Monday, April 28, 2014

Foodrunner - Amber Zone Reviews #5

 Amber Zone: Foodrunner by Mike Metlay, from JTAS #5
Check out the series introduction here.
Location: Roup, Regina 0407 Spinward Marches (C-77A9A9-6)

Patron: A businessman and freight shipper (“a middle aged, rather vulgar person”)

Mission: The PCs are hired to crew an armed merchantman, delivering a special cargo to the Scout base, but not to the Scout service. The cargo is foodstuffs and wine. Once delivery is completed, they must return to the point of origin and deliver the cash that they receive for the food.

Complications: The ship is, well, substandard. It will need lots of work and money to get it into regulation trim. It will likely break down on the PCs during the trip. The group that the PCs are supposed to meet will not be the only ones trying to get their hands on the food. Multiple groups, all armed, will descend upon the landing field. The description presents a picture of a large, multi-sided brawl or more likely gunfight on the landing field – with no cover. If their contact does not deliver the payment, the PCs won't get paid either.

Payoff: the PCs will be given title & ownership of the merchantman as payment. This will be a mixed blessing, given the state the ship is in.

Strong Points: The ship is a modified Type A, with improved performance envelope, if it runs. The adventure can start more than one jump from the target, allowing for a lot of little adventures in emergency repair, or other space-based activities. The PCs have the option to take off into the wild blue yonder with a ship and a large sum of cash – starting a new campaign to avoid the repo men and bounty hunters. The big fight on the landing field will be a very exciting one.

Weak Points: The white elephant of a ship, unless the players want the challenge of constantly repairing their ship. Even repaired, the ship does not hold much cargo. Traveller's combat rules aren't really set up to handle a scrum involving possibly more than 100 people. If the PCs don't come armed, they are likely to get swamped. They can't just retreat to the ship and wait it out. If they do, the cash will vanish.

What I'd change: Nothing. I don't think this is a great scenario, but it is sound enough to work as it is.

In My Traveller Universe: The adventure could start anywhere, but the delivery should be to one of the Independent worlds. I'd substitute Mercera (Gelderon 0703) for Roup. It is simple to make Mercera's poor atmosphere the reason for food being in such demand, instead of overcrowding – everyone lives high in the mountains, because that's where the oxygen is.

Map of the landing field

Map scale is 30 meters/hex. The X is the meeting point with the contact. The building icon is the Scout shack, the circle/triangle is the PC's ship. The black lines are the fence around the field.

This map was created me, using Hexographer ( It can be used or modified without restriction.

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