This 14 page PDF provides a weapon ?design? system for the Starcluster 2nd edition RPG. Design is in quotes because the system doesn?t let you design weapons whole cloth, instead the system lets you modify the parameters of the generic weapon entries in the Starcluster rules. These modifications can be either improvements, such as greater range, or detriments, such as an increased cost. All such improvements must be balanced out by detriments, in the weapons other parameters. The parameters features follow a linear or stepped scale for each change.
The design parameters are Range, Concealability, Damage, Cost, Mode (single shot/Burst/Full auto), Skills Required (complexity & number of skills required for use & maintenance of weapon), Ammo Cost, & Accuracy. Each parameter and its associated step costs and improvement/detriment definitions are explained in order, followed by a long list of design examples & flavorful weapon write-ups based on the weapon mod described. For instance the Auto Pistol definition is modified to produce the Kearny and Southern?s Model 1510 Target Pistol.
Kearny and Southern?s Model 1510 Target Pistol:
?Kearny and Southern are a well known design house on Mickey?s Birthday, and their designs are well respected throughout Mickey?s Birthday?s area of influence. Their Model 1510 is a popular product, light, accurate, and long ranged. The trademark extra long 9mm barrel and cannon breach mechanism make it very recognizable, if a bit bulky, and the flip up telescopic sight is a welcome addition. These pistols, of local manufacture from Kearny and Southern plans, are available throughout Guaru space.?
Which is much more flavorful and interesting, than ?Auto Pistol?. A number of custom & fairly exotic melee weapons design examples & write-ups, such as the ?Magma Industries Cerablade 4000? are included as well.
Even though it is not a ?true? design system, such as say BTRC?s Guns, Guns, Guns it is still an excellent product as it allows you to adapt the full generic weapon list from Starcluster 2nd, provided at the end of the PDF, into a suite of customized, flavorful weapons reflecting the nature of the worlds & cultures that produced them.
The PDF is laid out as a single column in readable type. My copy didn?t have bookmarks for some reason, which would make for easier navigation of the document. It includes a couple of illustrations of the custom design write-ups, and the cover has an illustration of some kind of female trooper with a very large gun in a vest & helmet, in the ?trademark? watercolorized Starcluster style, I didn?t find it particularly appealing.
Overall I think this system is excellent and adds some important flavor & interest to Starcluster?s boring generic weapons list, and it allows the GM and players to unleash their inner gun-nut. I recommend it for players who want to add some zest to starcluster?s weapon list. With the Weapon design guide, instead of carrying a laser pistol - fully automatic, they can carry a Sister Waffenwerk (SWW) Model 21A Ganglaser, which sounds much cooler.
LIKED: Streamlined, well-explained system, flavorful example write-ups.
DISLIKED: No bookmarks? Could have used more weapons illos, as there is no such thing as too much gun-porn!
QUALITY: Very Good
[THIS REVIEW WAS EDITED]