Amber Zone Contest – 2021

Welcome to The Amber Zone Contest – 2021!

The style of the entries should be in the style of the Amber Zones in the old JTAS. (First Players’ Information. Then Referee’s Information without any D6 options.)

The contest starts now (Valentine’s Day) and ends April 1st – 2021 (April Fools’ Day). Write as many entries as You like.

After the 1st of April 2021, all entries will be posted at the Amber Zone. The winner will be chosen by the Jury.

By entering the contest, You allow your entry to be posted at the Amber Zone. All entries might also be posted in PDF format as a free down-loadable file at the Amber Zone.

All entrants will be given credit for their work and will retain the copyright on their entries.

Amber Zone Opening Contest


This year’s first prize is a $102 Gift Certificate at DriveThruRPG.
Second prize is a $60 Gift Certificate at DriveThruRPG.
Third prize is a $40 Gift Certificate at DriveThruRPG.

There will also be a few smaller prizes.

If you win you can buy lots of Traveller goodies that you might have missed.

Jury and Sponsors:

There will be no jury this year. I will ask a few friends to help me review the entries.

There will be no sponsors this year.

Some general guidelines:

1, Each entry should be less than 2000 words.

2, One image may be used in each entry. You must either own the rights to the image, or it must be used under some sort of free license. Wikimedia Commons or Pixabay are good places to find an image that You can use. Please provide information about the image. (Is it Yours? If not, where have You found it? What license is used?) Note: You don’t need to use an image. You can also generate an image using the Pulp-o-Mizer or similar services.

3, Please don’t force the PCs to sign up for (what they think are) illegal activities. It is better if they find that out later, or in some way are forced to take illegal action… Library Bob at Ancient Faith explains it better.

4, Please be a bit vague about the planet and types of star ships and weapons, so your adventure can be useful for many ATUs. (Unless there is a good reason for not being vague about these things.)

5, Please use a spell checker!

6, This year’s theme is Aliens. This could be about OTU aliens, but even better would be aliens from your ATU or aliens that you invent just for this competition. The PCs can be humans that interacts in some way with these aliens, or they could be the aliens.

Send Your entries by e-mail. Please use plain text format and attach (or link to) the image, if You select to use one. Word files will not be accepted! Send your entries to: Mail to Amber

IMPORTANT: Everyone that sends me an entry will get a reply. If you have sent me something and didn’t get a reply within a few days, then contact me again.

Please include a preferred nickname (that may be your real name) to show on the Amber Zone.

Please include your e-mail address (that you use on DriveThruRPG). If you are not yet using DriveThruRPG, then any of your e-mail addresses will work fine.

Everyone is a winner (2019)

Everyone is a winner. If you didn’t enter the Amber Zone Opening contest, you still got 11 new Amber Zones to enjoy.

All contestants not in the top three will get a $10 gift certificate at DriveThruRPG.

The winner and the top three has already been presented. Below is a list of the other entries.

WelbrookFriz sent us the entry Foster Welbrook .

“An engaging main antagonist in a distinct setting with a couple of options for the PCs to approach the problem” Jono

“Friz creates another great Amber Zone. But the competition was even harder this year” BeRKA

Suitcase of troubleSteve Stein wrote the entry Suitcase of Trouble.

“Flexible scenario that can be started on any world; it reminds of the film “It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World” – a mad pursuit of some object that attracts more and more attention to the PCs. Gives the Referee plenty of options to through obstacles at the players.” Jono

“A adventure with great ideas. The referee will have to balance the information the players get, so they know enough about what is going on. Steve’s wife Ivy made a great cover image for this Amber Zone” BeRKA

Spaceship Big PhilLibrary Bob sent, Burn the Philadelphia! and Dr Aardmore I Presume.

“Dr Aardmore I presume – the potential for an investigation as well as travel/combat in competition with rivals is a solid adventure.” Jono

“Burn the Philadelphia! is a very complicated situation that forces the PCs to find a complicated solution.” BeRKA

Asteroid MiningAlex Treacher wrote The Spoils of War.

“An interesting set-up that sounds routine until the complication is sprung on the PCs. By “reverse escape” I mean NPCs using the PCs to escape instead of the PCs escaping. There are also non-combat options available to the PCs.” Jono

“Space combat, Lots of NPCs, Looting and lots of fun” BeRKA

Timothy Collinson sent us Medivac! and Rue nee Curios.

“Rue Nee Curios – very evocative setting with well-developed characters – the Baron (stroke chin) and the Baron (stroke cheek). An interesting take on being able to ‘save the bad guys’ as part of the rescue should you want. Also an intriguing background story The Grey Messengers that will assist play directly as well as help the setting. Great setting with a device (The Grey Messengers) that both communicates background information while becoming a point in the plot (potentially)” Jono

“Medivac! – a routine hospital visit becomes an adventure. The players will learn that they are never safe from ideas like this.” BeRKA

“Some of the ideas for Rue Nee Curios were thought up by an AI. Timothy refined those ideas.” BeRKA

CarloJames wrote the Amber Zone Passage for Carlo.

“I like how this rescue doesn’t have to be guns-blazing but can be about investigating his disappearance.” Jono

“A classic rescue mission that can go wrong in so many ways.” BeRKA

The top three 2019

The top three in the Amber Zone 2019 Contest are:

  1. A Shot (and a beer) In the Dark by Mark Suszko
  2. Oceans Dirtside by Alegis Downport
  3. Research Double-Cross by Marcus Maxiumus

We have already presented the winner.

Second place (and $60) goes to Alegis Downport.

Two comments:

“An interesting twist to the penetrate-the-base-and-steal-the-thing scenario: provides PCs with a moral decision to make, and general chaos for lots of interesting encounters and tension.” Jono

“So many things going on and so many things that may go wrong. The players would have a great game if the referee let them survive until the end” BeRKA

Oceans Dirtside

Oceans_Dirtside_Image.jpg – copyright Alegis Downport 2018. Taken whilst on holiday visiting Pendennis Castle in Falmouth, England.

Third Place (and $40) goes to Marcus Maxiumus.

Two comments:

“An interesting take on a rescue mission with three parties involved and the PCs needing to talk their way out of conflicting parties where both parties are not clearly ‘enemies’ and could be working together.” Jono

“Great in style, interesting ideas. Military action and rescue.” BeRKA

The winner is (2019)

We have a winner! The winner of the Amber Zone Contest 2019 (and of $101 at DriveThru) is  Mark Suszko with A Shot (and a beer) In the Dark.

Two comments:

“Very evocative setting in The Belt; I immediately thought of The Expanse. I love the character Gramps and his muddled memory. Strong character development and setting that will directly impact game play” Jono

“The referee can do a lot with this Amber Zone. It can be a great one-shot adventure or the beginning of a campaign. The style of this Amber Zone matches the best classic ones.” BeRKA

Asteroid Mining