Opening with a rather baffling address introducing a module taught to final year cadets at Starfleet Academy (don't get me wrong, the module sounds great fun and the introduction makes me want to sign up at once!), the introduction goes on to explain that this sourcebook covers the largely unexplored Delta Quadrant. Unexplored, that is, except for the U.S.S. Voyager, Captain Janeway commanding; and they didn't intend to go there in the first place! The timeline has been pushed forwards from the 2471 of the core rulebook to 2479. The Dominion War is over, and Voyager has got back to the Alpha Quadrant complete with the information contained herein. Of course, your game doesn't have to be set that late in StarFleet's history. There's been contact, although rarely recorded, with the Delta Quadrant earlier, maybe your party's ship gets swept over like Voyager was (subspace anomalies are good for that), or they may have been sent from the Alpha Quadrant is search of Voyager. There are plenty of suggestions for how to include material from this book in your game.
As with the other Quadrant sourcebooks, the main 'meat' of the book is in Chapter 2, where the main species and powers of the Quadrant are discussed. Best known, perhaps, are the Borg; but we also meet the Kazon Collective, the Vidiian Sodality, the Hirogen, the Devore, the Malon, the Krenim Imperium, the Hierarchy, and the Voth, amongst others who'll be familiar to those who have enjoyed the Voyager TV series. It opens with a briefing from the now Admiral Janeway to a new starship captain. The discussion of the various powers and species is focussed on their interactions with Voyager, a rich mine of information that will empower future encounters with them by StarFleet vessels or inform a first encounter if your party gets there before Voyager did. Some of the more fascinating spacial anomalies that can be encountered in the Delta Quadrant are also covered. There's also a gazetteer of worlds to visit and explore. Exerpts from personal logs, intercepted transmissions and the like add flavour... and then come the Borg, who merit a whole section of this chapter to themselves. Lots here, including the main tactis used by Borg spheres, tactical cubs, and assimilation cubes; how they assimilate new species, and the different types of drones you'll typically meet during a Borg encounter. There's even some Borg philosophy for you to, well, assimilate!
Next, Chapter 3: Species of the Delta Quadrant provides all the details needed to play twelve new species as player characters or NPCs, as well as loads more material for existing character species. You can even play a 'liberated' Borg like Seven of Nine if that appeals. Hence there's a list of Borg implants such a character might still have (or have had removed from them!) and the game effects that they have. Other species, such as the short-lived Ocampa, are also covered (although a few more pictures might have been appreciated), and the chapter ends with a note on mixed-species characters.
This is followed by Chapter 4: Ships of the Delta Quadrant. There are plenty of ships built and operated by assorted species and - yes - several Borg ships. Try not to get assimilated! In fact, the opening section of this chapter is devoted to Borg vessels, building on material in the preceding chapter and providing the necessary game mechanics to bring them into play. Voyager's Delta Flyer, a great enhancement on a standard shuttlecraft, opens the second section of 'everyone else', and there are plenty more ships to sift through. Keep a sharp eye on the notes about advanced technology... and even the section referring to Krenim Timeships. Handle with care, time travel can cause headaches as well as a seriously-distorted game!
Finally, Chapter 5: Encounters and Adversaries contains information mainly for GMs. Encounter seeds, ideas for entire campaigns and loads of sample NPCs can be found here. It's made up of two sections: Exploring the Detla Quadrant and Exploring Borg Space. There is a wealth of ideas for adventures and campaigns to entice you into the Delta Quadrant. You may even fancy a Borg-focussed campaign.
This provides a fascinating read, and a whole lot more places to explore and people to meet for a far-ranging campaign. If you enjoyed the Voyager TV show, much is familiar, if you are not so familiar with it there is plenty to get to grips with here.
Return to Delta Quadrant Sourcebook page.
Reviewed: 5 April 2020