DriveThruRPG.com
Browse Categories
 Publisher Info











Back
Other comments left by this customer:
Reach Adventure 4: Last Flight of the Amuar
Publisher: Mongoose
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/18/2018 08:39:05

This adventure sends the party into little-known space (at least as far as the Imperium is concerned) in search of a lost commercial vessel. It's designed to take several months of game time, and there's scope for adding in side adventures of your own on the way if you wish. Even their fact-finding inquiries on the places they visit in the course of this adventure may grow into something more should the mood take you and the opportunity arise. This book, though, just covers the core mission of locating the Amur and finding out what happened. Alongside this main theme, the party will have to figure out whether or not their patron is to be trusted...

The adventure begins on Pax Rulin, subsector capital of the Pax Rulin subsector of the Trojan Reach sector, and takes the party through this subsector and the neighbouring Egryn one. This voyage will need a ship capable of Jump-3. If the party has one, fine, but if not their patron can supply one (and will even pay for berthing the party ship while they are away). The Referee's Information chapter provides information on the stellar cartography of the whole region and explains what is to be found there... and perhaps more importantly, who is in charge. There's also a fair bit about their target, the Amuar which is a Leviathan-class ship designed for the sort exploratory commerce in which she was engaged when she disappeared. The facts about her last voyage - which of course the party need to discover - are also laid out. A real chapter of disasters!

Next we meet the vessel that will most likely be used, a Far Trader called the Voidskipper. It has its own little foibles, which can be annoying or endearing depending on how you view them. One thing to note is that its quite cramped, so crews are likely to want to make the most of each planetfall. Encourage the almost claustrophobic feeling and let the freedom of each new world beckon... and there's a neat system to model 'crew fatigue' if you want to make this part of your game mechanics. This affects their performance of their duties as well as making them short-tempered and difficult to live with. This can be reduced by shore leave or even a good dinner, but of course those not able to join in due to their duties actually get worse through resentment! It's a nice idea for when an adventure involves a lot of time in the black.

Background done, the adventure begins. A relative of one of the crew of the Amuar has got hold of a ship and one crewman, but he needs a few more to go in pursuit, so seeks the party's help. He feels that someone must know what happened to her and wants a diversely-skilled bunch to help find out. He offers a wage plus the possibility of big payouts for salvage or information. Apart from that, a few other reasons for wanting to go along are provided should you wish to use them.

The next part provides descriptions of the places they call at, and events that might take place there including a brief collection of suggestions for further adventures if you wish to prolong the stay. There are also opportunites to gather information about the Amuar and by the fifth system visited the party should be building up quite a good picture of the ship and have an idea where she ended up... if they don't find all the clues they need, they may end up visiting even more worlds, and a good assortment are given brief descriptions should they stop there - although you will have to flesh these out considerably more than the first five planets.

Finally (hopefully) the party will arrive in the system where the Amuar is, and can then investigate what took place aboard. The locals are unfriendly and insular, but it should not prove too difficult to find the Amuar... and then the party will have to explore her to discover what happened. That's where the adventure ends. You'll have to attend to getting them back home yourself. As well as main NPCs, some new weapons and equipment and yet another ship (encountered on the way) are detailed at the back.

It makes for an interesting yet rather bland adventure which leaves quite a lot to the referee, although inventive ones can make it come alive. A lot of the time it reads more like an adventure outline rather than a full-blown adventure: expect that and you'll find it quite well resourced.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Reach Adventure 4: Last Flight of the Amuar
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Reach Adventure 3: The Calixcuel Incident
Publisher: Mongoose
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/17/2018 13:03:40

This adventure is set on Chalchiutlicue in the Sindal subsector, but could work fine on any planet with substantual amounts of ocean. Basically a visit to the underwater city of Calixcuel does not go quite to plan, the party gets caught up in a series of deadly events and have the opportunity to save the day. Whilst they might be there in the first place for reasons of their own, a good one is supplied to get them there. It's a fairly open adventure with a lot left to the Referee to develop either in advance or as the adventure proceeds, depending on your style of play.

As background, there's a fair bit of information about living and working underwater, Traveller-style. This includes a discussion of pressure at depth - I'm a SCUBA diver so it's pretty straightforward, but if you aren't familiar with the concepts the explanation is clear enough for gaming purposes. Suffice to say that spaceships and vac suits are designed to keep standard atmospheres IN, not the vastly increased pressure of deep water OUT. There's also background on the Sindal subsector and Chalchiutlicue in particular. It's a water world, and not a very rich one. Most people are more interested in survival than much else, and the world is seriously overcrowded.

The adventure begins with the party in the planet's Downport (a plan for which is provided). Here, they are invited to meet with a government official who has a job proposition - they need someone good with starship powerplants to sort out a second-hand starship reactor that they've acquired and want to use to power an undersea city. From there, they travel to Calixcuel on a submarine to do the job, a trip that takes about eight days. Why they are even on Chalchiutlicue at all is left to you, however.

