AMBER ZONE: Oceans Dirtside

Players’ Information:

Whilst relaxing at Genni starport bar, the players are approached by Hank Steiger who introduces himself as a Sergeant of the Shakorev Army and asks them if they have any previous military experience. He asks if they would be interested in helping him get a message to someone which could save countless lives; Steiger explains that he was a communications officer in the Shakorev military on the planet Thebis. Unfortunately, he got involved with a bad crowd and was discharged and disgraced from the military, due to various illegal operations using military equipment for personal gain. Though he moved to Genni he still keeps a close watch on communications from the Thebis system and has noticed something rather alarming. In the past few days it appears that the Vaalnarn military (a rival nation to Shakorev) intends to launch a catastrophic invasion in about a week which could cost the lives of thousands of people. Putting aside the reasons for his untimely discharge (which Steiger admits was his own fault) he sees it as his duty to warn the Shakorev army. However, because of his past acts he doesn’t think he has much chance in convincing them of what is about to happen. His only chance is to speak to an old comrade (named Valiy Banina) who is still in the army. Using Banina’s good reputation, he may be able to warn Shakorev. If the players could get Steiger onto the base, he could speak to Banina and hopefully convince of him of what he has found. Steiger can put up a few thousand credits to help with costs of getting to Thebis, but he’s really relying on the players better nature and the huge humanitarian act they are about to perform.

Oceans Dirtside

Oceans Dirtside – copyright Alegis Downport 2018.

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AMBER ZONE: Dr Aardmore I Presume

War is Hell, but murder is still murder 

Location: Ralhe (Spinward Marches/Five Sisters 0731) E-424574-8 Ni

Ralhe is a small world with little to recommend it except some surface mineral deposits. The very thin, tainted atmosphere requires respirator/filter masks, and most of the ground is covered in permafrost. It is not on a trade route or X-boat route, but it gets enough visitors to maintain the economy of its three competing states: Rahlhiem, Torrijo, and Klinghoff.

The three nations share a common culture, but not philosophies of government. Rahlheim is a bureaucratic socialist state, Torrijo is a republic, and Klinghoff is a monarchy. Within the last decade the three nations have conducted a slow-burning brush war consisting of raids and incursions with few pitched battles. Small unit actions have been common, with the occasional airstrike, barrage or armored vehicle clash.

Patroness:
Lady Estella Aardmore is the wife of a humanitarian doctor. They are lesser nobility of nearby Iderati (SM/Five Sisters 0732) The focus of the mission is her husband, Doctor Sir Hiram Aardmore, MD, Physician, musician, millionaire, philanthropist.

Setup:
Dr. Aardmore is on Ralhe, in the war zone between Torrijo and Rahlheim, directing a free clinic for civilians who have been injured and/or displaced by the ongoing war. Back home on Iderati, however, he has made political enemies who would be glad to see him suffer an accident. The referee can make up details of the political dispute, but they are not critical to the mission. Lady Estella has learned that there is a hit squad after her husband. The PCs must race the clock to reach Dr. Aardmore before the hit squad does, then protect him from the attack.

Payoff:
Lady Estella offers Cr 75,000 to the party, payable once her husband is present with her on Iderati, still alive. She also provides middle passages (round trip) for the PCs and a High Passage for her husband. Local transport will be for the PCs to arrange. Shipping a vehicle to Rahle will be at their expense.

Rahle Landscape

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AMBER ZONE: The Spoils of War

This adventure is suitable for characters with access to a ship (owned or part-owned by party member(s), although leasing a ship for the mission is also possible).  It will work well for self-motivating parties, but should a character have a “fixer”-type NPC contact, this person may recommend or help arrange the mission.

Ship operation skills will be necessary.  At least one character should be a competent engineer or salvage expert; thereafter players’ preferred mix of combat/non-combat skills.  There are opportunities for shooters, talkers or doers to exercise their skillsets.  The characters will need to be on neutral or better terms with the government/military.

Referees may wish to tailor participants, locations and vessels to fit with an ongoing campaign; alternatively, it can be left wholly abstracted (i.e. ‘them’ and ‘us’).  Rules references are to Mongoose 2nd Edition but use with any edition is appropriate.

Asteroid Mining

Players’ information

The war still wages, and the front line has moved deeper into enemy-controlled space weeks ago.  The area behind the lines is scarred by war, on planetary surfaces and in system space, littered with wrecks of both sides.

The most valuable, sensitive or useful parts of the wrecks have been salvaged by the military, the rest – scraps and pickings – are left.  It’s not worth the time and money and resources of the military to recover everything, so that opportunity is given to wreckers, professional vultures.  They pay a fee to the right to turn up and salvage what’s left; that money goes into the war effort and maybe a bit to rebuild the devastation wrought by it.  The value of the salvage covers the fee and more, with a bit of luck.

Having arrived in-system a few hours ago and been verified as holding a legitimate salvage license, the defense boat on watch at the jump point transmitted the co-ordinates of several wrecks.
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AMBER ZONE: Burn the Philadelphia!

The preferred setting is a pocket empire, or other smaller multi-system polity. The names can be easily changed to fit a 3I setting.

