Friday, May 23, 2014

Geria Transfer - Amber Zone Reviews #15

Amber Zone: Geria Transfer, by John M. Ford from JTAS # 10

Check out the series introduction here. 
Don't open the purple one.
Location: the planet Cyris (no location in the OTU is given). The character of the planet setting is not important to the play of the scenario.

Patron: In between jobs, while going about their business in the city center, the PCs are approached by an anonymous business factor who needs a job done right now.

Mission: The PCs are to intercept a courier who is supposedly acting on the company's orders to deliver an industrial macguffin to an off-world buyer. The deal has changed, and the factor needs to recall the courier, but does not have a reliable way to contact him. The PCs may have to pursue the courier over a high-speed rail network to the starport. Once they have the package, they are to return it to the hiring factor.

Complications: It will become apparent that others are interested in the courier as well. Before the PCs can corner him, another team takes out the courier and swipes the macguffin package. The PCs will have to pursue the other team, which is armed. The PCs may wrest control of the package, but the other team will pursue them to get it back. The hiring factor has not been completely truthful [shocking!]. The courier is also not who he has been claimed to be. The package contains a potentially very nasty surprise. Gunfights in a crowded transportation hub will draw a quick and official response. If the chase & pursuit lasts long enough, a third team will enter the competition for the package - the factor hires another team, now in competition with the PCs. 

Payoff: The factor offers Cr 20,000 to each team member.

Strong Points: The misdirection & misunderstanding of this plot can be pretty easily sorted out by PCs who employ interpersonal skills, like liaison or admin. PCs who go straight for the gunplay will find all hands turning against them. As a one-shot, this scenario can easily be dropped into an existing campaign as a break from the main action, or a fill-in when the referee isn't ready to move on. This scenario forces the players to think fast – the plot moves too quickly for deliberation. If the players get into a discussion of what to do, the other team(s) will escape or get the drop on them.

Weak Points: I think this adventure is a little too scripted – the PCs come in well into the plot, and have no chance (as written) of beating the other team to the target. This setup has little potential to be expanded into a campaign.

What I'd change: I would tailor the size of the other team(s) to the size of the PC's group. I would have the first team render the courier unconscious rather than dead – unless fighting a murder rap would be a good campaign theme.

In My Traveller Universe: I would set this adventure on Stavanger (Holtzmann's Corridor 0505) which has a thriving business climate, where industrial espionage like this is common. 

Detailed maps are probably not necessary for this scenario, particularly the kind of geographic maps Hexographer makes. 

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