Clement Sector: The Rules

From: Gypsy Knights Games

Reviewed by: Ron McClung

Clement Sector: The Rules is a new RPG Core Rulebook from Gypsy Knights Games.  It use the open game license for the Cepheus Engine.

Open game licenses are tricky and the revival of many old school game engines have tried their best to take advantage of them.  In the case of Gypsy Knights Games, their license with Mongoose Traveller had run its course and they were left to find a new alternative for the core rule system.  Enter Samardan Press and their Cepheus Engine, which is based on the classic 2d6 system of Classic Era Science Fiction 2D6-Based Open Gaming System (aka old Traveller).  For the past year or so, Gypsy Knights has been busy working to convert their products to the Cepheus Engine.  Starting with this book, it is a new era for the Clement Sector.

From page 16: Clement Sector began its published life in 2011 as an alternate setting for a popular science fiction roleplaying system.

You can obtain the Cepheus Engine SRD by donating any amount of money in DriveThruRPG.  However, it is not needed as the Clement Sector: The Rules PDF contains all you need.  There are some slight adjustments to the rules, skills, careers, etc to fit the setting but the basics are more or less the same.  While this PDF gives you some of the basic stuff like core rule system and the like, the Clement Sector Core Setting Book (2nd edition) also provides more, including tables for Character Generation.

SETTING

As the name implies, this is a rule book and has very little setting information.  However, the setting itself has not changed and much of this information is contained in the Clement Sector Core Setting Book.  At its heart, the Clement Sector is a setting of human exploration, expansion, and exploitation.  Humans are the dominant species and very few aliens (if any) have been encountered.  For informational and contextual purposes, I will include a short summary of the setting.

In the 23rd century, Earth humans discovered a Einstein-Rosen bridge or wormhole (The Conduit) near the Epsilon Eridani system and used it to discover the Clement sector on the other side of the galaxy.  Even with the “Zimm Drive” (this setting’s version of FTL), it would take a long time to reach the other end of the wormhole.

For a time, that wormhole remained stable enough that humans could colonize the plethora of worlds found on the other side.  Before long, the humanity had established 16 sub-sectors including Franklin, Winston, Dade, Sequoyah, Cascadia, and Hub (previously reviewed first edition books).  Then the wormhole collapsed after about 130 years of colonization and expansion.  Clement was left on its own.  The setting starts a little over a decade after the collapse.

The setting is rich in culture – some familiar and some imaginatively warped or mashed together.  Instead of aliens, the setting has Uplifted animals – apes, dolphins, bears and other animals have been genetically upgraded to be intelligent.  They also have transhuman Altrants – humans that have been genetically altered for a specific purpose.

CORE SYSTEM

The core system is very familiar to anyone that played classic Traveller.  Even though they can not make any reference to the copyrighted name, it is basically classic Traveller.  It is a basic 2d6 roll versus a target number of 8.  Eight is always the target number.  What makes it vary are modifiers to the roll.  It is a rather simplistically elegant system that is easy to remember.  Old school.  It does not have a lot of game play flair but it get the job done when and where it needs to.  At times, the system requires an Effect, which is how much the total either exceeded or missed the target number of 8.  This can determine a degree of success or add to damage of an attack.

The book itself is broken down into 16 sections.  The first five cover the core of what roleplaying games are about – the Basics (rules), Characters, Skills, Equipment and Personal Combat.  The Basics generally go over foundational concepts of role playing, core system concepts and mechanics as well as common themes of Clement Sector adventuring.  As described above, the system is elegant with an old-school feel.

Character creation for a character in the Clement sector is more than just a few numbers and skills.  The player generates stats and skills along with a full background starting from Childhood through Collegiate events. This section references tables that are not included in this PDF but are found in Clement Sector Core Setting Book.  This system completely fleshes out a three-dimensional Clement Sector character.

Skills are straightforward.  Listed are basic skills and their specializations.  There are a few more than in the basic Cepheus Engine system as well as a few more specializations.  Equipment includes a considerable list of general gear, armor and weapons.  Tech levels are adjusted for the setting.  As for weapons, standard slugthrower type weapons are standard but there are also lasers and gauss.

