Today I want to look at another of the most recent of the Quick Worlds series by Gypsy Knights Games, ‘QW18 Era’ and ‘QW19 Etxarte’. Again, I’m going to combine the two products into an adventure-review which I hope you will find useful and interesting.
Something I should note is the system maps, which have been undergoing a number of changes. Era features a system map in the newer ‘colour’ format, wheras Etxarte employs the older monochrome map. I’ve had discussions with John Watts regarding his plans regarding these and I’ve been privileged to see one of the new format colour maps that will be appearing in later releases. I’d like to commend John and the team at Gypsy Knights Games on the way that they take constructive criticism and feedback from the Traveller community and that they use this to improve their products. Agreed, it has lead to a certain amount of inconsistency between older and newer books, but at least you are assured that as a small publisher, GK Games are continually trying to improve their products.
Anyway, I digress; back to the book descriptions:-
The Tourists Guide to Era
Era is an unusual world where the populace have decided to live in particular periods of Earth history. This is based on a consensus that ‘things were always better in the past’, so the planet is effectively divided up into regions of (recognisable) Earth history. For example, one region is alike medieval England, another like ancient Rome. Technology is of course restricted to the same of the period and strictly enforced. However, the less ‘pleasant’ aspects of these periods of history such as slavery or violence are not allowed, though some crimes are region-specific so visitors should be careful to note local laws. All visitors to Era must pass through the orbiting station ‘Highgate’ in order to gain access to the planets surface; here restrictions on what dress and items can be taken to Era must be observed.
Travellers guide to Etxarte
Etxarte is comprised of a system of 6 worlds and 3 asteroid belts. Government-controlled mining operations take place in the three belts and there are some other interesting research stations based around the system. The main planet is ruled by a King, who declared himself dictator some ten years ago. Trade on the world is pretty relaxed, with some unusual exceptions but it is recommended that you don’t transgress the local authorities or you might find that you disappear… The climate of the Etxarte does have some extremes which may catch out Travellers who are used to more temperate climes.
Adventure Idea Linking Etxarte to Era
A well known public personality has recently started attacking the bards of Etxarte, who are employed continually sing the Kings praises. The latest attack has resulted in the death of a bard and the King has sent this person to a rehabilitation centre as he was declared insane at his trial.
However, the wife of the public figure wants to arrange for the rescue of her husband and contacts that players during their visit to Etxarte.
She wants the players to break her husband out of the rehabilitation facility and get the two of them to Era. There she has arranged for them to hide out in the era of ‘Albion’ with friends. She wants the players to act as bodyguards for the next month to ensure that they are not found by agents of the King of Etxarte. However, the downside is that the players will have to dress and arm themselves at the same TL as Albion so as not to draw attention to themselves. There is the additional complication of getting through Highgate customs… Or the players could sneak down to the surface directly…
After the period of ‘protection’ has been passed, it will be safe to assume that the escape was completely successful and the Kings agents are not in pursuit.
The adventure presents some challenges for the players; breaking the husband out of the rehabilitation facility, getting through Highgate customs and protecting their charges with minimal, low-tech weaponry. Some of the players may enjoy the opportunity to strut around in full plate armour and a two-handed broadsword, however…!
Era is an enjoyable product, its a quite unusual setting and can give the players a change from the usual plying the spacelanes type of adventures. It has some nice colour graphics to break up the text and aside from one paragraph typo, is well laid out.
Etxarte has some similarities with other Quick Worlds books (dictator ruling the planet, certain restrictions on various activities), however as mentioned in previous reviews, there is benefit in reading the book carefully and there are some very interesting things going on in Etxarte which the referee can make great use of. I won’t mention them here but they help to push the book above an ‘average’ rating so I’d recommend that you take a look!
I’d also like to thank John Watts for supplying the freebie copies of the Quick Worlds books for me to review.