Welcome to our little Review section here on the Open Gaming Network.
We take products and review them, intending to give the reader the best chance of evaluating whether this particular release is for them.
There is, of course, a scoring system, similar to that used elsewhere, in a 5-star rating, which we have determined as follows:
1 * – Bad
2 * – Mediocre
3 * – Decent
4 * – Good
5 * – Excellent
The following review is an OPINION piece and only reflects the opinion and tastes (because ultimately, all reviews will be based on personal taste) of the reviewer.
That disclaimer out of the way, let’s get on with the show!
This week we give you Horizontech Catalog 002 – Unique Starships!
Publisher: Necromancers of the Northwest
Author: Alex Riggs, Joshua Zaback
Cover Artist: Not listed, and neither are the other artists, but editor is Rosa Riggs
Page count: 8 ( 1 page cover, 1 page credits and Open Gaming License combined, 4 page of contents, another page of OGL and 1 page back cover).
As usual, we start with the cover. This shows us some sort of starship, which I’ll be honest, makes me think of the Enterprise from Star Trek, just with added bits. It’s a nice picture, but I’m not sure if it looks “used” as in the title. And I can’t help but notice that the artist for this (and any of the interior pieces) are not credited, which I think is a shame, as they’re good pieces.
Inside we find 5 starships, of Tier 1, 4, 6, 12 and 16. And first, I have to say that while I’m a fan of the ships here, I’d have loved to have a Build Point cost for them as well, so that players can “buy” them if they wish. That’s a minor gripe though since Starfinder obviously ties level to starship tiers. But it’d have been a nice addition.
Secondly, and a bit more of a worry is the fact that none of them have their PCU costs listed. An enterprising GM can easily go back and rework it, but it’d have been nice to have, just as a quick check, in case the PCs manage to fiddle about with the Power Core of the ships.
4 of the ships come with 1 or 2 special abilities as well, which is a nice touch, especially as it makes up for the lack of new equipment or frames in the system. But it makes for some memorable starships that are easily “dragged and dropped” into your campaign.
But let’s jump into the individual ships:
First up is Planet Hopper, a Small light freighter, which both puts me in mind of both the Serenity and the Millenium Falcon. I can almost hear Watto going “Aaah, I have a deal for you. This beauty here can be yours if you have the credits…” – Great ship for a starting campaign (provided there are no more than 6 players), as it is cheap and easy to modify, especially with that special ability.
Next is the Jade Owl. This Large destroyer is a warship and can be run by the players alone (minimum crew of 6), and reminds me of the Corellian corvettes from Star Wars in many ways. If a bit more damaged than they tend to be. Great ship at tier 4, and one I might well implement in my own campaign, even if I might use it as a location instead of a ship. The idea of an ex-pirate’s ship mysteriously vanishing and possibly having treasure aboard would lead many PC groups to gutting the ship trying to find it.
Thirdly is Ha’zaard, a slave ship, and a Huge bulk freighter. Coming in at Tier 6, this ship has clearly been written as an opponent, as it’s the first of the 3 ships to have the stats for the crew. It fits the story of the ship, however. Impressive ship, but the fact that it only has one weapon (an EMP cannon) lets it down a bit. It’s a very nice special ability it comes with though, on behalf of it’s notorious captain.
Then comes Gold Drift Casino, a Huge cruiser (which I thought an odd choice, instead of a freighter). It is exceedingly heavily armed, and anyone running into that super EMP cannon is going to feel that they’ve been nudged. It is a BIT weird that they haven’t put in guest quarters in the expansion bays, for a casino. I suppose they could be without boarding, but since it has a brothel onboard, it comes across as strange that they would only cater to their crew when it comes to amenities.
Finally the Plastic Dragon Inn, a Gargantuan carrier. Coming in at Tier 16, this again is heavily armed with a super X-laser cannon and some other stuff. The story of the ship, with it being an old base for rebellious heroes made me think of Yavin 4, but this place is way more luxurious, so perhaps a better comparison is the Super Star Destroyer if it had luxurious quarters. I really like the potential of this ship, and it’s a nice touch that the Hyperspace engine has been removed, making it a regular and reliable feature for the system where the GM places it.
And so we come to the conclusion:
There are some minor editing issues here, but nothing really important. It’s just a matter of a misplaced word here and there, that the spell checker didn’t catch, as the word is spelled correctly, but doesn’t make sense there. There’s also the oddity of the choice of “no crew stats” for the first 2 ships, but as said, that makes sense given the backstory.
At a price of $1.49, this is great value, IF you’re a GM who either don’t want to (or doesn’t have the time for) create your own starships. Then you have 4 ready made ones here, with some interesting backstories that you can build on, and insert pretty much at will.
As such the verdict for this one stands at 5-stars.
While I can’t say that I LOVE this product, I do find that it’s incredibly useful, if I’m in a rush to throw something at my players. But I would like for you to credit the artists next time. They deserve it. 🙂