... ISBN 094358065X
Earth / Cybertech Sourcebook
"The Earth/Cybertech Source-book describes the Earth of the 24th century, from Earth's protective shell of warships that block the importation of dangerous alien organisms, to the shining towers of Libreville spaceport; from the rain-slicked pavement of New York's alleys, to the artificial landscape of Earth's computer matrix. The Earth/Cybertech Sourcebook explains it all, with maps and diagrams that make it easy to understand.
Earth/Cybertech begins by explaining the major forces that shape the societies-of Earth in 2300 AD. It examines all of the nations of Earth, describing what life is like for their citizens, from daily work to entertainment to travel. The maps clearly show national boundaries, major cities, and major transportation networks, giving the referee valuable aid in running adventures on Earth. And the illustrations help bring 24th-century Earth into focus for players.
But that's not all.
Earth/Cybertech explains the cybertech revolution that is sweeping through the Earth's cities. Statistics are given for surgical, chemical, and mechanical enhancements of the body, with prices, so that player characters can get in on the leading edge of this new technological wave.. Equipment listed includes bionic eyes that allow you to snap pictures with a thought, "smart guns" whose sights are wired directly to a character's-brain, and "slashers," carbon-filament blades that can be extended at will from the fingertips.
Rules cover the operation of cyber-decks, the computers that deck jockeys use to project their minds directly into Earth's computer network. With these rules, a character can purchase a deck, tinker with its capabilities, and buy software programs to back him up on his runs into cyberspace. Cyberspace itself is described as well, as are rules for conducting computer battles within the cyberspace matrix.
The Earth/Cybertech Source-book includes a detailed cyberpunk adventure, in which Provolution agents seek to unleash terror upon an unwitting New York City, and only the players can stop them. Floor plans are included with this adventure, as are sample characters, so that the 2300 AD referee can begin running it almost immediately..."
1988 ... Lester W. Smith ... 96 pages ... GDW 1015 ... ISBN 1558780149
Ground Vehicle Guide
"...presents 34 vehicles and their variants, both civilian and military, all fully illustrated. The full panoply of ground vehicles in the 2300 AD universe is covered, ranging from small, two-passenger vehicles (such as the Matsu Snow-Demon) upward through American, French, and German combat vehicles ... to the largest ground tanks and cargo hovercraft...
"Color plates depict either cutaways or exterior views of the American M9 hovertank and M24A3 hover APC, the French CC-12, the German LkPz-IX and GfPzTr-XIII and the Australian Kangaroo-IV. The module includes patches and vehicle emblems in full color, and color illustrations of add-on vehicle accessories (including a Pentapod air cleaner)..." ... from the back cover.
1988 ... Loren K. Wiseman ... 64 pages ... GDW 1036 ... ISBN 0943580994
148 pieces of equipment, nicely illustrated, some with color plates.
* Medical gear * Locks * Bugs * Scanners * Machines than can almost read minds * Computers * Subdermal electronics * Viewers * Compasses * Rations * Food Processors * Analytical gear * Combat walkers and rules * EVA gear * Pentapod products * Bizarre Kafer items.
1988 ... Lester W. Smith ... 48 pages ... GDW 1037 ... ISBN 1558780041
"The beanstalk hung above the horizon of this stark, airless asteroid like a shining silver thread against the backdrop of the star-sprinkled blackness of space. As I watched, a cargo capsule (almost invisibly small at this distance) slipped from beneath the edge of the main station and began to crawl down the beanstalk in its long descent to Beta's surface. Eventually, like the beanstalk itself, the capsule disappeared against the bright haze of the planet's atmosphere.
The beauty of the view brought a gentle smile to my face. This, I reflected, is one of the bonuses of my job. I am a troubleshooter.
In 2181 a French exploratory squadron discovered a garden world in the Beta Canum Venaticorum system. Within about 25 years, three ESA nations (France, Britain, and Bavaria) had established colonies there. Over the next eight decades all three colonies cooperated in an attempt to adapt the planet to human uses. The Bavarians began extensive mining of their continent's mineral resources. The British created an extensive transportation network between the colonies. France built their colony a beanstalk. Then came Earth's War of German Reunification. The colonies on Beta Canum began to experience rising tides of nationalism as they jockeyed for power by the judicious use of the world's resources. But the most valued commodity on Beta Canum is the safe, regular access to orbit granted by the beanstalk. The French have found themselves holding the reins of power on Beta Canum. Tension continues to grow as they seek to consolidate their position and the British and Germans seek to undermine it. The French control the beanstalk. But a Bavarian built it - and he thinks he's found a problem. Opportunities are ripe for troubleshooters looking for work."
