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Voices of the Bygone

This article originally appeared in the May/June 2023 issue.

Voices of the Bygone. Michael Brown.
Self-published via DTRPG (no separate website found)
PDF, 1p.

I’ve been looking at what’s available now as opposed to what has come before, or products that only completists might have want to buy, and of course I’ve come across Michael Brown’s stuff.

We know Michael is good, just check out his stuff here on Freelance Traveller if you don’t believe me.

I looked at Voices of the Bygone, and before I started writing this review, I read Timothy Collinson’s review of A Gift Brought More Precious in the May/June 2022 Freelance Traveller, and then re-read his review of the Michael Brown Corpus.

And I have to say that I agree with Timothy for the most part. Michael writes Amber Zones. One page adventures with enough worked out so that you can fill in the rest, slot it into your campaign add the detail that you need and away you go. Amber Zones are more than the idea mines that are Patron Encounters, but not fully-fledged adventures in themselves. There is sufficient there to start with but you’ll still need to do work to bring it to the table for a session.

So if I agree with Timothy why am I writing this review? Well pretty much to let you know he’s right. Michael’s Amber Zones are good, generic and while they follow tried and tested formulas Michael puts in interesting tidbits and twists that invoke and inspire.

The one that I read—The Voices of the Bygone—is about saving a bunch of people who are likely to be slaughtered by the fundamentalist regime that has just come to power. Michael includes some rules about vehicle damage due to bad roads, a bunch of fanatics toting weapons, a map as to the place your player-characters are going to go, an outline of the forces against them and a couple of twists in an otherwise standard rescue mission. It’s interesting, well written, and inspires you to make it your own and run it in your Traveller campaign and generic enough that it will work anywhere. I’m going to use this one myself to be fair. I’m going to put it on a planet in my Traveller universe and have the PCs run the gauntlet. It’s generic so you could play this one as present day:

Just pick a conflict zone and essentially away you go. Or put it anywhere else including the Imperium.

Voices of the Bygone is £0.80 from DriveThruRPG, there is no preview but the intro on the page gives you flavour of what it is. If you want to know the type of thing you are buying then check out Michael’s Amber Zones here on Freelance Traveller. Is it Value? It’s 80 pence which is less than an hour’s parking in my local town centre car park, and less than half the cost of even a small Costa Coffee; so for something that I’m actually going to use myself in my Traveller universe; yes absolutely. This is the type of thing that I wish I would see more of.