Before I start with the review, I’d better mention that mongoose have released their second edition of the Mongoose Traveller rules set earlier this week. They’ve been in playtest for a while and a PDF copy can be picked up for $29.99 from our favourite RPG vendor.
A print version will be available later this year. Will I be getting a copy? Not sure, the price is a special offer at the moment, normally $49.99; I have the print version of the first edition, I think I will see what the rules changes are like before I commit to what is a hefty purchase.
Right, let’s move onto the review – Quick Worlds 26: Winston. This is a supplement that was released some time ago by Gypsy Knights Games (two years ago if I’m correct) but for some reason it slipped me by and whilst organising my RPG stuff on my laptop and I happened upon it earlier this week.
It is one of GKG’s popular ‘Quick Worlds’ series which they started publishing around five years ago. Originally they were generic supplements designed to be a referee’s game aid. However since the release of GKG’s Mongoose Traveller-compatible ATU ‘Clement Sector’, the books have become a little more based in that ATU, but this does not stop them being used in any other Mongoose Traveller game.
The book is available from Drivethru RPG for $3.99, for which you get 13 pages in PDF format, including cover, open game license and credits page. The first thing that caught my eye was the cover – a simple scene of a craggy mountain range covered in snow is quite eye catching and sets the basis for the world of Winston.
In case you aren’t familiar with the Quick Worlds series, these describe a planetary system which can be quickly adapted by the referee to provide the basis for an adventure or an encounter. The books are typically broken down into the following sections: ‘System Details’ which includes a graphic of the major worlds that can be found elsewhere in the system. Traveller world stats are also described, along with physical characteristics. Typically, the main world also gives the system its name, hence the planet Winston is also the system Winston.
Following this, there is a Traveller format isodecahedron world map which illustrates the planets major features. On the same page, physical, hydrographic and atmospheric details are provided. Winston is an ice world with several mountain ranges where most of the large settlements are located. Geographic details round this section off before the next four pages cover the background to the inhabitants of Winston. The populace of Winston have suffered a number of changes in government in a very short space of time and though things have settled down recently, life is still pretty restricted unless you are part of the government in some way. Another one and a half pages detail some adventure ideas before the final two pages describe the sub sector that Winston is located in along with world UPP’s for the rest of the sub sector.
I find ice worlds and the arctic environment one of my favourites (I don’t know why, it just always has) and along with the harsh living conditions for the inhabitants of Winston, there is plenty of scope for the referee to set up some adventures on this world. The government can’t be described as exactly ‘stable’ so the players can get involved with mercenary tickets, smuggling or escort work on behalf of the government.
Whilst reading through Winston, I came up with an adventure seed which I’d like to present here:
The players are contracted to supply some mining boring equipment from off-world and land on Winston with all the correct paperwork etc. They’re asked to help get the equipment unloaded and whilst there, they are asked to act as bodyguards whilst digging new tunnels using the equipment they have just delivered. Its quite lucrative for basically keeping an eye on things. However, part way through the mine dig, the miners turn on the players and reveal themselves as rebels, fighting against the current government. With the players several hundred metres under the surface, they have little choice in helping the rebels to plant explosives and disrupt the power supplies of the planets capital of Winston Station. This would have the added effect of the natural cold and ice accelerating the effects of the loss of power, with the rebels hoping that this will force the government to capitulate and submit to the rebels demands.
Will the players help the rebels or will they try and find an opportunity whilst working underground to disrupt the rebels plans?
I enjoyed reading QW26: Winston, it’s a pretty detailed book, though there isn’t much to speak of regarding artwork to bolster the book, what you do get is good value – recommended. I’d like to send my thanks to John Watts of Gypsy Knights Games for sending me a copy to review.