This is the second Space Opera product I’ve reviewed and I’ve noticed that both were reasonably thorough in that there did not seem to be obvious holes in the material presented. Its frustrating to buy an RPG product that is incomplete and lacking things like maps, tables or instructions that the author should have supplied. That seems to not be the case with Space Opera products in general. I also have begun to realize that the Space Opera game is not shy about adding a greater degree of complication in favor of realism over playability. I certainly appreciate the thoroughness and the desire for realism but I lean more toward sacrificing some realism for playability. That said this is a great exploration and first contact source book adaptable to almost any science fiction RPG. It is not a module and aside from the random encounter tables you will need to develop the actual encounters. However there is plenty of details provided and this should prove to be a good resource particularly for sand box style of play.
The system brief covers multiple planets and there are in-depth planetary briefs for those worth landing on. There are two well designed planetary biospheres with both animals and plants described as well as one sapient species. The sapient species is saurian and its society is covered with reactions and agendas for each of its 5 castes. Biological and environmental hazards are covered in detail. The exploration ship is well documented but quite huge for an exploration ship: 20,000 tons, 6 horizontal decks, and a huge supply of vehicles and supplies. Standard Exploration Procedures are briefly covered but not in great detail which leaves room for interpretation by each group playing this adventure. A psionic artifact is part of this adventure but it does not overtly impact the adventure – its a passive mystery left by ancient forerunner aliens to guide the development of the primitives.
Overall rating is Jedi-ON.
Categorised as: General