Strange Worlds: Desert Planets (SFRPG)
This pdf clocks in at 16 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement, leaving us with 11 pages of content, so let’s take a look!
So, this book compiles some information from the core rulebook and expands upon it – it is essentially a small, one-stop shop guide for rules pertaining desert planets – as such, we begin with recapping the heat damage; after this, we have the food and water requirements, and then a recap of winds and visibility – essentially all the relevant information, compiled and without a need to flip through the Starfinder book and its not exactly perfect organization. The pdf then proceeds to depict hazards – namely rules for duststorms, or the flesh-eater swarm – miniscule insects, driven by wind, which chew threw armor pretty quickly. Minor nitpick here: The damage caused by the swarm is untyped, when typing might have made sense here. Much to my chagrin, a chance was lost to make this more appealing: I bet I’m not the only international SFRPG-fan who thinks that °F make no sense, so having tables for °C for temperatures, wind speeds in km/h, etc. would have been an easy way to add incentives to buy this.
The pdf then proceeds to differentiate between shallow sand, deep sand, rocky terrain, etc., before codifying mirages, which deserves special mentioning, as it does account for magic interaction etc.
The pdf then proceeds to provide some new items – dew collectors to manage water supplies, mobile fortress homes (a Gargantuan vehicle) that has been properly built (collision damage etc. check out), the Dune-esque moisturizer suit, solar panels…and there are sand knives that are made of glass and can help deliver poison. The latter have a unique, kinda mystical angle I enjoyed, which prevents them from poisoning their creator. The moisture suits are btw. more expensive than comparable suits and akin to the D-suit for the item level – but they lack the upgrade slot, so as a whole, no complaints there.
The pdf also contains 3 creatures, each of which comes with its own full-color artwork: At CR 7, we have desert stalkers, animals using the combatant array, with Fort- and Will-save switched. They get a limited pounce as well as a Con-track poison. Solid build. AT CR 1 we have dust rates (also combatant array) that gets better when they consume heavily armored targets. Cool critter, but they are missing the animal graft’s benefits, and their blindsight lacks a range. Finally, there is the CR 20 sand annelid, essentially a dune worm. This fellow is a Colossal magical beast, with an extended reach when charging, as well as movement that is easy to track by blindsight or blindsense, provided either is (vibration)-based. It’s a solid, if not very exciting build, with minor modifications to graft-based benefits.
Editing and formatting are good on a formal and rules-language level. Layout adheres to a nice two-column full-color standard, and the pdf sports quite a few nice full-color artworks. The pdf comes with proper bookmarks, which is a nice touch.
Want a handy reference that collects desert planet-relevant material in one handy pdf, with a couple of new components and some critters? Well, then Kim Frandsen’s extremely affordable desert planet file delivers; This costs a single buck. Is this mind-blowing? No, but it is handy, and it is worth the asking price. As such, my final verdict will be 3.5 stars, rounded up due to the very low and fair asking price.
You can get this inexpensive supplement here on OBS!
If you’re enjoying my reviews, consider leaving a donation, or joining my patreon.