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Lush

This article was originally a featured article in the January 2013 issue.

A note to GMs: Lush can serve as the main world of a system. Alternatively, Lush could be a secondary world. In the latter case, the main world should have sufficient population to provide a pool of workers as well as a reason for why they’d opt to leave their world for Lush. At the same time the main world should not be too unpleasant an environment without some explanation of why people chose to colonize it over the more habitable world of Lush.

General Information

Lush, UWP C58841A-5, is characterized by large shallow oceans dotted with small continents and numerous islands. The coastal regions of the continents in the equatorial zone are predominantly marshland. All of this water combines with the hot equatorial temperature to create an atmosphere heavy with moisture and meteorologically active. Cloud cover is common and serves to keep the temperature high while the vast open oceans provide little impediment to the strong winds that sweep far inland. Conditions are less severe outside the equatorial zone, though apart from the planetary corporate HQ and Downport, all human habitation is concentrated in this region. The non-equatorial and inland equatorial regions of Lush remain unexplored.

Lush is owned by Schunamann und Sons AG (SuSAG), whose interest lies primarily in sprice, a legume which grows in the coastal regions of the equatorial zone. Sprice is a key component in a number of drugs, and the individual beans must be harvested when ripe; a very labor intensive process that has not been amenable to automation. The harvested sprice is transported from the marshes to HQ via shallow draft, wind-powered barges. From there it is shuttled to ships waiting at the Highport. One phenomenon of the large shallow oceans of Lush is that giant rogue waves sometimes occur. These can prove deadly to the sprice barges and their usually one-person crews.

Though Company property rather than Extraterritorial, the Highport is open to all. The Downport is open only to SuSAG vessels. No ships are granted permission to land anywhere outside the Downport. There is a squadron of six orbital fighters (Mongoose Traveller, Traders and Gunboats pp 24-25) and four strike boats (Mongoose Traveller, Traders and Gunboats pp 32-33) stationed there as well as ground security personnel. A minimum of two of the strike boats and two of the fighters are in orbit at all times for security purposes.

Main Concentrations of Population

Highport: The Highport is an example of corporate economy, containing no more in facilities or personnel than is necessary to perform its intended functions. The primary function of the Highport is the transloading of sprice from planetary shuttles to the large bulk freighters that carry it out to SuSAG‘s production plants in other systems. Indentured Workers (IWs – ‘eye double yous’) seeking to escape the terms of their contracts and conditions on Lush sometimes sneak onboard the shuttles, hoping to reach the Highport and hitch a ride to freedom. Stowaways are a growing problem for ships leaving Lush. For this reason, the Highport is heavily patrolled by SuSAG security. Personnel travelling to Lush may also debark for transport to the planetary surface. The Highport’s secondary role is to provide fuel and repairs for ships transiting Lush so that they may proceed on their way out of the system as expeditiously as possible, SuSAG discouraging unwanted company. The Highport is SuSAG property and not under SPA control.

Downport: The Downport is co-located with SuSAG’s planetary corporate HQ along the coast of one of the northern continents in the temperate zone. It serves as the base of operations for the shuttles that carry the sprice to the bulk Freighters docked at the Highport, containing hangar and full maintenance facilities for them. There are also hangar and maintenance facilities, as well as an armory for the fighters and strike boats that defend SuSAG’s Lush interests. Several concrete landing pads capable of accommodating vessels up to 1000 dtons are available, though vessels wishing to land at the Downport must either be on official SuSAG business or have a Company approved permit. Permits may be obtained at SuSAG facilities on other worlds after offering a valid explanation for the request followed by a successful roll of Admin (INT or SOC) 10+ applying a +1DM for each previous trip to Lush without incident, and payment of a CR 100,000 security bond. Refined fuel is available at Lush Downport for vessels operating on Company business.

SuSAG Planetary Corporate HQ: Co-located with the Downport, and housing the Downport’s administrative and control operations, is SuSAG’s planetary corporate HQ. There is a large multi-story building divided into Administrative, Residential, Recreational, Supply and Maintenance, and Security zones to house SuSAG staff and their functions on Lush. The entire building is climate controlled and can be sealed if necessary. In addition to the main building, there is an extensive dock network on the coast to receive the barges carrying the sprice from the various work camps scattered throughout the Equatorial zone. A collection of large warehouses to hold the sprice awaiting shipment off world are part of the dock network.

