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World Builder's Handbook

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Welcome to Christmas in July! In celebration, this digital title has been marked down by up to 40%! For more of Santa's savings, visit our Christmas in July sale page.

The World Builder’s Handbook provides a complete toolset for expanding a world or star system into a fully realised place to know and explore. It includes procedures for determining the type and location of a system’s significant stars and worlds, an expansion of mainworld generation, and rules for determining the physical and social characteristics of the star system’s other worlds.

This handbook is both comprehensive and modular, with procedures designed to allow the Referee to focus on the important aspects of a world or system’s characteristics. The World Builder’s Handbook includes knowledge gained from the thousands of exoplanetary systems discovered, and covers habitable and hostile worlds, moons, gas giants, twilight worlds and guidelines for the Referee to describe what Travellers can see in the skies above these worlds. It allows a Referee to create star systems from scratch or expand existing profiles to refine a world’s character.

Also included are checklists, forms, examples, and the procedures and equipment used by the Imperial Interstellar Scout Service to survey and record information in the Charted Space universe, with a glossary of astronomical terms.

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Discussions (10)
Customer avatar
Matthew S July 12, 2023 9:58 am UTC
PUBLISHER
An updated file is now available!
Customer avatar
Ken M July 04, 2023 10:03 pm UTC
I used WBH to build a couple of systems and really like it so far. My only nit is with the text introducing & framing some of the tables, maybe a step-by-step process or even simpler callout that some tables support multiple rolls will be good. I appreciate the checklists at the end.

I love the pop, gov, law level, TL, culture, and economic details. I never tried T5, but assuming some of that content is from there (?). A couple of paragraphs mention additional cultural traits, are those detailed in a different book?

I also wore out the old DG book which is in my top 3 legacy Traveller publications ever, and this a very solid update well worth the cost. When used with Sector Construction Guide it amplifies the value and utility of both products.

With nits noted above I still give this 5 stars and recommend it highly, especially to folks who never had the similar Digest Group publication published over 30 years ago.
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Customer avatar
Rory H July 05, 2023 12:47 am UTC
I’m holding till the next payday but, like you, I think this will serve as a hugely useful resource.
Customer avatar
Michał Z July 04, 2023 3:15 pm UTC
PURCHASER
The 30$ priced pdf has inaccurate bookmarks. Of course, the file is locked and the one can't fix it by himself. Mongoose as finest.
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Customer avatar
Rory H July 05, 2023 12:45 am UTC
If you list the errors and send them to Mongoose, they will likely adjust them for you.
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Customer avatar
Michał Z July 05, 2023 6:20 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I'm tired. I gave Mongoose a lot of money and almost all their pdfs have problems with bookmarks. I can remove the lock from pdf by myself and edit bookmarks and I'm doing so for each pdf I'm buying for Traveller. It's ridiculous.
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Customer avatar
Patrick B July 05, 2023 10:53 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Does your book have empty sections where it looks like there should be illustrations and grey blobs where other images should be?
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Customer avatar
Rory H July 06, 2023 7:11 am UTC
As with almost every publisher these days, they tend to find faults with PDFs after initial release and then update accordingly. I’m sorry you are tired but I don’t share your views about Mongoose products.
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Customer avatar
Ken M July 16, 2023 5:10 pm UTC
+1. It's been awesome seeing Mongoose respond in detail, and thoroughly, to feedback here & in the forum on their site. I already had confidence in Mongoose & this helps even more.

I'd love to see Mongoose take the same approach for Trailing Frontier--before print--and future publications.
Customer avatar
Benjamin S July 03, 2023 7:27 am UTC
I own Traveller 5 and use that for my world generation, How does this compare and can it be used in conjunction with T5 & Is this book also MG2E's version of the World Tamer's Handbook from TNE?
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Customer avatar
Geir L July 03, 2023 4:12 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I tried to keep some commonality between T5 and this book, but the WBH handles Orbit 0 and Orbits in general very differently to allow for both compact and sparce systems. Gas giants are done differently to account for a broader size range (and generation can create slightly more than T5). For terrestrial worlds, there are no Stormworlds or Radworld or anything like that, just worlds with UWPs and (optionally) specified gas mixes for A,B,C, F and added G and H.

