A Fifth of 21 Plots Review and Loren Wiseman Kickstarter

Its been a few posts since I reviewed some of the Gypsy Knights Games products, so I thought I’d better do some catching up and delve into ‘A Fifth of 21 Plots’. The book is available from Drivethru RPG for $4.99 and contains 45 pages. There is also a softcover book version available for $11.99. It is based on the familiar Classic Traveller ’76 Patrons’ format of a short description setting up a scenario and you then have six possible outcomes which can be randomly chosen by a die roll.

Gypsy Knights Games have been releasing their successful variation on this theme for some years (I recall reviewing the first of this series back in June 2011) where you have a single page description/list of outcomes, compared to the 76 Patrons version where situations could be a lot shorter and overlap pages.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This being the fifth release of the series, it features 21 non-specific scenario ideas. There are a number of other ‘21 Plots…’ books which do have a specific theme but they aren’t counted in the series numbering.

Working through the book, there is a good selection of situations and encounters which could be easily slotted in between a campaign, or used to bolster an existing adventure. I should mention that though the adventures are set in the GKG ATU of the Clement Sector, all the ideas here can be easily converted to other SFRPG systems. Having this balance between small-scale encounters and really ‘meaty’ adventures is what gives the book its value; some noteable ones are ‘Ice Treasure’ where you are hired for a polar-region recovery mission, ‘The Quest for the Spotsylvania’, where you have to track down a starship with its important cargo. This is followed by ‘Where no Sophont has Gone Before’ and ‘Ice Cold on Baol’. My favourite is adventure 14: ‘Superpirate Lives!’ which has some excellent twists on the pirates theme. Another favourite is ‘Gateway to Earth’, where the players are approached by someone who thinks they have found a way to re-open the wormhole back to Earth…

What helps to set these scenarios apart from the run of the mill is the descriptions which make best use of the background of the Clement Sector. This helps to bring colour and enhance the ‘uniqueness’ of the situation and make the scenarios enjoyable to read. There is plenty of detail and most of the adventures use the full page to present the idea.

Though you get 21 scenarios, you also get an updated index of all the adventures presented in all of the ‘21 Plots…’ series. This is always useful when you want to track down a particular adventure you read sometime ago and want to run it that night.

The book is pretty light on artwork, though there are a couple of full page illustrations by Bradley Warnes to break up the text. Bradleys quality of artwork impresses as always and the increasingly high level of detail that is being applied to some of the scenes is gorgeous.

A Fifth of 21 Plots is another worthy addition to the series and well worth picking up, whether you travel the Clement Sector or want to use the book for another gaming system. I would like to thank John Watts of Gypsy Knights Games for kindly sending me a copy of the book to review.

A GDW Kickstarter

I don’t usually go for Kickstarters, I carefully pick and choose what I support with the theory that its something that I will actually use and believe the organiser will deliver. I close friend of mine backed a certain retro computer remake over 18 months ago for over a £100 and has yet to see anything for his money, with a high-profile court case in the UK ongoing between the various protagonists of the venture. However, this is one KS that I shall be puttng my money to: ‘Grognard: Ruminations On 40 Years In Gaming‘.

Unfortuntately, we recently lost the great Loren Wiseman, who is credited with so many Traveller / GDW/ sci-fi books and editorials. Marc Miller has created this KS to bring Loren’s notes and editorials into a format that is fine for release to the public and publication. I seriously recommend that you take a look at it, its already funded with 20-odd days left and looks to be a fantastic insight into Loren’s writings and gaming history.

Posted in Cepheus Engine, Classic Traveller, Clement Sector, Mongoose Traveller | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Fantasy Traveller Part 12 – the Gladiator Character Class

I’ve been working on my articles for my ‘Fantasy Traveller’ series and got thinking about an additional character class based around the Roman Gladiators. I did some research on the internet and with the help of good old Wikipedia, came up with this design. In thinking about career advancement and how people end up as Gladiators, I hit a bit of a quandary. The Roman Gladiators were typically slaves who were unwilling participants in the Gladiatorial Games. I wanted an approach that allowed people to become Gladiators through choice, because it offered some superb hand-to-hand combat training, but this conflicted with the historical approach to how Gladiators came to be. I wanted a way the translate what the dice rolls actually meant when thinking of how this applied to the game-world. So, for my Classic Traveller-based world of Grond, I’m going to take this approach.