All told, there are some 5,000 people living and working in the Corporate HQ/Downport. With the exception of those loading/unloading the sprice and ‘spouses,’ all of the people at the HQ/Downport are regular SuSAG employees. While many may view their assignment here as some form of punishment, the reality is that they have a life of relative comfort compared to those working out in the Sprice Camps and life goes on in a more-or-less normal fashion, at least as normal as can be when one’s entire world is limited to the confines of a few massive buildings.

Some SuSAG employees bring their families with them, many do not, or have no family to bring. Still, to help offset the remoteness and isolation of assignment to Lush, the Company provides a stipend to help cover the costs of having ‘non-productive’ family members present. It has become common practice, especially among the upper echelons, to take temporary ‘spouses’ from among the indentured workers. The SuSAG employee receives the extra money and the indentured spouse enjoys the much better life at HQ as compared to the camps. Some supervisors encourage their subordinates to take a spouse as well, agreeing to split the stipend with the subordinate and gaining the services of multiple spouses. For their part, the spouses put up with the situation as life at HQ is more physically tolerable than life in the camps. They must tread carefully however; having no legal basis for their status, they can be replaced anytime and sent to the camps to finish out their terms of indenture.

Sprice Camps: Camps scattered throughout the marshlands of the equatorial zone serve as the base of operations for the work of harvesting the sprice. Those near the coast serve as regional collection centers and have smaller versions of the dock and warehouse facilities at the Corporate HQ. All of the camps have buildings devoted to Administration, Security, Camp Executive Residence, a Camp Store, Maintenance, Worker Dining Hall, Male and Female Worker Dormitories, and Warehouses. The first four are climate controlled, the others are not.

Depending upon the size of the camp, there are from 100 to 500 people present, the majority being indentured workers who harvest sprice. Unlike HQ, Company employees at the camps are not authorized to have family present, nor do they receive stipends. Still, many will take a temporary spouse anyway. The reasons for the spouse agreeing to the relationship are the same as for those at HQ, as are the dangers.

Unlike HQ, life in the camps is basic and brutal with camp authorities seldom having to answer to anyone above them for anything other than meeting production quotas. The indentured workers live in Company housing and eat at the Company dining hall, all of which is charged against their earnings. What little is left over is often spent on drugs or alcohol at the Company store to dull the misery of existence in the marshes, leading indentured workers into a spiral of increasing debt and servitude. Life in the camps is cheap, with people dying from disease, Lush’s wildlife, or violent disagreements with each other fueled by desperation and hopelessness; camp security only steps in if fights threaten regular SuSAG employees or property.

SuSAG recruits indentured workers to harvest the sprice. Recruits are advanced CR 20,000 which is to be paid off by their work on Lush. They are shipped via Low Passage to Lush at Company expense, also charged against future earnings. Once on Lush they work in the sprice marshes until they have paid off their debt, at which time they are free to continue on as wage earning employees, or leave. Being paid Cr 1000/month, of which Cr 400 is assessed for room and board, it would take 3 years to pay off their contract to SuSAG assuming they incurred no other expenses. The reality is that the sprice harvesters live in Company towns, with their expenses charged against future earnings. Between the exorbitant prices of the Company Store and the widespread use of chemicals to dull the monotony of life in the camps, most workers find themselves getting ever deeper in debt. Few leave SuSAG service alive, especially given the oppressive physical conditions of working in the tropical heat and dense, humid atmosphere.

Some of the workers have found a way out of the killing labor of the sprice marshes, preferring a more personal servitude to the overseers of the labor camps and the Execs in HQ by becoming the aforementioned ‘spouses.’ Others seek escape into the wilds where life is usually shorter and ends even more violently than in the camps, though there are persistent rumors of colonies of renegade free workers. Some workers try to organize the camps and demand better conditions. They often end up having accidents. It is as much for the social conditions as the physical that Lush is classified as Amber.

The Tech Level of 5 in Lush’s UWP applies to the camps where most of the population lives. At the HQ/Downport the TL is closer to 10 – 12.

