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Cascadia Adventures 1: Save Our Ship

This review originally appeared on rpg-resource.org.uk in July 2016 and was reprinted in the November/December 2019 issue. This product and the other two Cascadia Adventure products are now available as a single product called “The Cascadia Adventures”.

Cascadia Adventures 1: Save Our Ship. Colin Dunn.
Gypsy Knights Games https://www.gypsyknightsgames.com
38pp., PDF
No longer available as a separate product.

This adventure makes some assumptions: the party operates out of a planet called Chance in the Cascadia Subsector which is part of the Clement sector (Gypsy Knights Games’ custom Traveller setting) and works mostly as interstellar merchants (ethically challenged or not, it doesn’t matter) with the odd side-job for the Razz Casino. This holds good for all three episodes in the Cascadia Adventures series, although they do not form a story-arc; you can run them in any order or pick and choose which ones you will run at all.

Before you get to the actual adventure, there are full details—including a sketch and deckplans—of the ship the party is assumed to be using, a Rucker-class vessel called Dust Runner. Then there are a full nine pre-generated characters, all with links to each other, the ship and even the casino. Naturally you can substitute existing characters (and indeed their own ship), or use some of them as NPCs, but if this is the first adventure you are running in a campaign they are worth considering because they are already embedded in the setting. They also all have contacts which will be useful as the adventure proceeds—details of these are supplied where they turn up along with notes on how to use them with either the supplied characters or your own.

And so to the adventure itself, beginning with a overview that explains what is going on. Basically, the Razz Casino had been hosting a politician who was about to run for high office on another planet, and had sent one of their ships to fetch him—but ship and politician failed to arrive. The party’s task is to find out what has happened and to sort it out. The adventure background contains all the information that you will need, and in succeeding pages various locations and events are provided for you to run the adventure.

Events begin in the Razz Casino, and this may be a place that your party likes to hang out anyway. A sidebar explains a neat way of presenting adventures with ‘essential scenes’ which a key to the plot, ‘optional scenes’ which add flavour and encourage role-playing but can be left out without harming the story, and ‘contact scenes’ which help advance the plot as they provide opportunities for the party to find something out that they need to know. The casino ‘optional scenes’ include details of the games of chance and shows on offer, in case the party wish to indulge.

From the beginning in the casino, the adventure should take the party to the politician’s departure point, his homeworld of Roskilde, where they can commence their investigations. Plenty of ways for them to find things out are provided and it should be relatively straightforward to piece together what has transpired and lead them to the casino ship’s current location. Once they get there, they have various situations to deal with—including some other folks also trying to find the missing ship—before they can complete their mission and return triumphant.

Overall it’s a cracking adventure and great fun to run (I cannot speak for playing it, but they did seem to enjoy it…). It fits beautifully into the Gypsy Knights Games setting, but would not be too hard to transplant elsewhere if you want to drop it in to your own Traveller universe instead.