Gladiators on the world of Grond are exactly like the trained fighters of the Roman era. They generally come from the lowest classes of society and are trained for one purpose: to fight and kill for entertainment. Characters have two routes into becoming a Gladiator; the first through choice, so for example on Grond the character turns up at a Gladiator training school and asks if they can enlist. They need a 6 or more to succeed, with DMs to apply.

IMG_3211

Image: Gladiators from the Zliten mosaic (Creative Commons license: Public Domain)

The second route in is if the character was a slave or was being forced to become a Gladiator, they would still roll for a 6 with appropriate DMs. The difference this time is if they fail, then the school rejects the slave on some grounds such as unsuitable, too weak, failed initial combat test etc and so the slaver has to find some other way of making money from their charge. They are kept in gladiatorial schools and are generally well- treated (food, accommodation), but the training regime is brutal. Many that are trained do not make progression and are killed either in the school, or in actual combat in the arena. This is reflected in the progression and chance of being killed.

The benefits table reflects potential winnings that the character may come away with, after a number of successful fights. Therefore it takes 8+ to survive, but it is very easy to stay in the gladiator school (4+ to re-enlist).

I’ve tried to make being a Gladiator pretty brutal; yes – I am trying to kill your character and advances in rank should be difficult to obtain. The aim of the DMs – to make it easy to re-enlist, once you are a Gladiator and if you are good – you’ll want to be kept! Gladiators exit the service either through being exceptional or there is another way that they gain freedom, eg. special dispensation from a high-ranking official.

The character generation process is as follows:

Enlistment: 6
DM +1 STR 7+
DM +1 DEX 7+
DM +1 END 9+

Survival: 8
DM +2 if DEX 8+

Position 7+
DM +1 if Dex 7+

Promotion 9+
DM +1 Soc 8+

Re-enlist: 4+

Table of Ranks
Rank 1 Novice
Rank 2 Swordsman
Rank 3 Challenger
Rank 4 Skirmisher
Rank 5 Executioner
Rank 6 General

Acquired Skills Table
Personal Development Table

1 +1 STR
2 Blade Combat
3 Brawling
4 +1 END
5 +1 DEX
6 +1 SOC

Service Skills Table
1 Blade Combat
2 Blade Combat
3 Brawling
4 Gambling
5 Heavy Weapon Combat
6 Net Combat

Advanced Education Table
1 Blade Combat
2 Two-handed Combat
3 Hunting
4 Heavy Weapon Combat
5 Riding
6 Chariot Racing

Advanced Education Table – only allowed if EDU is 8+
1 Mechanical
2 Medical
3 Tactics
4 Leader
5 Instruction
6 Jack-o-T

Benefits Table
1 Dagger
2 Blade Weapon
3 +1 Soc
4 +1 Dex
5 Net and Trident Kit
6 Horse and Kit

Cash Benefits (Grond Currency)
1 –
2 500
3 1000
4 2000
5 4000
6 10000

Skills Descriptions:

Riding skill – see the Fantasy Traveller Part 3: Rogues.

Mechanical skill – see the Fantasy Traveller Part 1.

Net Combat skill – the person is proficient in the use of hand-to-hand combat whilst using a net and trident. For the Trident weapon specifications, see the Fantasy Traveller Part 11 – Weapons Charts PDF download. Net – throw 8+ to ensnare opponent with the net, ensnared has a -2DM modifier to hit or other actions. Range 10ft maximum, class as a throwing weapon for purposes of combat resolution.

Two-handed Combat skill – can use two single-handed bladed weapons at the same time (Gladius, sword, dagger, spear) with the benefit of both the weapons damage on an opponent, but with no negative DM.

Hunting – context of the skill is hunting in the arena. Referee to determine how the skill is ised in the arena.

Heavy Weapon Combat – can use a crushing weapon such as a Mace, Flail, Morning Star or large club (see the Heavy Weapons tables in the weapons charts download).

Example Character Generation
Running through the character generation process, we have Hermius (aged 19) who wants to join the Gladiatorial school. Rejected by his wealthy family for wanting to marry below his so-called ‘station’, he has left home and feels the best way to make sure he can look after himself is to train as a Gladiator and make some money from the fights.

Roll for attributes first: 7 5 5 6 11 11, so I’ll assign them to these attributes: BB7655 to maximise Hermius’ chances of survival. Enlistment is 6, Hermius has +2 DM to the score of 6 and rolls a 6, apply the DM = 4; he’s in the Gladiatorial school.