The Bargemen

One group that stands out in Lush’s social order is the individuals who operate the barges transporting the sprice across Lush’s shallow seas. These are former indentured workers who manage to pay off their contracts and choose to remain on Lush. They are an independent self-reliant breed, much like the stereotypical cowboys of Solomani legend. Most operate alone, though some may assume the contract of an indentured worker to have some help, or simply company. The bargemen exist because regular SuSAG employees are not interested in working under such conditions and indentured workers can’t be trusted on their own. Though hardly paid more than indentured workers, and having to pay a large portion of that back to the Company as a lease on the barge, the bargemen have proven themselves a frugal lot adept at living off what Lush’s biosphere has to offer. Additionally, there is precious little to spend one’s money on alone at sea. As free individuals, and the only ones present to defend their barges and precious cargo, the bargemen are permitted by SuSAG to carry personal weapons for self-defense. The bargemen are a close-knit fraternity.

Terrain, Events, and Encounters

Sprice Marsh: Swampy coastal areas where sprice grows. Humid, misty, and wet. Between the height of the sprice shoots and the ever-present mists, visibility is generally limited to Medium (50m) range, and even those elevated above the sprice plants can generally see no further than Very Long (500m) range. In most places the ground is either soft mud or underwater (60cm deep), making movement difficult; reduce all ground movement by . The stagnant marsh water is a good breeding ground for microorganisms that then get carried on the mists. The most common disease, Swamp Fever, causes nausea and a high fever. It can prove fatal due to dehydration or excessive body temperature. Upon first prolonged exposure (1D6 hours), make an END 9+ roll. If successful, the character is resistant to the disease and need not check again. On a failure, take 1D6 hits. Roll once each day until successful or dead. Once successful, the character takes no further damage and is immune to further infection. For each day or fraction thereof spent in a sprice marsh, roll 2D6 6+ for an event. If an event occurs, roll 1D6, +1 DM if within 1 km of the coast, on the table below.

 

1 Sprice Gnats 5 Storm
2 Sprice Gnats 6 Lurker
3 Storm 7 Rogue Wave
4 Lurker    

Oceans: Though extensive, Lush’s oceans are shallow and choppy. For each day or fraction thereof spent on the ocean roll 2D6 8+ for an event. If an event occurs, roll 1D6, +1 DM if within 500 km of a sprice swamp, on the table below.

 

1 Storm 5 Flatfish
2 Flatfish 6 Snarks
3 Storm 7 Sprice Barge
4 Rogue Wave    

Ice Cap/Frozen Oceans: In the Polar Regions the oceans are desolate expanses of ice and snow. Still, some of Lush’s life forms have adapted to this harsh environment. Any animals encountered in this area add one point of armor due to their thicker fur and additional layers of fat. Renegades living in the Polar Regions have improvised armor of 2. For pack animals, halve the number appearing due to the more limited food supplies available. For each day or fraction thereof spent on the frozen oceans roll 2D6 10+ for an event. If an event occurs, roll 1D6 on the table below.

 

1 Snow Storm 4 Lum Ox
2 Chasm 5 Runners
3 Fighters 6 Renegade Hunting Party

Jungle: The equatorial regions of Lush are covered by dense rainforests so thick that vehicular travel is impossible except along cleared roads; and such roads must be constantly recleared. Visibility is limited to Short (12m) range and the overhead canopy blocks out the sun, not to mention interfering with radio and sensors (Comms EDU or Sensors EDU 10+). For each day or fraction thereof spent in the jungle roll 2D6 6+ for an event. If an event occurs, roll 1D6 on the table below.

 

1 Storm 4 Pack Rats
2 Spike Thorns 5 Weavers
3 Gliders 6 Sprice Gnats

Plains: Outside the equatorial regions, Lush’s land surface is covered by open plains where one can see for kilometers interrupted only by occasional rocky outcroppings. For each day or fraction thereof spent on the plains roll 2D6 8+ for an event. If an event occurs, roll 2D6 on the table below.

 

2 Little Men 8 Lum Ox
3 Pack-rats 9 Lum Ox
4 Spike Thorns 10 Runners
5 Spear Grass 11 Dirt Pigs
6 Fighters 12 Renegade Hunting Party
7 Storm    

Tundra/Arctic Plains: In the Polar Regions the plains are desolate expanses of ice and snow. Still, some of Lush’s life forms have adapted to this harsh environment. Any animals encountered in this area add one point of armor due to their thicker fur and additional layers of fat. Renegades living in the Polar Regions have improvised armor of 2. For pack animals, halve the number appearing due to the more limited food supplies available. For each day or fraction thereof spent on the frozen plains roll 2D6 10+ for an event. If an event occurs, roll 1D6 on the table below.

