Description[ edit ] A sequel to Jihad Conspiracies: Interstellar Players 2 , this book updates and expands the background and information around the Interstellar Expeditions organization first featured the original Interstellar Players to the year Following a similar Canon Rumor format as the previous two books, numerous questions are answered and new ones raised as the organization details information on the Deep Periphery during the era of the Republic of the Sphere and its new focus on tracking down the Word of Blake that survived the conclusion of the Jihad. Nearly fifteen years have passed since the end of the Word of Blake Jihad and rise of the Republic of the Sphere. Yet even as the Inner Sphere adjusts to a new sense of normalcy, questions remain about whether the Blakist threat is gone for good or merely hibernating. Interstellar Expeditions: Interstellar Players 3 describes the organization and efforts of Interstellar Expeditions as it continues to search within and beyond human-occupied space in the BattleTech universe.
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Introduction The Deep Periphery and its inhabitant have been a source of wonder and mystery for both in universe characters within BT, and for many fans fascinated by the activities of those who reside beyond the reach of the Great Houses of the Inner Sphere. The first concrete details on some of these realms and worlds was provided in the original Periphery Sourcebook, published in , which detailed the major and minor realms that were close to the borders of the Successor States in Players would then have to wait for nearly a decade for an update, one that came with an in universe date of , over thirty years after the first report.
The first releases in was the second edition of the Periphery Sourcebook, which updated the powers of the original edition, especially with regards to the Clan Wars and technological renaissance. However, the other release, Explorer Corps, looked at an area far beyond that which had previously been examined, stretching deep into the Coreward Sector of space, as ComStar sought out the Clan Homeworlds.
Several of these realms would come to play a larger role in the history of the BT Universe going forward, with their motives and actions effecting both the Clans and Inner Sphere. Interstellar Players also introduced Interstellar Expeditions IE , a private archaeological and explorations group that was involved in work across the length and breadth of known space.
With all this detail that had come before, any future product looking at the Periphery would need to expand out beyond existing material and Interstellar Players 3: Interstellar Expeditions ISP3: IE would do just that. With IE now a large and vigorous corporate player, a vehicle for providing a look at the deeper Periphery realms and mysteries of the Word of Blake in the Inner Sphere was at hand.
ISP3: IE takes the reader on a journey across massive interstellar distances, many times larger than the Inner Sphere, where the successes and failures of humanities colonial drives of past times have played themselves out in complex and differing ways.
As the latest work in the BT Universe to look into the Deep Periphery and the Word of Blake, ISP3: IE, takes players to the edge of human space and both backwards and forwards in time, providing detail on some of the earlier colonial surges and their results.
ISP3: IE is set in , allowing the work to provide some in universe updates, but those are mainly focused on the Periphery. Although the many new realms and systems included are a huge positive, information is not provided on all those shown on the new maps.
However, this is not unusual for BT, as this leaves room for expansions, future products, or just plain in universe mystery. There is some recycled material from previous works, but this is limited and most of the book in new material, covering new factions and worlds, with earlier material simply providing context.
Purnell, Craig Reed, Ben H. Rome and Luke Robertson, some of whom are well known for their excellent work on previous sourcebooks. Many sections and sub-sections also include a Gamemasters heading, which provides some behind the scenes information and insights and suggestion on possible campaigns and adventures. Size ISP3: IE comes in at pages, making it a fairly small book compared to some of the other recent releases, which have gone closer to pages.
As such a small work, it seems that there could have been space to present detail on all the systems mapped in the book, however, as stated above, these details were likely left out for specific reasons, both in and out of universe.
However, this tantalising cover is not backed up by much Wolverine information on the inside. Although it tries to convey the feel of interstellar exploration, it does not grab the reader in the way art for several other recent projects has. The maps included in ISP3: IE are one of the more spectacular additions, showing just how far humanity has spread over the years. The additions of major stellar features, some of them truly enormous, provides these maps with a level of details and feel that contributes well to the overall tone of the book.
Readers will be familiar with this style, as it has been used for some time now. Though this is again part of the tone set for the work, a more standardised formatting could have been of more benefit for some players. However, considering the deluge of new rules and equipment that the last decade of sourcebooks have produced, this is a welcome relief in my mind. Although it answers a few questions, the fiction also throws up many more and perhaps ends the chance to close some investigations.
The introduction covers why the book is the way it is and is short and to the point. Despite being one of the drier sections of the book, this section does hold some interesting information, especially considering some of the personalities involved. I could not help but think of Troy McClure presenting the video, something that adds a little humour to the section.
