Its been a few posts since I reviewed some of the Gypsy Knights Games products, so I thought I’d better do some catching up and delve into ‘A Fifth of 21 Plots’. The book is available from Drivethru RPG for $4.99 and contains 45 pages. There is also a softcover book version available for $11.99. It is based on the familiar Classic Traveller ’76 Patrons’ format of a short description setting up a scenario and you then have six possible outcomes which can be randomly chosen by a die roll.
Gypsy Knights Games have been releasing their successful variation on this theme for some years (I recall reviewing the first of this series back in June 2011) where you have a single page description/list of outcomes, compared to the 76 Patrons version where situations could be a lot shorter and overlap pages.
This being the fifth release of the series, it features 21 non-specific scenario ideas. There are a number of other ‘21 Plots…’ books which do have a specific theme but they aren’t counted in the series numbering.
Working through the book, there is a good selection of situations and encounters which could be easily slotted in between a campaign, or used to bolster an existing adventure. I should mention that though the adventures are set in the GKG ATU of the Clement Sector, all the ideas here can be easily converted to other SFRPG systems. Having this balance between small-scale encounters and really ‘meaty’ adventures is what gives the book its value; some noteable ones are ‘Ice Treasure’ where you are hired for a polar-region recovery mission, ‘The Quest for the Spotsylvania’, where you have to track down a starship with its important cargo. This is followed by ‘Where no Sophont has Gone Before’ and ‘Ice Cold on Baol’. My favourite is adventure 14: ‘Superpirate Lives!’ which has some excellent twists on the pirates theme. Another favourite is ‘Gateway to Earth’, where the players are approached by someone who thinks they have found a way to re-open the wormhole back to Earth…
What helps to set these scenarios apart from the run of the mill is the descriptions which make best use of the background of the Clement Sector. This helps to bring colour and enhance the ‘uniqueness’ of the situation and make the scenarios enjoyable to read. There is plenty of detail and most of the adventures use the full page to present the idea.
Though you get 21 scenarios, you also get an updated index of all the adventures presented in all of the ‘21 Plots…’ series. This is always useful when you want to track down a particular adventure you read sometime ago and want to run it that night.
The book is pretty light on artwork, though there are a couple of full page illustrations by Bradley Warnes to break up the text. Bradleys quality of artwork impresses as always and the increasingly high level of detail that is being applied to some of the scenes is gorgeous.
A Fifth of 21 Plots is another worthy addition to the series and well worth picking up, whether you travel the Clement Sector or want to use the book for another gaming system. I would like to thank John Watts of Gypsy Knights Games for kindly sending me a copy of the book to review.
A GDW Kickstarter
I don’t usually go for Kickstarters, I carefully pick and choose what I support with the theory that its something that I will actually use and believe the organiser will deliver. I close friend of mine backed a certain retro computer remake over 18 months ago for over a £100 and has yet to see anything for his money, with a high-profile court case in the UK ongoing between the various protagonists of the venture. However, this is one KS that I shall be puttng my money to: ‘Grognard: Ruminations On 40 Years In Gaming‘.
Unfortuntately, we recently lost the great Loren Wiseman, who is credited with so many Traveller / GDW/ sci-fi books and editorials. Marc Miller has created this KS to bring Loren’s notes and editorials into a format that is fine for release to the public and publication. I seriously recommend that you take a look at it, its already funded with 20-odd days left and looks to be a fantastic insight into Loren’s writings and gaming history.
**Update** 14th of September; this has been successfully funded by 633 backers (including myself, going for the $40 option) with a total amount of $30,300 being pledged. I am very much looking forward to this when it is published by Marc Miller. What a result!