Six Guns Rescue Organizations
This article originally appeared in the June 2013 issue.
Six Guns Rescue Organizations. Martin J. Dougherty.
Terra/Sol Games. http://terrasolgames.com.
Traveller has long suffered from many gaps with referees having to make do and create their own workarounds. One of those gaps is what the future’s equivalent of the Coast Guard is. Part of you, might think the Scouts whereas, others, say Navy and still others COACC. However, in almost any Traveller as everything does revolve essentially around a profit, why not the business of saving lives?
In steps Terra-Sol Games with an excellent Six Guns Supplement that highlights different rescue organizations of the Twilight Sector (although, these can easily be adapted to any Traveller milieu including the OTU). For those who are not in the know, Six Guns is the generic name for their supplements - whether they feature guns or not. And, it is best described as a mini-supplement for it has more meat than a ’zine yet not enough for a full blown book or treatise.
Rescue organizations, as outlined above are driven mainly by the profit motive, although, altruism is expected from its members. Much as some communities have privatized fire fighting or garbage collection—Traveller rules the State (i.e. the Third Imperium) has no business in the affairs of Planetary Governments and the same is true for much of the Twilight Sector.
First, there is a description of the myriad of organizations that can be found. Whether they are the future’s Boy Scouts, heroic rescuers, or just people just above scavengers in the food chain or somewhere in-between, they are lovingly described. They are presented with all their glory and flaws giving lots of inspiration to referees to create their own based upon these archetypal organizations. The descriptions are sound and based upon a good sense of the Space Opera aspect of the milieu yet achieving the right balance for those who favour a harder edge. So once again, TSG achieves the balance between Hard and Soft Science Fiction that makes Traveller work.
Some gear is thrown in for good measure. The gear is what constitutes a rescue ball and a wilderness survival kit. Both are essential for this supplement. They do have deck plans also of typical rescue ship along with the description of a rescue missile here—this is where it got to be a bit too much Gerry Anderson for my liking. But, as with all TSG products, it is completely for the referee to decide to incorporate it into her/his campaign. So, I think I will pass on the rescue missile. Good thought has been placed into creating these lists, as all too often one thinks of a future survival kit as a type of futuristic Swiss Army Knife… not so here. There is enough equipment that people will not die… but peril remains a real threat.
Lastly presented is the Chargen for a typical rescue organization. The rules follow what they did in Tinker, Spacer, Psion, Spy—a variant on the Mongoose rules but still perfectly serviceable with the Mongoose Traveller rules. So it is a ‘lite’ version.
Terra Sol Games was good enough to throw in some details of their FTL system. While this is specific to their variant, it still presents some ideas for referees who might be toying with leaving the OTU or at least expanding experimental technologies available to the OTU.
The art continues to generate the WOW factor in me. Although, by all accounts it is excellent, it is clear like the writing was motivated by impish imagination. Although, the art does repeat itself it can hardly be expected that a 50 page supplement would not have some repeating art from a small publisher. The writing is standard MJD: clear and concise with a measure of wit thrown in.