Like most any sci-fi setting, the Clement Sector can get violent.  The Personal Combat section covers all that you need to deal with that kind of violence.  The Clement Sector Rules system changes the Cepheus Engine slight by asking the players to roll initiative each round.  I prefer a system that does this, giving everyone a chance to affect each round in their own way.  Actions are either free, minor or major (similar to d20), and there are various  battlefield effects that might change the effectiveness of those actions.

I have always found it interesting how this system has no hitpoint but instead damage is taken directly from stats.  First Endurance, then Strength or Dexterity.  Once either of the latter are reduced to zero, they are unconscious.  Once all three are reduced to zero, they are dead.  This makes for a pretty gritty and deadly system, with pistols capable of 2d6 damage and large weapons cause up to 4d6 and 5d6.  Armor is important.

From page 17:  This simple system is used for nearly everything in the game, with variations based on the modifiers added to a roll and the effects of success and failure.

The last four covers the sci-fi fundamentals of Space Travel, Trade and Commerce,  and Space Combat.  Included in the space combat and travel section is a special appendix on the largest ship builder in Clement – Anderson and Felix and their additions to starships.  This is further expanded on in the The Anderson and Felix Guide to Naval Architecture.  

In this kind of sci-fi RPG, the players find adventure because they are involved in some kind of space travel or trade.  In many cases, they own or lease a ship. These sections cover the day to day operations they may do as a crew.  The biggest change between this and standard Cepheus Engine is the Zimm Drive, which is a setting specific technology.  There are a lot of tables and math in this section to calculate time of travel, etc and if you really want to get down to the nitty gritty of space travel, this is the section for you.  Have your spreadsheets ready.

If things get real nasty, and the party is involved in space combat, the rules are contained in the Space Combat section.  My problem with any science fiction game that includes this is that it boils the game down to a miniature game and draws the attention from the players.  I am not a fan of that kind of thing, so it would be up to the Referee/GM to keep the focus on the players while dealing with ship to ship combat.  If this is what you are into, this book supplies all you need to do it, utilizing the Cepheus Engine to its fullest extent.

The last chapters cover various miscellaneous subjects like Environments and Hazards (which can be quite a lot in sci-fi), Worlds and the Universal World Profile, and a series of Encounter tables.  One of the things I found useful from Traveller and used in many of my other sci-fi games was their encounter tables and the adventure seeds that grew out of them.  Patron Encounters were my favorite.  These can be directly related to the various 21 Plots supplements by Gypsy Knights.  The book finally ends with notes on how to run as a Referee (Game Master) and how to write an adventure.

In conclusion, at its core, Clement Sector is a throwback to old school Traveller with a fresh look at how it can be played.  The Cepheus Engine is a perfect marriage for it, as it takes very little conversation from the 1st edition stuff.  From a rule system standpoint, this book sets you on the right path for a solid RPG system that is strongly rooted in old school gaming.  There is a reason why the classics are coming back with this old school revival movement – because they were good and simple.  This is definitely one of those systems.

From a setting standpoint, it is not your typical space opera or science fantasy type game as it has its roots in realistic sci-fi.  It takes human social structures, groups and norms and advances into the future, without the standard tropes of pointy-eared aliens and tentacled ancients.  My advice to any Referee that wants to play this setting – engage your players into the setting, link them directly to it and give them a reason to care about it.  Characters can not be just randomly placed into this setting.  They need to be part of it.

For more details on Gypsy Knights Games and their new RPG Core Rulebook Clement Sector: The Rules” check them out at their website Gypsy Knights Games, and at all of your local game stores.

Codex Rating: 17

Product Summary

Clement Sector: The Rules

From: Gypsy Knights Games

Type of Game: RPG Core Rulebook

Authors: John Watts, Michael Johnson, and Jason Kemp

Additional Material: Ian Stead

Artists: Bradley Warnes, Ian Stead , Stephanie McAlea, Algol,  Oleg Gapeenko,  GrandFailure, DesignWest

Editor: Curtis Rickman

Cover Layout: Stephanie McAlea

Number of Pages: 217

Website: Gypsy Knights Games

Reviewed by: Ron McClung

ConCarolinas 2017: Classic Battletech

Bill Zeigler and Allan Whittingham return once again to ConCarolinas 2017 with new scenarios and new terrain for another weekend of Classic Battletech madness.

Friday and Saturday Sessions will be one on one and multi-player battlemech combat. Each player will start out with lite battlemechs advancing to a heavier weight unit in each session. Play will take place  on a single map board. The ruleset use will be Total Warfare. Sunday Session will be a scenario involving company vs company size combat (12 units per side). Each player will control multiple battlemechs.

