Old news: Cepheus Engine


Cepheus_Engine Cover

I haven’t been watching Traveller for a while now, being totally immersed in our current Call of Cthulhu game. For SF gaming, I have been reading up on River of Heaven instead.

However, this week I happened upon fairly new Open Game Content game for 2d6-based SF games. It is called Cepheus Engine System Reference Document and is largely built on the Mongoose Traveller SRD (1st edition MgT).

Cepheus Engine is written by Jason “Flynn” Kemp and is Published by Samardan Press and is currently available as a Pay-What-You-Want PDF over at DriveThruRPG. There is also a modifiable SRD in MS Word format for those who would like to add their own stuff to the rule set.

I have just browsed over the PDF, but from what I’ve seen, it looks pretty darned good. It is not super pretty, lacking illustrations, but very usable at the game table, complete with an index and bookmarks. I believe that the author is also working on a print version.

The cool thing about this game is that it is completely open, i.e. you can write and publish you own stuff based on the SRD. It is also very compatible with the Mongoose Traveller SRD, meaning that fans of the highly acclaimed and popular 1st edition of Mongoose Traveller can use it together or instead of those rules.

Some 3rd party Traveller publishers have already moved their products to Cepheus Engine, as a response to the license changes that Mongoose introduced for their 2nd edition of Mongoose Traveller. Here’s a link to a post at Alegis Downport that is discussing the reasons for this.

I will study these rules closer, but I can already say that they are a very good contender for my choice of rules for my upcoming 2d6 SF game. Here are some reasons why:

  • Price – You can’t compete with PWYW
  • Compatibility – This game is very close to MgT 1e, which in turn is the spiritual successor to Classic Traveller (and MegaTraveller as well – which is my favourite iteration of Traveller)
  • OGC – Open game content means that you can write and publish your own materials for the game. And you can get paid for those materials if you choose so.
  • Community friendly – Being open, the game hopefully will inspire more 2d6 SF fans to create and share their creations with the rest of the community, thus infusing that DIY spirit into 2d6 SF gaming that has been so successful in, for example, the OSR.

Finally, I’d like to thank the author for his work and for this cool initiative! Well done, Mr. Kemp!

And finally finally, some links for other blog posts discussing this game:

Zho Berka

Stargazer’s World

Twilight of the GM






2 thoughts on “Old news: Cepheus Engine

  1. I have been writing Cepheus Engine adventures for a while now. From a publisher standpoint it is a great system which allows me to produce work that is familiar to Traveller players and is fairly compatible with that system.


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