Bad on me for not pointing out earlier that Cepheus Journal #5 is now available. This is the first issue without a spaceship on the cover but that doesn’t mean it has any less worthy content. Indeed, though Cepheus Engine started out as an updated instance of the Classic Traveller RPG, as this issue shows it can support a myriad of tabletop role playing game settings from Fantasy to Modern to Sci-Fi.
“High Tech Clothing” takes the everyday mundane and shows one how to make it a useful part of the game setting.
“Making Hell” is another excellent example of how to “read the dice” in the world generation sub-game.
“Jump Setting” explains that handwavium science in terms meant to enhance the player’s (and Referee’s) interaction with the setting.
“Fighting Undead” is useful for incorporating
sci-fi beings fantasy monsters.
“Exotic Chemicals” is a bit more scientific than some may desire but there are some great ideas in here for adventurers.
“Abstract Wealth Rules” is another alternative means of tracking money; maybe a bit too abstract for some but quite useful for settings that want to emphasize play effect over finite tracking of resources.
“The Hidden Temple” is a nice adventure map for a 2d6 dungeon adventure – or a hidden room on a lower-tech world.
“Epsilon Indi” is another ready-made world that can be dropped into an adventure.
“The Sche” is a race of aquatic beings that may look something like shrimp but are so much more.
“British Cold War Tanks” is an example of Cepheus Engine in a modern setting. Needs more exploration from me.
“Old School Rethink” is a new column and it should be the first article in this issue as it really captures the power of the Cepheus Engine. As author Paul Drye explains:
One of the basic premises of the OSR movement is to reproduce the free wheeling feel of early roleplaying and running counter to that are many decisions that were made in those early days which have become set in stone. Players and referees don’t think to challenge them because they’ve been “just the way it’s done” for decades and in doing so miss an opportunity for some fun.
What Paul Drye explains is actually the real reason I love Cepheus Engine; it gives me control over my setting without burdensome IP rights or canonical influences.