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Nemesis-class Pursuit Ship

This article originally appeared in the May 2013 issue.

Nemesis-class Pursuit Ship. Michael Thomas.
Spica Publishing. http://www.spicapublishing.co.uk
16pp., softbound
US$11.54/UKú5.47

The first Ship Book does a reasonable job of presenting the material, but it doesn’t feel like it’s the best it could be.

On the Shelf

Face on, you see a black cover with a rendering of the ship with a planet in the background, but no other space-scape, in a light-blue-bordered box. Above this box is a matching blue stripe displaying Spica’s name/logo, and below is a similar blue stripe displaying the name of the product. Below that is the Traveller Compatible Product logo.

Impressions

The cover rendering (repeated in greyscale on the title page) looks incomplete; the artist seems not to have applied any textures to the basic shape, giving an image that looks like glossy injection-molded plastic rather than painted metal. The rest of the artwork is better, ink drawings with good detail.

The description of the ship takes up a quarter of this volume, and one might reasonably argue with the order in which the material is presented; the author placed the room-by-room descriptions before the stat block and deck plan. The numbers on the room descriptions do not match the room numbers on the plan, and some areas marked on the plan are not described.
There is a brief “in-character” sidebar focusing on the three crews profiled in this book, but it’s too brief to give a good picture of any of them, and the ship doesn’t actually appear in any useful fashion.

Following the ship description are the profiles of three different crews, each using the Nemesis in a different role: system patrol, bounty hunting, and criminal organizational enforcement. The crew descriptions also include some comments indicating variation in the use, maintenance, or equipping of the basic Nemesis. The ‘ship personality’ will be heavily influenced by the crew and usage, but in all cases, it’s clear that the premium performance (100t, J2, 6G) comes at the expense of comfort; the ship can only be described as ‘cramped’.

The following two pages profile three different ship’s vehicles: An ATV, a ‘spinner’ (basically an enclosed air/raft), and an armed and armored open air/raft. None of them are presented with enough detail to really establish a ‘vehicle personality’, but it does show the range of possibilities.

Two more pages present adventure seeds using the Nemesis, either as the PCs’ ship, or as opposition.

The remainder of the book is credits, introductory material, and the Open Game License.

Conclusion

Future Ship Books could be improved by ensuring that the description matches the deck plan and putting the stat block and deck plan before the description; by expanding on extra equipment such as vehicles; and by including adventure material where the ship is a focal point of the adventure. Unless you have a ‘thing’ for hardcopy, purchasing this in PDF, at just under half the listed price, might be a better choice.