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Babylon 5 RPG 1e: The Coming of Shadows

The Coming of Shadows

This book is the 'season guide' to Season 2 of the TV show Babylon 5, designed to be woven through your own plots - perhaps it will be a backdrop to your own stories, maybe your party will be more closely involved in at least some of what is going on in the alternate reality of the show's universe. They may even change the course of events... Even if you intend to tell your own stories in this setting, there is plenty of useful material and inspirations contained herein.

It takes a similar approach to the Season 1 guide in the core rulebook, with a detailed synopsis of each episode coupled with notes on significant individuals, technology, and other things that crop up in that episode. Adventure hooks about, so even if the events in the episode in question don't feature in your game (or are in the background happening to somebody else) you may wish to plan something related to it. A lot of how you use this depends on just how well your players happen to know the show.

We begin, however, with Personalities of 2259, which revisits the core NPCs introduced in the rulebook, updating them as necessary, and adds in others who rise to prominence during the year. This is followed by the episode guide itself in a chapter called The Galaxy of 2259. It all makes for a fascinating read, and even the most dedicated followers of the TV show will probably find little snippets that they missed. High points include meeting the TechnoMages, the species-wide brawl that serves the Drazi as an electoral process, a lot of shadowy organisations manoeuvering behind the scenes, a telepath underground railroad aiding those who don't want to join PsiCorps, and plenty of intrigue. Needless to say, this chapter occupies the lion's share of the book.

The remainder of the book contains rules additions from the treatment of critically injured characters and new medical specialities to new prestige classes, feats, etc. There's also some new equipment and vehicles (including quite a few starships!).

Overall, this work contains a wealth of material based in and around Season 2 of the TV show. Whether or not you want to use the timeline of the show in your game, you'll still find plenty of interest. The episode guide is probably the most comprehensive one you'll find within the entirity of the show's fandom - so this work may even be of interest to those who love the show but don't want to play the game!

Return to The Coming of Shadows page.

Reviewed: 19 November 2019