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21 Plots III

This article originally appeared in the January/February 2023 issue.

21 Plots III. John Watts, Tony Hicks, Wendy Watts.
Independence Games https://independencerpgs.com
24pp., Softcover or PDF
US$12.99(S+P)US$5.99(P)/UKú10.93(S+P)UKú5.04(P)

Well you know … why not? I started with 21 Plots Go Forth, then did 21 Plots, and 21 Plots Too, so might as well complete the first four.

21 Plots III; Patron Encounters; 21 of them … and a Razorshark … wasn’t expecting that. It made me read the first patron encounter again. Still didn’t inspire me to do anything with it, but it at least made me read it twice. The first encounter is on the full size preview so you can see what it is and what you get. This one transporting sea life for a zoo.

Too much intro. It could have been much shorter. Setting specificity that isn’t needed.

“A woman with windswept hair offers the PC’s Cr75,000 and 4 Mid passages to transport her and her beach bronzed team along with locally caught marine life to her home zoo. She will insist that the cargo hold must be flooded to the depth of exactly 2.7 meters with the local aquamarine coloured sea water”

55 words instead of 130 … you compare and tell me what you think. And I know I’m no good at writing adventures for other people.

Anyway the setting starts to creep in to the encounters more as you go through the product. You can kind of guess what they are and how it works, but some of the encounters assume that you have the setting book. Which is not great because if you don’t there is an amount of context you’re missing. Bad form really. If you want to present setting specific patron encounters then they should be in the setting book, not in a stand alone product. I kind of get it; they are trying to get you to buy more of their setting, but it’s not that useful to me because I’m not going to use it. I want the Patron Encounters to be ideas mines. I know I’m going to need to do work on them to fit them into my campaign, but I want them to spark imagination give me somewhere and my players to go that I hadn’t thought of myself, and I don’t want to wade thought walls of text and stuff that just isn’t useful to me and makes it harder for me find inspiration.

Having gone through all 21 Plots in 21 Plots III they are less useful than 21 Plots, and 21 Plots Too. There are less non entities, but they are more uninspiring. There were only a couple that I thought I could or would use in my Traveller Universe.

21 Plots III is $6 from DriveThruRPG. The preview gives you the first Patron Encounter as I said above and it gives you the flavour of the others. Wall of text, setting specificity, 6 options. The preview itself is ok as you know what your going to get. And what about value? The more I go through them the less the value gets. This one and 21 Plots Go Forth not worth the money. Independence Games do more of these 21 Plots. I’m tempted to review the next one, but you know what? I’m pretty sure I know what I’m going to get. I’m pretty sure the first one was their best and it’s gone down hill from there. Hey I might be wrong, but I’m not going to spend money on what I expect is long odds to prove myself wrong.