AMBER ZONE: Don’t Stick Your Nose In

An investigative scenario useable in any sci-fi setting.

Players’ Information:

By chance, the characters are witnesses to an accident.

A man wearing smart clothing and sporting a braided beard runs across a busy traffic intersection and is hit by a big delivery truck. People rush to assist (the characters can too, if they want) but sadly there is nothing that can be done, the fellow is dead. Emergency services soon show up and take charge. Everyone agrees that he seemed distracted, and that he was looking over his shoulder when he was struck by the vehicle. He doesn’t have any ID.

A Lost Wallet:

Sometime later, a little distance from the intersection, one of the characters notices a metal-cased wallet lying close to a wall. It is hinged, seems new, and contains a few low denomination credit bills, a key card for a residential property, a folded sheet of paper with some hand-written notes, and an access pass with a photo ID showing a man with a distinctive braided beard. It is the wallet of the accident victim.

The access card carries the name Hugo Lang, and it is marked with the logo of Gen Labs, a big local pharmaceutical company. The folded paper has a printed header consisting of a Gen Labs logo and an address. The handwritten notes consist of a list of scientific-sounding names and long alphanumeric codes – two are crossed out and have the word “toxic” written beside them, while another is ringed and has the word “Cops!” next to it. At the bottom of the piece of paper is a communicator number.

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AMBER ZONE: Big Dam Heroes


This scenario is designed to slot into any existing campaign. It should be set on a world with a breathable atmosphere, a liquid hydrosphere, and a relatively low population (perhaps only a few thousand inhabitants). The starport should be basic (ideally a class D or E port). At the time of the scenario there are very few ships within the system.

Most of the worlds’ population lives in a settlement that forms part of the surface port facilities. The starport is located within a broad valley in the foothills of an ancient mountain range.

Players’ Information:

While the PCs are in town (perhaps while negotiating with a cargo broker or enjoying the local cuisine) a powerful seismic tremor strikes the region.


For a few moments everything becomes unnaturally still and silent, then a deep rumbling and shuddering begins. The din builds to a crescendo and continues for long terrifying seconds. The ground sways and shakes, cracks appear in walls, masonry falls from above, and all around is a bewildering din of heavy crashes and crunches and stifled cries. A cloud of blinding, choking dust engulfs everything.

Diving under hard cover (such as a table) or getting into the open will help reduce the chances of injury, as will personal armour. Tests against strength or dexterity or even brawling skill (to represent dodging) might be required to achieve such a feat. Even plain luck might be needed. The violent shaking and falling debris prevent anything else being done.

And then the quake fades away.

The dust settles to reveal a disaster zone. Ruined buildings jut skyward, smoke hangs in the air, collapsed walls block streets, and rubble and debris covers destroyed vehicles. The injured and dead lie where they fell. Ragged and dust-caked individuals shamble around while others crouch and stare and cry.

Big Dam

The Dam – © Ade Stewart

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AMBER ZONE: Cold Snap Happy


This scenario is designed to slot into an existing campaign. The referee should choose a habitable world with a breathable atmosphere, a moderate climate, and a few million inhabitants at most. Vast areas of the surface are unpopulated wilderness.

Players’ information:

An advertisement has been placed on reputable networks: the services of a reliable group are sought. Technical expertise is preferred, the position includes travel, and the final pay is to be negotiated. The contract will last for a number of weeks. Contact details are provided.

The patron is Artur Ishurgi, an earnest and rather obsessive young man who works as a bureaucrat. Artur only has one real passion in life: maglev trains. He talks about them, he studies images and schematics, he reads books and watches documentaries, and he endlessly plays on simulators. Artur is rather out of his depth in anything other than a comfortable urban environment.

Artur, however, is a dreamer. He has received an inheritance and has decided to spend it on documenting the decaying maglev networks of an abandoned settlement. He needs experienced companions to travel with him to assist with the technical challenges and to act as guides and security.

The exact costs will have to be negotiated and may involve chartering a vessel or hiring vehicles. Artur is shrewd and careful with money but will pay reasonable expenses and costs. The characters, however, will need to provide their own personal equipment, and they should be properly prepared for cold weather: the area to which Artur wishes to travel is currently experiencing its winter season.

Artur has detailed maps of the world and has marked out the locations that he wishes to visit. These are clearly noted as being within a vast wildlife reserve. He has florid permissory paperwork from the nobleman whose fiefdom the world is, as well as official-looking governmental permits and passes.

He has already made substantial preparations and is pretty much ready to go. He has all kinds of cameras, sensors, holorecorders, diffusers, lamps, hand computers, memory crystals, cabling, power sources, and the like. They are packed into sturdy containers and loaded onto a grav pallet. He also has a portable shelter, camping gear, food supplies, medical kits, and all of the other sundries needed to survive in the wild.


The Drek – © Ade Stewart

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