Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Review & Commentary On Explorers By Paul Elliott For The Cepheus Engine Rpg For The Hostile Rpg Setting & The Original Traveller rpg

 "Explorers is a supplement for Cepheus Engine and for the gritty HOSTILE science fiction setting.
It provides all of the tools the explorer needs to tackle dangers and exotic encounters on remote worlds. Included within the book is a fully detailed survey ship, the USCS Castle Bravo; an in-depth look at both the Tharsis Armadillo All-Terrain Vehicle as well as the explorer’s habitat of choice: the Leyland-Okuda modular base series. The space suits of the HOSTILE universe are also featured, with a set of customisable options.
Finally, survey and exploration procedures are explained with advice and rules provided which will allow the referee to create a tense, unpredictable and (hopefully!) dangerous survey mission. These come with 36 uninhabited world descriptions for use in your game. "

Players & friends alerted me to the release of Zozer Games Explorers was shoved int erm came exploding into my email box by my players. The cover alone is what really grabs your attention with a creepy classic Science Fiction & 70's Alien style poster artwork feel to it. The supplemenrt dives into the 'Upstream' space mining & exploration faux industry magazine cover.  But this is actually the first section of rules & organization over view. Shades of West End Star Wars rpg with the fake adds which were often used as player hand outs. This is gives a solid feel of the field of space exploration in the universe  of Hostile. You get a quick arm shot of a common survey vessel & overview of the Armadillo ATV. And its very well done giving the DM a perspective on the ATV and it almost feels like you could actually drive one. And that's one of the things about Explorers as a supplement it feels very grounded in its own universe. 

The module base section is very well done & we get down, dirty, & very scientific within Explorers take on living the pioneer life on the edge of galatic discovery. This section has a very much updated feel of those Eighties faux NASA books such as the Mars Mission Manual. This is life on the bleed edge of surival & space exploration. This section of Explorers gives an excellent overview of the shelters, colony pop up dwellings, and bases that are going to be used by PC's. 

Next we get into some hard core space suit design & mission specific stuff with regards to the day to day workable skin of the explorer. This section is very well done & hits the high notes that Hostile does with added benefits of actually being another customizable PC section of Explorers. This is one of the best sections of the book because it allows the DM & players to work together to tie together the gear for the PC's missions. 

'How To Explore' is one of the best sections of Explorers which involves planets, systems, missions parameters, planetary characteristics, & much more. This section ties in nicely with Explorers especially for instellar exploration campaign.  This section goes right into The Castle Bravo survey vessel which was introduced around a decade ago to compensate for the inadequacies of its predecessor, the North Star long range scout. And this is a perfect star ship for the players PC's and its a slamming ship! 

The Castle Bravo survey vessel reminds me of many of the classic original Traveller rpg ships. An actual star ship that the PC's can use for missions across the board. Its a real neat design incorporating elements of the classic 70's art Science Fiction ships with the Two Thousands bleeding edge space exploration. In many respects I really love the Castle Bravo survey ship class its really well done. 
Explorers within seventy one pages feels like an update of Paul Elliott, & Ben Lecrone's Orbital 2100 campaign setting with huge expansion of many of the ideas, adventure elements, space suits, ships, etc..

Explorers takes the Hostile rpg setting into the outer bleeding edges of instellar space exploration. This means that its a solid drag & drop supplement right into the back end of the Hostile rpg setting. Explorers is a must add on for Roughnecks because the explorers are often the trail blazers or runners for the Rougneck's mining  operations. 

Because of Explorers the way that the book is set up its perfectly tuned for adding in sci fi horror elements to make the lives of the PC's wretched. All in all Explorers is a solid add on book for the DM of Cepheus Engine campaigns & yes I'm really glad that I grabbed it! 

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