 

1 Snow Storm 4 Lum Ox
2 Chasm 5 Runners
3 Fighters 6 Renegade Hunting Party

Badlands: Rocky outcroppings that include a number of overhangs and hidden valleys. This is where Renegades make their camps. Because of the hilly terrain, visibility is usually limited to Long (250m) range. The badlands are more geologically active than the rest of Lush, with regular outgassings of superheated vapor. For each day or fraction thereof spent in rough country roll 2D6 8+ for an event. If an event occurs, roll 2D6 on the table below.

 

2 Dirt Pigs 8 Tremors
3 Pack Rats 9 Outgassing
4 Spike Thorns 10 Renegade Hunting Party
5 Firebirds 11 Renegade Camp
6 Fighters 12 Rock Mole
7 Storm    

Arctic Badlands: In the polar regions, the Badlands are covered in ice and snow, but are otherwise like the temperate and tropical Badlands. Any animals encountered in this area add one point of armor due to their thicker fur and additional layers of fat. Renegades living in the polar regions have improvised armor of 2. For pack animals, halve the number appearing due to the more limited food supplies available. For each day or fraction thereof spent in rough country roll 2D6 8+ for an event. If an event occurs, roll 2D6 on the table below.

 

2 Chasm 8 Tremors
3 Chasm 9 Outgassing*
4 Renegade Hunting Party 10 Renegade Hunting Party
5 Snow Storm 11 Renegade Camp*
6 Fighters 12 Little Men
7 Storm * Roll 2D6 9+ for Renegade Camp accompanying Outgassing

Encounter Descriptions

Following are descriptions of the events and encounters listed in the preceding tables:

Chasm: A large crevasse has opened up in the snow/ice pack. It is a barrier to land travel and requires 4D6 hours to find a way around it.

Dirt Pigs: Dirt pigs are essentially warthogs without tusks. They advance across the plains in slow but steady line abreast, devouring everything in their path. Though they cannot eat metal, dirt pigs can and do eat rubber tires.

 

4D6 Dirt Pig 12 kg Omnivore Eater 57A06E
Flee 4-; Attack (auto); Move 3m/minor action—walk
Teeth (1D6); Furry Hide (2)
Athletics 0, Survival 1, Recon 0, Melee 0

Fighters: A pair of SuSAG fighters screams by low overhead. Perhaps they are hunting for renegades, or checking up on the PCs. They may attack something in the distance. Is it a renegade camp, a band of little men, or a lum ox herd?

Firebirds: These birds of prey soar on the thermals created by outgassing. They wait for an animal to be trapped by the vent wall and then swoop in for the kill. They use their talons to crush their prey before eating it.

 

1D6 Firebird 12 kg Carnivore Hunter 5960A4
Attack 10+; Flee 5-; Move 4m/min. act.—walk; 12m/min. act.—fly
Talons (claws) (1D6+1); Feathers (1)
Athletics (Fly) 1, Survival 1, Recon 0, Melee 0

Flatfish: Flatfish bear some resemblance to ray-like creatures that travel in schools. Flatfish take in large quantities of water and filter out the plankton. While usually mild, they have been known to attack sprice barges, (Total up the damage done by the individual flatfish ramming the barge then divide by 2 to determine actual damage.) They also use their long tails to attack characters in the water or near the edge of the deck. If flatfish are present, roll 2D6 10+ for a school of snarks (q.v.) to be trailing them and ready to attack.

 

2D6 Flatfish 200 kg Herbivore Filter BAG187
Attack 10+; Flee 5-; Move 4m/min. act.—swim
Tail (thrasher) (1D6+1) or Head (thrasher) (2D6); Scales (1)
Athletics (Endurance) 1, Survival 0, Recon 0, Melee 0

Gliders: Glider packs live one per tree, and packs do not aid one another. If a fleeing glider climbs a tree belonging to a pack other than its own, conflict between the interloper and the resident pack is essentially inevitable. Like flying squirrels, gliders have loose skin between the forelegs and hind legs on the same side of the body, which stretches into a ‘flying membrane’ enabling them to glide between trees or to the ground. While their diet consists primarily of fruits and bugs, gliders will eat pack-rats (q.v.) if they can catch them. They have prehensile tails giving an extra minor action per combat round.

