As a follow-up to my last review, I decided to write a review of the Jovian Fleet Blueprint file which presents eight detailed “blueprints” of ships in the Jovian fleet.
The Physical Details
The Blueprint File comes in a paper envelope and consists of eight poster-sized (15″x19″) sheets, printed in blue-scale. The paper used is slightly heavier than standard paper but is not card-stock, nor is it glossy. The results are serviceable, good looking posters (they’re folded in to four sections to make them fit in the file’s envelope), but nothing spectacular and highly durable.
The art is very good, but strictly two-dimensional line art that fits in with the blueprint-style the product claims to have. The diagrams are put on a grid which is another nice touch since it lets you measure distances on the ship without needing to pull out a ruler. I also like the fact that the scales are in metric, which not only makes more sense from a futuristic, science-fiction setting but also makes conversions much easier.
While the file contains eight prints, only six spaceships are detailed, with the other two prints providing a detailed cutaway, cross-section of the Valiant-class strike carrier’s bridge and a schematic for the Pathfinder Alpha exo-armor (what are often known as mecha in the anime genre, the Jovian Chronicles calls exo-armor).
Aside from the three-perspective illustrations of each ship, each print also includes a numbered legend making the locations of the important parts, a list of specifications, and a text section which includes an overview, capabilities, and service record for the ship. These are interesting and highly detailed which makes the prints much more useful. All of this information is system agnostic, meaning the posters are just as useful for people playing a Diaspora-based sci-fi game as a group using the actual Jovian Chronicles RPG. It was also a wise decision on DP9’s, in my opinion, since it allowed them to expand coverage of the various ships in the Jovian Fleet without creating another book – the ships included in the blueprint file are not the same as those that appear in either of the Ships of the Fleet supplements, meaning you’re getting quite a bit of bang-for-the-buck and these aren’t simply repackaged art from other books.
The down side to this is that the information you’re provided is pretty barebones and people who do play the Jovian Chronicles RPG aren’t going to get their “crunch fix” from this particular product. That’s hardly a big deal for most of us though, and is an asset if you happen to be using something like Diaspora or Thousand Suns since all the useless crunch isn’t taking up space on the sheets.
Overall I really like the Jovian Fleet Blueprint File – it provides inspirational fodder for science fiction games, as well as possible uses as an aid at the table. Considering how cheap the product typically goes for on Ebay (it’s long out of print), they’re quite a bargain. I wish DP9 would consider putting these out as a PDF product as well (though printing would be a pain) because priced cheaply I think the file would be a great buy for just about anyone interested in sci-fi RPGs.