1987 ... Lester W. Smith ... 48 pages ... GDW 1030 ... ISBN 0943580269
This early module for the newly minted Traveller: 2300 was something of a misfire. A great idea, but the pacing could be a bit lethargic. A sharp referee and top-notch roleplayers could make something of this alien first-contact scenario.
"The carefree activity around Beta Canum often belies the horrible reality of the Kafer war in the bright visible stars overhead. Only the most experienced and fearless crews dare travel through that area of space, through the hotly contested systems of the border. Several centuries of human civilization can attest to the simple fact that a frontier is always a dangerous place to conduct business.
The LaFarge made its final call at a human port at Hochbaden over two years ago, heading into the middle of the Kafer conflict on Trilon company business. When they did not return no one was too surprised. They'd probably fallen victims of the war and that was that.
But now a routine survey vessel has picked up survivors from the crew of the LaFarge, and they tell an incredible story of treks across the ice fields of a glaciated world, stories of a strange alien race [The Klaxun] on the verge of civilization. The crew of the LaFarge are coming back to human space after a multi-year odyssey on an uncharted world, a world where the evolution of life has been perpetually bound to its exotic Energy Curve. As the crew of the survey ship LaFarge, you live out the thrill of discovering a truly alien world. Survival will be difficult, and will probably depend on the cooperation of a native alien race of beings. Can you communicate with them, and can you live among them for what might be years before human rescue?"
1987 ... Timothy B. Brown ... 48 pages ... GDW 1031 ... ISBN 094358020X
Another good module, but a bit thin, and much better used in conjunction with the later "Aurore Sourcebook" and "Kafer Sourcebook." The alien Kafers are introduced here, and would become one of the best-realized alien races I've seen in gaming.
"Life for colonists on Aurore was difficult at best. Native plant and animal life was deadly to humans and soil had to be brought in by the ton to grow imported crops. Tidal bores were scoured by half-mile tall waves twice a day. Earthquakes and volcanic activity were constant hazards. Then, the Kafers came...
1987 ... William H. Keith, Jr. ... 48 pages ... GDW 1032 ... ISBN 0943580218
"The place had been hit hard, that was for certain. The station was designed with a big, rotating wheel that was supposed to provide artificial gravity for the scientists on board, but the central axis of the station was always supposed to align with Arcturus. The first thing we noticed was that it wasn't just the wheel part of the station that was turning the whole station was.
Contact with the implacable, warlike alien race known as the Kafers was first made in 2395 by a French research outpost orbiting the star Arcturus, four and a half light years out-arm from Eta Bootis. Two years later, all communication with the French station abruptly ceased, and it is now assumed that the station was destroyed by a surprise and unprovoked attack by the Kafers. The following year, in 2398, a Kafer armada struck Eta Bootis, and the Kafer War began in earnest.
Eventually the Kafers were driven back from Eta Bootis system (except for a small number of ground troops which remain to threaten the safety of the colonists on the planet Aurore) and even from Arcturus, where the ill-fated research station hangs in orbit around that giant, enigmatic star. But the victorious human forces were unable to remain at Arcturus, being forced to return to Hochbaden for sorely needed repairs and supplies. Station Arcture remained unexplored, the fate of its crew a mystery. One German Kommodore decided to seize the moment, determined to take a multi-national mission team from Eta Bootis to Station Arcture before the Kafers could return and before his superiors could react. He planned the mission team with the purposes of reconnaissance and rescue Mission Arcturus.
You are invited to join Mission Arcturus and to explore what's left of the human research station between the battle fleets."
1987 ... William H. Keith Jr. & Lester W. Smith ... 48 pages ... GDW 1033 ... ISBN 0943580455
"Another distant explosion shook the complex, throwing Konrad to the corridor floor. The cement tore at his knees and the palms of his hands. Blinking back tears, he climbed to his feet. Through a nearby viewport he could see the huge Kafer battleship approaching, its bulk blotting out the stars.
