Ætherjack’s Almanac Supplement J1: Dexterity Space Travel (Troika!/system agnostic)
Okay, so this isn’t a numbered installment of the Ætherjack’s Almanac-series; instead, it is essentially a third-party expansion for it. The supplement clocks in at 2 pages, and as before, these are intended to be printed, then folded in the middle; if this is done, you’ll get a pamphlet featuring 3 pages of content.
While originally intended for the Troika!-game and the Ætherjack’s Almanac-series, the system presented herein can be applied beyond the system, hence my “system agnostic”-tag. This review was moved up in my reviewing queue because I am somewhat OCD, and when I found this one, I needed to cover it.
So, here’s the idea: You take the biggest sheet of paper (or tape multiple ones together), and draw upon that your outer space map, representing systems, planets, etc. as blobs, circles, etc.
Then, you get a small disk – a checkers piece, a backgammon piece, etc. – this is the party’s Golden Barge/space-faring vessel. You place this on the map, and if the players want to travel, they have to flick the disk to the place on the map the players want to go to. A flick consumes an appropriate unit of fuel, and if the barge touches a proper place on the map, they may disembark. If the barge reaches a place that doesn’t border on anything, it’s still traveling, and you roll on the 5-entry random encounter-table, which includes fully statted space whales. I loved these, but as a minor nitpick, no mien-table is provided.
Flipping the chip off the map lets you roll 1d6 on a mini-table: On a 5-6, everybody dies. (This is the one thing I’d change for most games, but then again, the table is easy to expand upon/change.)
The pdf also suggests areas that damage the vessel when passing through, space anomalies, etc. – if you know the Dungeon Heroes boardgame, you’ll have a few ideas…
Editing and formatting are very good on a formal and rules-language level. Layout adheres to a one-column standard, and is reminiscent of the earliest computer games, using ACII-style graphics, which I actually enjoyed. The background is black, the text green – very classy and nostalgic. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.
This pdf is a super-simple, super-fun minigame I’m going to use beyond the confines of the system; pretty much whenever you have a vessel with an unreliable drive, regardless of system, this’ll be an awesome way of representing the unreliable propulsion/navigation. Jared Sinclair pretty much delivers a worthwhile, fun supplement worth checking out. 5 stars.
You can get this neat little mini-game here on itch.io!
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