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Outer Veil
Publisher: Spica Publishing
by Daniel H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/02/2011 18:01:21

A Short Review:

"Outer Veil" is the lower-tech, smaller Traveller setting I've been looking for!

The book is chock full of a frankly stupefying amount of data, from 20 new ships, 8 new character careers, some new setting appropriate weapons, long writeups on the history of the sector and who the "movers and shakers" are, some asteroid mining rules, patrons, an adventure, and UWPs of over 600 worlds! And thanks to some extra data Spica put in their UWP tables, you know more about those worlds than you typically would in a Traveller sector book.

Also: no aliens are alive in the setting. There are ruins of two variety of "ancient aliens", one an ultra-mysterious race that only left stone monuments and nothing else, and the other a high tech race that appears to have disappeared from the sector only a few millennia ago. If you want to imagine them as "Grays" or "Chariot of the Gods" types, that might be appropriate. Their artifacts are mostly corroded and worn down junk. Mostly. Both aliens have sites dotting the sector.

Artwork is competently executed but minimal, and is either "Poser" type scenes or line drawings. The artwork seems to be properly employed to help fill blank space on pages rather than to inflate page count. Thumbs up.

Things I Loved:

So, so many worlds! I've estimated that there are over 600 of them, with 2/3 being at best "frontier" and at worst "an unexplored blip on a star map". The distribution of technology on the worlds seems much less haphazard than usual for Traveller, which is a nice touch.

SPICA has added some new statistics to the classic UWP line, most notably the Stellar Classification of a world's star(s) and more interestingly, a "Life" stat that tells not only how advanced the local life is, but how compatible with Earth biology it is. This is a fantastic idea, and really helps breathe life (no pun intended) into UWP stats.

The setting appropriate ships, weapons and careers give a lot of character to "Outer Veil", and I like the "book 2" approach of having most ships well under 2,000 tons. That 800 ton frigate just became the most powerful ship within a half-dozen parsecs.

Things I Didn't Love:

The subsector maps are rough; maybe they're bitmaps instead of vector graphics. There isn't a full sector "zoomed out" view. SPICA has said they are planning such a thing though.

In Summary:

You really will not find a more detail dense setting book for this price. Possibly for any price.

[5 of 5 Stars!]