DISCLAIMER: I received a copy of The Translation Codex free as a review copy, other than that I have no connection to Ryan Chaddock Games.
SUMMARY: If you want extra foci and genre-based recursion ideas for your ‘The Strange’ game, buy this pdf, it’s a bargain and has a great deal of useful content.
WHAT YOU GET: As it says in the description, there are 100 foci, grouped thematically together in a variety of genres. The format and layout is as per the preview, although what that doesn't show you is the 1-page-per-foci layout. Each of these 1-page layouts follows the format of foci from The Strange core book and is illustrated with a unique icon, colour-coded for the genre/setting. These illustrations are basic, and some are better than others, but they are consistent and give the pdf a unified look and feel.
WHAT I LIKE: The Translation Codex is useful on a couple of levels. Firstly, it provides a set of pretty interesting new recursions, of the 18 described I’d certainly use half of them with no alterations whatsoever. Secondly, it not only provides a lot of new foci, but it also categorises them by recursion/genre and also references the existing foci from the core book.
This plugs a gap in the core book, I found the number of Earth foci a little low and although a great number of other recursions are mentioned, the small number of foci available from the core book means that the recursions don’t have enough to distinguish them from each other. By adding selected foci from The Translation Codex, I feel I’d be able to further distinguish between the recursions listed in the core book.
This actually goes to a slightly hidden aspect of The Strange that this pdf really made me consider – the ‘distinctiveness’ of a Recursion is partly in its overall description, also in its Traits, but from a player perspective, the key differentiator is in the available foci –these really bring the genre of each recursion to life.
WHAT I WAS LESS SURE ABOUT: Some foci seemed a little underpowered, but that’s hard to assess without actually using them in play. My overall feeling was that I’d want to select the available foci for a given recursion quite carefully, depending on its genre. For the most part I think The Translation Codex has done this quite well.
OVERALL: This is a very solid product, absolutely great value and intelligently put together. If this was available in POD, I’d get myself a hardcopy.