Free Role Playing Game Supplement Review: Rude Awakening

Rude Awakening by Michael Tumey is a free role playing game supplement published by Gamer Printshop for use with the Starfinder Roleplaying Game. As such, the supplement is covered by the Open Game License and some parts of it are considered to be Open Game Content as a result. This is an adventure aimed at four 1st level characters.

The supplement consists of three files. The main file is the actual adventure, which is 18 pages long. Two pages of this are the colour front and rear covers, one page is front matter, one page is the Table of Contents and one page is the Open Game License.

The next file is a zip file containing two 100 pixel resolution jpgs of the maps intended to be used with virtual tabletops.

Rude AwakeningThe final file is a layered 51 page PDF. One page of this is instructions, one page is a large map of the main ship, one page a large map of the secondary ship and the remaining pages can be printed out to assemble the two maps at an even larger scale. The maps can be customised, with various elements made visible or not using the layers.

The actual adventure starts with the Author’s Note and Introduction. The adventure was originally an entry in the 2016 One Page Dungeon Contest, and was system agnostic. It has been updated for use with the Starfinder game.

One page is an introduction to the adventure. The characters are in cold sleep on a slower than light ship travelling to a colony. After the ship is attacked, and then boarded by scavengers, they get awakened from a cold sleep a lot longer than was originally planned.

The characters must then proceed through the ship, which is a linear journey, to an intact secondary craft, overcoming various hazards along the way, such as areas open to vacuum, hazards caused by damage and the scavengers trying to strip the place.

There are then two appendices. The first is for new equipment and systems, which includes the cryogenic pods, and the second is for cold sleep effects – cryogenic pods are not the safest way to travel.

The adventure lacks bookmarks, which would have been helpful, even given its brevity, although the map PDF does have them. The Table of Contents covers the major sections. Navigation could be quite a bit better,

The text maintains a two column format and quite a few errors were noticed. The problems aren’t so much spelling errors but awkward use of English; some parts do not read very well and others simply do not seem to make sense. This does detract from the adventure. The PDF is full colour with borders and quite a few colour illustrations as well as the maps. Presentation is therefore well above average.

One thing about the map of the main spaceship. It is nice but, perhaps because it’s intended to give a dungeon-like feel, it doesn’t quite make sense as a spaceship, as the various locations do not sit next to each other but, instead, are separated by what can only be assumed are several metres of solid metal. Which is unlikely to say the least. There may have been design reasons for this but the finished outcome is one that does not make a whole lot of rational sense.

The adventure itself feels a bit like some video games, where the player starts off with very little in the way of supplies and has to gradually acquire them, going through dangerous situations and enemies (Quake 2 for example). It is also very linear in nature, which may or may not be a problem. Players simply can’t divert from the planned route as the ship they are on is too badly damaged.

This looks very nice and is well presented. The adventure is decent enough, if linear, although the text errors are a bit of a problem. The complaint regarding the main map is more based on realism than anything else; the maps are the definite focal point of the supplement. Despite a few problems, Rude Awakening is okay and it can be downloaded for free by clicking here.

 

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