Hermius starts his training and has to roll for survival; he needs to get 8+, but has a DM of +2 as his Dex is more than 8. He rolls 10, plus the DM = 12. As its his first term, he gets two skills – chooses one from the personal development table (rolls a 3) = Brawling-1 and a 6 = Net Combat-1 from the service skills table. For the second term, Hermius needs to roll a 4+ to stay in the school; he rolls a 10.

He now needs to roll to survive, rolls a 7 which would be a fail. Apply the DM of +2 and he survives. Now roll for position / roll for rank 1, need to roll 7+ with a DM +1, rolls a 10+1=11 and gets rank 1 promotion. Rolls for a skill on the Advanced Education table, gets Hunting-1. Roll again to re-enlist, rolls a 6.

Hermius has now reached his third term and decides this is going to be his last in the arena. He rolls for survival and gets 12+2=14. He rolls on the service skills table and gets Blade Combat-1. With a final go at a promotion, he needs a 9+. He only gets a 6, so decides to get out at the end of the third term. Because he has three terms completed and is mustering out, he gets four rolls on the benefits tables. He decides for two rolls on each table and gets the following:

Dagger
+1 Dex
1000 + 500 Grond Cr

So to finish at aged 31, Hermius ends up with: BC7655 1500Cr Grond currency and a dagger.

Blade Combat-1
Brawling-1
Net Combat-1
Hunting-1

…with which to hit the dungeons and further his place in the world.

So there we have it, a specialised fighter character class for Classic Traveller. Any comments / suggestions please get in touch via the comments section below!

Posted in Classic Traveller, Mongoose Traveller, Tunnels and Trolls, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Fantasy Traveller Part 11 – Weapons Charts

This blog post has been a long time in coming; I’ve been wanting to convert a good range of fantasy weapons for use in Classic Traveller (to go with my suggested rules changes in the ‘Fantasy Traveller’ series) for some time and I’ve finally come up with something that I’m happy with.


Image released under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license, copyright Sidsel Clement Holdt.

Using Classic Traveller for a basis of fantasy rules always presented me with a bit of a disappointment, in that the range of low-tech weapons is very small. To address this and because I’ve always loved the fifth edition Tunnels and Trolls weapons charts, I’ve used them as inspiration to produce the document presented here. Not all the TnT weapons are converted over (I’m trying to be very careful I don’t enfringe on any copyright) but have picked out a decent range that are also found in many other RPGs. This boosts what is available in Classic Traveller, with full CT stats as per LBB’s 1-3.

To download the current edition, click on this link:

Fantasy Traveller CT Weapons Charts (2017 Edition Release 1)

The chart is far from perfect; many stats I have had to make the most informed judgement call when deciding in what stats to apply. This is based on comparing similar weapon stats from CT and what stats are used in TnT and my own limited knowlege of the weapons themselves. That gave me a rough approximation of what stats/DMs to apply to the weapons.

If there is something you don’t agree with, by all means make your own change; this isn’t canon and very much a set of ‘house rules’ that I hope you will find useful. If you have suggestions that tou would like to share, or additions for the next release of the document, by all means get in touch via the comments below.

Development on these lists was sped up by my next installment in the Fantasy Traveller series; the Gladiator character class for CT. I’ll be publishing that in the next few days, as it has references to some of the weapons in this list.

Whatever rules set you use or imaginary environment you prefer, have fun and enjoy the rest of the summer!

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50 Wonders of the Reticulan Empire Review

I can’t believe it’s aleady the summer holidays here in the UK, so what better way to start it with a bit of RPG reading? As per my last-but-one post ‘These Stars Are Ours Primer Review‘, I’m going to take a look at Stellagama’s latest supplement for ‘These Stars Are Ours‘ (TSAO) ‘50 Wonders of the Reticulan Empire‘. Available from Drivethru RPG for $3.99 (currently reduced to $2.99 at time of writing), it contains 30 pages and is currently only available as a PDF. The book is compatible with the Cepheus Engine (CE) rule book.

The book covers as the books title suggests, 50 advanced pieces of technology or aspects of life that could be considered as ‘wonders’ by a less advanced species. These aren’t just a range of weapons that could aid your typical adventuring party, the book has a wide range of items but also non-items such as ways of potentially surviving critical medical situations, or the psionic powers of the Reticulans.

The book follows the same style as other Stellagama publications in that the book is fairly artwork-light, say in comparison to many Gypsy Knights Publications. There is nothing wrong with that; though you get a lot of text on each page, I didn’t find the descriptions heavy-going at all and are very well written.

