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Cold Space Vehicle Design Guide
Publisher: Better Mousetrap Games
by Rob M. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/28/2005 00:00:00

This 11 page PDF provides a vehicle ?design? system for the Cold Space RPG. Design is in quotes because the system doesn?t let you design vehicles whole cloth, instead the system lets you modify the parameters of stock vehicles. All such improvements must be balanced out by detriments, in the vehicles other parameters, so you could take increased speed, an improvement, at the cost of increased mass, a detriment, for instance (these changes might not make all that much sense at first glance, as in the previous case.) Each parameter has a different cost structure to these changes, Range (operating range) requires a progressively greater changes to implement a 10% improvement, while mass provides a progressively greater gain in other parameters for each 10% detriment. The other parameters features follow a linear or stepped scale.

The design parameters are Range (operating range), Mass, Mounted Weaponry, Mounted Weaponry Accuracy, Armor, Speed, Carrying Capacity, Maneuverability, Simplicity (how complex the vehicle is and what kind of support & maintenance it therefore requires), Terrain Rating (types of terrains the vehicle can traverse without penalty), and Cost (the favored dumping ground for offsetting improvements.).

Each parameter and its associated step costs and improvement/detriment definitions are explained in order, followed by a number of examples and a fair sized list of stock vehicles at a variety of tech levels/periods from the Cold Space setting. Included in the stock vehicles are a jeep, tank, older jet, and then more exotic fun such as contra-grav gunships and an aerospace interceptor that is able to achieve orbit via contra-grav tech.

Overall the system seems workable and reasonable, however, as stated it is not a true design system along the lines of GURPS Vehicles, or CORPS VDS, or even HERO system vehicle design, but more a tweak/customization system for vehicles in the setting. In order for this to be effective, there should be a large list of vehicles from the setting, preferably from various eras of the games timeline, for the players to tweak, which isn?t included in this product.

The PDF is laid out as a single column in readable type with bookmarks to each section. It includes a few small vehicle illustrations, and the cover has a nice illustration of an F-108A Rapier delta wing style aerospace fighter, circa 1964.

Overall I think this system is pretty workable and can be used to unleash the GM & players inner gear-head in tweaking various vehicles, whether their personal ride, or as part of a plot involving a prototype or some such. So I recommend it for people who are looking for a bit of gear-head focus in the arms race for their Cold Space campaign.

<br><br> <b>LIKED</b>: Streamlined, well-explained system.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: Not a full-on design system, thus needs more stock vehicles to be more useful.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Acceptable<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br>

[3 of 5 Stars!]