Traveller Adventures - Best and Worst?

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
nats
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Traveller Adventures - Best and Worst?

Postby nats » Tue Oct 19, 2010 7:51 pm

I am starting to look at collecting some Classic Traveller adventures together for some games with the family and was wondering which are the best adventures out there that really stick in peoples minds and why? ...and are there any adventures I should stay clear of? I was thinking of Simba Safari and Across the Bright Face?

And in association with the above are there any Judges Guild packs or supplements that you cannot do without?

Would help me to build up a picture what is the best Traveller stuff out there there is so much of it!!
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rust
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Postby rust » Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:22 pm

It depends a lot on the type of campaign you prefer, I think.

For me the best Classic Traveller adventures, not necessarily in that or-
der, were Leviathan (an exploration and trade sandbox), Nomads of the
World Ocean (Dune on a water world) and the Sky Raiders trilogy (mys-
tery of a disappeared race).

Of the Mongoose Traveller adventures, easy to use with Classic Traveller
rules, too, Type S and One Crowded Hour come to my mind. Project Steel
is also rumoured to be very good, and it may well be since it is from the
same author, but I have not played it.

To avoid ... well, Signal GK and Secrets of the Ancients are very hard on
the players' suspension of disbelief, and to me at least Research Station
Gamma always seemed too much of a dungeon crawl in space.
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Postby Bense » Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:39 pm

My favorite is The Traveller Adventure. A full-size merchant campaign that develops into a trade war.
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Postby hdan » Wed Oct 20, 2010 12:46 am

I have a fondness for "Twilight's Peak", which I ran as one of my first GM'ing experiences. I know I didn't do a very good job running things, and I got impatient and skipped a lot of stuff, but in more adept hands it would be a cool adventure for mature players who don't require a lot of shooting to have fun but conversely are ok with killing if necessary. The "hook" is that you need to collect enough money to repair your ship's Jump Drive - it's a Far Trader (J2) but can only make J1. There is a legend of a lost shipment of <something valuable> that you start to collect clues about in hopes of finding and selling stuff.

The brand-new MGT "Secret of the Ancients" campaign is one of if not the best Traveller adventures I've seen in terms of being able to run it the way people run adventures in other modern RPGs. This is ironic, because the CT SotA adventure was really little more than a lead up to a long NPC monologue, and was IMHO more designed to be read than played. If you are used to (and like) the way modern RPG adventures work, MGT SotA is a fantastic start, as are the various Avenger products (One Crowded Hour, Type-S, etc.), though those aren't CT.

Another non-CT adventure you can probably find free out on the webz is the old T20 "The Linkworlds Cluster". It's a very decent introductory campaign that runs a lot like a computer RPG (fetch quests that ultimately lead you to a big treasure) so will probably be very comfortable for most players.

But back to CT adventures:

Research Station Gamma is a good CT adventure. The adventure has the potential to be quite epic, but if you go by the book, you'll spend months kicking around the local town trying to find clues, then more months floating around at sea in a diesel submarine (of all things) trying to find this research base (and dodging pirates! LOL), then a dungeon crawl through a mapped but not-well described base, and finally a denouement worthy of a Neal Stephenson book (that is, you'll want to write your own ending).

HOWEVER, if you can spend the time to adapt RS:G into an adventure, it can be a lot of fun. But you'll need to pour your own personality in to it, because it has very little of its own.

I like "Death Station" quite a lot, and hope to get a chance to play it soon. (Maybe Halloween?) With only a little imagination, you can easily turn it into "Deadspace" (the video game) or other similar haunted house/horror scenario. (I"d actually not be surprised if "Deadspace" was inspired in small part by "Death Station", though of course with modern sensibilities it's considerably more "gross-out" than "Death Station".) However, the descriptions are pretty down-played, there is not much "fluff text" to help set the mood, and you need to think a little outside the box a little to get the most from the adventure.

