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Precinct 12

This article originally appeared in the May/June 2021 issue.

Precinct 12. Felbrigg Herriot.
Self-published, no website found.
29pp., PDF

There is crime and corruption in startown. (No, really?) Someone has to be assigned to try to at least keep it from being too out of control. Regardless of the organization’s name, the people who do that job are police.

Precinct 12 describes both the organization that tries to keep crime down in startown, and startown itself (principally those aspects that are relevant to the police force). You get an overview of various offices and organizations that operate within the starport and startown, quick profiles of important NPCs, overviews of various neighborhoods of startown, some basic equipment, and incidents that might require police involvement.

You also get a career progression; since the objective of this process is to generate a cop on active duty, it differs somewhat from the standard career – for example, you don’t roll survival, and failing the re-enlistment roll just means that you start your ‘adventuring’ as a startown cop. The career includes four skills that are not part of the standard set; these are specifically limited to what a police officer might know, rather than a more general equivalent skill – for example, “first aid” is not a medical skill but represents sufficient knowledge and ability to keep the victim alive long enough for the real medics to get there.

Finally, you get a set of tables that you can use (if imagination fails you) to generate crime events for startown police characters to have to address and a handful of examples. The crimes involved can be anything from murder or industrial sabotage to a grifter’s con game to commercial or political corruption to an international (interstellar) incident.

While it isn’t a good match for my image of a startown police department, it works well enough to be useful, and not necessarily just for startown police; much of what is here would be reasonably applied to almost any urban environment. It is definitely worth the price, and actually comes in somewhat below the price I would offer if this had been priced as ‘pay what you want’.