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Crew Expendable
by Emma M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/29/2022 05:12:42

The supplement line for Hostile is light years ahead of the other space horror games. Even tough it runs in a legacy systems (Cepheus Engine) it brings a great set of rules and lore to your space horror games. This supplement can be used alongside other space horror games and that was I was intially planning to do but I was amazed by the quality of the Hostile setting and the other expansions that I simply moved all my space horror rpg projects to Hostile. If you like me felt even though Alien the RPG is a great game but lacks in depth not only I recommend this book that has everything for a very immersive space truckers experience. I see there was a lot of research in the merchant navy, aviation and oil industry which makes this book excelent source of inspiration even if one is not planning to run a space truckers game.



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
Crew Expendable
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Explorers
by Chris C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/27/2022 04:11:15

Well written, as always. Excellent design, as well. The equipment and ships were OK, but everything from standard Traveller did the job. The survey process defined was interesting, but would make for frightfully dull gameplay with a group of players. There were a page of adventure hooks (all retreads of Alien). I won't ever open it again. I wanted something were more adventure hooks, with guidance on how to make the exploratin setting fun for players, a few more sample worlds. Meh.



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[2 of 5 Stars!]
Explorers
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Hostile Setting
by Shaun S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/10/2022 22:40:55

Do you want to play your favorite 2d6 Sci-Fi role playing rules, but prefer a grittier setting than the default space opera style? Then HOSTILE is the way to go. If you want to do something more like the Alien series, The Expanse, Saturn 3, Outland, and the like, then here's the way to do it. When it comes to Cepheus System products, Paul Elliott is the finest author. His work is well-written, expansive, thorough and has depth. It's not just the SRD with some new aliens nailed on. I'm very much looking forward to the implementation of his SOLO system for this setting.



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hostile Setting
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Godstar
by Shaun S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/10/2022 22:16:14

I read this supplement cover to cover over an evening - you could say it's "Dune with the serial numbers filed off" but I think there's more to it than that. Clearly, Dune was a major influence and inspiration for the setting, but there is nothing wrong with that, in my opinion.

The rules for factions are a novel concept - applying the standard Traveller/Cepheus stats to an overall entity to indicate their power or ability in various aspects. Characters can work for one of these factions if desired, and this lets the group set the style of campaign they desire.

The desert survival rules are useful in any 2d6 sci-fi game of your choice. Overall, this is a carefully considered, well-written setting for the Cepheus System, and honestly a cut above most of the campaign supplements and standalone versions I've seen so far.



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
Godstar
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No Day To Die
by Dan M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/27/2022 13:19:24

Very enjoyable game, as more of a casual James Bond fan than a hardcore fanboi I thought it captured the theme quite nicely. I was particularly intrigued by the card based conflict resolution and I think it works very well and that could easily be adapted to a lot of other themes. Lots of clever stuff here, when I first saw the game I wondered how the author would handle all the crazy gadgets that Bond has, my assumption was a long list of stuff that you could "buy" which didn't seem very thematic at all, but instead every once in a while you earn the right to "just have" some neat device that solves your problem. It puts the responsibility on you to think up something cool, but it works very well within the idea that you're in a 007 style movie rather than in a game where you're having to keep track of carrying around a bunch of crap that you might never actually use.

Solo systems always tip somewhere on the "game" vs. "guiding journaling" scale and I'd call this more of a journaler, the onus is definitely on the player to make sure the story keeps moving forward and to choose the direction it goes with the game providing inspirational suggestions. There are lots of great oracle tables to help you there with spy themed oracles for NPCs, locations, missions, etc. My story bogged a little because the first mission I drew was "investigate murder"... in my experience mysteries and investigations are just about the hardest plot type to pull off in solo play... but there are things like "transport item" or "eliminate target" and corresponding tables to flesh those out to help a plot like that develop a little more easily. As a solo player I think the more you can be surprised by what happens next the better, and there are things here to help make that happen. I've yet to discover the solo RPG that can make me say both "wow, I never saw that coming!" AND "wow, that makes perfect sense!" at the same time, but if your take on the spy theme is less about complicated investigations and more about hanging from the skid of a helicopter while shooting a grappling hook out of your watch I think this has you covered. Heck, massive plot holes are a staple of Bond films anyway, maybe I shouldn't have been so hard on myself.

A very fun experience that I'll definitely come back to. I suspect any time Netflix throws 007 in front of me this will somehow find it's way back into my mental gaming focus a day or two later.