 

2D6 Glider 6 kg Omnivore Gatherer 586078
Attack 9+; Flee 7-; Move 6m/min. act.—walk or glide
Claws (1D6+1); Hide (1)
Athletics (Coordindation) 1, Survival 0, Recon 0, Melee 0, Stealth 1

Little Men: These humanoids operate in small family groups, almost appearing sentient. They use primitive tools (improvised clubs and thrown stones) and, while they cannot make fire, the lead female of the family will carry an ember supply from the last fire encountered to start the next. Families are members of clans and each has its own territory which it will defend against other Little Men. If an invading Little Man defeats the owner of a territory, then he takes over the family of his vanquished foe as well. There have been a few clashes between Little Men and Renegades. If it is learned that the Little Men are emerging sophonts, the IISS will place Lush under Imperial Interdiction. SuSAG does not want this to happen, and will make strong efforts to prevent word of the Little Men’s existence from getting out. They will additionally attempt to destroy groups of Little Men if encountered or if clan habitations can be identified.

 

1D6 Little Men 50 kg Omnivore Hunter-Gatherer (Humanoid Pre-sophont) 7E82A5
Attack 10+ if outnumber or larger than prey; Flee 5-; Move 6m/min. act.—walk
Club (2D6) or Thrown rock (1D6); (in Arctic only) Furs (2)
Athletics (Coordindation) 1, Athletics (Endurance) 1, Survival 1, Recon 0, Melee (Bludgeon) 1, Tactics (Ground) 1

Lum Ox: Lum Oxen are shaggy quadrupeds, somewhat resembling oxen or buffalo, but with a pair of horns running up the centerline of their snout/forehead. They are generally docile, usually only attacking if attacked. If attacked, the adults form a protective ring around the young and wait for the battle to come to them.

 

5D6 Lum Ox 800 kg Herbivore Grazer E7C07F
Attack if attacked; Flee 6-; Move 6m/min. act.—walk
Horns (2D6+1), Hooves (2D6-2); Furry Hide (3)
Athletics 0, Survival 1, Recon 0, Melee 0

Lurkers: Carnivore gatherers that work in pairs, these 400 kg amphibious predators stalk the sprice marshes in search of prey. They move under the shallow waters, rising up to attack and then drag their prey back under the water. Attacks are either claws or a venomous projectile; if an attack with the projectile succeeds, the prey will be dragged underwater and drowned while paralyzed.

 

2 Lurker 400 kg Carnivore Hunter EBC1B3
Attack 6+; Flee 5-; Move 8m/min. act.—swim, 4m/min. act.—walk
Claws (3D6), Special (Venomous Projectile)*; Hide (2)
Athletics (Coordindation) 2, Survival 0, Recon 0, Melee 0
* 2D6 damage for armor penetration; injects venom paralyzing victim for 101D6 minutes (roll END 10+ to avoid).

Outgassing: Superheated gases have forced their way through fissures to the surface, creating walls of scalding vapor (Damage 4D6 in burns). This outgassing can last from 1D6 hours to 1D6 days. On a successful INT 10+ roll, the character may notice the heat waves before crossing a vent line and avoid taking any damage. Going around such fracture lines adds 1D6 hours to travel. In arctic regions, roll 2D6 for 9+ to also find a Renegade Camp nearby.

Pack-rats: Pack-rats nest among the spike thorns and immune to their toxins. They are extremely curious and collect spike-like objects. When attacked, they tend to retreat to their nests, but will defend them, their young, and each other fiercely. If pack rats are present, the thorn bushes hiding their nest will be close by.

 

4D6 Pack-rat 1 kg Herbivore Grazer 24219C
Attack if cornered or defending nest; Flee 6-; Move 8m/min. act.—walk
Teeth (1D6)
Athletics 0, Survival 0, Recon 1, Melee 0, Stealth 2

Renegade Camp: A collection (minimum 20+4D6 people) of escaped former indentured workers who have established semi-permanent residence in either natural or man-made caves as much to hide form SuSAG patrols as for protection from the elements. Size and organization varies from one camp to the next, and cover the range of organization, both ‘political’ and social, that is possible for small clan/tribe groups. There may be children present. At least initially the renegades will assume that the party is SuSAG security and try to kill them in order to keep their camp’s location hidden. A Renegade Hunting Party (4+1D6 people ) will be sent out at intervals to hunt for food.

