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Just a little over a month ago, I brought you the news that the new edition of Trades of the Expanse was coming out. Now I can tell you that the next is ready to go. The PDF for Trades of the Expanse: Scout is now available! So, what exactly are scouts in The Expanse RPG? Well, let me tell you….
The 1300 new worlds beyond the ring gates are ripe for exploration, colonization, and plundering. However, before these worlds can be explored, they must be located and determined and their safety analyzed. While much of the initial exploration and observation is uncrewed, using probes and other remote-operated ships, nothing beats the human touch. A scout can often notice dangers or anomalies that a remote probe might miss. They can also react immediately and make on-the-fly decisions if an unusual situation arises rather than waiting for hours due to the time delay in communications.
Scouts and planetary surveyors often work hand-in-hand, with a scout ship leading the way and then a team of planetary surveyors arriving soon after they give the all-clear. Sometimes, the ships explore a system in tandem, or you may even find planetary surveyors on the same ship.
Of course, not all scouts explore new systems and stellar phenomena. The MCR and UN Navies make heavy use of scouts to monitor their enemies, and the Belters also have their own scouts for spying on the MCR and UN as well as other Belters. The megacorps are also not averse to using scouts to ferret out information about the competition. This type of scout overlaps somewhat into the territory of spying, although in most cases, they never leave the ship. It can also prove to be incredibly dangerous. No military or corporate entity takes well to surreptitious scans of their stations, factories, or colonies. The response to this sort of snooping can often be lethal.
Trades of the Expanse: Scout offers the trove of information folks have come to expect from all of the Trades books. You’ll find lots of fun details about the life of scouts, who hires them, and what kind of jobs they can find. Then there are new rules, including sample advanced and challenge tests for scout-oriented adventures, new stunts, reputations, and a scout specialization. And finally, the fun part—new ships and equipment!
For new equipment, you’ll find expert systems for scout ship computers and an array of probes and drones that can come in handy while exploring new systems. Ships are a necessary tool for any scout, and we’ve got four new designs. The Mosquito-class (dubbed the “Tin Can”) is a tiny one-person scout vessel. The Dove-class Stealth Scout is a slight step up, with serviceable living quarters for its crew of two—both of whom had best get along. This ship is designed for getting into and out of places without being seen. With a standard crew of six (perfect for a group of player characters), the Orion-class Heavy Scout is designed for long-term missions. However, most are constructed on a decommissioned class of UNN patrol ships, and sometimes the age shows. Last but not least is the Beta-class Scouting Platform. While technically a ship, the Beta is more of a mini-space station meant for long-term missions and observation.
Keep your comms open for more information on upcoming books for The Expanse RPG at a space station near you!
Disembodied Troy and I will be taking a deep dive into the material, during ThursdAGE!, the official livestream Powered buy the Adventure Game Engine. Come join us on YouTube at 2P Pacific, 5P Eastern.