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Tuesday, February 07, 2017

About the Prime Directive PD20 Modern Suppement

Jean Sexton writes:

Back in 2008 I was tapped to become the head of Amarillo Design Bureau's roleplaying line. I played RPGs and I could edit; everyone felt confident I could do this! We had already published a book based on the Third Edition Player's Handbook (v 3.5) published by Wizards of the Coast. Converting it to be compatible with d20 Modern would surely be easy-peasy.

It went fairly well, except we had to do some things a bit differently. The one thing I inherited was that 20 species that had appeared in GURPS Prime Directive had been left out of the d20 compatible version and thus were omitted from the PD20 Modern version. We knew that the players would be able to get six of those in the Federation and Klingon sourcebooks. Those came out in 2009 and 2010. (GURPS Federation came out in 2011; Romulans PD20 Modern,  in 2012.) We didn't realize that outside writers wouldn't tackle the other empire books anytime soon.

When I moved to Amarillo in 2013, we hoped I'd be able to tackle more RPG projects. Things happened, culminating in winter 2015-2016 when I became deathly ill and then had to recover. In all that time, the Prime Directive PD20 Modern players had been patiently waiting for their "missing" species. A spot of time opened up in my schedule and I thought I could tackle a new project: providing those species and doing it on a PC rather than a Mac. If I could write the book and have it appear professional, then that would open up a path to doing Traveller Prime Directive in a program I found more friendly than PageMaker.

So the Prime Directive PD20 Modern Supplement was born. I thought about what I might want as both a player and a gamemaster and added in weapons charts and an index to make it easier to find information. I wanted it to be consistent with the universe, so I dug into stories and books, including the original Prime Directive books. Inconsistencies and questions arose. Were the Vudar amphibious (nothing in their Star Fleet Battles history suggested that) or simply good swimmers? How intelligent is a Seltorian Queen? Did Q'Naabians need ammonia or chlorine? All of these needed answers and that meant getting Steve Cole's input.

I thought all was well until one of our fact checkers, Ryan Opel, spotted a problem that went back to 2002 when Prime Directive was being created. It was stated the the USS Magellan had found the Deians in Y150. Based on the hull number and the production dates, there was a brand new issue: the Magellan hadn't been built yet in Y150. It took some research, but we found that it was actually the USS Darwin on that mission. It had been built, its mission was exploration, and it wasn't doing some other thing at that time. This is just another shining feather in the Darwin's cap.

So now you, the players, have what you have asked for and some extras. I hope you enjoy this book as much as I enjoyed ferreting out the information.