 

Renegade SuSAG IW 777665 Cr0
Club or Small Blade or Spear; Improvised Armor (1)
Athletics (Coordination) 1, Melee (Unarmed or Weapon Possessed) 1, Stealth 1, Survival 1, Trade (Varies) 1, Carouse 1, Gambler 0, Animals 0

Rock Mole: Rock Moles burrow into the rock at the base of a ravine and wait for unsuspecting prey to stumble into the funnel shaped trap (1D6+1 tiers deep). They flee by digging deeper into the rock. To avoid a rock mole pit requires winning a contest of either Recon INT or Survival EDU (+1 DM to either for prior experience with rock moles) vs. the rock mole’s Deception INSTINCT. If the PC loses then they fall into the pit. Roll DEX 8+ each round to climb up one tier. Failure means the victim slides one tier closer to the Rock Mole. Once the PC reaches the bottom tier, the rock mole attacks with its teeth.

 

1 Rock Mole 100 kg Carnivore Trapper DBC070
Attack if victim trapped; Flee 5-; Move 3m/maj. act.—burrow
Teeth (2D6+2)

Rogue Wave: Seismic activity beneath Lush’s shallow seas occasionally produce rogue waves – small tsunamis – that sweep across the ocean surface to crash into the coastal marshes. Such waves inflict 1D6 damage due to the character being knocked about and also require an END 10+ roll to avoid taking another 1D6, unmodified by armor, from drowning. It requires a STR 8+ roll to avoid being washed out to sea with the retreating water, or washed overboard if on a barge. If on the ocean a successful Seafarer(Sail) EDU 8+ roll is required to prevent the loss of the barge. On a successful Survival INT 10+ roll, DM +2 if previous experience with rogue waves, the character may notice the warning signs, allowing them to prepare and gain DM +2 on the END, STR, and Seafarer rolls.

Runners: Runners hunt in packs (3D6 in size), coordinating their efforts for maximum effect. When stalking a group, runners will try to isolate one member and then attack the lone prey from multiple directions. Their primary prey is the Lum Ox, but they will also attack Dirt Pigs or single humans.

 

3D6 Runner 50 kg Carnivore Chaser 7K919A
Attack (auto if single victim); Flee 5-; Move 12m/min. act.—walk
Teeth (1D6+2); Hide (2)
Athletics (Endurance) 2, Survival 0, Recon 1, Melee (Natural Weapons) 1, Tactics (Pack) 1

Snarks: Snarks look like giant eels. They travel in packs of 1D6 members. While flatfish are their preferred meal, snarks will eat anything, even turning on their own, attacking with teeth and the stinger in their tail (if a member of the pack is injured, other snarks must roll Pack 8+ to avoid attacking it).

 

1D6 Snark 100 kg Carnivore Killer CG80B5
Attack 6+; Flee 3-; Move 12m/min. act.—swim
Teeth (2D6+2), Stinger (stunner) (1D6); Hide (3)
Survival 0, Recon 0, Melee (Natural Weapons) 3

Spear Grass: Patches of a tough, tall (visibility limited to Close (3m) range) plant with a razor sharp edge. Passing through Spear Grass causes 2D6 damage. Spear Grass is used by the Renegades to make their spears. Detouring around a stand of spear grass adds 1D6 hours to travel time.

Spike Thorns: Clusters of bushes with long thorns (that do 2D6 damage for armor penetration purposes only) that inject a neurotoxin (END roll, DM -4, 1D6 damage to INT. When INT reaches 0, character is paralyzed.) The leaves drip a dissolving agent that turns the paralyzed victim into so much fertilizer. Passing near spike thorns requires a DEX 8+ roll to avoid contact with the thorns and possible penetration, 10+ if reaching into the spike thorn, 12+ if “entering” it. The spike thorn has a symbiotic relationship with pack rats, the latter being immune to its toxins and making their nest inside. This in turn draws predators into the spike thorn’s reach. On a 2D6 roll of 7 exactly, there is a nest of pack rats within the spike thorn encountered. Safely going around a patch of spike thorns adds 1D610 minutes to travel time.

Sprice Gnats: Omnivore eaters, sprice gnats appear as clouds of bothersome insects. Their bites cause painful swelling that can impair a character’s physical performance (reduce STR, DEX, END by 1) until the swelling goes down (1D6 hours). A Melee(Unarmed) attack is the only effective countermeasure, each point of damage killing one gnat.