The book is 30 pages long which includes cover, contents and open game license. The book starts with a three page introduction and setting overview describing the races that inhabit the sector and how the background came to where it is at the moment, in the year 2260. Following that, you have five pages giving you an overview of the Reticulan technology and describing how to aquire such wonderous tech (rated at TL13). This is a useful section; it sets up the environment and what can potentially happen when using items – it shouldn’t be easy to come upon such tech. Depending on what part of the Empire and races you aquire items from, you get varying potential results – ranging from no ill effects and everything working as intended, to the whole thing blowing up in your face.

Page eleven starts with the ‘Weaponry’ section; eight items are described ranging from hand weaponry to probably my favourite in the whole book; the ‘Grav Launcher’, which is basically a floating, controlled plasma bomb which can be detonated on command. Think of a high-tech ‘fireball’ and you’ll have a good idea of what this thing can do.

The next section is ‘Armour and Clothing’ which is just a single page, detailing three items of hi-tech clothing that provides either a form of stealth capability or protection. Though just a single page, there is plenty of detail and tables on how to use the items.

The next two pages cover ‘Gadgets’, which are mainly variants of portable laboratories or body / medical scanners. Though they are variants, there is something to fill every need or requirement. Another of my favourites is the ‘Microfusion Battery’ – a rechargable battery which can be refilled from a starships fuel tanks and run for a month.

The next section covers ‘Biotech and Cybernetics’ – everything from replacement limbs to second-chance near-death revitialisation techniques.

Because the Reticulans make for poor ground soldiers, they have invested huge amounts of resources to develop fighting robots to compensate for the loss of Human and Cicek thralls. This section (two pages long) has a nice range of fighting robots to suit every need, with full CE stats. A thought that did occur to me when reading through this section, was that if the Reticulans make excellent strategists but poor ground tacticians, how would they inject the tactical ability into the robots which would make up for the Reticulans shortfall? I can only assume because of the advanced AI that would be programmed into the robots and from situations learnt by commanding Human and Cicek thralls – this would give the robots the necessary tactical fighting capability.

The next three pages cover vehicles, everything from ‘War of the Worlds’ style tripods to floating transport orbs of varying sizes. Something that did make me smile, was the mention in such high-tech orbs, that the only item included besides the seat, was a fire extingusher! Seems slightly odd to have such a high-tech vehicle but includes a fire extingusher? Perhaps it would be in chrome rather than the standard red colour?

Image credit: Brian Shamblen from Flickr, license under Creative Commons 2.0

There aren’t just Orbs, but variants of flying saucers and other anti-grav vehicles(!)

The penultimate section covers Reticulan Psionics – you really don’t want to mess with one of these creatures as there are some quite powerful and ‘nasty’ powers they can inflict on victims. Inspiration has obviously been drawn from popular literature about the ‘grey aliens’, plus a few other surprises added!

The two appendices cover some replacement rules for ‘Critical Injury and Replacements’ and ‘Cyborb Conversions’. There are some really good ideas presented here, having a limb or major body replacement doesn’t necessarily there aren’t any disadvantages. In fact there is plenty that could go wrong and scope for developing character traits.

Overall, this is a really nicely written supplement, packed full of detail and distingishes itself by offering a number of technologies that are distinct enough from many other Traveller supplements to offer something ‘a bit different’. It is a highly-recommended supplement well worth picking up, which can be used not just for TSAO but for any other sci-fi RPG game. I would also like to thank for Omer Golan-Joel for generously sending me a copy to review.

Whatever you may be doing this summer, may your starport transits be bureaucracy-free and visits to the beach under multiple-suns be pleasant!

Posted in Cepheus Engine, Classic Traveller, Mongoose Traveller, OGL | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Happy 40th Birthday Traveller RPG!

Today, the 22nd of July is the 40th birthday of the release of the original (now known as the ‘Classic’ version) Traveller RPG. Happy birthday Traveller! At time of writing, its a shame there hasn’t been any news of a re-release of the LBB’s or ‘celebration’ publication coming out (which would have been nice). Oh well, you can always hope!


So, in celebration of the 40th birthday of CT, I’m going to have a go at rolling a few characters and see if this maxim is really true:-

(Thanks to the Rolistes Podcast for posting this on Twitter).