Once they reach Calixcuel they are greeted with a reception and a guided tour. An overall diagram, but no detailed plans, of the underwater city are provided. It's basically a tall spike resting on the ocean floor. Scarcely have they settled into their quarters, however, than disaster strikes. As 'visiting experts' their assistance will be welcome, of course... and from here on in it is very much up to the party to decide what, if anything, they can do. There are suggestions and descriptions of various parts of the city to help you respond to their choices - read them thoroughly in advance and be ready to go with the flow.

All is very open-ended, the party may choose to attempt to escape or there is a chance that, with the right choices, they'll be able to save the entire city. It makes for a 'disaster movie' sort of adventure and ought to be played that way. It's an episode that will be remembered for a long time to come...



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Reach Adventure 3: The Calixcuel Incident
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Reach Adventure 2: Theories of Everything
Publisher: Mongoose
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/17/2018 09:52:58

This adventure starts at Marduk (where the first adventure of this series took place) and involves a lot of time spent in Jump as the party travels to the Borite system. Although shipboard skills are useful there's plenty for everyone to do aboard the laboratory ship Insight III. If you did play Marooned at Marduk, this could be something the party does to pass time/earn some credits whilst their newly-acquired ship gets a well-needed refit. If you haven't, there's a suggestion for a compelling reason why the party might abandon their existing ship and take up this opportunity, or if they don't have a ship this presents an interesting job opportunity with good pay.

The Referee's Information provides background about the Sindal subsector, Marduk and Borite. Most of this can be discovered by the party if they trouble to do any research in the library data or talk to the right people, it's up to you how much you want to share. We then find out about the Insight III, which is built as a ring and is incapable of making landing on a planet - they have their own pinnace for that purpose. The reason for the ring structure is to generate some gravity when they are running an experiment that might be affected by the usual artificial gravity generation methods. It is Jump-capable however. Crew requirements are at least one pilot, a navigator, a medic and two engineers, but there's some wiggle-room in precisely what you have - in many such ships one of the scientists is capable of filling the role of medic, for example. A full specification and deck plans are provided.

The Insight III is joint-owned by the scientists aboard, many think that's the only reason that they've stayed together this long. Certainly, the ship is disorganised and its residents a quarrelsome bunch. There are four scientists, an engineer (who also cooks) and a pilot (who owns the pinnace) aboard when the party encounters them. Full details of each individual are provided, and just reading through them is entertaining - a diverse bunch! Between them they can just about manage to operate their ship, but only at the expense of pulling people away from their studies. Treat this as a 'flying ivory tower' and you get the picture.

The adventure begins when the party encounter one of the scientists - who has written a popular book about Jump which they may even have read - and offers to buy lunch if they will listen to a proposition. Basically, he'd like them to join the Insight III for a few weeks as they travel the area conducting their experiments. In return for helping out around ship, they'll get board and lodging, pocket money, and passage back to Marduk (if wanted) as well as either a cash sum or purchase of the spares they need if they need to have their ship repaired. Assuming they accept, they'll be taken up to the research ship to meet the others and learn more about the mission - they've been hired to do some surveying in the local area beginning with studies here on Marduk - ocean life and geology - then they intend to go to Borite to do more geology and explore some ruins, thence to Noricum for more geology and archaeology, and ending at Thebus. The eclectic nature of the studies reflects the diverse interests of the scientists.

There will be several weeks of Jump travel, in which the main interest will be the dynamics between the scientists who are a quarrelsome lot at times - it makes for interesting role-playing especially for the Referee! For each location visited, there are ideas for how the investigations might pan out with plenty of opportunity for the party to get involved in the action... and of course there is something else thrown in which disrupts the entire schedule and makes this in to a proper adventure for anyone, not just those who enjoy pottering around exploring ruins and taking samples. This involves a tricky rescue of a badly-damaged spacecraft... with, of course, added complications. Real edge-of-the-seat stuff!

Possible outcomes and consequences are laid out clearly, but there's potential for several tense scenes along the way and it's possible to end this in a bloodbath if things don't work out amicably. A sneaky adventure that turns out as a moderately peaceful interlude and ends with a nail-biting scramble to survive! There's also potential - if you like more unusual styles of adventure - of continuing with the laboratory ship or even of using the scientists (or your own ones) as player-characters.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Reach Adventure 2: Theories of Everything
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Reach Adventure 1: Marooned on Marduk
Publisher: Mongoose
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/15/2018 08:11:10

This adventure is set on a planet called Marduk which is in the Sindal Sector referenced in the Mongoose Traveller II Core Rulebook. It's a bit of a backwater on a major trade route, the sort of place you pass through rather than go to. It has a Highport in orbit, and the action takes place when the party take a shuttle to the Downport... the reason why they do this is left open, although one suggestion is given, which could lead to further adventures.