 

2D6* Sprice Gnat 0 kg Omnivore Eater 161069
Attack 5+; Flee 4-; Move 12m/min. act.—fly, 2m/min. act.—walk
Teeth (1D6)**
Athletics (Fly) 2, Survival 0, Melee 0
* per member of party encountering
** DM+1 for armor penetration only on successive combat rounds

Snow Storm: A heavy snowstorm lasting 1D6 days during which visibility is reduced to zero and non-instrument navigation is impossible. If navigating by instruments, a successful Sensors EDU 8+ roll is required or an accident occurs. Accidents cause 2D6 damage to vehicles and occupants and result in the vehicle being stuck. Furthermore, flying vehicles are grounded. It takes 1D64 hours and a successful Drive EDU 8+ or Science(Physics) INT 10+ roll to free a stuck vehicle. Movement after the storm, and during for ground vehicles, is reduced by for a number of days equal to the 1D6 storm duration roll because the snow has not yet packed down into a solid weight bearing surface.

Storm: An intense rainstorm lasting 101D6 minutes during which visibility is reduced to zero and non-instrument navigation is impossible. If navigating by instruments, a successful Sensors EDU 8+ roll is required or an accident occurs. Accidents cause 2D6 damage to vehicles and occupants and result in the vehicle being stuck. Furthermore, flying vehicles are grounded. It takes 1D6 hours and a successful Drive EDU 8+ or Science(Physics) INT 10+ roll to free a stuck vehicle. Movement after the storm, and during for ground vehicles, is reduced by because of soggy ground. This lasts for a number of hours equal to the 1D6 storm duration roll. Since the rain rapidly runs off the rocky terrain, this only lasts for an hour after the storm in Badlands.

If on the ocean, a storm requires a successful Seafarer(Sail) 8+ roll or the barge and occupants take 2D6 damage. In coastal waters a barge may get stuck as per other vehicles above, use Seafarer(Sail) in lieu of Drive to refloat the barge. Otherwise, barges have no additional post storm movement penalty.

Tremors: Strong localized tremors shake the ground and may knock characters from their feet. Roll DEX 8+ to remain standing. Falling characters suffer 1D6 damage, unmodified by armor. If driving a vehicle roll Drive DEX 8+ or suffer an accident, with consequences as per storm. Tremors may create fissures (2D6 7+) that begin outgassing (q.v.). Within 50km of shore, they may also cause Rogue Waves (q.v.).

Weavers: Weavers emit a sticky secretion that they use to “weave” nets from leaves in the jungle canopy. The nets are then dropped on unsuspecting prey. If a weaver is encountered, roll a contest between the victim’s Recon INT or Survival EDU (+1DM if prior experience with weavers) vs. the weaver’s Stealth Instinct; a PC success means the weaver flees, otherwise it attacks by dropping its net. Roll STR 8+ to escape the net, with the difficulty increasing on each successive attempt as the victim’s struggles cause them to become more entangled. Once the target number exceeds 12, the victim is effectively immobilized. At that point, the weaver descends to inject the prey with a dissolving enzyme and suck up its nutrition.

 

1D6-3 Weaver 25 kg Carnivore Trapper BC6062
Attack if have surprise; Flee (auto); Move 3m/min. act.—walk
Stinger (2D6+1), Venom (1)*
Athletics (Coordination) 2, Recon 0, Survival 0, Melee 0, Stealth 2
* Stinger damage for armor penetration only, and occurs only once the prey has been immobilized; once penetrated, Venom damage is per round until death.

Special Trade Considerations

Because of the unique situation on Lush, and the fact that most commerce is conducted either by Company ships or ships under ongoing contract to SuSAG, the normal rules governing available passengers, cargoes, and speculative trade from the Mongoose Traveller Core Rulebook, pp. 160–166 are modified as follows:

Passengers: (Note: In all discussion below, the term “DL” represents the distance in parsecs between Lush and the origin/destination of the passengers.) Since SuSAG is always recruiting new indentured workers, odds are pretty good that any ship heading to Lush can find customers for its low berths. If headed to Lush there are (4-DL)D6 low passengers available. Departing Lush it’s not quite as lucrative, (1D6-DL) low passengers available.

For middle and high passages, roll (1D6+DL) if heading to Lush, or (1D6-DL) if departing Lush, to determine the total number of passenger groups available. For each such passenger group available roll 1D6 on the table on the next page.
These will all be SuSAG corporate employees. The high passengers are high level execs, the middle passengers are lower level execs, admin/clerical staff, security, or maintenance/operations staff.