"There's nowhere left to run." It amazed him how calmly he could accept that. "Sixteen years old, and I'm going to die." Suddenly, his surroundings took on a special clarity. He could hear the hum of the overhead lights, smell the smoke from far down the hall. He noticed the laser scars on the Kafer battleship where defense systems had destroyed a gun tower. As he watched, a jack turret opened, and the inside began to glow red as its power built toward discharge. There was a sudden flare of light.
In 2295, humans and Kafers first met. Kafer ships discovered a human research facility orbiting Arcturus. The humans sent radio messages to the aliens but received no reply. Then, suddenly, without warning, the Kafers left the system. Station personnel reported the alien contact to Terran officials, and, regretting the lost opportunity to establish relations, continued to study the star. Two years later, reports from the Arcturus system ceased.
Early in 2298, Kafer ships swarmed into the Eta Bootis system and, driving away the human space fleet, began an attack on the Eta Bootian colony world Aurore. The aliens destroyed the world's orbital facilities and landed ground troops on the planet. Human space forces reentered the system with reinforcement from nations cooperating in the attack, and by 2299, the alien fleet was driven back. Then the humans fell back to Eta Bootis where a defensive line could be established. An uneasy silence settled on the Frontier. No one knew when the enemy might attack again.
It is now 2301. The human fleet at Eta Bootis has been waiting at the alert for two years. While its leaders have bickered over protocol and jockeyed for command of the combined fleet, individual ship-crews have grown lax in performing practice exercises and routine duties.
But the Kafers have been busy. The remnants of the small force that originally attacked the humans have reported back to Kafer war leaders, and the combined might of all the Kafer nations has been assigned to invade human space. Their goal is nothing short of the eradication of the human race.
The survival of the human race is in jeopardy. Its fate lies not only in the hands of its armies and navies, but also in the hands of its civilian populations. In Invasion, player characters can experience the course of the Kafer assault on the French Arm, but they can also take an active part in the human defense efforts, no matter what career they have been trained in. The final fate of worlds may well depend upon their actions.
Invasion describes the course of the Kafer campaign, from the initial assault on Hochbaden to the final, climactic battle at Queen Alice's Star. Along the way it treats each colony world in an individual chapter, explaining the particular effects of the invasion on that world. Both space battles and ground battles are described, with role-playing adventures and even official Star Cruiser scenarios included. With the information in this book the referee can run an entire campaign based upon the Kafer invasion."
1988 ... J. Andrew Keith ... 72 pages ... GDW 1034 ... ISBN 0943580676
A Star Trek-like campaign for 2300AD. A lot of fill-in work is required by the referee, but there is much potential here.
"The chief tenet of the Astronomischen-Rechen Institut is the pursuit of interstellar exploration for the betterment of humanity. A rich and coveted pocket of stars lies a mere 350 light-years away. The time has come to unlock its secrets.
Resting comfortably in the constellation of Taurus in Earth's familiar night sky, the Pleiades have long been an object of awe, worship, and inspiration for different human cultures. To ancient civilizations which placed tremendous importance on the heavenly bodies, the unique character of the Pleiades was as compelling as it was puzzling.
To the modern men of the 24th century, however, the Pleiades are very nearly as great a prize a storehouse of young stars just waiting to be tapped for information. The Astronomischen-Rechen Institut (ARI), a foundation pledged to extend the boundaries of human exploration and human knowledge, recognizes this potential and has for years been in preparation for the long voyage to this fabled cache of stars.
The vehicle for that mission has been carefully designed and purposefully crewed for the tenuous journey across uncharted stars. That ship is called the Bayern.
After Bayern's aborted launch attempt in 2297, the Astronomischen-Rechen Institut completed repair and redesign on its vital stutterwarp drive system, and the ship was then ready to set off again for the haunting star group. Now, as the 24th century dawns on the human race, Commander Leopold Schmidt and his international crew of 110 brave explorers: make ready to bid farewell to their friends' and families for a journey that will last almost half a decade.
The module Bayern contains all of the background data needed to run an ongoing campaign of adventures based around the monumental voyage of this great craft. The important crewmembers are all detailed, as are the ship's systems, including the computers and the extra vehicular craft used on the Bayern during the mission.
