Continuing my series of reviews of the latest Quick Worlds books from Gypsy Knights Games, number ’14’ in the series ‘Hiallt’ is based on a world ruled by an elected Duke, who is coming to the end of his rule. The book is available as a 16-page watermarked PDF from Drivethru RPG for $3.99. As in the past couple of releases, the cover features and attractive colour (raytraced) scene somewhere on the world.
Hiallt is part of a binary system and details of the orbital data for all the worlds are listed. The referee is presented with a number of interesting adventure hooks how to get the players involved in the political intrigue on the world and the change this brings, for example, through subterfuge or more direct means such as a mercenary ticket.
The populace has some interesting views on pre-marriage ‘relations’ and does present a few adventure ideas for getting involved in a little smuggling of ahem, eg. ‘video material’. Note that the government does monitor its people and the chances of getting caught are high…
I noticed a few typo’s and the graphic on page 3, depicting a Saturn-type world with rings, looked odd. The rings have hard black concentric stripes and had a distinct curved edge, rather than something ‘flatter’ and more transparent. This doesn’t look right and took the edge off what is otherwise a decent image. I won’t criticise too much though, I’ve personally been down the road of trying to create flat ring systems around worlds in Bryce and it ain’t that easy! Something that is also a bit strange, is the large feature mentioned in the Hiallt description. The ‘Grand Desert’ is described, but the name of the desert is missing from the colour map. An oversight perhaps?
Other than these minor quibbles, the book has a lot of interesting content and settings for adventures. This is a good product and (what is now becoming usual for me doing these reviews), did get me thinking how I could adapt it for an adventure or two.
I would have like to have seen a rumours page listing some stories or background of what could exist in the Grand Desert. A couple of suggestions are listed below;
Image copyright: Mi9 / Kevin Reinwald
As Hiallt has a large agricultural manufacturing base, it may be suitable for the players to make a killing by purchasing cheap foodstuffs on the Hiallt open market. However, just as the PC’s ship is lifting off from one of the downports, they experience some sort of catastrophic ship-wide failure and crash in the Grand Desert. The referee could determine that a great deal of their foodstuffs and equipment has been wrecked. They have a limited amount of time before their survival is threatened; however there is a mysterious object not far from their location, seen glinting in the sun so its up to the party to investigate, if they are to survive…
Whilst the PCs are leaving Hiallt, a recent massive sandstorm reveals the shape of a derelict spacecraft (or other unusual object – a secret base perhaps?) which can be spotted from the air. Over to the players to investigate!
Overall, there is a lot to be gotten from this book and I can see a referee using it for some time. Well worth a purchase!
By the way, Quick Worlds 16: Serapis has just been released on Drivethru RPG – review to follow soon!