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Denizens II: Biaxial System

This article originally appeared in the October 2013 issue.

Denizens II: Biaxial System. Travis Leichssenring et alia.
K Studio http://dtrpg.com?manufacturers_id=2843
96pp., PDF

Denizens II: Biaxial System details a single world in Foreven Sector. It is written for Mongoose Traveller, but can easily be adapted for other editions.

K Studio’s previous volume in this series, Denizens I, focused on characters. Despite the implications of “Denizens II” in the title, the focus in this work is not on characters; rather, this is a sourcebook providing an overview of the world of Biaxial and its highport. You get a reasonably good overview of the culture and history of the world, certainly enough to provide good ‘flavor’ for an adventure, with details left to the referee to suit the needs of the campaign. There are some organizational problems with the writing; several topics that should reasonably be separate paragraphs are often run together and/or intermixed in a single paragraph.

Profiles of two characters are provided. A standard résumé and picture are provided for each, along with color text similar to what you might find in the original JTAS “Casual Encounter” section, or Freelance Traveller’s “Up Close and Personal” section.

The Library Data section makes for interesting reading, and provides a few useful animal encounters. Some extensive entries on two martial arts and an order of warrior monks make up the bulk of this section. As interesting as this section is, it somehow left me feeling unsatisfied; perhaps more entries would have helped.

The bulk of the volume is the section on ships, which is really a section on Biaxial Highport. Plenty of information is provided, without turning it into a stifling and restrictive setting, and leaving enough detail unspecified so that a referee could customize it to the needs of his own campaign—which need not be set at Biaxial. Some of it reads like a tourist brochure, but you do get a sense of what you might expect to find in such a place, from living quarters to entertainments. Some of the text, such as the section on the Ranatu, might have been better included in the Library Data section. Complete deckplans are provided, along with specs and plans for two small craft, a 20-dton launch and a 90-dton shuttle. The detailed deck plans for the highport take up just about half of the section.

Many of the illustrations have that not-quite-photographic look that has come to signal a lot of time spent on modeling for high-quality renders—well-spent, in this case; they add to the product.

Overall, a nice supplement, worth having even if you don’t play at Biaxial; most of the information here can easily be tweaked to fit the needs of virtually any campaign. The authors have clearly put a lot of thought into the development of the world as a setting, and presented it well. Some professional editing help would have improved the product, but that’s true of most products in an industry that operates on shoestring margins.