Also included in Bayern are two complete adventure scenarios, Death Throes and The Daughters of Atlas. Each scenario is designed to begin or supplement a continuing campaign covering the unique encounters and adventures that can be found along the long flight of the Bayern."
1988 ... William W. Connors ... 48 pages ... GDW 1035 ... ISBN 0943580749
"82 ERIDANI IV
At the extreme end of a side branching of the Chinese Arm lies a yellow star much like Sol. This star is circled by eight glittering planets, the fourth-of which bears life.
Humans call 82 Eridani IV "Kormoran," and it is home to-the enigmatic Ebers members of a race that once possessed star drives but destroyed its culture by interstellar war.
Of the races thus far encountered by man, the Ebers are the most like men in gross biological characteristics, but they are also the least understood. Ebers are known first-hand by fewer than 9000 humans, the inhabitants of two enclaves: the UAR and Texas.
Once possessing knowledge beyond that of humanity, the Eber race nearly obliterated itself thousands of years ago in an interstellar war. Even now, they are just beginning a new industrial age. Most Eber nations continue to conduct travel by animal, and war by sword and spear.
The Ebers are extremely ritualistic creatures. They hoard the decaying knowledge of their ancient forbearers and protect it with semi-religious tradition against the day that their race will use it once again.
The UAR has a major enclave on Kormoran, the first extra-terrestrial project ever created by that nation. Enjoying good relations with the Civilized Eber nations and with Manchuria (which holds the reins of power on the Chinese Arm), the enclave may someday divine the deep secrets of the Civilized Ebers.
And the Arabs are not hesitant to use their influence with Ebers and Manchurians to make life difficult for the recently arrived Texans, in a jealous effort to protect their hold on Kormoran.
The Texas enclave was established eight years after the UAR enclave. In that eight years, the Arabs had wormed their way into the councils of the Civilized Ebers. Therefore, while by Terran treaty the UAR could not prevent Texas from planting an outpost on Kormoran, it could ensure that the Texan enclave had little chance of surviving. The Arabs convinced the Civilized Ebers to cede a parcel from the Great Desert to the Texans, believing that if the harsh environment did not destroy them, the savage Nomadic Eber tribes would.
But Texans are stubborn, and in the three decades that followed, the Texan enclave of New Austin held tenaciously to its site.
Now, with the dawning of the 24th century, Texas has signed a landmark agreement with the Civilized Eber nation of Black Sky to build an Eber steam train line through the Great Desert. With this gain, the Texans have become a real threat to the UAR enclave.
In the wake of the historic agreement between Black Sky and the Texas enclave, the Nomadic Ebers of the Great Desert have assembled for war. Attacks on New Austins outlying areas are increasingly frequent and a Texas Ranger is missing... The player characters have been recruited to serve as auxiliaries alongside the Rangers. Now the Rangers have been ordered out into the desert to determine what is precipitating the war. Having come to Kormoran for a peaceful break from Kafer fighting, the player characters find themselves cast into the thick of a mounting conflict with hordes of aliens who can throw spears through plate armor. What was advertised as a relaxing stint of duty is quickly becoming a nightmare."
1989 ... David Nilsen ... 64 pages ... GDW 1038 ... ISBN 1558780165
"What a sweet deal... All you have to do is transfer one passenger from a small oil corp in Corpus Christi to an even smaller one in Monterey.
But playing bus driver turns sour. Bandits start shooting at you, so you radio for backup, and both the Mexican and Texan corps send in air support. The two rival pilots start a dogfight, and official Mexican aircraft join in. Suddenly, youre caught in a virtual maelstrom of combat.
With guts, skill, and luck, you escape and deliver your passenger, and think your mission is over. But the fates have something else in store for you. You return home to become immediately embroiled in a series of events you have little control over - from scandal to electronic theft to cold-blooded murder.
Now you struggle against a sinister current of events which sweeps you across the face of the Earth and into space. you are locked in a duel with elusive and powerful adversaries intent on eliminating the only thing standing between them and global supremacy - you."
