Happy New Year everyone! For this first post of 2015, I want to spend a bit more time on one of Gypsy Knights Games’s recent releases, ‘ Grand Safari’. I felt on my last post that a mini-review wouldn’t do the book justice so he’s something a bit more substantial.
Grand Safari is a 154-page book available from Drivethru RPG
for $9.99 for the PDF or $19.99 for the PDF / softcover book combo. The book is part-adventure / part-supplement based in GKG’s Traveller RPG ATU. The book is split into the following sections:
2. Pre-generated characters
3. Getting started and skills day
4. The adventures (numbering six)
5. Planetary descriptions
6. NPC descriptions
7. Spacecraft and vehicle descriptions
8. Additional adventure ideas
The introduction obviously sets things up for the adventure locations and how to make best use of the book. You’ll need some additional GKG supplements namely the ‘Clement Sector’, ‘Dade Colonies’ and ’21 More Organisations’ which are also available from Drivethru RPG. The aim of Grand Safari is for the PCs to take part in a series of linked adventures set in a largely unexplored region of the Clement Sector, named the Hannibal subsector.
The pre-generated characters each have their own page giving full stats, a descriptive background and a colour illustration by Bradley Warnes. The next section describes how to start the adventure, who the ‘Gentlemans Club of Dashwood’ are and the first ‘adventure’, ‘Skills Day’ which are a series of tests for the players to build up their ‘Safari Points’ which are the measure for the players ultimate success in the safari. Skills Day could take some time to run – if you have lots of players there will be a great deal of dice rolling, but it instills competition between the players.
The actual adventures are quite short in description – an average of one or two pages each. However because of the way the book is structured, there isn’t any need for much more content than this. Again, success is measured by the awarding of ‘safari points’ – there are some straightforward tasks and some with a few twists…!
The planetary descriptions section form the majority content of the book and this is no bad thing; you have a complete subsector of unexplored worlds or systems which only have minimal surveys to plunder for adventures. The subsector forms the basis for the adventures in the book so you glean all the additional setting information from here. You get a full planetary system overview with orbits and hydrographic data. There is also a number of enounter / random event tables plus stats (and some illustrations) of the creatures that can be found on the world. There are a decent array of worlds to explore – nineteen in total, covering ninety pages.
The next section covers significant NPCs and the ships crew of the ‘MV Livingstone’ – the starship the players use for the safari. Full deck plans are provided for the MV Livingstone – an 800dT Atlas-class freighter along with an ocean-going safari ship suitable for use on water worlds.
The final page contains descriptions for three additional adventures set in the Hannibal subsector.
I’m thoroughly impressed with Grand Safari – there is plenty of adventure content, supplementary material that can be used within and outside the game – for any other game sessions the referee may be running. Its well written, there are some gorgeous illustrations of the significant persons and creatures and I only found one typo which I’m certain will be updated by GKG very soon (they have a habit of making corrections and improvements and send these to purchasers on a quick turnaround). This is a highly recommended supplement for the Traveller RPG referee – go and buy it!
Finally, I’d like to thank John Watts of Gypsy Knights Games for kindly sending me a copy of Grand Safari to review.
In other news, the winners of the Zhodani Base ’76 Patrons’ contest have been published – 23 entries were submitted including one from me, though I didn’t win there are some really good entries and I suggest you check them out!