A Gift Brought More Precious
Gift Brought More Precious. Michael Brown.
This article originally appeared in the May/June 2022 issue.
Valentines Day seems the perfect moment to review this one-page adventure from Michael Brown. I said in reviewing his corpus (Freelance Traveller #091, Jan/Feb 2019, p.15) that they’re so short they barely warrant a separate review of their own. But this one has stood out in my mind since reading it so I’m going to make an exception. I’ll be brief.
It’s fairly typical of Mr Brown’s one-page adventures: a quarter of a page of Referee overview and player information and then a column and a half of Referee information. No images, no tables in this case, but two NPCs.
This adventure concerns the PCs on a world with extremely severe winters escorting a couple across several hundred kilometres to get to their overwintering ‘Entrenching’. So much, so standard for these types of things. What’s different is the deteriorating relationship between the married couple. There are simple rules for how this happens and what the PCs can do about it. I can imagine there might be groups for whom this would be complete anathema but for the right group of players and a Referee willing to put the work in, I think this could be a really memorable session.
I said in the review mentioned above that one of the snags of these one-page adventures being ‘generic’ for Cepheus Engine was a certain blandness and lack of atmosphere on occasion. That is absolutely not the case here. Even in the very brief descriptions the couple seem to come alive and their problems are a really excellent counterpoint to the frigid conditions outside the PCs’ vehicle. You can really feel the biting winds and the biting words. The whole comes together in what, I think, is my favourite of these ‘no frills’ offerings.
Perhaps it’s just me, perhaps I’m just an old romantic at heart, but if you want something where the ‘combat’ is psychological than all-guns-blazing, if you want something where the PCs can really make a difference in a small way, if you want to explore nature both environmental and ‘human’, if you want something to really stretch your role playing, then this is worth checking out.