Saturday, June 1, 2019

Some of the main differences between Cepheus Engine SRD/Core and Cepheus Light

People often ask me what is the difference between the Cepheus Engine SRD/Core and Cepheus Light.

The Cepheus Engine SRD/Core is quite faithful to the old Mongoose SRD. Cepheus Light is a re-write of the rules for greater speed and ease of play. I will list some of the differences.

  • The CL skill list is shorter and more consolidated. There are no cascade skills, and no specializations.
  • CL task resolution divorces skill DMs from characteristic DMs. For example, in CE SRD you modify your to-hit throw in combat by both, say, Gun Combat and Dexterity. In CL, only Gun Combat.
  • CL character generation has no Position/Commission throws
  • CL personnel combat uses simple ranges (effective/maximal) rather than the SRD's more complex range bands.
  • Weapon statistics are different, with "Aspects" governing their unique features.
  • CL vehicles and starships don't have Hull/Structure, only hit locations.
  • CL vehicle and starship combat is mapless and uses a "chase" mechanism. In general, CL ship combat is very different from the SRD one
  • CL merges Sensors into the Computers.
  • CL drive TLs determine drive size, not maximum jump numbers, so, for example, you can have Jump-3 at TL9 on small ships.
  • Cepheus Light provides ample game-play examples to make the rules more accessible.

Note that this is a non-exhaustive list; there are many other, less prominent changes.


  1. > CL task resolution divorces skill DMs from characteristic DMs.

    Totally missed that! I'm not sure whether I'll use that or not - the simplification is good, but that means some skills clash with characteristic DMs, e.g. Athletics & Dex, or even Edu and Admin.

    1. Generally speaking:

      If everyone can do it, but some people can do it better, use a Characteristic modifier.

      If you need training to do so, use the skill modifier.

      For example, recalling general facts about the world's legal system is EDU, while actually defending someone in court is Admin (which subsumes Advocates in CL).

      Of course, all of this is subject to the Referee's discretion.

  2. As Omer knows I still use stat modifiers and technology level based jump drives. Cepheus Lights seperation from cascade skills, ranges for effective and maximum shooting in gun combat, parrying and the cool option for gun cbt dodging as parry, space combat and computers divorced from programs and space ranges, Cepheus Light is smooth. Cepheus Light really is simplistic and effective. I do borrow some parts of regular CE that are fitting for me. I feel CL is as close as you can get to Classic Traveller in an OGL game..