That's the main problem IMHO with most CT adventures I've seen, at least from the modern gamer's perspective. They are very much a "toy box" of characters and settings that require a GM to digest and reconstitute into a gaming experience. I admit that I'm a lazy GM, and sometimes I don't have the energy to both work up and run some of the CT adventures to their full potential.

Some other CT adventures I've read or played:

The Sky Raiders adventures seem very well put together and don't suffer as much from the "here's the outline, you color it in" syndrome of many CT adventures. I own copies of all three of them but have not had the chance to run or play them. The first one is a rip-roaring "Indiana Jones" pulp adventure with ruins, bush guides, hostile (alien) natives, a well-funded bad guy and the beautiful daughter of a missing but brilliant archaeologist. The second one is a mystery set in a more civilized locale, and the third one is a Lost World scenario of sorts. All very "pulp" in feel and execution while still being Traveller in style. Also each is a multi-session adventure, almost more of a mini-campaign in its own right.

In "Shadows", you have to find a way to disable an ancient alien anti-ship defense installation that has come to life after a seismic event and nearly shot down your ship as you were lifting to orbit. The catch is that the atmosphere is corrosive, and you only have a few hours before your Vacc suits are compromized. There are critters to fight off and physical hurdles to overcome, as well as at least one mechanical puzzle to solve.

"Exit Visa" is a short largely table-driven "programmed" adventure that could become a hopelessly boring drag if played too literally, but has a lot of potential. The basic setup is this - your ship has been denied the right to depart because of some unspecified anomaly in the ship's log. The captain has been involved in some shady dealings, so this problem isn't going away on its own. You have 1 week to sort things out through admin/bribery/violence or whatever. The adventure's text takes the form of a series of contacts that can help or hinder your access to the Exit Visa. Each contact usually leads to one or more other contacts, and you can only meet one contact at a time, and at certain times of day, etc. The "programming" of Exit Visa is very clever, but to make a memorable role playing experience might prove challenging.

Double Adventure "Mission on Mithril"/"Across the Bright Face" is for players who are the sorts who relish traversing the face of a hostile world in an ATV to scout out some Areas of Interest. The other adventure in the double adventure (Across the Bright Face) is another wilderness trek, but this time you are on the run. They both have an odd "turn procedure", where each "day" is played out in a wargame-like sequence of events. These adventures I think would play like a very different sort of RPG than most are used to, and are almost more like Role Playing Board Games.

Trillion Credit Squadron is not so much an adventure as it is a wargame campaign. You build a fleet (worth 1 trillion credits, naturally enough) and duke it out over an isolated group of star systems in the Reft sector.

And that's all I can think of at the moment. Hopefully this will help guide you in your CT Adventure quest.
/hdan
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Postby SJE » Wed Oct 20, 2010 8:03 am

I liked the look of Murder on Arcturus Station (murder mystery with multiple different potential murderers- so entirely replayable).

SJE
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Postby msprange » Wed Oct 20, 2010 9:22 am

A few bits and pieces on this...

Death Station will be appearing, fully converted in a forthcoming S&P.

We have an agreement to convert the Traveller Adventure to the new system - we just have to get round to it.

If you liked Type-S and Crowded Hour, or just want to check them out, grab the big, fat Crowded Hours hardback we have just released. Plenty of high quality Traveller adventures in there :)
Matthew Sprange

Mongoose Publishing
http://www.mongoosepublishing.com
hdan
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Postby hdan » Wed Oct 20, 2010 7:41 pm

msprange wrote:Death Station will be appearing, fully converted in a forthcoming S&P.

We have an agreement to convert the Traveller Adventure to the new system - we just have to get round to it.
That makes me happy!
/hdan
kafka
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Postby kafka » Wed Oct 20, 2010 8:19 pm

All CT adventures including the Judges Guild ones are meant to be: "nuggets inspired by Traveller" not complete adventures...just something that you can create your own inspiration from. This has been their strength and weakness.

