This article originally appeared in Issue #011 of the downloadable PDF magazine.
d66 Compendium. Dale C. McCoy, Jr. and Albert Beddow, Jr.
Jon Brazer Enterprises http://www.jonbrazer.com
Jon Brazer Enterprises has taken a simple idea and turned it into a convenient tool for the rushed referee.
On the Shelf
The black cover is centered around a large graphic of a starship-over-planet scene. Below the graphic are the Foreven Free Sector logo and the Traveller Compatible Product logo; above is the Jon Brazer Enterprises logo (done in black with a dark-green ‘glow’) and the product title. The ‘d66’ is rendered as the letter ‘d’ followed by two die images displaying the six side, rather than as numerals.
The book is laid out well; with comparatively large type and alternating grey and white bands in the lists, it is not at all difficult to read. Most pages have two lists per page; several have only one list and some artwork (but the list items are long enough to preclude putting a second list on the page), and a very few pages – basically, just the first page of a section – are essentially full-page art.
On Closer Inspection
The individual lists are generally unexciting, and ‘prosaic’ would not be inappropriate for some. Few of the entries provoke sufficient interest in and of themselves to cause players to ask ‘what is that?’; it is left up to the referee to establish the context to provoke such questions. Arguably, that’s the right place for it, but would a referee who feels the need to use a product like this feel himself generally to be in a position to expand upon a mere three-word description? For some of the lists – especially some of the ‘ethnic’ name lists – the player or referee that is familiar with the Traveller canon in some detail could question the sources for the lists, but this doesn’t really detract from the utility of the product.
One can play Traveller, and one can play with Traveller. Those who do the latter probably don’t need a product like this; in fact, they’re the ones that are most likely to create such products. Nevertheless, for the referee who seeks to minimize the time preparing for an adventure, or who suddenly finds himself at a loss for a name or an item of some sort, lists and compilations of lists like this can be quite useful. On that basis, the sheer number of lists makes this a good value.