Thursday, May 31, 2012

Captain's Logs from the Sandbox 001

Captain's Logs from the Sandbox is a new series from Occult Moon, the publishers of the Toys from the Sandbox. It is an 8 page PDF that provides quite a bit of info for the price ($1.99).

The basic premise is that a virus has broken out on a remote colony in sparsely populated star system. The PCs are tasked with delivering a cure.

Included in CLftS 001 are the following:
Star system map and data files on the primary planetary bodies
Map of the colony on the nearly inhabitable planet
1 major plot hook
6 plot complications, each with 3 twists
5 NPC data files

The implied setting is a fairly generic space opera, complete with alien civilizations and FTL, but it could work equally well with Star Trek, Star Wars, or Traveller, and it wouldn't take much to make it work with a setting like Firefly. The fact that it is so generic makes it eminently useful, even to the point of using it in a completely different genre. Much of it would work in a Wild West or fantasy setting.

Overall I think this is a pretty good product. My only issues are relatively minor ones. I generally prefer printing things, rather than reading them on the computer, so I'd have preferred to see a more printer friendly option. Additionally I also like to print things out using the booklet setting. It saves ink, paper, and space. However I can't fault the guys at Occult Moon for their style choice. I have no idea if my preferences are anywhere close to those of their customer base. Aside from that I would have liked the planetary data files to indicate if the atmosphere is breathable and how many satellites each planet has. Also, seeing how bad I am with coming up with original names I'd have liked it if the 5 NPCs had been given names, rather than just their titles.

The best part about the Captain's Logs series is that issue 002 just came out, and issue 003 will be out next week. The Toys for the Sandbox is on issue 21 of their weekly release schedule. Granted at $1.99 it can add up quickly, but you do get some good stuff for your dollars.

Disclosure: I received a free review copy of this product from Occult Moon.

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