Based upon the contents of the Eris Beta-V campaign sourcebook, The Last Parsec setting is definitely off to a Big Bang of a start! The writing and layout are excellent, the plots are engaging and downright epic, and this is just the first of three books about to be released for this new Savage Worlds setting! While the pre-proof pre-release review copy was lacking some of the final polish, as well as some maps and illustrations, what was there in The Last Parsec: Eris Beta-V was still some slick edgy SciFi space adventure.
5 out of 5 rating for The Last Parsec: Eris Beta-V
I really have enjoyed the material for The Last Parsec (TLP). For those that might be looking at it, I throw a few things about what it is and what it is not.Pinnacle took a different approach to TLP - usually there is a setting book with all the setting rules, new edges/hindrances, all about the setting, etc. Then later on you might get "regional guides" to certain areas. Here, it is reversed - TLP is all about exploration and discovery. They release a modest PDF to give you an overview and then release 3 systems, one of which is Eris Beta V. There is a fun plot point campaign, savage tales, and a couple of edges and hindrances to round out the flavor. So a GM could just use the information in passing, a launch point to there own campaign, or run an nice campaign using the material provided. Their approach is an interesting one - since the "setting" is about exploration, the "known galaxy" is really less important. You are there to be explorers and this gets you out there exploring. This also keeps them from getting locked into a tight framework that a top down approach can trap one into. I believe they eventually plan to release something more robust about the "known" part, but for now the primer gets you going. The TLP settings were supposedly inspired by the old TSR Star Frontiers game. I never played it, so I will relate it to what I know - its feels like Star Trek or Mass Effect (the first game). This is a departure from many Pinnacle Savage Settings where its something we recognize with a twist (the Weird West (Deadlands) or Weird Wars series). Here the "weird" is more about discovery than horror of some sort. The plot point in this product does have a large "if you do not win bad things will happen" but its not inherently Alien, Deadspace, or Event Horizon type of horror that one might expect from a Pinnacle product. One key thing to know - you do need the Science Fiction Companion along with the Core Savage Worlds. For those Savages that tend to collect this is not big deal. But for those with limited Savage resources this is something to know. If the TLP series works out, it will give you more bang for the buck as the SciFi companion becomes the main crunch for equipment, ships, etc and that material does not have to be repeated. Obviously if you only liked one or two of the settings, the approach may not work out as well for you. But that is a tough call - see FFG's Star Wars for the drawbacks to the other approach where you reprint the rules in every "setting".Big picture - if you are looking for some good exploration and uncovering plots by what is thought to be long dead aliens, you will enjoy this immensely.