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The Starfarer's Gazette #1
Publisher: Terra-Sol Games LLC
by Daniel H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/20/2011 18:40:43

The Starfarer's Gazette is somewhat of a spiritual heir to the old "JTAS" magazine as produced by GDW.

It starts off with some news items (set in the Terra/Sol universe instead of the Spinward Marches though) that help add some flavor for GMs and players, and then heads into a series of detailed articles as can be seen from the TOC in the preview. The central "idea" of the Gazette is that the reviews are published by a travelling starship whose crew visits the listed locations and reviews the products they are given. This is a mildly droll format, and the Gazette does not over-do it, which I appreciated.

"Valediction Freeport" is very nicely done and establishes enough material while leaving quite a lot of leeway for GMs to customize the setting. This semi-legal asteroid port could prove to be a very handy base of operations or at least a consistent destination for spacefaring players looking for legal, barely legal and less-than-legal items.

A new faction called the "Octopi" (or sometimes "Octapi" - I suspect this second form is a typo) is introduced, and could be anything from a rogue group of AIs to a nutty clan of mutants to a full-on alien threat. The Octopi could make a useful recurring "weird contact", and like most things in the Terra/Sol repertoire are detailed enough to be useful but vague enough to use.

Also included are writeups on a few corporations who supply the sorts of goods that players might encounter, as well as some "gun magazine" like reviews of a few of their wares. These reviews read just like an enthusiast magazine's review would and are enjoyable to read as well as introducing new equipment that can be more interesting than, say, a stock "TL-9 AutoPistol".

Curiously, after the end of the gazette on page 55, you have another 20 or so pages of equipment, vehicles and a brand new Traveller career ("Average Joe" - the career for those guys who only get credited as "Office worker #2", "Taxi Driver", "Well Dressed Executive" or "Pretty Waitress" in a movie). I guess this was some material that was too good to leave out, but didn't fit well in the format?

Either way, it's some fun stuff, and the more advanced "stunner" treatment and the ability to pimp your "Agus Familia Viajando" grav car with a rear spoiler and cup holders to protect your rich, neocorinthian leather seats (brought to you by Eridani Aerospace, of course!) holds a lot of potential to spice up a Terra/Sol Traveller game, or any other Traveller game for that matter.

I hope Terra/Sol does more of these Gazettes.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
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The Starfarer's Gazette #1
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