Best one - Traveller Adventure hands down.
Worst one - Secrets of Ancients - as it was anticlimactic compared to what it promised.
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Postby Elrick » Wed Oct 20, 2010 8:31 pm

I can also recommend the Traveller Adventure and the Sky Raiders trilogy.

I also had a lot of fun with Safari Ship. There is also a splendid adventure called Hostage in the K'Kree alien module (Classic Traveller Alien Module 2) which I've run many times.

For merc campaigns Uragyad'n of the Seven Pillars is also good.
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Postby Fovean » Thu Oct 21, 2010 4:01 am

My vote for Best is Nomads of the World Ocean - it has high-level corporate intrigue, a different culture to interact with and also a great chase/combat on the open ocean which always reminded me of the snow speeders vs ATATs in Empire Strikes Back... what more can a group ask for?

The two-edged sword aspect was that it wonderfully defined a particular water world... but you need a place for that water world in your setting. Nomads was set on a world in Solomani space named Bellerophon - very far away from the Spinward Marches.

Worst? i can't say. As much as I liked Nomads, I still did a lot of work to it to make it fit my campaign.

If you know what kind of adventures your group wants, you can weed out a lot of best/worst questions by focusing on what your players are interested in. But don't let the words on the page define your group's adventures. Change them as you see fit to have the most fun you guys can have.
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Postby BenTOGS » Thu Oct 21, 2010 7:48 pm

All of these CT & Fasa adventures are available on CD from Citizens of the Imperium, I beleive. Well worth it for 35US per disk. Three disks gets you all the Adventures, Double Adventures & the Fasa/Gamelords adventures.
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Postby SpaceDog » Thu Oct 21, 2010 10:24 pm

I also recommend picking up the CDs, as they will give you pretty much everything.

That said, and to echo what others have said, the Traveller Adventure is a favorite as well. It does require some work... to make work, but pound for pound I think it is one of the best. Among the CT books, I really like Death Station, Annic Nova, Chamax Plague, Marooned, and Expedition to Zhodane.

While it is specifically designed for T4 and GURPS Traveller, one of my absolute favorite adventures is BITS' Spacedogs - which is a classic retelling of Kurosawa's Seven Samurai. It is easily adaptable to any rules set and any milieu.

While it is specifically designed for MegaTraveller, DGP's Flaming Eye is another favorite of mine, dealing with Vargr corsairs flying the Vilanii version of the Jolly Roger, and just what they might be up to... aside from the obvious.

Moving away from the published adventures Freelance Traveller has a very respectable library of adventures and adventure nuggets for Traveller which are all free.
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Postby GamerDude » Fri Oct 22, 2010 6:56 am

Divine Intervention. Ran it at like six conventions over a year, multiple sessions each con. It's great but one downfall... 1970's view of computers vs players 2010 view of networked computers..

"Ok, I go to the comp on his desk and search for the plans to the ship"
"um.. no terminals"
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nats
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Postby nats » Sat Oct 23, 2010 11:58 am

GamerDude wrote:Divine Intervention. Ran it at like six conventions over a year, multiple sessions each con. It's great but one downfall... 1970's view of computers vs players 2010 view of networked computers..

"Ok, I go to the comp on his desk and search for the plans to the ship"
"um.. no terminals"
Thats strange because in Safari Ship it states that there are terminals in several staterooms and elsewhere around the ship and that adventure came out only a couple of years after Divine in the mid 80s, not the 70s. Certainly smaller computers were around be then and networking probably, although it was before the internet took off I suppose.
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E.D.Quibell
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Postby E.D.Quibell » Sat Oct 23, 2010 6:14 pm

GamerDude wrote:Divine Intervention. Ran it at like six conventions over a year, multiple sessions each con. It's great but one downfall... 1970's view of computers vs players 2010 view of networked computers..

"Ok, I go to the comp on his desk and search for the plans to the ship"
"um.. no terminals"
But IIRC isn't the planet TL6. They are 1960's computers!