There's a fair bit of Referee information, much of which may be shared as seen fit - if people consult library files or ask around a bit, most likely. It should help you make the place come alive a bit. Remember, Marduk is not within the Imperium, so the party may find that they are a bit outside of their comfort zone, although it's close enough that much will be familiar. There isn't very much here beyond the confines of the Downport's Star Town, apparently the indigenous people on the populated islands are not very friendly and the main continents are mostly inhabited by Downport folk who farm fresh produce for the starport.

The adventure proper begins when the party takes the shuttle to the Downport, although if they and you want they can explore the delights of the Highport first. A few other people are also taking the trip. It's not allowed to take your own transport to the surface, so dissuade anyone who suggests that. Enough of a 'big stick' is provided in notes on how to deal with errant transports that only the most foolhardy parties will try it... and even if they do, there's scope to weave this adventure in anyway. Neat! The trip ought to take the better part of three hours.

Unfortunately, the next system along (Oghma) is home to a fairly low-tech bunch of raiders who are just about Jump-capable, and today is the day they've embarked on their most daring raid yet, an attack on the Highport. The shuttle the party is on gets caught up in this, getting damaged sufficiently that it crashes. What was a jaunt planetside turns rapidly into a survival exercise...

The opposition may include raiders following up on the downed shuttle, the weather, and the local wildlife. There are also some locals - the native types who do not like contact with outsiders. It may descend into a brawl very quickly (which the party is likely to loose) or saner heads may prevail with running away or trying to communicate as better tactics. Hopefully the adventure ends when a rescue shuttle turns up, although it may be a mad dash across country to get to it.

That's it. A quite short adventure, but one in which the party have free reign to do what they please - remebering of course that every action has its consequences, never more so than here. Everything is well-developed and atmospheric, however, and could provide a nice side-adventure. Hopefully the party will not be marooned for too long!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Reach Adventure 1: Marooned on Marduk
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Marches Adventure 1: High and Dry
Publisher: Mongoose
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/14/2018 10:49:08

Many groups of Travellers want - if not outright need - a starship. This adventure, which would make a good campaign starter, provides the opportunity to not only give them one, but give them a good adventure as they acquire it. Interestingly, it's possible to complete the adventure without any combat - there's plenty of action to keep them busy, it just doesn't have to involve a brawl. That said, there are plenty of opportunities in which a fight could break out if the group so chooses...

It all begins with the offer of a ship. So it does help if the party has the necessary skills to pilot one, plot a course, and run the engines. Other than that, the party may include any backgrounds or skillsets. If one is a former Scout and has rolled a ship as a mustering out benefit, that's peachy, just tell him to report to the local Scout Officer to arrange for it. Otherwise one of the party's contacts has arranged for them to have one but they will have to fetch it for themselves - or if another party member has ownership or shares in a ship, use that ship instead only, again, for some reason it's elsewhere and has to be fetched.

The intention is that the adventure begins on Flammarion in the Bowman Arm, in District 268 of the Spinward Main. It's an interesting enough region to knock around in, and frequent reference is made to a campaign called Project Steel which is quite hard to find - there are copies on Amazon, although I don't believe it ever was released in PDF - seeing as it was released by ComStar Games/Avenger before Mongoose Publishing acquired the Traveller licence and others who had licences at the time lost them. Hopefully it will be reissued one day as it would make a good follow-on to this adventure. But I digress...

There is some background about the Bowman Arm and the various places to visit therein, especially a planet called Walston which is where the Scoutship IISS S001642-C, known as the Highndry is to be found, along with an explanation of why it's there. The explanation given to the party is that it suffered a major breakdown of its electronics on Walston and needs to be patched up and brought back to Flammarion for repair. In return, their expenses will be covered and once it is fixed they will receive the ship on a standard IISS 'detached-duty' contract. The notes cover the trip - it's not merely a question of making a couple of Jumps, good atmosphere building and reality here, also it gives a new group time to get to know each other - and finally the arrival on Walston.

Of course, this is where the fun starts. The ship is not at the starport on Walston. The party has got to find it before they can make an attempt at fixing it. Fortunately, there's plenty of information to find out by asking around in the local Star Town and beyond... they will even be offered assistance in retrieving their ship if they'd be kind enough to undertake the task its previous crew had contracted to do.

It all makes for a fascinating adventure, and an excellent start to a campaign. The level of detail at every stage is considerable and creates an excellent air of reality, a sense that there are lots of things going on that have nothing to do with the party and which would be taking place even if they weren't there. It's all part of creating a living alternate reality in which you and your group can immerse yourselves every time you play.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Marches Adventure 1: High and Dry
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Traveller Referee's Screen
Publisher: Mongoose
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/13/2018 12:15:58

The usual: pretty picture for the players and all manner of useful charts on the referee's side.

