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Starship Traveller

by Steve Jackson (U.K.)

Episode 4 of Fighting Fantasy Series
Science Fiction
1984

(based on 1 rating)
1 member review

About the Story

Sucked through the appalling nightmare of the Seltsian Void, the starship Traveller emerges at the other side of the black hole into an unknown universe.

YOU are the captain of the Traveller, and her fate lies in your hands. Will you be able to discover the way back to Earth from the alien peoples and planets you encounter, or will you and your crew be doomed to roam uncharted space forever?

Game Details

Language: English (en)
Current Version: Unknown
License: Commercial
Forgiveness Rating: Tough
IFID: Unknown
TUID: kselxi6zkn6rc8it

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Number of Reviews: 1
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful:
Star Trek in FF form, January 27, 2021
by End Master (The Outer Reaches Of Your Mind)
This was the first attempt as a scifi FF book. If you ever read most reviews about these, youíll generally get a lot of mentions of disappointment and how the scifi setting never seems to really ďworkĒ for the gamebooks.

There does seem to be something to that theory since personally Iíve also found most of the scifi related books to be lacking a bit compared to the fantasy counterparts. Not sure why exactly. Maybe the combat system doesnít tend to work as well, but that canít be the case because they often tend to overhaul the simple system for such settings as Iíll go into later. (Though perhaps that's the problem, don't fix what isn't broken.)

Starship Traveller puts you in the role of a space ship captain and you get sucked into a black hole into an unknown part of the galaxy and you have to try to find another black hole to get back home. Yeah, itís basically ďStar Trek Voyager the CYOAĒ except you arenít subjected to the awful characters.

You also donít just roll stats for yourself either. You also roll stats for your top crew which includes your science (Spock), medical (McCoy/Crusher), engineer (Scotty/LaForge) and security (Worf) officers. You also get two security guards (Red shirts) All the crew save for the security dudes have to subtract 3 from their combat rolls since they arenít fighters. The digital version goes a step further and allows you to name your ship and such to make it even more personalized.

Whenever you beam to a planet you usually get the option to take two other members with you. These members CAN die in combat (or in other ways). If that happens you get one replacement, but you have to subtract 3 from their stat rolls because theyíre a second rate replacement (Ezra Dax). Lose the replacement and you donít get another one.

This being a scifi setting with starships and stuff, there are more ways to kill people than just beating them to death with piece of shaped metal in your hand. You also have ship combat (Yeah you have to roll stats for your ship in the form of SHIELDS and FIREPOWER) Losing all your shields in ship combat and obviously you and everyone under your command explodes spectacularly.

There are also the rarer phaser combat encounters. You can get the option to Stun or Kill, but thatís one of those situational things. Typically any aliens you encounter ALWAYS have theirs set to kill. Generally these are resolved with skill roll tests and if you succeed then you hit, if not then you fail and the attackers get their chance. Since any hit means instant death (or instant stun) phaser combat is over pretty quickly.

With all that out of the way, we can get on with the actual adventure.

Well, thereís not much to it. As I said, youíre basically trying to locate coordinates to another black hole that can possibly take you back to your own galaxy. This means exploring planets and such. Along the way youíll encounter different aliens and have to deal with them.

Honestly though, despite the open space travel and planet hopping, none of the encounters are all that memorable. Itís all sort of a little dull despite all the extra stuff going on in this one. The only thing I can think of that stands out is eventually when the book starts nearing the end and it mentions how a lot of the crew are getting ďantsyĒ and stressed about the situation and how there have already been reports of a few suicides. Keep in mind you havenít even been traveling unknown space a year (probably not even close to it) and already you got folks killing themselves. Apparently youíve got a lot of fragile folks aboard your ship.

So it is at this point if youíve collected any info on black hole coordinates, youíre supposed to add up some numbers and turn to that page where most of the time itíll tell you that you approach one of these black holes at a particular speed and everyone blacks out and you turn to another page.

Since this is another Steve Jackson gamebook, thereís only one correct number combo. If you didnít get it right, then you get a failed ending of how nobody on the ship wakes up because you all died. The same thing happens if you didnít find anything on your journey, you just get a report of a black hole and you try to go through it anyway. (And die)

If you got the right coordinates though, then you win of course.

Yeah, thatís basically it. This was probably the first FF book that I never bothered to keep playing until I won.

Besides the customization that the digital version adds, it also adds auto mapping and new artwork. The rest is similar to the original.

There were a lot of cool ideas with this one, but just never grabbed me. The book sort of feels shorter as well since it just sort of arbitrarily ends despite the fact that youíve got literally an entire galaxy you could explore. I get limitations, but they could have come up with something better.

They could have at least tried to have the situation that your fuel or something was running low and if you didnít risk a black hole soon, youíd be adrift and have hostile aliens destroy the helpless ship rather than your suicidal snowflake crew members forcing you to risk a black hole.

Still as with most FF books itís worth at least a play through.

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This is version 3 of this page, edited by End Master on 27 January 2021 at 4:28am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item