Monday, July 5, 2010
Mindjammer by Sarah Newton
I was thoroughly impressed by Cubicle Seven’s science fiction roleplaying release Starblazer Adventures, which really grabbed the flavor of space opera and turned it into a game rich with setting and idea that was easy to play but not simple in plot and context. That one book alone gives you veritable tons of play potential. Thus, I was intrigued to see a supplement out, Mindjammer by Sarah Newton, focusing on a specific age of space-faring, and decided to check it out.
After nearly dying of stagnation, humankind is experiencing a renaissance of the space age, reaching out to find lost colonies, uncharted planets, and meeting aliens, friendly and hostile. It is up to you to explore this newly human-occupied space, and protect its denizens from threat—or take advantage of those who need that protection.
Newton has here presented a set of more detailed rules and (mainly) additions to what was originally set up in Starbalzer Adventures. The real pleasure to be found in this volume is the great detail that is given. A large number of planets get two or three page write ups with full specs, along with special abilities common to the era, rules modifications to make these new abilities less redundant, and a full campaign that is very nicely done. It manages to achieve a number of different genres (my favorite was the horror mystery) all in the science fictional setting.
If you are interested in delving into one segment of Starblazer Adventures, and reaping the rich rewards of fleshing out the details and making the setting come even more alive, then this volume will be perfect for you, especially with the full campaign added in as a bonus. A lot of play potential has been pushed between these covers.