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Blood and Space: d20 Starship Adventure Toolkit $8.95 $4.00
Publisher: RPG Objects
by Michael T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/28/2005 00:00:00

Blood and Space is a D20 Modern supplement that provided much needed info for science fiction campaigns. It has since been updated to D20 Future in a series of separate installments. This book contains all of that information (pre-D20 Future update) condensed into 118 pages of sci-fi goodness. Back in the day, compatibility with Dungeons & Dragons (and the now defunct Dragon*Star setting) was deemed necessary. These days it might seem quaint (?aww, look, they have alignments!?). So Blood and Space can be used with both D20 Fantasy and D20 Modern.<br><br><b>LIKED</b>: There are plenty of feats here, many of them having to do with spaceship combat. Pilot-type feats were lacking in D20 Modern, so it?s great to see them fleshed out here. There?s lots of equipment, although in a science fiction campaign this is probably the trickiest to choose from. Progress Levels in D20 Future helped provide a baseline, but all the options are here, including the Tesla Rifle and Orbital Insertion Armor.

Speaking of orbital insertion, there are also complete starship design rules that were sorely missing from D20 Modern. You pick the hull, engine, defensive/offensive systems and you?re good to go. This is a significant chunk of the book (pages 48-70). Then there are rules for crews and starship combat. There?s so much here that it?s almost like playing an entirely new game. Given that the vehicle rules for D20 Modern are lacking, this is a Good Thing ?.

After detailing a bunch of space hazards, there are a host of sample ships. Which is a good thing, because I?m not so sure I?d want to build too many ships on my own. They are all professionally illustrated. As always, the layout and design perfectly matches the theme.
<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: As a result of its broad compatibility, there are a host of 20-level classes that might seem incongruous for a Modern campaign. You can pretty much divide them in half without effort, condensing each class?s powers into 10 levels. But still, that might annoy folks looking for a D20 Modern plug-in. All the archetypes are here, from the Doctor to the Hotshot, the Marine to the Mercenary, the Smuggler to the Starship Officer. There are also Prestige (Advanced for you Modern folk) classes, with the obligatory Colonial Marine. To blow up aliens that are black and look like bugs and eat your brains.

For better or worse, the classes are tightly integrated to the setting. You can?t just use the Starship Commander prestige class without modification, because it has the Voice of Command ability. This ability involves issuing Orders. Orders are part of the starship combat rules unique to this supplement.

I?m very picky about my skills. I don?t like seeing new skills in a game unless absolutely necessary, and I haven?t really seen an argument today that convinced me the skill should be added. D20 allows skills to be added via Craft, Knowledge, and Profession, so I expect most of the new skills to show up there. Blood and Space adds skills like Communication Operations, Merchant, Sensor Operations and Tactics that could all be turned into Knowledge skills. It also repeats some of the D20 Modern skills like Computer Use, Demolitions, etc.

The only real flaw in this supplement is that it?s true to itself. As a self-contained package, Blood and Space is very much a toolkit for any D20 campaign. The fact that D20 Future now provides more official rules should not diminish its value. But still, for folks who want a toolkit that?s compatible with D20 Future, the other supplements from RPGObjects should do nicely. <br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Excellent<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br>



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