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
No Day To Die
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HOSTILE Mega [BUNDLE]
by Andreas S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/25/2022 11:38:36

Great setting but super sloppy text and design. I bought the mega bundle but I quickly discovered that your really, really only need the Rule Book and Setting book (and this one you need just because it has equipment in it). Might as well buy the Traveller book instead of this bundle, because you are going to need it to clarify things the Hostile rulebook just ignores. Like the draft mechanic. What happens if you don't qualify for your first career? Just doesn't say. Some skills are kind of the same as well. Like Comms, Computers and Electronics. Ground Vehicle, Vehicle, Watercraft. Aircraft and Pilot. They could be compressed into one skill instead of two or three. The "illustrations" are crappy 3D-renderings or pictures with a photoshop filter on-top. Text is repeating the same words over and over. I quote the description of the Investigation Skill: "Scientific analysis and the use of complex and accurate scientific tools and equipment to gather clues at a crime scene or scientific location." It's so bad it might be a joke.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
HOSTILE Mega [BUNDLE]
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Solo
by Shaun S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/21/2022 17:17:58

I've purchased and checked out as number of books and supplements geared toward solo play, but SOLO is truly the best. If you've ever wanted to run a game of Traveller or Cepheus for yourself, this is a must. I would compare it favorably to Ironsworn: Starforged in its utility for the subject matter. The various campaigns and encounter tables are useful and relevant. I an into week 16 of a Star Traders campaign and the characters are really starting to develop their own quirks, behaviors, and backstories based on just a few rolls during character creation. I have gotten so much use out of this PDF, I went out and ordered a hardcover copy on Lulu.



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
Solo
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Solo
by Shane F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/18/2022 13:44:50

This is a radically different approach to solo role playing and in my opinion should be read by all solo players (not just Traveller gamers). You might not choose to use "fortune in the middle" but it is a really useful concept for solo gaming. I have taken the idea and use it across all my solo RPG games, sci-fi, fantasy, etc. This book was the first 'break through' in my solo career and it enabled me to get past the frustrations of playing without a GM. Another strength that I have taken with me beyond this book is the idea of intraparty relationships. I use a modified version of the rules in this book to generate interesting conversations and disputes so I get a deeper understanding of who my party are. The only negative I would say, is that the random tables are a bit repetitive and it is a very good idea to get hold of a bunch of extra table quite quickly to keep the action varied and the adventure vivid.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
No Day To Die
by Nate L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/05/2022 12:13:12

Super clever concept, especially going with a genre that is really meant for 1 hero. Like... doing James Bond in a group like D&D? That never felt right to me. (And it's not that I don't want it to... I love the Ian Fleming novels, I have the old Victory Games "James Bond" RPG, etc.) IMO, the lone hero setup is best for solo play. James Bond, Jason Bourne, John Wick - they don't feel right in group-based roleplay. Taking super-spy and putting it into a solo game is just a great choice to start with, even moreso than very well executed solo experiences like 4AD.

I like the concept of playing cards as the mechanics of a game, especially for solo. A card has a finality and tactile feel that a dice roll doesn't quite have. (EDIT: I'm currently using theory11's James Bond 007 set. It's a clean/classic set of cards, and the face cards have a "Spy" theme... spy pistols, ski poles, assassins' knives, etc. rather than swords and traditional face card symbols.) It's too easy to "cheat" yourself out of an experience in a dice-based solo game by bumping the dice or otherwise feeling like I can negate a dice roll that I don't like... but with a multi-card draw for task resolution in No Day to Die? There's a weight behind it... there's a process to it that doesn't exist with a throw of a dice. IMO, this is the way if you want a solo experience with some heft.

On the flip side, I kind of wish the card suits did more, like the Yes/No draw is strictly a Red/Black determination (which is influenced by your discards, of course, but begins as a simple 50/50 choice). I wouldn't want to use dice, but the Mythic GM Emulator has a table for escalating chaos when it comes to Yes/No in the fiction... so in a Yes/No situation, maybe you use card suits or values to signify the intensity or character of the Yes/No? For the random tables, you can also easily add more tables of descriptors if you want to rig up more information out of a draw... or fudge up the existing tables in different ways if you want to influence the fiction in a different direction - maybe it's more a romance, maybe a John Wick kill-fest.

That's a positive with the random tables towards the back... they are soft descriptors for the fiction, not hard rules, which then gives you some flexibility in tailoring the game world towards the fiction that you want. They're a base set of tables, but anyone can hack them to their interests. Also, Fria Ligan's Twilight:2000 has some clever card ideas that might fit as well.