The following section: Gone to Ground, covers the WoB remnants and hidden worlds and updates the reader on what was learnt since the end of the Jihad, over a decade before.
This section is written from the perspective of former ROM agents, who are now part of IE, an interesting development. Following on from this, some known and other previously unknown information regarding the Hidden 5 and the search for them is added, as well as looking at several WoB secondary bases.
The section ends with a discussion of the surviving elements of ROM and the Manei Domini, with an interesting spin on the future of both groups. Coreward Legacies is the first section to show readers the new material for the regions beyond the Inner Sphere.
The first sub-section details the Chainlaine Isles, from the perspective of Clan Diamond Shark and system information from old ComStar records. The information provided on the Isles provides a picture of its fall, rise and current standings, as well as details on some of the Diamond Shark operations and assets in the area.
The Escorpion Imperio sub-section examines this exiled Clan and its new realm, as well as looking at the new social fabric in some detail, providing a unique spin on Clan culture and society. What is unusual is the absence of a section on the Hanseatic League, however, this was intentional according to author comments on the BattleTech Forums.
The second major section outlining the Periphery is called the Anti-Spinward Empires. This is an interesting section, written from the perspective of IE. This sector has the most to offer in terms of new realms and reachable worlds. Andreas have been mentioned in previous products with little detail, but each is now fleshed out and all three are a solid addition to the BT factional universe.
The last of the three seems to be the beginning of a new conspiracy for BT, one rooted in our own ancient past. The third section covering the Periphery is called Spinward Discoveries, which opens with a sub-section describing one of the regions of lesser human settlement and the reasons for it.
The sub-section on the Outworlds Wastes, the vast swath of worlds lost in the SW, was an interesting insight into regional collapse. Additionally, the realm revealed in this area is a fascinating utopia with a curse that binds it to its current existence, something that will make adventures here interesting to say the least.
The final sub-section, Spinward Discoveries, is an interesting snippet of worlds discovered by IE, covering a wide range of settlement types and historical outcomes. The last of the Periphery sections, Rimward Wonders, presents the area beyond Canopus and Taurus as something of an anomaly compared to the other three regions, with historic fears brought from earth given as a possible reason.
The world of Farhome, initially described in earlier works, is looked at in detail, through the eyes of academia, an interesting viewpoint for such a discussion. The Canopian Ruins sub-section is similar, but somewhat more interesting than the Outworlds Wastes, with the worlds presented here a more successful lot than those of the earlier section. The new realm introduced is an investigation into the effects of power politics on a small society, one which shows what could have been so many times before.
However, one question must be asked: Where are the Wolverines? The Competition section assesses the motivations and goals of the other powers and groups engaged in exploitation both within and outside of the Inner Sphere. The Explorer Corps is now cast in a very different light, one that is not all that surprising when thought is given to it, but very different from the image presented in Explorer Corps.
Though the activities of the Successor Houses are mentioned, no great detail is given with an even lesser amount provided regarding the major Periphery realms. The sub-section on the Green Ghosts provides more questions than answers, often a feature of these types of works, but summarises what is known to date by IE.
The Rules section provides role-players with new affiliations for the Deep Periphery, some of which will be very interesting to play, with several new creatures are added, just to spice things up.
New units and their record sheets include two Mechs, which combine very different levels of technology, a satellite, exploration vehicle and two WarShips. Conclusions ISP3: IE is an interesting work for the BT Universe, providing much information on groups and areas which were previously only given limited page space.
Those who read BattleTech just for the information will enjoy what they find in this work, as a whole new layer is added to the BT Universe, one that will keep providing new surprises in future publications. There is not much for straight up table top players compared to recent works such as Total Chaos, but enterprising Gamemasters and players would be able to create some unique and very interesting campaigns on some worlds and with or against some of the larger powers outlined.
Overall, ISP3: IE is a solid work, though small, with the opportunity to provide more information not taken. However, as this is part of the Interstellar Players series, this is to be expected, as these works are designed to tantalise and tease as much as they are used to inform. However, if you are an Inner Sphere focused player, you might not get much from this work and pure table top gamers will find less in this book to use than others.
Interstellar Players #3 - Interstellar Expeditions Report
SW Shrink Wrapped. Still in the original factory shrink wrap, with condition visible through shrink noted. For example, "SW NM " means shrink wrapped in near-mint condition. Mint Perfect. Brand new. NM Near Mint.
Battletech. Interstellar Expeditions: Interstellar Players 3