1990 ... Lester W. Smith ... 64 pages ... GDW 1016 ... ISBN 1558780513
Rotten to the Core
Adventure in the cesspool of Libreville, at the foot of Earth's beanstalk. I imagine the movie Bladerunner would make excellent inspiration for this module.
"Jean-Francois told me it was a done deal. When the man who had stood back to back with me at seven different Speed Demon rumbles had a proposal, I listened. And silly me, I believed him. I should have learned Lesson #1 a long time ago: In Libreville, a trusting soul is a dead one.
1990 ... Julia Martin ... 64 pages ... GDW 1017 ... ISBN 1558780599
Kafer War Campaign Pack
Aurore Sourcebook (#1010, $10)
Kafer Dawn (#1032, $8)
Mission Arcturus (#1033, $8)
Ships of the French Arm (#1011, $10)
Kafer Sourcebook (# 1014, $10)"
List Price at time of release: $23
1993 ... GDW 1704
Non-GDW Publications for 2300ADOperation Overlord
A 3W publication under license from GDW, "Overlord" is the sequel to the module "Invasion"... Invaluable if you are running a Kafer War campaign.
"While human fleets continue to battle the remaining Kafer warships along the frontier, a tiny unnamed star system serves as the home of a forward base for Kafer warships which continue to conduct raids deep into the French Arm. The system, known simply as DM +36 2393, contains a single garden world the German colony world of Dunkelheim. This is the location of the Kafers' citadel base and the target of Operation Overlord.
1989 ... C.W. Hess ... 48 pages ... 3W 402 ... UPC 054756760268
S.S. Virginia (25mm deck plans)
2300 AD American Merchant Ship S.S. Virginia Starship Deck Plans in 25mm Scale.
"The 850-ton Virginia-class schooner is a small but capable cargo vessel, designed to transport massive cargoes to distant planets. Defense was not a design consideration however, a glaring omission when a formation of Kafer Golf-class fighters is screaming toward your ship. The escorting ships are doing their best, but you may become the next target. The beanstalk is gone, only half of the reentry cargo containers have been launched, and the people down on the planet desperately need those supplies. Your options are limited, but you never back down from a challenge. You've only a few moments to make our decision. Confront the challenges of the 2300AD universe aboard your Virginia-class starship."
1989 ... SKR 3001
U.S.S. Hampton: American Warship (25mm deck plans)
Blueprints/deckplans for an American warship. -W
"The American Space Force's Hampton-class destroyer escort is 3,700 tons of warship. Originally designed for simple escort and anti-piracy patrol duty along the American Arm, the class was immediately conscripted into wartime service at the outbreak of the Kafer war. Best known for its role as escort for the Virginia-class convoys, the Hamptons have developed a reputation as guardian angels of transport crews and embattled colony worlds. With the Hampton-class starship, you have the means to take part in man's battle for the stars."
1991 ... J.R. Tenopir & C.W. Hess ... SGS 3002 ... ISBN 1879487144
Fifth Foreign Legion
The setting of the Fifth Foreign Legion will be eerily familiar to 2300AD players, which is no coincidence since the authors are both 2300AD alumni: Andrew Keith & William H. Keith, Jr.
Set in the late 29th century, the French-dominated Commonwealth gives the Fifth Foreign Legion all the tough jobs in the sparsely-populated colony worlds within about 150 light years from Earth. Many of these worlds are being re-discovered after the resumption of interstellar travel with the end of the Shadow Centuries.
Each book in the trilogy features a different colony world, lovingly detailed in statistics in the prologue. Equipment will also be familiar to 2300AD players, largely French, with a mix of other nationalities.
March or Die
"As the Terran Commonwealth expanded the borders of the interstellar territories it
controlled, an alien race which had once ruled the spaceways was forced to yield control of much of their own star empire. But they had never been fully conquered, and they would never cease trying to undermine the Commonwealth's power.
So when Commonwealth diplomats and the command officers of the Terran Fifth Foreign Legion gathered in the capital city of the world to meet with the local ruler, no one suspected the trap they were walking into. Even as assassins' fire claimed their lives, native forces initiated a simultaneous attack on the partially completed Fifth Foreign Legion fortress. And the ranking surviving officer at the fort led his troops on an impossible march through the heart of enemy territory, fighting every step of the way in a last-ditch effort to reach their main baseor die in the attempt..."
