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Subsector Sourcebook 4: Sequoyah

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Subsector Sourcebook 4: Sequoyah
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Subsector Sourcebook 4: Sequoyah
Publisher: Gypsy Knights Games
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 11/19/2014 08:35:32

This sub-sector contains some ninteen inhabited solar systems, and the majority of the book is devoted to delivering an almost in-character 'travelogue' style guide to what is found there. Additional comments aimed at Referees and (to a lesser extent) players are found in grey boxed text throughout. Sequoyah sub-sector is part of the alternate Traveller universe setting of Clement Sector, although individual worlds or the whole sub-sector could be put anywhere you please in your own universe.

To start with, there is a map of the sub-sector, a list of UWPs for the inhabited systems and some general notes. As this alternate setting uses a Zimm Drive rather than regular Traveller Jump Drives (consider a Zimm Drive as roughly equivalent to Jump-2), comments include discussion of how far you can travel and how the systems in the sub-sector are grouped into 'regions' according to their accessibility.

Then each system is described in turn, beginning with an astronomical overview of the system describing all the planets within it before focussing down on the inhabited world which is probably the main focus of attention. Physical, atmospheric, hydrographical and geographical data set the scene, along with a planetary map, and this is followed by details of the population, government, laws, culture and notable cities. Other information is included as appropriate, especially noteworthy natural features, unusual customs or anything that a typical visitor might want to seek out.

There is a wide diversity of worlds both in natural details and in how they have been developed and run by human inhabitants. With the alternate setting being based on a fairly recent influx all the way from Earth (yes, the one you're sitting on reading this) through a wormhole which has now closed, many draw on fairly unadulterated heritages of wherever on Earth they came from, which makes for some interesting places and attitudes which yet have some familiarity to the reader. Even if you do not use this setting, it can make for an enjoyable visit although you may want to downplay some of the more overt references to each colony's origins. OK, so the folk on Bowemiwak may like barbeques and slow-roast pork, you just don't have to mention that they originated in Texas! In fact it can be quite fun NOT referencing the heritage, let the characters (or at least their players) deduce it for themselves.

The descriptions of different worlds spawn quite a few adventure ideas specific to that world as well as the more general ones involving exploration or trading. Some suggestions are also included in the grey box comments although they are mostly vague enough that it will not matter if players have read them - it's still up to the Referee to take the suggestion and detail an adventure around it.

It's a fascinating collection of worlds and visiting them makes for a splendid series of adventures. Whether or not you use the alternate universe, it is worth considing these worlds for inclusion in your game.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Subsector Sourcebook 4: Sequoyah
Publisher: Gypsy Knights Games
by Mysterious B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/08/2012 08:40:45

Yet another collection of worlds from the good folks at Gypsy Knight Games, however, this one is a marked shift from previous offerings… it is better than the previous Space Operish submissions (if that is your Schick then you still will have two Sectors to play with) – this subsector has a Hard SF foundation giving it almost a 2300AD feel. The worlds described could easily be ported over to 2300AD with minimal adjustments thus providing a new set of adventures for players to engage it.

The real question – how? Well, if you follow Gypsy Knights’ campaign setting – an unstable wormhole was discovered in Earth’s local neighborhood that allowed humanity to cross a vast distance in a short period of time and build up a civilization where the grass was greener. With the collapse of the wormhole, these isolated worlds fell back and created new polities somewhat derived from old Earth and somewhat new creations. And, this what makes Gypsy Knights’ products so great – they present entire worlds as wholes each replete with their own dating system, cultures, and history plus the obvious astrography for each system. Traveller tends to focus upon what is commonly referred to as the Main World but Gypsy Knight gives us the whole planetary system. Previous contributions, more or less followed the classic Traveller mold of having largely nice worlds (i.e. Earth-like and Earth-surrogates) with very few hellholes but this product outlines worlds that would be difficult to settle and present a real sense of a frontier.

Gypsy Knights is a company that is actively involved in learning throughout all its products delivering higher and higher quality products. Therefore, if you are looking to expand your Traveller game especially in the 2300AD direction without the baggage of the “official” history this product would product a convenient side step into a truly Alternative Traveller Universe. Complaints? Few… one of the things that the revised Mongoose version of 2300AD highlights is that even in 2300AD, the colonization of space will still include outposts, isolated colonies on potentially inhospitable places. This supplement wonderfully gives us the world but not so much the feeling of the frontier colony. One way to do this is merely have a system composed of a tin can (i.e. a Space Station) over an inhospitable world – its placement can be strategic (either military or resource-wise). Yes, colonies would try to make the best of it but essentially creating relationships of dependence between different worlds thus stitching the background more closely together.

A good Referee can already do this with this product but trade routes are not highlighted owing to the origin of this product being individual worlds that a Referee can select to their Traveller Universe and the desire of Gypsy Knights Games not to burden the reader with too much background (i.e. forcing players/Referees to adopt their history). This is a balancing act that they have managed to succeed in doing with this product. So, if want an excursion into Hard SF and do like the premise of lost Earth colonies growing up amongst the stars – then you should definitely check this product out. If your tastes veer more toward Space Opera and quasi fantastical settings – then the other Gypsy Knight products will give you an entire Sector to play in. However, this subsector, for me shows growing level maturity in their setting and is tune with the current market which is more Hard SF oriented than to have one dimensional worlds in which players enact the role of “tourists in trouble” rather than genuine Travellers. For contained within are hundreds of adventure seeds waiting to blossom into full fledged adventures/campaigns.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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