Despite the picture of a starship bridge that's rather reminiscent of the Space Shuttle's controls on the cover, the pictures your players get to gaze at are a circular galaxy viewed almost edge-on, a spiral galaxy viewed from above, someone engaged in an EVA (Extra Vehicular Activity or spacewalk), and an interstellar dust cloud. The astronomical features are delightful images, the sort you get from the Hubble telescope. The fellow on EVA appears to be a contemporary astronaut judging by his space suit, but it's a nice picture nevertheless.

Meanwhile the Referee can refer to a range of useful tables (although do you really want him looking up radiation damage?) - timeframes, encounter ranges, healing, weapon traits, vehicular actions, turn sequence and the like. It should save a lot of looking-up in the heat of battle.

Useful, as well as a place to hide your notes and your secret die-rolls, but nothing remarkable. If you Referee regularly, it's worth picking up.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Traveller Referee's Screen
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

High Guard: Deployment Shuttle
Publisher: Mongoose
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/12/2018 07:40:53

This short work not only introduces and specifies a useful (if specialised) space vehicle, the deployment shuttle, but also explores some of the uses to which it might be put in times of peace and of war. Several variants of the standard build are discussed, and the operations of Marine Assault Forces, which often use them, examined. Quite a lot packed in... and there's more! Several ideas for their use in your campaign, whether the party is riding in one or it is advancing on their vessel, are also included.

The deployment shuttle is optimised to get people where they need to be, on the ground or in space. As such it is very fast-moving, and capable of operating in atmosphere as well as in vacuum. It requires a crew of two, as well as whoever is being transported (up to 36 individuals), and can operate for up to four weeks although as there are only basic facilties aboard this is not recommended. Most missions are but hours long. There's a detailed description, full statistics, and a plan of the standard craft.

Next comes a discussion of typical operations carried out using a deployment shuttle. Whilst it can be used for standard personnel transfer on orbit or from ground to space, its main function is to deliver troops in combat situations. This can be an opposed landing groundside or a boarding action in space. They are also popular for spaceside activities such as customs or other inspections of ships arriving in system - they can force entry if it is not granted, and can cope with such as environmental contamination. Various tactics are discussed in considerable detail for the ground landing options, useful if you are planning mercenary operations or indeed if the party serves in regular military forces.

The following chapter discusses Marine Assault Forces. A deployment shuttle is large enough to contain a standard Marine platoon (35 people), plus an additional specialist or other individual felt necessary for the operation at hand. Standard armament and operating protocols for the Marines are covered - including plenty about that iconic weapon, the cutlass - and then we move on to the next chapter which covers Boarding Actions and Inspections, the other in-space role of a deployment shuttle.

Next comes some common variants of the standard deployment shuttle with notes on their uses. These include medical variants, reconnaissance, fighter control and space rescue craft (these last being illustrated painted in colours corresponding to vehicles used on the TV show Thunderbirds!). They can also be used for holding or transporting (or even executing) prisoners, surveying and patrol work.

Finally, there are some missions. One involves a hazardous survey job, another sends the party to investigate why a colony has gone 'dark', and the third is a 'decapitation strike' - a raid that takes out the enemy leadership directly. All will need work before you can run them, but plenty of interesting background is provided.

This is a useful vessel to have in your universe, one that the party is likely to encounter at some time even if they never ride in one.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
High Guard: Deployment Shuttle
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Central Supply Catalogue
Publisher: Mongoose
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/11/2018 08:44:02

OK, so what can be said about just another equipment guide? The Introduction begins by explaining that it contains an updated collection of items from earlier editions of Traveller as well as new ones, it is not designed solely for use with the Third Imperium setting and indeed has things that don't exist there, and that there are rules for item use, availability and even permits as well as the things themselves. However, with all that said, it's still a shopaholic's dream of everything the well-equipped Traveller might want or need - or wish he had picked up - during his travels.

After a full-page advert for an equipment store, Chapter 1: Equipment Availability looks at various ways in which the Referee can control how easy (or difficult) it is to get your hands on any item desired. Law Level is the obvious one, if an item isn't legal it will at best be very hard to find and involve dealing with other than conventional retail outlets. However, even if an item's legal that doesn't mean to say every store stocks it, or even if they do carry it, do they have any right now when our Traveller wanders in looking for it. There's a system for determining whether or not that item is there, better than just having the Referee make it up (not that there's no reason why the Referee shouldn't make it up, it's his game after all). Availability can be modified when the item is illegal, with the party having to access the black market which may or may not have what they are after. There are various categories of item modelling how, just as in the real world, some items are only available (legally at any rate) to individuals with certain jobs or qualifications. Then follows a basic system for handling black market deals that go wrong, as in, the authorities notice what's going on - this begins with investigation and goes right through to penalties handed down.