Anyway... smart choice for the fiction behind the rules. I'm a fan of card-based rules for solo play, and I'm always happy to break out a standard poker deck rather than deal with printable custom card sets (a few of those in this store). You could probably easily push it to Sci Fi-ish with only a little nudge (Rogue One comes to mind). A good set of narrative ideas with the descriptor tables, which can be easily adapted/modified if you want to move the fiction in different directions.

I have a few solo games now, including 4AD, Mythic, "Five Parsecs from Home", "Rangers of Shadow Deep". This one is definitely one to consider.



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
No Day To Die
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Colony Builder
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/17/2022 00:40:22

Games Colony Builder By Paul Elliot is a essentially a mini game of colony construction for a Hostile or 2d6 Science Fiction rpg campaigns. And its the mini campaign setting aspect that floors me, its a sort of mini game within the role playing game itself. Its this aspect that even described within the Colony Builder's description;"COLONY BUILDER is a supplement for the Cepheus Engine roleplaying game and the HOSTILE setting. It provides all of the tools that players need to create their own living and breathing extrasolar colonies. Take a budget and spend it wisely, and keep in mind your environment – every world is potentially hostile! Once built, your players can take up the roles of key personnel and get to manage the fledgling colony, leading the colonists in the struggle against hunger, air-loss, earthquakes, alien parasites and more… Play out the problems, the solutions, the casualties across the course of a year; can you keep the colony going, will it thrive? Or will the corporate auditors swoop in to try and shut you down?

Colony Builder is not a small supplement clocking in at a hundred & seventy eight pages of colony building goodness. Instellar colonies are the heart & soul of a Hostile rpg campaign and not simply a horror movie set piece. These colonies are the adventure setting for a Hostile rpg game but they can be so much more then that. They can produce vast amounts of resources, enconomic backbones for the adventurers, and more then just a place to rest your head. Colonies are the stepping stone for spacers to get into the vast dark wine of instellar space. If the Clement Sector is the Old Western setting of Cepheus Engine then Hostile is the great Age of Corporate exploration & exploitation of instellar space. The horror happens betweeen points. Instellar colonies are investiments in terms of both adventure & campaign for a Hostile rpg game. They represent the future of a corporation's push into a sector or system. And huge profits for said corporation.

Colony Builder provides so many challenges within the building & hisory of an interstellar colony that it becomes a bit of a brush with the fate of the dice to see what will befall a colony. And the most mundane things or events can brush a colony well into the diaster area of the spectrum. Eventually with the grace of the DM gods & a good set of dice rolls a colony may thrive & here's where the fun begins. The natural resources, productions, & manufacturing of products can provide the colony with its reason for existence. And this reasoning folds right into the point & purpose of Colony Builder.

Not only does this point up some of the long term goals for the colony but the fact that the colony itself could become a player in its own right over the years as it moves up the ranks for its imporance to the corporate ladder. This means that the colony could become a major point of interest to the corporation as a center of production, a headquarters to the corporation, a bastion of R&D, a point of interest for the Science division, the list of the good fates for a colony are endless. Because this is plugged into a colony's fate then it goes back into the idea of the colony being a stepping stone into the dark wine black of space. The colony is mother, nurturer, provider, and all around shelter for the colonists, and the adventurers.

Is Colony Builder necessary for a good game campaign of Hostile?! No but it damn sure helps to move & motivate a campagin along. Colony Builder has all of the tools & tool boxes for doing fine interstellar colonies on the frontier of space. Can Colony Builder be used for other 2d6 Science Fiction campaigns?! Absolutely it could and should be! Thanks for reading our review Eric Fabiaschi Swords & Stitchery Want more 2d6 old school action?! Please Subscribe to https://swordsandstitchery.blogspot.com/



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
Colony Builder
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The Universal World Profile
by Lester H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/28/2021 14:00:10

In 40 years of gaming, I think this is one of the best referee tools I have found. Concise and well written, it provides a referee with figurative dTons of ideas to make a world more interesting, by interpolating from the UWP. I enjoyed the explanations of the physical characteristics in straightforward terms which a non scientist can undertand. As a student of political science, the government descriptions broadened my own interpretations and the historical analogies will lead me down furher research rabbit holes. The numerous references to written, film, and television science fiction titles provides a nice read/watch list. A bibliography was the only missing component.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Universal World Profile
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Hot Zone
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/13/2021 11:21:30

"Hot Zone – that’s the crew’s name for LS809, a burning hell-hole orbiting Gliese 9028. It’s where they need to be, the location of a missing hyperspace probe. Acting strangely, whilst plotting new hyperspace co-ordinates, the probe has crashed-landed on the Hot Zone.

Now the ICO want it back - quickly … and quietly.

But the planet won’t let them take the prize so easily. This is a truly ‘hostile’ world with some terrifying and dangerous obstacles to overcome. And … something else… wants the probe."