1992 ... Andrew Keith & William H. Keith, Jr. ... 253 pages ... Roc ... ISBN 0451451333
Honor and Fidelity
"The Sandcastle had once been a base belonging to the alien Toel, sometime allies of the defeated enemy of the Terran Commonwealth. Now the Sandcastle housed the troops of the Fifth Foreign Legion, sent to this water world on the fringe of Earth's expanding empire to protect the interests of Seafarms Interstellar, a powerful Terran corporation.
At first Captain Fraser thought the biggest problem he'd have was keeping the legionnaires from getting too bored. But that was before the Free Swimmers, the nomadic ocean clans, attacked and nearly overran the Sandcastle. Suddenly, the Fifth found themselves facing a seemingly unstoppable native army equipped not only with the crossbows of their own planet but with high-tech, off-world weapons which just might prove the doom of both the Fifth and the Corporation civilians they'd sworn to give their lives to protect!"
1992 ... Andrew Keith & William H. Keith, Jr. ... 256 pages ... Roc ... ISBN 0451452038
Cohort of the Damned
"Wolfgang Hauser was an aristocrat, rich, privileged, pampered... until the day alien invaders overwhelmed his world and stripped him of everything he held dear. Now he was an outcast, without a family or a home, his honor tainted by accusations of cowardice and murder. He was a man on the run, and sooner or later his enemies would find him and destroy what was left his shattered life. There was only one safe haven in all the far-flung Terran Commonwealth... The Fifth Foreign Legion.
But Wolfgang Hauser soon discovered that the Legion demanded a high price from the misfits who flocked to its banners seeking new life and new hope. The man who had lost everything found that he would have to surrender his name, his beliefs, his very identity to become a legionnaire. It was a price he wasn't sure he could pay..."
1993 ... Andrew Keith ... 272 pages ... Roc ... ISBN 0451452275
Challenge Magazine Index for 2300AD
Challenge Magazine was published by GDW before its demise (1995). The magazine supported the science fiction gaming community with articles written for a multitude of RPG systems. The following articles are listed by issue number & title:
27 Traveller: 2300 Designer's Notes
27 The North American Research League
28 Designer's Notes
28 The Astronomischen Rechen-Institut,
29 In the Cards
29 Trade in 2300
31 The Sung, Chapter 19
31 Earth: 2300
32 Cayuga-Class Close Escort
32 The Xiang: Chapter 19
32 Papers and Passports
33 Lone Wolf
33 North America, 2300
33 Stutterwarp Revisited
34 Ogre: 2300
34 The 2300 AD Revision
35 A World Invaded
36 Devil in the Dark
36 The Anatomy of a Missile
37 Three Blind Mice
38 Star Cruiser Power
39 The American Marines
39 The French Lieutenant's Connection
40 Riding the Wave
40 Cellular Launcher
40 M17A1 APC
40 The Stahlhammer
40 GDW System Overview
40 Anatomy of a Space Mine
41 The Sweet Trade in Space: Piracy
42 Italy: 2300
42 Leathernecks on Aurore
42 AV-90 Marine VTOL
42 Where Ya From, Mack?
43 New Cyber Equipment
43 Where Ya from, Mate?
43 L-5: Community in the Sky
44 Black Market
44 Social Class in 2300
45 Catch & Carry Team
45 Hot Stuff
47 New Attack Programs for Cyberjockeys
48 We're Going Where?: Naval Reservists in 2300
49 Operation Back Door
50 Operation Back Door
50 The Ylii
51 Operation Back Door
52 Operation Back Door
53 Wired Society
54 Master Race
57 Cache and Carry
58 Just How Good is Sidearm-5, Anyway?
59 Rock 'n' Roll Never Dies
60 X-Wing Down
61 This is Only a Test
62 Catch as Catch Can
63 Into the Depths
63 Jacked in
65 One of us Always Stays Awake
66 Diamonds from Premiere
67 Old Enemies
69 Repo Men
70 Gorgon Hunt
73 The Edge of Memory
74 Survival Course
The 2300 AD game in all forms is owned by Far Future Enterprises. Copyright 1977 - 1998 Far Future Enterprises. 2300 AD is a registered trademark of Far Future Enterprises.
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