Next come more rules in Chapter 2: New Rules. This introduces a few new weapon traits and explains what they mean. Just a single page, then we are on to "The Travellers' Aid Society Central Supply Collection". This is semi-in-character, although rules bits do intrude a little... and it's replete with loads of illustrations. The first part is devoted to Personal Protection - body armour, of course, in a wide range of styles including historical stuff and exotics designed to protect against fire and energy weapons and even one that protects the wearer against psionics. Naturally this includes both powered and unpowered suits, and a wide range of vacc suits. You can also get an electronics suite to add to the suit of your choice, other modifications and additions are also available... and that's before you get to battle dress.

The next chapter is Survival Gear, which starts with parachutes and continues through atmospheric protection, cold- and hot-weather gear, underwater kit and the like - all these include both clothing and other equipment you need to survive and function in a range of extreme environments. Go mountaineering, venture into vacuum, or just make use of a range of survival items including a 'fusion stile' (did they mean 'still'?) that produces potable water and an almost-edible gloop out of whatever organic material and liquids you load in. This section ends with wilderness housing, from tents to full-blown bases.

Next up, Electronics. This begins with vision and detection devices, then looks at communications, and a collection of gadgets and essentials. If you didn't think a laser-emitting ring was a vital piece of equipment before you read this, it might just change your mind! Computers get an entire chapter to themselves, which includes both hardware and software.

A chapter on Robots follows. There are rules for using them covering everything from how much damage they can take to programming them, and a variety of useful ones are presented. Do you want a protocol droid? Or a robotic assassin? Or even a sanitation droid to keep your living spaces clean and tidy? It will even wash your clothes for you! If you'd rather do your own work, head on to the next chapter of Tools, full of general hardware, toolkits and even welding torches.

Another essential in the next chapter, Medical Supplies. This looks at medical equipment and drugs and pharmaceuticals - some have, er, non-medical uses. Staying on a kind of medical theme, the next chapter is about Personal Augmentation. This allows for cybernetic or biotech upgrades (or replacements for lost body parts) to all parts of the body - but the treatments can be painful, and medics can get confused if they do not understand how a patient is augmented.

A chapter on Home Comforts (which include such interesting items as an alien cosplay kit and fully-animated miniature wargames) is followed by the large final section many Travellers will have been waiting for: Weapons! Starting with Close and Personal, there are sections on hand-held melee weapons, blade weapons (if you want a lightsaber, go for the arc-field weapon), other melee weapons, and shields. The next chaper is Self-Defence and looks at handguns, slugthrowing rifles, energy pistols and rifles, grenades, and archaic weapons. Then there's a whole chapter devoted to Heavy Weapons of all sorts: man-portable, crew-served, vehicle-mounted, and rockets and missiles.

The last weapon chapter is titled For the Discerning Weapons Specialist and contains all manner of exotic items that don't fit in the preceeding categories. Bolas and boomerangs to backpack nukes. Then we move on to Ammunition and finally Sighting Aids and Accessorties - some interesting odds and ends here.

This makes for a very comprehenive selection of items that the party might need, especially when equipping for exploration or military expeditions. Keep track of spending, it's easy to rack up a hefty bill... and it can be embarassing when your spaceship gets repossessed because you haven't paid your debts!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Central Supply Catalogue
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

The Daisho and the Ninja
Publisher: Alderac Entertainment Group
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/10/2018 10:32:48

This Oriental-style adventure begins when a powerful lord's ancestral swords are stolen! War is brewing and it would be disasterous for morale if word got out... and the poor lord's lands, his whole heritage, are at risk. As you can imagine, it's really important to get the swords back preferably before anyone realises that they are missing!

That's all in the Player Introduction, printed as usual on the back cover of the module. It all seems quite straightforward... then the DM's Background explains how it's a bit more complicated than that. There's all manner of scheming and double-dealing going on, a quite fascinating story... but will it come out? There's some further background for the players, and a selection of ways of getting the party involved in this whole sorry mess.

The early part of the adventure, as can be imagined, is very much investigative but fear not, it soon turns into a delve into some quite interesting places underneath the lord's ancestral castle... places even he didn't know were there. There's a good plan of this underground complex for the DM, and notes on the myriad traps and other things to be found down there... and reasons for why they are there. It's not one of those implausible trapped mazes that are there just because, well, a bunch of adventurers might visit one day. However, some of the 'read aloud' text blocks seem to have drifted from the rooms they were intended for, so read through in advance and reassign them as appropriate - from Room #5, move them all up 2 rooms (i.e. the text block associated with Room #7 actually belongs to Room #5 and so on). It makes more sense when you look at it.

