Saturday, May 17, 2014

Crystals from Dinom - Amber Zone Reviews # 11

 Amber Zone: Crystals from Dinom, by Marc W. Miller 

Check out the series introduction here.

Location: the planet Dinom, Lanth 0201, Spinward Marches Dinom is a vacuum world and the setting of Double Adventure #2, Across the Bright Face. Dinom has recently gone through a worker's revolution, and is still unstable.

Patron: Quadric Industries, a manufacturing company that needs its shipment of macguffins from Dinom. Regular shipments have not happened since the rebellion; the shipment of macguffins has actually been misplaced.

Mission: Quadric contracts the PCs, the crew & troops of a mercenary cruiser (the text specifies a Broadsword-class) to land on Dinom, find the macguffins and protect a QI ship which will land and load the shipment. The cruiser will then protect the cargo ship while it returns to Quadric's HQ.

Complications: The locals are suspicious, unfriendly and armed. The company that sold the macguffins was dissolved in the revolution, and Quadric does not know where their offices are, nor if the shipment or information about it are still there. The revolutionaries have made the company office their HQ and made a mess of it. The revolutionary space force will object to the PCs and company leaving with the macguffins. The macguffins are large and heavy.

Payoff: Quadric promises MCr 4-5 for successful recovery of the macguffins.

Strong Points: This adventure has opportunities for problem solving, NPC interaction and combat, both on the ground & in space. The setup is for a large crew and squads of ship's troops, but an aggressive group of PCs could pull it off without the troops. The threat level is not too high this time, the OPFOR is not a truly organized military force. There is no point in the adventure where everything could go wrong; it is unlikely the PCs will be defeated except by their own foolishness. The payoff is pretty generous for a low-threat mission. Especially if the referee has DA 2, there is enough here to work with to develop a campaign on Dinom, like perhaps a counter-revolution.

Weak Points: the OPFOR is perhaps too easy for a mercenary unit, as they have no military arms. The actual search of the company offices for the macguffin's location could be a tedious exercise in dice rolling. Like so: 

Player: <roll> “Did we find it?” 
Referee: “No. Fifteen minutes have passed, roll again.” 
Player: <roll> “Did we find it?” 
Referee: “No” 
Player: “#$%@*#!!” 

Having DA 2 on hand will give the referee maps and other background data, but the enterprising referee can make that up for himself.

What I'd change: The OPFOR can easily be given better guns to up the challenge level. I'd make all of the spacecraft involved under Book 2 rules; for such a small engagement, this works better and makes the OPFOR craft comparatively more a threat. Ship stats are given in High Guard (Book 5) format. I would adjust a few details if the PCs don't have a merc unit backing them up; making the mission more dependent on stealth.

In My Traveller Universe: I would set this adventure on Storishale, in the Alliance of Dormarc. The Alliance is dithering enough that the rebellion would not be put down effectively, and while it is not a close match to Dinom, it fits the need for low population and necessity of sealed environs. 

The adventure came with a city map, and planetary maps are in DA 2, so I have not made up any other maps.  

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