Preregister for this event in OGRe.  You must be registered for ConCarolinas 2017.  Be sure to register for the convention using the special JustUs Productions rate.

About Classic Battletech

Classic BattleTech is a table-top wargame set in the fictional BattleTech universe that simulates combat between futuristic mechanized forces. Originally published by FASA Corporation, the game is now produced by Catalyst Game Labs under license from WizKids.


Battletech in the past


ConCarolinas 2017

June 02-04 2017
Sci-fi Carolina Style
Hilton Charlotte University Place
Charlotte, NC

ConCarolinas is a Client Convention of JustUs Productions.  They have hired JustUs to run their tabletop gaming track.  Anything other questions should be directed to the Convention Committee of ConCarolinas.  See their website for more information.


ConCarolinas 2017: Mage Wars Tournament for Cystic Fibrosis

JustUs Productions is proud to announce a special Mage Wars tournament run by the local Mage Wars crew, lead by Ben Burton.  This  will be a swiss round Mage Wars tournament to raise funds for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. $10 gets you in. Prize support and great matches included.

Preregister for this event in OGRe.  You must be registered for ConCarolinas 2017.  Be sure to register for the convention using the special JustUs Productions rate.

About Mage Wars

Mage Wars is a fantasy tabletop wargame. Mage Wars was first developed in 2007 by Bryan Pope and was released in 2012 by game publisher Arcane Wonders. Mage Wars is normally played as a battle between two Mages, although there are an additional set of rules that allow for more players.


ConCarolinas 2017

June 02-04 2017
Sci-fi Carolina Style
Hilton Charlotte University Place
Charlotte, NC

ConCarolinas is a Client Convention of JustUs Productions.  They have hired JustUs to run their tabletop gaming track.  Anything other questions should be directed to the Convention Committee of ConCarolinas.  See their website for more information.


ConCarolinas 2017: Star Wars -X-Wing Tournaments

JustUs Productions is proud to announce an Star Wars: X-Wing Tournament for ConCarolinas 2017.   Preregister for this event in OGRe.  You must be registered for ConCarolinas 2017.  Be sure to register for the convention using the special JustUs Productions rate.

Friday Night Tournament

Time: Friday, June 2. 7pm. Cap: 12 Players

Saturday Night Tournament

Time: Saturday, June 3. 7pm. Cap: 24 Players

2017-03-28 UPDATE: Friday night (2017/06/02) will be a casual event – an escalation tournament starting at 75 points and ending at 125 points.  Saturday (2017/06/03) will be the main show, with a 100pt tournament with a cut to top 8 or top 4 depending on the size of the event.

About Star Wars: X-Wing

Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game is a tactical ship-to-ship combat game in which players take control of powerful Rebel X-wings and nimble Imperial TIE fighters, facing them against each other in fast-paced space combat. Featuring stunningly detailed and painted miniatures, the X-Wing Miniatures Game recreates exciting Star Wars space combat throughout its several included scenarios. Select your crew, plan your maneuvers, and complete your mission!  Whatever your chosen vessel, the rules of X-Wing facilitate fast and visceral gameplay that puts you in the middle of Star Wars fiercest firefights. Each ship type has its own unique piloting dial, which is used to secretly select a speed and maneuver each turn. After planning maneuvers, each ship`s dial is revealed and executed (starting with the lowest skilled pilot). So whether you rush headlong toward your enemy showering his forward deflectors in laser fire, or dance away from him as you attempt to acquire a targeting lock, you`ll be in total control throughout all the tense dogfighting action.

Star Wars: X-Wing features a number of unique missions, and each has its own set of victory conditions; with such a broad selection of missions, only clever and versatile pilots employing a range of tactics will emerge victorious. What`s more, no mission will ever play the same way twice, thanks to a range of customization options, varied maneuvers, and possible combat outcomes. Damage, for example, is determined through dice and applied in the form of a shuffled Damage Deck. Each time your fighter sustains a hit, you`ll draw a card that assigns a special handicap. Was your targeting computer damaged, affecting your ability to acquire a lock on the enemy? Perhaps an ill-timed weapon malfunction will limit your offensive capabilities. Or worse yet, your pilot could be injured, compromising his ability to focus on the life-and-death struggle in which he is engaged…  The Star Wars: X-Wing starter set includes everything you need to begin your battles, such as scenarios, cards, and fully assembled and painted ships. What`s more, Star Wars: X-Wing`s quick-to-learn ruleset establishes the foundation for a system that can be expanded with your favorite ships and characters from the Star Wars universe.