There's an interesting new monster which provides an added dimension to proceedings, and the opportunity for a good brawl at the end. The ramifications of different outcomes are explained clearly. Overall, it makes for an exciting adventure with real depth, and could provide one of the defining points in the early part of an Oriental campaign, giving the party an opportunity to get established.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Daisho and the Ninja
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Doctor Who Roleplaying Game: The Black Archive
Publisher: Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/09/2018 08:52:57

Have you ever wondered what happens to all that alien tech the Doctor encounters in his travels? If so, wonder no more but come round to a very secret location under the Tower of London and find out! Collected by UNIT, it is studied and tested and, where appropriate, put to use. And, of course, it can feature in your games too.

After a brief Introduction, the book dives straight in with the Advanced Operations Manual, the first of nine chapters. This is all about UNIT itself and provides everything you need to include them in your game right up to running a party of UNIT operatives. Despite being organised on military lines, they employ a lot more than soldiers: there are achivists, operatives, wheelmen, and xenobiologists (X-Docs) as well. They also apparently have an equal opportunities programme of unparalleled extent - they also hire aliens. Details for creating failed Cybermen, Fish People and Zygons are here, and it's relatively straightforward to use information on other races published elsewhere in this game line. There's also a scheme for unusual human beings who have the potential to develop psychic abilities. Plenty to have fun with. In terms of game mechanics, as well as the alien material there are many new Traits and areas of expertise that should prove helpful in building UNIT characters. Finally there are archetype UNIT staff if you need one in a hurry, and a selection of notable UNIT personnel who may turn up.

Next up, The Black Archive itself. In this chapter, we read the history of the Black Archive (or at least, as much as is known of it) as well as the security measures taken to protect it and its subsiduary locations around the world. Much of this needs to be read in conjuction with The UNIT Sourcebook - to make the most of this book, and certainly if you want to make it central to your game, I'd recommend getting hold of a copy. The discussion moves on to look at the primary roles of the Archive and its personnel: just reading through them presents ideas that could develop into adventures... then the discussion on finding buried treasure comes replete with more ideas! Next a whole bunch of adversaries and rivals - often wanting to get their hands on the same alien stuff the Archive is after - are presented.

The following chapters look more closely at specific aspects of the Archive beginning with the Athenaeum, which is the main information gathering and research area. As various facets are explained, Plot Seeds are provided from which entire adventures can be developed. Rules for developing artefacts are provided, primarily as a selection of good and bad Traits that each artefact may have. Moving on, the Armoury talks about a selection of exotic weapons, defensive systems and the like - plenty of examples complete with associated Plot Seeds; then the Motor Pool chapter delivers similar material with respect to means of transportation.

Next up, the Cabinet of Curiousities contains a wide range of artefacts deemed safe to be loaned out to UNIT agents as the need arises, some even become almost routine equipment for particular individuals. A wide range of items is presented, along with their Plot Seeds of course. There is also a comprehensive Hospital which can investigate and treat (if necessary) a wide range of lifeforms. Loads of medical devices and the tales you can tell with them are to be found here.

The final two chapters, Omega Locker and Enigma Vault, deal with those artefacts that are not understood suffiently - or are plain too dangerous - to let any agent use them. The Omega Locker is for the dangerous stuff, the Enigma Vault for the items that still baffle the best minds UNIT can bring to bear. They need to be used with caution, but could make for some very intersting adventures...

You could build an entire campaign around the Black Archive, or have items pop up in the course of other adventures. There's a lot to play with here... if UNIT will let you! If you like artefact-based adventures or even have a fondness for the strange items that turn up on the TV show this is a book worth having, likewise if you fancy running an organised group that is making good use of time/space travel to expand knowledge.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Doctor Who Roleplaying Game: The Black Archive
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Doctor Who - The Gamemaster's Companion
Publisher: Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/08/2018 08:38:01

Intended to help you run adventures in the very best Doctor Who style, this book comes in two parts. The first is a collection of hints and tips to empower your game, and the second is three complete adventures to get you going. Needless to say, the adventures are designed to showcase some of the ideas suggested in the first part.

Beginning at the beginning, so to speak, the first chapter is Starting Out and it talks about preparing to run a new game. Perhaps this is your first time ever on the far side of the GM screen, or you may be a veteran GM running the Doctor Who RPG for the first time, or maybe you are just starting a new campaign - you will still find something to think about here. The first suggestion is quite startling: tell your players what your core concept is and kick it around a bit, refine it collaboratively. You'll need to keep it pretty broad else all the fun of finding out what is happening in the adventure will be spoilt. However, it's worth discussing things like which Doctor you are using (or era/style at least), do the party want to be UNIT operatives or random folk picked up along the way, are you all more interested in Earth-based adventures or in bouncing around all of time and space... things like that. It may be that the group knows what sort of characters they want to play (or if they want to play ones who have appeared on TV), so you can then go off and build adventures that are suited to them.

Two major questions are whether or not the Doctor will be a player-character and how much you want to stick to 'canon' (i.e. be true to what has appeared in the show on TV). For some people canon is vitally important, others maybe don't watch the show as avidly or don't think it matters if things pan out differently in your game. But once everything is settled, it is probably worth setting up individual characters as a group exercise and then working how come they are adventuring together. (I was once asked to introduce my church Young Women's group to role-playing, so took the Doctor Who RPG along and used every single Companion I could find - we had about a dozen Young Women - and ran an adventure in which it was the Doctor's 1,000th birthday so he gathered loads of past Companions for a party!) There are plenty of ideas thrown out here, use them or come up with your own.

Next, a look at Adventures. Now we have a concept and a bunch of characters, what are they actually going to do? Adventure-writing is an art in itself, and here the model of creating an episode of the TV show is used to good effect by exploring what each of those folks whose names whiz past on the end credits actually contributes. Of course, your life is easier. You have a limitless budget for your production and you don't need to write a full script as the players will provide a lot of it once you've set the scene, indtroduced NPCs and problems and so on. We then get into good advice on putting together a plot, notes replete with ideas that, if you like them, could easily be developed into a full adventure. There's adventure structure and pacing, all kinds of useful things here - many of general application to writing compelling adventures for any game, but all of use for this one. The chapter ends with a random adventure generator that could keep you going for literally ages.

Then we turn our minds to Villains and Making Monsters. Even if we have already determined our adversaries, there's more to be done before they can face the party. The main villain benefits from having at least as much care and attention lavished on his development as any player-character. There are also many ideas to help you construct good original monsters and aliens. The next section looks at Settings, the places in which the adventures will occur. Important here is how you describe them, what you choose to describe and so on... but first you need the overarching concept for that space station, planet or wherever it is that the action is going to take place. Then you can get down to the details and decide how you are going to introduce them to the group. Even the most exotic setting has parallels with things they are familiar with - most of us haven't visited a space station but we all know what to expect in an airport, for example.

The final section in the first part of the book looks at Running Games, Campaigns and Stock Footage. This is mostly about actually running the game when all the prep work is done and the players are sitting expectantly around the table. There's plenty of good advice about pacing, keeping people engaged, providing a bit of order when things get chaotic and everybody's shouting and so on. Read it now, because you won't be able to refer to it once the game starts. On campaigns, there's a look at what makes a real campaign as opposed to a string of completely unrelated adventures. Plot arcs, quests, recurring villains... loads of ideas, and plenty of references to things that happened in the show, feel free to use them especially if your group have not been obsessive watchers of the show right back to the 1960s. You also may face issues like players wishing to change character or a character dying, there's advice for handling such events too, as well as on ending a campaign with a proper finale rather than fizzling out. And stock footage? On the TV screen, that's when something happens relatively frequently, so it gets filmed once and then replayed every time it's needed. Here, it's a collection of ready-made NPCs and settings to drop in when you are stuck, maybe the party jigged left when you expected them to go right.

Finally we get to the adventures: Death Comes to Toytown, The Grip of the Kraken and The Bellagio Imbroglio. The first one begins with a toyshop where passing drunk students claim that the toys come alive at night... then the characters wake up and find that they ARE toys, in the toyshop! In The Grip of the Kraken there's a monster dragging starships to their doom, and needless to say it grabs the ship the TARDIS happens to be on at the time. In the last adventure, The Ballagio Imbroglio, the party finds themselves in a 1778 Venice replete with intrigue and with individuals such as an aging Casanova popping up, not to mention the Inqusition... All three provide plenty of action and problem-solving to keep your group happy.

I'd rate this fairly essential for Doctor Who RPG GMs, and indeed pretty useful whatever game you want to run. Much of what's here is applicable to any game system and you'll find yourself applying its principles across the range of your GMing activities.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Doctor Who - The Gamemaster's Companion
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Unspoken Shame
Publisher: Alderac Entertainment Group
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/07/2018 10:46:27

Designed for an Oriental setting, this adventure plays upon the constraints imposed by a rigid adherence to the code of Bushido or similar comprehensive code of honour. A hitherto courageous daimyo is plagued with nightmares of his ancestors meeting their ends in inglorious ways, not the heroic deaths the legends tell of them, and wants his most trusted retainers (the party, in other words) to find out what REALLY happened to them.

The DM's Background explains just why poor Lord Jingoro is having nightmares, and contains a reminder that as his faithful retainers the party are charged with guarding his property as well as his person... when the entire adventure takes place in his palace, this means that they ought to take care when fighting or spell-casting so as not to do too much damage!

It all begins when the party arrives at the palace one fine summer morning and find Lord Jingoro's wife Suko in floods of tears. The poor fellow is in a terrible state believing his whole life to be built upon the lie of praising dishonourable ancestors and he is threatening to take his own life. The party will need to sift through the records and deal with ancestral spirits themselves to find out if this is true in an attempt to save their lord's life. There's a map of the estate for them to search through, scrolls to read and shrines to visit in their quest; as well as servants to question.