Part One: The Setup

Players Information: The PCs must have ship operation skills. They are approached by a Captain Sakamoto of the Star Kingdom Navy, with an offer of a dangerous but very valuable mission. The captain will not give any details until the PCs agree to take the job and sign the Star Kingdom Secrets Act. He explains only that the Kingdom needs a ship and crew not connected with the Navy. Once they are signed on, Captain Sakamoto explains the mission. If the PC group has a ship, they can use it, OR operate a second hand freighter, the Match (400 ton, 40+ years old) which the Navy acquired.

The Star Kingdom is engaged in a war against the Dominion. This war has tied up most of the SK navy forces, which has given non-state actors more ability to attack Kingdom shipping. The mission will not directly involve the war. Their destination is the Tabraz system.

Tabraz is a backwater system and near barbarism. They build no ships, but buy or steal them from the neighboring systems. The planet boasts a large population and a society that encourages piracy. Raids against them provoke yet more piracy and attacks on civilian shipping. The Tabrazians do not scruple against attacking anyone not a Tabrazian.

Tabrazian raiders have scored their first big victory against Star Kingdom forces in the region; they captured a Star Kingdom Sloop of War with its crew of 47 starmen. The sloop Philadelphia (known as “Big Phil”) is now in the Tabraz system, probably at the orbital starport. The Tabraz orbital port is known to have many, many armed satellites defending it.

The Navy does not want to admit that they lost the ship, as this would weaken the Kingdom’s morale – they are at war, after all. Nor do they want to risk the Tabrazians being able to put it into service. Up until now, the Raiders have only gotten older civilian ships, lower tech with normal civilian firepower. The Philly is a TL-15 warship with all kinds of modern weaponry and nuclear missiles. The PCs are hired under the Secrets Act so that no Navy ship will be risked, and the Navy might be able to keep this embarrassment a secret, if the mission should fail.

Before the Raiders have a chance to exploit this prize, the Navy is sending in a team to recover it. The PCs ship will insert the Navy team into Tabraz space, and get them close enough to the Philadelphia to board it, overwhelm the Tabrazian crew and make their escape. If escape is not possible, the Navy team has orders to spike the drive and destroy the Philadelphia to keep it out of Tabrazian hands. Either result is a success, and the Navy will pay the group Cr 200,000 for their part in the mission. Alternately, the PCs may take the secondhand freighter as payment. It will be handed over free and clear with official Star Kingdom documentation.

The strike team is 12 Marines, armed to TL-15 and wearing BD. Included with their gear is a short range radio jammer that should keep the locals aboard ship from sending or receiving any messages, including sounding an alarm. The team leader is Captain Sakamoto.

Spaceship Big Phil
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AMBER ZONE: A Shot (and a beer) In the Dark

Players’ Information

There’s any number of drinking establishments on “The Rock” as the planetesimal Alenzar Main is called by the colonists and prospectors who call it home. The asteroidal colony has grown over nearly a century and a half, thru boom and bust times, peace and war, to become a complex society with all the features, foibles, and “texture” of a terrestrial startown… and more.

But only one bar in Alenzar ’s low-gravity section, “The Lucky Star” is “home” to the singular individual known as “Gramps”; a legless old drunkard ex-prospector who is a living legend on The Rock and who makes his daily air tax ( he says) by telling his tall tales to newcomers and tourists, in exchange for a contribution to his bar tab and living expenses. Gramps has a one-room living compartment in the low-gee section of the station, but his waking moments are all spent at the Star.

The players meet Gramps while on a liberty from their docked ship, at said bar, and for the cost of a round of “the good stuff”, he spins them a tale of The Big Score: a haul of pure Zuchai and Cerulean crystals he found out in Alenzar’s belt one day.

Here, the tale diverges, depending on the day of the week , who’s telling the story, and the amount of his intoxication: Gramps either lost the big score in a divorce, hid it “FROM” the divorced wife, lost it in a gambling contest, or it was stolen by a prospector partner, or his ex-wife and the partner conspired to steal it, or it was lost when his prospecting ship blew up with the partner inside of it one day while he was on the hull… that’s where he lost his legs, records show.

Once, during the War, he says he hid his score and some papers proving what side of the conflict he really was on… and then he forgot where he’d hidden it. During the War, invading vacc-suited marines were breaching the inner corridors, and Gramps only had time to float his way down a few corridors to a disused bolt-hole, left over from early mining tunnel days, to hide his score and get away. Then he was arrested, beaten, and woke from a coma a week later with no memory of what had happened. Gramps searched for several years but never found it. He says he drinks to remember, for when he’s intoxicated, his memories seem sharper.

This sparks an idea in the party: get the old man just drunk enough, play old music from his youth, stage a fake emergency to convince him it’s 30 years ago and the soldiers are coming, put a loot bag in his hand, let him go, and see where he leads them. They won’t harm the man, only feed him booze and then try to re-create the illusion of the original scenario. They have agreed with Gramps to share the score with him if they can locate it, but don’t tell him the plan.

To make it work, they’ll have to disable the station power grid in one or more local sections, throwing the corridors into darkness and low gravity, so this will have to happen on the dead-watch when most people are asleep and security is in a lower state of readiness. Security will need to be distracted or delayed by some harmless diversionary tactic elsewhere on the station. There’s a museum on the colony with samples of the invading soldier’s old uniforms and armor. Some cosplay might help sell the illusion the players want to create.

Asteroid Mining

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