ConCarolinas 2017

June 02-04 2017
Sci-fi Carolina Style
Hilton Charlotte University Place
Charlotte, NC

ConCarolinas is a Client Convention of JustUs Productions.  They have hired JustUs to run their tabletop gaming track.  Anything other questions should be directed to the Convention Committee of ConCarolinas.  See their website for more information.


ConCarolinas 2017: Savage Saturday Night

JustUs Productions is proud to announce the return of Savage Saturday Night to ConCarolinas 2017,  in conjunction with Gaming Guest of Honor, Clint and Jodi Black of Pinnacle Entertainment Group.  A variety of Savage World RPG settings Saturday Night! This event presents Savage Worlds in a variety of different settings, some run by a number of professional game writers the game line, including Clint Black.  SAVAGE SATURDAY NIGHT will take over the RPG room at 8 pm! A regular tradition at MACE events, we are glad to bring it to ConCarolinas once again.

Register online one OGRe (Key tag SSN).  You must be registered for ConCarolinas to participate. Be sure to register for the convention using the special JustUs Productions rate.

Games this include

Olympus Inc.Poison Drift, hosted by one of the game creators, Charles White

Rippers, hosted by Niko!

The Last Parsec hosted by Dan Smith, author of Battle for Oz.

Savage Farscape by THE Gordon Ford!

Savage Rifts Gateway to the Blue Blazes hosted by James Ivashkas Ghost Sugrue

 


About Savage Worlds

Savage Worlds is a generic role-playing game and miniatures wargame written by Shane Lacy Hensley and published by Pinnacle Entertainment Group. The game emphasizes speed of play and reduced preparation over realism or detail. The game received the 2003 Origin Gamers’ Choice Award for best role-playing game.


ConCarolinas 2017

June 02-04 2017
Sci-fi Carolina Style
Hilton Charlotte University Place
Charlotte, NC

ConCarolinas is a Client Convention of JustUs Productions.  They have hired JustUs to run their tabletop gaming track.  Anything other questions should be directed to the Convention Committee of ConCarolinas.  See their website for more information.

ConCarolinas 2017: Broken Archer

JustUs Productions is proud to announce that Broken Archer will be attending ConCarolinas 2017 Gaming, demoing their games and  having a blast.  Some of their games include After Everyone’s Dead The Game, Best Pitch, Circuit Destroy, and the recently Kickstarter game Just Survive The Game.  Please help us give them a great Carolina gamer welcome.

See our gaming schedule here at OGRe.  You must be registered for the convention to register for any games.  Be sure to register for the convention using the special JustUs Productions rate.

About Broken Archer

Broken Archer develops fun card games, board games, and books! Broken Archer prides itself on fun, creative, and innovating adventures. Our games and books send people into a captivating world where things can be whatever you want them to be. Try and survive in a room with friends, immerse in a story filled with blood thirsty zombies, or just enjoy a few laughs with the people around you. Broken Archer aims at making life a little more fun.


ConCarolinas 2017

June 02-04 2017
Sci-fi Carolina Style
Hilton Charlotte University Place
Charlotte, NC

ConCarolinas is a Client Convention of JustUs Productions.  They have hired JustUs to run their tabletop gaming track.  Anything other questions should be directed to the Convention Committee of ConCarolinas.  See their website for more information.


ConCarolinas 2017: Malifaux Tournaments & Demos

The Henchmen of Wyrd Games will be converging onto ConCarolinas 2016 and hosting Malifaux demos/tournaments and Through the Breach RPG demos. See their schedule on the gaming schedule on OGRe.  You must be registered for ConCarolinas to register for these events.  Be sure to register for the convention using the special JustUs Productions rate.

Included in the array of events are the following:

Friday, June 2
Malifaux – Henchman Hardcore

Saturday, June 3
Malifaux – 50SS GG17 Tournament

Sunday, June 4
Malifaux – Story Encounter

There will also be an demos of the Kickstarted RPG, Through the Breach, based in the setting of Malifaux (schedule pending).

