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The Borderland $12.99 $7.99
Publisher: Mongoose
by Tim C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/08/2015 10:02:55

I don't generally review my purchases, but this was poor enough to make me want to leave a note for other purchasers. I bought this pdf because I'm looking to run Pirates of Drinax with my group, and the idea of a sourcebook tightly focused on the main area of focus sounded extremely useful. Unfortunately, it's absolutely useless.

Up to page 10, we get an overview of the Trojan Reaches as a whole. Possibly necessary for those who haven't purchased the Trojan Reaches sourcebook, but entirely redundant for those that have, and doubly redundant if you have the free Pirates of Drinax campaign.

Pages 11-19 cover groups active in the area. Again, mostly rehashing material. There are a few new/interesting bits - details of Imperial fleet deployments in the area, the Grand Duchy of Requille (although one fleet is deployed to Bastion which - alas! - isn't on my map of the Trojan Reaches?). However, this section suffers from a frustrating lack of detail on some groups, and a major canon clash with the Drinax campaign. Some interesting sounding groups are mentioned - apparently, there exists a Borderland Alliance and a Noraxx Confederation, both local political groupings of stars. Unfortunately, we get no clues as to whom the members of these groups might be, or what they might be doing which could interest our players. I know GM freedom to customise is a good thing, but I want more than just the name of the groups.

The canon clash arises because the Imperium apparently deploys significant forces to Realgar to counter the pirate threat from Theev - think Space Tortuga. Sounds great, but the fact that the Imperium doesn't know the location of Theev is a significant plot point in PoD. The first scenario published specifically includes the location of Theev as a reward for the players, and even more damningly, the sixth scenario is all about the Imperium sending a punitive fleet to search for the pirate world! Obviously, I'll throw this bit out, but it just shows a lack of care and attention, given that I imagine most GM's purchasing this will be looking at PoD.

There's a couple of pages of detailed writeup for one particular system, which mostly seems to be fairly dry planetology descriptions. There seems to have been a drive in recent Traveller publishing to hammer home the point that systems are larger than their mainworld. Valid point; but I'll take a paragraph of cool description and a hook for a cool thing we could do over two pages of dry rockballs every day.

The rest of the book is just generic setting advice which would work equally well in any subsector in the OTU; hell, in any setting. It's not badly written; it just has no relevance to what the book is supposed to be about.

Severe disappointment. My hope is that the follow ups for Wildeman et al. will

  • cut down on the endless rehashing of existing material
  • undergo some checks to make sure they don't clash with PoD
  • provide us with some details/plot hooks for the worlds in question.

[1 of 5 Stars!]