This article originally appeared in the January/February 2021 issue.
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Geptorem is an approved for use with Traveller product that describes a world setting and provides a coloured world map. 2 pages of these are artwork, one is an introduction mood piece to begin the module the other page depicts four animal types that might be encountered. Opposite the drawings of the animals are their descriptions which are ok but not particularly inspiring.
Geptorem has stylised ritual warfare which is conducted within a strict honour code and these wars are supposedly happening all the time; however we are not introduced to this stylised warfare or their strict honour code in any way, which would be useful as it directs their lives, percolates throughout their culture, ensures the young are protected, and along with identical economies and inter-region trade brings all the factions together to form a fiercely loyal (to Geptorem not any faction) joint planetary defence force, research and off-planet trade.
Geptorems are blue tinted humans who live in five different areas each controlled by a monarch that the module gives a brief description of each and who and how often they fight amongst themselves.
There are three pages of tables for weather, animal encounters in ocean, jungle, wastelands and plains (each of these areas is described in the early part of the module), along with mineral tables and a description and composition of a war party.
The module then goes on to detail the planetary defence centres and the planetary defence fleet, well I say detail the defence fleet is just lines of High Guard Universal Ship Profiles e.g.,
That’s it, nothing else, and then it details the capitals of each of the areas mentioned with the sovereigns above. The descriptions are meh “The Armory holds 3000 tons of every imaginable weapon of tech level 9” or “There are 300 personnel here all armoured in Jack and carrying Laser Carbines”. They do try and make the flavour of each capital different through the detail. Some hold slaves and have a colosseum, one holds jewels and gems, another mind controlled off world slaves, however most (read all) of which is bland and uninspiring.
Ok so this is an early eighties low budget publication when there was not much else about, and how does it compare to its peers published in the same year? Adventure 6: Expedition to Zhodane? No comparison Adventure 6 is hands down way better. The Legend of the Sky Raiders; enough said Geptorem is just out classed in every way. Even the not so legendary adventures such as Amycus Probe leave this in the shade.
Geptorem is missing, well … an adventure, adventure seeds, adventure hooks, and a reason for the PCs to go there. If you are going to buy stuff then this is the type of stuff you want the author to help you with. Even if you are buying background material you want it to kick off ideas, be evocative, be engaging and have something that you can get your teeth into. Geptorem just doesn’t.
Maybe it’s me. Maybe it’s because I’m looking at this with 40 years of games design and ideas behind me, but I have to say even if I’d have picked this up back in the day I’d have been disappointed. It’s better than a bunch of stats and a map, but not much. There is nothing that most couldn’t do better themselves, and from a current perspective there is so much free stuff out there to make this just well worthless from a gaming perspective. Completists only I’d say for a price that matches its rarity. If you want usable gaming material look elsewhere.