Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Quote of the Day and micro-review

Harry Harrison's Deathworld trilogy, Frank Herbert's Dune series and many of the most successful episodes of Star Trek owe part of their appeal to a common factor aside from well-created characters and plotline. Each work shares a common premise: the heroes (Jason dinAlt, Paul Muad'dib and Kirk/Spock/Bones et al., respectively) are thrust into an unepxected situation completely new and alien to them, a situation which must be understood before it can be changed, or at least escaped. The protagonists enter these situations through little or no choice of their own: they are not asked to become involved , they are not paid for their services, and their major reward at the end of their endeavors is that they regain power over their own destiny. As the characters interact with the environment, and begin to recognize the nature of the challenge to face, the reader/viewer also learns the same facts, and can make his/her own guesses about the proper course to be taken. This formula makes for gripping and exhilarating science fiction adventure.

-from Lee's Guide to Interstellar Adventure, by Gregory Lee, published by Gamelord, Ltd. back in '83. Bolding mine. Lee's Guide is a great little book of ten worlds full of Traveller adventure. Each world is given a UPP range like this:

Port X-E Atmo 0-3 Pop 0 LL 0
Size Any Hyd 0-2 Gov 0 TL Any

So you can drop any of these planets into your own campaign. Each world is given one or more possible locations in both the Spinward Marches and Solomani Rim. Very useful stuff. You can get a cheap copy of this book and several other Gamelords classics from ol' Tadashi at his Different Worlds pages. Linky.