Friday, April 11, 2014

Introducing the Amber Zone Reviews

What are Amber Zone Reviews?

      Amber Zones are adventure scenarios published in GDW's Journal of the Travellers' Aid Society, the official gaming support magazine for Traveller. JTAS, as it was known, was published between 1979 and 1985, for a total of 24 issues, then the title was absorbed into GDW's newer magazine, Challenge. Each Amber Zone gave the referee a basic layout for the adventure, but always left a lot of room for creative interpretation. Lots of Traveller players read JTAS, so this bare-bones approach allowed the referee to still surprise the players with the way he filled in the details.

      I plan to bring out an Amber Zone Review weekly until I run out of them. These reviews will be taken (roughly) in the order the scenarios were published. I will explain the basic situation, and consider the aspects of the scenario listed below. I will try to give enough detail so that the reader will know what the scenario is about, but I will also specifically not spoil all the surprises.

Amber Zone: The title of the adventure as it appeared in JTAS, and its author.

Location: planet name and text description (not UPP) of the local conditions

Patron: who brings the PCs into the Zone

Mission: what they're asked to do

Complications: who and what may stop them

Payoff: what motivates them to do it. Usually but not always this will be money.

Strong Points: What I see as being the 'good stuff' for the adventure; challenges, surprises, opportunities to develop campaigns

Weak Points: things like poor logic, railroading the characters into a certain action, assumption that the characters are criminals, setups for failure

What I'd change: how I would modify the adventure to amend weak points or expand upon strong points

In My Traveller Universe: Where I would place the adventure in My Traveller Universe, and what groups would be involved.

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