Hell’s Paradise Second Edition Review

There is quite a bit being released right at the moment from the Stellagama Publishing and Gypsy Knights Games gaming stables; The former has just published on DTRPG ‘Piracy and Privateering’, a supplement for the Cepheus Engine rules set. I’m looking forward to reviewing this, it will be interesting to see Stellagama’s take is on the subject of space piracy when compared to GKG’s ‘Skull and Crossbones – Piracy in the Clement Sector’ which I reviewed back in 2016.

Also just about to be published by GKG is their new set of rules ‘Action Movie Physics’, a completely new RPG which will be out on Friday. This looks really interesting; from what I have seen it mixes a bit of Cepheus Engine with some D100 and knowing GKG, it will be a very high quality product. It allows players to role-play as though they are movie characters and the stunts that they can achieve, which of course would be impossible in real life. I’ve never liked ‘superhero’-style RPGs (such as GW’s ‘Golden Heroes’), but this looks like good fun. I shall be taking a look at AMP very soon!

Finally, also coming from Stellagama Publishing at Halloween is ‘Cepheus Light’; 2D6 old-school rules-light SFRPG gaming. So there is plenty to read in the coming weeks – just in time for Christmas!

With Halloween rapidly approaching (and if you’re British like me, you’ll be doing your best to avoid the trick-or-treaters at all costs, usually by hiding underneath the window with the light off in the house for a few hours. However, you could always play ‘Hell’s Paradise’ by Gypsy Knights Games, a scenario set in the Clement Sector written by George Ebersole. Hell’s Paradise was originally published back in 2013 and I reviewed it as part of a GKG mega-review. This is a play-test proven adventure and has been used at quite a few conventions in the past few years, so its pretty solid in that respect.

It has been updated and made compatible with the Cepheus Engine rules set (CE), whereas the original was based on the Mongoose Traveller first edition rules (MGT1e). For those that aren’t familiar with GKG’s Hell’s Paradise, here is a quick plot synopsis: the players are members of the Cascadia Colonisation Authority operating the starship ‘CCAS Clara Barton’. Its primary duty is to provide aid for other CCA vessels if they run into trouble, whilst performing other missions on the frontier of the Clement Sector. The nine crew operates a Trailblazer-class scout and whilst based at Argos Prime, they are approached by an organisation who require assistance to be provided for a ship that has failed to arrive. I’m going to leave the plot description there for fear of giving too much away!

So what are the differences between the original MGT1e edition and CE version; I’ll try and do a side-by-side comparison without revealing anything about the plot. The CE version has one more page that the MGT1e (at 47 pages in total), but I think this due to minor changes in editing. The cover benefits from a new illustration by Bradley Warnes and working through the book, the first major difference is the change in the deck plans for the Trailblazer-class scout. The CE version on the lower deck holds a lot more more fuel and the layout is quite different to the MGT1e ship. Unfortunately the deck plans in the more recent version are a bit more difficult to read as the symbol key and main location lettering is in a smaller font than the original, making it a bit harder to read on (at least on my 9.7inch iPad) screen. This must be because of the change in the ships layout as the Atlas-class freighter described later in the book, is exactly the same in both editions and can be easily read. However this shouldn’t present any problems if the Trailblazer plans are printed out.

Next major difference is in the pre-generated characters pages; the MGT1e version is a quite straightforward stats / description with one pre-gen per page. The CE version has all the text re-laid out and new graphics (by Bradley Warnes) to illustrate what the character looks like.

The planetary system details and most of the illustrations are the same in both editions (the system map has been updated), except for a new additional mountain scene (also by Bradley) which helps to break up the white space. Stats for NPCs have been changed to reflect that this is Cepheus Engine compatible. The remainder of the book is pretty much the same, aside from a change in font which makes the layout look slightly different.

Overall the layout and additional graphics are the most significant changes and if you originally bought the first edition, then GKG will have sent you the updated edition for free via the DTRPG library (which is pretty good, I think!)

Hell’s Paradise hasn’t lost any of its ‘unsettling’ undertone and the second edition feels like a more polished product. If you don’t already have it, you can pick it up from DTPRG for a discounted price of $4.82 (instead of $6.99) between now and October the 31st.

Hell’s Paradise is definitely worth checking out if you want to give your players a bit of a fright in the run up to Halloween! Thanks go to John Watts of Gypsy Knights Games for sending me a copy to review.

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About AlegisDownport

Musings on the Traveller RPG world, technology, astronomy and digital art.
This entry was posted in Cepheus Engine, Clement Sector, Mongoose Traveller and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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