This article originally appeared in issue #004 of the downloadable PDF magazine.
Dog: Bounties and Warrants. Bryan Steele
Mongoose Publishing http://www.mongoosepublishing.com
Note: The cover shown here is not the same as the cover on the volume purchased by the reviewer. The reviewer's copy has the Strontium Dog logo and the volume title at the top; also, the font for the “Bounties and Warrants” title is somewhat different. The general coloration and artwork are the same, however.
Mongoose brings the referee a handy source of adventure plots.
On the Shelf
Similar to the Judge Dredd sourcebooks, Strontium Dog sourcebooks have full-color, full-page graphic-novel-style artwork, with a characteristic line logo. The “Bounties and Warrants” title is visible, but clearly less prominent than the Strontium Dog line logo, and has been omitted from the spine.
On Closer Inspection
The thirty-nine adventure seeds in this volume are sorted by general danger level, with the least dangerous at the beginning of the book. There are several different types of adventure in each section, ranging from courier-type missions (bring something to/from somewhere, or someone) to apprehensions, recoveries, or confiscations. The adventures are grouped into four sections, labelled “The Good”, “The Bad”, “The Ugly”, and “The Really Ugly”, and each section has a table at the beginning allowing the referee to choose one of the adventures in the section with a d66 roll (or a d6 roll, for the Really Ugly). Unfortunately, while the tables each have a column for the page on which each adventure could be found, those columns were never filled in, and the book was printed with “XX” in that column.
Each adventure starts with a summary description giving some basic background for the adventure and the reason it’s a warrant, and a brief description of the requirements of the warrant. There is also a “Warrant Card” that contains the information that can be given to the players. This is followed by the actual seed itself, outlining the scene, available actions, and mandatory encounters. A section on possible complications may follow this, in the more dangerous adventures. Finally, each adventure has a “Debriefing” section which summarizes for the referee how to figure the payoff to the PCs at the end of the adventure.
The volume concludes with a short section of potentially useful additional equipment that the referee may choose to make available.
Like any adventure seed volume, this can be a useful tool for a referee looking to get an adventure up and running quickly, though only for a Strontium Dog setting/campaign. Outside such a campaign, a significant amount of work on the referee’s part to ‘sanitize’ the adventures, or ‘file off the serial numbers’, would be required, but the task would not be impossible.