Mongoose Traveller Adventure 2 - Prison Planet
Traveller Adventure 2: Prison Planet. Gareth Hanrahan.
Mongoose Publishing http://www.mongoosepublishing.com
This review was posted to the pre-magazine Freelance Traveller website in July of 2009, and reprinted in the March 2014 issue.
Mongoose has revised and expanded on the Classic Traveller adventure of the same name, and in doing so, has made it potentially more interesting to more player-character party mixes.
The editors at Mongoose seem to have a knack for organization—the adventure is well-organized, unfolding in a logical manner that corresponds to the way that the PCs might expect to really encounter situations such as those outlined. Useful thumbnail sketches of essentially the entire prison population, from the warden on down to the lowest prisoner, and even a few regular visitors, are provided, and could conceivably be used as NPCs in other campaigns or adventures where similar characters would come in handy. The six modules, essentially mini-adventures in their own right, offer opportunities for using a wide range of skills, with both risk and reward possible.
On Closer Inspection
After an introductory overview of the adventure, the book plunges right in to the core portion of the adventure—the initial incarceration of the player-characters, and their familiarization with the environment they find themselves in and certain key individuals in it. Most of this is provided as descriptive text principally for the referee, but with many vignettes that should be made known to the players, either by direct reading or interactively in basic day-to-day activities and incidents. This is followed by the NPC profile section—66 prisoners, 18 guards, 9 staff members, and 8 frequent visitors. A referee’s section on running the adventure comes next, describing the prison routine and regulations, the various kinds of outcomes that can result from encounters or minor events, and the effect on the characters, including their reputation (or how they are perceived by others). The following section is rumors which the referee can use to provide information (possibly misleading or wrong) to the player-characters, and that is followed by a section of incidents—not necessarily more important in the scheme of things than an event from the earlier section, but more useful in providing information to the player-characters. Six modules follow, covering a disease outbreak, the arrival of a new batch of prisoners and their effect on the prison’s social structures, prison politics, a security computer malfunction, the finding of a largely-intact alien outpost, and an escape attempt. A list of useful equipment that the PCs might obtain follows the modules, and this is followed by an overview of the planet and the area around the prison, along with some additional encounters that may follow from the modules. Finally, a short section providing a core-book-level outline of a ‘Prisoner’ career rounds out the book.
A worthy successor to its Classic Traveller namesake, and well-worth adding to a collection of pre-generated adventures.