Strange Worlds: Ice Planets (SFRPG)
This installment of the Strange Worlds-series 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!
As before in the series, this little pdf is designed to be a one-stop shop resource to avoid flipping through the not always perfect organization of the core book, collecting relevant information for running ice planets in one convenient place, while also adding new material.
As before, we begin with the recaps of temperature and wind, and like before, I would have appreciated inclusion of °C values and kmh for wind speeds – and I’m sure the international audience not accustomed to the imperial systems would mirror this sentiment. Particularly °F are very hard for me to wrap my head around. Anyhow, on a plus-side, the pdf does cover the temperatures that prevent e.g. corpses from decaying, and the visibility section does differentiate between light and heavy snow, and terrain-wise, shallow and deep snow, as well as slush and ice receive proper rules.
The pdf comes with an equipment section that includes cold-weather gear, snow goggles, snow shoes, as well as portable heating units and ground-penetrating radar, which, while cumbersome, is a great little device to carry around. I can see this item be used in cool (haha) explorations.
The pdf also comes with a level 4 vehicle, the snow speeder; while easier to destroy than a police cruiser, it is easier to fight when piloting these. The stats, like the rules pertaining collision etc., check out.
The pdf then proceeds to present 4 different creatures – two of them have blindsight, with the type of blindsight properly noted; alas, both lack the customary range for these senses. One of the creatures also lacks the range for its darkvision. The first creature would be a CR 12 deep cetacean, which is built via the combatant array. The formatting for the multiattack line in the attack range is incorrectly-formatted, but the abilities make it functional. Ice biters are CR 1 mammals, which are mostly noncombatants, using the lower attack value for their only attack Their hard bite can still damage crucial equipment, though…At CR 3, snow goats might be smelly and built for the cold, with a stench aura and all, but their attack value is off, big time – only +5 for a CR 3 combatant? That should be at least +8. Finally, there would be the CR 17 tarrhidan. This guy has the wrong good skill values – they should be +29, not +22. With only a cold aura, these also are not too exciting.
Editing and formatting are good on a formal level, less impressive on a rules-language level. Layout adheres to the series’ two-column full-color standard, and the pdf features nice artworks. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.
Kim Frandsen’s take on ice planets is the roughest of the Strange Worlds so far – the hazard section is once more interesting, but the critters feel rushed, featuring multiple rules-influencing glitches in the respective builds. While this pdf is very inexpensive and thus still potentially worth getting, I can’t go higher than 3 stars for this one.
You can get this inexpensive pdf for a single buck here on OBS!
If you’re enjoying my reviews, please consider leaving a donation, or joining my patreon here. Thank you.