Saturday, May 7, 2011

Mini Review - Chthonian Stars Core Setting (Traveller)

You enjoy your sci-fi, but you also have a hankering for horror.  Maybe your Delta Green campaign just didn't have heavy enough weapons for your taste.  Well, someone put your Cthulhu in my Traveller, and the combo is awesome!

I really enjoying working my way thru the Chthonian Stars Core Setting for Traveller.  It's not a mash-up I would have thought up on my own, but its a very good match. The books is full of short fiction, which normally I can't stand, but in this case it is very evocative of the setting and a good tool to engage the reader.

It scales down the default Traveller setting to just our (now fully colonized) solar system, and I think the change in scale works very well in making the horror more immediate.

Character generation is changed a bit from regular (Mongoose) Traveller, as many careers have been adjusted to the new setting.  New space ships, which makes sense, as they are made for traversing the solar system.

We are given three short adventures, which is nice, but I would have appreciated a page or two of adventure seeds.  Maybe I missed them, as flipping thru a PDF does have disadvantages over print.

Overall, I'm very excited by the Chthonian Stars Core Setting.  I might find a use for my Traveller core rulebook now.  If nothing else, the setting book deserves a second read thru.

From the Blurb:

2159 AD. It is a good time to be alive. The nations of the world still exist, but they have become more civilized, and we have expanded into the rest of our solar system. But, alas, it is not to be our time. Something approaches, a thing on an orbit from far away. Seemingly a large shard of dark matter, this object is known in obscure prophecy as the Chthonian Star. It is awakening things long thought lost or dead, things that have slumbered awaiting its return. The Unified World Council sends out special teams of sanctioned Wardens, whose job it is to ascertain the new threats to human life, to learn everything they can about them, and fight them wherever they are found.

Chthonian Stars is an original Lovecraftian horror setting for Traveller.

This Core Setting Book:
  • Provides a detailed exploration of our fully colonized solar system, only a few hundred years in the future.
  • Introduces exciting new optional character design rules, including advantages and disadvantages, as well as career half-terms.
  • Introduces new rules for fear and madness, as well as optional rules for character survivability.
  • Brings to life many familiar Lovecraftian horrors for Traveller, as well as a host of new and original ones.
  • Details more than a dozen new spaceships.
  • Includes three ready-to-run adventures, to get groups running quickly.
  • From the award-winning team that brought you CthulhuTech.


  1. Sounds interesting, my only experience playing sci-fi was Star Frontiers briefly, and then a 2 year stint with Battletech pre-Clan invasion.

  2. A little Star Frontiers, a little BattleDroids, or whatever it was called before Battletech, a bit of Star Ace and a decent amount of Traveller. But the main SciFi we used was Spacemaster (the sci-fi rules of Rolemaster)

  3. As an aside, my mother's aunt was a Sister / Nun that didn't agree with Vatican 2 (and never gave up he full black habit)... whenever she would visit from Pittsburgh, D&D got boxed up and the Sci_fi RGs would come out ;)

  4. LOL, I hear ya. Deeeevil worship! That was considerate of you and probably saved everyone from headaches trying to explain that D & D is not devil worshipping. One might worship a devil in D & D, but they are certain to get screwed by it in the end. Kudos to your great aunt in her vocation, many of those "old school" nuns gave their all to their vocation often with little or no recognition. I hope she was happy in her vocation.

  5. Never had Cthluhian elements in my old Traveller game... this looks choice!
    thanks for the heads up.. things could get very interesting... if the stars are right ;)

  6. Sounds like a cool setting! fit for Alien-like games. Do you think the setting is easily adaptable to say Stars without Number?

  7. there shouldnt be much of an issue with filling off the numbers, so to speak. Carry over the fluff and convert the crunch as needed.

  8. Thinking about picking this up. So I assume it's easy to pull elements from for say "regular" Mongoose Traveller? If I wanted my players to have a REALLY bad Misjump and bring something back with them, but didn't want to necessarily run a full blown Chthonian Stars Campaign?


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