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Sixteen Stars: Creating Places of Perilous Adventure
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Sixteen Stars: Creating Places of Perilous Adventure
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Sixteen Stars: Creating Places of Perilous Adventure
Publisher: Sine Nomine Publishing
by Jim B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/23/2019 11:51:18

This does a good job of presenting adventure situations for a science fiction RPG. Like the description says, it's system-neutral. On the sci-fi plausibility scale, it aims for the low-to-moderate range of plausibility. The settings mostly assume interstellar travel by humans to known and unknown planets populated by humans and/or aliens. Many of them are adaptable if you have a sword-and-planet game, such as turning "Derelict Orbital" into a wrecked vessel instead.

The sixteen site types are: Ancient Temples, Asteroid Bases, Barbarian Courts, Bureaucratic Agencies, Colonial Outposts, Derelict Orbitals, Disaster Areas, Doomed Habitats, Hellworld Settlements, Merciless Deserts, Planetary Starports, Prison Colonies, Savage Jungles, Tomb Cities, Vicious Slums, and War Zones.

They're not sixteen specific, mapped locations. There are no maps. There are no individual names of characters, stars, or worlds. There's no description of alien races or specific interstellar organizations. Instead, you get guidelines for creating your own sites and applying your setting's specifics.

Each site type is covered in two pages. The first page offers several paragraphs of guidance on setting up such a site: what purpose it might serve or why it's present, what state it might be in, and so on. The "Dressing the Set" section on the first page walks you through the creation of a conflict situation, using material from the second page.

The second page for each site type consists of tables for choosing or rolling up elements of a conflict situation. First, there's the d10 Adventure Seeds table. It offers five summaries of conflict situations for that site type. For example: "An Antagonist is taking advantage of a Complication in order to progress their plans to seize a Thing being kept at a Place. A local Friend is aware of their scheme, but is unable to intervene directly. Instead, they try to induce the PCs to steal the Thing first and get it offworld before the Antagonist can grab it."

The second page then includes five d8 tables for filling in the blanks in the adventure seed: Antagonists, Friends, Places, Complications, and Things. In the example above, the antagonist might be a hostile native alien leader and the place could be a storehouse of irreplaceable goods. There's a sixth d8 table that answers a question for the site you create, such as "What are they using it for?" or "Why won't they cooperate?" or "Why was this colony founded?"

Replay value should be good, because these aren't individual prefab sites. You could leverage Colonial Outposts to create multiple colonies, for example, or for additional adventures in a colony you used previously. Essentially, you're reskinning every time you use one of the site types. You're not bound by the tables, of course. As you flesh out your campaign, you could use your own Adventure Seeds, Antagonists, Friends, Places, Complications, or Things.

There are no mind-bending science fiction what-ifs or major campaign premises. It's more like you're planning next week's episode of an on-going TV series.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
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