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Dawn Adventures 2: Hell’s Paradise

Dawn Adventures 2: Hell’s Paradise. Michael Johnston.
Gypsy Knights Games http://www.gypsyknightsgames.com
46pp., PDF (Currently out of print)
US$5.99/UKú4.79 (last recorded price)

This review originally appeared on rpg-resource.org in July 2016, and was reprinted in the May/June 2017 issue.

Rooting around Dawn subsector—next door to Cascadia subsector of the Gypsy Knights Games alternate Traveller universe Clement Sector—this adventure sees the party in a Cascadia Colonization Authority search-and-rescue ship looking for an exploration ship that has gone missing. The Trailblazer-class scout ship the party is in is the same as the one provided for Dawn Adventures 1: The Subterranean Oceans of Argos Prime—and indeed the adventure starts on Argos Prime. Nine pre-generated characters are also provided, as well as a map of the Dawn subsector and listing of the systems therein. Naturally, you can use your own characters and ship, and indeed set the adventure somewhere in your own Traveller universe without too much amendment necessary, if you prefer.

The target system of Calliope is detailed extensively—at least, what is known of it—with the mainworld shown as being largely covered with water with just three small land masses. There is extensive sea life but little to be found on the land. It is not yet settled by anyone, but the Nordic Exploratory Society have been surveying it with an eye to locating suitable sites for a colony. It is their survey ship that has gone missing.

In a neat tie-in to Dawn Adventures 1: The Subterranean Oceans of Argos Prime, the search-and-rescue ship complete with the party on board have been sent to Argos Prime to assist with the disaster that befell the planet during that adventure. If you want to use the same party you did for that adventure, you’ll need to have them reassigned to new duties in order to get them involved in this adventure. Representatives of the Nordic Exploration Society request help, and the party is tasked to investigate. There’s a fair bit of background about the Nordic Exploration Society; how much actually needs to be shared with the party is unclear, but this may be made available if they are interested.

They will have to stop and refuel at Biocca, which is a friendly frontier world. As well as fuel, they can pick up some information and a meal whilst here, but they ought to be on their way to Calliope quickly.

Once there, the investigation can begin. The ship itself can be found quite easily… but where are the crew? There’s a deckplan of the survey ship, assuming the party decide to search it, with full descriptions of all that is to be found there. Eventually the reason for the ship being here, rather than returning as scheduled or even reporting in, will become apparent… but will the party be able to figure it out and how to deal with it before suffering a similar fate?

This is a nice treatment of what is, once discovered, a fairly standard risk of interplanetary exploration, with a few neat ideas to make it less predicable. It proves good fun to run, but is possibly more suitable for a one-off game using the characters provided than as part of an ongoing campaign with cherished characters... yet, it’s dangerous out in the black, sometimes parties need to be reminded of this.