[Editor's Note: Thanks to an agreement between BITS and Steve Jackson Games, all BITS supplements are available in North America through Steve Jackson Games. You can find contact information for Steve Jackson Games in the Traveller FAQ in the Freelance Traveller Information Center. Ordering information for all BITS products can be found on the Steve Jackson Games Catalog page.]
Another offering from the BITS stable of handy referee play aids. This time "a selection of places offering accommodation, food and drink, a place to meet other people, and find services of every possible type..." as the sub-title has it.
Following the now usual BITS format, a brief introduction precedes some 37 pages of entries. The introduction explains the format of the entries as well as notes on adapting the locations to alien worlds. It should be noted that the book is fairly generic and could easily be used in any Traveller era. The rendezvous are divided into nine categories from accomodation through education to starport.
The actual entries provide a brief indication of where the 'rendezvous' would most likely be found; a description of the building which is usually the longest portion of each entry; notes on the costs associated with the building (not the cost of the building (!) but for a hotel, for example, the average cost of a room, or in a bar, the average price of a drink); a paragraph on characters that might be associated with the place and finally 'play options' which give tips on actual role play possibilities.
While there is sufficient detail in each entry to give the referee enough meat to work with, the book is geared towards the role-playing aspects of adventuring rather than the nitty gritty of how many toilets there might be. Thus there are no floor plans (which in a book of this size would take up valuable room) and the referee would have to create these from scratch were they required. However, there is plenty of detail to make these places and people come alive. Players are likely to remember some of them for a long time to come.
Bringing up the rear are a glossary explaining some of the 'background' details the text mentions - these, however, are very generic and could easily be adapted to any on-going campaign. An index is provided which simply lists the rendezvous in the order the book presents them.
Two further comments: the cover is one of the best '101' covers to date with what looks like a family group approaching an interesting building complex. And, as usual, the authors' sense of subtle humour brightens the text here and there with such delights as the seedy taxi firm 'Itzjuscumin'.
Should inspiration be required whilst setting up an adventure or in the middle of one when players leave the yellow-brick road that's been so carefully planned, this book will give plenty of ideas that will either give time to recover or even spark a whole new direction. The husband and wife team who've produced this book have created a very worthwhile addition to any referee's handy reference sources.