(Note: If all available staterooms are filled before all passenger rolls have been made, stop rolling.)

Mail: Mail contracts function as normal.

Freight: If heading to Lush, there are 1D6 dtons of freight awaiting shipping. If departing Lush for a destination within 3 parsecs then the hold may be filled to capacity with sprice, payment to be made at standard shipping rates. No other outbound freight is available.

Speculative Cargo: Because of the small size and controlled nature of the population on Lush, speculative cargoes greater than 1 dton cannot find a market. Even then, the only speculative goods that can sell on that scale are: Advanced Manufactured Goods, Luxury Consumables, Luxury Goods, and Spices. Lush has modifiers of 0 for both purchase and sale when comparing with the world of origin trade modifiers. There are no speculative cargoes available for purchase on Lush.

Typical Lush NPCs

SuSAG Senior Planetary Exec 676899
6 – 7 terms Citizen/Corporate rank 4 Senior Manager
Advocate 1, Admin 2, Broker 2, Computers 3, Diplomat 0, Carouse 2, Gambler 1, Drive 0, Comms 0, Leader 1.
Cloth(TL 10), Comm(TL 10), Hand Computer(TL10).

Company loyalty is fighting a losing battle with resentment over being ‘banished’ to Lush. Their careers essentially over, these people are focused on maximizing personal comfort and wealth.

SuSAG Junior Planetary Exec 677887
2 – 5 terms Citizen/Corporate, rank 2 Manager
Admin 1, Broker 1, Diplomat 0, Carouse 1, Drive 0, Comms 0, Leader 0, Computers 2.
Cloth(TL 10), Comm(TL 10), Hand Computer(TL10).

Company loyalty is fighting a battle with resentment over assignment to a backwater like Lush. Some will take a cue from their seniors and follow suit. Other will believe that if they can accomplish something and make a name for themselves it will be their ticket off Lush and upward within the Company. This is also the highest level individual that will be assigned to a sprice camp.

SuSAG Planetary Admin Personnel 677776
1 – 2 terms Citizen Corporate
Admin 1, Computers 1, Comms 0, Diplomacy 0, Carouse 0. Drive 0.
Comm(TL 10).

The Admin Assistants, Secretaries, and Clerks that keep the paperwork flowing. Officious, especially to those who don’t acknowledge their power.

SuSAG Planetary Support Staff 767765
1 – 3 terms Citizen/Worker
Trade(Appropriate for assigned function) 2, Carouse 1, Mechanic 0, Drive 1, Engineer 0.
Appropriate Tool Kit(TL 10).

The people who keep the physical plant running.

SuSAG Planetary Security 888766
2 terms Army/Infantry
Melee 0, Gun Combat(Slug Rifle) 2, Persuade 0, Carouse 0, Recon 1, Drive 0, Heavy Weapons 0, Navigation 1, Sensors 1.
Combat Armor(TL 11), Gauss Rifle with HUD, Blade, Comm(TL 10).

Deferential to Senior Management, moderately civil to anyone who may be of use to them, and overbearing when dealing with all others. Always ready to bust a few heads or caps. Operate in four man teams on foot; the team leader adds Leader 1 to skills. Often operate with TL 10 G/Carrier (Mongoose Supplement 6: Military Vehicles); G/Carrier crew substitutes Gun Combat(Slug Pistol) 1 and Flyer(Grav) 1 for Gun Combat(Slug Rifle) 2 and replaces Gauss Rifle with Gauss Pistol.

Sprice Camp Overseer B79966
3 – 4 terms Citizen/Colonist or Worker
Melee(Unarmed) 1, Melee(Bludgeon) 2, Admin 0, Carouse 1, Persuade 1, Animals 0, Survival 1, Trade(Varies) 1.
Mesh, Stunstick, Comm(TL 6).

A former indentured worker who has bought off his contract and risen to a ‘supervisory position.’ Often sadistic and enjoys wielding power over others. The link between the Camp Manager and the indentured workers.

Indentured Worker 676664
1 – 4 terms Citizen/Colonist or Worker
Melee 0, Carouse 1, Drive 0, Animals 0, Survival 1, Trade(Varies) 1

The unfortunates who work, and often die, in the sprice marshes. A bit cowed, and suspicious of anyone who claims to want to help them.