Mongoose Traveller 2nd Edition: Reach Adventure 1: Marooned on Marduk
This review originally appeared on rpg-resource.org.uk in Jan. 2018 and was reprinted in the March/April 2019 issue.
Adventure 1: Marooned on Marduk. Martin J. Dougherty.
Mongoose Publishing http://www.mongoosepublishing.com
This adventure is set on a planet called Marduk which is in the Sindal Sector referenced in the Mongoose Traveller II Core Rulebook. It’s a bit of a backwater on a major trade route, the sort of place you pass through rather than go to. It has a Highport in orbit, and the action takes place when the party take a shuttle to the Downport… the reason why they do this is left open, although one suggestion is given, which could lead to further adventures.
There’s a fair bit of Referee information, much of which may be shared as seen fit—if people consult library files or ask around a bit, most likely. It should help you make the place come alive a bit. Remember, Marduk is not within the Imperium, so the party may find that they are a bit outside of their comfort zone, although it’s close enough that much will be familiar. There isn't very much here beyond the confines of the Downport’s Star Town, apparently the indigenous people on the populated islands are not very friendly and the main continents are mostly inhabited by Downport folk who farm fresh produce for the starport.
The adventure proper begins when the party takes the shuttle to the Downport, although if they and you want they can explore the delights of the Highport first. A few other people are also taking the trip. It’s not allowed to take your own transport to the surface, so dissuade anyone who suggests that. Enough of a ‘big stick’ is provided in notes on how to deal with errant transports that only the most foolhardy parties will try it… and even if they do, there’s scope to weave this adventure in anyway. Neat! The trip ought to take the better part of three hours.
Unfortunately, the next system along (Oghma) is home to a fairly low-tech bunch of raiders who are just about Jump-capable, and today is the day they’ve embarked on their most daring raid yet, an attack on the Highport. The shuttle the party is on gets caught up in this, getting damaged sufficiently that it crashes. What was a jaunt planetside turns rapidly into a survival exercise…
The opposition may include raiders following up on the downed shuttle, the weather, and the local wildlife. There are also some locals—the native types who do not like contact with outsiders. It may descend into a brawl very quickly (which the party is likely to loose) or saner heads may prevail with running away or trying to communicate as better tactics. Hopefully the adventure ends when a rescue shuttle turns up, although it may be a mad dash across country to get to it.
That’s it. A quite short adventure, but one in which the party have free reign to do what they please—remembering of course that every action has its consequences, never more so than here. Everything is well-developed and atmospheric, however, and could provide a nice side-adventure. Hopefully the party will not be marooned for too long!