Hotzone is one of those unassuming little titles that's bypassed me on the Drivethrurpg shelf now like a solid 80's or 90's Sci fi VHS tape whose cover artwork is less then stellar. But whose contents shine far more then the exterior let's on. The basics first this adventure is for Zozer Games Hostile setting. But the more I learn about 2d6 Cepheus Engine driven rpg's this adventure could be easily adapted into other sci fi engines. Paul Elliot is a man who loves his details as is evident by this adventure & even the DM set up introduction shows this; "This is a recovery mission. The player characters (PCs) are the crew of an ICO (Interstellar Commerce Organization) ship called the USCS Outlander that has been given the mission to recover a crashed hyperspace probe. These large unmanned probes map out new hyperspace routes to the stars, and this one has gone awry (on purpose!) and crashed onto uninhabited planet LS809, a hot desert world that orbits Gliese 9028 – a red dwarf star." Already we've got the set up & run through for this mission an its gonna be a really nasty one. Paul Elliot's writing here is spot on walking the line from solid Hostile straight into 'B' movie Friday night rental mode. This is the perfect combo for Hostile on the whole and Hotzone proves this once again.

Hotzone clocks in at twenty seven pages of high octane survival fun! This book brings to mind another Zozer games title and that's Dirtside! Dirtside isn't a title you need to run Hotzone at all! But Hotzone takes full advantage of the design & writing lessons that Mr.Elliot learned on Dirtside. In other words, the writing & design is tight in Hotzone. This is a fun but deadly little adventure where the menace is three fold the planet, the situation, and the other. The other here is just waiting for PC's to screw up so bring extra characters to this one. But is Hotzone worth the download?! In a word yes for a multiplicity of reasons. Hotzone is going to provide more then a few sessions of play. The world planet LS809, a hot desert world that orbits Gliese 9028 – a red dwarf star has some decent potential for extended play across a spectrum of Hostile adventures if the DM uses his head. Mining, exploration, and more are mixed into the adventure if the player's PC's survive. This isn't one off kill zone adventure but a highly dangerous mission on an alien planet. And its a solidly done adventure up too the quality that Zozer Games produces. Thanks for reading our review Eric Fabiaschi Swords & Stitchery blog Want more Swords & Stitchery blog Please subscribe to https://swordsandstitchery.blogspot.com/



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hot Zone
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Planetary Tool Kit 1: Ubar
by David T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/23/2021 12:41:59

A useful booklet describing a world in Traveller format. Lots of fauna and background info, with some plot ideas.

I would have liked an overview of the system as well and the world map i not the standard Traveller type.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Planetary Tool Kit 1: Ubar
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Action Dice
by Michael H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/17/2021 04:19:53

Over many years Paul Elliot of Zozer games has been responsible for dozens of quality role-playing games and supplements. Two of his games: Zenobia and 43 AD are in my top ten of my favourite RPGs. His Traveller material is outstanding.

How does this game stack up against previous outings? I’ve played Action Dice — just once — and it was a big hit with my group, despite one sticking point. I wouldn’t call it a deal breaker because you can house-rules it away and Paul has since a workaround.

Will you like Action Dice? Probably. Maybe? First and foremost, the game pays homage to the game-books of old, it’s fast and easy for the referee to adjudicate or further the plot on-the-fly. It’s rules light. If that’s not your jam, move on.

I’ll try and skim through a few details that might help you decided whether this is a PDF keeper or a delete.

What do we get? A 30-ish page document using a large font, it’s stretched across more pages than needed. The layout is minimalist but that seems to fit the game’s tone — light. Art is used sparingly but to good effect. As usual Paul’s writing is good.

The game’s mantra is set out in the first page: Don’t roll the dice unless it’s necessary, do improvise, don’t add extra rules when you can just wing it without the headache. The intro also tells us that the dice rolling isn’t the game, the interaction is. That’s not strictly true, it’s the dice that makes the role-playing a game.

Next we have the key area of the game and this is where my issue lies.

Three attributes: SKILL, FATE and HITS — Hits rather than Stamina but same-as. For SKILL and FATE, roll one die, ignore a six then add 5. HITS are 2 dice +12. You then get to add one discretionally point to either SKILL or FATE or 2 points to HITS. This gives your character a range of 6 to 10 (or 11) for SKILL and FATE, 24 for HITS. The minimum is 6, 6, 14 — +1 for the discretionary.

There is a point-buy system offered added at the last moment. For the time being, let’s pretend that isn’t there as diced characters is the author’s preferred option.

