For my last blog post of 2016, I’m reviewing the Horizon Survey Craft by Zozer Games. This is a free download available at Drivethru RPG and is compatible with the Cepheus Engine game rules. It’s a book that seems to have been on DTRPG for a while having being added to their catalogue back in 2012 but for some reason, I never saw it on Zozer Games product listings until recently, probably because it has recently been updated to the CE rules set.
The books ten pages of content starts on the third page (cover being first, with credits on second) with a brief mention of the setting it is designed for (Orbital 2100 / a TL9 setting) where humanity has conquered the solar system. There are no Zimm / jump drives – everything is using near-current (believable) technology and the limits that imposes. Earth and Luna are in a state of Cold War and look to gain advantage over each other, with the prospect of war never far away. For more on this background, why not take a look at the Orbital 2100 setting? I reviewed the book back in January 2013 – the product was called simply ‘Orbital’ then, before the update to the Cepheus Engine rules and name change to Orbital 2100.
The remainder of this and the following page describes how the Horizon Survey Craft came about, its game specifications (100dTon ship), specifications for the 5dTon Spider lander which it typically carries and external appearance. You then get a page of deck plans, showing all six decks and their components. You then get a one and a half page walk through with the pilot from end-to-end of the ship; this is a good way to add a description of the ship without getting too dry about what each deck is like. There is a brief mention of the variants available of the ship, a notable one is the type which has extra sensors and is used to keep an eye on Earth activities without drawing too much attention, much like the Russian trawlers that used to monitor UK military activities in the 80’s and 90’s. To round the book off, you get the stats for the pilot mentioned earlier and three other crew members of an example ship, the DRV 364 ‘Red Shift’.
As a free download, the Horizon Survey Craft is a bargain and contains more content than some paid-for single-page scenario’s. You don’t get any 3D art like some books, simply the deck plans and a simple drawing of the external view which is more than adequate. The book could be used in almost any setting that is at least TL9, or one where low-tech spacecraft are still used. It’s nice to see specifications for more primitive spacecraft types for 2D6 sci-fi, something that was in short supply a few years ago for the Classic Traveller rules set. Well worth a download – you never know when it may come in useful for your games!
As this is the last blog post of 2016, I’d like to thank all my visitors and people that have commented on the blog. WordPress will send me a stats summary in the next couple of days, but I know that there has been a rough 50% increase in visitors this year, which has been absolutely fantastic! Thanks again, here is to a safe and happy new year!