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The Farscape Role Playing Game: Page 2

Review by: IASA Pilot 13 

Chapters Five and Six: “You’re a Plant ?!?!?”

Click for a larger imageOh you’ve stepped in it now…. This is where the game really begins. These chapters cover character creation, from creation to occupation. Sometimes it feels like you actually are raising a child with all the work involved, minus the potty training. (Unless you are playing Rygel on a very special episode of Muppet Babies.) Begin with the scores of Strength, Intelligence, Wisdom, Dexterity, Constitution and Wisdom that you rolled (See, the dice are used!) with the help of a d20 Sourcebook. (They recommend Dungeons and Dragons 3rd edition, but I found AEG’s Spycraft or the revised Star Wars more helpful, as much as I hated giving Lucas any more of my money.) Following that, the character’s race is chosen, with their inherent liabilities and benefits added. Strength seems to get top billing in this game, as races with strength bonuses often acquire or naturally develop special abilities. 

Further, a character’s hit die/hit points (the ability to take damage until death) are determined by their race. The Luxan race is by far the toughest, with the Nebari rounding out the races as the weakest. (I knew Rygel was a gamer!!!!) There are no listings for humans in this game, only Sebaceans and their offshoots. Players may want to use the human rules from Star Wars, Spycraft, or D&D. For the ambitious, you could even port over some of the races and classes from any of the other d20 systems, provided you have your Narrators support. Speaking of classes, I will cover them later in this review. In closing, chapter 5 is a well-rounded chapter with a lot to be excited about. It seems relatively well balanced, as no one race appears to have a glaring advantage over the other. For the non-gamer, it’s a quick reference to the strengths and weakness each race/culture possess in the Farscape Universe.

Click for a larger imageChapter Eight: “ They Spit Fire?! How come nobody tells me this stuff ?!?!

This segment covers everything from dodging bullets to farting helium, elaborating on the many powers, skills, and feats shown on Farscape. Skills allow the characters to repair various items, use computers, pilot vessels, negotiate, and utilize security systems. Players can use and accumulate new skills as the campaign unfolds. There are numerous skills listed in the Farscape book, and even more in almost every d20 sourcebook out there. The new skills of Farscape seem fitting for the environment, and relatively well balanced for play. The only detrimental details found in the skills section involve some missing Difficulty Class (DC) checks, which can easily be supplemented by the Spycraft or Star Wars Source Books.

Click for a larger imageFollowing skills are Feats, which are special talents, abilities, and/or knowledge that are just a tad more potent than your average skill. A majority of the feats are combat-oriented in nature, as feats are typically used during conflicts in all the d20 systems. However, there are exceptions to this rule, as “The Touch” (No, not the song Dirk Diggler sang in Boogie Night….) allows the players to re-roll failed skill checks. This is a novel, welcome feat in my opinion. As for the remaining feats, they are also well done. Nothing appears too outrageous or excessive as to abnormally effect game play.

Finally, Powers are unique abilities related to the character’s class. (I still haven’t written on the class structure…. Is that foreshadowing?) Typically, only Mystic and Priest characters possess or acquire power(s). Each power ability has a casting cost, and if done poorly, can affect the caster and their party. A majority of the abilities are moderate in effect, typically improving the user’s defense or knowledge. Further, there are a variety of telekinetic, telepathic, and shape shifting abilities, presented in a resourceful and evenhanded manner.

For the non-gamer/fan, I really don’t know how this chapter of the game would benefit you…. I suppose it has some cool pictures, and if you need some remedial work on your ABC’s, the segments are in alphabetical order.

Click for a larger imageChapter Nine: “Winona has been very reliable….”

Admittedly it’s a short chapter, but its got enough goodies to make even Charlton Heston do a double take. Qualta Blades, Tavlek Gauntlets (with normal and extra strength juice packs), and the finest Peacekeeper Weaponry are available for your enjoyment. But wait, there’s more…. Act now and you will get access to Food cubes (Mmmm Crackers), Nebari Control Collars, and the fashionable yet functional Peacekeeper armor types. This chapter also includes a paragraph on Translator Microbes. In conclusion, it’s a very tight chapter with current (end of season 2) weapons and equipment, realistically clarified and efficiently organized.

For the non-gamer/fan, it has several detailed pictures of the actual props used on set, and a few standard publicity shots of the crew. 

Chapters Twelve and Thirteen: “Lassie here is trying to communicate with us….”

Click for a larger imageThere is little for the non-gamer/fan to consume in these two segments, but provides a surprisingly adequate source of information for the campaign’s Narrator. The troubleshooting section is quite nice, giving the novice game master a checklist of potential problems, and several ways to steer clear of these obstacles. Further, this portion of the book elaborates on pacing and delivering of the Narrator’s campaign plot, and provides insight on how to perpetuate a good story arc with a variety of characters. In chapter 13, the Narrator is given a variety of critters with which to challenge his players with. While the presentation is simplistic, the art is solid and the statistics informative. Included within an individual critter-type profile are strengths, interactions with other races, environmental factors, behavioral traits, and more. For the role players out there, it’s simply a shrewd Mini-Monster Manual. Gamers and non-role players alike will find the various never-seen on television life forms have retained the flavor of Farscape, as ample teeth and an appetite for Sebacean flesh are everywhere to be found. Simply put, its just one more imaginative section that helps bring the Uncharted Territories to life…. in places other than under your bed.

...Continued on Page 3


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