Is Traveller character generation really that deadly? Unfortunately all my CT books are stashed away and out of reach, due to furniture moves and having to accommodate building work in the house at the moment. So I’m going to use this online generator to create my characters for me:-

https://devilghost.com/software/travellercharacter/

So I reckon if I generate 10 characters, lets see what the percentage is for survival (in a completely un-scientific way)…

Character 1:

Merchant 4th Officer Peng Santos A88986 Age 26 2 terms Cr26,000 Skills: Electronics-2, Vacc Suit-1

Service History:

Attempted to enlist in Merchants.

Enlistment denied.

Drafted into merchants.

Voluntarily reenlisted for second term.

Commissioned during second term of service as 4th Officer.

Chose not to reenlist after second term.

Character 2:

Army Lieutenant Emily Larsen 7A6663 Age 22 1 term Cr12,000 Skills: Rifle-1, SMG-1

Service History:
Attempted to enlist in Army.

Enlistment accepted.

Commissioned during first term of service as Lieutenant.

Chose not to reenlist after first term.

Character 3:

Navy Starman Kana Pérez 63A999 Age 26 2 terms

Service History:
Attempted to enlist in Navy.

Enlistment accepted.

Voluntarily reenlisted for second term.

Death in service.

Character 4:

Army Major John Cohen 28A597 Age 26 2 terms Cr27,000 Skills: ATV-2, Rifle-2, SMG-3 Benefits: Rifle

Service History:

Attempted to enlist in Army.

Enlistment accepted.

Commissioned during first term of service as Lieutenant.

Promoted to Captain.

Voluntarily reenlisted for second term.

Promoted to Major.

Denied reenlistment after second term.

Character 5:

Army Captain Sir Daniel Yamazaki 7B695B Age 22 1 term Cr30,000 Skills: Fwd Obsvr-1, Rifle-2, SMG-1

Service History:
Attempted to enlist in Army.

Enlistment accepted.

Commissioned during first term of service as Lieutenant.

Promoted to Captain.

Chose not to reenlist after first term.

Character 6:

Scout Haruto Varga B58394 Age 22 1 term

Service History:
Attempted to enlist in Scouts.

Enlistment denied.

Drafted into scouts.

Death in service.

Character 7:

Army Lieutenant Diego Anderson 56A739 Age 22 1 term

Service History:

Attempted to enlist in Army.

Enlistment accepted.

Commissioned during first term of service as Lieutenant.

Death in service.

Character 8:

Merchant 3rd Officer Dame Khadija Saar B576AB Age 26 2 terms

Service History:

Attempted to enlist in Merchants.

Enlistment accepted.

Commissioned during first term of service as 4th Officer.

Voluntarily reenlisted for second term.

Promoted to 3rd Officer.

Death in service.

Character 9:

Merchant 4th Officer Logan Díaz 8489AA Age 22 1 term Cr60,000 Skills: Electronics-1, Steward-1

Service History:
Attempted to enlist in Merchants.

Enlistment accepted.

Commissioned during first term of service as 4th Officer.

Chose not to reenlist after first term.

Character 10:

Scout Santino Wu 963779 Age 22 1 term

Service History:
Attempted to enlist in Scouts.

Enlistment accepted.

Death in service.

Well, that was a surprise; a 50% death rate, two of which were in the Scout Service. Conclusion: even though this was a bit of fun, it did illustrate how deadly Classic Traveller character generation could be!

Thanks go to the Rolistes Podcast for posting the picture and giving me a bit of inspiration to go through a bit of char gen. Here’s to the next 40 years of Traveller adventures!

Posted in Classic Traveller, Role Playing Games | Tagged | 2 Comments

These Stars Are Ours Primer Review

Its been a few months since the release of ‘These Stars Are Ours’ (aka ‘TSAO’) and a couple more products have been released by Stellagama Publishing. The one book which I’ll be looking at in my next blog post is ‘50 Wonders of the Reticulan Empire’, however for this quick review, I’m going to take a look at ‘A Primer to These Stars Are Ours’.

This is a free product that is available to download from DriveThru RPG and offers a way for potential purchasers to sample a new setting without having to go to the expense of buying the core product. 

The books setting details a near-future environment where the human race (Terrans) has been enslaved by an alien empire (the Reticulans) for hundreds of years. Eventually, the Terrans found a way to fight back and gradually, one by one, reclaimed the Earth and nearby worlds for its own. There are a number of other races such as the Chiwak, Cicek and Sesslessian’s that occupy nearby star systems, some friendly, some not-so-friendly.


The book is 21 pages long and is broken down into the following sections:-

First couple of pages, give a brief introduction to the 23rd century, combined with a page narrative, described by a former guardsman on his tour of duty.