Regards,

Ewan
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Postby GamerDude » Sun Oct 24, 2010 2:49 am

E.D.Quibell wrote:
GamerDude wrote:Divine Intervention. Ran it at like six conventions over a year, multiple sessions each con. It's great but one downfall... 1970's view of computers vs players 2010 view of networked computers..

"Ok, I go to the comp on his desk and search for the plans to the ship"
"um.. no terminals"
But IIRC isn't the planet TL6. They are 1960's computers!
Actually, the population is kept at TL6, Just above mid-20th century Earth. That is except for in the floating HQ, and inside the Imperial Starport, where everything is like TL 10. The populace is kept isolated from the rest of the galaxy/Imperium and only the rulers have access to 'modern' computers.

My point was, the module was written in the 70's, with the 70's viewpoint of computers (huge mainframes, punch cards/CRTs, no desktops at that time just terminals. Most folks got their info on a printout and that was it.)
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Postby Colin » Sun Oct 24, 2010 4:38 pm

My favourite is Nomads of the World Ocean. It is one of the better CT modules, though it is still a "sandbox" type module. The dagdahashi hunt rules were cool, though, and the description of the ecology of the herds was excellent. I consider it the benchmark for that sort of thing.

I liked Research Station Gamma. It was just neat, showing what a high-tech installation might look like.

Twilight's Peak gave rise to an interesting adventure. My group and I had just gone to the theatre the day before to see Aliens, and the climatic scene in the adventure scared the crap out them.

Combine the critters of Chamax Plague/Horde with Leviathan for a good, tense, survival scenario.

There is quite a bit of good stuff, though most of it is background rather than actual adventure.
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Postby hirch_duckfinder » Sun Oct 24, 2010 6:13 pm

favourite CT adventures:
Death Station - I had a LOT of fun with this. Perfect set up.
Also the flip side of it Argon Gambit is good fun. Politics/infiltrations/action etc
Twilight's Peak is, in my opinion, the best. Slow build up into an fantastic climax.
Research station Gamma is good fun too.
The Traveller adventure starts fantastically well - brilliant, the best ever -but about half way though the railroading get ridiculous - if the players don't behave EXACTLY as per the plot it gets very hard to run.
Across the bright face - I had a lot of fun with this too - I connected it up to Death Station if anyone wants to know how - pm me...(if I can remember..?)

Other than that, there were some good ideas in the JTAS, some good adventures in the alien modules and in some fanzines ..
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Postby nats » Sun Oct 24, 2010 8:47 pm

hirch_duckfinder wrote:favourite CT adventures:
Death Station - I had a LOT of fun with this. Perfect set up.
Also the flip side of it Argon Gambit is good fun. Politics/infiltrations/action etc
Twilight's Peak is, in my opinion, the best. Slow build up into an fantastic climax.
Research station Gamma is good fun too.
The Traveller adventure starts fantastically well - brilliant, the best ever -but about half way though the railroading get ridiculous - if the players don't behave EXACTLY as per the plot it gets very hard to run.
Across the bright face - I had a lot of fun with this too - I connected it up to Death Station if anyone wants to know how - pm me...(if I can remember..?)

Other than that, there were some good ideas in the JTAS, some good adventures in the alien modules and in some fanzines ..
These are exactly the advetures I have decided to take a look at plus Safari Ship. If I could get a hold of copies of Marooned and Chamax Plague without resorting to paying post from the US they would be in there also :-)
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Postby Supplement Four » Sun Oct 24, 2010 9:17 pm

The quintessential Traveller adventure, imo, is one put out by BITS called Cold Dark Grave. This is a fantastic adventure that uses Golden Age Traveller lore and has all the elements that most people think of when they think of Traveller.

There are several good adventures out there. I love the linear, scripted ones as much as I love the open sandboxes waiting to be developed that GDW put out. But, if I had to pick one to have with me on a desert island, it would be BITS' Cold Dark Grave.

It's hard to find, but not impossible. Look for it.

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