Babylon 5 Security Manual

Greg Smith

To all the B5 fans out there: Is the Security Manual any good? Does it provide any more info than in the RPG core book? Would it be useful for players and/or the GM?

Boy, do I wish I'd bought more B5 stuff back then. :(
It's... well... half-half.

It has some realy nice things to flesh out the BG, like Security procedures, some rules and smal tidbits of info, annectotes and such...

On the other hand, some of it is really annoyingly bullshit (like the vorlon equivalent of "swedish meatballs") and should be used only as joke and disinformation.
I'd agree with Shadow Scout: half and half.

It has some nice pictures of the station, ships and characters of B5; a few useful external plans of the Whitestar, Shadow vessels and others plus the PPGs and Ident cards. Also some security charge sheets (Londo Molari for drunk and disoderly conduct etc) and the badges of the various sections on B5.

You also get a lot of tounge in cheek stuff including the origin of spoo, alien religous festivals (at least one every day of the year) and much else that might make a fan laugh (once) but not be much use in a game.

I would definitely not rate it as essential - stick to the Mongoose stuff for that!

Small correction - the Spoo stuff is canon, as that one was from the lips of JMS himself.

Much of the rest is at least halfway usable - the alien festivals are nice to have for BG for example, but the "fact" that the EA post office closes for all the listed festivals is just ridicolous, and should be treated as bullshit.
Also there are other nice bits of info - from the alien matrial arts style names over the list of dangerous creatures to banned entertainment (X-files - banned by the Vree as "offensively truthful"... ROTFL). And BG-fluff stuff like the "sector numbers" are also nice for fleshing out gameplay, even though they make about as much sense as Star Trek's "magic particle of the week™"... :lol:

The pictures are really nice, true, though some descriptions have to be treated with care (like the one on P.-101, calling the Centauri Vorchan/Demos warships "Fighters" - for a size comparison between those hulls and fighters, watch Lennier's actions in S-5, when he docks his Niall to such a vessel).

And then there's the complete bullshit... from lumati fruits destroying the ozone layer (theoretically possible, but not in that time period) to the vorlon equivalent of swedish meatballs (as if someone has EVER seen vorlons at dinner on their homeworld). Or the Psi-Corps info, which contradicts stuff from the show (like that a P-4 could be trained into a P-5, when Bester said to Lyta a teep Always keeps his rating... of that the Corps doesn't require low-level teeps to join, when we know fron Ivanova's case it does...).

All in all it's a book that's nice to have, but should be used with care and caution. Always think twice about any info from the SecManual... (though some makes nice disinformation to screw with your players mind...) :wink:
Thanks. There is one on ebay currently that I was thinking of bidding on, but I think I'll save my cash for the EA sourcebook instead.
Is the Security Manual any good?

ahhhh........... no.

half of it is very tongue in cheek, no use if you want info you can rely on.

you would be better off saving your money and buying books related to the game.

are you sure it`s not the Narn equivalent of Swedish meatballs?
been a while since i read the book.
are you sure it`s not the Narn equivalent of Swedish meatballs?
Nope - everyone knows the narn equivalent (Breen) is completely legit and OK.

But when someone seriously thinks he can get away with writing about the Vorlon equivalent (as if Anyone EVER saw a vorlon eating vorlonic food), and then also has the mental incompetence of claiming it's called "Elaa" and is itself intelligent... well, on a good day I might smile at that line and take it as "tongue in cheek" wild rumor about vorlons, but on a bad day (and especially when it's written in such a way as it is - looking like accurate BG info) I just get annoyed at such bullshit... :wink: (if only they had written that little bit as "character statement" - like in one of those small colored rectangles with "Officer John Smith claimed..." - then I'd have laughed and would be OK with it. But so, together with the show statement about Breen it just pisses me off like mixing water in my drink...)

Like, I don't mind if someone makes up stuff to flesh out the BG, but then that someone should either think about what he does, and try to make it the same quality as the show (or at least as close as he can possibly get), or make sure everyone knows he's making it up as wild rumor like the one about humans turning into stone when seeing a vorlon out of his shell...

What can I say - that one really annoyed me. More then the others. Because it was just too ridiculous.
on a good day I might smile at that line and take it as "tongue in cheek" wild rumor about vorlons

if it is any consolation the book also really pi$$ed off JMS himself :!: