This book introduces a fascinating world to explore as well as a full-blown adventure. The world of Olkennedy was colonised a long time ago and has been out of touch for ages, the Commonality has just made contact with them and both sides are quite fascinated. Olkennedy is interesting in its own right, with a single massive crater being the only inhabitable place and several hominid species coexisting with more recognisable 'humans'... but of course, change is not always for the best and it may all blow up in everyone's face!
It's all about culture shock. The Commonality, of course, wants to 'reintegrate' Olkennedy, but there are various ideas of what that might mean or how it is to be accomplished. And then there's the various peoples of Olkennedy: what do they want? Things are likely to get worse before they get better, and a civil war is quite probable. The adventure is designed to accommodate characters of a wide range of types, and can be run as a one-shot or as a more extended sequence.
First, though, there is a detailed run-down of Olkennedy itself. Its remarkable geography is outlined in a very believable manner, along with the history of its colonisation (and before) and even some of the local wildlife such as land clams and sailfins (which are flying reptiles, not fish). Everything you need, in short, to run your own adventures here. Scenario hooks and other encounters are provided here, along with maps, city plans, and details of the various peoples you'll encounter.
Next, we get on to the adventure itself with a discussion of how, depending on who they are, you can get the party involved. They might be diplomats or military, operatives of one agency or another, traders, scientists or... let them come up with their own reasons for being there when things begin to go awry. There's a default plot thread and a sequence of events that will happen no matter what, and it is up to you and the party how they will interact with what is going on. It gives an excellent feeling of reality, with things happening for different reasons than just because there is a group of player-characters standing around! The impression is that, party or no party, these events will take place... it is just that the characters have the opportunity to influence the outcomes and may even - should they so wish - be able to bring peace and avoid civil war. Or they might find it to their advantage to forment it and take sides!
The adventure section is jam-packed with useful stuff: NPCs, locations and events. Each event can go in several directions, depending on what the characters decide to do. It's made up of four main episodes and an epilogue, and should provide the characters with a memorable visit to Olkennedy, whatever their reason was for going there in the first place... and it all begins with them being caught up in a riot!
Here are a wealth of resources that should provide your group with some memorable adventures, something to get a Mindjammer campaign off to a flying start or provide a solid sequence of events somewhere during an existing campaign. Every action will have consequences, and the party will have the opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to Olkennedy's history - will it be war, war or jaw, jaw - a civil war or a negotiated peace? Run this adventure and have a blast finding out!
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Reviewed: 5 May 2015