Category Archives: RPG tools

Review: Traveller Spinward Marches – Excellent Maps for Explorers and Merchants


I don’t think I need to tell you about the importance of maps in roleplaying games. Even the most crudest of maps can still be a very helpful tool in any campaign. A great map might even help to immerse the players more deepy into the game.

An excellent example of such a map is the Traveller Spinward Marches map by the German oublisher 13 Mann Verlag. In its print edition it’s 96 cm x 68 cm, printed on both sides, and even laminated. I am not sure if you can use boardmarkers to write on it, but it should at least be protected from greasy hands or spilled drinks. As a physical handout the map is just awesome. It’s made to look like a product available in the actual Traveller universe. One side shows the scout map of the Spinward Marches, with every system detailed. You don’t need to look up stats in a book, everything you need is right there on the map.


The other side features the trade map for the same area, and features all of the information needed for crew of merchants trying to make a buck in this region of space. Especially the trade map can look a bit intimidating at first, but should come in handy during the game – especially if your campaign focuses on trade.

Some people may ask themselves whether a physical map still makes sense in today’s world. I have to admit, I still like having physical handouts at the table. And the map is definitely a great eye-catcher.


If you prefer a digital version of the map, you can get it as well – which actually contains one PDF for each of the two maps. The digital edition is a bit of a mixed bag to be honest. It looks great, is only 7 MB in file size and looks pretty good even on a tablet PC, but it’s just not as useful as the printed map – at least in my opinion. Your mileage may of course vary.

The print edition of the map sets you back €24.95 (about 31$) which is a pretty fair price, if you ask me. It’s available directly from 13 Mann or through local retailers. The PDF version is also available from DriveThruRPG and sets you back $15.55. If you are a fan of any edition of the Traveller RPG and if you’re playing in the Spinward Marches, you definitely should check this product out.

Sci-Fi Fridays! Part 22 – A review! What about Obsidian Portal?


You might be wondering… Did he miss a week? Yes I did! Sorry dear reader… Personal matters kept me away from the blog last week. Everything is almost back to normal now, so time for the next instalment on the Sci-Fi Fridays! series. Last week was, what I would would be the last Wanderers of the Outlands post for a while, but the campaign continues apace and I may soon be back to talking about it and sharing information and material created for it. This week, much like I did with the interview in Part 17 I’d like to review a tool I’ve been using for the campaign, Obsidian Portal!


I’ve known about Obsidian Portal for a while, I created my free account back in 2012 while searching for options to share information about my campaigns. I played around with it, and as nice as it was I ended up not creating my campaign in it. You may ask, why? My biggest reservation at the time was privacy. I don’t mind sharing campaign information, heck I do plenty of that here in the blog, but the day to day details of the game itself, a place where the players can communicate freely, unconcerned about typos or spelling, a private space to share ideas was paramount. The free version of Obsidian Portal did not offer that and I continued my search.

Continue reading Sci-Fi Fridays! Part 22 – A review! What about Obsidian Portal?

Sci-Fi Fridays! Wanderers of the Outlands Part XV


Week 15… I’ve written a lot for my sci-fi Savage Worlds campaign, as these Sci-Fi Fridays! post prove. This time around the information is immediately relevant to the players. This is the rest crew of the ship they’ll be traveling on. I wanted to have a ship as a base of operations because it serves three purposes, first it facilitates travel to different worlds, something I think will benefit this campaign; second it is safe place where the characters can rest between adventures, but it has all sorts of adventure opportunities, like providing upkeep, getting supplies, etc. And lastly, it unifies the players; it is a reason for them to be together if they are the crew of a ship. On the flipside I did not want a single player to be the owner, or even to burden them with a debt of starship proportions. The solution was, they are the crew of the ship, and they have a salary and get a percentage of the earnings. With the exception of one character, who’ll be a passenger, all others are part of the crew of the Exeter.

As I mentioned in last week’s post, the ship we’ll be using is from a Future Armada product by 0ht: art and technology. They produce the excellent Future Armada and Armada Codex series. They give you a ship’s layout as well as a description of the ship and crew. Future Armada has d20 based statistics, but they are so simple that converting them to other systems (as I did for Savage Worlds) is really easy. Armada Codex has generic rules for the ships. They also include high quality maps that allow you to use the ships with miniatures.

Continue reading Sci-Fi Fridays! Wanderers of the Outlands Part XV