The only commonality with WTH is WTH's Chapter 8, which deals with stars and planets. The WBH gives a point-in-time view of a society, so it's not about modelling a colony or running a world-taming campaign.
Customer avatar
Patrick B July 02, 2023 6:38 am UTC
PURCHASER
I'm disappointed. I was hoping for something that was an up to date version of the MegaTraveller World Builder's Handbook, but it missed the mark. The older version is about half the length, but covers more ground and presents the information in easy to read tables and flowcharts. The new book goes very deep into stellar and planetary physics to create a sense of realism - but very little of the detail will be useful at the table. The last 1/3 of the new book offers some interesting bits on planetary societies, but the format really gets in the way of the content. Also, it looks like much of my book is missing illustrations or they're masked. I'd recommend waiting for some more reviews to see if it's what you want before spending $30 for the PDF.
Customer avatar
Luis R July 02, 2023 6:05 am UTC
PURCHASER
This is a practical q uestion could you explain how this book might be used in a Pocket Empire campaign? Is there a section on the economics of the star system and how to calculate Gross World Product/Resource Units and dvelop industry for trade classifications?
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Customer avatar
Geir L July 02, 2023 6:21 am UTC
PURCHASER
The book does deal with GWP and RU calculations and provides guidance on military capabilities and budgets. It also covers starport and shipyard capacity.
That would definitely be useful for a Pocket Empire campaign, I would think.
Customer avatar
Mr M R O July 01, 2023 1:55 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I bought the original MegaTraveller version by Digest Group Publications back in the 80s and have used it to death. I think I'll invest in this latest version unless anyone can say it would be a waste of money (which I doubt) - my MT version is getting a bit threadbare. I also use NBOS's Astrosynthesis galaxy building software and the WBH is an excellent tool for fleshing-out the star systems.

Cheers,
Mike Oliver
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Customer avatar
Geir L July 02, 2023 6:23 am UTC
PURCHASER
I can say that I had my own copy of the old WBH in hand as I wrote this. The one thing I didn't emulate was pages of charts on religions, but otherwise coverage should be at least equivalent, with up-to-date assumptions on star systems and plenty of formulas for those who want to delve into them (and tables for those that don't).
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Customer avatar
Mr M R O July 25, 2023 11:50 am UTC
PURCHASER
Thanks, GeirL. I've downloaded the new book and like the look of the content. Even if it duplicates some/all of the old WBH, I'm happy to have it as part of my library.
Customer avatar
Scott B July 01, 2023 3:08 am UTC
Won't this basically be the same as the Sector Co struction Guide from the box set?
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Customer avatar
Geir L July 01, 2023 5:51 am UTC
PURCHASER
Not at all.
This book focuses on the detailed generation of a star system, with the potential (but not a requirement) to develop all of its stars, planets, moons and assorted smaller bodies in detail. For the a specific world, a Mainworld or a secondary world within the system, it digs into each of the UWP characteristics in detail, with probably more formulas than you need for the physical stuff, and plenty of details on the social characteristics, sizes of starports, military capabilities, etc.. It also covers what you find in empty hexes, be it brown dwarfs, rogue planets or assorted rocks. So where the Sector Construction Guide focused mostly on larger scale polities and overall population patterns, the World Builder's Handbook focuses on details within a single hex. You could look at the two books as complimentary, but they are intentionally focused on different things.
Customer avatar
Mr S C June 30, 2023 10:20 pm UTC
On the Surface Temperature / Luminosity chart at the top of page 15, the top two tracks are both labelled as type 'Ia' for Luminosity - presumably the second track should be labelled as 'Ib'?
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Customer avatar
Geir L July 01, 2023 2:31 am UTC
PURCHASER
Yes. Should be Ib - I'll pass that along to the errata feedback bucket.
Customer avatar
James Marion F June 30, 2023 2:45 pm UTC
How useful would this be for games outside of Traveller?
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Customer avatar
Drake W June 30, 2023 4:30 pm UTC
PURCHASER
As, long as it is a space game; VERY useful. It is basically Stars and Planets 101 with an emphasis on how to generate them randomly. It also covers governments, resources, populations and laws. There are some bits which are tied to the game, probably technology progression assumptions most of all, but those can be disassociated without difficulty. At least as much as I can tell in my hour and a half of skimming through it.
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Customer avatar
Geir L July 01, 2023 2:36 am UTC
PURCHASER
There are a few conventions particular (or peculiar) to Traveller. One being the use of Orbits (based roughly on the old Titus-Bode relationship) as the basis for systems - though that can easily be converted to AU, km, fathoms or cubits and the systems do not really on Titus Bode except in a very general logarithmic-like way. The other departure from 'standard' is the use of the primary star (most massive in almost all cases) rather than a barycenter as the central point of a multi-star system, but that's as much for math simplification as anything else.

Overall, I tried to keep it as generally applicable as possible, but it has a Traveller lens.
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Product Information
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Author(s)
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256
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MHP40100
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File Last Updated:
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This title was added to our catalog on June 30, 2023.