As mentioned in my last post, John at Gypsy Knights Games contacted me a couple of weeks ago asking me to take a look at one of their Traveller products, ’21 Plots’. So, here goes for an in-depth review…
The product is currently offered via DrivethruRPG and RPGNow. Though currently only available in PDF format at the moment, John is hoping to offer the product in printed format very soon. The price online is $4.99, for which you get an eye-catching rendered cover and a total of 21 plots and situations in a familiar format to Traveller referees, ie. six possible outcomes for each situation which can be randomly selected by rolling a die. This is the same format as the famous Traveller supplement ’76 Patrons’. The page count is 27 pages including cover, introduction and copyright notices.
There is a wide variety of situations and inspiration for the Traveller referee. The aim for the book was to provide the ‘spark’ to inspire the referee where a gaming session can develop from. Situations range from dealing with on-the-ground ‘combat’, providing passage for certain characters and wide-ranging disaster incidents. There is one ‘plot’ per page and the text is clear and well laid out. Though I like the layout (I’m no fan of books/PDFs that have lots of page-edge ‘artyness’), if I do have once criticism, it’s that on some pages, there is little too much white space at the bottom of the page. I think it would have been helpful to add a little more to the situation description, arther than leaving free space. However, the situation description achieves its aim for providing enough information for the referee to develop a challenge for the players. I think there is a good range of plots which are interesting and useful. There is only one plot that I would consider a bit ‘weak’ and could have been developed more.
Once I’d read through all of the ‘plots’, I considered how I could make use of them linking into other Traveller books so that the referee can create enough background for the gaming session.
There are a few books that would add an additional level of detail (though not essential) when developing and describing the situation to the players;
Classic Traveller book 1 – ‘1001 Characters’ for the ‘others’ section (eg. thugs, citizens for starport encounters).
Classic Traveller book 4 – ‘Citizens of the Imperium’ – for all sorts of pirates, rogues and miscreants.
John Brazer Enterprises D66 Compendium – for megacorp and shipping company names (see my other review here).
There is one reference to another Gypsy Knights Games product, one of the ‘Quick Worlds’ series which helps to provide some more background for the plot.
I do have a couple of favourites; ‘Mysterious Winnings’ and ‘Ghost Station’, well detailed and out-of-the ordinary challenges for the players to contend with.
Overall, I thought the book’s quality was very good, offered value for money and only had a couple of minor negative points. However these were not enough to stop me from offering a ‘definitely recommended’ assessment of the product.
Many thanks go to John Watts at Gypsy Knights Games for asking me to review ’21 Plots’.
Gypsy Knights Games can be found on Facebook (‘GypsyKnights Games’) and Twitter (‘@GKGames’).
Update: John has announced that they now have a website that you can visit here).