Before going into the review, I’d like to send my sympathies to those affected by the terrible events in Las Vegas earlier today. A truly awful day.
Diverse Roles – A Clement Sector Career Catalogue is one of the latest releases from Gypsy Knights Games. A downloadable PDF is available from Drivethru RPG for $9.99 and also as a softcover book for $19.99. You get 96 pages, authored by John Watts and Michael Johnson. The book describes 19 career generation sequences which are compatible with the Clement Sector background, however the book can also be used with the Cepheus Engine SRD without modification.
So what do get for your cash? The best way I could describe the careers described in the book is by comparing it in the following manner; It’s not the same set of careers that you would see included with a core set of rules, or even in the first set of advanced rules or something like ‘Citizens of the Imperium’ for Classic Traveller. It’s more sort of a ‘third tier’ set of rules for those sorts of careers that aren’t exactly mainstream, perhaps some could even be considered a bit ‘exotic’. However, that’s not being derogatory in any way – the authors have written up a very useful set of careers which can be used in a number of ways.
The careers you get are:
The last one is paid some special attention, which I’ll go into later. So as you can see, the careers aren’t what you may consider as mainstream – but they can provide an interesting career diversion and open up interesting challengers for a player who takes on one of these roles. You could create characters from a number of popular sci-fi TV series using some of these careers, as a framework; Shepherd Book from Serenity (Clergy), Deckard from Bladerunner (Bounty Hunter) or Rey from Star Wars: TFA (Scavenger).
To start with, the career is broken down with the standard Cepheus Engine approach with roll for enlistment and choose an assignment. For all the careers presented here, you get three varieties each with a set of ranks and benefits for each. You have tables for skills and training and a D66 table of mishaps. These tables are very detailed – it must have taken a great deal of time to get all of these compiled – kudos to the authors!
Each career has plenty of variety and detail and having three variations adds value to the book. The engineer section is pretty comprehensive, offering eight variations covering aerospace, biomedical, chemical, civil, computer, electrical, mechanical and space disciplines. Having come from a computer / electronics background myself, it’s nice to see the engineering career getting some ‘special’ treatment and recognition for its contribution to a space-faring society. The final section describes the process for creating non-random characters from the careers in the book. Artwork is limited to some very nice full page colour scenes by Bradley Warnes and an illustration of the adventurer career by Jennifer Leonard. You may think having so many careers the book may get repetitive; I didn’t get this impression, the text and tables are well laid out and there is some white space (plus the colour scenes) which breaks up the content nicely.
This is a very useful book to have, not just for Clement Sector adventures but for any Cepheus Engine games. A lot of time and work has gone into writing this book, especially considering it’s content is 80% tables! It is the sort of book that will have plenty of longevity in a referees or players rules set and I can highly recommend purchasing this from Gypsy Knights Games. I would like to thank John Watts of GKG for kindly sending me a copy to review.