The next page describes the required materials and a brief background of the writers and contributors to the book.

The following page has some very nice line art illustrating what the various races of the TSAO ‘universe’ look like and how they compare in size.

You then get four pages of the setting overview, describing the various empires involved, a half-page map of the nearby worlds and the Terran Borderlands.

You are presented over the next three pages, a sample character generation of a Reticulan ‘grey alien’ character. In the core book, you get a huge amount of source material and detail for playing different races.

After the Reticulan character generation example, you get two pages describing a Reticulan flying saucer (yes, a flying saucer!)

The final four pages are split between a sample adventure, some news dispatches (in TAS news style) and a couple of pages advertising the main core rule book of TSAO. The book is interspersed with some line art and a colour illustration of the flying saucers, by Ian Stead.

Based on the Cepheus Engine rules, this is a really nice way to dip into the world of TSAO and getting a feel for the background. Considering the book is free and only 21 pages long, it offers a considerable amount of background information and is well worth picking up as a download. If you want to take a look at my full review of TSAO, why jump in via this link?

Posted in Cepheus Engine, Mongoose Traveller, OGL, Role Playing Games | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

The Slide Review

For this blog post, I’m going to take a look at a Gypsy Knights Games product recently published: ‘The Slide’. This is an adventure set in the Clement Sector and uses the Cepheus Engine rules set. The adventure premise is a race between pirate crews with a huge financial reward and the prestige of winning, for the victor.

The Slide can be purchased from Drivethru RPG for $9.99 for which you get 103 pages of PDF. Written by John Watts with additional material by Curtis Rickman and Michael Johnson, the adventure has quite a simple aim for the characters; race (using starships) against other crews to be first to reach the set destination. Basically, anything goes; because you are racing against other pirate crews you can employ whatever tricks you want to stop the other crews getting to the finishing post before you. Along the route are a very limited number of populated worlds (well, …one) so there is a huge amount of risk in pushing your ship to its limits as any breakdown and you may end up stranded. This type of route challenges the players to make sure they make the right choices in managing their ships resources, dealing with fellow competitors and random / unexpected encounters. 

The first twenty or so pages are broken down into detailing the pre-generated characters for the ship featured. You get a pretty good set of stats and descriptive background for each character, along with an illustration. Following straight after the characters section, you get a set of ship stats, deck plans and background for a modified Jinsokuna Chirashi-class yacht, now known as a Vulture-class pirate marauder.


The adventure then starts on page 22, located on the planet Refuge. You are up against a number of other crews (I’m not going to reveal how many for giving the game away…) and have to simply be the best in the race. Some referees may expect to see quite a structured approach to the adventure, in that you travel to one world, have encounter ‘a’, deal with that then travel to world 2, have encounter ‘b’ and so on. That’s not how The Slide is written; its very open ended and in some ways, the adventure structure is very simple and short. However, I think that is its strength in that you are not railroaded into a set story (eg. like the ‘Dragonlance’ series in D&D) and you have free rein to find your own route. The referee will have other ideas of course and will use all the crews in their disposal to try and stop the players. The referee is given some guidance on running the adventure, some ‘dirty tricks’ that crews may employ and some random encounters.

To support the adventure, the next section (well, the remainder of the book) contains sub-sector maps and descriptions of worlds that lie along the route. You have a colour planet and system map, stats, description and notes of interest. There are some worlds that could put the players off the lead in the race; again, I won’t go into exactly what but there is enough information to help the referee set things up, but not too much information that there is a huge amount of structure to stick to.

The book is copiously illustrated by Ian Stead, Bradley Warnes and Michael Johnson, I especially like the pre-generated character profile illustrations by Bradley – there are some really nice quality images for each character. There should be more than enough to keep the players occupied, there are plenty of encounters to be had, worlds to explore (I mean get distracted by) along the route and the prospect of a huge cash payout should be enough to keep them motivated. There are some interesting crews the players are competing against, plenty of scope to establish some long-term rivalries should the players win…!

Despite its simple premise, The Slide is a well-written, packed open-ended adventure which gives the referee tons of scope for setting up plenty of sub-plots and alternative adventures. The sub-sector information should be more than enough to allow the referee to reuse the book, so I consider this a high-value ‘essential’ purchase for adventuring in the Clement Sector. I would like to thank John Watts of Gypsy Knights Games for kindly sending me a copy of The Slide to review.

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