PEG's The Last Parsec: Scientorium – A Classic SciFi Space Opera Full of Wonder, Horror, and the Unknown!
rules have demonstrated time and again to be one of the most portable game systems around. Though its roots are founded in the , the system has provided the backbone of dozens of Official and Third Party campaign settings of all genres high fantasy, comic book superhero, horror, and science fiction.Just last fall, PEG released a new science fiction campaign setting through a very successful Kickstarter Campaign for Savage Worlds Deluxe, the most recent edition of the Core Rules. From that Kickstarter emerged Scientorium, one of three new setting books for The Last Parsec, which takes heroic characters to an massive ancient library filled with danger and mystery hidden in the vast reaches of deep space.The Last Parsec: Scientorium is a setting source book for the use with Pinnacle Entertainment Group’s The Last Parsec space opera universe and is designed to use the Savage World Core Rules and the Savage Worlds Science Fiction Companion for game play. Scientorium comes with setting rules, history and lore, and maps covering the strange ancient library in space, as well as its strange inhabitants and mysteries. In addition, the setting book comes with a massive Plot Point Campaign in which the heroes might well prevent the destruction of billions of lives, if not their own!Production QualityThe production quality of the The Last Parsec: Scientorium is excellent, with brilliant writing and a gorgeous layout to display the book’s contents. The use of fonts and border art are clearly designed to be evocative of a science fiction theme, and the overall presentation is clear and easy to reference. Headers and tables pop off the pages using a glowing electric blue text and borders, and the overall effect is pleasing to the eye and enjoyable to read.The Last Parsec: Scientorium has both PDF bookmarks and a table of contents which is hyperlinked throughout the PDF for quick navigation. There is also an index in the PDF, and although not hyperlinked like the table of contents, offers even more entries and cross references for finding specific information in the bookThe artwork and illustrations in The Last Parsec: Scientorium are quite stunning and gorgeous, and provide ample visions of the strange and alien for the GM and players to enjoy. The front cover depicting a space battle between a starship and alien entity is dramatic and exciting, and the interior illustrations definitely enhance the reading experience and the story. The maps are more designed to be diagrams than actual tactical map tiles, giving scope a basic geography to various locales discussed in the setting book Scientorium is a massive place and would defy any reasonable attempt to map it! On the whole, the map/diagrams are not too bad, but it might have been a nice addition to include a couple tactical maps for use during encounters.Cosmic Conundrums!The Last Parsec: Scientorium is an Adventure Setting, a Plot Point Campaign, and a selection of related Savage Tales all rolled into one sourcebook! Scientorium is divided into six chapters, each covering different facet of the setting, and provides ample content for a wide range of adventures.Chapter One is a short overview of the background of the setting, specifically referencing an Ancient Empire possessing mind-boggling technologies and of the repository of knowledge it left behind the Scientorium. This artificial construct in deep space is the focal point of this setting, and the author discusses here why various character types might be drawn to journey to this library-galactica to explore the secrets of this very old and strange place.The Scientorium itself is described in some detail in Chapter Two and Chapter Three, along with setting rules for this ancient giant space station/super computer. The details and overall alien-ness that the author has created surrounding the Scientorium are reminiscent of classic SciFi novels like Rendezvous with Rama and Ringworld. The Scientorium is strange and dangerous, but also quite wondrous, and unraveling the mysteries of the place should prove incredibly entertaining with players who enjoy exploration as well as action.Chapter Four details the Plot Point Campaign, entitled Palimpsest, in reference to an archeological term for ancient scroll which has been partially erased and re-written with new text, but where the old writing can be recovered and preserved. Without revealing too much of the Plot Point Campaign, it involves traveling across vast uncharted space to the Scientorium, and then using the knowledge found there to discover the location of an ancient derelict fleet full of unknown and presumably valuable technology. That is just the most basic outline of the Plot Point Campaign, and it contains all manner of shady characters, potential betrayal, and horrifying discoveries. Players will find their characters in a position where their every decision could mean life-or-death for millions and millions of sentient folk on dozens of planets certainly the stuff of which Legendary Wild Cards are made!The author provides a selection of 13 Savage Tales in Chapter Five, a combination of plot development adventures, side quests, and strange events for the heroes to experience during their journey to the Scientorium, and concerning the alien artifact itself. The Savage Tales are each about a page or so in length, but are packed with action and adventure for a GM to breathe to life for his players.Finally, Chapter Six is a sort of dramatis persona for The Last Parsec: Scientorium. It provides stats and descriptions of the NPCs who are integral to the Plot Point Campaign and the journey to the ancient library, as well as details about the mysterious aliens left to guard the secrets of the Scientroium the bizarre and creepy looking Librarians.Overall Score: 8.4 out of 10.0ConclusionsThe Last Parsec: Scientorium is a fantastic space opera setting, well suited for players who enjoy not only a good SciFi mystery, but is great for players who also enjoy exploration, action, danger, and adventure! The writing is imaginative and the book is really quite a page-turner once the Plot Point Campaign starts to unfold for the Reader. GMs are likely to be easily inspired by the material in The Last Parsec: Scientorium, and will find there are plenty of ways to add side adventures and Savage Tales to make their own campaign a truly epic one. And given the sheer volume of content and excellent storyline, the price for The Last Parsec: Scientorium is a real deal well worth a look for GMs wanting to bring the awe and mystery of the universe to their SWRPG heroes!Editorial Note: This Reviewer purchased a copy of the product in PDF format from which this review was written.Grade Card (Ratings 0 to 10)
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