Yet again, Gypsy Knight Games returns to producing adventure hooks that are firmly grounded in a strong Traveller sensibility (nothing like, say, the Campaign Guide). These are set in their own corner of an Alternative Traveller Universe that their Quick Worlds whose story been unfolding there. It is very much a sandbox anthology of seeds reminiscent of early FASA offerings for Classic Traveller outlining the Old Expanses, save, there is no Official Traveller Universe referent (at least in the opinion of this author). For when the Keiths took over or dominated High Passage and Far Traveller believe it or not, they just made all that stuff up without bothering too much with what GDW produced – helped that they were also prolific in JTAS thus completing the circle. But, that laissez faire creativity is to be found in Gypsy Knight offerings, as well.
Each of these adventures are planet bound, and thus encounters take place dirtside. The worlds are for the most part relatively Earth-like but I do not fault Gypsy Knight Games too much with this; for indeed one of the weaknesses of Traveller has been to leave it to the Referee to create the exotic alien environments – when in all likelihood what is out there – is not likely to resemble what is here. But, it is that grounding that also makes Traveller work so well, one needs not worry about the effects of too much nitrogen in an otherwise standard atmosphere. 2300AD does a much better job at the science of planet building – Traveller is more about using the environment as a foil.
So, the format is the same as previous 21 Plots, a small basic setup for the scenario then the Referee can pick one of the outcomes or roll 1D6 and completely freeform it or build it up to a comprehensive one shot with maps, stats and whatnot. What makes these adventure seeds so Traveller is that they grounded in a realistic and dirty future where people’s jobs may be in space but they still remain jobs – ordinary smoes who have a chance at becoming local heroes – sort of like the old television series – The Dukes of Hazard. Furthermore, there are wheels within wheels, in the sense that adventures rarely are what they seem at the beginning. Certainly, the means allows you to reach the end but it is the journey (hence name of the game) is what is the most important part. Gypsy Knight Games has nailed to a fine art, that is not to say there are not some sour choices, but, more frequently the Referee is rewarded with the sweet nectar of old fashioned Traveller goodness.
There is not much that is bad about this product, for it is relatively short – only 28 pages... All the 21 Plots are well written. If one is to find some fault, there is questionable use of a starship appears in some of the scenarios, when it should have been substituted with small craft (either the player’s own or in the grand tradition of Traveller – a rental). Another point, is that many of these worlds are very Earth-like and do not pose a greater sense of wonder that could have been explored – maybe they are saving that goodness for a Campaign, so as to keep these worlds generic enough.
Not really also much in the way of ugliness. It is a beautifully, if sparsely illustrated product and each of the seeds are well written. Without, any trouble these could be scenarios of any generic SF universe. Another drawback is that they are short but one does certainly get value for the money, as the seeds are much better than some of the alternatives on the market – for the authors do really get the Traveller vibe and do not create scenarios that stray far from it. However, if one is looking for fantastical adventures albeit in a SciFi sea, then, you might be best look elsewhere. This is Traveller – where Hard Space Opera runs the show.