About Malifaux miniature game by Wyrd Games

Based in an alternate Earth, Malifaux uses gothic, steampunk, and victorian horror with a dose of the wild west to inject fun and depth into the magical lawlessness of a world rife with monsters, necropunks, man-machine hybrids, gunslingers, and power hungry politicos. Actively using character-driven stories to define the world of Malifaux, seek your fortune in this fast paced and brutal 32mm tabletop miniature skirmish game. Assemble your crew and stake your claim!

Malifaux 2E completely updates the rules of the game, adding strategic depth, clarity, and choices. New stories, new factions, and new characters continue to pull you through the Breach and leave you battling for opportunity and survival in the dangerous world of Malifaux.

 


ConCarolinas 2017

June 02-04 2017
Sci-fi Carolina Style
Hilton Charlotte University Place
Charlotte, NC

ConCarolinas is a Client Convention of JustUs Productions.  They have hired JustUs to run their tabletop gaming track.  Anything other questions should be directed to the Convention Committee of ConCarolinas.  See their website for more information.


2017 Q2 State of JustUs

Once again it is time for our quarterly posts about the state of JustUs.  Thanks for everyone’s support during our first quarter.  The return of mini-mace on January 28 was a resounding success!  We had the largest turnout for any mini-mace to date.  Many thanks to Jeff and the congregation of Bunker Hill for their generosity to allow us to use their space and kitchen.  Jeff and Karen were outstanding cooks and hosts.  It was a lot of fun. Expect another one in 2018 if not before.

At the time of this writing,  MACE West in Asheville, is a week away (March 24-26).  This will be the 7th year of MACE West and the 4th year we have been in Asheville.   I can’t say enough about the Asheville gaming community and how well they have welcomed us to their town.  The game schedule reflects that.  We are hitting similar numbers from last year so we expect a similar crowd in size.  We have a few different things as well as some of our traditional events.  We have run into a few other events bumping up against our same weekend, but that is unavoidable.  While we are disappointed, we wish them all the best.

Just as a reminder,  we are hosting regional tournament for the Settlers of Catan Championship held at Origins.  The winner will get a trip to Origins (travel paid for by JustUs and the rest handled by Catan Studios.)  Details can be found here.  We also have an Star Wars X-Wing tournament, Warmachine/Hordes and Heroclix as well as a great line up of historical miniature games brought to you by the Asheville Historical Wargamer.  We also have special live action demos of Tesseractive Live Action Fantasy Role Play and Combat as well as a whole array of over 150 RPGs on the schedule, including special events run by gaming writer John Watts from Gypsy Knight Games, and a playtest demos of a unpublished RPG currently being called Victorian Gothic.

Believe it or not, the summer in the Carolinas is just around the corner (despite second winter).  JustUs has already jumped into it with starting work on gaming for the sci-fi fandom convention ConCarolinas, one of our client events.  As we have stated before, ConCarolinas 2017 is moving to their old location which just so happens to be the same hotel that hosts MACE – the Charlotte University Place Hilton.  ConCarolinas is June 2-4, 2017 and we are developing a full slate of games for that event.  These include a World of Darkness LARP, a Mage Wars charity event, Pathfinder Society and D&D Adventurers League.

Almost immediately after ConCarolinas will be Club MACE, the cruise that Jeff and his friends at Outlander Travel plan for those that can attend.   Club MACE is July 2 through 8, 2017 on Carnival Cruise Lines going to Nassau, Grand Turks and Amber Cove, Dominican Republic.  Club MACE is quite a unique experience and I highly recommend trying it out if you can afford it.  It’s so much fun to go on some great adventures with some great gaming friends and share amazing experiences with them outside of a gaming convention environment.

Immediately after Club MACE, JustUs Productions is slated to run gaming at another sci-fi fandom client event called ConGregate in High Point, July 14 through 16.  It is also the chosen location for the 55th Deep South Con.  We are currently revisiting our approach to that convention so stay tuned for that information.  It will be a more casual event but already planned will be Pathfinder Society, D&D Adventurers League, and a Star Wars X Wing Tournament.

After our summer convention season, planning for the 21st annual MACE gaming convention (November 10 – 12, 2017) begins in August.  We are working with some Dungeons & Dragons Adventurers League writers to have a special MACE premier adventure for our D&D AL fans.  Additionally, we are working with some local Press Gangers to have a new Warmachine event as well as some new miniature games on the schedule.