Next comes ROLE one of the bits that elevate this game beyond all the many previous attempts to bring Fighting Fantasy to group play. Your character’s ROLE gives you a peg from which to hang your concept. You’ll cook up some distinguishing features, gear and areas of defining abilities. If the area of expertise falls within your character’s ROLE you use the previously generated SKILL. If not, SKILL is reduced to 6 for the purpose of dice rolling.

And that’s my problem. Your ROLE may be, “lauded professor of archaeology”, and when using abilities related to that ROLE you use the character’s normal SKILL. If the ability is unrelated, your effective SKILL is 6. As mentioned above, if you’re unlucky your character might have a SKILL of 6 meaning she’s just as incompetent at firing a machine gun as he is at excavating ancient rules. You’ll need to fix that. The points system does straighten it out.

Checking for success is a chinch, if you are testing FATE or SKILL unrelated to combat you roll 2 dice, for a success you’ll need a result under the character’s rating rather than “equal to or less then”. In combat you throw 2 dice add your SKILL and compare the result to that of your opponents. The highest total wins that round. I don’t like to chop and change between different mechanics in such a simple game but it works well enough.

The game covers critical success, fumbles and other common events that will take place in your gaming session. Simple and well-conceived.

There are useful examples of powers and spells, a good base for your own creation. The default setting is low-power but you can change it up if you’d like; low work for me. Combat covers all the bases but a single hit always scores 2 points of damage unless the weapon is a rifle or pistol where a die is rolled to determine HITS lost.

Vehicle combat and explosions are included. There’s nothing so satisfying as blowing something up, particularly a main battle tank or Mech.

Enemies are up next and a good number of examples are provided. They run from SKILL 5 for a thug or goblin up to 14 for a dragon or jet fighter.

The game comes with some sample settings. I love Tank World, a post-apocalyptic environment where the only thing standing between salvation and utter doom is the player characters and the tanks they pilot. Nice. Next there’s a section on creating adventure-packed with ideas to fit the plot around the action scenes, rather that the reverse. It fits.

There’s an adventure generator to assist the imagination-challenged ref. but it’s bit too light to get my juices flowing. Closely related is the section on solo play. Action Dice is based on danger and excitement so prevalent in the game books so yes, good idea. The system presented here is not as robust as that featured in the latest version of Zenobia on which it is based so you could certainly crib ideas from there.

The book rounds out with a very good section on improving your characters through experience points. However, this chapter tells us that character improvement is slow and steady as the characters are already at the pinnacle of their careers. If that’s so, I pity the poor archaeologist from my example above, she peaked at primary school.

That’s it then, a great game that does exactly what it sets out to do — create a freeform action role-playing games that’s as simple as it is inclusive.



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
Action Dice
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Action Dice
by Shawn M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/09/2021 13:03:40

Action Dice is concise but complete set of rules that work well for solo roleplayers and small groups who will be on the same page about their game's tone (Cinematic, Action, Pulp.)

Action Dice is clearly inspired from the beloved "Fighting Fantasy" gamebook system series. Specifically it is a cinematic spin on the Introductory Fighting Fantasy RPG - it makes a few changes to afford for the tone it is going for but without adding all the bells and whistles that Dungeooner/Advanced Fighting Fantasy did. It uses a clever "role" approach to avoid the burden of a skill system, has rules for everyone's favorite combat things like "falling damage", "explosions", "vehicles", etc. It also contains a freeform magic/powers system that I believe is a nice in-between the original Fighting Fantasy approach and the more detailed Advanced Fighting Fighting system.

In general Action Dice feels like there's "just enough" crunch in the places you would want it within a rules light system. An example would be gear - like many rules light systems gear is largely "handwaved" but you are encourage to make note of the gear your character absoutely needs for their given role in the world and what happens if the gameworld causes the lost of one of these pieces of gear (effectively, a negative dm.) This kinda of guidance is given pretty consistently throughout the book - it frees the GM up to focus on clearing up the expecations of the roles and powers and know that all the fidely "boring" bits are already handled.

I like the set of example settings in the rear of the book - these give the GM some examples of what prep you might need to do pitch an Action Dice setting to your players ("world summary", list of possible roles, list of possible powers.) There's a couple list of example enemies, vehicles, etc. An experienced GM should have no trouble scanning these and "reskinning" them on the fly.

The artwork and layout is good - it is easy to read and find what the parts you are looking for. The character sheet is well laid out and easy to understand.

I think the only thing I would like to see in the book would be something for group actions - something like Zozer Games' "Mission Machine" from their free "Classic Traveller Solo" supplement. This would be helpful for both groups and the solo player alike.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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