The whole thing is quite convoluted, but captures the essence of matters important to the oriental mind that would not concern westerners to such an extent. Plot and counterplot ensure that there's enough going on. There are some annoying typos, but it's easy enough to figure out what is intended. Virtually every possible outcome is noted, just about all of which have ramifications for the future of your campaign.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Unspoken Shame
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Treachery's Reward
Publisher: Alderac Entertainment Group
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/06/2018 11:43:30

Very much intended for an Oriental setting, this adventure takes the party towards a tiny quiet village whose main aim seems to be to stay out of the public eye... but they are attacked before they even get there, by a bunch of bandits!

The DM's Background describes what is behind this attack, and tells the tale of a cat whose curiousity was so great that it became a powerful and mischievous spirit. We all know cats like that!

It's not made clear why the party's going to the village in the first place, perhaps they are merely passing through. After the bandit attack, however, they may wish to go there. Here they find demoralised peasants who claim to be under the power of a demon lord. There's no inn, so if the party want to stay they can either lodge with a peasant, stay in the temple or visit a nearby castle. There is some limited interaction to be had in the village, but it seems inevitable that the party will end up going to the castle where the demon lord is said to live.

There's a map of the castle (but not one of the village or surrounding area), coupled with room descriptions and encounters therein. The place seems well-provided with traps... and with cats! There are other dangers as well.

While the adventure itself is rather basic, the party has quite an interesting moral problem to solve, based on the reason why the situation they faced arose. Their choice could lead to long-term ramifications... at least, if anyone finds out what they chose to do. It could work well near the beginning of an Oriental campaign, but has limited use if you are not running one.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Treachery's Reward
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

The Flesh is Weak
Publisher: Alderac Entertainment Group
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/06/2018 11:12:45

Alstad used to be a prosperous town, bustling with life. Now it's deserted, animals are skittish, and a few gaunt faces peer out the windows. Then a ten-year-old boy asks the party for help - his parents have vanished! Can you help the lad, and maybe sort out the town's problem as well?

The DM's Background lays it all out, explaining the root cause of all the recent disappearances and how it came to be loose in town. Details are left purposefully vague, so that you can drop Alstad into a suitable location in your campaign world, although it is suggested that the adventure is best run in mid-autumn, with days shortening, the air getting chilly, and mists abounding. That said, the town itself is well-described, with a smallish map and notes on locations and notable inhabitants (or at least, who's left!). Conveniently there is someone in town who has the knowledge to realise what is going on - if only someone updates them on the situation and asks the right questions. You can use this person if the party are struggling to figure things out.

Perhaps the party has heard rumours that something odd is going on in Alstad, or they may have just arrived on other business (probably passing through) and find the place strangely deserted. Whichever way, the adventure begins as they are accosted by a scared small boy. Then they can explore the town and speak to the few still there.

Nearby there is a hill, Watchman's Hill, where the town's founder (a former adventuring wizard called Alstad) is buried in what used to be the town's cemetery. That is full now, and a new one has been started on the edge of town. Nowadays few folk go up Watchman's Hill, it has a reputation as a bit of a spooky place. This spooky feeling is now in town. Perhaps there's a connection?

It's a well-constructed story and serves to introduce both a nasty undead and a powerful yet flawed artefact, which you might wish to use outside of this adventure. Menace builds slowly but steadily, with the end being either the elimination of the threat or the elimination of the entire town (and possibly the party as well). Nice creepy tale, best played after dark...



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Flesh is Weak
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

That Which Does Not Die
Publisher: Alderac Entertainment Group
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/03/2018 12:26:50

If someone hires you for a 'simple bodyguard job' you know it's time to expect the worst, right? This one is no exception, as the party is hired to protect a merchant and the bodies begin to mount up. But will they stay dead?

The DM's Background explains all, introducing a new undead monster template, the revenant - a killing machine bent on revenge and it seems nothing will stop it. The plot itself concerns skullduggery in the clothing trade, and there seems to be plenty there to keep the party busy even without the introduction of undead... and of course they'll have to decide if they are protecting the right individual.

The adventure can start in any reasonable-sized city in your campaign world, when the party sees plenty of want-ads for good bodyguards and investigate further. There are events in town, messages in the dark and opportunities to fight or make a hasty exit, and hopefully the party will piece things together and realise not all their opponents are still alive although their employer's associates are departing this mortal coil at an alarming rate. Perhaps they can save one or two by getting there before who- or whatever is killing them off does. Eventually they should end up in a subterranean maze under a keep owned by one of these associates, where matters come to a head...

What was created as a vehicle for presenting new undead (to go along with Alderac Entertainment Group's sourcebook Undead) is a lot more, with a coherent backstory and a chance for plenty of interaction and excitement as the party try to keep people alive... but do they deserve to live?



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
That Which Does Not Die
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Displaying 76 to 90 (of 2402 reviews) Result Pages: [<< Prev]   1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 ...  [Next >>] 
Back