Reviews of Alternity Books
Arms and Equipment Guide (supplement) Rating:
Written in the style of a sales brochure, this supplement provides lots of useful guns and gear for Alternity players. Well illustrated throughout and features some original ideas. Included are stats for personal gear, clothing, utility equipment, weapons, computers, and vehicles. A nice, though not essential addition to the rulebooks for busy GMs too lazy to dream up their own high tech gear.
Starships (supplement) Rating: 7/10
The first section of the book is an expansion of the existing Starship rules are presented in the GM's Guide. Lots of new starship accessories and plenty of sample ships (a few good ones, most are not really exciting to players). Alternity gamers who enjoy creating their own ship designs (like yours truly) will love the expanded options available. In addition, a more detailed ship-to-ship combat system is also included, though maths-haters should probably steer wide of it. One exclusion I would have liked was rules for capital ships, but I guess this will be in a future book. While the ship diagrams are workable, the other interior artwork is amatuerish and detracts from the otherwise well written book. Old-time Traveller players who bought and loved the High Guard book should defintely get this one.
Dataware (supplement) Rating:
StarDrive Campaign (supplement) Rating: 8/10
The 'official' campaign to the Alternity game line provides a lot of information in a well-written style. The first few chapers detailing the history and relationship of the various factions are particularly well done. The last section focuses on the worlds of the Verge with world data and adventure ideas.
Lighthouse (supplement) Rating: 5/10
This campaign expansion focuses on a roaming space station (comparisons with Babylon 5 are inevitable) that wanders the Verge. The idea has great potential but the locations and characters are un-interesting and the artwork is absolutely horrible for a book published by a major company (but typical of TSR supplements). One tip here TSR - send your artists to art classes, huh? In addition, the sample adventures provided are bland and do nothing to enhance this mediocre effort.
The Last Warhulk (Adventure) Rating: 8/10
A much better effort than the previous book, this scenario pits the players against a warhulk (an automated AI capital ship) left over from the Second Galactic War. The warhulk, having been badly damaged in the war has finally succeeded in repairing itself and is now eager to pick up where it left off. Some interesting ideas and subplots, and the AI personality, complete with dark humour is especially well done. Players have to contend with a traitor within their ranks, an assault by a commando team, not to mention a race against time and a Concord fleet massing to blow the warhulk into tiny particles.
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